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Camping with kids made easy

Camping with kids made easy

Camping with kids made easy
CHRISTOPHER SCOTT

BY CHRISTOPHER SCOTT

“You’re going THERE with your small children?” This is the usual remark we get when we mention in which untamed part of the African wilderness we are going camping with our children. We are inevitably bombarded with horror stories of potential disasters in an attempt to dissuade us from our obvious madness. However, camping with young children is not as difficult, dangerous, life-threatening or marriage-ending as people make it out to be, as long as you are organised and patient.

With a full-time photographer for a father and two parents with a passion for the bush, our children have had no choice but to join us in wild places from a very early age. Despite criticisms, we firmly believe that the earlier you travel with your children, not only does it become progressively easier but also more enjoyable both for you and them. So, if you are an enthusiastic traveller and a new parent, ignore the horror stories, find a place that you love to visit and take your children there!

Tips from a happy camper:

  • Change your preconceptions of time; it will always take longer with children.
  • Make good packing lists; babies and toddlers generally do not travel light.
  • Have plenty of snacks that are easy to hand. Children are not good at waiting.
  • Have a comprehensive and up-to-date medical aid bag and know where the nearest hospital/clinic is.
  • Always potentially be in touch. We borrow a satellite phone when we travel to areas without cell coverage.
  • Sturdy books with lots of pictures do well in the car. Plastic trucks, cars, stacking cups, buckets and spades do well in campsites and can prevent boredom.
  • After dark, hyaenas and mosquitoes will keep you on your toes if the children are not safely inside a zipped tent.
  • No matter how shallow the water, don’t bath children in a river. Take a small and inexpensive plastic basin and wash them in the campsite.
  • Inflatable splash pools are excellent for very hot areas and will keep you and the children cool and happy for ages.
  • Travelling with children is an exercise in patience; take it slow and let them experience the smallest details.

Oh! Don’t forget your camera to record these special memories.

More from this issue:
ZT17 (June 2014) - Main Menu
ZT17 (June 2014) - Full Content Listing

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