Safari – the perfect answer to the multi-generational holiday challenge

January 28th 2020  |   Family Safaris  |  by   Richard Smith
multi-generational holiday south luangwa sundowners

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 family safaris.

We now count 18 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.

Lion cubs spotted on a wildlife drive from Kwando Lebala Camp,

Lion cubs spotted on a wildlife drive from Kwando Lebala Camp, one of several in the Okavango Delta to have an excellent range of safari activities for children

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.

Getting there

Overnight flights work surprisingly well for younger children as they often sleep quite well on planes.

Travel can be part of the fun, particularly light aircraft flights. Angama Mara

Travel can be part of the fun, particularly light aircraft flights. Angama Mara

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.

A few nights at Victoria Falls makes the perfect introduction to a safari. Sindabezi Island

A few nights at Victoria Falls makes the perfect introduction to a safari. Sindabezi Island

Which country

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.

Camel safari at Loisaba Tented Camp

Camel safari at Loisaba Tented Camp

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 and while adults enjoy a daily siesta, children can burn off some energy.

Private safari houses like Luangwa Safari House are perfect for multi-generational holidays

Private safari houses like Luangwa Safari House are perfect for multi-generational holidays

Flexibility

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.

Safari activities

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!

Sandboarding in the dunes at Morukuru Ocean House

It’s not all about wildlife drives. Sand boarding in the dunes at Morukuru Ocean House

Any questions on family safari holidays?

If you’ve got this far and not found an answer to a question you have that we should have included, please ask in the comments section below, or pop us an email. We’ll be sure to reply and may amend the article to include our answer.

What next?

We would be delighted to help you plan a family safari and/or beach holiday, or answer any questions if you’re at an earlier stage. Our team of experts have travelled widely throughout Africa – on many occasions with their own children and sometimes with parents to make three generations. 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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