6 mistakes people which lead to them not taking their family on safari.
Safari will inevitably come up on people’s travel radar’s from time to time. Not everyone has the time or the means to take their family on safari, but for those that do some people chose not to do it for various reasons. Here are six common reasons people use for not taking a safari, along with why these decisions are a mistake.
1. It’s too dangerous – A safari into the wilds of Africa sounds like a very dangerous thing to do. However, the reality is that it is very safe. Your safari will be facilitated by guides and managers who have years of experience living and working in the bush. They understand the potential dangers and they mitigate them with careful planning and instruction. The animals are generally too busy going about their daily life to worry about humans at all. Most animals will in fact go out of their way to avoid contact with humans. It is the ultimate adventure – don’t let fear hold you back!
2. It’s too expensive – An African safari is not cheap, and I certainly don’t advocate mortgaging the house so that you can take the family to Africa. Having said that, it doesn’t have to cost the earth and it will be the best family holiday you will ever have. If you have the means to do it now, then do it now. Don’t wait. It is worth investing in your family memories, and if you chose to do it properly it will be worth every penny and then more – you won’t regret a cent.
3. My wife won’t want to rough it – Going on safari doesn’t mean that you have to ‘rough it’. I advocate staying in a ‘tent’ but some of the ‘tents’ I have stayed in are larger and way more beautiful than my house. Some will have spectacular ball and claw bathtubs and your own private plunge pool for a skinny dip in the middle of the day. The food is superb, your gin and tonics will have ice and a slice of a lemon, and you can enjoy a superb vintage wine or champagne whilst sitting around the fire reminiscing about the spectacular day. It doesn’t have to be rough!
4. Kids are spoilt enough already – Some people hold back on giving their family an amazing safari because they feel their kids are spoilt enough already. However, a great safari is one of the most humbling experiences they will ever have. They are humbled by the wilderness and the wildlife, but the most impactful part of a safari is often the interactions with local people. If it is an authentic, uncontrived cultural experience, then you will see that whilst the people there have very little, they are generally more happy then most people living in first world countries. They are completely open, and willing to give whatever they have.
5. Random scary things e.g. Ebola/Terrorism – Every now and then something terrible happens in Africa and the world’s media goes crazy, and people are inevitably put off travelling. However it is important to remember two things. Firstly, Africa is enormous and the best safari areas are generally a long way from any significant trouble. Secondly,if something terrible does happen, the safest place you could ever find yourself is out in the middle of the African wilderness on safari. Sure there are wild animals around, but if you follow the guidelines given to you on arrival then you will be fine. Those animals also ensure that the only people around that camp are the ones that are supposed to be there.
6. Wait until they are older – Kids over the age of 7 are generally more than capable of having an incredible time on safari. However, there is still a temptation to wait until they are older. It is one of the biggest reasons that people put off their safari. Often the opportunity is missed and it might never again avail itself. If your youngest is 7 or older, and you have the time and the means to take your family on safari you should make a point of doing it. If you don’t you will find that the opportunity might not present itself again down the line and you have lost an incredible opportunity for some life changing experiences with the family.