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Travelling with family may always seem to be a bit of a challenge compared with the days when it was just the two of you alone. While you can no longer quite throw some PJs in a bag and leave when you want, the Karoo is one of the most hospitable, family-friendly areas in the world. There’s plenty for the whole family to experience! From the Buffelsdrift Game Reserve family to your own, here’s our top tips to make a Karoo family experience perfect, no matter what.
One of the joys of travelling the Karoo is the long, open roads and slow pace of life. Don’t expect to zip from destination to destination here! You’re as likely to have to pause for a farm tractor, or to let wild animals cross the road… and therein lies the joys of travelling here.For adults and older kids, this is one of it’s most alluring features. Pile out at an open beauty spot. Inhale the fresh, clean air. Take a sip of crystal-clear Karoo water. Let the silence and the space cradle you. While younger family members may not feel the same without added distraction, every road is bound to be punctuated by farm stalls too. Not only is this a fantastic chance to stretch your legs, but they’re packed full of tasty snacks to buy and locals to meet. Try the home cooked pies, and stock up on rusks and jam for a traditional South African snack. The local ladies are sure to coo over your kids, too!
When was the last time you took a walk as a family? While it may not be particularly appealing in the heights of urban living, the quaint towns of the Karoo make it a perfect bonding experience, and will allow little ones to burn off energy safely. Take a trip to the Moederkerk (main church) or explore the shops and byways. While Sunday afternoon may seem deathly quiet, and the pension pay-out days a little too robust, your average day will see you meet a few other families enjoying the weather- and plenty of opportunity for chatter and play. This is a friendly corner of the world, and you’ll find yourselves acknowledged by passers-by… it’s polite to nod or wave back, even if you don’t want to stop. And if you want to attend a Sunday church service, the whole family is sure to be welcomed.
While you’ll want to plan a few activities that will be more appreciated by the adults- no one can come to Buffelsdrift and not experience a bush safari, for instance- there’s also plenty of attractions aimed at younger family members too. Take the kids on a meerkat safari, and meet these iconic Karoo animals for yourself. Let the young ones meet our gentle giants, the elephants, during our supervised feeding hours. Or head out to any of the kiddie-centric attractions around the lodge. There’s plenty for everyone to enjoy.
Whether it’s the bright, open sky packed with fluffy clouds in the day, or one of our unique stargazing trips in the evening, this is a perfect family experience for old and young. Nowhere in the world has quite the clarity and dazzling beauty of the Karoo starscape, and the guide’s entertaining stories will help keep little ones interested too.
The Karoo isn’t the best area for cell-tower signals and GPS. You’ll find the wide-open spaces usually come with a dip in the electronic chatter. So plan to bring a few less tech-orientated distractions for the younger kids to keep them entertained. Or skip the electronics entirely, and embrace the chance to bond as a family together.The Buffelsdrift Game Reserve family looks forward to meeting your own! Little to large, everyone is welcome in the Karoo, and it’s one of the best places to travel in Africa with a family there is.