A wildlife viewing safari holiday is one of the best vacation gift you could give to your family. Most children get fascinated by animals at an early stage & the reason a family safari in a natural habitat will give them everlasting memories,not to forget that they will be the saviours of our future natural world.
Having said that, planning family safari holidays can be a demanding task that needs a considerable amount of time and safety precautions.
Top family-friendly Safari destinations
Here is a list of some best destinations that will whet anyone’s appetite when looking to head for a safari with the family.
Being the spiritual home of safari,Kenya is the most sought after destination for families who wish to enjoy some magical wildlife experiences together.
A tailor-made Kenyan safari adventure has the makings of an epic safari trip covering some enthralling wildlife areas of Samburu National Park and the world famous Masai Mara Game Reserve.
Moreover,the lodges are excellent with spacious accommodation to cater to small as well as large families, with great food and exceptional guides that will help even the youngest member of the group have a memorable time.
Young guests are encouraged to learn bush crafting skills like spear making and collecting bugs and insects in company of the local Masai and Samburu tribesmen.
An early morning hot air balloon ride over the Mara plains followed by breakfast in the bush will leave the children awestruck and gasping for more.
To stay in Giraffe Manor, you have to book many months in advance,but it is worth the wait as it offers an experience not to be had anywhere else in the world in a hotel.
Children will squeal with delight and you will see their faces light up instantly when the giraffes come poking their necks in the windows asking for morsels to eat at breakfast time.
Tanzania family adventure
A family safari through northern Tanzania is especially designed to ensure you enjoy some memorable wildlife spotting in a private vehicle in company of a reputed and knowledgeable guide throughout the journey.
While the children build rapport with the guide along the way the elders can decide how to structure each day in order to tend to the whims and fancies of the whole group.
The safari traverses some of the richest big game areas of northern Tanzania,which includes icons like the Serengeti National Park and the equally famous Ngorogongoro Crater, two the best wildlife viewing aras not only in Africa but in the whole world as well.
Gorilla trekking in Rwanda
For those aged 15 and over, gorilla trekking is a unique wildlfe activity that the whole family is bound to remember for the rest of their lives.While the big apes are a mega draw, sightings of chimpanzees and other monkeys can add pep to the trip.
Not only is Rwanda the best place in the world for gorilla trekking, children can have a ball on canopy walks over ancient rainforests, kayaking, fishing and swimming in crocodile free lakes.
Western Cape, South Africa
If you want to go away from the crowds off the beaten path then the Western Cape trip is perfect for families looking for something unusual on their safari.
Beach walks, kitesurfing lessons and picnics among the sand dunes to name a few are some of the exciting activities the whole family can participate in.
Round off your whole trip with a visit to the famous Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve, conveniently nestled in the picturesque Caderberg Mountains. Here visitors of all ages can go canoeing, visiting ancient rock excavation sites or simply taking in the stunning beauty of the area.
Family Safari Travel Tips
So here are some tips that will make the trip smooth and easy,whether you are in the rainforests of Uganda or tracking the Big 5 in the vast grasslands of Kenya with grand dads and grand kids in tow.
- Discuss what every family member expects from the safari.This will help find the right tour operator to cater to all your family needs.
- Once you have decided on the trip,start by gradually inducting the safari idea into the children through books or TV shows.
- Use direct flights as those with evn short layovers can be chaotic if you have to navigate with young ones in an unfamiliar airport. Additionally,you save on food and unnecessary airport purchases.
- Check for the child policy at your chosen resort before confirming your booking as some resorts have age restrictions for those aged 4-12 years.
- Let me kids choose their own activities as it will give them some excitement and enthusiasm for the trip and make them feel they are an important part of the expedition.
- The family need not take part in all the safari activities.Toddlers and babies can often get restless, so slow down and don’t tick off everything you had decided to do.
- No matter the age of the parents, traveling with kids can be stressful. Consider an all-inclusive family safari vacation and let a tour operator handle the whole trip.This will ensure family-friendly accommodation,meals, transfers and all safari relates activities.Not only you get to spend extra time with your loved ones,you reduce trip fatigue.
- Carry a supply of healthy snacks and don’t forget to bring wildlife literature and a pair of two of binoculars.While the snacks will take care of the constant hunger,a pair of binoculars for each kid will make sure they don’t miss out on any extraordinary sighting.
- Encourage the kids to capture the eventful moments on camera.These devices are not very expensive in this digital age and vacations are all about fun and remembering new experiences. If you don’t have a DSLR, simply make the kids take photos with their smartphones or iPads.
- Plan with your safari specialist to look for creatures beyond the Big 5.Lions and leopards may be crowd pullers,but children look at wildlife differently and are often interested in other animals,big and small.With a bit of guidance,they can find birds and things like beetles and butterflies equally interesting.
- Lastly,ensure that your kids adhere to safety instructions when out on game drives or in the lodges. Never allow them out of the camp unless accompanied by an adult.Other general precautions include protection from the hot African sun and covering up exposed areas of the skin in malaria areas.Tutor the kids on always drinking bottled or filtered water.
Keep these tips and destinations in mind for your next family safari adventure.