Thinking about to take kids on a safari? Yesterday I read that almost 50% of the Earth’s population is urbanized. That made me think: where are the pristine areas in the world and what protects them in the future? And, with all the modern amenities our lives provide, do kids even need wilderness?
Let’s start with the basic premise that most children are interested in nature, and that we, as parents want them to be. Kids are born curious, and perhaps more connected to the natural world than we as we grow older and are busy.
Take Kids on Safari and Become a Kid Again
Remember turning over a rock and discovering a lizard or salamander as a kid?
I delighted in such discoveries in my small-town suburbia upbringing! Who knew such things dwelled out of site? I felt like a nature explorer and adventurer!
Another benefit to taking kids out into the natural world: we teach them to become self-reliant in nature, and have a personal connection to it. Click To Tweet
I was lucky; we also had woods to roam in between neighborhoods, so could observe and encounter birds, bats, deer, raccoon, reptiles, turtles in the wetlands, and bugs of all sorts – some fascinating, others repelling.
The Thrill of Being Out in Nature
That thrill of nature – mysterious, exciting – how do we, as parents, foster this and nurture it?
We start in our own backyards or the nearby park or nature preserve. In time, we can take them farther afield. There are SO many incredible places to discover in our country and in the world!
But there is another benefit to taking kids out into the natural world: we teach them to become self-reliant in nature, and have a personal connection to it.
My own home-grown safaris into suburban nature led first to camping trips and a spectacular journey of hiking and camping in the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming as a teen, to a lifelong love of the outdoors to seek wherever I live from city to town and wherever and how I travel.
A safari can give kids balance and help them retain their fascination and respect for nature. It, hopefully, can teach them, by the value of personal experience, the importance of conservation of the natural world. Click To Tweet
And, my own safari experience are truly life changing and transformative, every time I go.
WHY is it important for our kids to have and grow awe and respect for nature, when their needs are cared for in modern society?
The personal connection to nature around us and further in the world prevents us from being cut off from the natural world. If people don’t understand nature in a way where it has impacted their sense of wonder and the thrill of discovery of the unknown, then how can we expect to protect it?
A safari experience as a child from young through the teen years is the gift of taking pictures off the textbook or website page and delivering that straight to their heart. I myself read National Geographic magazines and watched Wild Kingdom (remember that?) as a child; my own kids had the Nature series, the Discovery Channel and others. But being in nature increased my and their knowledge and solidified learning with connection.
The biggest parenting challenge is to help kids truly learn, not just from books and technology, but from the senses and heart as well. A safari takes kids out of the modern world and away from devices, schedules, and pressures to immerse in the unique ways of the natural world- and the people that live there as well, far outside any urban center. It is that very almost opposite of daily life that gives a different perspective, and that disconnection from digital devices creates connection– to themselves and visceral reactions to the unique things they see, to the people they meet, and to the family they experience this with.
A safari can give kids balance and help them retain their fascination and respect for nature. It, hopefully, can teach them, by the value of personal experience, the importance of conservation of the natural world. Our future existence relies on this understanding and sense of care it requires to preserve pristine natural habitats, conserve natural resources, and come up with solutions to balance man and nature in the future. At best, it may inform the career path of your child or grandchild or create in them a mindset of informed choices on how they live, what digital presence they allow daily, and what mindful choices they make in consumerism. What better gift to give them than a balanced sense of self, and care for the future of the world and their part in it?
Getting into nature and experiencing the people who live far outside our familiar surroundings broadens perspectives, fosters understanding and curiosity, creates learning far outside that any classroom can give.
Don’t we all want that? What greater way to give- and share- that experience than on an African safari?
Consult a travel professional for safari planning for the style, comfort and nature experience you want for your family. I love helping families of all generations discover and learn together!
If you’d like to have more ease in your travel planning in 2019, I’d love to help!
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