Kenya with young children (5 & just 3). Is it doable?(14 Posts)
My DH has some work in Nairobi just after Christmas and has suggested I flynout and we have a 10 day family holiday over new year. Neither of us know Kenya and although inlove the idea of safari I fear the girls will be bored in the car. Has anyone been to Kenya (or similar African country) with very young kids? What did you do and was it fun?
Bumping, because I want to know too. These travel topics have such slow traffic though - am tempted to try in chat instead...
A safari would not be suitable - and it will be SO hot then. (We have just been and it was great as their winter and we were in shorts etc).
I would recommend that anyone who gets a chance does a decent safari, we had the best holiday ever, but I would say from age 12+ would be best. You have very early starts and long days in coverted vans, terrible roads (and no car seats!).
However, the beach resorts are also fantastic, and you could have a great time there - but will need malaria tablets and yellow fever vaccinations (expensive).
Yellow fever jabs were about £70 per person but that was a couple of years ago. I wouldn't take kids until 12 either I'm afraid, injections, daily malarials, and early starts, (5am) to escape the heat and see the game. The distances you travel can be huge and the roads and cars are not designed for comfort!
We go to Africa a lot and it's fantastic for children but you do need to be realistic.
1. Healthcare is not the same as here. Don't know if you read the story of the poor lad who died after picking up an infection (think it was in Kenya) watching his dad do a charity bike ride.
2. The roads are not safe and there is more crime.
3. I would tailor the holiday to what the kids will manage - they are too young for proper safaris. Some resorts will do children's safaris which are shorter and not at the hottest parts of the day.
Kenya is beautiful but if I was you and with kids that age, I'd look to stay in a resort rather than just staying in the city. Oh and be v careful about food hygiene. I steer clear of ice/ice cream and salads.
And the 3 yr old will probably still be too young. Mine did children's safari when they were 7/8 and loved it but 3 is v little really. There are some beautiful resorts there so maybe you could stretch to one of those!
I'm in Kenya and yes you should come and join him. You can do all sorts of short safaris only 2 hours out of Nairobi or longer safaris by flying in or hiring a very comfortable 4 wheel drive. There are plenty of places to go with no malaria. The beaches are wonderful if you fancy a beach holiday. You don't need yellow fever vaccs.
Temperatures in December are about 27 degrees in Nairobi and surrounds. It's not too hot, not as hot as say southern Europe during August. Down at the beach it is hotter at about 30+, but you can rent a villa with a/c or stay in a hotel.
If you are careful and aware then crime is no worse than any other major city. The same goes for hygiene. We even drink tap water here...
I do admit that the roads can be a dangerous place, probably the greatest risk of living here!
Kenya is never boring for kids!! All those animals! And that beautiful nature and culture, the people are amazing....
You could not give them more fantastic memories for their future...
It will make them more open to life, other cultures, environments etc,.
In my estimation, it's the best education, travel.
I was there in 1985 travelling for 3 months, went on a week's safari and the 6 year old kid was the most amazing of the lot, not one complaint out of him (it's us adults that are jaded and complain about the "primitive" conditions...)
...and when the truck breaks down, but then the masai come, and a chance to communicate, where do you get that?...
Just make sure you have all the vaccinations and malaria prophelactics, drink only bottled water etc.
But really, kids are so much more resilient than we (paranoid) westeners give them credit for....
the greatest and most open kids - and adults - I've met are those who have travelled....for the love of it, adventure, for work, volunteering, ngo's, family, etc.
I am a travel junkie myself, so dragged my child along too (single mum, had to LOL), I see the results, he is not afraid, of people, of situations, is very sociable, and just went off to study politics at an international university.
I grew up myself as an expat "third culture" kid
"Life is like a book and those who have not travelled have not passed the first page" - unknown
With all due respects, fox, one is just as likely nowadays to pick up an infection - like MSRA - in a hospital in UK.
With tropical countries, you have to make sure you get down to the tropical clinic in your area and get all the info/jabs/prophelactics you need.
And take all precautions, like not drink the water or bathe in it....or even stick your foot in!! Only 2 lakes without Bilharzia in Africa (last I heard).
You only need google for info about it all. CDC (US) is a good one too.
Lonely Planet books et al has a section on it all too. (but internet is better for instant news).
Even TB is coming back. You can also catch it up in Europe....
Just be informed and take the action.
And you have to keep it in perspective....
... more crime? like the UK riots you mean? didn't see them in Kenya.....ever.
We went to Kenya this year and our dd's loved it. We went to the masai mara for the safari and that was great, our dd's were 11 and 9 at the time so a bit older and I think they had to be 7 to go on safari.
We also stayed in Mombasa for 12 nights and visited a local orphanage, our dd's really enjoyed spending time playing with the children that we went back for a second visit before we came home.
We want to do a safari with ours but will probably wait until the youngest is at least 6 years. The area we want to travel to recommends malaria medication which can be difficult to get into young children. Also the children need to be able to remain reliably quiet, which ours aren't!
Bumping this thread for myself. We are thinking to go to Kenya in Mar/Apr 2012 with two children 4yo and 1.5yo. Actually my husband is Kenyan so will fly to Nairobi but stay around Kisumu. I am dreading the trip because the children are so small but we went to travel before the older starts school. What activities can be done with children of this age? (most safe healthwise and crimewise)
Check out the elephant orphanage .... David sheldrick wildlife trust.
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