Most parents will balk at the idea of taking their children to see wild animals in their natural habitat. However, taking your children on a wildlife adventure can be one of the best things that you can do this year as it can help them see the world in a brand new way. Whether it’s spotting arctic wildlife in Canada or going on a safari in Africa, an exciting trip can strengthen the bond with your children and help them learn more about the different animals that we share the world with.
But before you pack your bags, there are certain things that you have to keep in mind to stay safe if you’re going to be inches away from these majestic creatures. Here’s a dad’s guide to taking children on a wildlife adventure.
Plan your trip according to your children’s ages
If your children are below 10 years old, you may want to do some wildlife viewing close to home first as some safaris or wildlife spotting expeditions require children to be of a certain age before they can participate in activities. Once your kids turn 12, you can take longer trips and venture farther away to see exotic and rare animals. You should also take into consideration your child’s interests and attention span before going on a trip. Children with a passion for animals and with good attention spans can go on longer wildlife adventure trips than those who aren’t particularly interested in wildlife.
You need to prepare for a wildlife spotting trip the same way that you would for a camping holiday. This means that you will have to anticipate every possible thing that you and your child will need to make the trip a success. Bring clothing in earth tones so you can blend into the environment, and make sure to take unscented personal care items only to improve your chances of spotting wildlife. You’ll also need to bring a rangefinder to get a closer look at animals. A rangefinder or spotting scope is usually used for hunting, but there’s no reason why you and your kids can’t use it to stay safe while viewing wildlife. The good thing about rangefinders is that they’re available at different price ranges, so you can get several without breaking the bank.
Teach your kids to stay quiet
If you’re going on a wildlife adventure out in the woods, it’s important to teach your child to talk in a quiet voice to avoid scaring the animals. Children should also be taught not to make sudden movements and to stay still when viewing wildlife. Stay as close as possible to your kids so you can answer their questions without having to raise your voice.
Keep your children close
Children have a tendency to wander off, especially when they’re inside a national park or reserve. Remind your kids to stay close and keep an eye on them as small children can look like prey to wild animals. If your child is a teenager, expect that he or she may also head in another direction while you’re on your wildlife adventure trip. Discuss what each family member should do and where to go in case you get separated.
Going on a wildlife adventure can be a rewarding experience for you and your children. Follow these tips for a safe and enjoyable trip.