Ruzandri Stoltz, aha Hotels & Lodges Marketing Manager, says the top five family activities in Namibia are:
- Quad biking: After a safety briefing (with the little ones in mind) professional guides will lead guests toward the dune belt for a practice round, before heading out into the Namib Desert. No prior experience is required. Trips vary in length from one to two hours.
- Sand boarding: This consists of ‘stand-up’ or ‘lie-down’ boarding down Namibia’s famous dunes. Children older than 10 years are allowed their own boards, while younger children are accompanied by guides.
- Fishing: Angling safaris vary from one day in length to personalised tours. Most of the trips run from the central coast – Swakopmund or Walvis Bay – however, tours on the Zambezi can also be arranged on request.
- Horseback riding: Horseback riding in Namibia gives guests access to those parts of the country that are still wild and remote and, therefore, largely inaccessible to vehicle travel.
- Dolphin-watching cruises: This area of the African coast has two native species - the Heavisides, or Benguela Dolphin, and the Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin. The Benguela Current, which flows through the region, brings a diversity of marine life. Visitors could see the Southern Right and Humpback whales, as well as the Mola Mola Sunfish.
According to other industry sources, family wildlife experiences enhance a Namibian stay. Examples include the Okonjima AfriCat Foundation, a cat sanctuary rehabilitating cheetah, wild dog and hyena; N/a’an ku sê, a sanctuary that cares for injured or orphaned rhino, elephant, cats and smaller animals; the world’s largest seal colony at Cape Cross; and an Etosha safari.
Stoltz adds: “In order for a family holiday to provide the value the client is looking for, it is important that the accommodation selected caters directly for the needs of children as this will impact the overall experience and likelihood of return guests.
“Aha lodges offer kids’ programmes with specialised game drives and ‘mini rangers’ courses, and we ensure that these programmes cater for all ages. We also provide baby-sitting services with qualified child-minders, affording parents that much-needed time to unwind.”