Yala with the Kids: A guide to the most fun your child can have in our jungles

We often get asked if safaris are suitable for children under 12, and quite simply, it is! This October, Sri Lanka observed World Children’s Day, and to celebrate, we’ve got a kid’s stay free offer on for the entirety of our value season in 2018, to give you more reason to book in a holiday safari with your child. Here are some of our best tips and activities when staying at our camp with children.

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#Mix It Up: Mix game drives with kayaking, hiking in and around the camp vicinity or even a cultural activity. Our Wilpattu and Yala camps are great bases from which to explore some little known ancient ruins, go on easy walks, have a friendly game of cricket, or learn some life skills in jungle cooking! Kids love gathering around our camp fire at evening with marshmallows, and we’ve got arts for idle time at camp.

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#It isn’t’ all about Leopard: Sri Lanka’s National Parks are teeming with Asian elephant, sloth bear, crocodiles and a variety of bird life. Our guides focus on the small and the big – and we don’t race around looking for just Leopards. Your kids will learn a whole range of interesting facts about creatures big and small as well as plants and birdlife and how to identify animal tracks.

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#Make sure children go to bed early the night before a morning game drive. Morning game drives start really early at about 5.30am at camp which means waking at least a half hour prior to get ready in time. For their fullest attention, make sure the y get tucked in at a good time.

#Make sure children go to the toilet before the game drive. Game drives can last anywhere between four hours or an entire day (depending on your family’s interest levels) so make sure the kids use the bathroom before they depart camp. However, should at any time there be an urgency – we are able to stop almost anywhere in the park.

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#Bring Binoculars. Have at least one pair to share amongst the family, even more so for the children to have their own pair. All our drivers and naturalists have their binoculars on hand at all times.

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#Be very very quiet! But also, ask a lot of questions! Game drives are a great way of testing your child’s discipline and patience! The quieter the jeep is the more likely animals will not flee and the family get better sightings and experience of wildlife! That said, encourage the kids to ask our guides as many questions as they can, our guides have some of the most interesting stories of life in the wild!

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#Bring wildlife guide-books with you, children love ticking the wildlife checklist off as they spot them – we’ve got plenty of guide books at camp, just ask! Or bring your own. Our guides always carry informative books for guest use and back at camp, we love to test some of the things our guests learned on the drive over a light and fun quiz by the campfire.

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