As a child we always loved going to the zoo and seeing all the big wild animals of Africa, seeing a giraffe or a playful chimpanzee was full of excitement. Our dreams of when we were big would be to one day go and see these amazing creatures. The wallowing hippo and the fierce-looking lion would seem so different in Africa, the TV programs that mum and dad used to watch made it all so magical. My brother and I would fight saying “I am going to see a lion first” and I knew that he was wrong as it is always a monkey that I thought we would see first. And so the dream, the stories, visits to the zoo and the banter continued.
Now the days have since passed, we are grown up and have children of our own. The dream of planning an African safari adventure to the vast continent has finally arrived.
All the questions of our childhood days had raced in our heads, where do we go? What do we do? What shall we see? Do we go to East Africa or do we go to South Africa? Gosh, can we go yesterday!
Researching for an African safari tours specialist we found our perfect designer who could quench our thirst for all the questions we had. Relieving us of all our fears and doubts replacing them with value and trust. Travelling with children is no easy feat so we wanted to make sure our family was well taken care of.
The timing of our adventure and young children and being the first trip we chose Southern Africa. Comfortably we decided that 14 days would give us ample opportunity to explore multiple destinations in our itinerary. Sifting through all the options on what would match our safari and luxury camps became hard choices as they were all wonderful.
Here is a little insight into some of what we experience, the unforgettable hospitality, culture and wildlife that had our children mesmerized.
The luxury camp of Mala Mala in Sabi Sands in South Africa gave us a great introduction into some of the most spectacular wildlife sightings. Frequently on game drives we came across prides of lion, elephant, buffalo, hyena and many leopard. Setting out with our binoculars and cameras, posing for all of photos the leopard, elephants were majestic and often herds of impala’s would fascinate the kids. The sheer look of amazement on their faces filled our hearts with love, in awe of the children’s programme they learned to track various animals and take part in making a sumptuous bush breakfast.
The night sky covered us with a blanket of stars and calls of distance hyena disturbing an otherwise peaceful sleep.
Saying farewell to Mala Mala we made our way to our next destination in the Okavango Delta, Botswana – Seba Camp. After our short flight from Maun to camp we were greeted by friendly faces and welcoming heart-moving smiles. Situated in the heart of the Okavango the camp was pure bush luxury, the contrast from South Africa was incredible. Every day brought different experiences for our kids whether it be afternoon tea by a waterhole with the family or learning to bake with the pastry chef. Wildlife was abundant, giraffe strolling leisurely along, herds of buffalo and elephant playfully immersing themselves in waterholes or floodplains.
Our typical day on safari varied with each camp, apart from daily game drives you could experience walking safaris, night drives and for the more adventurous horseback safaris. The early morning sunrise and light breakfast filled our stomach’s making way for another exceptional day ahead. The food was simply amazing.
On safari we found it one of the remote, peaceful places on earth and far removed from the everyday world we live in. Our guide was one of the most important people we met on our safari journey so where wildlife and safety was concerned he definitely was the expert.
Family safaris are a great way for everyone to experience only a touch of what Africa has on offer.
This post was brought to you by Justine Glen, founder of Reis Voyage