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Are you ready for a family friendly safari?

A family safari holiday might have been something you’ve been thinking about for a while, but perhaps debating whether it’s the right time or even the right holiday for you and your kids.  Let’s start by saying, emphatically, that a family safari is a great holiday.  But like all the best holidays, it requires a bit of time at the planning stage, get that right and you’ll be in for an absolute treat.


Richard Smith is a co-owner of family safari specialist  Aardvark Safaris and has been planning tailor-made holidays for over 20 years.  He shares his thoughts on why this family adventure is a must:


It’s a real holiday for all members of the family

Pick the right selection of camps and lodges and there truly is something for everyone on safari.  Active families can walk and canoe, while the adventurous can ride horses, or even camels, to explore the bush.  It’s easy to plan shorter game drives, or bug walks round camp, for younger children so they won’t tire of long hours in a vehicle.  Choose a camp with a pool and you’ve a perfect place to while away the hotter part of the day.


Share new experiences together

It’s great to try something new together as a family.  If you’ve not been inside a safari tent before you’re all likely to get a great surprise.  Proper beds, baths, outdoor showers – even a plunge pool in some places – will delight old and young alike.  And that’s just a forerunner to the actual safari proper.

There are other things too, getting involved in conservation projects, visiting local villages and schools, which will broaden everyone’s horizons.  Be brave, your children will be much more adventurous than you think!


Enjoy Africa’s iconic species up close

The BBC’s fantastic Planet Earth is superb, but doesn’t come close to the thrill of being alongside a pride of lions, or a huge bull elephant, in real life. Being in a game drive vehicle means you can get close in absolute safety, even when the sides are completely open. Walk and canoe and you’ve a totally different way to explore the bush – perfect for teenagers.


Get an understanding of Africa’s people and places

The wildlife is obviously the main attraction, but don’t forget that Africa is full of diverse landscapes and cultures too.  Safari with your family in Botswana and you can explore the watery wilderness of the Okavango Delta as well as experience the desert-like, and stunning, Makgadikgadi pans.  It’s a real contrast offering a huge range of experiences and activities.

The scenery in Kenya and Tanzania is just as awe-inspiring as the wildlife and you’ve got the cultural aspect of the Masai and Samburu tribes too. Many of whom now guide in safari camps and will delight in sharing stories of their childhoods and traditions.


No two days are the same  

What parent doesn’t dread the ‘I’m bored’ comment on holiday?  It’s rarely heard on safari since there are so many different things to do.  Combine several camps and lodges on one trip and you’ll get different landscapes, different animals and different activities.  Combine a couple of countries – surprisingly easy to do – and you’ll get to see more of the marvellous scenery, people and wildlife on this fabulous continent. Beach and bush is a classic combo but there are plenty of other options too.


Create lasting memories

Disconnect from ever present WiFi and you’ll find yourselves getting back to basics, playing cards, board games and spending quality time together.  ‘Indelibly etched into my memory,’ says  Richard, ‘is the afternoon spent fishing with Samburu guide Lucas and my then six year old son Leo.  In Kenya’s remote Laikipia wilderness, on a beautiful river, beer in hand (mine, not his) watching his delighted face as got his first bite. It beats the Xbox any day.’


If this has piqued your interest then give the team at Aardvark Safaris a call on 01980 849160.  They are offering School Notices members a range of fabulous safari offers with up to 50% off or click here to find out more.

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