This land of endless sand dunes and the hauntingly beautiful Skeleton Coast in the south-west of Africa is something your kids will be talking about long after they’re back at their school desks. Add in a safari to search for the cheetah – the fastest animal on Earth – and you’ll be the coolest parent on the planet.
Explore offers a 13-day Namibia Cheetah Safari through Etosha National Park and Otjitotongwe Cheetah Reserve, tracking this beautiful cat in its natural habitat (along with the giraffe, lion, elephant and zebra). Along the way, you’ll explore vast canyons, climb sand dunes, meet the Himba people and search for dolphins and seals in Walvis Bay.
Suitable for families with children aged seven and over, the tour departs in July and August and costs from £2,644 per adult and £1,998 per child, including flights, B&B accommodation, most other meals, transport and the services of a tour leader, ?driver and cook. 0845 291 4541, explore.co.uk
If you want a family holiday that gives an episode of CBBC’s Deadly 60 a run for its money, look no further than the endless plains of East Africa. Iconic vistas, dotted with Acacia trees and teeming with wildlife, are the backdrop to a holiday in the Masai Mara. You and your kids can track wildlife by jeep, or on foot with a ranger, learn how to make fire and throw spears like a pro, all under the guidance of a Masai warrior.
Steppes Travel offers an eight-day family safari, from £2,680 per adult and £1,970 per child (based on a family of four), staying fully inclusive in a private house with your own vehicle, specialist guide and flights. 0845 073 0419,steppestravel.co.uk
Combining the big game of South Luangwa, Zambia’s premier park, with the raw beauty of the Lower Zambezi is a top choice for families. In the South Luangwa, Robin’s House is like going on safari from a magical family house. It has a central lounge and dining area, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen and plenty of space.
Families have their own chef, a valet and a private 4WD game-viewing vehicle and safari guide. In the Lower Zambezi, the originally designed Chongwe River House overlooks a tributary of the Zambezi River with a kitchen, a vast lounge-dining area, and a large outdoor deck and swimming pool. Families have a choice of walking safaris, boat trips, 4WD game safaris and night drives – all led by your own expert safari guide.
Expert Africa offers a nine-night Zambia family safari, ?including four nights at Robin’s House and three nights at Chongwe River House, from £4,200 per person sharing (based ?on a family of four) with flights, transfers, all accommodation, meals, most drinks and activities.
4/5 South Africa
South Africa is a great safari choice if you want to combine it with a city stay in Cape Town. The Mini Rangers Course at Singita Ebony Lodge in Sabi Sand Game Reserve opens up a whole new world to young explorers. Its programme includes tracking animals; frogging; butterfly capture and release and an astronomy safari. The lodge has suites suitable for families with both small children and teenagers.
Elegant Resorts offers four nights at Singita Ebony Lodge, fully inclusive, from £14,645, based on a family of four, with flights.
Botswana is an adventure playground for the over-sevens and teens, with game drives in truly wild landscapes, on-foot bush walks and silent safaris in mokoros (traditional dugout canoes). Best of all is elephant spotting while cruising down the Chobe River.
Rainbow Tours offers a 10-day Botswana family safari, encompassing the highlights of the country and the breathtaking Victoria Falls in Zambia, from £4,295 per adult and £3,250 per child with flights, transfers, activities and accommodation, including all meals and local drinks. Key attractions include extended chalets and larger tents so that the whole family is under one roof.
Rainbow Tours also offers family safaris in Kenya, South Africa, Zambia and Tanzania. Any families going on safari with Rainbow Tours this year will be given a Junior Big Tracker iBook, an interactive guide to becoming a big game tracker in the African wilderness.