When you decide to take your first family safari, you are setting your family up for an intense, adventurous, bonding experience that your children will never forget.
The key, like many things, is to set the right expectations from the start.
There are several steps to planning a safari, and it’s important that when you are speaking with one of our safari specialists, you are relaying the information to your spouse and children.
It may sound obvious, but be sure to review all of your safari plans with your family before you go and make sure that they are aware of all the logistics, including how you will get from place to place. There are often several options, and while you might work with your safari specialist to find the best fit for your schedule, the availability, and your budget, it can be frustrating to your partner if they weren’t part of the decision making and they think something else might have been better.
It’s also important to discuss your accommodations. While you may be thrilled to stay in a beautiful spacious tented camp close to the wildlife, your spouse may have been expecting a lodge. This is doubly true if you select a camp with, for example, bucket showers. Conversely, you may have planned a more formal trip while your spouse wanted to feel more like they were in the bush.
While discussing your safari with your partner may seem like a no-brainer, it is also really helpful to talk to your children about what to expect. While children might not be so choosy about the accommodations, they do need to be informed about the day to day safari activities.
If your children haven’t been on a long flight before, you might prepare them for that. You will certainly want to discuss expectations about what they might see, and build up excitement about seeing new animals (instead of only focusing on the big animals like lions). Talk to your children about patience.
Many game drives leave early in the morning, so tell your kids they can expect early days (and be sure to let them get plenty of sleep later in the day).
If you start communicating what to expect early, it is guaranteed that you and your family will have an amazingly magical journey, especially when you work with a safari company that specializes in family safaris (That’s us! You can read about our family safari awards in Travel + Leisure magazine).