FAMILY TRAVEL

 “The biggest lesson from Africa was that life’s joys come mostly from relationships and friendships, not from material things. I saw time and again how much fun Africans had with their families and friends and on the sports fields; they laughed all the time.”Andrew Shue (American actor)

What more could you ask for in a destination like Southern Africa, than to enjoy some family time with your children. 

  • It brings us back to a life we knew growing up
  • 100% natural settings with trees, stars and endless savannas
  •  Install’s an appreciation of the Africa’s natural beauty
  • Educational  
  • Takes away the rush of our daily lives
  • It teach children to respect our wildlife
  • Memories lasting a lifetime , and stories for generations to come
  • Hardly any time to get bored

Southern Africa has many places that accommodate families however there are some hotels and lodges that cater perfectly for families.  Below are just 3 choices that come to mind

Images courtesy of Imvelo Safaris, preferred partners of Personal Collection by Thompsons Africa , experts in Southern Africa

African Bush Camps

The Best Part About Memories is Making Them –  Travel can be a wonderful time for a family to bond and a safari is a great way to connect through disconnecting from the normal routine. Everything is new and exciting; seeing an elephant for the first time, making pizza out in nature, or learning the call of an eagle. Watch  African Bush Camps Family Adventure Safari video to see why their family-friendly camps are the best on offer.

You can see how families become a part of their family, hosts entertain children with games and activities while guides ignite a sense of wonder and curiosity in the kids they teach. Their guides are experts in explaining, in fun and interactive ways, how everything in the ecosystem is interconnected, making it an enriching educational experience. 

“Travelling in the company of those we love is home in motion.”

Leigh Hunt

Samara

“We did not inherit the land from our forefathers. We have simply borrowed it from our children.” – NATIVE AMERICAN PROVERB

Samara offers an adventure for all ages. Family-owned and family-run, they are passionate about educating the next generation of conservationists and opening their eyes to the wonders of the wild. Inspiring educational activities combined with a breathtaking malaria-free setting make Samara the epitome of a child friendly safari.

Kids Programme & Babysitting

The Samara Kids Programme, part of our child friendly safari activities, caters to children up to 12 years old.

Experienced staff will engage your children in a variety of age-appropriate, fun and educational activities whilst you relax and unwind.

Activities include:

  • ‘Outdoor classroom’ bush excursions in the lodge grounds
  • Track identification
  • Rock painting like the Khoi-San
  • African crafts
  • T-shirt making
  • Orienteering & navigating
  • Storytelling
  • Colouring-in
  • Board games

When parents are away from the lodge, babies and toddlers younger than 2 years old must be placed under the care of the experienced childminders available. This babysitting is available during game drives and over dinner. A dedicated children’s menu is available at both lodges, and special requests can be accommodated.

Activities for teenagers

Unlikely to take kindly to being grouped in with the ‘kids’, we have a host of activities ideally suited to teens and young adults.

These activities cater to those already into the Big Outdoors as well as those who simply want to get that perfect ‘Insta-worthy’ picture to show friends back home.

These include:

  • Air rifle target practice
  • Bush walks (minimum age 16 years)
  • Sleep-outs (weather dependent)
  • Conservation activities
  • Overnight trail (minimum age 16 years; subject to ranger availability)

The activities described above can also include parents, allowing you to reconnect as a family on an exciting wilderness adventures.

Sabi Sabi

ELEFUN CENTRE AT SABI SABI BUSH LODGE

Families with children are always welcomed at Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge, and children are afforded a bush and nature experience, from the youngest to the eldest members of the family. The EleFun Centre is a fully-fledged children’s facility within the lodge environs, which fosters awareness and an appreciation of nature.The EleFun Centre offer hands-on, interactive activities designed for children between the ages of 4 and 12 years. Age-appropriate bushveld themed activities are guided, and supervised, by qualified staff, and include bushcraft subjects such as bush survival, bugs & birds, tracks & signs of wildlife – all environmentally sensitive subjects that every child will find fascinating.  

There is time for creative hobbies, while the afternoon sessions are fun-filled with games. Selected rangers lead bush walks and talks, and the childcare professionals provide specially planned midday child-friendly game drives, based on the topics covered in the rangers course, at the time of your visit.

The beautifully designed centre also includes a wonderful, secure outdoor play area. While set itineraries will take place every morning and afternoon, children are welcome to enjoy the facility between formal sessions.  Parents and/or guardians can relax and enjoy the incredible safaris, have a pamper session in the Amani Spa or just kick back and enjoy some private time, knowing that their children are reveling in their own special bushveld experience.

JUNIOR RANGER PROGRAMME

10:00 – INTRODUCTION TO JUNIOR RANGER PROGRAMME (AGES 4- 12)

Childcare professionals will introduce the variety of activities that are required in order to qualify as a Junior Ranger. These will of course be based according to their ages.

11:00 – 12:00 – ADVENTURES WITH NATURE 

This is the time for interactive bush activity. Weather permitting, a Ranger – or the EleFun co-ordinator – will lead the children in and around the lodge grounds on a walk, and for the older children there are additional midday educational drives out into the bush. The young Junior Ranger group will learn interesting facts about the Sabi Sabi bushveld and the animals, e.g. bugs & birds, bush survival or tracks & signs of nature.

