South African Safari ....Oh No, I've upset my hubby. HELP !!!!!

(64 Posts)
Tillyboo Fri 23-Nov-12 20:49:45

My dh really wants us to go on a 9 day trip to Safari with out 9yo dd to South Africa. He knows I don't want to do this but is convinced I'd love it. I don't want to go. He's got a luxury co. to prepare an itinerary staying in two luxury lodge resorts to tempt me BUT I really, really don't want to go. It's a lovely thought &

I'm lucky enough to have the opportunity and I feel guilty now but I am firm on the fact. I also wondering if it's a suitable holiday for a 9yo girl who won't have any peers around her to keep her company or play with ...

I'd really appreciate some thoughts or experiences on this. Am I being unreasonable ? I wouldn't push my hubby into doing something if I knew he didn't want to/ have an interest in, just because I did.
Should I feel guilty ?
Am I denying my dh & dd.
Agh ! I was expecting this to come up sooner or later ...

nailak Sat 24-Nov-12 17:57:20

my dd went on safari when she was 2, she is 5 still remembers it,

how can 9 be too young? hmm

Tilly - no malaria rsik or jabs needed for Cape Town/Port Elizabeth. Lots of these places put on special family game drives, game drives are twice a day morning and evening in the middle there is swimming/beaches/shopping/other things you can do. We take our 2 girls every year and have done since they were tiny.

helpyourself Sat 24-Nov-12 18:13:11

Meh. It's only 9 days. After literally 20 years of yearning to go to a particular county that I really didn't want to visit we all went 3 years ago. DH, usually a 'wing it' holidaymaker planned everything scrupulously, knowing I couldn't handle anything going wrong. We had a fantastic time and have been back since.
Let him organise it, knowing you have reservations. Step back and enjoy the ride!

tribpot Sat 24-Nov-12 18:34:37

how can 9 be too young?

nailak it is mentioned in the thread above that some lodges don't take children under 12, and that in any case the safari may involve quite a lot of hurry-up-and-wait, which might get tiresome for a 9 year old unless she is fascinated by animals.

PrincessSymbian Sat 24-Nov-12 18:46:57

I went on safari at the age of six (back in the eighties before health and safety kicked in).
I still remember watching lions eat a zebra, real wild lions that live in the wild eating a zebra that they had caught! And giraffes and elephants. Lizards in the hotel. Real live baboon bottoms!
I would leap at the opportunity to go again.

In August we took all 4 kids around Namibia and South Africa for 3 weeks. They were aged 4-10. It was fine. We saw lots and lots of wildlife and our kids, who are not at all well behaved, were mainly quiet when they needed to be.
Everyone had a good time and I'm sure you and your DD would too.
But if you really don't want to go, then don't.

nailak Sat 24-Nov-12 19:35:48

the op said he got a luxury company to prepare an itinerary, so i am sure they made sure of age limits and stuff,

I have been to South Africa about ten times, about to go again next week, 9 is definitely not too young, and even if you are not in to animals, being there is totally different experience.

OP this is your husbands dream, would it really hurt to let him have it? obviously his dream includes you and dd!

difficultpickle Sat 24-Nov-12 19:43:31

I agree with others. Get your dh to take your dd without you. They'll have an amazing time and better than you going too and being do reluctant. I took ds when he was 5. We went to a coupe if different places including Addo (which I assume is your dh plan too as you mentioned PE). Ds loved it. We stayed in traditional mud circular huts with roll top baths. Hot chocolate after evening safaris. Sumptuous breakfasts following before dawn starts. Just brilliant experiences that will stay with him forever.

C0smos Sat 24-Nov-12 19:45:46

I live in SA, if you're going on safari in Cape Town / PE then thus will probably be to one of the posh private reserves, which are much smaller and stocked up with animals to see, not like the Zkruger Zpark which is bigger than Wales and you can drive all day and see nowt.

