Safari kids, bring on the bush
An African safari can provide fun for the whole family.
This superbly unique environment allows grandparents and little children alike to interact with wildlife and different cultural lifestyles.

As parents you know that sometimes what an adult finds mystical isn’t exactly your child’s cup of tea. They tend to lose interest very quickly. Don’t lose hope. Here are some handy hints and some places that will ensure your kids find there next safari adventure unforgettable!

Picture a child sitting in an open safari vehicle in the bush. Fidgeting and wriggling around desperately trying to get anyone’s attention. Anyone ever been there before?

It’s not fair on the parents but it is also not fair on the kids. They are with you on holiday after all. Make sure it’s fun for them too! Here are some factors to consider before embarking on your adventure into the wild:

The age and attention span of your children - you wouldn’t want to book a family hike with a three year old now would you?

Travelling time - consider the location of your holiday and the duration to get there. Why not fly up to your remote destination? This will mean less travel time and more time for exploring.

Are there any specific activities you enjoy doing together as a family? - This will make it a lot easier because most Safari Lodges offer great family activities. So the sooner you have an idea of what you want, the more fun you will have.

Step one complete. Now you might be wondering where the ideal place to go would be… Traditional Big Five Game Lodges are great for the whole family, but if you want something that will cater for your needs and still keep your children happier than a kitten with a Q-tip, try Child friendly Game Lodges.

These lodges cater specifically for children or offer some form of children’s drive or supervised activities while the parents are on safari.

These activities range from exploring the natural environment to making plaster casts of animal tracks.

The Kruger National Park is an ideal place to spend your Safari holiday! There are so many different places in the Kruger itself and nearby areas that cater for your kids.

Why not consider these options:

The Ulusaba Private Game Reserve in the Kruger Park boasts its own kids club called The Ulusaba Cubs Club. On arrival, the kids receive a back pack with goodies that will keep them entertained as well as educate them about the African bush.

For kids staying in the Cubs very own “den”, there are security guards to make sure that they are as safe as a cub guarded by its mother! This reserve also offers games, treasure hunts, Safari walks and drives and educational DVDs to keep your children entertained. In addition, they even have a free baby sitting service including activities that keep kids entertained when mom and dad opt for a dinner for two. This is definitely a place to consider!

Call them on: (011) 325 4405 for more details.

The Shamwari Game Reserve and Riverdene Lodge in the Kruger Park embodied pure natural elegance for the parents but promises lots of fun for kids! There are supervised playrooms for your kids as well as green lawns with jungle gyms so that your child can feel a part of the adventure too. Sports and social programs such as soccer, cricket, treasure hunts, swimming, and so much more are arranged with child minders at hand all the time. The game drives emphasize a special child interest even though there are adults present.

Give them a call on (041) 407 1000, for more.

The Lukimbi Safari Lodge in the Kruger National Park has a dedicated child program to prevent any kiddies twiddling their thumbs on your vacation. There are activities available to educate them about Africa and its wildlife. The Safari Playroom is open all day with a capable supervisor to ensure a good, but safe time for the little ones. There are even kiddie beds and cots available on request.

The activities the lodge offers for children are game drives, bushwalks (just be careful what your little one comes back with. You may go home with a brand new pet frog!), and arts and crafts amongst others. Kid dinners are specially made if you want to have a family picnic but they’d prefer burgers or pizza as opposed to your crumbed chicken with mushroom sauce.

Give them a call and book your own safari holiday on (021) 424 1037.

Here are some extra tips to make sure a safari with the kids doesn’t bomb:

Pack the right clothing for your kids and include sunscreen and insect repellent! (Both equally important!) This ensures more time for fun and less stress on you as a parent.

If they are old enough, give them their own camera or pair of binoculars. Even something as small as a bird book or checklist to record everything you have seen whilst on your adventure. Little things like this will make them feel part of the adventure and keep them interested.

Most importantly, treat your children as travelling companions. If they are made to feel unwanted or like excess baggage, the trip could go horribly wrong. Share and explore together and you’d be surprised as to how open they’d be to fun and learning.

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