Safari with Child

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Aug 12th, 2005, 11:43 PM
  #1
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Safari with Child

My partner and I have a 7 year old daughter who loves and is fascinated by all animal life, from ants to elephants. We would like to take her on a safari to see as much african wildlife as possible. We are all fairly hardy so we don't need luxury, but security and health would be prime concerns. Has anyone got any experience or reccommendations to share with us, from detailed ideas through to places to see and companies to use ? (As a bonus for me a few days Scuba diving nearby would be something we would like to add on). We are all vegetarians. Many thanks in anticipation of helpful replies. Andy
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Aug 13th, 2005, 01:26 AM
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Hi Andy
Might be weird for me to be answering as I don't have children but in my opinion you might find a self-drive safari a great option with a 7 year old.
Firstly, many (though certainly not all) game lodges/ camps do not accept children under 12.
Secondly, self-drive gives you so much freedom about which sightings to concentrate on, how long to be driving, when to go back to the camp, it makes it easier to take food along and stop at anytime.
We have done both self-drive (in South Africa) and the luxury camps option and although it's great to have a guide pointing out things you might miss and teaching you things it's also incredible to do it on your own, with books and help identify things on your own. For example, I could imagine her spotting an antelope and looking up in a field guide and matching the shape and colour etc to the book and identifying it. What a thrill!
We self-drove (and self-catered) in Addo Elephant National Park, Hluhluwe-Imfolozi, Ithala and Kruger. Kruger was our least favourite though still enjoyable. All were easy, safe and great fun and the self-catering accommodations were great. One could also skip cooking and eat in the camp restaurants at most places!
I don't know about diving but I believe that the KwaZuluCoast of South Africa might be good, if not, nearny Mozambique?
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Aug 13th, 2005, 01:56 PM
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Andy, check out Hluhluwe park (South Africa), I am told that there is wonderful scuba diving at Sodwana Bay. I am staying at Rocktail Bay Lodge for a week at the end of our safari (Botswana and Zimbabwe), specifically for the SCUBA. There is Phonda in the same general area, and Kruger isn't all that far away. Suzi
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Aug 13th, 2005, 03:08 PM
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bwanamitch
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Lisa Reed in Botswana offers special family safaris in the Kwando camps. I'm afraid that this is a more luxury option but the wildlife in the Okavango Delta is really unique.

http://www.kwando.co.za/familysaf.asp

Mitch
 
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Aug 14th, 2005, 09:09 PM
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Andy,
I returned recently from a trip to South Africa with my 5 year old daughter. The highlight was three days on safari in the Kruger Park. It was quite literally the happiest three days of both of our lives. Heavily recommended and your daughter will have the time of her life. The drives we were on were at least three hours and she loved them.
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Aug 15th, 2005, 07:03 AM
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Hello,

If you have a young child, you probably want to stay in a malaria-free zone. Phinda Game Reserve is probably your best bet -- it's malaria free and offers scuba diving as well as game activities. You can even split up if you want to dive whilst your partner and daughter see the animals.

Cheers,
Julian
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Aug 29th, 2005, 12:34 AM
  #7
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Thanks to all for the suggestions which are very much appreciated.

I think I have enough to go on and will start planning.
Will probably come back with more definite quiestions

Andy
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Aug 29th, 2005, 01:36 AM
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Andy,
You can also do a search on any of the parks mentioned for more feedback as well as on the malaria free options.
Looking forward to hearing more about how the trip is shaping up...
Kavey
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Dec 2nd, 2005, 06:12 AM
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Andy, you should look at Kasaka River Lodge in Zambia www.kasakariverlodge.com as they are running a bush kids programme next year. It is one of the cheapest camps in the Lower Zambezi and is run by a fantastic management couple. An educational programme is on offer for any child which includes bush craft, storytelling, fishing trips and conservation lessons etc. This way you can all enjoy a relaxing holiday knowing that your daughter is having fun and learning too!
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Dec 2nd, 2005, 09:04 AM
  #10
 
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This thread is awesome! As a semi-newlywed (almost 3 years) starting to think about having kids, this is great! I've always had a dream of one day, taking our children to Africa (so that they can experience it, but also so that my hubbie and I can continue to go . This thread makes it seem not just possible, but an extremely wonderful experience. Thanks!

And AndyZ, please keep us posted about your trip and how your daughter enjoys the trip.

Jenn
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