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Planning

Family Travel

“There are no Seven Wonders of the World in the eyes of the child, there are Seven Million”, Walt Streightiff

No doubt about it! We are experts in family travel to our exciting destinations. With the right planning (and a sense of humour as even the best made plans can go awry with children involved) you can travel further than Europe and share a fantastic experience with your children.

We have ‘been there’ with babies and ‘tried that’ with todders but can also offer excellent advice for those travelling with teenagers. Which hotels charge them rightly as children and not adults? We know!

Child care and Kids Clubs

All our hotels in Mauritius, Dubai and the Maldives have Kids Clubs. Selected hotels in the Seychelles including Sainte Anne and Lemuria also have this facility as well as the Shangri La Resort in Oman. The minimum age for complimentary use varies, but younger children are also welcome when accompanied by a paid-for babysitter.

In South Africa, Cape Town has recently seen the addition of 2 new Kids Clubs at the Mount Nelson and One&Only Hotels. Spier in the Winelands has a supervised playroom whilst Hunter’s and The Kurland in the Garden Route have excellent indoor / outdoor play areas where children can be cared for by a member of staff. The Fancourt, home to excellent Golf in this area, also has a fully equipped Kids Club as does Sun City Resort.

Family Safari

One of the areas we are asked the most about is Family Safari. Can I really take my 6 year old twins in to the African Bush? Yes you can, but choosing the right Lodge is vital!

The safari experience is not typically child friendly, with enclosed or dangerous environments, and game drives of about 3 hours at dawn and dusk! However, in the 5 years since we launched, we have seen an increasing number of Lodges become more family-aware, offering specific activities and facilities for children, which we detail in the accommodation section. Please just let us know the ages of your children and we would be happy to recommend the most suitable options.

Issues that you need to think about shoud incorporate:

*Safety: With young children especially, you may need to check the camp is fenced and has minimal deep water (plunge and swimming pools), and/or rocks (snakes etc).

*Activities: What activities are offered for children such as shortened game drives, other educational programmes and/or arts and crafts? Do they need a safe place to play and exercise?

*Childcare: What childcare is available so that parents with babies can go for a game drive together or take a few hours out by the pool whilst the kids are entertained?

Age considerations include the following:

*Infants: If you are travelling with a baby, you will need to ensure that there is good babysitting available, to look after your child whilst you are on safari. However, if you are uncertain about leaving your little one, or are breastfeeding, you can still opt for the self-drive National Park option (we did this with our son at four months and had a tremendous time!). There are also a few Lodges with baby chairs for game drive vehicles, so they can come too.

*Age 18 months – 4: Many Lodges do not allow children of this age on the adult game drives (but do offer a shortened drive after breakfast for this age group), but there are some excellent exceptions including River Bend Lodge and Kuzuko in Eastern Cape and Ant’s Nest in the Waterberg. The alternative is to book your own private Lodge complete with sole-use game drive vehicle e.g. the Nare Suite at Jaci’s or Uplands Homestead in Kwandwe. If your children also need space for energetic play, we suggest considering a fenced camp with gardens or an area free of dangerous animals!

*Age 4+: Each game reserve has its own age limits for children joining the ‘main’ game drives of between 4 and 8 years e.g. min age 4 at Sanbona and Shamwari, 5 at Jaci’s Safari Lodge and Kariega, 6 at Ecca Lodge, Madikwe Safari Lodge, Thakadu and Tuningi. We would also recommend considering the activities available for children during the long day period, between game drives, before making your choice.