Tips for Travelling with Kids in East Africa
Most people might think that East African destinations are adventure playgrounds for adults only, but it’s just as fascinating for kids. Visiting East Africa with your kids will be an experience of a lifetime for everyone, as you spend precious time together on holiday.
The African region is bursting with a wide range of attractions for family fun. You will find everything for a family holiday in East Africa such as beaches, national parks, museums, wildlife, adventures, arts and culture.
Travelling with kids can be challenging, but if you plan your trip well, you could be enjoying everything East Africa has to offer, even with your kids in tow.
Here are some tips to make travelling with kids in East Africa a little easier:
Book a family-friendly accommodation
The East African region has some accommodation facilities that are kid-friendly and this should be top of your list. Some hotels and lodges have specific child-friendly activities so that the kids don’t get bored or feel out of place even when you are enjoying your holiday.
Purchase Comprehensive Family Travel Insurance
Comprehensive travel insurance is quite important when travelling with your kids. You should ensure that the travel insurance you choose covers any overseas medical expenses, medical repatriation, and travel inconveniences. If the food in East Africa does not sit well with your kids or if they fall sick due to change in weather, they will need to go for medical treatment.
This may likely cost you a fortune as a foreigner. Thus your travel insurance should cover medical expenses or even evacuation to a medical facility. It’s also important that the insurance cover offer compensation for damages or loss of luggage/properties. It’s advisable to speak with your insurance provider to know the suitable one for your trip.
Get the necessary vaccinations and medication
This is important prior to travel in any part of East Africa and it goes a long way as a preventative measure. If your kids are over one year, get them a yellow fever vaccination as it is required from travellers arriving at any East African country.
Ensure you visit the doctor with your kids before departing for East Africa, and pack any medication that the kids could be using or that a doctor may have advised.
Important Travel Documents
When travelling, it’s essential to take along with you all travel documentation including identification papers. You should research the specific requirements of the East African country you’ll be visiting.
This will help you know the documents that will be required if travelling with kids such as birth certificates, authorization letters from the other parent ( if you’re travelling alone with your kid), and maybe adoption papers if your child is adopted, travel visas and passports.
Tip: To check if you qualify to travel to East Africa visa-free free check out the following articles:
Pack some supplies from home
Bring along the basic supplies your kids use from time to time. You may not find these supplies at the local supermarkets, and even if you find them, they may be expensive. Carry disposable nappies, powdered milk, child seats if you’re going on safari or even hiring a car.
If you have child-friendly insect repellent please bring it along, as well as canned baby food to keep your babies replenished the whole journey and during your stay.
Pack some easy to eat, non-messy foods though, nothing too heavy. You should also have a separate carry-on bag with a change of clothes and any other essentials you may need at any point, wet wipes, feeding bottles and anything else.
Packing with Kids
Double-check age limits
It’s important that you double check age limits for children for your intended destinations and activities. While a majority of accommodation facilities may allow children, they may not have the staff or facilities to host them. Therefore, knowing beforehand that your host is as family friendly as possible is a plus and you may be lucky to even find some have staff members tasked with babysitting or entertaining the kids.
Air travel with Kids
Most airlines have an in-flight activities service if you’re travelling with kids such as books, toys or games. Request this in advance so it is sorted and the kids are not bored during the flight.
This also goes for children meals, which also be requested for, in advance. You can also load your phone or iPad with games or movies they can enjoy inflight.
Air Travel with Kids
Tell your kids about East Africa
Take time to explain to the kids what is going to happen, where you are going and why it is important. Make a story out of it if it’ll help give the kids a sense of adventure and help them look forward to it.
During this talk also throw in how they are supposed to behave themselves during the trip and while doing the activities. Remember the more information they have, the easier the travel will be and the more they are likely to enjoy it.
Kids on Safari in East Africa
Keep tabs on your kids always
Children are in the habit of moving around, one minute you are seeing them, and the next minute they are nowhere to be found. Therefore, it’s important to keep tabs on your kids always so that you don’t lose them. Nowadays, there are several technology devices that can help parents keep a tab on their kids by providing their location.
Even if you are at the airport or in a crowded area, you can easily locate your child with a tracker device. You can strap these wearable devices on their belt or shoes or even backpacks, if you lose them, you can set off the alarm and you will hear a sound that will help you find them. Some devices use GPS trackers that can help you locate your child wherever he or she is.