A Multi-Generational Family Safari

Northern Tanzania and Kenya

Jul 08 2012 Written by:Rob Barbour

I have just come back from a safari in Northern Tanzania and Kenya with an American family that spanned three generations.  With ages ranging from 10 to 80 years old, this safari provided an all important opportunity for our clients to spend precious time as a family, far away from the influence of technology.

These multi-generational family safaris are a pleasure to guide and great fun for the families involved.  Usually arranged by the patriarch or matriarch, this kind of vacation can bring families together who live many miles apart.  Why not meet up in Africa?  The challenge is to design an itinerary that is exciting and interesting for each family member, young or old.

On this trip we stayed in Arusha – a great stepping off point for any safari.  Set in a working coffee plantation on the edge of the town, our lodge had a peaceful ambience and allowed the more energetic of the group to expend some energy after some long flights.  Our first nights on safari were at Oliver’s Camp in the southern part of Tarangire National Park a short drive from Arusha.  The dry season sees a congregation of elephants and buffalo on the soft, sweet grasses of the Silale Swamp.  Just like the family on safari it seemed like the gathering of the clans for some special family celebration!  We were blessed with great sitings of a female leopard and her cub as the family’s first ever siting of a cat on safari.  In the late afternoon we watched a pride of 19 lions (including cubs) organise themselves, stalk and bring down a zebra in front of our eyes.  Having these two events on the same day was going to be hard to top for the rest of the safari!

Over the next few days we were lucky enough to see a female lion and her newly born cubs try and cross the Ngorongoro Crater rim road, a cheetah feeding on a Thomsons Gazelle against the stunning back drop of the Crater wall.  In the northern Serengeti  whilst staying at a private camp, we managed to see the big five all in one day including juvenile baby leopards being chased up a tree by a male lion and a black Rhino in amonsgt the 1.5 million wilderbeest of the annual wilderbeest migration.  On the Kenyan leg of the safari we stayed in two private safari houses in a private concession on the border of the Mara.  We were introduced to the Maasai culture through walks, home visits, stories around the camp fire and countless explanations of the Maasai history and traditions. For the children bow and arrow lessons, spear throwing, tracking and bush survival lessons kept them intrigued for hours.  One of the highlights of the trip was walking to school across the grass plains with Maasai children in the early morning light surrounded by wilderbeest and impala. Within seconds a boy from California was racing across the plains with a boy from Kenya, kicking a ball and wrestling as if they had always known each other and teaching all of us that we aren’t that different after all.

Despite the amazing count of 68 lions, 8 leopard, 1 black rhino, hundreds of elephant, three cheetah, countless wilderbeest of the migration and a myriad of other creatures, it was the variety of activities – geology, birds and flowers – and the people we met that made this multi-generational family group such a pleasure to guide on safari.

To start planning your multi-generational safari, please do not hesitate to contact us.