DOs and DON'Ts of a family safari

17 July 2014

FAMILY SAFARI TIPS: Ilse and I have just returned from family safaris with our children and have suggested the DOs and DON'Ts of taking small kids on a big game safari. Thank you to THANDA PRIVATE GAME RESERVE and KWANDWE PRIVATE GAME RESERVE for the opportunity to enjoy a safari with our Junior Guides in Training.

DO:
1. We suggest taking kids from the age of 5 and older (smaller is possible but can be a bit tedious for all).
2. Make sure the lodges are child friendly - both Thanda and Kwandwe cater extremely well for children of all ages, especially at meal times where we had custom made menus.
3. Let the kids explore and enjoy the smaller side of the safari - our little ones were more interested in dung throwing than rhino watching.
4. Make up a game that engages their interest - my children had 5 birds and 5 trees (very easy ones) they had to spot to get a point for each correct identification.  They loved the game - even though they did fight about who saw the knob thorn first!
5. Take the private villa option - Kwandwe offers Melton Manor and Uplands Homestead, Thanda has Villa iZulu; these are PERFECT as they offer exceptional value, a tailor-made experience and private 4x4 for games drives that fit your family routine.

DON'T:
1. Feel it is a waste of money if the kids prefer to stay at the lodge and bake rather than go out on a game drive - just being close to the bush is a good start for the smaller ones.
2. Chase the big sightings - kids are never going to sit still and keep quiet so let them have fun and realise you may not be able to sit at the lion kill for more than 6 minutes!
3. Wait until they are older - it is wonderful to experience wildlife through a child's eyes! Between looking for the Gruffalo (buffalos are boring) and understanding why the daddy impala had so many wives and babies, we had many laughs.
4. Go on drives with guests who do not have kids - if a private villa is not an option we recommend a private vehicle. Thanda Safari Lodge and Kwandwe Ecca have strict policies in place to ensure children do not impact on other guests' safari experiences. 
5. Stress - rather relax and enjoy this very special family experience!!

Thanda book nowKwandwe book now

Happy family safaris!
Warmest regards

Suzanne
PS - the above tips are based on experiences with my girls (Alexandra 5 and Beatrice 4) and Ilse's brood (Seth 12, Amelie 9, Nina 6, Jodie 3).


Kwandwe Ecca Lodge

Set in thick vegetation overlooking a dense valley, Ecca Lodge offers breathtaking views onto an escarpment of steep shale cliffs. Expansive wooden viewing decks provide the ideal setting to soak up the bushveld atmosphere with a leisurely lunch or a sundowner drink. Rooms are airy and open, with barely a barrier between the indoors and the African bush. Highlights of the guest areas include the open interactive kitchen, a gorgeous rim-flow lap pool and the nearby interpretive library. Each of the six stylish suites features a spacious en-suite bathroom, indoor and outdoor showers, separate loo and twin hand basins. Furnishings combine contemporary sofas with venerable old collectables from the region. Wraparound wooden decks lead f..

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