Katy Holland: Watching wildlife on a family safari – that's just half the story
Are We There Yet? Family-friendly safaris these days are all about getting children to engage with their environment
Sunday 26 September 2010
If you thought family safaris were all about hanging out in 4X4s ogling animals, think again.
Things have moved on so much for kids that the bit where they go out wildlife spotting is merely the icing on the cake. Family safari specialists, increasingly aware that children don't like sitting still and being quiet, are offering more extra-curricular adventures than ever before.
As Tim Best, associate director of Original Travel, says: "Perching in a vehicle all day hoping to spot a lion can be tiring for kids. Family-friendly safaris these days are all about getting them to engage with their environment – from playing sport with local children to learning how to be a game tracker. The emphasis is on fun, education and getting involved. Kids love it."
Original Travel's new family safari, Luangwa Lion Cubs, at Kapani Lodge in Zambia (020-7978 7333; originaltravel .co.uk), ticks all these boxes. Children can learn how to be game rangers for a day, meet local tribespeople, attend bushcraft classes, make traditional clay pots and even take lessons in playing African drums.
Other good family safari specialists include the Adventure Company (0845 4505316; adventurecompany.co.uk), which is also offering an increasing array of new experiences. Managing director Claire Wilson says: "We want to ensure our younger travellers get a feel for the place they're visiting – not just its wildlife. Wherever possible, we find interactive ways to explore, from safaris by traditional dug-out canoe in Botswana to the chance to spend time with the Himba tribes of Namibia."
The Adventure Company's newest family safari, the Botswana Wildside trip, which takes in Victoria Falls, combines exploring the Okavango Delta by mokoro and camping out with San Bushmen, who teach the kids how to survive in the wilderness.
Oh, and I nearly forgot – you also get to see some of the most spectacular wildlife in the world.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Sainsbury's '50p challenge' poster telling staff to encourage customers to spend more placed in shop window instead of staff room
- 2 Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
- 3 HeForShe campaign: Iceland to follow up Emma Watson speech with UN women's rights conference – for men only
- 4 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 5 Teenagers irritable because early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
- < Previous
- Next >
30,000 to 35,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: We are currently recruiting on...
28,000 to 32,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: Our client, a hospitality busi...
18,000 to 20,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: Our fantastic leisure client i...
£20 - 24k: Guru Careers: A Marketing Analyst / Marketing Executive is needed t...