21st Century baby boomer grandparents are active and love to travel, and want to share the experience with their children and grandchildren. Labelled ‘multi-generational travel’, it is one of the biggest emerging trends in travel across the globe, says Virtuoso, the leading international luxury travel network. Across the world there is a new thirst for family adventure, to unplug and spend time together, creating memories, sharing life-changing experiences, and educating children about different ways of life.
In Southern and East Africa, Singita Game Reserves is offering truly personalised, multi-generational family safaris that are custom-designed to provide rare, once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Go on safari to celebrate a special occasion or family reunion, but many simply go to enjoy precious family time together.
Lindy Rousseau, Chief Marketing Officer of the Singita Group says: ‘Singita has no set itinerary, activities or ‘kids club’. For us it is all about focusing on individuals, and anticipating the needs of each unique family group - whether it is organizing activities to engage the children, or offering expert cultural experiences for the sophisticated, older guests in the family. It is much more than facilitating rest and relaxation – it is about creating rare experiences for our guests.
From the humbling experience of visiting a makeshift classroom in the local township, to the miracle of a zebra foal being born out on the open plains, and being witness to that unguarded moment when it first stands on its own teetering legs. Unexpected moments like these are enough to capture the hearts of an entire family, and turn them into the fiercest of conservation gatekeepers, providing the kind of shared personal enrichment that no money can buy.’
Some safari lodges lend themselves perfectly to hosting a multi-generational family. One of Singita’s ten iconic lodges in four destinations in Africa, Singita Sweni in the Kruger National Park embraces this signature, ‘made-to-order’ guest experience that has earned it the reputation as a world leader. Every visit is different, and with no restrictions or set schedules, it offers the ‘new luxury’ of slowing down in nature, and having time to rekindle family bonds.
At Singita Sweni Lodge families can enjoy the run of the lodge on an exclusive-use basis to accommodate up to 12 guests in six luxurious suites. Spectacularly elevated above the Sweni River, in the largest private concession within the Kruger National Park, it operates within a ground-breaking private/public partnership with SA National Parks (SANP), which has become the blueprint for successful eco-tourism business in protected areas. Located in the game rich far eastern reaches of the reserve, this unique solitary sanctuary within what is arguably ‘the world’s most famous wildlife destination’, makes it a favourite among multi-generational travellers.
Singita family safaris are defined by sharing experiences. The thrill of swopping safari stories under a blanket of stars ending off a perfect bush dinner, or the strong sense of community when a family joins the lodge staff choir with a traditional dance around a campfire - it’s about a new perspective, and taking home memories that have captured everyone’s hearts.
For children the fun and adventure never stops and with expert guiding on tap there is ample opportunity for all generations to gain deeper insight into the precious wildlife heritage safeguarded here. Life plays out differently in the bush and the thrill of a lion chase from the seat of an open-sided Land Rover is just one of the soul-stirring chance occurrences that may surprise guests in this theatre of nature.
The chance to give back through one of Singita’s inspiring conservation and community projects, offers an opportunity for many to become part of a profound and life-changing venture. A visit to the nearby Singita School of Cooking is an example of a wondrous voyage of cultural discovery where guests and their children can meet these young, aspirant cooks in the staff village, taste their favourite local dishes, and get a glimpse of their everyday life in the bush. Each family member will return from their safari adventure, having learned so much more through mutual experiences that have not only enriched and inspired, but may very well change the course of their lives.