safari for the mobility impaired

Mar 19th, 2017, 08:49 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 3,184
safari for the mobility impaired

i'm hoping to take my almost 85 year old mother on a safari this year.
2016 ended badly with my father's passing and i want to do something special and different for my mom for her 85th birthday. it is also something she has wanted to do ever since i went on my first safari in 2001.
she is capable of doing basic stuff for herself and can also walk short distances. when we travel, i always order a wheelchair for her and this is what i am hoping for in a safari.
i would also like to be sure that the safari operator has handicap accessible jeeps/vehicles as it would be difficult for my mother to climb into them.

i am interested in taking her to kenya or tanzania and was wondering if anyone has recommendations for a travel operator.

i would also love it if my daughter would join us too before she starts school again in the fall.
i visualize this as a multi-generational adventure!
abranz is offline  
Mar 19th, 2017, 11:24 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 794
My heartfelt condolences on the passing of your father.I'm sure you couldn't have thought of giving your mother a better birthday special than a safari in the wilds of Africa.

I'm confident that you'll find a travel operator who could help with your travel plans that addresses the need of mobility. Experienced Fodorites here are absolute authorities,The Kenya & Tanzania specialists would soon chip in.

There are plenty of great game lodges in Kenya and Tanzania which combine comfort, aesthetics & hospitality,so lodging isn't an issue at all.As you mention the game drive is an problem area you'll have to address.

I'm sure you are aware that the issues on 4 hrs+ game drives
(twice a day) are,cold windy mornings,dusty hot and bumpy rides through the day, apart from that fact that alighting and getting into these open vehicle are an effort even for the fittest.

My advice is that you request for a more comfortable enclosed cabin Land Cruiser, Toyota Fortuner or the likes.These have better suspension,seating comfort,climate control and dust free.The only disadvantage in enclosed vehicles are they are not suited for wildflife photography,quite unlike open vehicles that provide better vantage.

goodluck
inquest is offline  
Mar 20th, 2017, 04:24 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,175
I was at Offbeat Mara last month, and there was a family with a young girl in a motorized wheelchair. They got her around camp and out on game drives just fine. I don't know how, as I never saw it happen. They did drive down from Nairobi to the Mara though. I'm not sure if that was because they were a large group or because of her limitations effecting the possibility of a flight.
amyb is offline  
Mar 27th, 2017, 01:55 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 1
As earlier advised by others, also try and minimize road transfers even if on 4x4 safari vehicles. Roads to most of the parks are not the best!
Also, book in a private vehicle for the safaris( game drives) so that you have room for flexibility when it comes to going out for game viewing.
you could narrow down to few parks in Kenya/Tanzania in order to Minimize on movement and spend more time in the parks.
Some operators are happy to modify the car seats to accommodate wheel chairs and this is really a reprieve for guests. For the lodges, ask for rooms closer to the restaurant perhaps? to also minimize on long movement for her.
Check with Africa calling safaris they do alot of special needs safaris.
DMM17 is offline  
Mar 29th, 2017, 03:57 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 213
HI abranz!
Have you thought about South Africa's private game reserves? You would be closer to major hospitals and the lodges, some more than others, have made accommodations sensitive to the elderly. Two lodges in particular have done a nice job for the mobility impaired. Both Malamala and Sabi Sabi have rooms modified for wheelchair guests and Malamala has a jeep with ramp.
Just a thought.
Best
Dianne
diannelovestravel is offline  
Apr 5th, 2017, 01:09 PM
  #6  
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Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 3,184
thanks for all the great suggestions.

as much as i love south africa, i was thinking of kenya or tanzania since game viewing is easier and on a grander scale.
i have contacted some of the suggested tour operators for all 3 countries.
i'm sure i will find something that works well for my mom's needs.
abranz is offline  
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