5 child-friendly destinations for watching wild animals

South Africa for the Big Five

A trip to South Africa is perfect for families looking for nature XXL and wild animals. With its unsurpassed level of comfort on the African continent and its many national parks designed to take children on safari, the dream of seeing lions, leopards, elephants, buffaloes and rhinos is at your magic wand.

Imagine walking among the African bushes with your children clinging to binoculars, excited to share all their discoveries with you. Moreover, in the evening you will sleep in the lodges immersed in the heart of the bush and close your eyes listening to the wildlife. A must in the family.

When? All year round, preferably between April and October
Minimum age: no restrictions in national parks, but is preferably from 5 years

Sri Lanka for Asian elephants

If you can’t go to Africa, start, like me, on a safari in Sri Lanka with your children. Many parks like Minneriya or Uda Walawe are organized to easily and cheaply accompany your small tribe to observe the king of this island: the Asian elephant.

As for the larger safaris, we leave early in the morning by jeep and guide. Don’t worry, eyes that pinch for sleep will soon be replaced by eyes that shine with happiness! In a few tens of minutes, we find ourselves face to face (or rather face to the trunk) with herds of elephants: dad, mom, newborns, uncles and aunts, they also came with their families. I have rarely seen my children so amazed … I must say that the show and the landscapes are sublime.

When? All year round, preferably between November and April
Minimum age: no restrictions, but is preferably from 5 years

Quebec for whales

In Tadoussac, we soon discover that this pretty village in Quebec, on the St Laurent estuary, is worth a visit. Then we walk along the banks of the river and rub our eyes: “Did I dream or did I see the breath of water of a whale? Know that it will not necessarily be a mirage: the incredible ecosystem of water in this place is totally favourable to the habitat of the enormous sea creatures that have been there for decades.

To watch whales up close, it is worth taking part in a family water safari (children aged 5 and up). What sensations to get into a small Zodiac to get to a few meters from the whales and take the measure of their size (huge) and their power (impressive)!

When? From May to October
Minimum age: 5 years, but may vary by company

Lapland for Santa’s Reindeer

Although Santa Claus certainly does not exist, his reindeer does. I saw them with my own eyes (and I still don’t believe them) they are even cuter and adorable than in the photos.
I met them in Finnish Lapland. There, many livestock farms welcome families with children to discover these polar animals. At the bottom of the woods, you enter their enclosure to feed them lichens. They love it and I could stay with them for hours!

To prolong the magic, we left for a sleigh ride pulled by these new friends. The landscapes are magnificent and how many laughs when they start to gallop.

I left alone to test the destination and the cold! Naturally, temperatures drop below 0 degrees. But with the anti-cold suits and starting in March, it is a magical destination to live with your children starting at age 10!

When? From December to April
Minimum age: No restrictions, but is preferably from 10 years

Oman for turtles

Oman is great for a family trip: incredible hospitality, sublime landscapes and great safety for travellers, is enviable.

For my part, I dream of this country for another reason: watching giant tortoises give life on the beautiful beaches of Ras El Jinz and Ras Al Haddad. They come by the hundreds to prepare their nest in the sand in front of their biggest fans (us!). They lay eggs and then return, quietly and with a sense of duty accomplished, to throw themselves into the waves to disappear into the sea. A truly moving show.

When? From September to November to see turtles laying eggs. From November to December to watch the births
Minimum age: No restrictions, but is preferably from 10 years

Some of these destinations have been tested and approved with my children, others are on my wish list after reading the testimonies of other travelling parents who appreciated their experience.
Do you have further questions or would you like to request a quote? Evaneos local agents are at your complete disposal. Do not hesitate to contact them!