At Madikwe Safari Lodge, nothing delights us more than having children over to stay! In our quest to make their stay as memorable as possible, we’ve put together our top 10 tips when bringing the kids on safari.
1. Pack all your outdoor essentials – a hat, sunscreen, windproof jacket, bathing suit, comfortable walking shoes and binoculars.
2. Keep them engaged by giving them their own camera, and allow them to take photos of whatever they want. In this digital age, they can take endless images, and you can erase the bloopers when you get home. Digital cameras are becoming more affordable and are a great way to actively include your child in the safari experience (while also encouraging a healthy lifelong passion for photography).
3. Select a lodge that has a dedicated children’s programme. At Lelapa Lodge we offer kids’ activities around the pool, and lots of interactive fun at our Eco-House. We’ve made it easier to keep the children entertained in between game drives. For adults with the eternal child within, parents are welcome to join in! Click here for our comprehensive children’s programme at Madikwe.
4. Bring a notebook. Encourage your children to draw what they see. The more creative, the better! It’s a great way to productively use time without the disturbance of electronic devices.
5. Give them resources such as bird and wildlife book and checklists. We have a safari checklist that can be printed before arrival (don’t worry, there will be one waiting in the room too) and let them check boxes as they see an animal or a bird. Tick, tick, tick!
6. Let them sleep. The early mornings get the better of our younger guests, and sometimes the game drives are a little quiet as the animals take their time to wake. The gentle rocking and low hum of the vehicle combine to make a very effective lullaby!
7. Our lodges cater for all appetites and dietary requirements. Let us know in advance or chat to us on arrival and we will plan delicious meals specifically for your children. We do let the little chefs get involved occasionally! We’re happy to cater for plain macaroni, cheesy pizzas or veggie bites – just let us know their particular flavour preference.
8. Select a lodge with family-friendly accommodation. Our family suites at Lelapa Lodge are perfect as they have a connecting kids’ room. From decor to amenities, we’ve planned very carefully for our younger visitors.
9. Involve your children in the planning. Show them the lodges you are considering, explain the flights and travel arrangements, and talk to them about what to expect.
10. Touch and interact! Under the eye of your guide, encourage your children to use their senses. Let them feel different rocks, scrutinise animal dung, smell the flowers and taste new flavours.