EA INSIDER GUIDE: Family Travelin' Tales
Safari is the ultimate experience of families with children of all ages, yes that's right… all ages. Even babes in arms can share the experience. The devil is in the detail, so if you get that right, a trip to witness Africa's amazing wildlife can be the ultimate adventure for parents and children alike!
We chat with you about your family, the likes and dislikes of you and the kids and determine the style of accommodation and activities that would be most suitable and rewarding. We then put together an itinerary that is focused on quality experiences, personalised attention, hands on adventure and creature comforts to make it all the more special.
There's many different safari options open to you as a family, from DIY style self drive where we put it together and you arrive, pick up your car and hit the open road (best in South Africa and Namibia) to exclusive safari houses deep in the bush, each with a cook and guide plus an itinerary of child centred activities. Other family safaris incorporate regions with less potentially dangerous wildlife and offer more energetic activities like mountain biking, canoeing, local community interaction and more. We always recommend the safari finale to be time out at the beach or on an island. Tanzania boasts Zanzibar, a spice island mecca with affordable resorts, beautiful beaches, mixed cultures, narrow lane ways in Stone Town to explore and more!
When to go
There's always a good time in Africa, so anytime is great. If you're seeking Southern Africa safari adventure, the dry season from May to November is ideal. In East Africa, anytime is good but keep in mind it gets busy over Christmas holidays and June through to September, so book well in advance.
In the end, wherever or whenever you fancy taking your family on safari, we will guarantee the rewards will be the same: wildlife galore plus the ultimate outdoor children's playground. Mix up your itinerary, get hands on and you'll keep all ages amused and happy with little time for tantrums!
Our top tips
Nothing beats seeing wildlife and the natural world through the eyes of your young ones, even if it is elephant dung or the bottoms of baboons. Remember there is so much more than the big five wildlife and getting down, dirty and immersed in the wilderness is where the wonder really begins.
- match you up with private guides with loads of experience and children of their own
- incorporate accommodation options that have extra facilities for kids such as bushcraft walks, art clubs, swimming pools
- focus on keeping game drives shorter than usual, 2 hours is heaps for kids under 12
- encourage parents to play I-spy or 'First person to spot a …'
- inform parents where there are great shops for food and drink stops along the way or local markets to explore breaking up road journeys
- ask our guides to take extra pillows to allow children to sit up higher in the vehicle affording the better view
- get out of the vehicle wherever and whenever it's allowed
- allow their children to pick things up that are safe (your guide will help determine this) such as seed pods, old bones!
- allow playing time with other children you meet on safari
- don't keep moving on: allow time at each destination to establish a base
- take pencils and paper
- stop whenever their child wants, even if it's 'just another impala'
- take binoculars and/or digital cameras for the kids (cheap is fine).