There is a real upturn in family and multigenerational travel. Instead of hopping in the car and driving south to the usual family summerhouse, we now “hop” on a plane and fly to new horizons. Where to?
This is often the question, especially when travelling with children. The question really, should be, what do we want to experience? Today, accessibility is not an issue any longer. We want our children to experience something meaningful that will mark them forever, whilst at the same time, giving us, parents, the opportunity to enjoy, relax and re-connect with the simple things in life.
Safaris are now among the most family-friendly experiences there are if carefully planned. Most of the lodges offer specially designed family tents or family bush villas, with separate but interconnecting bedrooms for the perfect balance between privacy and reassurance.
The key to a great safari experience as a family is to have your own jeep and ranger. This way, you will feel free to explore the bush at your own pace, connecting with your ranger who will share his or her knowledge and passion for the wildlife with you and your kids.
The fun part is that a safari never comes alone. You can combine it with many other experiences, making two or three trips out of one.
Nevertheless, there are a few important points to consider before going on a safari:
- What are the safety measures of the local safari operator?
- How does the operator contribute to a sustainable wildlife experience?
- What precautions need to be taken with regards to malaria?
It is very important to plan ahead and to evaluate each of these points.
Malaria is often number one issue for families who are reluctant to administer malaria prophylaxis to their children (or even to themselves). The good news is that there are many malaria-free areas where you can enjoy a safari with young children or pregnant if there is no other medical restriction. It is always important to seek medical advice when planning a safari.
South Africa has many malaria-free game reserves, offering spectacular wildlife experiences in some of the most beautiful and luxurious lodges. If you are lucky you will spot the “big five” (lions, leopards, elephants, rhinoceros, buffalos). Besides safaris, South Africa offers a multitude of activities, making it a very enticing destination for families with children as of 7 years. From July to November you will even get to spot whales if you are in the right place at the right moment. You can easily spend a couple of days in Cape Town, a city that we could all call home. If you are the road-trip type of family, you will enjoy cruising on the epic garden route… There is a little of everything, to satisfy everyone in the family.
A rising destination is Sri Lanka, also known for its malaria-free parks, such as Yala National Park, the biggest of the island. Yala offers great safari experiences, especially for younger children between 5 and 10 years. Here you’ll see lots of elephants and leopards. The park borders the southern coastline, offering a magical landscape of the bush and the ocean. You can safely take a walk on the beach to stretch your legs. Sri Lanka is a very easy destination to travel as a family. You’ll have your own local chauffeur taking you into the thick jungle of this enchanted island, making amazing discoveries along the way, from wandering elephants to Buddhist temples, from tea estates to local school children playing cricket. The beaches are also stunning, the icing on the cake.
Let’s not forget India where you can still spot tigers without worrying about malaria. The best place to spot these majestic cats is in the national park of Ranthambore in Rajasthan. After that, board the local train and reach the pink city of Jaipur, where you can visit the beautiful fort of Amber and the old town’s local bazar full of colors and spices. You can continue towards the desert of Thar or go back towards Delhi by stopping at the majestic Taj Mahal. You may also want to join the Himalayan chain in the north, or Kerala in the south. Anything is possible in India, within a safe environment, making it an ideal destination for families with teenagers.
Submitted by Tina Barde from Rhum Raisin.
Rhum Raisin was founded by Tina Barde in 2016 for travellers who desire quality service and authentic experiences. Since childhood, Tina was always fascinated by the world of hospitality and travel. Now running her own Travel Agency, she hand selects the most reliable, flexible and experienced local partners, and together they deliver excellence, sharing the same passion for attentive service and a genuine customer-oriented approach. Originally from Ticino, Tina grew up between Bern, Morat and Geneva. Her multicultural upbringing yielded a passion and flair for languages; she speaks French, English, German, Italian and Spanish.