Kruger with kids: 5 ways to make safari fun for youngsters

Posted by Lauren Dold on 10 September 2021

Taking the kids to the Kruger is a wonderful way to introduce them to the ways of the wild and have some fun. The drives can get long though, and the charm of a family adventure can wear thin when the backseat bickering starts. Here are some ways to keep the kids happy and entertained when visiting the Kruger.

1) Turn game drives into games

There are plenty of ways to make game drives fun (and educational) for kids of all ages. You could allocate each different animal a number of points, (1 point for impalas, 100 for a leopard!) and tally up at the end of each day. Winner gets an ice cream!

Make a list of things you know you will come across, like common trees, birds and animals and give points to whoever identifies them first, and correctly. For kids who are a little older, give them extra points for identifying whether an animal is a herbivore or carnivore, nocturnal or diurnal etc.

2) Teach kids how to read the Kruger map

I had endless hours of fun flipping through the Kruger map, reading all the extra bits of info and looking at the pictures of animals and birds. Get the kids to help with the navigation by giving them a map and asking for directions to certain waterholes or picnic sites. For younger kiddies, point at pictures to teach them how to identify different animals and birds.

3) Create a quick camp treasure map

This is a quick solution to the after-game drive fatigue you get in the middle of the afternoon in Kruger when all you want to do is sleep and all the kids want to do is play.

Grab a map of the camp at reception (they usually issue them when you check in) and create a quick treasure hunt. For example, pick a leaf from the tree closest to the swimming pool, or write down five things they spotted from the bird hide. Have them tick off each activity (while you sleep) and have them return later to report back.

4) Take some happy snaps

If they’re old enough to handle a camera or a phone, let them run wild taking photos or give them a list of things to try and photograph. These could be as simple as clouds, leaves or flowers.

5) Encourage them to keep a diary

If your kids are old enough to write, give them a diary to fill with all their sightings, thoughts and memories. If they’re a little younger, give them a book to draw their sightings in until they get old enough to begin writing. Keep these books for all future Kruger trips and watch them learn new things each time!  A regular notebook will do, but there are ready made diaries especially designed for trips to Kruger and the Lowveld available at https://kikipops.co.za/

Picture: Pexels

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