From the Journal

An unforgettable African family safari with Molori Safari Lodge


John.D, Head Ranger at Molori Safari Lodge

The ultimate outdoor classroom, Africa’s exotic destinations, abundant wildlife and diverse cultures promise a learning opportunity around every corner. A bucket-list experience, nothing quite compares to a child’s reaction to spotting their first lion on an African family safari. With never-to-be-forgotten experiences awaiting you and your children in Africa, we caught up with the Head Ranger at Molori Safari Lodge, John Ditsele to give you more insight into what sets them apart in terms of their African family safari offering.

The family-owned Molori Safari Lodge is one of South Africa’s leading family safari destinations. Located in the heart of the malari-free Madikwe Game Reserve, the lodge goes above and beyond to cater for the little ones. From educational Junior Ranger Programmes, to pancake stops in the middle of the bush, Molori ensures that your family trip to Africa will be one that you will never forget.

Molori Africa Family Safari Elephant


Ker & Downey® Africa: What unique offerings does Molori Safari Lodge offer to families?

John.D : Molori is the perfect destination an African family safari, especially families traveling with young children for two reasons: Firstly, the Madikwe Game Reserve is malaria-free, and secondly,  because we’re a family-owned lodge, we’ve entertained many of the family’s (shareholders) children at the lodge over the years and taught them all they know about the bush. Unlike many other lodges, we do allow children under the age of 6 on game drives on private vehicles.  

All our rangers are competent and certified to carry a rifle which gives us the opportunity to step outside the vehicle for nature walks where kids can be educated through sight, touch and smell. Activities for the kids during game drives includes digging for dung beetles out of rhino midden and figuring out how to put either elephant or giraffe skeletons together.  

Bush Breakfast Molori Safari Lodge

Another favourite for the kids is the pancake stop

Another favourite for the kids is the pancake stop - we assist in setting up a ‘bush’ kitchen where the kids have the opportunity to bake pancakes, assisted by their parents and the rangers.  

We do our best to keep families separated from other guests so that we can tailor make a safari to guests’ taste and give them flexibility on game drive activities. All our guest experiences are done on their time, not ours.

Molori Safair Lodge Suite Pool
Private deck and swimming pool overlooking the expansive valleys of Madikwe.


Ker & Downey® Africa: In your opinion, what differentiates the Molori experience from other African family safari lodges?

John.D: All five of our suites are extremely spacious and three of them are perfect for families, with two bedrooms, private decks, swimming pools, and in-suite dining if requested. In this way we can have more than one family in the lodge at the same time, but they may not even realise it due to the privacy that the space offers.

If a family books one of our two presidential suites, they get a private vehicle, adding to the exclusivity of their experience.

We pride ourselves in having guides that look after kids that are on a drive, as their own and so we make it special, and ensure we have something on the ‘safari menu’ for every age group.

Two of our three guides are fully qualified trails guides which means guests can experience guided bush walks and tracking experiences during their game drives.  We take kids out on a junior guide programme and teach them bush survival skills. We also entertain them by going frog hunting etc, in-between game drives, giving their parents some privacy.

A meaningful family experience that we offer is that of wildlife notching. The funds generated from these experiences go towards the ongoing conservation of wildlife in the game reserve.  We’ve had many families participate in these conservation experiences which they’ve rated as one of their most memorable lifetime experiences.  

We enjoy having families with children of any age at our lodge. We’re geared for it, and are proud to say that we have many ways of keeping even the most ‘tech-dedicated’ teenagers off their devices.

Africa Family Safari John D
John.D, Molori Safari Lodge


Ker & Downey® Africa: What are some of the challenges you and your team face when hosting families at Molori?

John.D : We don’t experience any challenges when hosting families. We enjoy having families with children of any age at our lodge. We’re geared for it, and are proud to say that we have many ways of keeping even the most ‘tech-dedicated’ teenagers off their devices and engaged in the safari experience!

African Family Safari


Ker & Downey® Africa: What is the usual behaviour of kids when out in the bush for an African family safari?

John.D : Kids are usually super excited as they go on an African family safari and it is our duty and responsibility to keep them safe, happy, entertained and educated.

Dung Beetle African Family Safari

Kids always want to touch and feel things, so we give them a chance to get out of the vehicle and look, touch and feel things like dung beetles, chameleons, termites, berries, tree leaves, and frogs.


Ker & Downey® Africa: How does Molori's Junior Rangers Programme work? 

John.D : We have a specially designed book that the kids use as a checklist. Kids always want to touch and feel things, so we give them a chance to get out of the vehicle and look, touch and feel things like dung beetles, chameleons, termites, berries, tree leaves, and frogs etc.  We teach them some bush crafts like building a bow and arrow. We work with them on how to identify rhinos by looking at their notches, and the identification of foot prints. And, we educate them about the importance of helping save our animals for their future grandchildren.

Elephant Africa Family Safari Molori
A herd of elephants drinking from the hide at Molori Safari Lodge.


Ker & Downey® Africa: What has been your most memorable African family safari experience at Molori Safari Lodge?

John.D : We had a herd of elephants drinking water at our hide and I quickly called the family down to the hide who then sat quietly watching the herd.  The elephants were so close it felt like you could stretch your hand out and touch them. We could hear them sucking and squirting the water through their trunks into their mouths.  It was so loud and exciting for the family. Then the baby elephants went into the water hole and started swimming. To hear, see and smell these elephants so close and sitting literally below them was super exciting. This family that I hosted said it's something that they will never forget!  These are very special moments for us at Molori as we are lucky enough to enjoy wildlife as part of our daily experiences. But to experience the joy that this family experienced was just amazing and something I will never forget.

If you’re interested in adding Molori Safari Lodge to your next African family safari, feel free to get in touch with one of our expert Adventurists.

Want to find out insider tips for a Southern Africa Safari, download our guide here. 

Lindsay Krause
Written by
Lindsay Krause

Lindsay gained her traveling chops from spending 4 years living in and exploring South East Asia. From motorbiking her way through Vietnam, scuba-diving with whale sharks in Thailand, sipping on coconuts in the Philippines and exploring ancient temples in Cambodia, Lindsay's got a case of the travel bug and looks forward to ticking African adventures off her bucket list. 

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