A lot of people think that when they have children, backpacking and camping safaris are over. Absolutely not true. Camping safaris with children are great! You just have to do it a lot differently now that you’re going on family holidays in Africa.
Photo by Hector Landaeta
1. Adjust Goals of backpacking adventures
The first thing you need to consider is to adjust your goals, because obviously if you have little people with you you’re going to be going a lot slower, you’re not going to be able to go on such intensive terrain and you’re not going to be able to get as far. Evaluate where you want to go and set your family up for success by not planning such a huge trip. Realise that if you are going on a nature walk, you may only hike about half a mile in about an hour or so. It might take you that long to get there since you have kids that you may end up carrying, or they may just be walking very slowly. Also, when you’re not hiking you may need to pack one extra small backpack for each child to help curb travelling bordem between destinations.
The amount of gear you pack for camping safaris with children is also a huge factor to be considered. Even on a hike, you’ll have to take a lot more stuff with you. You may end up carrying all the gear on your back… and your child too.
To fit in everything you’ll need for the hike, you’ll need to pull out that backpack you can fit a kitchen sink into. Fun.
3. Elements on a Camping Safari in Africa
Camping safaris in Africa mean elements varying from extremely hot to very cold. Your children are so important to you and for that reason you’ll want to protect them against the elements that cause sunburn and hypothermia. Make sure your backpack is packed with all the things you’ll need to prevent this from happening.
4. A Child’s Perspective
When you’re on a backpacking adventure with with children, remember that children are a lot closer to the ground. To see the world from a child’s perspective, get down on your haunches or knees and have a look around at what kids experience. From this level it is so much easier to spot the little things, like pretty flowers and interesting mounts of earth. Bringing oneself to a child’s level really is a great way for parents to understand their children more, and understanding all the distractions they are may face along the way. Family holidays in Africa are a great time for important bonding.
5. Camping Safari Fun
Kids love to have fun and nature provides such a playground for things to see and learn about. While on your camping safari, take some time to do fun things as a family that will keep the little ones entertained. Try skipping stones, swimming, chatting around a campfire and roasting marshmallows on the fire everyone helped gather wood for. Check out these great tips for travelling with kids that’ll keep your kids entertain just about anywhere.
Your days of camping safaris are not over! They’re now camping safaris with children. Nobody does family holidays in Africa better than you and your loved ones. Grab your kids, gear and energy and embark on a camping safari you’d still love to experience and share with your family.
Photo from Laura Souyoultzis Gallery