We love receiving photographs from clients, and this one made our day. It’s the image of a 91-year-old matriarch sitting in the ‘tracker’s seat’ at the helm of a game viewing vehicle that gave us all the feels this week, proving once again that you are never to young – or too old – to fall in love with Africa.
1. It’s fun for the youngsters
Obviously spotting the Big 5 is always exciting, but kids will also be amazed to learn that dung beetles roll dung 250 times their own weight, or that a giraffe has a blue tongue, or that the plural of mongoose is ‘mongooses’ (but that it’s OK to say ‘mongeese’). Point is: there’s never a dull moment.
Whether you’re actually on safari, or racing down the dunes at Swakopmund, on a pelican cruise in Walvis Bay or fishing for bream on Lake Kariba, memories are made in Africa.
2. It’s transformative for teens
There’s something special about watching your teen experiencing diverse cultures, gaining new insights, and exploring the world around them. What better way to inspire our future leaders, conservationists, environmentalists and eco-warriors than with a trip to Africa?
3. There’s something for everyone
Obviously gorilla trekking requires a certain level of fitness. And long fishing excursions might not appeal to everyone. But in general, whether you want to balance game drives with a few hours at the pool; head out on a walking safari or head to the spa; go birding or relax on a sunset cruise, most lodges offer something for everyone – at any age.
4. It’s the perfect opportunity to bond
In our always on, tech-driven, screen-addled lives, Africa is about slowing things down. There’ll be laughter, conversation and long-forgotten stories shared around the fire. Early morning coffees, picnics in the bushveld and dinner under the stars make for special moments, and with connectivity in short supply it is the best way to get your kids out, active, engaged and enjoying the fresh air!
5. It makes you feel young again
What is it about simply being outside that makes you feel young again? According to author Jonathan Danz, the visceral experience of existing in nature, directly connected with the world, opens the pipeline to feelings we had when we were younger and the world was our playground.
In addition, getting dirty, swimming, fresh air and even simply eating outside brings with it a certain carefree attitude. Add in a touch of adventure (like hopping into the ‘tracker’s seat’) and the years just fall away!
It might be time to follow the Dalai Lama’s advice: Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before. Embrace new adventures, new experiences and new beginnings!
If you are planning a multi-gen safari, there are a few things to keep in mind:
1. Malaria areas: Are your children old enough to take antimalarials? If it is a concern, chat to your GILTEDGE Travel Expert about the right season to travel, malaria-free reserves and other options.
2. Do you want to book out an entire lodge for your family? Find exclusive-use homes? Or simply need relaxed, family-style accommodation with inter-leading rooms? Again your GILTEDGE expert will be able to suggest a range of options.
3. Age restrictions. Some reserves and lodges have age restrictions in place, for example, only allowing children over the age of six on game drives.