Family safari - good idea or bad idea???

Charles de Ribeau

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My wife and I have a "millstone" anniversary coming up in 2019. Some of my wife's friends have taken their entire family (children, spouses, grandkids) on a big trip (e.g., a cruise). That has given her the itch to do something like that with our family. Now, there is no way in the world that you would get me on a big ship cruise, so scratch that idea, but she still wants to do the BIG trip.

A few weeks ago, she suggested that we take the entire clan on a safari. (This is the same woman who had the idea to put an addition to our house as a trophy room for my taxidermy.) **I'm posting this in hopes of getting your opinions/advice about doing this.**

The group would consist of:
me (avid hunter - hunted plains game plus buffalo and lion),

my wife (non-hunter, but doesn't object to hunting - went with me on my first safari),

older son (avid hunter, but indifferent about Africa - so was I until my first safari),

younger son (non-hunter, but enjoys going along and taking photos),

daughter-in-law (non-hunter and no interest in hunting, but again doesn't object to anyone else doing it),

grandson #1 who will be 13 in 2019 and big for his age (limited experience, but lots of interest in hunting). I'll guess that in 2 years he out to be 5' 8" - 5' 10" (he's supposed to end up at 6'6").

grandson #2 who will be 10 and a bit short for his age (very strong interest in hunting). He may be 5' in two years. If that's the case, then we'd have to set him up with a light caliber which in turn would mean that he'd be limited in what he could shoot.

I am thinking that for hunters in the group, we could go for basic plains game. Perhaps give my son the chance to shoot 5 animals, the grandsons 2 each. As for me, I could be perfectly happy shooting cull animals, bait for a leopard stand or just watching the others enjoy Africa for the first time. Actually, of the plains game, the ones that would be of the greatest interest to me would be jackal, baboon and black wildebeest. Of course, I wouldn't pass up a giant kudu. ;-) The truth is that my trophy room is almost totally full (at least for my tastes), so bringing home any more animals is unlikely.

For the ladies, I'm thinking that it might be better to ship them off to a game farm where they can do lots of wildlife viewing and relax. Perhaps we reconnect somewhere on the nearest coast for a couple of days and then home.

We'd pay for the expenses for the safari and coach airfare. My wife and I will be traveling in business class - I won't fly internationally in coach. However, I'm not ready to spring for 5 more tickets in business.

So there you have it. What do you think? Any advice - particularly about what to have the women do?
 

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I think its a wonderful idea and kudos to you for wanting to take your grandsons as well! If you stay somewhat near a larger town there will always be spas, game parks, shopping etc. for the non hunters to fill some of their days!
 

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My wife and I toured Kruger Park prior to my first hunt in 2010. Perhaps a combination of one of the parks and hunting. A mix of doing something all together and some individual time or perhaps couples.

If the daughter-in-law is married to your older hunting son, she may just enjoy going along on the stalks with him. This is what my non-hunting wife did with me in 2010...........and now she's a hunter.....;):)
 
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mdwest

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A big part of the answer to your last question probably rests with which outfitter you chose and the location you chose to hunt..

My wife is a hunter.. We did a 9 day safari together a few months ago.. but she also wanted to take in some sights, do a couple of excursions, etc. while we were in South Africa... The location of our camp made that pretty easy.. we were within an hours drive of a couple of neat things to go see (the Waterberg Mountains, the Marakele National Park, a private predator park, curio shopping, etc..etc..).. Our outfitter was also pretty well regarded for "couples" and "family" safaris and did a great job of catering to kids and the non hunting ladies.. While we were in camp there were a total of 4 different hunting groups that came through.. 2 were husband and wife pairs, 1 was a single adult male, and the last was a family that included mom, dad, and 2 boys in their young teens.. Everyone was well taken care of and I am pretty sure everyone got exactly what they were looking for in their trip..

