Safari expert Rose Cobb gives her top tips and destinations for the perfect family adventure in Kenya
enya is an ideal destination for holidays. The array of walking safaris available means your family can truly immerse themselves in the wild, rather than sit and watch from afar in a vehicle with children shrilling continuously: “Are we there yet?” The country is always one step ahead when it comes to activities and there is a plethora of private conservancies where you and your children can ride, swim, jump, dive, balloon, bike and climb in the wild. And the coast is no exception. The beaches offer an array of family-friendly watersports that are difficult to find anywhere else in Africa.
Focus on activity, not geography
It is likely that only the adults will appreciate the fact that you’re in Samburu-land rather than the Masai Mara. So, it’s important to focus on what you do each day, rather than where you do it. Luckily, it’s easy to arrange a diverse itinerary in Kenya.
Horses thrive in Kenya, as they find the terrain pleasing and the absence of tsetse flies a blessing. Many ranches and conservancies have horses and can have you cantering alongside giraffe or plodding along with the little ones. This is also a good place for camel riding.
Fly, don’t drive
Kenya’s network of small planes is an efficient and easy form of transport. Flights are inexpensive and adds to the adventure as you clamber into a little Cessna and soar across the African skies. If you can, avoid driving as much as possible, as the roads have serious bumps and lots of potholes.
My top three hotspots for families
- Lewa Wilderness This is the abode of the Craig/Douglas family but it feels like your family home. The stylish and cosy lodges include en-suite facilities, spacious living areas, lush gardens and fresh organic food. Activities include crabbing, riding, swimming, climbing and tennis. The wildlife is also exceptional.
- Saruni Ocean Many families opt to include a beach break in their trip to Kenya, and this spot provides the ultimate coastal getaway. The hotel manages to combine luxury and fun in their private villas and provide all the activities you and your children could wish for, right on your sandy doorstep.
- andBeyond’s Kichwa Tembo Tented Camp This great option provides a WILDchild programme of education and exploration, in addition to activities such as hot-air ballooning, Maasai dance performances and glorious bush breakfasts and dinners. There’s also spectacular game viewing and you can witness the Great Migration in the summer, comprising more than a million wildebeest and hundreds of thousands of zebra and gazelle.
Rose Cobb is the founder of Abambo. Find out more about family travel at: www.abambotravel.com.