Sanctuary Retreats’ top tips for Family safaris
Looking for something completely different to do with the kids for your next holiday? Well, for families seeking extraordinary adventures off the beaten track, or for those who enjoy the great outdoors and connecting with nature, international luxury travel specialist, Sanctuary Retreats has just the answer.
When it comes to keeping enquiring young minds stimulated, an African safari through unspoiled landscapes teeming with extraordinary wildlife is guaranteed to broaden your family’s horizons, and ensure that everyone shares a truly memorable experience.
But it’s also important to keep in mind the needs of your littlest travelling companions when booking your trip says Michael McCall, Sanctuary Retreats’ Director of Sales Australia, New Zealand & Asia.
Here are Michael’s top tips for parents planning the ultimate African ‘school excursion’ with the family.
Choosing the Right Camp
“It seems really obvious, but every camp offers up different experiences and accommodation styles. So it’s really worth giving some thought to the level of adventure that your family is expecting before you make a booking. Will the kids enjoy a tented camp or find it a little too rustic? And if your kids are younger, it might also be worth considering whether the camp is fenced – although older children may enjoy hearing larger animals close by during the night, chances are smaller kids might find it a little scary. At our Sanctuary Olonana Camp in Kenya Masai National Park, we offer luxurious tents in a fenced setting to keep everyone in the family happy.
“It’s also worth keeping in mind that some National Parks and Reserves are stricter when it comes to driving off-road, which can make viewing animals up close more challenging.”
“We generally recommend that families take in 2 – 3 camps and lodges, with a stay of 3 days or longer per camp. That gives everyone plenty of time to get acclimatized and experience the full program of activities on offer at each property, plus a little rest and relaxation in between.”
Meeting the locals
“Squeezing in some culture or a philanthropic component is also good idea so that your kids have a chance to immerse themselves in local traditions and experiences. For example, at Sanctuary Olonana a visit to the local Maasai village include a variety of activities from mock spear throwing and fire making through to hut building and cattle herding.”
Preparing for Game Drives
“There’s no standard minimum age for children to go on safari, and camps can differ significantly on how they accommodate younger guests. Some have a strict minimum age for safari, while others leave it up to parental discretion. At Sanctuary Retreats’ camps and lodges, children between the ages of 5 to 11 years can participate on regular game drives at the discretion of the Lodge Manager. Children under five also require the permission of the Lodge Manager, and parents of anyone aged 5 years and younger will also need to book a private safari vehicle to ensure the comfort of both children and other guests.
“While we all know how kids can quickly get bored of long car trips, generally speaking, drives in safari vehicles seem to be an exception. Being car sick is not typically a problem, but it’s not a bad idea to prepare for long car trips just as you would at home, and all our camps and lodges are happy to pack snacks for each game drive.”
What to Bring?
“Regardless of your children’s ages, going on safari is guaranteed to create memories that will last a lifetime. So to keep kids engaged, we definitely recommend bringing along binoculars and a digital camera to capture every moment.”
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About Sanctuary Retreats
Sanctuary Retreats’ collection of luxury safari lodges and river cruise ships bring the boutique experience to guests with the added promise of authenticity. Each property is completely individual in its design and operated around the philosophy of ‘Luxury, naturally’. All have the same aim: to allow guests to have a “real” experience and enjoy a more natural kind of luxury in properties that have a strong commitment to conservation and responsible tourism. The Sanctuary portfolio includes safari camps and lodges in Botswana, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, as well as river cruise ships on the Nile, the Yangtze and in Myanmar.
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