If you’ve never travelled to Africa before, Kenya is the perfect entry-point, especially if you’re travelling with children. It’s known for having all of East Africa in one country: beautiful white sand beaches and crystal waters with coral reefs, incredible wilderness and extensive game viewing opportunities.
Going on safari always involves plenty of preparation and planning, even more so when young ones are coming too. One of the key things you will need to focus on is choosing the right accommodation for your family. Younger kids may not be prepared to make the leap into basic tented accommodation; a lodge with doors, plumbing and a pool might be a better choice (a pool will be especially welcome by everyone during the midday heat).
Prepare your kids for the adventure by talking about the animals you’ll see and finding out interesting facts about the landscape and culture. If your visit coincides with the Serengeti Migration, discuss why animals move and what you might see them doing. Meeting the Maasai people will be an exciting highlight as you will get to witness their unique customs, colourful clothing and traditional way of life – but talk beforehand about how and why people live differently in other countries; it may be difficult to comprehend for younger kids. It’s also worth noting that you may have to prepare some kids for the possibility of watching animals hunting and killing prey – this could be upsetting.
Photo by rikrak
Set your kids up with travel diaries or blogs (and digital cameras!) so that they can document their trip. Encourage them to report their own unique views on the trip – this will be great to show friends and family when they get home.
Consider the fact that little ones might get bored during transit, so invest in some good travel distractions – whether they are card games, quizzes, books, puzzles or travel-friendly board-games.
Don’t forget to schedule a GP appointment to organise travel immunisations, and visit an outdoor clothing store to find light, comfortable clothing in neutral shades, suitable hats, sunglasses and walking shoes.
Kids might initially complain about the idea of being away from the internet, friends, TV and computer games, but they will be thrilled by the game drives, the unusual accommodation, the different sights, activities, food and atmosphere that come along with going on safari – they will remember this trip for a long time to come, as will you!
Vivienne Egan writes for Safari Consultants who provide safari holidays across Africa. Find out more about family safaris here: http://safari-consultants.com/on-safari/family-safaris