From Young Families to the Elderly & Infirm

A significant reason for my first establishing Rothschild Safaris was to share my love of this wondrous continent.I truly believe that everyone should experience Africa within their lifetime while its wonderful sense of wilderness, nature and pure escapism remains that we might understand and protect it for generations to come. This conviction inspires me daily, and with every new inquiry, the excitement bubbles up within me once again – a thrill at knowing that someone, somewhere will soon be witnessing Africa for the very first time.Yet I still receive emails, messages and comments from dispirited or concerned guests who feel that an African safari is somehow beyond them or unachievable. Perhaps they believe they are too old, maybe their young family is unintentionally dissuading them, or the dependence on a wheelchair has led them to think that Africa is simply beyond their capabilities.Well, I’m thrilled to assure you that, almost whatever your circumstances, Africa is a destination well within your reach. At Rothschild Safaris, we craft bespoke African safari experiences specifically tailored to your dreams, desires and yes, your abilities.Our gamut of partners, liaisons and connections across the continent allows us to curate every aspect of your African vacation and, having been to the destinations ourselves, we know exactly what you can expect and what is achievable.

Leora Rothschild, exploring Namibia with her family
With the right planning & advice, anywhere is possible. Leora Rothschild & her eldest, Namibia

Safaris for Families

If we experienced life through the eyes of a child, everything would be magical and extraordinary. Let our curiosity, adventure and wonder of life never end.– Akiane Kramarik

Having a young family is an incomparably magical experience, yet it can also diminish your flexibility. Time constraints, extra baggage, the capabilities of little legs and the potential for boredom can hinder our plans and cause us to ‘play it safe’ when selecting our vacation destinations.Growing up in South Africa myself, I can only begin to convey how absolutely captivating it is for young minds. Taking your children to such a culturally-rich, naturally-abundant location in their younger years is an incredibly educational gift, opening their little eyes to entirely new perspectives.Kenya is an ideal country for young families. The convenience, modern venues and facilities, and bustling markets of Nairobi make it your perfect starting point. Nairobi National Park is right on your doorstep, offering a tantalizing first taste of safari life, while Lakes Naivasha and Nakuru are good day trips to get up close and personal with flamingo, hippo, monkeys and many of Africa’s ruminants – zebra, impala, gazelle and giraffe among them.From there, the Maasai Mara beckons. Family-friendly camps provide everything you could wish for, some even offering kids’ clubs and entertainment, allowing you to indulge in your own safari, even with the possibility of some romantic, parents-only time away from your offspring. Comfortable four-wheel-drives can transport your entire entourage across the Mara, with expert spotters and guides able to ensure your children’s mouths will be permanently agape as they gaze upon Simba the Lion King in the flesh!To the south of the continent, Londolozi, within the Greater Kruger National Park, has been considerately developed to specifically accommodate youngsters. A program of swimming, photography tree-climbing, animal tracking and African arts and crafts await in the wonderfully-curated Cub Den, opening up the day for mum and dad to do as they please, safe in the knowledge that their ‘pride’ is being expertly attended to!

Londolozi Family Safari
Londolozi in Kruger National Park is perfect for all the family

While many of Africa’s camps and experiences are more suited to the traveling couple, there are equally as many attentively-organized cub-friendly venues.

Safaris for the Elderly

Age is an issue of mind over matter;If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.– Mark Twain

Too many of us view our increasing years with defeatism, denying ourselves the experiences of a more youthful life simply due to a number. It’s true that vintage vehicles need a little more TLC, but that doesn’t suggest that we should stop driving them.Metaphors aside, the reality of aging is that we often aren’t quite as capable as we once were. Hiking to the summit of Kilimanjaro or trekking the length of the Ngorongoro Crater may well be out of reach, but that isn’t to say you have passed the age threshold for the entire continent and many wonderful safari expeditions.A trekking adventure can be physically challenging, but there are ways to achieve a similar vacation without the gruelling effort – even for those who may be less able or agile.

Safaris for the elderly
Lion Sands offers abundant opportunity for a true safari experience in complete comfort

A private safari, such as at Lion Sands Game Reserve on the borders of Kruger National Park,  allows you the opportunity to dictate precisely how much, or how little, you wish to undertake. At camp, your every wish is tended to by attentive staff, allowing you to simply sit back and indulge the senses, drinking in Africa’s spectacular surroundings and landscapes. Once you set foot on the open plains, the journey is at your discretion. You may only wish to have a 20-minute pre-breakfast stroll from your tent each morning, or perhaps two hours of flat-land hiking is within your capacity.It is also quite possible to witness the journey without so much as donning a pair of hiking boots. Most camps and lodges have comfortable four-wheel-drives proficiently piloted by experienced guides to effortlessly transport you deep into the bushland. While safety is always a consideration with wild animals, opportunities occur when you can walk into the wild, stepping from the vehicle for a short stroll; all the experience without the exertion or blisters! In some locations, you may even have the option of a secluded picnic surrounded by nature, far from anywhere or anyone, and exquisitely catered just for you.Of course, a mountainside gorilla trek in Uganda may not be within your portfolio of options, but even the expansive Maasai Mara – which spans the equivalent area of Yosemite National Park – can open up to you. The tranquility of a balloon flight presents a birds-eye view of this vast region, the silent serenity providing a more tangible connection than, say, a balloon or helicopter flight.

Maasai Mara Ballooning
Ballooning over the Maasai Mara

The beauty of these opportunities is that you can still journey into the heartland, but barely without taking a single step.

Safaris for the Disabled

Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go;They merely determine where you start.– Nido Qubein

Of course, even a single step may well be impossible for some, but where some offer disabled vacations, we prefer to view them as ‘adaptive’ experiences. If you have a disability of any kind, you are not dis-abled from experiencing Africa, we simply need to work with you to adapt that experience.Consideration is required, of course, but the personal knowledge of our Travel Designers allows them to suggest an array of quintessentially African vacations that will be as fulfilling for you as even the most physically-active excursions.Kruger National Park unfolds beneath your wheels, from animal rehabilitation centres to the vast plains and the heights and ‘thundering smoke’ of Victoria Falls.

Safaris for the Disabled
The incredible Victoria Falls can be accessed by wheelchair

Wheelchair-equipped four-wheel-drives can transport you to the far-reaching corners of the expansive park – roughly the size of Lake Ontario.At Rothschild Safaris, we take great effort to build lasting relationships with staff, guides and operators, so when we craft your bespoke vacation package we know that we are placing you in the very best hands, and there are many!Where wheelchairs may not be able to venture, you still can. Helicopters don’t often have wheelchair access, but those many hands make light work, and your staff will be able to respectfully and capably assist you to board your flight.The sights of Africa are jaw-droppingly iconic. This may suggest that an African vacation is redundant for the vision-impaired, but our eyes account for only one-fifth of our senses. Perhaps journeying across the width of the Atlantic simply to sample African cuisine is a little excessive, but the sound and sensation of a lion’s roar reverberating through your body, the smells of the bush as it warms in the dawn sun, and the feel of an elephant’s skin or cheetah’s fur are quite simply incomparable.Africa is an inimitable immersion, a complete, experiential banquet of the senses. Whether it is age, infants or abilities that you believe may stand between you and this wonderful continent, there are many more opportunities available to you than you may initially anticipate.Discuss how we can make your lifelong African dreams come true – contact our team today.*Note. It is only in the most exceptional circumstances that we may arrange or condone touching animals. There are a select few sanctuaries and venues that allow ethical and acceptable animal interaction and we thoroughly investigate these to ensure that the animals’ wellbeing is the utmost priority.

Images via Rothschild Safaris