Sky’s the Limit for Families
SkySafari offers a variety of activities for families & children to enjoy
Families who choose a SkySafari have a wealth of activities to choose from to keep kids young and old entertained throughout their adventure. During game drives, families can play safari bingo, checking off each animal as they are spotted. Along with exciting wildlife viewing, many camps can arrange a visit to a local Masai village, nature walks, and junior ranger activity training where older children can learn to be rangers in the bush. At Elewana camps in Loisaba and Lewa in Kenya families can see anti-poaching sniffer dog units in action, as well as enjoy horse riding and camel riding and those staying at Loisaba can get involved in mountain biking. The Manor at Ngorongoro in Tanzania can organise farm visits to see animals as well as tours of the property’s coffee plantation. Many camps also put on campfire and marshmallow roasting for kids which is always a big hit.
Why Fly Sky
Save valuable family time by booking SkySafari
These days, spending quality family time is more precious than ever so when booking a bucket list safari holiday, it’s essential to make the most of every minute spent with those you love. With fast-track VIP transfers through airports and direct flights to the camps and lodges it is estimated that a SkySafari can save travellers between 16 and 21 hours on travel time. Now that’s a lot of hours that can be spent on fun, less stressful activities with the kids.
When to Fly Sky
What is the best age for children to fly SkySafari
It is many parents’ ambition to take their children on safari but the common dilemma is when is the right age to ensure that they will get the most out of this formative experience. Clearly this is always going to depend on the individual child but to help, we ask a few members of our team about what they would recommend:
“At SkySafari we try not to be too restrictive with age limits as we believe that parents are best placed to know when is right for their children. However, we do ask parents of very young children to book a private game viewing vehicle so they can dictate their own pace/timings for game drives and to avoid disruption for other guests. Generally, most travel agents that I speak to tend to recommend seven as the starting age.” Liz Harper, SkySafari Trade Representation UK
“We would say 10 years old, young enough to be amazed by the many animal encounters yet old enough for the memories to last a lifetime.” Graeme and Candy Smith, Tortilis Camp
“Obviously there are some age restrictions for certain activities which Elewana Collection observes in their camps but in general, I think from seven onwards is a good rule of thumb. Children that age can begin to appreciate the beauties of nature and be positively impacted by the experiences on safari.” Michel Allard, General Manager, SkySafari
“At Tarangire Tree Tops, from five years seems to work well. This age group is comfortable being left in the camp while parents are out on limited age activities like walking safari. They are happy to be kept busy with our Maasai warriors playing around the camp.” Clay Johnson, General Manager, Tarangire Treetops
“We believe three years and up, or around the age when they can remember the experience/adventure but be able to listen well to instructions (for safety reasons). Our eldest spent his first three years in the bush and he remembers all the animals etc. That could be because of the prolonged experience, but that’s why we think three plus is a good age to start remembering. Most kids love seeing animals in nature.” Leche & Altus du Toit, General managers of the Manor at Ngorongoro
Purchase children’s gifts at Shanga to help local Tanzanians
Families booking the Tanzania SkySafari itineraries will have time to visit Shanga, an incredible social enterprise located on the grounds of Arusha Coffee Lodge to purchase some special souvenirs for the children, and there are plenty of wonderful items for adults too!
One of most popular items with both the young and old are the adorable elephant cushions made from recycled shirts. Children’s charm bracelets and necklaces are made with recycled fishing wire and Maasai beads. There is also a selection of tunic dresses, skirts, and sarongs for youngsters, made with kitenge materials in vibrant African inspired colours.
Profits from sales of the products are reinvested into developing opportunities to employ more people with disabilities. The local shop is able to arrange online orders and international direct shipping of Shanga’s handmade products as well. To find out more about how to place an order, visit www.shanga.org or email at email@example.com.
Fly In Chats
Elewana guide Dalmaz Malcom shares his tips on family safaris
We had a chance to chat with Elewana guide Dalmaz Malcom, who is based in Loisaba, about his tips and suggestions for family and multigenerational safaris.
