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While ‘Children’s Day’ is celebrated on various days in many different countries, ‘International Children’s Day‘ is celebrated on the 1st of June. According to the fountain of knowledge, Wikipedia; “The World Conference for the Well-being of Children in Geneva, Switzerland proclaimed June 1 to be International Children’s Day in 1925.” There’s also ‘Universal Children’s Day’ proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1954, this takes place on November 20th annually.
That’s quite some confusion, but whichever day you choose to celebrate the point remains the same; awareness of children’s rights and a dedication to our youth. Maybe you’re wondering how a company like Rhino Africa, which specializes in luxury safari travel, is dedicated to children’s rights? The answer to that is simple, just because you’re going on a luxury safari doesn’t mean you have to leave the kids at home. In fact, children LOVE safari! What’s more, by booking with Rhino Africa, part of your money goes towards supporting community projects such as the Khumbulani Day Care Centre in Khayalitsha, where Gloria Bebeza cares for around 160 HIV infected and affected children daily. You can read more about our Doing Good projects here.
While many lodges won’t accept children on safari, there are many more hotels and lodges that have made catering for children a specialty. At Rhino Africa our consultants are well prepared to plan a child friendly safari and our website features an informative ‘Children on Safari’ section: Check it out here.
Samantha Myburgh one of our top safari experts had some advice to give on bringing children to Africa and on safari. In her opinion a tour beginning in Cape Town, traveling up the Garden Route and ending with a safari either in the Eastern Cape or in the Kruger National Park would be ideal. She points out though that a safari with children under six years old might not be the best idea. Many of the lodges that offer children’s programmes have a minimum age of six years old, younger children are probably not old enough to get the full enjoyment out of a safari so this is something you would need to bear in mind. If you do still want to do a safari with children under six years of age, one option would be to book an exclusive use lodge where a child minder would be included.
In Cape Town, the Cape Grace Hotel offers a great children’s programme which includes learning to bake and various art projects, the One & Only Cape Town and the grand old dame, The Mount Nelson also have great children’s programmes. The Garden Route is great for children with a huge variety of activities on offer, particularly in the Plettenberg Bay area. Here you will find the World of Birds, Africa’s largest outdoor aviary and nearby there’s Monkeyland, an opportunity to walk with elephants, a snake park and a big cat rehabilitation project called Tenikwa.
When it comes to the safari part of your trip you may be swayed either to a malaria-free safari in the Eastern Cape at fantastic reserves such as Shamwari and Kwandwe or to a safari in the Kruger National Park. The Kruger park is in a malaria area so you would need to take the proper precautions. The latest advancements in malaria prevention drugs mean that drugs such as Malarone have none of the harsh side effects associated with malaria prevention in the past, making them perfect for kids. Londolozi Game Reserve, Ulusaba and Thornybush Main Lodge have, in our opinion, some of the best children’s programmes introducing your children to the wonders of Africa and it’s wildlife. Who knows, you may have Africa’s next top Ranger in your midst.
So no more leaving your kids behind, bring them along! Contact Rhino Africa to start planning your families trip to Africa.
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Craig Harding is the general go-to guy at Rhino Africa. He's pretty chilled out so he's the right guy to have by your side on an intrepid adventure. He says 'the journey is the destination' so we just all nod and agree - it's better that way...
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