Family wildlife vacations advice

Life without WiFi

Faye Wilkinson, from our supplier Intrepid, on how kids cope with WiFi on safari:
“Some camps will have WiFi, and that can be quite nice as everyone has a chance to crash for half an hour with their phones, but if you’re wild camping you won’t. Most teenagers just get into the experience. It’s so different from what you would normally do, with amazing landscapes and wildlife; it’s quite special and most children respond well to that. They should also get on with the other young people on the trip, and want to chill out together, so the lack of WiFi is not a huge problem.”

Packing advice on safari

Liddy Pleasants is the founder of Stubborn Mule Travel and has taken her own children on safari:
“If you are taking malaria tablets, take something to help children wash them down. Some clients swear by sticking them in a spoonful of Nutella. Bring walking boots or really good trainers. It sounds obvious, but people turn up in just flip flops, which aren’t adequate. Take old clothes as they get trashed; people arrive in bright white t-shirts and by the end of the day they’re covered in dust. Tsetse flies are annoying and they’re attracted to black and blue – so dress in neutral colours. You can often charge devices but there may not be WiFi everywhere, so bring alternative amusements, like a pack of cards, Scrabble or a good book for down time in the camp in between game drives.”

Combining safari & beach

Simon Mills, from our supplier Native Escapes, has this advice:
"I think it works well. It means that children can enjoy time at the beach and on other activities after a safari, which can be tiring and a bit restrictive (you can’t venture too far on your own). We have a lot of families who combine a safari with another area of Africa – for instance in KwaZulu Natal, with great biking, horse riding and hiking. There are some good beaches there too."

Ages

Liddy Pleasants is the founder of Stubborn Mule Travel and has taken her own children on safari:
“We don’t have a minimum age for our family safaris because we don’t want to exclude a family group that includes just one very young child. Children aged eight and up can usually enjoy game drives, but then again, I went on safari with my children, and my nine year old loved it but my four and 11 year olds were bored after two hours so it’s not straightforward. Know your own kids. If they’ve been lapping up Attenborough documentaries since they were four you’re probably OK.”

Amanda Stafford from our supplier The Dolphin and Whale Connection, on whale watching in the Azores: “There’s no minimum age for whale watching, just check your child will be OK for three hours out at sea and the large catamaran may provide moving around opportunities to see the whales and dolphins.”

Whale watching

Amanda Stafford from our supplier The Dolphin and Whale Connection, on seasickness:
“Some people are prone to seasickness and some not, this is the same for children. We can advise on the best boats to avoid sickness and there is great medication and other remedies out there. We offer a lot of tips! Kids can go on RIBs, too. The ribs tend to glide so they are less likely to feel seasickness, which can occur on boats that roll. Our boat company is great at reading the sea conditions so can advise if it will be a choppy sea. If you are there for a full week they can exchange days to get the best sea conditions.”

Borneo

Kate Tyler, from our supplier Odyssey World, shares her tips on traveling to Borneo with kids:
“A few years ago people couldn’t stand the thought of taking children on a plane for 14 hours, but attitudes have definitely changed and we do get a lot of families now. As a family, I'd rather go to Sabah. If you’ve got teenagers then Sarawak is great, they can carry their own stuff – but if you’re carrying a small child and suitcases then it’s tough. And you’re traveling by boat and plane and getting on and off the transport – I think you have to be incredibly brave! But as a family you can definitely learn some incredible things, especially at Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre. The staff are so genuine and passionate about what they do.”

Costa Rica

Daniel Pawlyn, from Intrepid Travel, on the mix of wildlife and activities for kids:
“The best activity for teens I would say was the zip wiring, which was incredible. We went on one course at Monteverde that had about 30 zip wires and the final one is a kilometre across the tree levels. The white water rafting, too. The river temperature was warm so you could go for a swim. And then of course the green turtle watching. The wildlife side of things here is amazing for teenagers and, in fact, there are quite a lot of late teens over there volunteering on projects.”

Our top Family wildlife Vacation

Family safari in Namibia

Family safari in Namibia

Climb the highest sand dunes in the world

From US $2435 to US $2635 13 days ex flights
Small group travel:
2018: 15 Dec
2019: 4 Apr, 6 Apr, 13 Jul, 20 Jul, 27 Jul, 3 Aug, 10 Aug, 17 Aug
Helpdesk
Hello. If you'd like to chat about Family wildlife or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

Tips from our travelers

At Responsible Travel, we think the best people to advise our travelers are often... other travelers. They always return from our tours with packing tips, weather reports, ideas about what to do - and opinions about what not to.

We have selected some of the most useful family wildlife travel tips that our guests have provided over the years to help you make the very most of your vacation – and the space inside your suitcase.
It is an absolutely fascinating place but if you don’t like insects it’s not the place for you.
– Andrea Gauntlett
“Take a rain coat...... It does rain heavily sometimes and you are in open top boats. Take some binoculars. Make sure you wear trainers and cover up in the bat caves. It is an absolutely fascinating place but if you don’t like insects it’s not the place for you. Try and make time to fit in an extra visit to the orangutan sanctuary by yourselves (not with the tour guide). You can hang around longer and we saw the orangutans actually playing in the wild rather than just at the feeding station.” – Andrea Gauntlett on a family Borneo vacation

“Malaysian Borneo, centered around Kuching, is a brilliant way for families with younger children to get a taste of all that the country has to offer. Nothing is more than an 40 minute drive from the delightful city - jungle, orangutans, monkeys, frogs and stunning beach.“ – Danielle Fieller, Sarawak family vacation

“Protect yourself from the sun (which we did) and take precautions to avoid seasickness (which we did the second boat trip).” – Rob Richards, Flexible Galapagos Islands tailor made tour
Written by Joanna Simmons
Photo credits: [Page banner: Nadezhda1906] [Life without WiFi: Tim Williamson] [Ages: Tim Williamson] [Borneo: Indo_girl2010] [Andrea Gauntlett Quote: Roel van Deursen - Spijkenisse / Nissewaard - Nederland]
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