Family time is quality time !
Thanks to its colourful array of animals, birds, trees, flowers and ethnic groups, East Africa offers the ideal venue for a family holiday. At African Horizons, we specialize in child-friendly holidays.
Most safari lodges and tented camps welcome children and will provide cots or additional beds in the accommodation. Many also offer educational slide shows and video presentations as well as guided nature walks - either around the lodge or camp, or in the bush.
With warm water all year round, endless white sandy beaches and plenty of shade beneath the coconut palms, the Indian Ocean coastline is a children's paradise. As for pursuits; there are plenty of water sports, environmental diversions (snake farms, nature trails, butterfly farms) and a wide range of cultural interaction (dancers, Maasai warriors, nature guides, visits to schools).
Most hotels and tented camps in East Africa are exceptionally child-friendly and will be pleased to provide: children's meals (as early as you wish) and children's menus (fish and chips, burgers, ice creams, pasta etc). It is not recommended that either parents or children drink the tap water, but stick to the bottled water either provided or readily available.
Keeping healthy. For full details on health considerations, please refer to Keeping Safe and Healthy.
Quality time for parents
Many hotels and tented camps offer babysitting (usually booked in advance), cots and extra beds. Some hotels also offer ‘Family Rooms', which are either larger than normal or have adjoining bedrooms for the children. The larger groups also tend to offer ‘animation teams', groups of specially trained young professionals who have been trained in keeping everyone (particularly the younger guests) ‘busy'. Pursuits include: nature walks, tennis, ping pong, volley ball, water sports and a whole range of ‘edutainment'.
While children are welcome in many of the tented camps, parents should consider the fact that noise carries very easily in a tented environment and that, therefore, noisy children or crying babies may prove disturbing for other guests.
What to bring
Canned baby foods, powdered milk, disposable nappies and the like are available in the larger supermarkets in the major towns and cities - but NOT anywhere else, so best to bring supplies from home. Visiting parents are also advised to bring:
Sensible shoes if on safari - sandals and bare feet are NOT advisable due to the presence of sharp thorns, bees, scorpions and snakes.
Beach shoes - as protection against sharp coral, sea urchins etc.
Plenty of high-factor sun protection, hats and/or cover-up UV sun-suits.
Books, games and diversions for lengthy travel times.
Child-sized binoculars if you plan a safari, plus relevant guide books on animals, birds, trees etc.
A travelling medical kit (note: many anti-mosquito repellants are not suited to children, particularly those containing DEET).
Natural citronella oil may offer a suitable alternative - but it must be applied regularly.
Travelling mosquito nets for cots/prams etc.
Your own snorkels, flippers and masks.