African family safaris are special for so many reasons; it’s the perfect time to connect with each other, laugh often, share stories, watch your kids get super excited about their experiences, and also marvel at what they share with others about those experiences.
I recently took my kids to my childhood home in Zimbabwe, and it was the first time we had been together as a family on safari and visited Victoria Falls (check out a picture of my family to the left!). Normally, I leave the kids with my mum (who still lives in Zimbabwe) while my husband, Mark, and I head off on our own adventures. But I am so glad that this time we all went on safari, as I learned so much about my children. We had such an incredible time laughing, sharing stories, and interacting with our guides and the staff at our camps and lodges.
Our game drives in Hwange National Park left very early in the morning. It was freezing cold when we visited and, in fact, getting the kids (and myself) out of bed was a struggle. So glad we did, though! Our private vehicles had comfy blankets for each of us and we stopped in the bush for some hot chocolate and pastries.
Just as the sun was coming out we spotted baboons coming out of the trees. There was lots of chattering and laughing from the baboons. The adults were foraging for food and it was playtime for the kids.
The baby baboons would run up and down the tree branches, jump on one another, and almost fall off and luckily catch themselves with their tails. Then, every once in a while they would suddenly stop and scratch themselves or a friend, and then it was all action again.
It was almost as if they were playing a game of catch-me-if –you-can or hide-and-seek.
My kids were getting so excited in the vehicle and, of course, our guide was aware of the kids’ excitement and would entertain them with facts and stories about baboons. We laughed so hard at the games the baboons were playing with each other.
Of course, like all too often, mummy baboon came along and got the brood in order and it was almost as if they were now in school.
Safaris are fun, exciting, and full of wonder. Obviously we all want to see the Big Five, but it’s also an opportunity to appreciate the little things, like baboons playing around in the trees, or watching two dung beetles rolling dung! To me, African safari tours are all about trying to find the fun in life.