Safari – the perfect answer to the multi-generational holiday challenge
Back in 2000, soon after we started, the Aardvark Safaris’ team had nine children between the five of us. It was natural therefore for us to want to know the best countries and lodges for family safaris. Since then we’ve travelled many times ourselves, and planned many more family holidays for clients, including plenty of multi-generational safari holidays.
We now count a few more children among the team and in the same way we’ve expanded so have the options for family holidays in Africa. There are now dozens of lodges, private houses, and safari camps offering a warm welcome to families travelling together. Junior guiding programmes, specialist family guides, babysitting, mini-jungle safaris are all designed to add to the enjoyment.
We’re very happy to meet up or chat by phone and help plan a trip, but to help decide if it’s going to work for you, I’ve written a few points to show why safaris work so well for multi-generational family groups.
Overnight flights work surprisingly well for younger children as they often sleep quite well on planes.
For adult travellers, we might suggest a day flight, followed by a night or two on arrival somewhere you can start slowly and catch up. Victoria Falls or Cape Town both work well for this, as you can have lazy breakfasts and head out to do something mid-morning.
Multi-generational safaris are typically during the school holidays and the good news is there is somewhere in Africa with great weather and wildlife for each one throughout the year.
Which country we suggest will depend on a variety of factors including: the time of year; the age of the children; the wildlife you want to see; if you want a beach stay as well as a family safari.
Where to stay
There is plenty of choice with interconnecting luxury safari tents designed specifically for families with everyone under the same roof, and private houses with enough bedrooms to accommodate up to 12 or more. Many of the camps we work with are small, only four tents or so, so you might be able to take a camp exclusively for your party – which is a really spoiling way to explore.
Choose a property a pool (if you want to visit Kenya’s Masi Mara, have a look at this article about camps with pools) and while adults enjoy a daily siesta, children can burn off some energy.
Small camps, with just a single family on each vehicle, mean mealtimes and activities can be flexible. You can start early if the whole family rises with the lark, or set off after everyone else if holidays are made for lie-ins.
A family safari is not only about sitting in a 4×4. You can ride – camels, horses and bikes, there are fabulous walking safaris, star beds, you can learn to scuba dive, there’s fishing, and even sand boarding, kite surfing and quad-biking in some areas. In other words, plenty for all ages!
We would be delighted to help with planning your perfect multi-generational safari holiday. Our team of experts has travelled widely, often with their own families, throughout Africa and the Indian Ocean and can offer expert advice. Do get in touch – chatting to people by phone or email is what we do best. We listen, we explain, we answer all sorts of questions even those you didn’t know to ask, and finally we make suggestions. If this is your first time to Africa or your twenty first, we have a team standing by to help make the planning easy and the journey the best ever. Please get in touch whatever stage you’re at.