Bring the kids(s)!
Admittedly, I am a safari–pusher, but I’m also a big advocate for taking children to Africa. Not only do the people, animals and landscapes make a lasting impression on a young mind, but your relationship with the locals are enriched when you are with kids.
People who work in the safari industry in Africa are more accustomed to seeing older generations of adults on safari. Therefore, when you arrive at a camp with a child, the smiles grow even wider and personalities pop out among the guides, camp managers and staff. They are reminded of their own children who are home in their towns and villages with extended family. Camp staff tend to go the extra mile for kids, like making ice cream for them, teaching them traditional games, or introducing them to folks behind the scenes. The kids, of course, benefit greatly from these new relationships in many ways. It is conveyed in the portraits they draw of favorite staff members, or in their chatter about various people long after they’ve left Africa.
Some of the safari camps have now established onsite bush schools for kids where they can learn dung and paw print identification. I was blown away when Kya and I were met by a “Bush Buddy” sent from another camp by Wilderness Safaris to be with Kya during our stay at Vumbura Plains. Kya’s bush buddy, Kelly, was like a nanny and friend to her. Kya looked forward to seeing Kelly each day. She accompanied us on game drives and activities and tended to Kya when she grew tired in the evening after a long, exciting day.
Taking your children and grandchildren to Africa with you not only opens their eyes to the diversity of people on this planet and the existence of extraordinary life, but it forces you to take time for togetherness in a way that is beyond special. Don’t wait to share Africa with them; your personal experience will only be enhanced by taking them with you.
Worlds Away Safaris is passionate about family travel. By booking your trip with us, you will be confidently prepared for travel to Africa with children - the young ones and the old ones!
Isabella was 8-years-old when she and her 5-year-old brother traveled to Africa with Erica. When she returned, she wrote the short essay below as part of her class assignment for Martin Luther King Jr. Day – If you had a dream for the world, what would it be?
I Have A Dream
I have a dream that we will live in peace, like the people throughout Zambia and Botswana. It not might seem like it, but they are a lot happier than us. All we need is shelter, love, food and water. That is my dream for the world. Just to live in peace like the people through out Zambia and Botswana. One, I will give speeches to live in peace. Then, I will put up posters. Finally, I will lead people on my side.