“Africa has stolen my heart… and my words, I can no longer describe the beauty I have seen.” – Leanne, ROAR AFRICA guest
Africa is a land of extraordinary gifts. And nature is a natural healing tonic. In a time when the wide-open spaces of my home continent are under incomprehensible pressure, opening the minds and hearts of the next generation to the wonder of the wild is more important than ever. No trip offers the undisturbed presence of the entire family, truly wanting to just be where they are, better than being on safari. There are no friends down the street or cooler, better distractions. In fact, the coolest thing of all is sharing the experience of being out in the wild with just your family. The sanctity of space, of wild wide-open air, and of silence. As acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton said so wisely, “silence is not the absence of something but the presence of everything”. Silence nurtures our nature. Our minds are more receptive and our ears more attuned. We become better listeners not only to nature but to one another.
There’s a freedom to waking up in the wilderness unencumbered by the stresses of daily life. The forced surrender to the rhythms of safari – rising with the sun, game drives, afternoon siestas, candlelit dinners around the fire, and nightly stargazing – spurs a reconnection with the earth, with your loved ones, and with yourself. Nights are filled with the soundtrack of the bush, afternoons with splashing in the pool, and delicious meal times are spent recounting the sights of the day.
Being alive is a beautiful thing. We cannot comprehend the mysteries of the universe, but we know that our bond to one another can help navigate life’s complexities. A common call to something in my own consciousness is to make friends in places I don’t know. Open up the windows into your world, and others will offer insight, spaciousness, reflection, and solidarity. We so easily forget that our own families can provide all of this wondrous connection and calm.
All four African seasons have a unique beauty, ripe with opportunities for extraordinary wildlife encounters. Southern Africa is particularly show-stopping in November, December, and January. South Africa’s elegant Winelands, cosmopolitan Cape Town, and the Sabi Sand conservancy are gloriously green and warm. In Kenya, the climate is ideal, and the landscapes, from Mount Kenya to the Maasai Mara, are alive with color and wildlife. It’s a season that calls for heart-expanding family adventures in the wild. For children, open-ended days out in the fresh air are spent observing the elephants, monkeys, and other animals that have, until now, lived possibly only in their imaginations. In a short span of time, curious young minds learn so much. The storytelling and teaching talents of ROAR AFRICA’s hand-picked guides transform these young souls into informed conservationists – the positive impact of which will be felt long into the future.
“I can’t begin to express my gratitude to ROAR AFRICA for arranging the most amazing trip our family has ever had! Organizing a group of 13 family members on short notice to celebrate my husband’s birthday in a place we knew nothing about was daunting. ROAR handled everything to perfection. It was the little things and the big things that we will forever remember. From dramatic breakfasts in the bush, surprise birthday cakes, and impromptu dance parties, not to mention the most spectacular accommodations and knowledgeable guides showing us Africa’s wildlife in all its glory, many times right outside our doors! And may I add, as a family traveling with young children around wild animals, we felt our safety was always considered and properly handled.” – Julie, ROAR AFRICA guest
Sharing our magnificent homeland with others is ROAR AFRICA’s greatest pleasure and privilege. And with skillful planning and insider knowledge, much ground can be covered. With children and extended family in tow, perhaps a few days at Kenya’s Segera is in order, with its spacious private villas, swimming pools and spa, and stellar game viewing. Plus, incredible opportunities for beading, foraging, and learning about the local culture and surrounding pastoral tribes. Or Tswalu in South Africa – a magnificent conservation success story alive with flora, fauna, and luxurious accommodation designed for family relaxation and connection. Camps like Jabulani, Lion Sands, Sabi Sabi, and Cottar’s have excellent children’s programs that deftly fuse wildlife education with adventure. (Read about the extraordinary experience of Jacqui Gifford – editor in chief of Travel + Leisure magazine – and her family with ROAR AFRICA, here.) For the future of Africa, these young explorers are critical to conservation. That they develop an understanding of our innate connection to the earth and the urgent need to preserve Africa’s remaining wild spaces is a priceless gift for them and for the future of our planet. And for you to observe this process is incredibly rewarding too.
And so, as the end of the year approaches, we invite you to start dreaming of fiery sunsets sinking into the horizon, of a restorative adventure with your family, spent together amidst Africa’s wild beauty, immersed in nature… far from the madding crowd. In the end, there are a limited number of holiday breaks to share with just your family. Make a safari one of them. I can assure you it’s a trip brimming with more beauty and upliftment than you can imagine.