The rich cultural heritage of Africa and the Middle East has left a plethora of ancient ruins that kids just love to scramble over. Plus there’s all the excitement of desert landscapes like Morocco where you can wander with nomads. Egypt is of course a real fun playground for everyone with markets, camel rides and snorkeling to be done while Tanzania and Botswana offer the ultimate wildlife safari for the family.
If you want to take a family vacation and have a real adventure experience consider Morocco. There is good transport, excellent food, plenty of accommodation choice and amazing things to do and see. Live like a desert nomad for a night, ride a camel in the Sahara, relax by the beach in Essaouira, souvenir shop in the souqs, sample the tasty cuisine or even journey into the Atlas Mountains.
This is such an adventure location and can really bring ancient history to life for young minds. The obvious choices of things to do are to discover the treasures of ancient Egypt and visit the pyramids and pharaoh’s tombs. Then you could explore the desert on camelback, watch the Karnak Temple light up at night, snorkel in the Red Sea or hunt for souvenirs in Cairo’s famed Khan al-Khalili market.
- Wildlife Safari, Tanzania
This is a family adventure with a bit of something for everyone. Get the family to track the Big Five – lions, elephants, rhino, buffalo and leopard – and enjoy some wilderness camping.
Take the kids into an Arabian Nights experience with the oasis, waddis, souks, camel markets and forts. Spend a night out in the desert under star studded skies, visit turtles nesting on the beach at Ras al Jinz, go to beautiful beaches such as Ras Al had or Ras al Jinz or crisscross the desert in a 4x4.
- Abu Simbel festival, Egypt
Give the kids a taste of Indiana Jones at this annual festival on February 22 and October 22. Crowds pack in so get here early to watch the inner sanctum of the famed temple of Abu Simbel light up on the anniversary of Ramses II’s rise to the throne and on his birthday.
- Meet a Gorilla Family, Uganda
Take your family to meet another family of the primate kind in the Bwindi National Park. This national park is home to approximately half of the world’s surviving mountain gorillas.
- Sand boarding, Swakopmund, Namibia
Experience the wonders of the Namib desert and sand board down some of the largest sand dunes on the planet. You could also horse ride or quad bike through the desert. Or go to Cape Cross to see the Cape fur seals, enjoy the seafood along the pleasant coast or visit amazing rock art at Twyfelfontein.
- Victoria Falls and Upper Zambezi River, Zambia and Zimbabwe
Take the family to the Victoria Falls, the largest curtain of water in the world. Then consider some canoeing in the section of water above the falls. Camp out along the way after exploring channels, relishing the prolific game and challenging yourselves in a few grade one and two rapids.
- Kruger National Park, South Africa
If you want to take the family on a wildlife safari this is probably the place to go. There’s the Big Five of course – elephant, white rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard – but that’s not all. There are 147 different species of mammals, 500 species of birds, 100 species of reptiles, 49 species of African indigenous fish, 34 types of amphibians and 300 different species of trees.
- Okavango Delta, Botswana
Take the kids on a canoe trip they’ll never forget through these wetlands in Botswana. They will get to eyeball a snorting hippopotamus, glide past aquatic antelope and watch lions drinking – all from the safety of the canoe in a labyrinth of waterways.