Taking Children on Safari in Malaria-Risk Areas
All of the safari reserves in Kenya, Tanzania, and Botswana are in malaria-risk areas, and even in South Africa the Greater Kruger Park and KwaZulu-Natal are considered to be of low to moderate risk for malaria. Travel Butlers strongly advise that you should consult your doctor before deciding to take younger children to a safari lodge anywhere that has even a low risk of malaria.This does not mean that you cannot take kids on safari in these areas, but parents should be aware of the risks and the precautions they need to take before they commit to their safari.
Families who are concerned about malaria should look for child friendly safaris in malaria-free areas in South Africa, however if you are not concerned about malaria then you will ha a greater choice of desitantions including the Masai Mara in Kenya, Serengeti in Tanzania, and the Kruger National Park in South Africa.
Whilst just about every safari lodge is suitable for older children, kids under the age of 12 are not catered for at many lodges and so families do need to make sure that they pick a lodge that will suit the whole family. There are a large number of lodges that do welcome younger children, and some of them even offer dedicated children's programme or provide alternative activities and child care if they are too young to join the adults on the game drives.
Is it Safe for Children?
Yes. All of the lodges take safety very seriously, particularly where children are involved. Younger children will not usually be allowed to take a room on their own (i.e. without an adult sharing), and they will normally not be allowed to join in with bush walks.
Each lodge has their own rules, particularly with regards to the age that children can join the adults on a game drive, and you should check exactly what your children will be able to do at your chosen lodge when booking - finding out that your 8 year old cannot go out to see the animals at the lodge you have chosen when you arrive can ruin your whole family's stay if you did not know this in advance!
Like adults, children ideally should not wear bright colours when out on game drives, and should also use a good sun protection cream and lotion to protect them against insect bites.