Kenya With Kids – Our Story

... from a family who knows it so well!

East Africa (especially Kenya) is a wonderful part of the world to travel to with kids of all ages. From newborn babies to late teens… there are many memories to be made as a family and Kenya is the place to make them… your kids will love it.

My husband and I have maintained travelling as a family, making sure our kids get to experience the wilds and adventures that East Africa has to offer. We have been travelling around Kenya and Tanzania, on safari for 10 years, since Zia (our youngest) was 3 days old. I spent my own childhood (BC according to Billy 🙂 travelling. We were lucky enough to go on many incredible camping safaris throughout East Africa and incredible adventures further afield (Europe, Asia, South America, the Americas etc.). My father was an honorary game warden here in Kenya and has a never-ending fascination & knowledge of wildlife, animals, birds, trees, people etc. And my mother the most selfless, efficient organiser of all things fun … always producing the perfect adventure each time.

Why I believe Kenya is the very best holiday for families…

  • Kenyan people love children. You’ll always find someone to help… to carry your baby whilst you eat, to smile with you when that tantrum happens because the plate is the wrong colour, play football with your energetic youth, bead bracelets with your arty little person, make candles as a present for Granny, make soap as a present for their bestie at home
  • Kenyans are adaptable… If you need baby food cooked, it will be done. If you need your milk warmed at midnight, it will be done. If your child only loves pizza, it can be done. If your other child only eats cucumber and broccoli… it can of course be done J
  • There is so much fun to be had… A place where children will be children… from making mud pies to safari art studios, from playing lawn games to board games, watersports & diving off boats, cycling, quad-bike safaris or motorbiking, stand-up paddleboarding to sandcastles, riding camels or horses, rock climbing to camping, cooking pizzas & making jewellery.
  • They will learn so much that will help pave their way in life, from sustainability to kindness, to appreciate what they have and to help others, who are less fortunate. How wildlife cannot exist without so many people risking their lives. They will learn to appreciate and take an interest the little things in life like learning about the many butterflies and creepy crawlies species or picking beautiful flowers, collecting seashells or making friends with the cats & donkeys of Lamu…

My travel suggestions, within Kenya:

Map of Kenya

Safari:

  1. Amboseli National Park
  2. Laikipia
  3. Nairobi
  4. The Great Rift Valley
  5. The Masai Mara
  6. Samburu National Reserve
  7. Tsavo East & West National Parks

Beach:

  1. Diani
  2. Watamu
  3. Lamu

On safari:

  1. Amboseli National Park is a magical place for children, offering close encounters with elephants and other unforgettable wildlife (both animals and wonderful birdlife) and Maasai cultural experiences.
  2. Laikipia is a stunningly unspoilt, dry & dramatic part of Northern Kenya offering endless wildlife and many rare northern species. It’s suitable for anyone looking for an active and immersive wilderness adventure away from the crowds, where children can jump off waterfalls, kayak whilst the elephants drink, ride horses or camels amongst surrounding wildlife, learn conservation, and sleep under starlit skies. It’s an eco-adventure playground!
  3. Nairobi – our capital city – we like to suggest a day here if you’re travelling with kids, staying in a little boutique hotel in the Karen suburb or in Nairobi National Park. Our favourite activities for families are feeding the Rothschild giraffes, having a ‘helping’ day at one of the wonderful charities we support, seeing the rescued elephant and rhino calves, partaking in farm activities, shopping in Maasai Markets, visiting art galleries … for more information please see our blog on What to do in Nairobi with kids. Nairobi is also a cosmopolitan city with endless wonderful restaurants, please see our Eatery guide here.
  4. The Great Rift Valley offers families a blend of adventure and tranquillity. Enjoy wildlife from a boat on Lake Nakuru, boat safaris, walking with wildlife or visiting flower farms on Lake Naivasha, birdlife on Lake Baringo or Victoria or endless feet-in-the-mud adventure in Shompole. It’s a place where memories are made, amidst Kenya’s stunning natural beauty.
  5. The Masai Mara – is a must! It offers a once-in-a-lifetime safari adventure for children, with the very best wildlife viewing on the planet. You come here to see the majestic plains covered in game like zebra, giraffe, antelope, river-dwelling hippo & crocodile, The Big 5 and other big cats etc. The picture-postcard views of Acacia trees dotted around the endless Savannah and the Maasai culture, known for the warriors dressed in red with wonderful beadwork, who are nomadic warriors and their currency is their cattle. Kids just love to meet the Maasai people, whether you’re into throwing spears, jumping high, making beaded bracelets for your friends or just cuddling teeny little goat kids!
  6. Samburu National Reserve consists of arid landscapes around a palm tree lined river in amongst Kenya’s north-central region. This diverse area is home to the Samburu people, known to be nomadic, pastoralist, vibrant, traditional, beaded, resilient and spiritual. Also home to wonderful wildlife including unique species like the Samburu Five.
  7. Tsavo East & West National Parks – The largest game park on the planet. The Tsavo’s, (East & West) offer a quintessential African safari experience, a family paradise for less. You can witness majestic elephants, diverse wildlife, and breathtaking landscapes… and the prices here are substantially less than in the rest of Kenya.
  8. Off the Beaten Track – we just love these other options for places to visit… from deserts to tropical rain forests, from snow-capped mountains to arid deserts… Kenya is sooo much more diverse than just the above. We just love the beautiful little lodges ‘in the middle of nowhere’ that offer such immense tranquillity, such peace and calm at the same time as offering incredibly active experiences, from quad bike safaris to walking safaris, from traditional Samburu ceremonies to elephant sanctuaries, we just love, love, love the lesser-known Kenya 🙂

