I first took my kids to Africa when my son was eleven and my daughter was seven. We visited Cape Town and then had the experience of a lifetime going up to Flatdogs Camp in South Luangwa region of Zambia (still to this day one of my favorite camps in Africa.)
It was a trip that changed their lives, and mine. I watched as their eyes opened in wonder at seeing their first elephant. I saw them appreciate nature in a way that they never had at home. They got wonderfully used to waking up before dawn, going to bed under the stars and understanding when the electricity went out or if their first choice wasn’t available at dinner.
We brought school supplies for a local school and wandered through the towns near the national camp. There wasn’t a piece of technology in sight and it was an incredible trip.
When we returned, it got even better.
Both of my children kept asking about Africa, about the camp and about the guide who had taken us around. They soon started asking about when we were going back and my son wrote down a list of the animals that he still wanted to see – with a cheetah at the top. We were fortunate enough to be able to return to Zambia last summer and on that trip, a cheetah ran right by us on our last drive.
Once upon a time, safari camps didn’t really cater so much to kids and some still exclude them. More and more, however, camps are not only welcoming children but also there are increased activities for them. I can’t imagine a better family vacation. I am still partial to Flatdogs I confess, but there are camps where you, and your family, will have an amazing experience in virtually every locale at this point.
So grab the kids, and paper and pencils, and head to Africa. I promise you that you will never regret it. I am happy to directly answer any questions about traveling there with kids, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org