Safaris are one of the those activities almost every family would like to tackle at least once. It is a getaway that usually requires a little planning ahead depending on your chosen destination. Whether it is acquiring a visa, inoculations, prepping for an insanely long flight or just getting two weeks to get away for something so amazing as a safari. Last week, we took you on a safari journey to Norway, this week we are taking you on safari to South Africa.
Searching around the ‘twittosphere’, we found these sentiments on South African safaris:
— Kee Foong (@Keepicks) June 1, 2015
Now this one is a peach:
Went on a safari in South Africa https://t.co/3kApphFfyS
— Monet (@DeeMonett) May 30, 2015
Your Safari Budget
First order of business is planning financially for your trip. A safari anywhere in Africa will probably be on the higher end of cost in comparison to your typical family getaways. If you have time in your favor, check out 6 ways you can save for a family getaway for a little guidance on resource allocation. We are planning a South African Safari Adventure for families with children ages 6yrs and older for March 2016. 11-days in beautiful South Africa with a kid-friendly, educational itinerary, it’s going to be ‘one for the books’ for sure. With rates, lower than most, for such an excursion, starting at $7,375 per adult and $2,135 per child under age 12, a family of 4 (2 adults, 1 teen and 1-elementary child) would run $24,260 plus international flights depending on their itinerary customization, if any. Of course, this is a for a safari with expert guides included to enhance your experience… and your safety.
You can find safaris for varying lengths of time to help decrease your budget as well. However, the issue with a shorter period of time for those of us living in the North America if flight times. You want to make your trip worth it.
Typical Itinerary Inclusions
Speaking of our planned safari adventure next year, we plan itineraries to fit into our family wellness travel guidelines:
- locally grown cuisine
- boutique lodging
- daily physical activity
- balanced pace
Beyond our standard inclusions (and exclusions), most upscale safari groups include the following components:
- Meet & Greet service at airports.
- 24 hour Customer Care.
- Accommodations, transfers, excursions, meals and game drives.
- Hotel and airport porterage.
- The services of English-speaking guides or driver/guides to accompany the group on transfers and day tours.
- One tour leader free of charge.
- Internal air if you have to fly to other areas that are too far away to drive.
- Free time to do as you please or take independent excursions on your own.
- All items of a personal nature.
- All tours, entrance fees, meals and transfers not specified in the inclusions above.
- International flight to and from South Africa.
- Airport tax.
- Visa fees, if any.
- All drinks (other than any specified in the group’s intinerary).
- Any inoculations.
Things to do on Safari
Typically, you will fly into Johannesburg for your safari trip, then head off to Cape Town for a night or two. When you are in Cape Town, you should explore the city. Take a city tour, visit a local school, eat at a local restaurant. Immerse yourself into the culture for a more in-depth experience of this beautiful city with its cobblestone streets and flat-roofed pastel homes.
Once you have had a chance to explore the city, make some friends and learn a little about the culture, then take some time to kick-back at one of the local beaches. You have beautiful beaches such as Camps Bay and Clifton to kill some time, splash in the water or partake in a water sport or two. Even take a drive out to Hout Bay for some crayfish fishing if that is your type of activity. We would be remiss not to mention there are wineries for those who enjoy a swell glass of wine. There is even a winery that also has a petting farm. Hence, the adults can partake in the wine tour while their children are playing with the animals. For family wellness travel, one should not leave any stone unturned, when planning excursions, to make the trip as serene as possible.
When you return from your safari adventure, you more than likely will head back to Johannesburg. Stay for a night or two… or three. Johannesburg, the City of Gold, is a bustling city to explore, spend some time before you head back to the USA. To get your barings, do a hop-on, hop-off bus tour of the city. Once you have they lay of the land, map out your plan of attack for your next day or so in the city. A kid favorite just might be hanging out at the Honeydew “A-Maize-Ing” Mazes. Of course, it goes against every grain of sanity as a parent to send your kids inside some place to ‘get lost’ and found their way back only by solving riddles. Okay, insanity for some… sane for others. This place is sure to exhaust their energy so the adults can do an adults only event later in the day, perhaps.
In between your time in Cape Town and Johannesburg, which are vacations in and of themselves, you will spend time on safari. You should choose 1-3 game reserves to visit depending on the amount of time you have to explore each park. Besides the Big 5 – African lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, African leopard, and White/Black rhinoceros, you could also explore ostrich farms, do some whale watching or head to Monkeyland. When you have had your fill of the animals, you can head to the world famous Cango Caves to peruse the displays of of stalactites and stalagmites.
In case, geography of the area is not one of your strong suits, you can partake in any of the activities we’ve mentioned herein by sticking to the garden route during your time in South Africa.
Have you been on safari? Where did you go and did you take the kids?
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