On the beach:

We would suggest a few days for relaxation before or after your safari. Below are the more well-known beaches and our thoughts on them:

  1. Diani Beach is a tropical paradise perfect for families and wins Best Beach in Africa awards annually. With its pristine white sandswarm turquoise waters, and lush palm trees, it is dotted with family-friendly resorts, boutique hotels or private houses to stay in, whilst enjoying endless activities including endless watersports, snorkelling trips, feeding bush babies, learning about monkey conservation. If you love the fun, restaurants, beach bars and lots to do, Diani is for you. Please see our What to do On Diani Beach, with kids blog here.
  2. Lamu, it’s a quirky, serene, scruffy, characterful island, perfect for families seeking a blend of history, culture, and relaxation. Explore the ancient Lamu Old Town, enjoy Swahili dishes on the street or exceptional food at Peponis, unwind on an evening Dhow sail or walk for miles along the empty Shela Beach. There are some smaller boutique hotels, but the quirky, Swahili-style private houses are also very popular. If you’re looking for peace & quiet with very interesting activities, Lamu is for you. Please see our What to Do on Lamu, with Kids blog here.
  3. Watamu Beach, with its clear waters and soft white sands, is a beach primarily for private homes.  It offers safe swimmingsnorkelling, and relaxing under the sun with the opportunity to go out for Gelati treats, and pizzerias. Visit the incredible snake park, or go on dolphin tours, and deep sea fishing adventures or there are places to play Padel and pitch & put if that interests you more. Watamu is perfect for those who don’t want the crowds but like lovely activity options. It is important to book your accommodation carefully here in Watamu! Please see our What to do in Watamu blog here.
  4. Off the Beaten Track Beaches – we just love these other options for beaches to visit also. Kenya offers a handful of private island Robinson Crusoe experiences, private houses on private beaches, retreats, Dhow safaris to the lesser-known, we just love, love, love the lesser-known Kenya 🙂

When to visit:

  • ‘High season’ in East Africa normally falls within kids’ school holidays (July, August, September & Christmas) and brings in the crowds, so we recommend that you either:
    • Travel out of high season
    • Or book carefully within the high season
  • Our sister company www.thesafaricoltd.com focuses heavily on taking people away from the crowds at any time of year.

Sample itineraries:

Here are some beautiful itineraries in Kenya… and Tanzania that we feel are very well-suited for families.

Note: pppn – Per Person (sharing a room), Per Night.

5-6*

A Private 12-Night Kenyan Safari for a Large Multigenerational Family of 12.

Privacy, Safari-Chic & Magnificent.

*PlatinumAverage USD1100 & Above, pppn Incl. full board accommodation, most activities, local (alcoholic &non) drinks, laundry, airstrip transfers & transport between each place.

5*

  1. 2 Weeks Safari & Beach in Tanzania, staying in 5 places, with your kids, for less
  2. 15 Nights Ultimate Owner-Hosted ‘Real’ Safari for Family of 5
  3. The Best of 5* Uganda, 11 Nights for a Family of 6

Privacy, Exclusivity & Gloriousness 

*GoldAverage USD750 – USD1099 pppn Incl. full board accommodation, most activities, local (alcoholic & non) drinks, laundry, airstrip transfers & transport between each place.

4-5*

  1. Luxurious and Active Kenyan Safari and Beach for a family of 5, For 11 Nights
  2. Experience 10 Nights of Luxury, Activity & Adventure for family of 5
  3. Spend 11 Nights in Kenya With a Young Family of 2 Kids

Privacy & Boutique Luxury

*Silver – Average USD550 – USD749 pppn Incl. full board accommodation, most activities, local drinks, laundry, airstrip transfers and transport between each place.

4*

  1. Kenya – A Family Safari in Privacy, staying in Little & Lovely places
  2. Spend 13 Nights on a Family Kenyan Safari & Beach in Little & Lovely Places

Privacy, Glamping & Real Nature

*BronzeAverage USD350 – USD549 pppn Incl. full board accommodation, some activities, soft drinks, airstrip transfers.

3-4*

  1. 10 Nights of Safari, Plantations, Privacy & People for Young Children
  2. An Authentic & Adventurous Kenyan Family Safari & Beach for 12 Nights

Cottages, Cozy Tents & Real Bushlife

*GreenUp to USD349 pppn Incl. accommodation… and a varying degree of extras.

Adventure*

A Horse Riding Safari Across the North of Kenya

A patchwork of huge ranches, many of which are still working cattle ranches, have assumed the role of custodians of Kenya’s free-roaming wildlife and are now geared towards adventurous and often luxurious safari tourism.

*AdventureAverage USD595 pppn Incl. full board accommodation, all activities, all house drinks, laundry, all conservation fees, park fees, camping fees, airstrip transfers and transport between each place.

To book these, at competitive rates, please contact us on safaris@thesafaricoltd.com or just leave a little note in the comments section below…

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