What to consider before going on a family safari

family safarifamily safari
family safarifamily safari


What to consider before going on a family safari

Taking your family on an African safari is a thrilling experience. However, there are a multitude of things to consider before whisking your children away on a sun-soaked adventure in the African wilds, some of which are outlined below.

Travelling abroad can be both exciting and nerve-wracking, especially for younger children or those who may not have flown before. Encourage them by showing photographs of the beautiful African landscapes and animals, but be sure that they are ready for such a big adventure.


Consider your children

If you are planning on taking younger children with you on this African adventure, think about whether or not they are old enough to truly appreciate the value of the trip. There may also be an age limit for some safari drives if you are not opting for the self-drive experience.

You will also need to consider the general safety of the country, especially with regard to malaria and yellow fever risks. Ensure that your children are properly vaccinated before you leave and bring insect spray with you to be safe. If you are bringing teenagers with you, you will need to consider whether there are suitable activities for them in and around the resort you are staying, so they will not be bored during the times you are not out exploring.


Research the resorts

Before booking your stay, be sure to research every option available to you. Some resorts offer all-inclusive options and unique features, such as being able to visit and view the Makgadikgadi Salt Pan from the luxury of Camp Botswana.

Look for a resort that offers not only the luxuries of life but also outdoor activities like 4x4 game drives, birding destinations, horseback safaris and so forth. One important aspect to look for is the amenities on offer especially if you are not looking to go without home comfort and luxuries. Many resorts offer both camping and chalet options, but always read the fine print about the campsites before deciding on camping. Some may not offer electricity and be sure the ablutions are highly rated and reviewed.


Look at the best time to go to Africa

This is an important consideration, as often weather can make or break a safari adventure. The best time to go on a safari is in the drier months of December to April, when the grass is shorter and the animals are easier to spot, both close by and with binoculars.

This isn’t to say that you will not experience an amazing safari when travelling in other months of the year. Some experts recommend visiting during February, March, September and October for maximum game-viewing experiences, and if you are not afraid of a little rain then visiting popular tourist sites in off season months is a good idea if you are not constrained to vacationing in school holidays.


Consider what to pack

One of the most important things to consider before any trip is what to pack to make the journey easier. When travelling to Africa for the specific purpose of a safari, there are certain items that are essential. Insect spray or cream is an essential item, as is sunblock. Sunglasses and hats that keep the UV rays off of delicate areas are also important.

Safari drives do not have a specific dress code, but be sure that the clothing you pack for these activities are made from light fabrics, so you will not get too hot during the day. Safari walks, however, require you to wear khaki or neutral colours so as not to attract unwanted attention from animals. In both instances, remember to bring comfortable walking shoes.


What do you want to see?

If you are going on a safari to see animals and vegetation, you should carefully consider which animals you are interested in seeing before booking the trip. Many of the animals in Africa are found only in certain areas, meaning that if you have a specific animal in mind you will have to book a resort in the area.

The “Big Five” (lions, leopard, rhinoceros, elephants and the cape buffalos) is highly popular with first-time safari goers, and seeing them depends on your location. These stunning animals are commonly found in Botswana, Zambia, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


Remember to have fun planning

An African safari is often a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, so try not to overthink every aspect of the trip. Overthinking and over-planning can dull the experience for little ones, and you should try to include their input and wants in the itinerary. Have fun putting together a list of everything you plan on doing and seeing in Africa, and be prepared for the journey of a lifetime!

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