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Accommodation, Experiences

Little Black Book of recommended Family-Friendly Lodges in East Africa

Ker & Downey Africa > Journal > Little Black Book of recommended Family-Friendly Lodges in East Africa

East Africa is a destination of incredible wildlife, pristine beaches, diverse cultures, and thrilling experiences. It is a stimulating landscape for both young and old and welcomes families with open, generous and warm arms to its magic. Traveling together as a family provides a unique opportunity to bond and strengthen relationships through spending uninterrupted time together in spectacular surroundings. Our expert travel team has gone to great lengths to source the very best family-friendly lodges in East Africa and experiences that are designed to inspire, ignite a passion for Africa, and create lasting memories for you and your loved ones.

Lemala Ewanjan Tented Camp | Tanzania

One of the top family-friendly lodges in East Africa, Lemala Ewanjan is a proud member of the Lemala Authentic Camps and Lodges portfolio and is ideally located in the heart of the Serengeti in the game-rich Seronera Valley – renowned for year-round game viewing, with an abundance of rivers and large populations of big cats. It is the perfect destination for a family bonding safari experience and, like all Lemala camps, offers a great children’s programme called Lemala Cubs. This exciting offering includes activities that serve to educate and enhance your child’s experience of Africa, its culture, and its animal inhabitants.

Activities include: walking and talking with the local Maasai to learn about their culture and life in the bush; identifying different animal and bird species; learning how to use spears and bows and arrows (blunt) like the Maasai, and even being part of the preparation of meals with the chefs in the kitchen. The team at Lemala truly go out of their way to provide an unforgettable experience for the whole family.

The team at Lemala truly go out of their way to provide an unforgettable experience for the whole family.

Lemala Ewanjan Tented Camp has a kids programme with Ker & Downey Africa

Lemala offers a programme called Lemala Cubs – which helps to hence the family experience of Africa

Gibbs Farm | Tanzania

Another family-friendly gem in Tanzania is Gibb’s Farm – an actual working coffee, organic fruit and vegetable, and animal farm. Situated on the forested slopes of the iconic Ngorongoro Crater, with widespread scenic views of the Great Rift Valley, the farm is an ideal base for an exceptional safari experience. And when not on safari, kids will have the unique opportunity to get up close and personal with the farm’s resident fauna which includes chickens, goats, pigs, ducks, geese, donkeys, and cows. They can even assist with some of the farmyard chores like milking cows and picking vegetables for meals. There are two 2-bedroom farmhouses on the property, which are perfectly suited for families and exude a charming farm cottage feel with plenty of space to run around. This farmyard playground offers a truly unparalleled family experience in East Africa.

Gibbs Farm walking tours with Ker & Downey Africa

The family can enjoy a farm tour
Another family-friendly gem in Tanzania is Gibb’s Farm – an actual working coffee, organic fruit and vegetable, and animal farm.

Elewana Sand River Mara | Kenya

The beds inside a family tent at Elewana Sand River Mara, with Ker & Downey Africa

The interior of a luxury family tent at Sand River Mara

Close to the border of Tanzania, Elewana Sand River Masai Mara is situated on the bank of the river after which it is named. The tented camp is within Masai Mara National Park in Kenya which is renowned for its world-class game-viewing and large concentration of leopards, cheetahs, and lions. All the properties in the Elewana portfolio welcome children to experience the magic of Africa and do their utmost to impart a love of the continent that will remain embedded in them for life.

All the properties in the Elewana portfolio welcome children to experience the magic of Africa.

The exterior of a family tent at Elewana Sand River Mara, with Ker & Downey Africa

The exterior of a spacious family tent in the Masai Mara National Reserve

Local Maasai warrior and bush training, a visit to a local school, as well as guided walks and drives are just a few of the many children’s activities on offer that are specially designed to inspire a love of nature and learning about different cultures.

Ol Tukai Lodge | Amboseli, Kenya

Situated within the pristine Amboseli National Park, with unrivaled views of one of Africa’s crown jewels, the iconic Mount Kilimanjaro, Ol Tukai Lodge should be on the bucket list of every nature-loving family. With a large swimming pool, tennis court and children’s club to keep the little ones busy, it is perfect for a family safari experience in Kenya.

The large swimming pool at Ol Tukai Lodge, with Ker & Downey Africa

Expansive views from the refreshing swimming pool at Ol Tukai Lodge over Amboseli National Park
Ol Tukai Lodge should be on the bucket list of every nature-loving family, with a large swimming pool, tennis court and children’s club.

Spend your days enjoying the lodge’s spectacular surroundings and amenities, or on guided game drives through the Amboseli National Park, where giant herds of elephants can be enjoyed against the backdrop of the mountain. Nights can be spent around the campfire, listening to the local Maasai tell folk stories and teaching visitors about their culture. It is the ultimate family-friendly safari experience for both young and old.

Gold Zanzibar Beach Hotel and Spa | Zanzibar

The ocean and beach at Gold Zanzibar, with Ker & Downey Africa

Relax with the family at the swimming pool at Gold Zanzibar

After a stint in the bush, why not treat you and your family to a tropical beach experience in paradise at Gold Zanzibar Beach House and Spa. Located on the northwestern tip of Zanzibar island, on one of the best beaches in Zanzibar – Kendwa Beach – this breathtakingly beautiful resort is your one-way ticket to a ceaseless summer. With an array of fun beach-related activities, like world-class snorkeling, diving, a fabulous swimming pool, and other water sports, as well a kid’s club that is jam-packed with fun daily activities and babysitting, the entire family is cared for and catered for. Zanzibar is a truly epic East African beach destination and should not be missed as a stop on your family adventure.

Ol Seki Hemingways Mara | Kenya

Situated in the center of the private conservancy, adjacent to the renowned Masai Mara National Reserve, Ol Seki Hemingways Mara exudes privacy and exclusivity. With stunning views of the Mara plains and warm Kenyan hospitality.

We have included this as one of our recommended family-friendly lodges, as there is a luxury Simba villa that opened in August 2023. This family villa has a kitchen, dining room and living area connecting 2 spacious double bedrooms with floor-to-ceiling glass as well as a private butler on request. It also boasts a dedicated chef as well as a private game drive 4×4 safari vehicle and ranger. A second private villa is due to open the following year.

Make your time in this Masai Mara an unmatched safari experience with a morning drive and end of your memorable day with sundowners beside the outdoor firepit to swap tales from the day.

Make your time in this Masai Mara an unmatched safari experience with a morning drive.

A family on a game drive at Hemingwith Ker & Downey Africa

A recommended family-friendly lodge in East Africa – Ol Seki Hemingways Mara

East Africa has a great appeal for families wanting to experience a bush or beach (or both!) safari, and we at Ker & Downey® Africa are here to make your dreams as a family come to life with the top family-friendly lodges in East Africa.