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Travel Rankings & Advice

Best Family Vacations in Africa and The Middle East

When planning a family vacation, people don't always look to Africa or the Middle East for inspiration. But this part of the world boasts attractions that most kids will only see in their school books. Using factors like overall affordability, variety of activities and family-friendly atmospheres — in combination with editor insight and user votes — U.S. News ranked the top family vacation destinations in Africa and the Middle East. This list will help you plan your next trip for the whole crew. Now, help us choose next year's top picks by voting for your favorite spots below. 

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Belongs on list?
26 11

Why go: Although it's South Africa's most cosmopolitan city, Cape Town's natural attractions are the true draw. Riding the cable car to the top of Table Mountain and mingling with penguins on Boulders Beach will charm visitors of all ages. Plus, the lack of a language barrier will reduce culture shock. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Cape Town

Belongs on list?
22 8

Why go: At first glance, Seychelles appears to be a child's wonderland: It boasts giant boulders for climbing, powdery beaches for sandcastle-building and wildlife for spotting. Kids will love the lavish hotels here, but their fancy decor and high rates cater more to families with deep pockets. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Seychelles

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23 12

Why go: Rather than watch Disney's "The Lion King" for the umpteenth time with your kids, experience the African savanna firsthand with them. You will have to shell out a pretty penny to get here, but you'll see it was all worth it when you witness the Migration. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Serengeti National Park

#4
Luxor
Belongs on list?
26 6

Why go: Kids will get a kick out of exploring the ancient tombs in the Valley of the Kings. But you won't need a full week to experience Luxor's historic attractions. Instead, consider coupling a visit to Luxor with a trip to Cairo; that way, you can see all of Egypt's most famous sites.

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26 15

Why go: If you're visiting Jerusalem, bear in mind that younger ones can only take so much history. The key here is to approach the ancient city's historic attractions from a child's mindset. For example, exploring the City of David and Hezekiah's Tunnel will delight any young archaeologist. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Jerusalem

#6
Kruger National Park
Belongs on list?
19 8

Why go: No matter how old you are, nothing beats seeing lions, giraffes and elephants in their natural habitat. Kruger National Park's well-maintained, well-marked roads facilitate a unique family road trip. However, younger kids may get antsy being cooped up in the car.

#7
Cairo
Belongs on list?
31 15

Why go: Pyramids may not be the highlight of geometry class, but they sure steal the spotlight in Cairo. Exploring Giza is a once-in-a-lifetime experience enjoyed by travelers of all ages. When you need a break from recurring history lessons, settle down for a family picnic in Al-Azhar Park. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Cairo

#8
Dubai
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26 16

Why go: Dubai overflows with ways to keep kids entertained. When the Arabian Desert heat starts to climb, families can cool down at Wild Wadi Waterpark or at Ski Dubai. Jumeirah Beach and the Dubai Aquarium (housed in the Dubai Mall) will also impress. Read More»

Read On: Top Things to Do in Dubai

#9
Fez
Belongs on list?
19 9

Why go: Family travelers have an advantage in Fez: Moroccans love children, and many restaurateurs and shop owners will go out of their way to accommodate your kids. However, parents with younger children may find Fez's crowded Medina somewhat stressful.

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