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  • How To Choose a Family-Friendly Safari

    6/14/2019 2:24:57 PM Link 0 comments | Add comment


    When planning a family safari to South Africa, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is which lodge to choose. There are many choices in South Africa but the key is to choose a kid-friendly accommodation that fits your budget and lifestyle. Here are some things to consider when searching for the best family-friendly safari lodges in South Africa.


    Are children permitted on the safari game drives or walks?

    Each lodge has specific rules about the minimum age that children should be before going on a safari game drive. At most lodges in South Africa, the minimum age for children to participate in a safari game drive is six years old. For safety reasons, young children (under age 16) are rarely permitted on game walks. Most safari lodges will allow any aged children on a safari game drive if you reserve your own vehicle for your family. However, at Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge any aged children are permitted on all safari game drives.


    What do kids do when they’re not on a safari game drive?

    Many lodges offer activities for children during the day. These can range from walks around the property, crafts, baking, treasure hunts and more. At Thornybush Game Lodge children receive a “Ranger-in-Training” pack, which contains a backpack, coloring book and crayons, and a safari-interactive toy. Thornybush also offers kids spa treatments in shorter time frames and with kid-friendly names, like the baboon chest rub.


    Does the safari lodge offer educational programming for children?

    Whether you are travel schooling or simply on vacation, families often want to include educational programs for children during their holiday in South Africa. For example, at Shamwari Game Reserve’s Riverdene Lodge and Sarili Lodge, appointed staff meet with families upon arrival to talk about specific activities appropriate for the family’s size, children’s ages and weather considerations. There are various activities to teach humane and compassionate care for animals, such as visits to the Born Free Foundation Big Cat Rescue Centre and the Shamwari Rehabilitation Centre. There are also activities suited for indoors and other social and cultural activities to engage in.


    Does the safari lodge offer babysitting?

    Whether it is because parents would like to take part in a game drive together, go to the onsite spa or even relax for some time on their own, it is important that the safari lodge you stay at offers babysitting or “child minding” services. For example, if children are not permitted on game drives for safety reason, babysitting services are available (for a fee). Savanna Safari Lodge has a trained nanny on staff who keep kids busy in fun, engaging activities specially designed for “bush babies.”


    Does the safari lodge offer discounts for kids?

    A family safari trip to South Africa can be very expensive. To cut costs, consider staying at a lodge that offers a “kids eat” or “stay free” promotion. Also keep in mind the age classification for kids may vary from hotel to hotel. For example, at Madikwe Game Reserve the lodge’s children aged 0-5 stay for free and children 6-15 pay half the adult rate, with two paying adults.


    Can families share a room at a safari lodge?

    Many safari lodges have family suites or small houses/chalets to accommodate multi-generational or large families. Dependent on the lodge, there are age limits on how old kids can be to stay in a room with parents. At Kariega Game Reserve the Main Lodge offers three- and four-bedroom chalets ideal for multi-generation families or larger families.


    There are many great options for families to have a wonderful safari in South Africa. The key is to determine what your needs are and research your options. And of course, it is always helpful to have a trusted resource available (like the staff of Africa Specialists at Tyus Tours & Travel to help you find the best option to meet your needs.


  • Cuba Travel Ban Goes Into Effect

    6/7/2019 4:22:45 PM Link 0 comments | Add comment


    The Trump administration on Tuesday ended the most popular forms of U.S. travel to Cuba, banning cruise ships and a heavily used category of educational travel in an attempt to cut off cash to the island’s communist government.


    Cruise travel from the U.S. to Cuba began in May 2016 during President Barack Obama’s opening with the island. It has become the most popular form of U.S. leisure travel to the island, bringing 142,721 people in the first four months of the year, a more than 300% increase over the same period last year. For travelers confused about the thicket of federal regulations governing travel to Cuba, cruises offered a simple, one-stop, guaranteed-legal way to travel.


    That now appears to be over, with an estimated 800,000 cruise passenger bookings affected, according to cruise industry group Cruise Lines International Association.


    The Cuban government imposed food rationing last month as a result of tightened U.S. sanctions and a drop in subsidized oil and other aid from Venezuela. For the Cuban government, cruise travel generated many millions of dollars a year in docking fees and payments for on-shore excursions, although those figures were never made public. Cuba also has become the most-requested destination for many South Florida-based cruise lines.


    I Megan King, a spokesperson for cruise industry group Cruise Lines International Association, told USA TODAY that the new regulations were announced suddenly and will have massive implications.


    "Without warning, CLIA cruise line members are forced to eliminate all Cuba destinations from all itineraries effective immediately. This affects nearly 800,000 passenger bookings that are scheduled or already underway. All these bookings had been made under a general license previously issued by the United States Government that authorized “people to people” travel to Cuba."


    Unfortunately, King said, cruise lines are virtually powerless in this situation: "The new rules effectively make it illegal to cruise to Cuba from the United States. While this situation is completely beyond our control, we are genuinely sorry for all cruise line guests who were looking forward to their previously booked itineraries to Cuba."


    Commercial airline flights appear to be unaffected by the new measures and travel for university groups, academic research, journalism and professional meetings will continue to be allowed.


    Tyus Tours & Travel has land only tours available to Cuba for more information visit http://bit.ly/2SxIinr or call 866-547-5362.


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