Going “on safari” had never been on my bucket list. In fact, until I actually had the incredible, transformative opportunity to stay at andBeyond Phinda Private Game Reserve, a private big-five game reserve located a four-hour drive north of Durban in KwaZulu-Natal, I believed the closest to the African experience I’d ever have was on the tram ride at the Safari Park at the San Diego Zoo and the rustic train through the savannah at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, in Orlando. My recent ride through Safari West in Sonoma was like biting into the Proustian madeleine; it brought into clear focus the memories from my treks into the bush on a South African safari.
Checking off a bucket-list destination is an incredible opportunity for any family, but add a once-in-a-lifetime experience to it and you have yourself a dream vacation. Enter South African Safaris. Between spotting wildlife in its natural habitat, surrounded by wild landscape and stunning views, with accommodations teetering on rustic-meets-modern luxury, it’s no wonder safari vacations are so highly sought after.
For many of us, a family trip to Africa is at the top of our bucket list, especially if the idea of seeing lions, tigers and — well, maybe not bears, but a whole menagerie of other exotic animals in the wild. But if the idea of roughing it isn’t your style, you can enjoy a deluxe version of the experience at Elewana Lodo Springs, a new luxury tented camp scheduled to open in June 2019.
The idea of a family vacation to South Africa may have been calling your name for some time — after all, 2019 marks the 25th anniversary of the end of Apartheid — but, until this year, the regulations and red tape for adults traveling with children have been off-putting. The good news is the country’s Department of Home Affairs is relaxing those regulations; here’s what you need to know.