POSTED ON 13th January 2016 BY Ollie Blackwell
An African safari holiday is a great way to introduce children to the exciting wonders of the world…
‘A little after dawn, our safari guide headed to the less-explored eastern part of Serengeti National Park,’ writes S. Mitra Kalita, detailing her experience on an African safari. ‘He slowed the Toyota Land Cruiser at a patch of green that interrupted the straw-colored Tanzanian landscape, so barren that it made our mouths feel dry.
“There’s a hyena under that tree,” he said.
My husband, Nitin, and I stood up in the vehicle and instinctively shushed our groggy children, Naya and Riya, then ages 8 and 1. Looking through binoculars at the tree, we saw only a blur.
“Hey!” the baby shouted. “Hello? Hello?”
“Shhhhhh!” we scolded.
And suddenly, there was the hyena—headed straight for us…’
When it comes to an African safari, a lot of people never consider taking the kids. But the truth is that an African safari isn’t just for adults, it can be a wonderful adventure for the entire family.
An African safari is an experience unlike any other, and can help introduce the world to children in ways that can’t be taught. Travel is a rich experience for a person of any age, and a family safari is an experience you won’t want to miss out on.
To show you what I mean, here are seven surprising reasons that you should consider an African safari for your family.
The classic reason to travel to Africa is for a chance to spot the big five. But while lions, elephants, and leopards are exciting, and you’ll want to see classic icons like giraffes, zebras, and hippos, there are other animals in Africa that you won’t want to miss out on.
Kids especially are particularly enthralled by animals of all sizes, and while big beasts are exciting, the creepy crawlies also rank highly on many of their lists. For many youngsters, dung beetles in particular are especially fascinating. And learning about termites can be just as fun as discovering a herd of elephants.
You’ll also want to keep an eye out for hidden animals, Nile Crocodiles can be found in just about every major river, and look out for meerkats, gazelle, hyenas, jackals, and vultures.
While the zoo is a favourite place for families with young children, a trip to Africa offers an experience that’s about 100 times more exciting than that. A safari is a chance to view animals in their natural habitats and you and your family will be treated to a genuine, and spectacular viewing experience that’s unlike anything a zoo has to offer.
Nothing screams adventure quite like seeing, and hearing the wildebeests thunder past. During the months of July to September, these magnificent herds migrate north towards northern Serengeti and Masai Mara. Seeing hundreds or thousands of these animals is something you can’t fully understand until you have experienced it first-hand.
You’ll also learn about animals, and discover how they thrive in their natural habitats, and will become aware of the challenges that they face. This is the perfect way to introduce children to the importance of wildlife conservation efforts.
In addition to amazing wildlife, there are plenty of other aspects of a safari that you’ll also enjoy. Regardless of what your interests are, an African safari has something that will appeal to just about everyone.
From the thundering Victoria Falls to the beautiful coastlines to canyons and desert, dunes, grasslands, and more, the landscape in Africa is unlike anything in the world and offers excellent opportunities for sightseeing, and photography.
Getting kids out of their comfort zones and into a new culture that’s different from their own is an invaluable experience. It will open up their minds, and teach them that there’s more to the world than what’s found in their own neighbourhood.
Children are naturally curious, and will enjoy learning about new ways of living. Experiencing a different culture firsthand is a wonderful opportunity, and something that you and your family won’t soon forget. Many safari trips include a chance to experience a different culture, allowing kids to visit a village in Kenya, to walk with local warriors, or meet Bushmen in the deserts of Namibia.
An African safari is an educational experience that’s better than anything you’d be able to learn from a nature program or a book. It’s hands-on and interactive learning that’s disguised as fun.
Children soak up new experiences, and new discoveries that are made and things that are learned can stay with them for a lifetime.
With many safaris there are often opportunities for nature walks; safe, guided tours that give children a hands-on chance to explore the area.
With parents often working long hours, and kids spending a significant portion of their time in school, it can be difficult to carve out time to get away from it all to relax and unwind. Add to this the constant distractions of living in our modern society with smartphones, computers, and devices, and it’s no wonder that we’re constantly busy.
Sadly, modern living has a price: it can be easy to lose focus on priorities and forget about things that really matter. Family and relationships are important, and a safari is the perfect chance to unwind, and relax whilst spending time with your loved ones.
From driving down the dirt tracks in search of elephants, to sitting around the campfire to eat dinner at night, there are plenty of simple pleasures that will help you and your kids to unwind, giving you a chance to reconnect with each other.
An African safari really is an invaluable adventure that you’ll remember for years to come. There is so much to take in and explore, and plenty of new exciting discoveries that you’ll make.
The breathtaking, raw beauty of nature that’s found in Africa is nothing short of spectacular and places like the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, or Chobe National Park are full of natural beauty that you won’t be able to experience anywhere else on earth.
Many places in Africa are family-friendly destinations. While most think that a safari means roughing it, this isn’t necessarily the case. Tourism in Africa is well-established and there are a range of family friendly activities and accommodations for you to choose from.
So what do you say? Are you ready to explore Africa and discover all that this amazing continent has to offer? If you still want to do more research around safari holidays in Africa, your next step should be to download a free copy of the African Safari Field Guide – a 37-page guide written by our expert team here at Safari Drive HQ, which includes on all sorts of safari advice on camping in the bush and spotting wildlife.
Or, if you’re ready to take action towards organising a trip, get a free safari consultation with one of our team and start planning the trip to Africa that will best fit your family’s needs. Good luck!