‘Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.’ – Anon
Travel is fun and exciting but can also be stressful and exhausting. I have the worst luck and more often than not have a delayed or missed flight. I can only imagine that it makes it even more challenging when there are young children involved. It might seem too daunting, carting your kids half way across the world, but there are some reasons why it is worth it!
Traveling is so much more than just a break from our usual routines, and working in Cubs Den has highlighted the importance of travel for children and the invaluable lessons they can learn from it.
1. New things
Your children and many of their classmates may have never heard of South Africa before you started planning your trip, and once at the destination there is a never-ending list of things to learn. At Londolozi, children can come along on the village walk and learn about new cultures and traditions. They are also given a checklist on which they can tick off all the animals and plants that they might encounter on their safari. Their ranger and tracker will teach them all kinds of interesting things and some may even learn (or if they are lucky enough, see) what a pangolin is for the first time. They also get to try new foods and hear different languages.
Travelling helps children interact with new people of all ages and from all over the world. This may be in Cubs Den where they might be swimming with children who don’t speak the same language as them or making sure they all work together and share tasks when baking or building a fort out of beanbags and pillows. It could be on the game drives where they are driving with other guests of all ages and nationalities. Being relaxed and confident around different people is very important later in life and it could have all started on their first safari.
3. Being out in nature
Being at Londolozi is a great opportunity to have a break from the iPads and cell phones and to appreciate and experience the outdoors. Children may catch their first fish here, make a wish on a shooting star or spend the day paddling in the shallow waters at Finfoot. No matter the occasion, it is always great seeing kids have fun outside!
Travelling can be tiring and an international flight can be long and boring. Also, a safari here starts at 5am in the summer, and this can turn it into a long day. There is the potential for boredom to set in with kids. Patience is key and a vital life lesson that travel teaches us. And children here soon learn that it was well worth the wait, when they arrive back to camp with stories about the lions and elephants that they managed to spot on their safari.
5. Expression and story telling
Something we feel is so important at Londolozi is storytelling, and one can only imagine how the kids go back to school and tell their friends about their safari holidays. Whether it be about the hyena that visited them during a drinks stop or the vervet monkeys trying to steal their breakfast each morning, I am sure their imagination and excitement runs wild.
6. Family bonding
Lastly but probably the most important aspect of travelling with children is the quality family time that you get to spend with your children in a relaxed, fun environment. Nothing can compare to this bonding time and these shared experiences. And of course, you get a little break when they visit Cubs den!
Travelling under 12 does not necessarily mean that they’ll remember the specifics later on in life but the lessons learned and the fun had will be with them forever. Every day I spend in Cubs Den shows me how much the children learn and also, how much I can learn from them!