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By Jesse 17 January 2020

A Kenya family safari with teens

Are you looking to go on a safari with teenagers? Well, Kenya is the perfect destination, with its Big Five wildlife, impressive amount of activities, & epic lodges that are fantastic for kids. Here’s YZ expert Jesse’s advice on what you can expect:

At YZ, some of the questions we’re asked most often by families are, ‘Where can we take our teenage kids on safari?’ ‘Will they enjoy it?’ ‘What activities can they do?’

A lot of first-time safari-goers who are thinking of taking their teenage kids to Africa, assume that there’s just one activity available – game viewing – and that there isn’t much else for teenagers to do. Of course teenagers may not necessarily enjoy sitting in the safari vehicle for hours on end viewing wildlife.

So why is Kenya such a great destination for children?

Luckily, Kenya offers lots of other activities, such as camping, fishing, white water rafting, and waterfall jumping, to name a few. And let’s not forget the importance of keeping the social platforms up to date. Even though many a parent may cringe at the thought of Instagram, for example, plenty have also accepted that Wi-Fi is a must for most teenagers in this day and age, as kids can feel an acute need to retain a connection with the outside world!

Is there WiFi for the kids?

There’s a strong feeling among some travellers, that going on safari means disconnecting from the world, switching your phone off, and enjoying being in the heart of the African bush. YZ subscribes to this approach wholeheartedly! But we also understand that the world has evolved and that the younger generations have smartphones that are part of their daily lives. So we say, let’s embrace it and use technology and photography to really help your kids engage while on safari. As parents, you may all well know that Instagram is a huge thing for our teens. Being able to take photos of themselves in amazing places and show them to their friends is one of the most important parts of their holiday for some teenagers. And why not encourage it? What better way to educate your children than to take them somewhere where they can create lasting memories?

Helping to make those memories is crucial to your YZ safari specialist, and that’s why I’ve come up with a list of the ideal teen-friendly safari properties (see below). All incorporate activities, game viewing, and downtime, remaining connected to the world at the same time. In short, they aim to engage the kids while offering something the whole family will enjoy.

What activities are on offer for children on safari?

The key thing is balance – having a safari that isn’t purely game focused, but is varied in activities, flexible, and accommodating. For example, you want your kids to have fun, to ease into the safari by enjoying activities such as bushcraft, rafting, horse riding, and camel riding. These activities are exciting and break the mould of a traditional safari. Then, from these activities, you can move into game viewing, introducing your children to their first wildlife sightings such as lion and leopard.

What about some beachtime?

And lastly, if you’ve decided to end your trip with some beach time, you’ll head down to Kenya’s stunning coastline, where you can really let your kids loose. They can relax by the pool, check in with the outside world, and have time to themselves. This means parents can take some time to themselves as well!

As a back-up to all of this, why not load some interesting nature programmes onto an iPad – or maybe even some topical movies? Then kids can remain engaged even during downtime. You could take games with you, whether it’s board games or on your tablets, and play games as a family!

My final tip for a family safari is to get everyone excited for the trip by building up to the safari through movie nights and watching wildlife documentaries together! These are filled with information, and you can challenge each other on how much you remember when you go on safari – it’s fun when you’re competing to come up with the answers to questions asked by your guide!

Here’s the YZ list of cherry-picked camps and lodges for families in Kenya:

If you are interested in going on a family safari with your children and would like some safety tips, do check them out here. Alternatively, please don’t hesitate to contact our Kenya experts to start planning your luxury tailor-made family safari.