While many South African lodges have strict age requirements, the newly renovated Singita Ebony lodge welcomes children of all ages with a host of incredible activities and spacious family suites.
I have traveled to South Africa several times before and was very eager to share the amazing experience of watching animals in the wild with my twelve year old twin boys. An African safari is one of the greatest family vacations ever, where both kids and adults can happily scream at a giraffe sighting and everyone gains insights into nature.
Families with younger children can share a suite with an attached twin bedroom and private plunge pool and those who bring older children or teens will be thrilled with the option of side by side suites. The newly designed suites have floor to ceiling windows to watch the sunrise during those early morning wake up calls and a décor that uses rich woods and the natural colors and textiles that epitomize the bush experience.
While the rooms are fabulous, it is really the staff and the unique activities that make families feel cherished. The mini-bar is stocked with shortbread and jelly beans and creativity is encouraged with a set of water colors and paper that are neatly stacked on an outdoor desk. (I was thrilled that my son ditched his phone and started painting within moments of arriving). Menus can be individualized and kid-friendly options are always available. The staff greet young guests by name and our guide happily answered tons of questions that only a child can come up with..
Of course, the main reason to go on safari is to see the animals. On our first afternoon drive, we spotted and old, male giraffe. Since our guide knew him well, he told us it was just fine to get out of the vehicle and stroll fairly close—the first of our unofficial “walking” safaris. About a half an hour later, we stumbled upon a herd of elephant at a river crossing. They continued to walk just a few yards from our land rover. I had never seen animals come as close as those at Singita. Our next viewing was a pair of mating lions. Our amazing guide, Ian, warned us that not every day would be as good. But in fact every day was extraordinary.