Capetown and Safari with 3 yr old

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Jun 4th, 2004, 09:20 AM
  #1
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Capetown and Safari with 3 yr old

My son (3 yrs old) and I have an opportunity to accompany my husband on a business trip to SA in July - at the company's expense.

I've been looking at a variety of safari/game lodges that we could incorporate into our stay. Many say they can accomodate children, but when I get to the fine print it sounds like children under 5 are not permitted on the game drives. I don't want to torture him (or myself) with a 14+ hr plane ride just to leave him with a babysitter at the camp.

Anyone have experience with pre-schoolers on safari?
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Jun 4th, 2004, 01:07 PM
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In MY opinion, a safari camp/game lodge is not a good place to be with a toddler. I'd suggest you let Grandma take care of him and home and join your husband for a romantic trip together. The typical day is to wake up at 5:30, have a light breakfast at 6 and leave for a 3 and a half or four-hour game drive in an open vehicle (no seat belts, btw) with two to four (possibly six) other people, with only one "stop" to pee behind a bush and have a light snack. Then you return to camp for a big brunch with all the other guests, until about noon. "Naptime" for everyone lasts until about 3 or 3:30 when tea is served (another meal) and you depart for another game drive stopping at sundown for drinks, and a break, then completing the drive-- often in the dark. Dinner isn't served until 8:30PM at earliest. With the exception of the naptime, I don't see that this would be a good match for a 3-year old! (And as I recall, when my kids were 3 they went through a "no nap" phase....so the combo could be REALLY tough on your nerves!)
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Jun 4th, 2004, 02:28 PM
  #3
sandi
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Southern Africa schedules for safari camps/lodges is not suited for little ones. And while any camp that does accept young children, but not on games drives, do provide babysitting service - you don't want this. Absolutely understandable.

If not on this trip, which as uhoh_busted mentioned would be nice if you alone joined your husband, consider that East Africa is more conducive for children. Even young ones. As often you can set your own schedule with a private guide/driver.

Keeping that in mind, your 3-yr old might be ready for a safari next year. That said, however, it is rare that children remember further back than age 5 by the time they've reached late teens or young adulthood. Sure they'll recognize themselves in photos, but won't really remember the actual event. From age 7+up is best for children on safari.
 
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Jun 8th, 2004, 08:45 AM
  #4
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Thanks for the feedback. Perhaps I'll just send he and Grandma to Disneyworld for the Safari at Animal Kingdom this year. He was excited to see the penguins at Boulders, but a trip to the zoo might quell that need as well.

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