Kids love exploring Ancient Egyptian pyramids, and there are some child-friendly Nile cruises.
Kenya has some excellent beach resorts, while kids will love seeing the animals in the national parks.
Tanzania’s Ngorogoro Crater is worth considering, as your family will almost certainly have seen it on television, which will add a bit of novelty!
Kruger National Park has some brilliant family-friendly accommodation. In some camps, hyenas patrol around the outside of the fences.
Gambia is one of Africa’s most developed and safest destinations. Visit the Abuko Game Reserve and the Gambia River National Park to see – crocodiles, birds and monkeys. There are some excellent beaches, and a crocodile pool where the crocs are reputed to be so tame you can stroke them (you go first, though!).You’ll also enjoy displays of traditional African dancing, music and singing. Many hotels have holiday clubs or sports instructors that the kids will love, while you enjoy some me-time.
Tunisia has some great beach and desert locations. Most kids love Roman remains – visit the amphitheatre at El Jem and the well-preserved ruins of Dougga, and ancient town. Kids and adults alike will enjoy a visit to Matmata. This was Tatooine in Star Wars – the scenes set on Luke Skywalker’s home farmstead were actually shot in a local hotel, which you can go and visit. There are also caves and plenty of other desert attractions. Visit Djerba to see the souk, visit the crocodile farm, enjoy the beaches and, in the right season, see flamingos.
Mauritius is an island in the Indian Ocean, and an excellent place for a family holiday. It’s beautiful, easy and laid back. Grand Bay has arcades, discos and restaurants. You can also enjoy water sports, including jet-skiing and water skiing, although younger families will be happier taking a trip in a glass bottomed boat. The island’s interior has spectacular gorges for walking, and you can also arrange a one-on-one encounter with lions and cheetahs.
Morocco is very varied and has something for everyone in the family. Teenagers will enjoy getting a semi-permanent henna tattoo, and riding a camel. Kids will also enjoy exploring mountain villages, and Morocco’s Mediterranean coast. The lovely walled town of Essaouira has numerous great beaches nearby, and you can also learn to surf here, as well as try pony trekking and walking tours. Marrakech has an image as a bustling city but you’ll also enjoy the shady courtyards and peaceful parks. Most hotels, even small ones, have a babysitting service available, so you’ll be able to head out for an uninterrupted dinner.
Game reserves can be great fun for kids – if the animals put in an appearance. Either do shorter game drives, or have some sort of backup plan in place or quiet toys to be played with in the car for the eventuality that the leopards and lions are washing their hair during your drive. You’ll almost always see antelope, but kids will get a bit bored with them after a while.
Remember all your sun block, hats and whatever else you need to protect your family in the sun before you go. Also remember that you’re all going to need to be vaccinated. Anti-malarial tablets can be unpleasant; if you can’t face it, then there are some reserves in non-malarial areas, like Addo Elephant Park.
Some South African cities have really good aquariums, like the one in the Waterfront at Cape Town and uShaka Marine World in Durban. These are great attractions for the whole family.
African distances can be quite long. If you’re travelling around two or three destinations, plan plenty of rest stops and things to see and do along the way. It may take longer but it will make your journey a lot more pleasant.