A fun-filled vacation in Kenya for families will cover a marvelous variety of experiences that will remain etched in the hearts of the parents, teenagers and the younger lot, long after the trip has come to an end. From spotting wilderness up close to engaging with people from a different culture, this will be a sublime holiday experience, designed specially to keep the adventurous spirit aspect in mind. Needless to say, the memories captured on this Kenyan itinerary will be difficult to forget.
On an adventure holiday, nothing troubles the children more than the exhausting long distances which need to be covered by road. This itinerary has been arranged on a circuit comprising neighbouring parks, with minimal road transfers and excellent game viewing opportunities. With at least 2-3 nights to spend in each camp will make the family feel relaxed as the kids will be returning to a familiar base each day.
These small national parks have not been invaded by mass tourism and will make the children feel very comfortable. Finally you can choose to end your Kenyan safari holidays by relaxing on a beach at one of the many stunning lodges dotting the vast Kenyan coast.
Day One/Two: Nairobi to Swara Plains
Swara Plains is a 20,000 acres conservancy which forms a part of Amboseli ecosystem and is located just thirty minutes out of Nairobi City. The reserve has a resident population of over 3000 animals which makes game viewing easy. In addition there are over 270 bird species also which have been recorded here. Birds like ostrich, secretary bird, crowned crane,Tawny eagle, Vultures and Marabou Stork can be spotted in the conservancy.
The Acacia camp houses a limited number of guests, so as to enjoy the atmosphere without the noise of many safari buses found elsewhere. Good food is an important part of travel and you can expect top dishes with a touch of home cooking. Environment conservation is a top priority here and there are well maintained roads and paths here for game drives and nature walks. The question is why stay in a city hotel when you can introduce the children straight with the adventure spirit by staying in a place where elands, antelope and giraffes roam freely within the grounds.
Day Three/Four/Five: Amboseli
The famous Amboseli National Park at the base of Mt Kilimanjaro is said to be a photographer’s delight. The many swamps here are fed by the underground rivers rising from the mountain resulting in large herds of game like elephants, lions, leopard and cheetah congregating here against the backdrop of the snow-capped massif. With over 425 species of birds here, there would be ample chances to see species like vultures, owls, falcons, hornbills, bustards and many others.
Amboseli is famous for its large tuskers and the children can learn more about these giants and their complicated family bonding at the Elephant Research Centre. There are a number of family oriented private properties where the family can enjoy unlimited drives for sightings without having to worry about other guests. These forays into the wild have low vehicle and visitor count, perfect for families who want to experience nature at their own pace and in their own space.
Day Six/Seven/Eight: Tsavo National Park
Drive through open bush country in the morning to Tsavo National Park, the largest of all the parks in Kenya. The change from Amboseli to Tsavo will be rewarding in the sense that you will enjoy comparing similar species and discovering the change in their look because of different habitats. The elephants here, for example, have a deeper tinge on the skin than those at Amboseli. Relaxed game drives here will offer the family all the big game animals and lots of birds.
Tsavo National Park is split in two sections,Tsavo East and Tsavo West, by the Nairobi to Mombasa highway. Sunrise is the best time to get out of your comfortable beds and head to the Tsavo River to view crocodiles and hippos in large numbers. Return to the camp and engage the children with intriguing Masai tales which give an authentic idea about the bush. Take the family to the famous Mizna Springs which is another haven for hippos, crocodiles and fish.
Learn about the history of the park at Roaring Rocks, which served as a shelter for the Mau Mau warriors at the time of the country’s war of Independence. Leave Tsavo after three magical days and head for Mombasa, a six hour drive away.
Day nine/ten/eleven: Mombasa
Mombasa is a little slice of paradise located on the Kenyan coast. Some of the most beautiful beaches in the world are located here, making it a true family adventure destination. The glorious stretches of Diani beach will make for an ideal family getaway as there are loads of attractions to keep the younger brood occupied and happy. The town of Malindi, in the north, provides many exciting activities such as forest walks and boat rides through mangrove swamps.
A visit to the Malindi Marine National Park is a must for every member of the family. There are an amazing number of kid-friendly attractions like glass bottom boat rides, spotting whale sharks and green turtles. For the water sports fan there is snorkeling, fishing, dolphin shows and a visit to East Africa’s biggest crocodile farm at Mamba village. Resorts on Diani beach have family entertainment and many fun animators to keep the children happy. Some hotels offer free accommodation for kids with facilities like a kids only pool and kid’s club.
Day twelve: Nairobi
On your final morning of your classic Kenya family vacation enjoy some time on the beach or have a refreshing dip in the sea. After one long last walk head to the Mombasa International Airport for your flight back home.
There is little doubt that Kenya is a leading adventure destination for families. Home to the Masai Mara, the site of the great migration, to other conservancies that have surreal moments in store for the younger lot. It is important that the children should know what to expect on the trip by explaining to them beforehand through pictures or tv shows.
Finally, no camp will be one hundred percent safe. While the lodges have sufficient security, always keep an eye on your children to prevent them from wandering off. So pack your bags, leave your iPads and laptops at home and get ready to have yourself and the family knocked off their feet by this stunning adventure holiday destination.