Family safari holidays

Wonderful family wildlife holidays

Last updated 26th October 2023

From South African safaris to elephants in Thailand, nothing comes close to wildlife encounters on a family holiday. With over thirty years’ experience creating family adventures worldwide, Elegant Resorts are experts in choosing luxury resorts where kids can have awesome wildlife experiences, safely and responsibly.

And since they handpick all resorts personally, nothing is left to chance in terms of conservation credentials, so every second of fun comes with a clear conscience.

What are your kids’ wildest dreams at the moment? Have a look at four Elegant Resorts where the wildlife is wonderful and families are the most welcome guests of all.

1/4  Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort, Chiang Rai, Northern Thailand

What kid wouldn’t be thrilled to wake up every morning with elephants on the doorstep? Anantara Golden Triangle is near neighbour to one of the world’s leading elephant conservation camps, and couldn’t be more perfectly placed to realise the wildest of young wildlife dreams.

If up close encounters with pachyderm aren’t quite exciting enough, the rich culture and inescapable natural beauty of north Thailand’s Golden Triangle, fills any small gaps in the adventure. And, as always with Anantara, the resort itself is luxurious and lovely, designed in an exquisite vernacular style, and plenty playful for kids.

The lowdown

  • Elegant luxury resort in the Golden Triangle where Thailand borders Laos, and Myanmar.
  • Choice of spacious family rooms and suites.
  • Range of family experiences at Camp Dara elephant conservation camp.
  • Anantara Chiang Rai Spa with al-fresco terrazzo.
  • Selection of fascinating Golden Triangle guided tours and family days out.
  • Guided ‘three country’ tours and family cruises on Mekong River.
  • Yoga; guided jungle safaris; Chiang Rai tours.
  • Outdoor infinity pool and lush, tropical garden grounds.
  • Four restaurants, and Anantara Spice Spoons cooking classes.
  • Three nights in a Deluxe Three Country View Room at Anantara Golden Triangle, from £6560 per family of three.

Learn more about wildlife holidays at Anantara Golden Triangle with Elegant Resorts.

2/4  Soneva Fushi, Maldives

Introduce kids to the underwater wonderland of the Maldives at Soneva Fushi. Set in the Baa Atoll UNESCO World Heritage Biosphere, this is the resort where everything from snorkelling and diving to dolphin-watching cruises, gets young conservationists close to one of the most marine-life dense environments on the planet.

It’s great fun on land here too, so when children aren’t examining coral and eyeballing sea creatures, they’ve kids clubs to entertain them endlessly; an incredible outdoor cinema; stargazing adventures at the resort observatory and, of course, acres of gorgeous beach as their own personal playground.

The lowdown

  • Luxury island resort in Baa Atoll UNESCO World Heritage Biosphere.
  • Choice of one, two and three bedroom family villas.
  • The Den: beautifully designed kids club for over fours with swimming pool, pirate ship, cinema, and music room.
  • Creative activity programme for kids.
  • Guided reef snorkelling with resident marine biologist; dolphin cruises; manta-ray snorkelling; PADI diving; non-motorised water sports; surfing.
  • Six Senses Spa at Soneva Fushi.
  • Seven restaurants and bars, children’s menus, in-villa dining.
  • Observatory; outdoor Cinema Paradiso; art, craft, glass blowing classes.
  • Ice cream parlour and chocolate room.
  • Seven nights in a Crusoe Villa at Soneva Fushi, from £8110 per family of five.

Learn more about wildlife holidays at Soneva Fushi with Elegant Resorts.

3/4  The Royal Livingstone Victoria Falls Zambia Hotel by Anantara, Zambia

The mighty Victoria Falls are just as awe-inspiring as you imagine, and they’re well within earshot at this wonderful Anantara family resort in Zambia. If you can tear yourself away from the comfort and elegance, the spectacular phenomena can also be seen and heard within minutes; there’s a calm cruise to test the spray, or you could try white-water rafting.

Safari-seeking kids will love Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park. It’s just a little up river from Royal Livingstone and prime territory for spotting zebra, giraffe, wildebeest and – if you’re lucky – rare, white rhino. Botswana and Zimbabwe are other near neighbours, so this resort is ideal for even grander wildlife adventures.

The lowdown

  • Classic, luxury resort on Zambezi River, close to Victoria Falls in southern Zambia.
  • Choice of deluxe family rooms and suites.
  • Range of Victoria Falls’ family adventures, and guided tours.
  • Guided game drives for families at Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park.
  • Within easy reach of Chobe National Park, Botswana; and Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park.
  • Anantara Spa on Zambezi riverbank.
  • Four restaurants; villa butler service; daily high tea.
  • Family swimming pool in large, garden grounds with river views.
  • Seven nights in a Deluxe Family Room at The Royal Livingstone Victoria Falls Zambia Hotel, from £9170 per family of three.

Learn more about wildlife holidays at The Royal Livingstone Victoria Falls Zambia Hotel with Elegant Resorts.

4/4  Shamwari Game Reserve, South Africa

Eastern Cape’s legendary Garden Route more than deserves its place in the top five greatest all-time road trips. Even if you were just to zip along the road from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth, the drive alone is amazing. But with kids you want to take in as many experiences as possible, and nowhere makes a better finale for the whole experience than Shamwari Game Reserve.

Apart from sightings of the Big Five and their incredible Kids on Safari programme, Shamwari also leads the field in conservation, so young explorers can visit the Ian Player Rhino Centre; Born Free Big Cat Sanctuary and the reserve’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre here too.

Luxurious Riverdene Lodge is downtime-delightful with swimming pools, supervised playrooms, activities for teenagers, and even a Children’s Co-ordinator to make sure every single minute on safari is entirely awesome.

The lowdown

  • Malaria-free reserve, named a ‘World Leading Conservation Company & Game Reserve’, for 10 consecutive years.
  • Range of family-friendly, luxury lodges with interconnecting rooms.
  • Guided game drives for sightings of Big Five; Kids on Safari programme.
  • Home to: Ian Player Rhino Centre; Born Free Big Cat Sanctuary; Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.
  • Swimming pool; supervised play area; jungle gym; activity programme.
  • Safari Spa and Wellness Retreats.
  • Shamwari is an hour’s drive east of Port Elizabeth, final destination on the iconic Eastern Cape Garden Route.
  • Legendary Addo Elephant National Park is an hour’s drive north west of Shamwari.
  • Three nights in a Luxury Courtyard Room at Shamwari Game Reserve, from £5060 per family of three.

Learn more about wildlife holidays at Shamwari Game Reserve with Elegant Resorts.

Which wildlife encounter is wonderful for your family? Call Elegant Resorts on 01224 897 396, speak to one of their expert travel consultants, describe your wildest dream holiday, and let them find it for you.