Family Vacation Tips

How To Choose a Family Safari

[fa icon="calendar"] Apr 25, 2017 8:00:00 AM / by Sally Black

Sally Black

How to plan an African SafariAfrica is the only place in the world where you can connect eye to eye with some of the most magnificent animals on earth in the wild. 

It is a vacation experience full of wonder and awe.

Taking the a family safari will be a defining life moment for everyone - something the kids will remember for a lifetime. That said planning such an adventure can make even intrepid travelers feel like they have never left home.

Of course this kind of vacation experience is a really big deal, not to mention investment.  You want to make sure you get it right.  You need the type of experience that checks off all the boxes on your wish list but it also needs to keep the kids safe and engaged.

When planning a family safari you must surrender to the reality that you will not be able to take in all of Africa's charms in one single trip. It would be like saying you could see everything in the United States in1 or 2 weeks. It simply cannot be done. You will need to prioritize your experience.  How much of Africa you'll be able to experience will be determined by your wish list, time and budget.

African offers so many diverse destinations, choices and options for safaris that it can quickly become overwhelming. How do you decide what is best option for your family?

Let's start with the basics. Vacation planning 101 comes into play like any other vacation, however, When it comes to Africa, the best way to gain clarity and focus is to ask yourself "why" .

Why does your family want to go on an African Safari?  

Many first timers want to see the "Big Five"-  Lions, leopards, elephants, buffalos and rhinos. These are the magnificent, iconic creatures that every animal enthusiast hopes to see in the wilds of Africa. 

If you have a particular favorite, it may help by prioritizing by that animal.  Perhaps the plan is to trek and interaci with the Gorillas in Uganda.  

Maybe part of this journey is to experience the history and culture of Africa. Perhaps it's also a way to discover your family's heritage.

The "why" of your Safari will lead you to "Where" you should go in Africa!

Tanzania - Wildlife and Nature are the main draws here but there's so much more. Discover over 150 distinct ethnic groups, climb Kilimanjaro, snorkel off a Zanzibar beach, experience the creatures that share the Ngorongoro Crater or take a balloon ride over the Serengeti. Home to lions, elephants, buffaloes, waterbucks, giraffes, warthogs, zebras and baboons.

Namibia - Where Africa and Germany collide.  It's a land of sprawling national parks and vast deserts. It's the only place on earth where you can surf the sand dune near Swakopmund and enjoy bratwurst and beer for dinner. Home to rhino, lion, leopard, cheetah, giraffe, zebra and a stunning array of birds.

South Africa - Here you can experience cosmopolitan Africa right alongside back country adventures. Here is where you'll find Krueger National Park. This is a renown spot for sighting the "Big five". Malaria pills are not required for South Africa making it a popular destination for families.

Kenya - is a nature lover's paradise. Head out across the Serengeti in search of the "Big Five". Get up close and personal with hippos and crocodiles from the safety of your boat.  Visit Cresent Island one of Africa's most Idyllic spots.  it's home to zebras, wildebeasts, giraffes and hundreds of species of birds.

Tanzania -Think wildlife, nature and Kilimanjaro. It is also home to 150 distinct ethnic groups. Elephants, giraffes, hippos, zebras, buffalo and wildebeasts call this place home.  You can also experience a snorkeling safari amoungst the coral reefs just off shore Zanzibar beaches.

Uganda - holds the deep mysteries of the lush jungle. Here you can visit the Bwindi Inpenetrable National Park. Your family can connect with distant relatives - get face to face with the nearly extinct Mountain Gorillas or visit the rainforest chimpanzees.

Zimbabwe - here you'll find buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion and the elusive rhino along with antelopes, zebras and giraffes. Get your "Indiana Jones" on exploring historical ruins dating back over a thousand years. Adrenaline junkies can also get their fix white water rafting down the Zambezi River or bungee jumping off the bridge that crosses the famed Victoria Falls.

Bostwana - is where the rivers meet the Kalahari desert. Here you will see creatures great and small from meerkats to elephants as well as big cats  warthogs, wildebeest, zebras and hyenas. Baboons and vervet monkeys. The Okavango Delta is home to nearly 600 different species of birds including ostrich and flamingo.

Once you've determined the goal of this experience and have narrowed down where you would like to visit on Safari, reach out and speak to an experienced Travel Agent. They can help you find the best Safari options to check off all the boxes on your family's vacation planning list. Even better, they can custom craft a unique safari experience for your family or small group working with their trusted local contacts in Africa. Think of your travel agent as your guide that will lead your family to the perfect African Safari Experience.

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Topics: Family Vacation, family adventure vacation

Sally Black

Written by Sally Black

Sally is the Founder of Travel Agency and author of the book "Fearless Family Vacations". She is also the Director of Travel Agent Initiatives and Training at The Family Travel Association.

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