Children on safari?

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Feb 16th, 2005, 06:57 AM
  #1
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Children on safari?

Well, my plans for a romantic safari trip for two to celebrate my big/round number birthday are now morphing into plans for a family safari in Tanzania, including my 3 step-children, who love animals.

I have read a number of posts, but I would be interested to hear experiences about taking children on a tented safari (the permanent tented lodges, not the small dome tents). The kids would be 10, 11 & 15. In addition to tented camps, do you think private mobile camping would be too adventurous?

Thanks for any and all feeback.
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Feb 16th, 2005, 07:30 AM
  #2
sandi
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Your step-children are certainly of the age to go on and enjoy a safari in Tanzania.

Whether private mobile camping would be too adventurous, only you can decide. It's best that when speaking with or contacting your tour operator you determine what the mobile camping comprises, whether it's semi-lux or lux mobile (there is a difference in style, type of beds/cots, and costs) and where either of these might be included in an otherwise permanent tent/lodge itinerary.

If you combine mobile campng with permanent tents, and if driving (rather than flying) between some destinations - be sure you bring sufficient "somethings" to keep the children occupied. It's not to say that all chidren are the same, or that there will be nothing to see or places to stop along the way... but some children require some sort of enterainment. This can be in the form of books (yes, some do read), a Walkman, CD-player, iPod, even a portable DVD-player - and don't forget batteries for any/all.

Your tour operator should be able to assist you with options, but based on the age of the children they are "good to go!"
 
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Feb 16th, 2005, 08:12 AM
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Bear in mind that some camps restrict game drives to children older than 12 unless you purchase the entire vehicle.
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Feb 16th, 2005, 12:34 PM
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sandi
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thit_cho - Good reminder, though I've found that if there is a party of 5, even if some are children, it's not likely there would be room for other camp guests, nor would others necessarily wish to be in a vehicle with children. No offense should be taken. If on a semi-lux or lux-mobile safari, the vehicle is for the exclusive use of the entire party.

I've found that East Africa is more liberal regarding children versus Southern Africa, where in many instances children aren't even accepted younger than 12, if at all. Of course, children under 16 or 17 cannot go out on game drives without a parent/s. In this case, it's possible there wouldn't be a fee.

But "crusinred" if there is an additional charge for your own vehicle at some camps/lodges, expect to pay an additional $195+up day for this.
 
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Feb 16th, 2005, 12:50 PM
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Thanks for the reminders and suggestions. We are looking at a private safari, with our own vehicle the entire time. I checked the ages, and at many tented camps the minimum age seems to be 11.

I am torn about the Ipod/DVD suggestion...while on the one hand it is an easy way to keep bored, fidgety kids occupied, but I would also love our time on safari to be "tech free". Lots of travel games and cards to bring instead.
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Feb 16th, 2005, 12:51 PM
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Oh, just a note about the costs... I have been pleasently surprised so far with the quotes I am getting...seems that the park fees and accomodation offer decent discounts for kids.
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Feb 16th, 2005, 01:24 PM
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This past summer we took our 12 and 14 year old boys on safari in Botswana. The only travel-tech devices they have are IPods (they don't have GameBoy's or like items ). They did not bring the IPods and did not miss them.

There is so much to see and you are kept so busy only the most jaded youth would be bored.
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Feb 16th, 2005, 01:31 PM
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sandi
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cruisinred - I agree wholeheartedly re the iPod/DVD or other electronic items, however, most people today cannot be anywhere and "not be connected" with some sort of "life support system." However, as mentioned, you know your children best, so they are your guideline. These were only suggestions based on experiences of others.

Do let us know what your itinerary looks like as you put it together. It's interesting to see what combination of parks/reserves, lodges, and camps and time of year people decide upon.
 
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