Namibia with older teens

August 20th 2019  |   Family Safaris, Namibia  |  by   Richard Smith
Namibia family safari

The answer to the question ‘Is a Namibia guided safari a good holiday with teenagers?’ is without question ‘yes’. The right guide makes family logistics very easy and there are activities a plenty to keep them busy.

My children are now older teenagers at 16 and 19 and, while my son likes a lie in and more than a few hours on an Xbox, they’re both active if presented with something interesting to do.

We mountain biked the day we arrived in the Sossusvlei area, heading out on a guided ride from Camp Sossus on well equipped fat tyred bikes.

Leo mountain biking near Sossusvlei

Leo mountain biking near Sossusvlei

The next morning we drove into the dunes and climbed 308m to the top of Big Daddy, which overlooks Dead Vlei.

Smiths family with teens at the top of Big Daddy, Sossusvlei

At the top of Big Daddy, Sossusvlei

In Swakopmund for just one full day, we managed to fit in two activities.

Our morning was spent kayaking in the lagoon at Walvis Bay among hundreds of seals, who happily swam around us and produced some fabulous aerial displays. In the afternoon we were driven to a nearby set of dunes for stand up sandboarding.

Kayaking with the seals in Walvis Bay

Kayaking with the seals in Walvis Bay

Even the riders who weren’t snowboarders, as my kids are, and who opted for the lie down option had broad smiles, equal to ours, at the end of their afternoon.

Sandboarding in the dunes near Swakopmund

Sandboarding in the dunes near Swakopmund

Further north, we went out onto the dunes on quad bikes from Shipwreck Lodge. Leo and I enjoyed this so much we did the same again in the afternoon. The quads are for those over 16 only, but they offer sandboarding to families with younger children.

Exploring the dunes on quadbikes Namibia family safari

Exploring the dunes on quadbikes

Our rhino tracking in the Huab conservancy was ultimately unsuccessful, but the energy saved that day was burnt off by some in the gym at Epako Safari Lodge the day after (while others considered the spa a more suitable alternative!)

Looking for the elusive rhino Namibia family safari

Looking for the elusive rhino

Namibia can be explored by light aircraft, self drive 4×4 or a guided mobile safari, which is what we did. While you travel between the various camps and lodges by vehicle, as you would on a self drive, you have a guide with you throughout. With someone letting us know timings each day and planning where to stop for rest stops, fuel and meals, my wife and I were able to switch off as much as the kids. They’re teenagers, and not particularly effusive about anything, but on the last night of our family holiday my son admitted ‘that was pretty good; we did loads’ which from him is high praise indeed!

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What next?

We would be delighted to help you plan a holiday, or answer any questions if you’re at an earlier stage. Our team of experts have travelled widely throughout Africa. They can offer expert advice on every type of safari from family and beach holidays to riding and primate safaris.  If you would like to talk to someone who has been there and done it, please just send us an email or give us a call.

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