African safaris are all about families and many camps offer excellent children’s programs to entertain the children while the parents take safari game drives or walks in the bush. However, Young Explorers in Botswana's Okavango Delta is a world apart from these, focusing on immersing you, together as a family, in the wonder of Africa.
You embark upon the adventures activities together, bonding and learning together and spending quality time together. Your Guide, Obi, takes you and your children under his wing reveals an entirely new world to you all. This is a truly magical experience and simply the best safari that any family can undertake!
You have sole use of the small camp which has six beds maximum in small Meru tents. This means you can do exactly what suits you, with no other guests to fit in with. You have the full attention of the guide and camp staff and you can set the itinerary to what interests you as a family. Your personal chef prepares meals tailored to your likes and dislikes, always finding something delicious that even the pickiest of children will enjoy!
Together with your guide, you spend your days on foot tracking big game, identifying birds and animals and the tracks they leave around us and learning the bush skills that allow us to survive in the wilderness such as the medicinal properties of trees and plants, which tree is used for brushing teeth and which one makes for good toilet paper!
Activities are simply about following one’s nose. An interesting smell, the distant roar of a lion or a francolins alarm call will lead you on your explorations. All the while you are learning to understand and respect all the inhabitants of the environment.
Back in the camp you all learn to read the night skies, how to shoot at tin cans, how to start a fire from nothing but two sticks, how to make (and shoot) a bow and arrow from the materials around you and how to cook in the bush kitchen with the chef.
When the water levels in the delta are high enough, you can take a mokoro (dugout canoe) safari and the children can even have a go at doing the poling themselves! They can also try to fish for bream and cook it on the fire when you get back to camp.
This experience is all about togetherness, however by sundowner time, children are fairly worn out and parents can relax with that gin and tonic or a glass of wine!
When you arrive the children are given a young Explorers Bush Journal, including safety tips, a checklist of mammals, birds, reptiles and insects, some common tracks and star constellations. On completion of the safari, your children will be presented with a certificate, confirming membership of the Young Explorers. Members can keep up to date on the goings on in the bush through monthly newsletters on the internet from the guides, the qualified environmental educators.
One can visit the Okavango Delta at any time of the year depending on your interests, however the Young Explorer’s program is closed during December, January and February.
Generally the Okavango Delta is best during the dry season of April to November. The waters are the highest during June and September, making for fantastic game viewing as all the wildlife comes to the Delta to seek water. There are also wonderful opportunities for mokoro safaris amongst the reeds. The temperatures are the coolest between May and August with daytime temperatures reaching the mid-20’s (Celsius) and cooler morning and evenings, which may be more comfortable for young families.