Do you need some ideas for family travel in Africa? Zimbabwe has a lot to offer. While the family-favourite Victoria Falls has many activities at your disposal, other places like Mutare, Gonarezhou and Kariba, guarantee new experiences.

By Tourism Update, March 2016

Victoria Falls

Family Safari in Zimbabwe, Excellent offers for families in Victoria Falls, Gonarezhou, Lake Kariba, Mutare, Eastern Highlands, Africa.

The stunning Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. Image by Tourism Update.

At Elephant Hills Resort, there’s a children’s playground suited to younger kids, and volleyball, tennis and squash for the older ones. The Kingdom has 74 family rooms with bunk beds for kids sharing with parents. There are also on-site family restaurants and an outdoor swimming pool.

Families can walk with ease from The Kingdom to the Victoria Falls, a distance of just 500m. It’s safe for all ages and activity levels.

Children aged 2-11 stay free at Elephant Hills Resort as well as The Kingdom at Victoria Falls if sharing with their parents, although this is limited to two children. They will pay 50% of the applicable daily meal rate. Family activities that can be arranged at the hotels are sunset cruises on the Zambezi River, guided tours of the Falls, helicopter flights, game drives, and a crocodile farm tour.

Legacy Hotels & Resorts manages both properties.

Travel Wild Africa’s Zimbabwe office highlights activities at the Falls that appeal to families, such as township tours, elephant-back safaris, canopy tours and the show at The Boma – Place of Eating, at Africa Albida’s Victoria Falls Safari Lodge.

The tour operator also draws attention to the Junior Bush Guides course for young guests at Zambezi Sands River Camp in the Zambezi National Park, close to Victoria Falls. “Here they are taught various bits of general knowledge, and bushcraft, such as identifying the different animal and bird species,” says Senior Sales Consultant, Karen Paardenkooper. “They are then given a small ‘test’ and at the end receive a certificate.”

Also in the Zambezi National Park is the tented Victoria Falls River Lodge, where each tent is set on raised decks with views of the river and private Kandahar Island.

According to Karen Taylor, Operations Manager, its five, spacious Family Suites comfortably accommodate two adults and up to three children below 18 years sharing. Camp cots are available for those too small to sleep in the bunk or three-quarter-sized bed, set up in the adjoining children’s alcove of the suite. Childminding facilities can be arranged.

Activities suited to children include a Junior Discoverers’ Drive (for 4- to 7-year-olds), Young Bush Wackers’ guided walks (for those aged 4-11) and Toa Spa’s exclusive Cub Club, an offering of spa treatments, utilising bio-identical ingredients for those younger than 12. Young ones can round off an action-packed day with traditional African folk tales, while toasting treats over an open-air bonfire.

Wild Frontiers Pioneers Tented Camp, another Zambezi National Park facility, has fishing, canoeing and sunset cruises as well as guided walking along the Mpala Jena spring line, which attracts an abundance of wildlife.

African Sun Hotel’s Victoria Falls Hotel is positioned at the top end of the accommodation scale at the Falls. Six of the luxurious rooms are inter-leading, making accommodation for families more convenient.

The Stanley & Livingstone at the Victoria Falls Private Game Reserve accepts children of all ages, although those under three years are not permitted on game drives. Inter-leading suites combine double and twin rooms. The lodge’s rhino search is a popular pastime.

Gorges and Little Gorges are built on the edge of the Batoka Gorge, 200m above the mighty Zambezi River. The Gorges triple room measures 70sqm and is constructed of stone under thatch. There’s an upstairs bedroom with two double beds, small seating area, mini bar and balcony. The downstairs can be converted to a child’s room and has an en-suite bathroom.

The twice-weekly Steam Train Bridge Run is a refurbished 1952 locomotive that runs from Victoria Falls Station to the Victoria Falls Bridge. Children under 12 pay half the adult rate.

Lake Kariba

Family Safari in Zimbabwe, Excellent offers for families in Victoria Falls, Gonarezhou, Lake Kariba, Mutare, Eastern Highlands, Africa.

An Elephant at Sunset in the unique Lake Kariba. Image by Tourism Update.

“A cruise on Lake Kariba is the ideal add-on to a land-based safari for any family,” says Sabine Featherby, Owner of the MV Matusadona.

Suited to six guests, the vessel can accommodate an additional four young children on the upper deck, equipping them with mattresses, mosquito nets, torches and sleeping bags. “A sleep-out under the stars with the sounds of nightjars, hyena, lion and hippo is a great adventure for any child,” says Featherby.

During the day, the entire family can enjoy fishing expeditions, birding and game viewing from the activity boats that accompany the vessel on its journeys. The crew will additionally organise a game drive with one of the safari camps on shore, or arrange for the kids to see what life is like on one of the commercial fishing pontoons (kapenta rigs) on the dam.

During the heat of the day, the youngsters can play in the on-board Jacuzzi, play board games or help the chef prepare freshly caught bream and crayfish.

Gonarezhou National Park

Family Safari in Zimbabwe, Excellent offers for families in Victoria Falls, Gonarezhou, Lake Kariba, Mutare, Eastern Highlands, Africa.

A Herd of Elephants drinking at the Runde River. Image by Tourism Update.

A highlight at Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge is a full-day excursion to the red sandstone Chilojo Cliffs in the heart of the park on the banks of the Runde River (possible only in the dry season of May to November). A gourmet picnic lunch is served at the cliffs, followed by a sundowner game drive back to the lodge. Accommodation includes thatched, tented and self-catering facilities. Each September, the MaChangana Culture & Arts Festival takes place, an interactive experience between guests and the local Shangaan people.

Your Africa draws attention to a kids’ weekend arranged at Chilo Gorge that includes educational and cultural experiences.


Family Safari in Zimbabwe, Excellent offers for families in Victoria Falls, Gonarezhou, Lake Kariba, Mutare, Eastern Highlands, Africa.

Amazing Views overlooking the Eastern Highlands from Musangano Lodge. Image by Tourism Update.

Your Africa highlights Musangano Lodge in Mutare, and its outreach programme called ‘Nurturing Communities, Shaping Lives.’ The lodge is approximately three hours’ drive from Harare, 28km west of Mutare. The outreach activities offer insight into the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans and exposure to a naturalist, farming, a school, mission hospital and children’s home.