My best advice is to spend some time and really look at who offers what, and where they are located.. if your family wants to spend a day at Kruger for example.. you might want to pick an outfitter that is reasonably close.. I looked at Kruger as an option for my hunt and it was just not something feasible.. my outfitter was more than happy to take us there if we really wanted to do it.. but we were looking at losing the better part of an entire day getting there, plus a day to get back.. so that we could potentially spend 1 day in the park.. it just didnt make sense for us.. So we did Marakele instead..

I think most of the outfitters you will find here on AH will go to great lengths to make your safari anything you want it to be. They will cater to your ladies, make sure everyone has a good time, and has plenty to do..

Where they are located, and how well they are set up to meet your non hunting party members needs while you are out riding in the bakkie all day though is going to vary greatly..

I think its awesome that you have the desire and ability to even think about something like this.. I'd love to take my son and daughters on a trip to Africa at some point.. but for now none of them are showing a whole lot of interest.. The oldest is a hunter (although he is a college student and doesnt have a whole lot of time or ability to get into the woods much.. he at least has an interest and desire..).. The others would much prefer trips to the beach and vacations in resort towns and have no interest actually seeing "the wild", much less spending a week or two living in it (even in a 5 star safari camp)..
 

Bhfs300

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Would you be interested in adopting another son:)
I haven't been in a group like that but I would bet the men and boys would love it and the ladies would enjoy the trip. If you stay at a place close to one of the game preserves, pool on sight, a shopping trip or two, grandmother and mom would like seeing the boys get a trophy it would be good.
 

victorw

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I think you have a good plan there. Your choice of outfitter (quality of lodge, good hostess and hospitality) is as important as the hunting aspect. If you're thinking of South Africa, consider the Plettenberg Bay/Knysna area for the ladies to visit along the coast during or after the hunt.
 

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Hello Mr. Ribeau,

I'm going to go out on a limb here and venture that there will not be one single outfitter that responds that doesn't think this is a GREAT idea! ;)

A Family safari is a great trip! We host many families on safari each season that plan for a nice combination of hunting & non-hunting excursions that can include game drives to several different regional game parks, predator encounters, elephant-back rides, guided bush walks, and visits to the local school & villages just to give a few examples.

For the ladies, visits to the spa and massage facilities is also a favorite activity, as is curio shopping. We can also plan for a riverside sunset wine tasting one particular evening if you like... There is lots to do and see in South Africa for hunters and non-hunters alike... Please feel free to contact us if you have any specific questions.
 
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billc

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I think what you have I'm mind would be a dream family trip. So much to do over there that ladys would have stuff to and maybe even enjoy a day out in the bush to see the guys in action.

I think if you have any family on the bubble if they want to be a hunter. Well there is no better place to make them in to hunters then Africa. More targets and more chances then hunting here to keep them in to a hunt.

I would say do it and have some fun with the family and to enjoy it all make sure to share days with everyone as a family.
 

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I went with my wife and kids, plus my parents. I am so glad I did. I wanted to enjoy the experience with those who are most important to me... unfortuantely, they were busy, so I took the family;)

As you probably already know, there is a lot to offer everyone. My non-hunting daughter came on a seven hour Kudu hunt with me. She enjoyed it very much. So, the experience is there for everyone.
 

wesheltonj

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My family is not as large as yours, but we all go together everywhere. We spent the first 2 weeks traveling around southern Africa: Chobe NP, Kruger NP, Victoria Falls, Cape Town. The next week while I was hunting, a few times my wife and/or daughter would ride in the truck with me. Most of the time, they would go walk the roads looking for wildlife - taking photos. One time the Outfitter drove then across the Botswana border to Tsabong, another time donkey cart ride or just hang out at the lodge.

My problem with going anywhere is that they (wife and daughter) alway want to go too, and with my daughter still in High School that's impossible. I could be in Namibia this October, (I have an invite from the Namibia Govt) for a week and then 3 days of hunting after, but I am getting you can't go without us.
 

