Going on a family safari can and should be an amazing experience. It will hopefully go down as one of the best family holidays that you have been on. However, there are also a lot of things that could go wrong and mistakes that you should try and avoid so that your holiday does not end in a disaster or memory that you would rather forget.
The first thing is to make sure you book with an established tour operator and although it is tempting, going for the best ‘deal’ is not always the option. Be very careful who you trust to plan your holiday for you as this is vital to success. A good tour operator will know exactly where to place you, when to go and they will have been to the properties they are suggesting.
The enjoyment of your trip can often depend on the time of year. If it is important to you to have hours and hours of sunshine your tour operator will ensure that this is a facet of the itinerary. Seasons will have a strong influence on where you are travelling. As many parents will agree, a happy medium is usually best, standing in rain all day, being boiling hot or freezing cold is no fun for the individual traveller, let alone those with children in tow.
Of course, your choice of camp is also important, going to a child friendly camp or lodge is very important, guides will specifically be experience in catering for children, knowing how to interact with them so that they get the best out of their safari. Guides can help children learn about the world in a fun way. Additionally child friendly camps and lodges often have separate catering for children and babying sitting services, there are also plenty of ‘non-safari’ activities for them also, such as arts and crafts, baking and nature trails around camp, and often there is a camp swimming pool. Being realistic when selecting your camp is important although staying at a very remote small camp might sound adventurous, it is not for everyone and children might become bored if there are not facilities specifically for them. Obviously, everything depends on what your children and you as a family prefer, and a good tour operator will be advise you on a selection of properties.
Additionally with children it may be more acceptable for you as a family to choose a Malaria Free destination to save any concerns over taking anti-malarial tablets. A safari in South Africa might be the best option for young children as there are many attractions in Cape Town and the Garden Route and also a few Malaria Free Game Reserves in which to enjoy a few days on safari.
Once the skeleton of the itinerary is set, the next questions usually arise regarding what activities to do when, especially when visiting South Africa with its many attractions. Ultimately the best advice here, is to not rush into booking tours and trips, but rather than to reflect and research and to ask your operator for assistance. Opulent Africa are able to suggest all sorts of tours and activities that can either be booked prior to departure or one arrival through your hotel or lodge.