This is a guest post from Sarah Fazendin of Rothschild Safaris, our Africa family travel partner. Rothschild Safaris is an award-winning, luxury travel company based in Denver, Colorado, with offices in Australia and South Africa. The company provides memorable guest experiences across the globe with an emphasis on wildlife, culture and conservation.
Here’s the scoop on why now is the right time to plan a family safari in Africa. Thank you, Sarah, for your insight!
For many families, Africa is a bucket-list travel destination. From the jaw-dropping beauty of a fiery red sunset highlighting a herd of elephants on the horizon, to the opportunity for kids to witness the ongoing fight for conservation in one of the world’s most delicate ecosystems, Africa is equal parts inspiring and educational.
Our team has scoured the continent (often with our own kids!) and understands what works and what doesn’t when it comes to family travel in Africa. More than ever before, we are excited about the possibilities within the continent, thanks to new safari camps making their debut, unique hands-on experiences for kids, and overall outstanding value for money.
If you’re thinking about a family trip to Africa, 2016 is the year to make it happen! Here’s why.
Top Reasons to Plan a Safari in Africa with Kids
Meaningful Connection with Local Cultures
Across Africa, you’ll find local communities and tribes still living as they have for thousands of years, keeping their customs and traditions alive. While learning about unique cultures is always an interesting component of travel, sharing these dramatically different cultures with children is particularly meaningful.
Today, it’s possible to completely avoid the many canned or staged cultural experiences some travelers have encountered across Africa. Instead of a visit to a Maasai village that feels contrived and uncomfortable, now you can visit the homes of your safari guides, the school that camp staff children attend, and the private boutiques of local artisans.
In addition to learning about the Maasai or Samburu culture and customs, you may even find yourself invited to share your own way of life with local schoolchildren. Now more than ever, our team on the ground is dedicated to creating this two-way dialogue. Although it sounds simple, learning and sharing in equal parts the best way for your family to experience culture in Africa in an authentic way.
It’s Never Too Early to Get Involved in Wildlife Conservation
Because there is so much wildlife diversity and ecological abundance at stake, Africa has always been on the forefront of conservation. And today, Africa’s wildlife is under more pressure than ever before. While it’s not all doom and gloom, African wildlife faces serious threats across the continent, such as population growth, poaching and global warming.
Simply exposing children to Africa’s wildlife is an important first step in cultivating the next generation of conservation-minded travelers. By seeing and understanding it, many children (and adults) become more passionate about protecting it.
This year, your tourism dollars will go farther than ever to support wildlife conservation in Africa. By booking high-end safari properties in private wildlife conservancies, like the Sarara, Offbeat or Kicheche properties in Kenya, your tourism dollars directly support wildlife conservation efforts in the conservancy. These conservancies not only ensure an exclusive safari experience void of crowds or other travelers, but also work to expand protected areas beyond the borders of national parks and reduce the total numbers of travelers in the park at any given time.
New Properties That Are Ideal for Families
While Africa has always been family-friendly, new luxury camps and lodges across Africa are doubling down on family travelers. Staying under canvas while on safari is the best way to enjoy old-fashioned luxury while taking in the sounds of the bush all around you, but historically, these tents were rather limited with regards to sleeping arrangements. Enter the family tent.
Many properties around Africa have introduced this concept, where two tents are joined together by a common sitting area. This way, parents and children have their own sleeping spaces, yet can stay close together and perfectly safe in one unit.
Value For Money
While certain wildlife events, such as the Great Wildebeest Migration, happen during specific times of the year, Africa truly is a year-round destination. If you have the flexibility to travel off-season, you can expect a magical experience at a fraction of the cost.
We’ll also help guide you when it comes to splurging and saving. We know which properties are worth the splurge, and where you can save a few bucks without sacrificing the experience.
Get a Little Spoiled!
While there are amazing deals to be had, this year luxury is the name of the game across Africa. And you can expect so much more than just nice bed linens and specialty soap in the shower. In Africa, privacy is the ultimate luxury. Book your family into a private conservancy or even a private villa in the bush. Here you’ll have the animals all to yourself, as opposed to sharing the wildlife with crowds in the national parks.
Enjoy special experiences like taking a bath overlooking the African savanna, savoring a five-course meal under the stars or avoiding a long day on bumpy roads with a thrilling helicopter transfer to your safari lodge. The sky is the limit in Africa, and fabulous new luxury experiences are being introduced each and every day to make your Africa with kids dream a reality.
Interested in a trip to Africa with Rothschild Safaris?
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Editor’s Note: Photos by Rothschild Safaris.