At Our Whole Village, we plan meaningful vacations for families who want to create lifelong memories and show their kids the world in a more conscious and intentional manner.
We help families take meaningful vacations so that they can escape everyday life, show their kids the world and make lifelong memories - with care, confidence and peace of mind.
Your (free) guide to the top travel destinations for families with babies, teens and everyone in between.
Few events on the planet rival East Africa’s “Great Migration.” Imagine vast herds of zebras and wildebeests thundering across the grassy plains of Africa and through rivers where crocodiles lurk. But there’s more to this spectacular event than one stampede or river crossing, and the migration takes place in multiple locations across East Africa. In other words, the Great Migration represents a never-ending show viewable at various reserves and parks.
But how do you ensure a family-friendly experience while watching the Kenya migration? Here’s what you need to know for a fantastic vacation experience.
Few travel experiences prove more life-changing than traveling Kenya with kids. What’s more, this East African nation represents an excellent, family-friendly intro to the African continent. Kenya offers visitors world-renowned nature reserves, national parks, and gorgeous beaches. Best of all, the country has made great strides when it comes to offering visitors family-friendly tourism infrastructure.
Of course, trips that focus on wildlife and nature are always highly popular with kids and teens. After all, nature represents the ultimate playground, and Kenya offers plenty of it. And when you visit the country on a sustainable safari, you can rest assured you’re supporting the nation long-term. Check out these tips to ensure a positive impact while traveling Kenya.
During the Kenya migration, over two million animals journey from Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park to Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve. Declared one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, the event involves the migration of thousands of eland, zebra, Thompson’s gazelle, wildebeest, and more.
The event represents a fight for survival that challenges animals at every leg of the journey. More than 250,000 wildebeest never finish the trip due to a variety of factors, from hunger and thirst to predation. What triggers the Great Migration in the first place? The dry season in the Serengeti. When water sources vanish, animals clamor to the Mara River for refreshment.
How should your family take full advantage of a vacation to Kenya for the migration? In July, the wildebeest migration typically reaches the Maasai Mara and remains there until October. As a result, these months represent the high season for tourists. In other words, you’ll want to plan and book your safari a year or more in advance.
Besides the high season, a fantastic time to see animals while beating crowds is from November to February. While you won’t see as many animals, prices prove more affordable, yet you’ll avoid Kenya’s famed rainy season from March to May. We recommend spending a minimum of two weeks in Kenya so that you and your family can explore the country at a leisurely pace with three or more nights at each national park or destination.
Bear in mind that younger kids may feel overwhelmed by too many safari days, so you’ll want to take into consideration ages and your kids’ threshold for daily game drives. At the same time, avoid moving around too much as packing, re-packing, and travel time can start to take a toll on your experience.
For this reason, we recommend families with very young children break up their Kenya trip by spending a few days/nights each in Nairobi, the Maasai National reserve, and Diani Beach or Lamu Island for an enjoyable, family-friendly vacation with well-rounded activities and diverse geographical experiences.
In addition, we recommend smaller conservancies where the driving distances aren’t too long and the wildlife abounds. Check out this 14-day itinerary for the ultimate migration safari experience for families.
For families with older kids who want to focus primarily on the Kenya migration and exploring Africa’s wilds we work with many different suppliers and are able to match you with the perfect outfitter. For examples, check out this extraordinary AndBeyond Migration, Lake, and Crater Safari that combines Kenya and Tanzania or Abercrombie & Kent’s 15-day Great Migration Safari in Style tour.
The caveat with the itinerary for young kids is the Maasai Mara, which involves a six-hour drive from Nairobi. If you’d like to avoid that much car time, consider a charter flight or visit Amboseli National Park instead. It’ll cut two hours off the drive yet still provide incredible wildlife observation opportunities. You’ll also want to consider a domestic airline flight between Nairobi and coastal areas as well as Lamu Island. Flying between Nairobi and Maasai Mara is also possible but will cost you on average $350 per person.
Some families consider cutting costs by renting a car and touring the country DIY, but we don’t recommend this approach. Road conditions in Kenya can prove pretty poor, and dealing with the traffic in Nairobi is daunting. To top it off, renting a proper 4WD vehicle gets very pricey very quickly (e.g., $200-$300 per day). Instead, book a “road package” through a safari lodge or camp. Many offer two game drives per day along with pick-up and drop-off at any hotel in Nairobi. You’ll pay between $150 and $250 depending on the vehicle you choose. Or, if you want to leave nothing to chance, go with an all-inclusive safari tour like the two mentioned above.
As you can see, options abound when you travel for the Kenya migration. While you’ll definitely want to devote time to game drives and camping on safari, consider breaking up the trip for younger kids. Time spent along the coast and at Lamu Island does the trick nicely. Your family will gain a greater appreciation for all that Kenya has to offer, and you’ll ensure a variety of activities that keep kids of all ages entertained.
Want to join us in July of 2023? Check out this magical 14-day itinerary for adventurous families who want to witness one of the most spectacular and awe-inspiring natural phenomena on the planet: the Great Migration. You’ll enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to soar above the Maasai Mara and witness the migration from a hot-air balloon. And that’s just the beginning.
Are you ready to find out more about a family-friendly trip to Kenya? I’m here to help. Schedule a free call where we’ll explore your travel objectives and how Our Whole Village can help you reach them.
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