Our Family Travel Network readers' survey showed that families want to create vacation memories, introduce children to different cultures and connect with nature. An Africa safari is one of the most best opportunities to meld these three goals into a single trip. Safaris offer families numerous chances for people-to-people connections and experiencing new things together - and the wildlife viewing is second to none.
Families don't have to wait until their children are teens to go on safari. It's just important to pick the right company to plan your trip. Even at age five, one world traveler has vivid memories of hyenas chasing a lion and of school children clustering to touch his hair and skin.
"One highlight of our family safari was a visit to the local school where about 700 kids learn in a handful of crowded classrooms," said Kent Redding, president of Africa Adventure Consultants, Inc. "The children's excitement at seeing our sons Grady and Tate was off the charts. At one point, there were at least 75 kids swarming around Grady to try and touch his skin and hair. He was a really good sport, exclaiming that he had a lot of new friends and they all wanted to touch him!" said Redding.
Africa Adventure Consultants has received numerous awards and has been recognized by leading publications as a top Africa travel specialist. National Geographic named Africa Adventure Consultants as one of the Best Adventure Travel Companies On Earth in 2009. The company has been named 2010 Best Tour Operator in the Southern & Western Circuit by the Tanzania Tourist Board. In addition, Conde Nast Traveler singled out Kent Redding as one of the top travel specialists in the United States two years in a row.
Kent Redding's company offers excellent family programs in Kenya and Tanzania. Combining years of living and guiding in Africa with first-hand experience in Africa family travel, Kent is able to do an exceptional job in planning safaris for families with kids of all ages. "We have an edge doing business in Africa as an American country because we serve as a bridge between these two distinct cultures," says Redding. "Our staff knows what North American travelers expect and can deliver on target. We know the travel obstacles and best practices as well as those very special places off the tourist track." It's that kind of insider knowledge that makes the difference between a special family safari that makes incredible vacation memories and the generic Africa safaris offered by some travel agents.
Redding underscores the Kenya Family Safari as an "exceptionally good value" while at the same time minimizing travel time by using small planes to fly between lodges and camps. The Kenya Family Safari's eight-day program offers full-time educational and entertainment programs for children included in the price. Daily programs are organized and led by carefully selected and trained local naturalists. In addition, children get plenty of opportunities to interact with African children their own age. A typical day might include a visit to a "manyatta" village to watch a dance or join in a game of soccer, or learning how to use a traditional bow and arrow. Children will remember these experiences for a lifetime.
From Nairobi, the first flight is to the Samburu National game reserve and luxury camping at Samburu Intrepids Camp in one of the world's last great wilderness areas. From the camp, guests can see herds of elephant, buffalo and zebra. Samburu Intrepids is very family-friendly, as are all of the camps selected for this trip. A flight to Lake Naivasha and the Rift Valley Lodge offers boating, fishing, golf, guided forest walks, horseback riding and more. A third flight takes families to the famed Masai Mara game reserve for game drives and more deluxe safari-style camping.
Rates for this trip from July through October, 2010 are $3,659 per adult (double occupancy) and $2,013 per child up to age 16 in a room with two adults. Rates are less the rest of the year except for December 24 - January, 1 when holiday surcharges are applies. These rates include all accommodations, meals, some drinks, guides, air and ground transfers, vehicles, park fees, activities, and a $25 donation to a worthy African charity. Prices exclude international flights, visas, tips, inoculations, travel insurance, and items of a personal nature. As a leader in eco-tourism, Africa Adventure Consultants also offsets 100% of each safari they sell through the purchase of carbon credits. Other types of Africa family safaris are offered as well.
For more information, visit the Africa Adventure Consultants website at www.adventuresinafrica.com.
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