If you’ve been thinking about taking a trip in the near future, then you want to make sure you’re choosing an option that can be enjoyed by your entire family, including your children. While researching your trip, you may become interested in going on an African safari, leaving one important question that needs to be answered: can you take your kids on safari?
Learning a little more about African safaris, including potential safety concerns, can help you decide whether visiting Africa is the right choice for your next family vacation. Here are a few tips for taking your kids on safari that will help you plan a vacation you and your family will remember for a lifetime.
Restrictions on Age
The biggest decision you’ll need to make when taking kids on safari is the activities your family wants to enjoy. While there are a variety of ways for families to have fun on safari, certain locations and activities have age restrictions.
For example, many people going on safari want to see the exotic animal life that can only be found in Africa, which is why they visit game reserves. However, some game reserves have strict rules for child visitors, with some areas preventing children under the age of 12 from entering. While planning your safari, investigate potential age restrictions to make sure your children won’t miss out on the fun.
Can Your Children Handle Long Drives?
One thing that many people aren’t prepared for when going on an African safari is just how much time they’ll need to spend traveling between destinations. If you’re visiting multiple spots in Africa, you may need to spend hours on the road. Driving for hundreds of miles can be difficult even for adults, so it’s easy to imagine how hard it might be on your children.
Similarly, if you’re planning on going on a game drive so that you can see plant and animal life, you should be aware that these drives can take upwards of three hours, which may be too much if your kids are very young. Think about how well your kids handle regular car trips, and you should be able to tell if they’re ready to go on a safari.
As you may be able to tell, whether your children are capable of going on safari mostly depends on their age and maturity levels. How old your child is will determine if they’re able to safely take part in safari activities and if they’ll have a good time.
Backpacking and overlanding, for example, require a great deal of physical activity thanks to the miles of walking and the need to set-up camp. Also, very young children, such as those five years or younger, are much more vulnerable to malaria, meaning they should avoid traveling to areas where contracting this disease is a risk. You should take into account the age of your children before you decide to take them on African safari.
If they’re the right age and you choose activities you know that they’ll enjoy, taking your kids on safari can be a great choice, and will make for a family vacation they’ll never forget.
Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui