South Africa is one of the world’s best safari destinations for families. It’s mostly malaria-free and offers excellent infrastructure and relatively good road networks. There are also a number of parks that offer self-drive safaris, making it ideal for families wanting to holiday in the African bush.

Cheetah's in the Kalahari Cheetah’s in the Kalahari| Image by Ready Set Safari[/caption]

  • Amongst the best family-friendly parks is Pilanesberg National Park in the North-West province. Not only does it neighbor the famous Sun City entertainment resort, but it’s malaria-free, an easy two hours’ drive from OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg and hosts the Big Five.
  • Addo Elephant National Park is not only overflowing with elephants, but the rest of the Big Five can also be sighted in the park. The beauty of the park is that it’s close proximity to the coast, allows families to see whales at the right time of the year. Once inside the park, there are a number of excellent, affordable camps and self-catering options with good roads.
  • The Kruger National Park is the crown jewel in South Africa’s wildlife crown and is the most accessible – an easy four-hour drive from Johannesburg makes it a great option for families. Within the park itself, there is an abundance of affordable accommodation options which are surrounded by the Big Five.
  • Madikwe Game Reserve in the North-West is also 100% malaria-free and is regarded as South Africa’s best private game reserve. They cater for families of all sizes and ages, with their “Jungle Drives” for children under the age of four and the “Children’s Safari” for slightly older kids. The latter teaches them about the bush, how to track and use bush medicine.

Most travelers opt for car rental to accommodate their travel plans.