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5 Kid-friendly destinations for spotting wildlife

By Caroline Krauze, Voyagefamily.com, on updated on

Travelling with your family is the opportunity to discover the world with your children. Together you’ll be amazed by fabulous landscapes while at the same time encountering wonderful things. There is, however, an activity more than any other, perhaps that will get everyone excited. Observing wildlife will cradle the imagination of young and old alike. Caroline, founder of the Voyage Family blog, shares with us her favourite destinations for family holidays to observe wildlife.

Best destinations to spot wildlife Best destinations to spot wildlife Best destinations to spot wildlife Best destinations to spot wildlife

South Africa: for the Big Five

South Africa is a real El Dorado for families in search of mega XXL nature and wildlife. With a level of comfort second to none on the African continent and its many national parks geared towards taking children on safari, the dream of seeing lions, leopards, elephants, buffaloes and rhinos can really become true with the simple wave of a magic wand.

South Africa South Africa South Africa South Africa
South Africa South Africa South Africa South Africa

Imagine walking African bush tracks with your kids hanging on to their binoculars, excited to share everything they find with you. What's more, at night you can sleep in lodges lost in the heart of the bush and as you close your eyes you can listen to the wildlife busy remaking the world. An ultimate family experience.

When?
Throughout the year, the best time being between April and October.

Minimum age
There are no restrictions in the National Parks but preferably from 5 years and upwards

Sri Lanka: for Asian elephants

If you can't make it to Africa, start off like me on a Sri Lankan safari with your children. Many parks such as Minneriya and Uda Walawe are well-organised and easy to take children to as well as not being too expensive. Your little family will be able to observe the king of the island, the Asian elephant.

Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Sri Lanka Sri Lanka
"I've hardly ever seen my children so amazed ... The views and the landscapes are simply fantastic."
Caroline Krauze

Like bigger safaris, you leave early in the morning with your guide by jeep. Don't worry, tired eyes from lack of sleep will soon be replaced with eyes that glow with happiness! In just a short time, you’ll find yourself nose to nose (or rather nose to trunk) with herds of elephants. Dads, mums, babies, uncles and aunts have also ventured out on a family trip. I've hardly ever seen my children so amazed ... the views and the landscapes are simply fantastic.

When?
Throughout the year, but best between November and April

Minimum age
There are no restrictions but preferably from 5 years upwards

Lapland: for Father Christmas’s reindeer

Father Christmas might not really exist, but his reindeer certainly do. I saw them with my own eyes (and I still can't believe it). They are even cuter and gentler in the flesh than in photos.

I was able to get up close to them in Finnish Lapland. There, many livestock farms welcome families with children to discover these arctic animals. Deep in the woods, you enter their enclosure to give them lichen to eat. They love it, and I could have stayed with them for hours!

Reindeer in Lapland Reindeer in Lapland Reindeer in Lapland Reindeer in Lapland
"There, many livestock farms welcome families with children to discover these arctic animals."
Caroline Krauze

To prolong the magic, you can go on a sleigh ride pulled along by your new friends. The scenery is magical and what a laugh you'll have when they start to gallop!

I went alone to check out the destination and the cold! Certainly temperatures fall below 0 degrees. But with anti-cold thermal suits and particularly from March onwards, it is a magical place to visit with children aged 10 years and up!

When?
From December to April

Minimum age
No restrictions but preferably from 10 years up

Quebec: to see wales

In Tadoussac, you’ll immediately discover that this pretty Quebec village on the St. Lawrence estuary is definitely worth seeing. Then you can walk along the banks of the river and there, rub your eyes: "Am I dreaming or did I see a whale spouting out water"? Rest assured that it probably isn't a mirage. The incredible ecosystem of the water in this place is entirely suitable as a habitat for these huge marine creatures found here in their dozens.

Whales in Quebec Whales in Quebec Whales in Quebec Whales in Quebec
Whales in Quebec Whales in Quebec Whales in Quebec Whales in Quebec

To see the whales more closely, it's worth going on a water safari with your family (children from 5 years upwards). What an amazing experience to climb aboard a little zodiac and get just a few metres away from the whales and measure their (huge) size and their (impressive) strength!

When?
May to October.

Minimum age
5 years and up, but it can vary between tour companies.

Oman: for turtles

Oman is becoming a very popular destination for families. It offers an incredible level of hospitality, fabulous scenery and a high level of safety for travellers. All that really makes you want to go!

Turtles in Oman Turtles in Oman Turtles in Oman Turtles in Oman
Turtles in Oman Turtles in Oman Turtles in Oman Turtles in Oman

Personally I dream about this country for another reason. So I can see the giant turtles give birth on the beautiful beaches of Ras El Jinz and Ras Al Haddad. They come in their hundreds to prepare their nests on the sand in front of their biggest fans (us!). They lay there eggs then quietly return and with a certain sense of accomplishment, dive back into the waves and disappear off to sea. A really moving experience.

When?
From September to November to see the turtles lay their eggs.
From November to December to see them hatch.

Minimum age
No restriction but preferably from 5 years upwards

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Some of these destinations I’ve checked out and approved with my children. Others are on my wish list after reading reviews from other parent travellers who really enjoyed their experience.

Do you have other questions or would like to ask for a quote? Local Evaneos agents are on hand to advise you. Don’t hesitate to get in contact!