At their core, Africa safari holiday tours should be among the most thrilling and wonderous experiences imaginable. From the diverse terrain and scenery to the abundance of wildlife in regions like Tanzania, Africa offers a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience to people from all walks of life.
However, it’s sad to say that safari excursions and trips to the Kruger National Park are often fraught with fear for travellers, many of whom may have been concerned by stories and images available across social media.
In the post below, we’ll explore this in greater detail while asking whether or not it’s really safe to go on an African safari with your children.
Getting the Fear – Is it Justified?
Let’s start with a basic assertion; there’s always an element of risk when interacting with animals in their natural habitats. After all, many species are extremely unpredictable, while Africa is also home to several predators that must be given the utmost respect.
While a sense of anxiety or awareness is therefore understandable (and arguably important) for safari goers, however, this should not evolve to the point where you don’t want to interact with animals while out and about.
Unfortunately, this is often the case in the age of social media and sensationalist news reporting. This has created a large number of news channels and that are subjective and unregulated, with many developing fake narratives and stories as a way of building their reader bases.
This taps into a well-known psychological rule, which dictates that our brain stores negative information differently and more carefully by the hippocampus. In contrast, the mind is like Teflon for positive or neutral headlines, meaning that bad news is more memorable and impactful when we receive it.
So when we see stories and images of rampaging elephants or tragic deaths on safari holidays, these resonate within our minds and exaggerate the level of fear. Similarly, visions of lions charging tourists on a bush walk are often presented out of context, as predators typically warn groups first and it’s up to the guide to react to this appropriately.
So while a small amount of fear and anxiety is to be expected while on safari, that is the lifestyle afterall, the level that exists in some is entirely disproportionate and informed by half-truths at best.
Are African Safaris Really Safe?
While good news and headlines rarely travel as far as those that are negative, this should not distract us from the fact that there are millions of safari trips and game drives completed by families successfully every single year in Africa. Leading safari companies like Africa Odyssey even specialize in Africa family safari holidays which provide a a range and balance of child-friendly activities. guides and private or child-friendly accommodation.
Around 3 million people book an African safari each year too, and the vast majority of these return home with their heart full and a lifetime of fond memories.
So long as you research your trip and compare the market for the best safari operators and guides, the chances are that you’ll enjoy a safe, secure and successful trip that delivers everything you could want and more for your kin.