by Chris Walker Bush
May 2, 2016

A Safari With Kids?

Taking your kids on safari is a great way to introduce them to the animals they've always read about or seen on the television.

While taking your kids on safari is a perfectly safe vacation choice, there are a few things to consider when planning your safari adventure. Children want different things out of their trip than adults tend to, and it takes special preparation to ensure that they enjoy the adventure as much as Mum & Dad do.

Keep drives between parks short

Rare is the child who can sit still for a few hours as you drive between parks, so it's important to break up the longer drives if possible.

young explorers on safari Marjeta from our European office recently took her young explorers on a safari.

This might mean spacing out parks with visits to smaller parks, or it might mean making stops at attractions along the way for a bathroom break and a chance to stretch your legs.

Countries like Tanzania are lucky, as the major parks are 2-3 hours apart. In Kenya, where parks can be six hours or more from one another, it might be worth asking your safari provider to suggest good stops along the way.

Mix things up with fun activities

Game drives offer a fantastic opportunity to see animals such as lions and elephants up close, but when young minds are involved, variety is the spice of life.

Keep things varied by mixing in hiking safaris, canoeing, and stops at kid-friendly spots such as the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, Africa Amini Masai Lodge, or Crescent Island in Lake Naivasha so kids get a variety of experiences.

horse riding zanzibar Young Ty enjoying a horse ride on Zanzibar.
africa amini masai lodge kids Africa Amini Masai Lodge specializes in educational and fun activities for kids and adults alike.

Use lodges with a pool and/or WiFi

Dependent on the ages of your kids, a pool might be a real treat at the end of a long day in the car. Many lodges across East Africa boast pools, and they're a great way for kids to let off some steam while you enjoy a sundownder.

safari with kids pool Even Natasa's young son appreciates a good pool.

If your kids are of the older variety, they might struggle being away from Facebook and Instagram. Consider looking for a lodge that can offer reliable WiFi.

Shorter game drives

With shorter attention spans and smaller bladders, kids aren't designed for long days out on the Masai Mara or the Serengeti.

Consider starting your day with a short game drive, taking a break and using the lodges facilities over lunch, and then heading out again at sundown.

Amini life lodge safari with kids Marjeta and her family at Africa Amini Life Masai Lodge.

Keep them well-fed!

A good lunch is vital in keeping young traveller's happy and full of energy. Choosing lodges and tour operators who can put together a nutritious and delicious safari lunch box can go a long way towards avoiding headaches.

safari with kids

Choose kid-friendly accommodation

Not all hotels are created equal, and it pays to look into which lodges can provide the best for your family.

Some lodges have special on-site kids areas or daycare services, while others arrange activities such as nature walks and craft demonstrations to keep young minds occupied.

Consider Sleeping Arrangements

You'll also want to consider sleeping arrangements. Are you looking to put everybody in one large space? Or are the kids old enough to have their own room adjacent to yours?

Are the kids old enough to really enjoy a tented camping experience? Or will they be more comfortable in a traditional, brick & mortar hotel?

 

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