12:00 – 13:00 – HOBBIES AND CRAFTS

In cases of inclement weather, children will enjoy an arts and crafts session, where boys and girls can enjoy hands-on projects, all relating to nature and the natural world – this could get messy but they definitely won’t be bored.

13:00 – 14:00 – CLOSED FOR LUNCH WITH PARENTS OR GUARDIANS

14:00 – 15:30 – GAME TIME

We encourage all the children to join us for our indoor and outdoor afternoon games which are really fun as well as educational. There is a spacious outdoor area with an obstacle course, a maze, open field to play soccer or enjoy some water sports and jungle gyms. There are also general knowledge quizzes based on African animals and they learn different animal sounds too. 


Images courtesy of Imvelo Safaris

MEET THE TEAM

Who We Are 

Janine Southwood – Head of Personal Collection

Janine Southwood, who has been in the industry for more than 20 years, heads up the Personal Collection team.  Janine and her team customise exclusive, creative travel itineraries, all imbued with distinctive traces of Southern Africa.

UdFKYVNWT3Eu0tHdkbRU

“Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work”, said Aristotle and that’s something we stick to here at Personal Collection. We love what we do, we’re doing what we love.    

‘Born in Africa, I am blessed to part of a continent like no other.  For so many arriving into Africa for the first time, you almost immediately feel like your soul belongs here, and during the course of your journey, she will steal your heart as you fall in love with her.  Our history is intriguing … from the mysterious rock churches of Lalibela, the ancient pyramids of Egypt, to the reshuffling of the earth’s plates to create Ngorongoro Crater, Great Rift Valley, the Okavango Delta, to name just a few.  All of this creates a natural oasis for wildlife and their migrations across terrains.

And then, of course, there are the colours and sounds of our many cultures, each with their own traditions that will leave you on the edge of your seat, eager for more of their captivating stories.  Combine this with breathtakingly beautiful landscapes that haven’t changed at all over centuries, and you will start to understand my love of Africa and why it is most definitely worth visiting, not just once, but over and over again.

Africa won’t let you forget her gentle sounds of tranquillity and serenity and her undeniable beauty. Africans won’t let you forget how friendly and accommodating we are. And our wildlife – there is simply nothing more beautiful than the sight of wild animals on the great plains roaming free where they should be.”

Tessa Robertson – Africa Specialist

Tessa has over 14 years of experience in inbound travel.  She is passionate about her job and pays special focus to the attention to detail in a tour, ensuring all the bells and whistles are taken care of.

IMG_4703 (2)

 

  “I was fortunate to grow up with parents who had a passion for travel which helped me realise what I wanted to do with my life.  I studied hotel management and then worked in 5-star hotels in Durban, Cape Town and London. It was during my three years in the United Kingdom that I travelled so much of the world and on return to South Africa, I knew I had to see more of my home country, and wow, what an incredible country we have! I had to share this with the rest of the world and so here I am, working with a small dynamic team of ladies, sharing our love of Africa with those fortunate enough to experience it.

“Once you hear the mighty roar of a lion or watch the sun set over the grasslands,  Africa will capture your heart forever. Africa is waiting for you!”

img_1706.jpg

Shannon Powell – Africa Specialist

Senior Tour Consultant, with over 15 years of travel experience, staring in a small retail chain in the UK. Shannon has a hunger for the industry. “It’s not just a job for me, it’s my life.”  

idnbdLfMjkrhqh47LB9n

Her son grew up in the Mara so Shannon is personally familiar with all of the deluxe secrets into making the magic moments of your personal itinerary including wedding planning on the Mighty Zambezi River. She thrives on the little special personal touches to make the WOW in someone’s day. Her career started with her being born into her family’s safari lodge in Mana Pools, Zimbabwe. She then followed the family footsteps and worked and lived in 5-star properties all through Africa. Travel is now her speciality and she excels as a Travel Counsellor. Her vivaciousness and caring dedication to her clients are invaluable assets to our Personal Collection Brand.

Shannon has designed individual tours and arranged escorted tours to Southern Africa for many clients from all over the US to Europe, Israel, Australia/New Zealand and Africa. She is also passionate about “giving back” and works closely with local orphans in and around Southern Africa.

Our team is passionate about Africa and each Africa Specialist has a deep love for what we do, thus making your trip even more meaningful or memorable. Join us to create your African legacy, with your footprint on conservation (be it wildlife, community or habitat) and spread the word about how wonderful Africa and its people are.
E5781A6B-DB06-4204-83BA-0818B0EFF0E1

 Images courtesy of Time + Tide Africa, experts in Zambia, preferred partners of Personal Collection.  

 

Next time in Africa,
The Personal Collection Team    

 

ELEGANT GIRAFFES

In the bush, you will come across the beautiful Giraffe, fascinating tall, slender elegant beautiful animal, some top ten facts about these graceful creatures. I don’t know of anyone that does not love the Giraffe.

Team Personal Collection by Thompsons Africa adore giraffes.