Can't you compromise Cape Town is a fantastic place to holiday, beach, table mountain, Robben island, beautiful drives up Chapmans Peak, penguins at Simons Town then you can drive along the Garden Route to PE, Hermanus to see whales, Knysna is a great laid back resort etched etc

difficultpickle Sat 24-Nov-12 19:50:50

Cosmos that's the trip I did with ds. CT to PE via the inland route and back along the Garden Route. Really fab holiday.

CaipirinhasAllRound Sun 25-Nov-12 08:04:12

I went to Cape Town and drove as far as Port Elizabeth and Addo Elephant Park last year and it was the best 2 week holiday

I'm not sure if safety is a concern but if so, despite having been to SA, Bolivia, Brazil and a ton of other places, the only place I've ever had my purse stolen is London. My parents travel loads - including SA and Zimbabwe a few times (pre Mugabe) - and the only time they've had anything stolen was in Barcelona.

If I wanted to go and DH didn't I was do my damndest to try and convince him to go. I can't imagine doing a holiday like that without your OH to share it with, it's not like going to Tenerife for a week to sit by the pool, it's an amazing experience which is made all the more special by sharing it

CleansLate Sun 25-Nov-12 08:09:32

Only if you're sharing it with someone who wants to be there, Caipirinhas

Someone I know went on her trip of a lifetime with her reluctant DH. He was so awful during it that it was a major factor in them splitting up! He went out of his way to spoil it for her. NOT saying the OP would do that, but it's just silly to spend thousands on a trip like that for the enjoyment of one person.

I'd tell him to go with a friend or, better still, wait a few years and take DD. I took my DS on holiday just the two of us (nothing as amazing as a safari though!), and it was fabulous, a really special time together. I can imagine it'd be lovely for a dad and his teenage DD too.

Onlyaphase Sun 25-Nov-12 08:11:46

We took DD (then aged 5) on various safari trips when staying in Durban this year. A lot of the reserves are stocked and allow you to drive your own vehicle, so a bored child will have lots to see, and won't annoy others as you could be on your own and control the itinerary too.

Safety seemed fine to us, better than a few years ago.

MrsMushroom Sun 25-Nov-12 08:11:51

OP I totally understand you. I would HATE to go on safari. It just does not appeal. As you say "Sitting in a jeep waiting for a giraffe to appear" I can't see the attraction!

theoriginalandbestrookie Sun 25-Nov-12 08:17:24

Where would you like to go Tillyboo ? You don't want to go on safari and you don't like skiing - what would be your idea of a dream holiday?

I get what you are saying but I can't see why you are so grumpy about it.

It seems that your family is lucky enough to be able to afford luxury holidays and it is a special ambition of your DH's to go on safari. I think it would be a brilliant holiday for a 9 yr old to go on and whilst you are a bit meh about it maybe it would change once you saw the animals up close. It would be a bit of a shame if DD was to miss out on the opportunity to go on safari.

Perhaps your DH could compromise by giving up the ski trip this year or doing it on his own as a lads trip, or you could say what you really wanted to do and the family could do that as the next holiday.

LittleBearPad Sun 25-Nov-12 19:48:16

What is it about safari's that you don't like? Can't you go this time and pick the next holiday.

Tillyboo Sun 25-Nov-12 23:03:09

I'm not a party pooper or adverse to another type of holiday, I just don't want to go on safari !
For example, The Northern Lights/ Lapland at Christmas. Myself & my dd absolutely love Christmas & I think it'd be magical for her ....twinkly lights everywhere, log cabins with an open fire, snow, husky rides (we all love dogs), reindeer/ horse sleigh rides (myself & dd love horses & reindeers), DH loves the snowy environments & activities, so I'm thinking this would be very memorable.
We're currently in the most active period as the the lights apparantly run in cycles every 11 years for 3 yrs. So, up until Dec 2013, it's likely we'll get the best show.

I remember seeing Joanna Lumley lying in the snow looking up at the night sky flickering with the most gorgeous colours & that's stayed with me ever since smile

ThatVikRinA22 Sun 25-Nov-12 23:09:37

what a terrible terrible dilemma...

