For a first time visit to Africa with children you can’t beat South Africa, especially for younger kids. There are two outstanding non-malarial safari areas - Madikwe National Park to the northwest of Johannesburg (best for travel May-Sept) and the Eastern Cape (best for travel Oct - April).
Both these safari options work well with Cape Town and the Garden Route, offering families a huge array of activities, from penguins and monkeys to zip-lining and beaches. A self-drive trip in KwaZulu Natal is another favourite, packed with interesting things to do and see, like the historic Battlefields, wildlife safari parks and superb beaches. For a longer beach break after a safari, we recommend the family-friendly resorts of Mauritius.