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Family Safaris in South Africa with Younger children.

Africa is an exceptional destination for the inquiring and developing mind. Mix with that the on tap fresh air and the true sense of adventure under canvas and a young child’s mind is ignited with intrigue.

Although most safari lodges in Africa are suitable for slightly older children over twelve, many are not suitable for younger children who perhaps require a little more supervision and attention on a one to one basis. Additionally safari lodges that do cater for this younger age group pride themselves in their actual approach to a young child on safari and they are very much geared to welcoming young families on their first safari.

More often than not these safari lodges will be located in South Africa. This is primarily because South Africa offers Malaria Free game reserves, the perfect place in which to introduce your young children to the big outdoors and Simba’s real home without the need to take anti-Malarials which understandably parents are concerned about where younger children are concerned. Additionally South Africa is easily accessible with cities such as Cape Town to explore and the wonderful Garden Route with its beautiful beaches and animal sanctuaries to visit, which is perfect when combining a few nights on safari.

So where to stay on a family safari with your little ones? Well there are a few locations to choose from. You might like to journey from Cape Town along the Garden Route stopping off at a few coastal towns along the way and then finish up at a safari lodge or two before flying home from Port Elizabeth.

Perhaps try Ecca Lodge in the glorious Kwandwe Reserve just an hour from Port Elizabeth. Ecca Lodge welcomes children with open arms. The lodge exudes a luxury safari atmosphere, yet the focus does not shift from the family dynamic. Although children under 6 are not allowed on game drives, and children 6 to 11 at the Lodge Manager’s discretion, there are plenty of activities to enthral them for hours so their heads hit the pillow as hard as yours with a smile planted firmly on their faces.

After lunch the children in camp are invited to the chef’s kitchen to bake cookies for afternoon tea whilst you can relax by the pool or enjoy a siesta. Additionally the safari guides will offer to take them on fishing and frogging safaris to explore some of the crags and bushes in camp. There are also bark rubbing expeditions, and bug hunts (where a strict catch and release policy is adhered to!) Or ‘Pooh’ walks where they can learn from their guide how to identify animals from droppings left around camp, spoor, animal species and trees and vegetation. For those craving technology there are the maintenance garages where the safari jeeps are regularly checked over and washed down where they are welcome to help washing down a few panels. For those children with an arty disposition there are papermaking classes and painting a lazy afternoon away in the shade before devouring those cookies with mum and dad when they return from the game drive.

Ecca Lodge is a superb example of where you can enjoy a luxury safari in South Africa with your family.

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Cost per person: 3000 - 4000       4000 - 5000       5000 - 6000       6000+
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