Many parents are worried about taking their kids to Africa. But, as it turns out, the continent’s hospitality is very welcoming of families. There’s nothing as wonderful as seeing your child react to seeing a giraffe or elephant for the first time in their life. Here are some things to consider when travelling with children in Africa:
Pick a kid-friendly destination
When going on a safari with children there are two types of accommodations available: child-friendly lodges and lodges that specifically cater entertainment-programs for children. Some places feature great amenities an activities that’ll keep the little ones as happy as a warthog in the mud. Examples include bumble safaris, play rooms, animal interactions, and entertainment, babysitting facilities or separate dining rooms.
Other lodges cater for families but might not offer specific programmes for children. So, before you head off to your African adventure make sure you know what to expect on your tour or at your accommodation in Southern Africa.
Check medical concerns of destination
If you are concerned about malaria and don’t want your kids to take anti-malaria medication then lodges in the Addo area (Eastern Cape, South Africa and in Madikwe (Botswana) are mostly child-friendly and malaria-free – unlike the areas surrounding the Kruger National Park. South Africa is the best option for a malaria-free safari. The further north you go, the higher the risk of malaria. Namibia and Botswana have a low risk of malaria – but it’s higher during the rainy season. The assured malaria-free safari areas in South Africa are the Eastern Cape, North West Province (including the Pilanesberg National Park and the Madikwe Game Reserve) and the Waterberg.
My kids can’t live without WiFi!
If you have teenagers in your family who hate being offline – even during their holidays – and want to update their Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest then make sure to check the lodge you’re staying at has Wi-Fi on offer.
Make sure there are games and cool activities
If you are after some alone time with your partner then choosing accommodation that offers great entertainment that’ll keep your kiddies busy is essential. There is nothing better for a parent to drop your kids off at the pool and enjoy adult time.
Avoid long commutes
When looking at an itinerary, just remember that a 100 kilometers on a dirt road is very different to a 100 kilometers on smooth gravel. Make sure to check with your travel operator about the driving time and not just the distance. Trust us – no one wants to get stuck in a truck with hungry, crying toddlers in the middle of the African summer!
Make sure there activities for the entire family
If you want to spend a lot of time bonding with your kids on your safari holiday, then make sure to check in with the lodge about what kind of activities they have on offer before making a choice. There is a variety of family activities: walking safaris for the entire family, cooking courses, tracking with the Bushmen and roasting marshmallows over the fire at night.