"Teaching children about the natural world should be seen as one of the most
important events in their lives" – Thomas Berry
'We’ve discussed and debated a children’s safari program at length at Londolozi. Some people like things set in stone and have demanded from time to time the ‘Program’. Generally at this point we give them a list of activities that children can participate in and while some grudgingly accept this list, others actually still demand ‘the program’. Technically speaking we don’t have a Londolozi Children’s Safari Program. We have a Londolozi Children’s Philosophy and there is a whale of a difference between the two!
"A Children's Safari Program is often set out with the intention of keeping little ones busy while the parents relax. It has a fairly rigid timetable and is usually unchanged from season to season, year to year. A Children’s Philosophy embraces the fact that each child is unique and he or she has a different departure point to fun. Our philosophy therefore promises that while the parents relax we’ll find that departure point for your children and maximize their enjoyment in this exciting environment. This philosophy comes as you can see from Londolozi’s 90 year history." | Tom Imrie, father of two and former Londolozi Ranger.
What's on Offer
First the safari game drive is crucially important. We’ve never made the mistake of aiming a safari at the adults while the children in the vehicle loll their heads in boredom. If a family comes on a luxury safari to Londolozi we believe that it is essential to aim the game drive experience at the children. That means that the eight hours a day spent in the vehicle looking for animals becomes a wonderful learning experience for little ones and a place where the family can interact together.
Family Land Rovers* can stop often for kids to jump out and utilize their senses. Touching, feeling, smelling, throwing - it all comes into the mix and we recognize that a four hour game drive can be a long time for a child to sit still. We believe it is essential to get the little ones off the vehicle as often as possible, even if it’s just to identify tracks.
Between drives and after hearty meals, the activities for kids are as varied as their individual personalities.
*Please be sure to book a private Land Rover
Other Activities Include:
- Tree climbing for the adventurous
- Track moulding using Plaster of Paris
- Baking - muffins, pancakes, flapjacks, all those tasty things!
- Pizza making
- Soccer and rugby with the other children, rangers and trackers
- Dung spitting contests
- Movie nights
- Seasonal sand castles in the riverbed
- Sling-shot competitions
- Arts and crafts - drawing, painting, face masks, fridge magnets
- Pool activities
- Photographic walks through camp
Then there's the Den
Added to this we have a ‘Cubs Den’ where little ones, if they’ve opted out of a midday swim, can run around in a safe environment. Here there’s a creative station to explore and tons of arts and crafts to get involved with.
After the evening drive there are pizzas to design to a child’s artistic whim, and marshmallows or s’mores to be toasted on an open fire. If the stars are out then the kids can play with the telescope or even get a simplified, mind-expanding star lecture to enjoy whilst Mom and Dad finish their glass of red.
Obviously all of these activities need to be conducted in a safe and fun manner and so we have recruited a large and enthusiastic team of guides. The local industry expression for this is ‘being over the top’ referring to our guides sticking strictly to a code of conduct. We also have a full time facilitator to oversee all activities and conduct the in-camp activities. Recognizing that different guides also excel at different elements of a successful children’s safari, embedded within the team are children specialists, those guides who love to get in the rough and tumble with kids and see the world through their eyes.
A child who arrives at Londolozi is always assessed by the ranger and facilitator and the plan is drawn up from there. It’s flexible and energetic and done only once the child has been met. That way we ensure that we’ll never bottle a child into a mundane activity that doesn’t appeal to him or her.
Do we have a cast in stone Children’s Safari Program? No - better than that, we have a Londolozi Children’s Philosophy that will search your child’s departure point to tremendous fun and an unforgettable life experience. At Londolozi we provide for the best multigenerational family travel experience.
*Varty and Founders Camps both accommodate children between the ages of 6 and 16 years old. Children of 6 years and over are welcome on game drives.