Just For Kids – Everything you need to know about a family friendly safari

Africa Travel for Kids

Everything you need to know about taking your children on an African Family Safari…

Africa is the perfect destination for your next family vacation! Not only does this ancient continent entertain and fascinate kids of all ages, but it engages kids and teens on multiple levels, including the cultural, environmental, culinary, and intellectual. Read on to learn more about how to make this vacation unforgettable for every member of your family.

Africa is a world of its own. Families who are in need of a little adventure, enjoy discovering nature, or love learning about different cultures are sure to thrive in Africa’s majestic landscape. Adults and children alike will experience the magic through activities and sights that are memorable and engaging for individuals of all ages.

During your time in Africa, you and your loved ones will enjoy the serenity of immersion in the continent’s diverse and untouched natural environments. You will also be afforded once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to engage with local tribes and learn about African cultures and traditions, tasting authentic cuisine and visiting fascinating historic sites. An African family safari will undoubtedly engage all of your senses, enthralling each and every family members with its breathtaking beauty.

With these frequently asked questions, discover why traveling to Africa will not only be safe for you and your child, but also exciting:

What’s the big deal about an African family safari anyways?

Regardless of what you might think, safaris are a far cry from your run-of-the-mill family vacation! The adventures we organize for our customers are complete with roomy lodgings, warm showers, luxurious linens, and delectable meals. This is not rustic living, and it’s definitely not like tent camping either. Family safaris allow you and your loved ones to experience the impressive nature of Africa’s untamed beasts, while always guaranteeing your safety and comfort. You won’t see any cranky kids here from lack of food or entertainment—most likely, they’ll be so stimulated at every waking moment that they’ll fall right asleep to the serenade of crickets each night. This just might be the happiest you’ve seen your children in a long time!

Is it beneficial for children to experience an African family safari while they’re still young?

No matter what their age, an African family safari offers kids the opportunity to gain a true appreciation for the value of wildlife and the environment up close. They will also gain a better understanding of their own impact on the Earth through the wide range of activities they participate in while on safari. Plus, learning about new cultures and meeting new people is sure to open their minds—an invaluable real-life experience they won’t find in school. Your children will love to share their safari experiences with friends, continuing to expand their horizons and teach themselves and others about a more diverse world.

What kinds of activities can my kids do on a family safari without me or my spouse present?

Every country in Africa has a wide range of activities available to enjoy; whatever destination(s) you choose, there will be a plethora of activities for the entire family to choose from. The family safaris that we book offer a diverse offering of exciting kid-friendly activities, including educational bush walks with natives, traditional craft making, recreational activities like archery and hiking, and many more nature-oriented activities. Local Bushmen will teach your children about their traditions, survival techniques, and animal tracking strategies. Depending on their age, your children will have the option to choose between sticking to kids’ activities or joining in on a family safari adventure, or maybe even both. Rest assure that a family safari itinerary will cater to the interests of each and every individual in the group, no matter what they may be: from game drives and cultural tours to jungle treks, hot air balloon rides, and horseback riding trips, we provide countless activity options, making sure that the fun adventures never end.

Do family safari accommodations in Africa have any age limits?

There are actually many hotels, camps, and lodges throughout the continent that don’t have age requirements, and some lodging options even specialize in family safaris. Among the best choices in this category are: Sossusvlei Desert Lodge in Namibia, Azura Benguerra in Mozambique, Ngorongoro Crater Lodge in Tanzania, Tswalu Kalahari and Royal Madikwe, both in South Africa, and countless others. Those family safari camps that do have age specifications often require children to be at least 7 years old. Some lodges and hotels have age restrictions for game drives, despite not having them for accommodation. We will provide you with all of this information prior to booking your safari package.

What if my kids don’t like the food?

New visitors to Africa might think that the food is strange or that typical meals consist of bland British food. This is far from the truth, however. African cuisine is one of the most loved parts of a family safari; you and the kids will enjoy the mouthwatering, fresh food prepared by your hosts each day. Our safari organizers will happily accommodate any dietary restrictions for your prepaid meals.

Is the safety of my children ensured on family safaris?

As with traveling in any other foreign country, there are necessary safety precautions everyone must take. However, family safaris put safety first. Family safaris take place in remote areas with a very low crime rate. Plus, Soul of Africa Travel makes it our duty to ensure that you are traveling with a qualified and professional family safari provider to ensure that you and your family are in capable hands.

Believe it or not, all of our African family safari options have been child tested—with our own children! We’ve taken our kids along on African safaris from Mozambique to Namibia, and will continue to do so for many years to come. We wouldn’t send your children to any destination where we haven’t already taken our own kids.

