One of South Africa’s premier safari destinations – Londolozi Private Game Reserve – has taken the concept of “family travel” out of its traditional box. In fact, their approach to innovative and engaging family travel includes a recently released iBook: Junior Big Five Tracker, produced especially for younger family members set to visit the five-star game reserve.
“For adults, we deliver one of the most sophisticated luxury safaris in the world,” says Bronwyn Varty, Head of Marketing (and the third generation of the founding Varty family to run the lodge). “But the African savanna is an adventure destination that can also have a lasting impression on children and teenagers. We want our younger guests to leave Londolozi as passionate as we are about conservation and biodiversity. We want to connect them with the local African Shangaan culture. We want them to learn about tracking animals. Most importantly, we want them to have fun.” The interactive iBook, now available for sale on iTunes, was produced by Londolozi’s media team, in collaboration with Shangaan trackers from the local community. It is an interactive, 21st century approach to helping young people understand and engage with the animals, people, culture and world of the game reserve, either before they arrive or as they dream of visiting Londolozi. The team at Londolozi understands that, through the use of games, quizzes, sounds and videos, interactive iBooks enhance the learning experience.
“We include the more conventional activities like paper mache, candle making and baking,” says Emma Gird, Director of the Cubs Den, “but we also teach our young guests about ethology or animal behaviour, bird identification, and how to interpret animal spoor. For many families, this will be a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Africa, and my mission is to connect young minds to our wilderness in a way that is engaging, sensory and, above all, thrilling.” Some of the most popular Cubs Den activities include African dance, bead making, gumboot dancing, drumming and mud baths, inspired by a favourite pastime of the resident elephant and rhino populations of the reserve.Over many years, Londolozi has refined a child and young adult wildlife program, which they call the Cubs Den. This tailor-made adventure operates out of Londolozi’s Varty and Founders camps (which are the two lodges – out of Londolozi’s total of five – that accommodate young guests). International travellers will know that many luxury destinations offer daycare, but Londolozi was one of the first to invest in a full-time child development specialist and naturalist to guide the educational experience of young guests on their African adventure.
The “cubs” are also invited to interact with the local Shangaan community. The preschool and digital learning centre located in the Londolozi staff village are perfect places for young people with very different backgrounds to interact, share ideas and teach one another about life on different continents.
Despite the fact that Londolozi is a natural space, where Mother Earth takes center stage, young guests are also encouraged to contribute blog posts and photographs to the Londolozi Cubs Den blog.
Londolozi Game Reserve, a stand-alone family-run operation with four staff per guest, has traversing rights over 36,000 acres of prime game viewing land in the heart of the Sabi Sand Game Reserve adjacent to Kruger National Park. With large breeding herds of elephants, buffalo and white rhinos, more than 17 leopards under observation within the Londolozi traversing area, and the first game reserve in the world to be accorded Relais & Châteaux status, visitors to Londolozi fall under the magical spell of South Africa, creating memories that last a lifetime and that call them to come back again and again.
Written by: Guest blogger.
Originally published on http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/articles-travel/60952