The perfect African adventure for families

With easy access to wildlife, the world’s largest sandpit to explore, well-managed tourist access to local tribes and fewer potential health risks than elsewhere on the continent, Namibia has much to recommend it to families seeking a safe African adventure.

Sure, there are long distances to be covered on gravel roads, accommodation does get booked up quickly and anti-malarials can be on the cards if you go to Namibia at certain times of the year, but all these obstacles can be surmounted with some sensible planning.

 

Wildlife watching is child’s play

Namibians are rightly proud of how incredibly easy it is to see wildlife all over their country, and your children will love being able to spot herds of zebras, wildebeests and springboks during a long day’s driving. But for a family safari, nothing compares to visiting the astounding national park of Etosha in Namibia’s north. With a well-established self-drive infrastructure, it allows you to bring your hire car inside and go at a pace that works for your children (shorter and more frequent wildlife drives usually keep little ones happy) and crucially you can return to the rest camps for comfort breaks without having to disrupt anyone else’s viewing. You can also use books, snacks and games to keep small people entertained when they’ve had enough but you want to keep going.

However, what makes Etosha really perfect for families are the accessible, safe and floodlit watering holes located in rest camps which attract so many of the local wildlife, especially at night. Elsewhere in Africa the wildlife watching tends to end when you are back at camp, in Etosha it’s just getting going. Okaukuejo Camp is particularly known for the atmospheric encounters at its watering hole around sunset, and for that extra-special frisson of excitement the park offers guided night drives too (with a minimum age of six).

Tip: George, nine years old, recommends taking wildlife books so you can become an expert at identifying the different antelopes and the beautiful variety of birdlife you see.