With today’s children bogged down with too much homework, too many computer games and a hectic programme of after-school activities, choose a holiday that will really inspire them.
For children and adults alike, there is nothing like seeing animals in the wild. Imagine how the kids would love to see a lion sleeping right next to the car. Or how they would enjoy tracking cheetah or spotting giraffe snacking on treetops. And when you’re staying in a luxurious tree house, well, it doesn’t get any better.
Jaci’s Tree Lodge and its sister property, Jaci’s Safari Lodge, are in Madikwe Game Reserve in South Africa, which has 75,000 hectares in which to track and find elephant, black and white rhino, hippo, lion, leopard, hyena, cheetah, giraffe, buffalo and wild dogs. Children are most welcome and, while parents are out searching for the ‘big five’, they are taken on their own game drive, with the biggest excitement likely to be in finding piles of elephant dung, rhino footprints and enormous beetles.
Parents can spend time together for dinner, as well, with children being looked after by caring and well-trained staff. The accommodation is amazing and the kids will be kept busy on the deck of your lodge, watching for vervet monkeys and hearing lions roar in the distance. If you’re lucky, you might even see the pack of rare wild dogs that lives nearby.
This is the holiday of a lifetime and I highly recommend it. Find out more by visiting www.madikwe.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or fax +27 14 788 9901.
Egypt is another destination that will inspire children, as they see things they have learned about at school. Intrepid Travel has an excellent family holiday to Egypt, with 13 days of history and adventure. The tour starts in Cairo, with highlights including the Pyramids, a camel camping adventure, a felucca trip on the Nile, a donkey ride to the Valley of the Kings, a visit inside Tutankhamun’s tomb and a boat trip to the Temple of Philae.
Intrepid also offers family adventures to Italy, Thailand, India, China, Nepal, Vietnam, Peru and Costa Rica. Visit www.intrepidtravel.com or email email@example.com.
The Imaginative Traveller has excellent family tours to Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Turkey, China, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
Thailand is a fantastic place to take the family and one thing’s for sure: you won’t hear the words “I’m bored”. The Fabulous Thailand 15-day fully escorted tour includes Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, where you’ll sleep in a jungle raft. You can also go swimming in waterfalls, visit a tribal mountain village, take an elephant ride and spend two days on the beach at Hua Hin, so you can shop, wind down and maybe go for a horse ride on the sand at sunset.
Find out more about Imaginative Family adventures by visiting www.imaginative-family.com or calling 02 9326 6633.
Peregrine has launched a Family and Friends programme which gives families the choice of 300 trips across more than 30 countries, ranging from gentle walks in the Annapurnas of Nepal to challenging climbs and cultural experiences in South America. South East Asia, China, Africa, Antarctica and the Arctic are also included in the programme.
The Family and Friends programme means that families, or any group of four or more people, can choose a standard Peregrine or Gecko’s itinerary anywhere in the world and modify the route, accommodation standards and departure dates to suit.
A fantastic option is the Nepal Highlights tour, with a five-day trek in the Annapurna foothills, as well as a three-day wild animal experience in Chitwan National Park. This itinerary has everything, from the breathtaking majesty of the Annapurnas to the exhilaration of an elephant safari, canoe ride and jungle walk – just watch out for tigers! Visit www.peregrine.net.au, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1300 854 439.
For some action closer to home, a safari on horseback in the Kosciuszko National Park is an unforgettable experience. Reynella Alpine Horseback Safaris conducts three-day/four-night or five-day/six-night safaris through the beautiful landscapes of Kosciuszko National Park from October to April. After a day in the saddle, you are treated to dinner around the campfire, then it’s off to sleep in a tent under a blanket of stars that is far more dazzling than the city lights.
The horses are individually selected to suit each rider, and first-timers will be at home in the saddle in no time and enjoying what is one of the best holidays you can have. For a less-adventurous option, try a Homestead Stay, operated between September and May, where you can ride all day if you want to. Visit www.reynellarides.com.au, email email@example.com, or phone 1800 029 909 or 02 6454 2386.
If you prefer two wheels to four legs, Bicycle Victoria and Bicycle NSW organise fantastic rides for people aged from 10 to over 70. The major ride in 2005 for Bicycle Victoria is the Great Tasmanian Bike Ride from 5-13 February. This adventure goes from Deloraine to Hobart, down the wild west coast of Tassie.
The rides are great fun, with someone to carry your luggage and cook your meals, a minibus to pick you up if you’re too tired to keep going, and a fantastic social atmosphere. A mini tent city springs up every night, and it’s a sure thing that you and your children will make many friends. Then there’s the fresh air and exercise that can only be good for everyone.
For information on the Great Tasmanian Bike Ride, visit www.bv.com.au or phone 1800 616 600.
In NSW, the RTA Big Ride is from 19-27 February, riding from the heights of the Snowy Mountains to the beautiful seaside community of Kiama. To find out more, visit www.bigride.com.au.
Top 10 Adventurous Things to Do
- Going on safari in Africa.
- Whitewater rafting – anywhere from Queensland’s Tully River to the Zambezi in Africa.
- Bungy jumping.
- Tandem hang gliding.
- Camel trekking in Egypt or India.
- Hiking the Milford Track in New Zealand.
- Cycling in Vietnam or China.
- Kayaking in Vanuatu, Hamilton Island or Fiji.
- Jet boating on Sydney Harbour or at Queenstown, NZ.
- Walking the Austrian Alps in springtime.