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 such as affordability, atmosphere, and variety of things to do, U.S. News Travel ranks the best family vacations in Africa and the Middle East.
Why Go: Rather than watch Disney's The Lion King for the umpteenth time with your kids, experience the African savannah firsthand with them. While you will have to shell out a pretty penny to vacation here, you'll understand that it was all worth it when you witness the Migration. And falling asleep to the sounds of the savannah is something no member of your family will forget. Read More»
Why Go: While it may be South Africa's most cosmopolitan city, Cape Town's natural attractions are the true draw for families. Riding the cable car to the top of Table Mountain and mingling with penguins on Boulders Beach delight visitors of all ages. Plus, the lack of a language barrier and the diverse food options will reduce you and your family's culture shock. Read More»
Read On: Top Things to Do in Cape Town
Why Go: Tel Aviv's budget-friendly hotels, varied restaurant scene, and laid-back atmosphere make it a great place for a family vacation. Both kids and parents will enjoy sprawling along Gordon-Frishman Beach and touring the interactive Palmach Museum. When you need to burn off some energy, a family bike ride along the Tayelet will do the trick. Read More»
Read On: Top Things to Do in Tel Aviv
Why Go: Pyramids may not be the highlight of geometry class, but they sure steal the spotlight in Cairo. Exploring Giza, Saqqara, and Dahshur with your family 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. Families visiting Cairo should be very vigilant: Since the 2011 political uprisings, safety has been a concern. Read More»
Read On: Top Things to Do in Cairo
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, keep in mind that Kruger is roughly the size of Israel, so younger kids may get antsy being cooped up in the car for long days.
Why Go: Dubai overflows with ways to keep kids entertained. When the Arabian Desert heat starts to climb, you and your family can cool down at Wild Wadi Waterpark or at Ski Dubai. Jumeirah Beach and the Dubai Aquarium (housed in the Dubai Mall) are also sure to delight the kiddos. All these attractions are costly, so be prepared to watch your bank balance take a nose dive. Read More»
Read On: Top Things to Do in Dubai
Why Go: Jerusalem's holy sites will appeal to kids, but bear in mind that younger kids can only take so much history. The key here is to approach Jerusalem's attractions from a child's mindset. Exploring the City of David and Hezekiah's Tunnel will delight any young archaeologist. Meanwhile, the Israel Museum boasts a fantastic children's wing and library. Still, you and your family really only need a few days to experience Jerusalem. Read More»
Read On: Top Things to Do in Jerusalem
Why Go: The winding, red-hued alleyways of the Marrakech Medina will fascinate children, as will the musicians, snake-charmers, and story-tellers of Djemaa el Fna. Meanwhile, parents can appreciate the city's stunning architecture and colorful culture. Marrakech is not the ideal destination for families with children under 10. Keeping an eye on youngsters in this crowded city can be very difficult. Read More»
Read On: Top Things to Do in Marrakech
Why Go: Kids will get a kick out of exploring the ancient tombs and posing with the scattered statues 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.