At Discover Africa, both the founders and many of our travel experts have families with kids of all ages. We’ve all taken our kids on safari, so we know what to consider when planning a family-friendly safari adventure. We’ve put together our top tips for planning a child-friendly safari, so you can get out into the wilderness with your little ones safely.
1. Choosing the Right Safari
Many safari camps and lodges have age restrictions for children. When you plan a safari with Discover Africa, we can tailor-make a luxury African safari tour that accommodates your kids. This will include lodgings that cater specifically to children, with activities, facilities, and guides that are family-friendly. South Africa, Kenya, and Tanzania are all popular family safari destinations.
2. Safety Concerns and Precautions
Make sure vaccinations and medications for travel-related illnesses are up to date. Many African safaris are in malaria zones, so if you’re uncomfortable giving your children antimalarials, opt for malaria-free safari destinations. Educate your kids about wildlife interaction and make sure they follow the guidelines given by your guide or ranger. It’s worth keeping a list of emergency contacts and making sure your travel insurance is up to date and covers medical emergencies.
3. Activities for Children
Many family-orientated safari accommodations will offer some sort of Junior Ranger program, which gives kids a fun way to learn about wildlife, track spoors, and gain basic survival skills. Interactive activities like birdwatching and insect identification can keep children entertained for hours and educate them about the wilderness.
Pick a lodge or camp that offers family units, childcare facilities, and kid-friendly meals. Be sure to choose a camp or lodge that’s enclosed and has safety measures in place. Again, your Discover Africa safari expert can help guide you to accommodations that cater specifically to family safaris.
5. Preparing Your Children
Use books and documentaries to introduce your kids to the wildlife and cultures they’ll explore on safari. Be sure to pack the appropriate clothing, footwear, and personal items for children. Your Discover Africa safari expert can assist you with a packing list to make sure you don’t forget anything, like mosquito repellant or sunscreen.
6. On the Safari
Many lodges and safari camps offer private guided game drives that are shorter and more suitable to kids, who might be uncomfortable on a longer, often bumpy, drive. Experienced guides ensure a safe and educational experience for children. Listen to the advice and safety tips from your guide or ranger and make sure your children respect the wildlife and natural environments. Be sure to keep kids hydrated, sunscreened, and protected from insects with the appropriate clothing.
7. Potential Challenges and Solutions
Check with the lodge or safari camp about whether or not they can match your children’s dietary needs or restrictions. Keep kids from getting bored by packing books, games and puzzles, and ask if the camp offers childminding services to give you a break from the kids so you can go out on a walking or boat safari, which are usually age-restricted activities.
Planning a child-friendly safari doesn’t have to be a challenge. Speak to a safari expert at Discover Africa about tailor-made luxury safaris that are perfectly suited to families, and prepare your kids for the adventure of a lifetime.