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Go2Africa shares its 2024 Family Safari Guide as

Google searches are up 176%

Travel +Leisure recognizes Managing Director Maija De Rijk-Uys

as Family Safari Specialist

Cape Town, South Africa (March 26, 2024): As demand for family safaris rises, award-winning travel operator Go2Africa shares its 2024 Family Safari Guide with top tips for parents traveling with kids and the best family-friendly lodges to book for this summer break. Safari travel has surged in popularity in recent years, captivating parents with its unparalleled blend of adventure and wildlife experiences for all ages. While the notion of bringing kids to safaris once seemed wild, this year, 'Kids on Safari' has taken the world’s interest with a remarkable 176% increase in web searches compared to 2023, as reported by Google Trends. The guide contains recommendations from Go2Africa’s Maija De Rijk-Uys, who was recently recognized by Travel + Leisure as their newest A-List Specialist for family safaris in Eastern and Southern Africa, who pulled from her own experiences taking her own two kids to the bush.  

Maija de Rijk-Uys shares, “Traveling with my family in Africa has been the most rewarding and enriching experience for all of us over the years. Utilizing an operator like Go2Africa that can help simplify your logistics takes the stress out of family travel and allows everyone to connect, enjoy their time together and learn from expert guides about nature and wildlife."

Top 5 Tips for Planning Family Safari Vacations

1. Give your family time to recover from long-haul travel

Families can benefit from splitting their trip between cities, camps, and beaches. Cities such as Cape Town offer many fun things to do as a family and the opportunity to recover from jet lag and adjust to new cultures and environments. 
 

2. Opt for private vehicles when the budget affords

Some lodges insist on a private vehicle when traveling with young children, but where they don’t, Go2Africa advises opting for one anyway. When using a private vehicle on game drives, families can dictate exactly how long they stay at each sighting and how long they’re out in the bush—which will really come in handy if your little one gets restless while out.

3. Design an Age Appropriate Itinerary

A safari offers a variety of activities and experiences. Choosing the right ones based on children’s ages ensures fun and safety for the whole family. 
 

Traveling With Children 5-14 Years

When traveling with children younger than 15, choosing a lodge that offers closed or private vehicles, a junior rangers program, and professional guides who enjoy sharing the wilderness with youngsters is best. Children under 15 will love the excitement of nature walks, learning basic tracking skills, picnics in the bush, and even spending time at the beach.

Traveling With Teenagers 15-18 Years

Teens are mature enough to join parents for game drives in classic open safari vehicles and encounter the majestic mountain gorilla on gorilla treks in Uganda. If you have a sensitive teen, Go2Africa recommends discussing the possibility of witnessing dramatic predator-prey interactions you might see in the wild, especially in the Masai Mara and the Serengeti during the Great Wildebeest Migration. Your teen must understand that nature is all about balance, where hunters and prey are a necessary and normal part of the cycle of life. They recommend choosing lodges that offer multiple activities like walking, boating, cycling, horseback riding, and game drives.

Multi-Generational Families

Families come in different sizes and ages, and your vacation should cater to every member of your brood, from your busy four-year-old and active teens to the doting grandparents tagging along. East Africa is an exciting and versatile region that offers something for every type of traveler, including hot-air balloon rides of the Masai Mara for older members and age-appropriate safari-themed programs for children. And, of course, you’ll be able to spend quality time together in some of the best multi-generational safari camps and lodges.

 

4. Work with an Expert, an African Safari Expert

Families embarking on an African safari adventure should consider the invaluable assistance of a travel advisor for several compelling reasons. Firstly, navigating the intricacies of planning a safari, from selecting the right destinations to arranging accommodations and transportation, can be overwhelming, especially for those unfamiliar with the region. A knowledgeable African safari expert can offer personalized recommendations tailored to the family's preferences, while ensuring safety and comfort for all is a top priority. Moreover, they can often leverage their industry connections to secure exclusive deals, upgrades, and insider access, enhancing the overall value of the trip. By entrusting their safari adventure to an expert, families can enjoy peace of mind, convenience, and unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.

 

5. Choose the Right Safari Lodge for Your Family 

The right safari lodge acts as a sanctuary where families can bond, explore, and create cherished memories together amidst the awe-inspiring beauty of the natural world. Beyond merely providing accommodation, the right lodge can serve as a hub for adventure, education, and relaxation amidst the wilderness. A well-chosen lodge will offer activities suitable for various age groups, as well as amenities and services tailored to families, such as childcare facilities and kid-friendly meals, can significantly enhance comfort and convenience during the trip. The location and surroundings of the lodge also play a pivotal role, offering opportunities for wildlife encounters and immersive nature experiences. 

As a mother of two, Maija’s favorite kid-friendly safari combines classic game viewing in malaria-free destinations with family beach villas on tropical beaches. Here are her favorite child-friendly safari lodges for an African safari with kids. 
 

Six Family-Friendly Safari Lodges to Book in 2024

Cheetah Plains, South Africa

At Cheetah Plains in Sabi Sand, South Africa, game drives and interpretive walks with expert guides and trackers, facilitate connection to the wild, for every age, fostering a  love and appreciation for nature. There are a host of activities from scavenger hunts, tracking, baking and crafts that keep young minds thoroughly entertained, while adults can indulge in tastings and pairings, wellness treatments or simply relaxing in the comfort of your villa. Preferential activities and interests are personalized for your safari and dedicated and knowledgeable field guides are ready to pass along their bush wisdom to young, curious minds. A private electric safari vehicle allows you to travel solely with your group on your own schedule. Family-friendly villas are designed with thoughtful features like inter-leading suites and entertainment lounges equipped with state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment. Cheetah Plains is one of the only safari camps to allow children of all ages on game drives.

Jabali Private House, Ruaha National Park, Tanzania

Designed with families in mind, Jabali Ridge seamlessly integrates into its surroundings, providing an exclusive and remote atmosphere. Tailored safaris with morning and afternoon game drives, walking safaris, and kid-friendly photographic safaris are available upon request. Jabali Ridge ensures a family-focused experience from personalized adventures that cater to the unique needs and interests of each traveler to homemade meals—including picnic breakfasts and gourmet dinners. Eight spacious suites seamlessly integrate among colossal granite boulders, as families, children, and parents alike, lounge in hammocks on wooden decks, or take refreshing dips in infinity pools, offering stunning vistas of the expansive plains.

The Elephant Camp, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Traditional safari ambiance meets eco-conscious luxury in one of the most breathtaking locations on earth; Elephant Camp in Victoria Falls. Mindful of the environment, the camp offers impeccable accommodations and service for families, with an immersive safari experience enriched with the colors of the wild, wooden artifacts, and an open-air design. “Meet the Elephant” will give guests the opportunity to unobtrusively interact with some of the biggest personalities in Africa, in a pristine environment overflowing with raw natural beauty. Diverse calls of birdlife make their nests around the camp, creating a tranquil and immersive atmosphere for families to connect with nature in a truly unique setting.