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Safari with 2 year old? advice plz!!

Piracicaba, SP
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Safari with 2 year old? advice plz!!

Hi, I need your help!

My husband and I are planning a trip to southern africa in July and we're taking our son who will be 23m then. (Have no one to babysit.)

My plan is to visit vic falls for a day or two and chobe safari for a day, then fly to cape town to have a good rest for a few days.

I'm a first timer for safari and not sure if it would be okay to bring 2 year old there.

Is the trip really wild and bumpy? He's very easy with car rides and flights but I'm a bit worried.

And the boat tour, would it be safe for the little one?

Would it be okay to bring him or should we just forget safari?

london
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for Zambia, Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park
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1. Re: Safari with 2 year old? advice plz!!

You'd need to check whether any lodge would allow a child that young on a game drive- my guess is that they wouldn't, as it's too disturbing for other guests, plus I imagine there are safety issues.

You may find bigger lodges in Chobe might have baby sitting facilities so you could go on game drives without the baby.

Have you thought about malaria? Have you asked a doctor about what protection there is for a child that young?

Maun, Botswana
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2. Re: Safari with 2 year old? advice plz!!

My advise would be NOT to take a 23month year old baby on safari.

There area number of reasons;

1 MALARIA Although you are visiting in Winter & the risk will be lower, the risk will still be significant, especially around standing water

2. You will be restricted to using large 'hotel' style Lodges which accept babies and offer baby-sitting facilities ( Chobe Safari Lodge may be able to assist you)

3. The baby will not be able to accompany you on nearly all activities. You may be able to book private safari vehicles or Guides - but babies are usually banned on vehicles or boats with other people.

4. The baby will need it's own passport for crossing Zim/Bots border. He cannot enter the Zambian side of the Falls unless he has a yellow fever certificate - and I doubt you want to subject him to that

5.Taking a baby on this sort of holiday is rather selfish, as he will not be able to appreciate any part of the tour, and will be at risk from malaria.

Cape Town is a differnt matter - no malaria risk, great hotels all offering baby facilities and he can accompany you on the majority of activites.

Pickering, United...
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3. Re: Safari with 2 year old? advice plz!!

If you are coming from Piracicaba in Brazil you are no doubt familiar with both malaria and yellow fever so these may not be such an issue for you.

We took our daughter on her second safari with us at 23 months. At Shamwari we stayed aim the main lodge, Long Lee Manor where they provided baby sitters whilst we went on game drives. Later on the same trip we went to Tembe (a small tented camp in KZN) and she was allowed on game drives with us. however she was a very placid child with a love of wildlife and was prepared to sit silently and watch elephants, dung beetles birds or whatever the guide was pointing out, binoculars in hand. You know your child. their character could make or break a safari. I understand why some lodges have an age limit of 12 years but it is possible to find places which cater for kids. our daughter (now 13) thankfully still loves safari and we have now introduced her to wild camping, cooking over an open fire, simple toilet facilities, planning itineraries and menus etc. It is not true to say that NO child appreciates the experience at this age and we enjoyed sharing it as a family. selfish? Possibly but I believe we all enjoyed it and managed it in a way that did not detract from the safari experience of others. I don't know which places in Chobe take children as we camped amongst buffalo and elephant and loved it.

Edited: 1:49 pm, April 26, 2013
Piracicaba, SP
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4. Re: Safari with 2 year old? advice plz!!

Thanks everyone. Esp safarifiend, thank a lot for your kind advice.

In Brazil, peolple (including doctors) take it casually taking children to any kind of trip. However after load's of research, I decided to stay in just malaria free area in South Africa.

We'll still go for game drives for a few days in Pilanesberg which is malaria free and head down to Cape town. Read tons of reviews of who took their babies to game drive and I guess it's not a big deal if you be sensible.

Yes, it might be a bit selfish to take young child to game drive, but IMO it's okay to be 'selfish' for a few hours of the year when you devote yourself 24/7 to look after him. We've done enough of staying-in-the-resort type of holidays for 2 years now. And against all odds, he might like being on the game drives! My son loves animals and is very easy with long rides, so I hope we all would enjoy this type of trip as much as resort holidays.

Pickering, United...
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5. Re: Safari with 2 year old? advice plz!!

In July the Kruger is a low risk malarial area and even the SA Dept of Health does not advise malarial prophylactic meds. That said, Pilansberg was our daughter's first safari but at three months she didn't appreciate much other than floating in the swimming pool as it was warm!

Where ever you choose to go I am sure you will have a great time.

Cologne, Germany
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6. Re: Safari with 2 year old? advice plz!!

hey luvinus, you made the right decision, we've been taking our daughter with us on safari before her first birthday. By the way, I find it strange when other people tell parents that they are selfish - I'd say it's none of their business.

Dallas, TX
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7. Re: Safari with 2 year old? advice plz!!

It becomes other people's business when you post a question on a public forum asking for advice.

Cologne, Germany
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8. Re: Safari with 2 year old? advice plz!!

no, it does not because the OP did not ask for judgement but for advice and answers to very specific questions

9. Re: Safari with 2 year old? advice plz!!

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