Charles de Ribeau

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My wife and I toured Kruger Park prior to my first hunt in 2010. Perhaps a combination of one of the parks and hunting. A mix of doing something all together and some individual time or perhaps couples.

If the daughter-in-law is married to your older hunting son, she may just enjoy going along on the stalks with him. This is what my non-hunting wife did with me in 2010...........and now she's a hunter.....;):)

I can't imagine my daughter-in-law ever going on a stalk with her husband. She's a Texas girl and likes life in the city. He has gotten her camping a couple of times, but she didn't enjoy the experiences at all. Oh well, her loss.
 

Charles de Ribeau

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I think what you have I'm mind would be a dream family trip. So much to do over there that ladys would have stuff to and maybe even enjoy a day out in the bush to see the guys in action.

I think if you have any family on the bubble if they want to be a hunter. Well there is no better place to make them in to hunters then Africa. More targets and more chances then hunting here to keep them in to a hunt.

I would say do it and have some fun with the family and to enjoy it all make sure to share days with everyone as a family.

Yes, Africa is a great place to start hunting (but it will spoil you for anywhere else). To start with, there is so much game to see - and you don't have to freeze or sit through hours of boredom to have some success (unless you're leopard hunting or bow hunting from a blind).
 

Bert the Turtle

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I think it depends entirely on what non-hunting activities there are to do and what the people involved consider a good time. There is a huge difference between "doesn't object to hunting" and "extremely happy to sit around waiting for you to get back from hunting every day for 2 weeks".

A person who likes to spend his/her vacation in New York City watching plays or whatever one does in NYC is not going to be happy taking it easy for 2 weeks on a ranch in Africa. A person who likes to read books and be left in peace will love it.

The younger kids are the big wildcard. Some will like to tag along and watch others hunt. Some won't. A lot of kids that age like a lot of activities and the peace and quiet of Africa may not be to their taste; one cranky teenager in the group can really make Africa seem like a small place. As adults, we might consider it fun to watch game for two weeks. Youngsters might well enjoy it for a day or two and then find it repetitive.
 

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Sounds like a splendid idea. The ladies always enjoy the spa. The grand kids will have a ball.
 

billc

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Yes, Africa is a great place to start hunting (but it will spoil you for anywhere else). To start with, there is so much game to see - and you don't have to freeze or sit through hours of boredom to have some success (unless you're leopard hunting or bow hunting from a blind).


Very true but to get new youth in to hunting Africa is about perfect I think. Gives them chances and if you pick a certain animal it can be a harder hunt. It is a place kids can stay in to a hunt because they see stuff and not as easy to get bored.

I hope you take them all because I think it would be a great for you all. I know when my son does not go with me I do not enjoy the trips as much as when he is with me.

I think it is awesome she wanted you to have a trophy room to. You have a keeper there that is for sure.
 

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Family safaris are a great idea. Our first safari was my wife and i and my parents.

The great part about safaris is you can do everything together or nothing together. Whatever your preference is. Many SA outfitters have pretty comprehensive options available to keep nonhunting guests happy.

I recommend @Limcroma Safaris. They specialize in this sort of thing.
 

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I can't imagine my daughter-in-law ever going on a stalk with her husband. She's a Texas girl and likes life in the city. He has gotten her camping a couple of times, but she didn't enjoy the experiences at all. Oh well, her loss.

My wife is a city girl from Dallas
 

CAustin

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First hunt. Took my family and we all had a great time!
 

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I think it is awesome she wanted you to have a trophy room to. You have a keeper there that is for sure.

Indeed - when I told one friend the story of the trophy room, his response was, "Where did you find this woman? What planet is she from?!!" That pretty well sums it up. I've pretty lucky. I guess that's why we are going to have that milestone anniversary.
 

Charles de Ribeau

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The younger kids are the big wildcard.

I'm pretty sure that they would love it. One time, they were staying with us on a weekend. The older one had to watch a particular football game. I asked the younger one if he'd rather watch football of a hunting show. His immediate response was, "Hunting! Definitely!!"
 

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