So we may be biased, but Africa is hands-down one of the best destinations to travel with kids. Ask any parent, and they will tell you that animals and kids are a great combination. Kids love learning about and interacting with wildlife.
And while safari in Africa IS all about the wildlife, sticking kids in a safari vehicle for hours on end, asking them to sit still and stay quiet, is a recipe for disaster. When planning a safari in Africa with kids, it’s all about balance and incorporating a range of activities.
At Rothschild Safaris, we’ve been widely recognized as a leader in family safaris to Africa. We put our knowledge to the test on a recent epic safari in Kenya with our own kids!
Today we wanted to share with you, direct from Aisha (age 10) and Jossilyn (age 9), their favorite things to do in Kenya (besides look at animals!)
Beading with local ladies
Several times during out two-week safari in Kenya, the girls had an opportunity to sit down and bead with local Maasai and Samburu women. The iconic beadwork of these tribes is used as everything from adornment, to warding off evil spirits, to functional and practical uses.
Several times during our trip, at various camps and lodges, local ladies invited the girls to join them in beading. In the most traditional settings, the kids were invited to sit on the ground, under the shade of a tree, with the ladies. They pulled strings, strand by strand, from a vegetable sack and began twisting and pulling the strand until it became long and fine. We were told this string is sturdier than any other string that can be purchased, thus the ladies actually prefer this to more “manufactured” string! Then, the slow and deliberate process of color selection begins. Finally, using hand gestures, smiles and frowns, the actual beading instruction begins. A beautiful lesson that transcends language.
The final result is a work of art which will always remind the children of their time in Kenya.
Walking in the bush
Setting off on foot into the wild African bush is a thrilling experience. While the girls were full of conversation and laughter at the beginning, as the walk progresses, voices become more muted as we all become more in tune with our surroundings.
We look at tracks, scat, plants and trees as we slowly make our way through the bush. Eventually, we come face to face with giraffe, zebra and even a huge herd of Cape Buffalo. Walking with an experienced and knowledgeable guide is critical of course, and they explain everything to you as we go along. How to stay safe, how to “read” the animals and begin to understand their behavior and potential threat.
Some of the best trackers and guides are local Maasai and Samburu. These guides have lived in the bush their entire lives. Speaking with them and learning from them is an amazing experience for kids and adults alike.
And, for an added dose of fun, once the kids get tired they can simply hop up onto a camel to rest their legs and get a higher view of the surrounding bush.