Family Safari - Information
Safari holidays and Travel with Children to Tanzania.
Are you thinking of travelling to Africa with your family but are worried whether your children will enjoy it and whether they will be safe. We have taken our daughter on safari from the very earliest age and have friends who have raised their children in safari lodges so the easy answer is yes children do adapt extremely well to the wild but with some provisos.
Children tend to love the wildlife and an African safari is usually a wonderful experience for children of all ages. It can get a bit long and hot for children so take along some animal spotting safari games, learn the Swahili names for the animals, which will help the children build a relationship with your driver and should provide fun. You can download “safari games” free from the web and this will keep them busy. To this end we have a childrens activity pack which you can view or download and print free of charge and includes a safari animal checklist with swahili animal names, plus some other fun stuff. To view CLICK HERE
The food in safari lodges tends to be quite staid so no problems here either. In general there should be no problems keeping children amused in this new and exciting world where they will come face to face with a different culture and also perhaps poverty for the first time, but I think the reality of Africa can play an important part in the education of our sometimes mollycoddled children.
As far as safety is concerned I think there is no real danger as long as the parents act sensibly. Certainly the first thing is to sit down with your children before departure and explain that Africa is a different world from the one they are used to, where there is danger around. There is no need to exaggerate but camp rules must be obeyed as if they are not, the consequences can be very serious. For young children I would suggest you select your camp carefully and check out with your travel advisor which are most suitable for children. We can guide you on this. Young children should not be vaccinated and are exempt in most countries for yellow fever but I really don’t feel this should be of concern. This is a rare disease which you should not meet in a safari lodge. Of more concern is malaria which is a problem throughout the tropics. The local population catch it regularly and it is usually considered no worse than a bout of flu. However depending on the strain, it can be dangerous and the key here is good prevention. Young children cannot take malaria tablets. Make sure that you apply mosquito repellent liberally, cover up arms and legs before sundown and ensure that the children sleep under mosquito nets. If you take these precautions you reduce the risk of malaria to almost zero.
Note that the above information is advice given on the basis of the author’s experience at the time of writing and the author cannot take responsibility for any traveler choosing to take the advise above. Travelers should speak to their GP and take advice from the relevant authorities before travelling.