Kruger National Park with 5 year old

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Mar 21st, 2017, 04:07 AM
  #1
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Kruger National Park with 5 year old

We (family of 3 including 5 year old daughter) are planning to Visit South Africa in Mid-April 2017. On doing research about Kruger National Park we have 2 concerns and would appreciate any clarification you can provide.

- Risk of malaria at Kruger especially for a 5 year old. I know risk is mainly from dusk to dawn and there are precautions we can take but how bad is it?
- SAN parks safari tours do not allow kids younger than 7. None of the private safari tours will take kids on sunset drive as it’s only operated by SAN parks. Private tours do take kids on other morning drives and other tours. Or other choice would be to do a self-drive but we would prefer to go in a tour

One of the reasons we were planning this trip is for my daughter to be able to see animals in Kruger. Looks like there are some limitations considering her age and safety. Should we re-consider and may be plan couple of years later when there is no restriction on the tours we can take. If we go now we will have to stick to private tours and from my what I have seen they charge 5 times more than what SAN parks safari tours cost.
Any advice you can provide would be helpful.
Appreciate your help.
Nick04 is offline  
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Mar 21st, 2017, 01:24 PM
  #2
 
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Well, you already know the only way you can take your 5yo on a "tour" is to use a private company and that will cost more than SAN operated tours. So, you have to decide for yourself if the extra cost is worth it. Personally I wouldn't do a self driving tour since seeking out the animals without a "professional guide" will be hit or miss so you only have one viable option with a 5yo and is to pay the price. Of course, if you postpone your trip for 2 years you'll be able to use the SAN tour and save money. It's your choice.

As far as malaria is concerned you can ask your family doctor to prescribe "anti-malaria" pills that you start taking a few days prior to your trip and continue taking until you return. Your doctor will explain the pros and cons of taking the medicine and whether or not it is appropriate for your 5yo. You should also wear long sleeves shirts. Long pants and a hat and use a good insect repellent on all your exposed skin.
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Mar 22nd, 2017, 09:26 AM
  #3
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Thank-you. Appreciate your input.
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Mar 25th, 2017, 01:19 PM
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We found were there in November and found we saw more self-driving than on the tours. Not sure though that we would have done it with our son when he was five.
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Mar 26th, 2017, 01:26 PM
  #5
 
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Hi there!

We started bringing our boys on safari at age 5. It depends upon the child as to how curious they are, how much they love the outdoors and animals. It also depends upon how well a ranger can engage them. Sometimes just the presence of other children in the jeep can distract them from the game viewing.

I really think you'd be better off in the private game reserves that abut Kruger. There are lodges at all price points and some of them are quite family friendly. Rangers there are quite skilled at adapting the drive to an age appropriate level. I would at least look around before you go with SAN tour. Dollars spent wisely will change your bush experience.

Something else to think about is Madikwe Private Reserve also in SA. It's malaria free and because of that, it has a lot of family friendly lodges as options. Highly recommend. Another one to consider is Kwandwe but if you have a chance, check out Madikwe first.

Best
Dianne
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Mar 28th, 2017, 01:01 AM
  #6
 
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I have stayed at Kwandwe with my two kids (aged 6 and 4). My 6-year-old in particular loved the safari experience and couldn't get enough of the game drives. They cater very well for families, each family gets a private vehicle as part of the price/ package rate so there are is no age restriction for game drives.
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