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Kenya with four and two year olds

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
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Kenya with four and two year olds

We are trying to book a Safari holiday to Kenya at the end of July. (I know its a bit last minute but we've found a promotional fare to Kenya.)

What itenary would you recommend for 2 families with 3 little children, ( 2 of then 4 years and the other 2 years old) on a tight budget?

We are hoping not to spend more than USD1,000 per adult for a 10 - 14 day trip. Is that reasonable or way too little? And why do some agencies charge 50% for the kids? My 4 year old sleeps with us.

Could anyone please recommend a reputable agency and share their experiences travelling with little children?

Thank you.

Manchester, england
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1. Re: Kenya with four and two year olds

If you want my honest opinion you are mad. The kids are far too little and you would be much better waiting until they are older. Safari is hard work and uncomfortable and little kids just don't have the stamina or concentration span. You have to remember that the vans etc have no car seats and the roads are awful and you get thrown around quite badly. Most tour operators will not book for under 12s although there are lots of younger children than 12 who do safari.

I would recommend that you do a beach holiday and maybe take them to the giraffe and elephant orphanage in Nairobi. Save proper safari for when they are old enough to appreciate and enjoy it.

I also think that your price limit is not going to go anywhere near paying for a safari of this length.

Have fun whatever you decide

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2. Re: Kenya with four and two year olds

USD$1,000/per adult is unrealistic and won't cover much considering that daily park fees range from $50-$100/day (depending on which park/reserve visited)... even though this rate for children are about half.

If a driving safari, then you have to include the cost of vehicle/guide and his daily rate which can average abut $175-200/day (for group). For a "flying" safari, you have to consider fares per person, though a 2yr old will likely be free of charge (FOC).

As to rates for children, depending on age, often if under 2/yrs, FOC; others for children up to 6/yrs FOC (mostly at the more expensive properties - lodges/camps). Still others charge 50% of adult rate even if child shares room/tent w/ parents... they do eat, need a place to sleep, have linens changed, towels provided, etc.... so charge will vary.

And, as you're traveling during "peak" season, unless you do a very very basic "camping" safari, prices are generally in the $250-$300/person/day for accommodations (even this can be too low)... most even more.

Bear in mind that some lodges/camps DO NOT allow small children out on game drives (they make noise, cry, get cranky/impatient, etc.), unless under care/supervision of parents with private vehicle (extra cost). If they can't go out with you, they'll have to be left behind under care of a nanny which most properties can provide at a small charge. Roads on which game drives conducted or transit between areas are poor, bumpy, dusty and there are rarely protective childseats provided/available.

Important when traveling with children, best you check with their pediatrician re malaria medications (there is a child dose of Malarone, but is weight dependent) and any inoculations that maybe needed. Also see your own doctor re similar needs for adults.

If you still wish to visit and with time short, best to contact an in-country outfitter (see the KATO site for outfitters) for rates to see if you can pull it off "on a budget."

Destination Expert
for Malindi, Ukunda, Kenya
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3. Re: Kenya with four and two year olds


With all due respect for Caroline's views (which I do partly share), I wouldn't be too put off. We first took our children on safari when they were all very young (5 months old, Amboseli, quick nappy change on the ground near the rangers' houses. . .) and it's perfectly feasible if you plan ahead. You'll need to take car seats with you, and I'd suggest you rent a vehicle and driver-guide, rather than joining with a tour. But it's good if you know your children can cope and will enjoy it. If the older one is into animals in a big way that's a good start. And you are going to have to rethink your budget, as sandi says.

Good luck!


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4. Re: Kenya with four and two year olds

For an interary, I like some time in Nairobi at Giraffe Manor or Giraffe Center. Then I'd go to one or two places and stay put.

From the kids' point of view, do you think they will want to spend 2-4 hours bouncing around in a vehicle--no car seats? While Kenya has lots of wildlife, it will not be non-stop animals.

If you plan the trip around the kids' attention spans and go out for just short trips, then back to a lodge with a swimming pool or better yet wading pool for them to splash around in, that could work.

Or you could trade off with person couple staying back with the kids, especially the 2-year old, and the others heading out for the bush. Then swap.

For an end of July trip, you will want to contact your doctor, pediatrician, and travel clinic immediately to get any vaccines necessary.

In sum, if the adults really want a safari, I think you can make it work with young kids, provided your expectations are flexible. Unless the 4 year olds are animal crazy, I don't think the young ones will enjoy the majority of the trip, but if you stay in comfortable lodges with a pool for children, they will probably be ok.

A promotional fare to Kenya may not be that great of a deal for your situation, unless you spend the time at the beach. Then you'd have to compare the cost of such a beach holiday to one closer to home.

I'll make one recommendation in Kenya--Eastern & Southern Safaris. See what they say. There would be many more you could also contact.

Melbourne, Australia
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5. Re: Kenya with four and two year olds

We are travelling with our 6 year old in September but we spent months planning our trip to ensure we would all be comfortable travelling. We are spending two nights in Nairobi to recover from the flight. We have chosen a fly in Safari for two nights at a lodge with a pool. We were told it was better to fly with children due to road conditions and distances need to travel to game parks. Extra nights and flying then adds to the expense.

We have chosen a beach resort with a kids club to relax at the end.

As the others have mentioned the children will need vaccinations and they are not cheap.

We started travelling with our son when he was 18 months old and mainly stuck to Beach resorts until he turned 5 years. When he was 3 years old we took him to Vietnam and Cambodia, but that was hardwork as there was a lot of travelling involved and we all got sick. I missed out on a few sights as I had to nurse my son while he was sick.

Also make sure you take a good first aid kit.

Good luck with your decision.

Camberley, United...
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6. Re: Kenya with four and two year olds

We first took our kids to Kenya when they were 6 & 8 years old. They had a great time, but my daughter who was 6 then, didnt remember her safari at all, and to be honest was a little bored after about 1 hour of each game drive.

We have since been back with them and on our recent visit they were 10 & 12 years old. They love everything about being in kenya, but to our daughter it felt like her first safari as she doesnt recall her previous experience.

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7. Re: Kenya with four and two year olds

As JulesV comments, children at this young an age will not remember the experience. Rare for children to remember much farther back than 4/yrs of age and that too is "iffy."

8. Re: Kenya with four and two year olds

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