The guides we use for all Soul of Africa Travel family safaris have handheld communication devices with them at all times, and are thoroughly trained in first aid and safety precautions, as well as animal behavior. Professional African safari tour guides must have at least four years of training prior to being able to accompany clients; your safety is very important to us and is completely assured at all times. And there’s no need to worry about the animals either since your safari guide is trained to protect you in any emergency, and there are fences that keep the animals at a safe distance. Keep in mind that these fascinating creatures are much more interested in their own lives than in getting in your way. To sum it up, breathe easy: our expert family safari providers will ensure that you and your family enjoy both a safe and exhilarating safari experience.

But aren’t there diseases that I should be aware of, especially for my children?

Most people associate Africa with insect-borne diseases like malaria. Mosquitoes, the main carriers of many insect-transmitted diseases, are actually not nearly as serious of a problem as the movies and media would lead you to believe. Many of the tips you hear regarding how to avoid insect bites while in Africa are mainly a precautionary measure. Just as you would if you were camping in the woods near home, you should use insect repellant and treat your clothes with bug spray as well. Visitors can avoid contracting malaria by taking the prescribed medication before and during their trip, as well as reducing the possibility of getting bit. Avoid areas of stagnant, standing water, cover your arms and legs when walking through insect-heavy areas, and make good use of your bug spray.

Other common diseases on the continent are transmitted through water. Like many foreign countries, there are regions in Africa that do not have the best drinking water. As such, care should be taken never to drink untreated or tap water while on safari. However, there’s no need to stress since we guarantee that there will be filtered or bottled water available at all times during your family safari.

Although the risks of being exposed to any of these diseases are quite low, everyone in your family should still visit a doctor before taking off to Africa. Be sure that your children are up to date on all of their vaccinations at least a month prior to leaving for your African safari.

Are the passport and visa requirements different for children?

No, they are the same for adults and children. Please click here for detailed passport and visa information.

Do I need to pack anything different for my kids than for me?

Pack the same items for your children as you’re bringing for yourself. You can find more extensive packing information here, and we will offer more suggestions as we assist you in planning your African family safari. Keep luggage restrictions in mind, and make sure that every item that you pack has a specific purpose

Top Family-Friendly African Safari Destinations

Kwandwe Private Game Reserve, South Africa: What could be better than a lodge with special programs designed just for kids? Check out Kwandwe’s “Rangers in Training” and “Stripes and Hooves” programs here.

Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, Tanzania: This kid-friendly lodge offers plenty of fun activities to keep your children entertained, aside from the traditional game drives through Ngorongoro Crater—which are a spectacle in and of themselves! You and the family can indulge in a private picnic lunch on the crater floor, witness Maasai warriors perform traditional dances, or travel through the Oldevai Gorge in a private vehicle fit for an all-ages adventure.

Giraffe Manor, Kenya: A fascinating lodge where giraffes peek in through the window to share an intimate breakfast with you and your family.

Azura Benguerra, Mozambique: An unforgettable beach experience along the white sands of Mozambique’s pristine coast, kids will delight in fun activities including snorkeling, fishing, cultural attractions, and pool games.

Sossusvlei Desert Lodge, Namibia: Another lodge that caters to families, this luxury Namibian destination has something for everyone, including archery, hot air ballooning, bush dinners, scenic flights, and a refreshing swimming pool. Treat the kids to a special dinner on the al fresco terrace for awe-inspiring views of the rare animals flocking to the floodlit waterhole below.

Great ways to get the kids excited about your upcoming African family safari:

FUN BOOKS ON AFRICA

Africa (True Books) by Mel Friedman

Africa for Kids: Exploring a Vibrant Continent by Harvey Croze

Africa Is Not A Country by Margy Burns Knight

African Critters by Robert Haas

iThemba in Where There’s Life There’s Hope by Lule and Tee

Safari: A Photicular Book by Dan Kainen and Carol Kaufmann

The Field Guide to Safari Animals by Paul Beck

We All Went On Safari by Laurie Krebs

INTERACTIVE WEBSITES WITH FUN FACTS ON AFRICA

http://www.storytimeafrica.com/interesting_animal_facts.html

http://www.storytimeafrica.com/freebies_children.html

http://www.kidsdiscover.com/spotlight/african-safari-for-kids/

http://www.africa-wildlife-detective.com/

http://www.awf.org/wildlife-conservation/all

http://www.africacentre.org/wildlife_facts.html

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