In the not-so-distant past, a family safari vacation was limited to families with teenagers given that the bush camps and guides didn’t allow or encourage younger children. Times have changed!
Africa is a hot destination for families with kids of all ages in 2014 and tour operators are partnering with lodging companies to offer focused amenities to school age kids, and in some cases, even toddlers. This is good news as there’s much more that goes into making a safari family-friendly than a tent that sleeps everyone.
How do you plan an age-appropriate safari? Here’s what you need to know:
Tips for Planning a Safari in Africa with Kids
Find a family-focused tour operator
There are vacations that are best planned with the help of a qualified tour operator — someone that handles everything including transportation, guides, and lodging — and this is one of them.
A vacation in Africa is expensive and the risks are real. Finding a tour operator who actively caters to families is key, meaning the operator is not only experienced planning trips with children, but that they use focused resources to accommodate them.
Review age-appropriate features when selecting lodging
Lodging in Africa offers vastly different amenities for families.
Childcare: Young children may not go on every game drive given that animal sightings on outings are not guaranteed and they may get bored, or at least opt out for an afternoon. A lodge that has infrastructure to care for kids — babysitting or a supervised kids’ club — is nice perk.
Our complete list of tips to finding a trip that’s safe, exciting, and fun can be found in the Smart Parents Guide to Family Adventure Vacations written in partnership with Travel Savvy Mom. Our guide is a must-read resource for any group and/or tour operator led vacation in the US and abroad.
Editor’s Note: Our guide is a downloadable PDF to make it easy to review and share information on and offline.
Africa with kids on Ciao Bambino