Traveling as a family has limited options when you’re trying to accommodate all members, especially the kids. The obvious choice is an amusement park filled with costumed characters or zoos cramped with caged animals (in their oh so natural habitat) that will hopefully keep kid’s attention long enough for parents to plan the next family oriented activity. When your child wishes they could pet the elephant they see behind bars, then an East African safari trip might just be what the doctor ordered. Beyond the activities geared for children, what better reward than to return with a more positive appreciation of life for any tourist both young and old?
Your local zoo may wet the appetite of your youngsters, but given the choice of camel rides, rhino sanctuaries and chimp rehabilitation centers, kids as well as adults are sure to choose the latter. This is achievable as Daryl Popper explains in her article East African Safaris; A Unique Family Experience, detailing what Tanzania, Kenya and Botswana all have to offer.
Lynne Leakey has been escorting safaris with the Kenya Professional Safari Guide Asssociation (KPSGA) for thirty years and pledges everyone will enjoy.
“Sometimes we have trouble keeping the adults out of doing the kids’ programs because they are having so much fun,” said Leakey.
Children will have plenty to share in class when asked the infamous, “Did you do anything interesting over summer break?” Stories of walking with elephants and warrior lectures to design beading and hair braiding classes will keep teachers and co-workers alike wanting to hear more about the exotic experience.
Trips vary from $3,000-$10,000 per person and have four different packages depending on the level of luxury expected. Regardless, Leakey promises you’ll leave with more than just an experience.
“People come back with a little more appreciation of our country. Especially when young people get to see the contrast that safaris aren’t just a lot of fun; they’re a lot of personal development for all ages. People fortunate enough to live in a country with such abundance as the U.S. often return with a greater sense of appreciation for what they take for granted and this makes for better future citizens,” says Leakey.
The significant exchange is mutual between traveler and citizen in East Africa.
“Tourism brings in the revenue and the jobs. By having a strong tourist industry it strengthens the government’s ability and commitment to maintain the game parks and in turn supports this beautiful area.”
By, Melissa Vitti