  • Giraffes are found in the dry savannas of Africa, where they roam among the open plains and woodlands.
  • Well known for their long necks, these gentle giants are the world’s tallest living land animals. An adult male can grow to around 5.5m – that’s taller than three adult humans!
  • A giraffe’s height is helpful for keeping a look out for predators, such as lions and hyenas. Their excellent eyesight allows them to spot hungry beasts from far away, too.
  • Herbivores, giraffes only eat plants. Their favourite grub is the acacia tree, and they use their long necks to reach the leaves and buds in the treetops. Their long tongues (which grow to a whopping 53cm!) also help them pull down leaves growing way up high.
  • And boy do these guys have an appetite! They spend most of their time eating, and can guzzle up to 45kg of leaves and twigs a day!
  • Whilst they may eat a lot, giraffes don’t drink much water. This is because they get most of their water from their leafy meals, and only need to drink once every few days.
  • Giraffes are very social animals and roam around in groups. These groups, called towers, typically have around 15 members led by an adult male. The other members are females and young males.
  • To see who is stronger, males (called bulls) fight by butting their long necks and heads. This is known as “necking “. These fights aren’t usually dangerous, and end when one bull admits defeat and walks away.
  • Female giraffes give birth standing up. The result? New-borns are welcomed to the world with a 1.5m drop to the ground! Ouch! But these infants are quick to get on their feet – within 30 minutes they are standing, and only hours later they’re able to run with their mothers.
  • In the wild these beautiful creatures live for around 25 years. In captivity they live longer, and have been known to reach 40 years old.

 

MOZAMBIQUE

Mozambique is a destination in itself – offering a striking variety of white sandy beaches and crystal-clear azure waters.

This incredible destination gives a traveller a 2500km long coastline and dozens of the world’s most beautiful tropical islands, offering a holiday destination second to none. And the appeal does not stop here, add sublime seafood cuisine to the mix, from local rum to the vibrant colours, to the year-round warm weather and sunshine, all complemented by outstanding beachfront or island style accommodation, and you’ll understand why visitors keep coming back.

As a destination, Mozambique is bouncing back in leaps and bounds for so many reasons – one is likely to bump into a long-lost friend or befriend a local in no time. The beer is cold and refreshing and the prawns delicious, readily available and affordable. The nightlife in Maputo is wildly outrageous in a friendly way and the tide ebbs so far out that before splashing around or going for a swim – one has to first jog to the shoreline.

Some interesting information on the Destination: 

  • Mozambique is a long stretch of beach and tropical country on the eastern seaboard of Southern Africa. Its coastline is something to behold, caressed by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean and is bordered by SIX countries – Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Tanzania and South Africa.
  • When comparing size (as one tends to) Mozambique holds a treasured landmass of 801 600 square kilometres, about the size of UK and France combined and in comparison, to its border countries, it is twice the size of Zimbabwe and just over two-thirds the size of Africa – much of it is unspoiled and untouched, offering pristine tropical countryside and beaches.
  • Mozambique lies mostly within the tropics with a mild to moderate climate, with high humidity in the summertime and southern summer rainfalls occurring between the months of October through to March.
  • The Capital is Maputo, down to the south and has a complement of main Hubs: Beira, Nampula, Pemba, Inhambane, Xai-Xai, Tete,Quelimane and Nacala.
  • The official language is Portuguese, whilst Arabic, Makonde and Swahili are spoken in the North whilst pidgin and fanagalo (a simplified language based primarily on Zulu, English and some Afrikaans, spoken by workers on the South African mines. English as a language is fast developing with the locals through the impact of tourism on the destination.
  • The Official Currency is metrical (MT) although Visa and MasterCard and US Dollars are widely accepted and the lodges, restaurants and a number of the shops.
  • All tourists require a Visa (save for South African and Malawians). A single-entry tourist visa is valid for 60 days from date of issue for a maximum stay of 30 days

 

 

UGANDA – QUEEN ELIZABETH NATIONAL PARK

Boasting a wide open savannah that rests against the mystical Rwenzori Mountains, this 1978 sq.-km National Park is named after the British monarch following her visit in 1954, and lies in the heart of the Albertine Rift Valley where the Kazinga Channel joins up with Lake Edwards and Lake George. The park has 5 types of vegetation – that is tropical forest, woodland, savannah, swamps and thicket. With such a diverse eco-system, the park is home to 95 mammals, 9 primates, 35 reptiles and 614 bird species, including the peculiar shoebill. The Kasinga Channel alone is said to contain the world’s largest concentration of hippos,
But most renowned for those seeking out the infamous “tree climbing lions”. Lions ( like any cats) have learnt to climb the fig, acacia and albizia trees to get a better view across the savannas to seek out their prey, They also use the trees to cool down and protect themselves from the tsetse flies.

Available in Queen Elizabeth National Park are the following activities

  • Game Drives
  • Night Drives
  • Nature Walks
  • Boat Rides on the Kazinga Channel.
  • Research Tour
  • Chimp tracking in the Kyambura Gorge ( Valley of the Apes)
  • Twitching
  • Hot Air Balloon Safari