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Should you take children on an African safari?

Should you take children on an African safari?

Going on an African safari as a family allows youngsters to experience another way of life and detach from technology, enabling their imaginations to run wild as they discover the unusual flora, animals, and insects of the African bush.

Children traveling on an African safari have age limits since wild animals sometimes respond unexpectedly to something smaller, slower, or younger than they are. You may be surprised at how overwhelmed your child or children may get when they are pulled from the safety of their house and garden by the enormity and variety of Africa’s insects and wildlife. Even if you believe your five or six-year-old is interested in a wide range of animals and insects, they may be overwhelmed in Africa.

For pricing purposes, most safari camps and lodges consider anyone above the age of 12 to be an adult. Do not confuse this with minimum age requirements or age limitations that may apply to certain activities. To hike Mountain Gorillas, for example, you must be 15 years old.

 

What is the youngest age at which I may take my children on safari?

How old should children be before going on a safari is a commonly asked issue to which there is practically no simple and conclusive answer.

It is entirely dependent on the children and parents. To begin, youngsters must be able to spend at least two to three hours in a 4WD without driving everyone insane. Some youngsters can accomplish this as young as three or four years old, while others would be a nightmare.

As a result, several lodges and camps need a private car while traveling with small children, but when they do not, they recommend getting one regardless. A private car increases the expense and should be considered, but it also allows you to have exclusive usage of your driver and guide, allowing you to make more informed judgments.

As a firm, we believe that 10 years old is an excellent age for an African safari. Children at this age can communicate with the tour leader or other individuals they encounter on excursions such as village visits. And these encounters may be remembered for a lifetime. Youngsters aged 10 and up often behave better both within the lodge and on wildlife drives.

 

What about preschool-aged children?

As a company, we do not suggest taking children under the age of ten on safari. It is questionable if children of preschool age are merely along for the ride at this age. You must determine the child’s attention span on your own. Heading to a small resort with scheduled kid’s activities or solely renting out a private safari house might make a lot of sense.

 

Is it true that all lodges and camps welcome children?

No. Each lodge and camp has its kid policy. Several camps and lodges in Botswana, for example, do not admit children under the age of 12. This is because the camps are tiny (maybe 9 rooms or fewer) and unfenced. Children of all ages are welcome at lodges with more rooms that are fenced across East and Southern Africa. Because there is no one-size-fits-all solution, you should talk with an experienced African travel expert.

 

What about activities other than gaming drives?

If you wish to journey alongside gorillas or chimps, your children must be at least 15 years old. Additional activities, including strolling and mokoro, are subject to the restrictions established by each lodge or camp.

 

Where can we go to avoid malaria?

There are a few malaria-free wildlife reserves in South Africa. Madikwe Game Reserve has outstanding and diverse animal-watching opportunities as well as family-friendly camps. Tswalu Kalahari is one of Africa’s largest private game reserves, is malaria-free, and provides fantastic family-friendly activities such as daylight meerkat stalking and stargazing under the Southern Sky.

 

Where should I take my children to learn about the local culture?

East Africa is a fantastic area to immerse yourself in culture. Tanzania and Kenya have roughly 50 million inhabitants and a diverse range of tribes. Kenya is home to 42 distinct tribes. Tanzania has around 100 distinct tribes. Your children will come across Maasai wearing traditional shukas (robes) that are typically beaded from head to toe in Kenya and Tanzania. You may learn more about daily life in this region by visiting authentic Masai communities, chatting with inhabitants, and visiting a school or clinic regularly.

 

What sorts of lodging should I seek?

Search for family rooms/tents at campgrounds and hotels. There are usually two bedrooms and, more importantly, two bathrooms. Why? You will all need to get up early since game drives begin at 7:00 a.m. If there are numerous restrooms and showers, getting ready will go more swiftly.

 

What about combining other activities with a non-safari destination?

In East Africa, such as Zanzibar, it is fairly easy to combine a safari with a beach vacation.

 

Combining a safari with a few days in Cape Town is a fantastic choice in Southern Africa. There are numerous family-friendly activities in Cape Town, such as penguin expeditions, walking up Table Mountain, cycling, township trips, and wine visits.