MrsMushroom Mon 26-Nov-12 00:04:58

I hate the heat...hate dust...hate being in "rough terrain" generally. Maybe the OP is like me? I also have minimal interest in wild animals.

HollaAtMeBaby Mon 26-Nov-12 00:15:20

OMG this is such a first world problem! You sound unbelievably spoilt. It's one holiday of what sounds like a lifetime of luxury trips (skiing, Lapland at Christmas, riding holidays). It is your DH's dream and it will be wonderful for your DD. Have a few days in Cape Town too if that'll make this hideous trauma more bearable for you, lots of lovely spas, beaches and shops etc for you there hmm

theoriginalandbestrookie Mon 26-Nov-12 10:08:49

Ok so OP you have outlined your dream holiday and it sounds like you want your DH and DD to be there with you.

Can you do both - northern lights next year to get the best of them, then safari the next ?

I know you aren't keen to do the safari, but its your DH's dream and it just seems a bit well churlish to try to replace it with your dream when presumably you can afford to do both.

If you are fed up with holidays you don't enjoy then skip the ski holiday - your DD should be old enough to be fairly self sufficient in ski school during the day but it sounds like your DH wants you to be there with him on safari and surely it can't be that much of a torture for you !

dinkystinky Mon 26-Nov-12 10:12:45

Why doesnt your DH go on holiday with your DD then, and do the safari, and you go on a riding holiday with your friends elsewhere at the same time? Or is it the fact that you all have to go together?

I went to South Africa with DH when pregnant with DS1 - we did 4 days safari (chose which drives we wanted to go on, chilled at luxury lodge the rest of the time), 4 days whale watching and capetown then the garden route (DH enjoyed making the most of the vineyards with a built in designated driver on holiday) and it was wonderful - but I wanted to do each part of that holiday.

ZZZenAgain Mon 26-Nov-12 11:08:13

As a child, I did a great deal of this kind of thing, though less organised and it was perfectly normal for us so we did not question it; and to this day, I remember a great deal of what we saw and experienced, so I think your dd would enjoy it.

Your husband has looked into a luxury safari you said, so I think even if you are not particularly keen on driving about and looking at the wildlife , perhaps you would still really enjoy the socialising, the meals, the perhaps quite unusual places you will stay in. If you have not been to Africa before, the sunrise is quite spectacular and I think you could really enjoy the main part of your trip, even if the actual days spent watching wildlife don't interest you much.

If you enjoy riding holidays, I wonder if you could combine the two, spend some time after the safari staying in a nice place with good trails?

ZZZenAgain Mon 26-Nov-12 11:12:48

There were however 3 of us dc in the family. If you are worried about your dd feeling isolated, I am not sure what you can do other than travelling with another family or taking a friend along with you. Could you check whether there are other families with dc booked already?

Backinthebox Mon 26-Nov-12 11:27:37

I have your holiday problems solved for you!

1. Your husband wants to go on safari, you want to go riding. Why not go here? There is nothing like waiting for a giraffe to appear while you are on a horse - terrifying and fabulous all at the same time.

2. Your husband likes skiing, you want to see the Northern Lights. You can ski (a bit) here. A good skier will make the most of the waist deep champagne powder beside the pistes in the trees or hone their tricks on the kilometre-long natural half-pipe. But the atmosphere is amazing and there are lots of other snowy things to do. I've seen the Northern Lights here too, and they are jaw-dropping.

If I were you, I would be agreeing to compromise on both things. Agree to an African adventure if you can go off riding when you get there, but he has to give up the pure skiing holiday for this in order that you can see the Northern Lights.

I'll just add that I resisted going to see a family member in a very difficult to get to place for years as I didn't want to go. Its a place that is not considered very child-friendly. I've just got back from a few days there with 5yo DD, and wondered why we didn't go sooner! I had my mind changed about the place and can't wait to go back with 2yo DS next time! It's sometimes worth stepping outside of your comfort zone.

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