What do you like most about your work as a guide leading families and children on safari?
While it is a common misconception that a family safari should be kept on ice until the kids are older… we say, don’t wait! Reawaken your inner child as your junior ranger experiences new sights, sounds, sizes, and smells from the back of an open-air safari vehicle. Safaris are such amazing and magical experiences for children to have. They have so much energy, and they absolutely love being bundled up into the car in their pyjamas so that they can catch an early morning game drive. There is such excitement and anticipation involved in peering out the vehicle and spotting all the animals that are up bright and early to enjoy the fresh, cool morning air.
How do you make game drives exciting and fun for children?
Most parents are anxious about their kids getting bored, making a noise, or not sitting still in the game vehicle; but you will return with both a smile and tears in your eyes when you see your little one’s reaction to their first wild elephant or some big cats passing you by.
Obviously with young kids on board you don’t need long drives. An hour or less is sometimes enough. They get to enjoy the views of the African Savannah and during sundowners, they get to hop out and play around with bows and arrows. I also like to show them how to make fire using traditional ways whilst parents enjoy their ‘happy hour’ drinks as the sun is setting.
What are some of your favourite activities to do with families and their children, other than game drives?
- Nature walks: Many of our camps offer families and children a chance to go out on a nature walk. The walks are normally around the camp and I focus on the eco systems of the area. Children can learn which plants can be eaten, the medicinal attributes of plants and watch the incredible insects that live in the reserve/Conservancy. Most kids love to see a dung beetle! Dung beetles roll dung into round balls, which are then used as a food source or breeding chambers.
- Local village visits: Most Camps have a local village near it and there is often the opportunity to visit. The experiences available varies but will include: a trip to the local school, making traditional bow and arrows, learning the local crafts – beading, crafting, and painting. Sometimes just playing local games at the school is so much fun.
- Junior Ranger Training: This is a great experience for older kids who love the outdoors. I normally take them out and teach them skills to be a ranger in the bush. This will include how to track animals using their footprints, how to survive in the reserve without modern equipment and learn about the animal’s behaviours.
- Fishing: Fishing has been a favourite pastime of children and adults for centuries, and the same remains true today. One of many fun activities for kids on safari, it is a fantastic way for families to bond while teaching today’s youngsters that there is more to life than just smartphones and video games. Catching fish gets kids out into the fresh open air. It enables them to experience the marvels of nature and wildlife as they learn to focus, persevere, and exercise patience. Many of our camps often have a river or dam and can provide basic fishing gear. I normally accompany guests to safe fishing spots. The only question left is who’ll come back with the biggest fish!
What do you recommend families bring on their safari?
Wearing clothes in layers is the most practical way to cope with fluctuating day/night temperatures and cool evenings whilst on safari. As the day warms up you can peel off another layer. Then as it begins to cool toward evening, you can put them back on. Here’s my “must-pack” list:
- T-shirt or blouse with long sleeves and collars help to protect from the sun and mosquitoes
- Fleece or warm jacket
- A pair of safari trousers – those that zip off at the knees are very handy, too
- Comfortable walking shoes (or boots) and socks
- Bandanna or cotton scarf and a sarong.
- Open sports sandals for general daytime use in warmer months
- Swimsuit – a number of our camps have swimming pools
- An elegantly casual outfit for dinner
- A light, compact raincoat – though we provide ponchos to all our guests
- Don’t forget the binoculars and other personal belongings!
How do you ensure multigenerational families – grandparents, parents and kids enjoy their time on safari?
Obviously, anyone who has never been to Africa is always very excited and expecting a unique experience while on safari and so when guiding a multigenerational group, I talk about quite a wide range of topics right from what’s going on around the world, history and probably what the future might bring! I always bring in a bit of wildlife conservation and preservation of indigenous African cultures into the conversation. Many a times I might take them to a local village or a school just so they can understand more about the realities in the community.