A TECH-FREE FAMILY SAFARI
Many kids today spend significant amounts of time staring at screens, not all bad, but proportionately higher than healthy levels I imagine.
My family and I just took a 10-day fam-tastic roadtrip to explore the sights, sounds, and adventures of Zimbabwe, which has successfully engaged our 4 and 6 year old boys’ brains in creative, interactive, old fashioned imagination – bush style.
Why kids AND parents love safaris:
– The freedom of an open topped safari vehicle, searching for huge beasts and evasive critters
– Binoculars, bonfires, bug hunts, star gazing and story telling
– The exploration and discovery of a bigger world in a peaceful space
5 Hot Family Safari Tips:
- Combine a 3 or 4 day safari with a complimentary, alternate activity – like touring the ancient ruins of Great Zimbabwe or majestic Victoria Falls.
- Choose a camp that not only allows kids but embraces the spirit of education and play on their level, like Wilderness Camps, who provide a special goody bag to all newcomers, including bush hat and bug finder.
- Get them involved before you travel – with their own travel bag, map, animal log, flashlight and binos – they’ll feel like explorers
- What’s the best age? Ideally start no earlier than 4 so that the whole family can enjoy, however if babies are a part of the equation, as mine have always been: take your car seat along for the game drive – they’re guaranteed to fall asleep and you can be hands free. Limit drives to ½ day at most and book a private vehicle or travel with another family so that everyone is on the same program.
- Dare to leave the iPad behind for a full immersion in family fun. Might take a day or two but happy kiddos they will be.
Our trip involved the rock-climbing excitement of Matopos at warm and welcoming Big Cave Camp, lovely Davisons and Elephant’s Eye camps in Hwange National Park, the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge’s new Safari Suites which are ideal for families, Thebe River Lodge in Chobe National Park and the total castle fantasy of now child-friendly Nesbitt Castle in Bulawayo.
Written by Kelley Austen