Sit less, play more…

I read a recent article published by the World Health Organization (WHO) that speaks about the effects of screen time, sedentary time, sitting time and how it affects the normal developmental milestones of children.

“Early childhood is a period of rapid development and a time when family lifestyle patterns can be adapted to boost health gains.”

“What we really need to do is bring back play for children,” says Dr Juana Willumsen, WHO focal point for childhood obesity and physical activity. “This is about making the shift from sedentary time to playtime, while protecting sleep. “

Another article posted by ABC Science notes: “A paper published today in PLOS ONE has found that there’s a link between too much screen time and poor mental health outcomes for young people.

This might seem obvious, but research into the links between screens and mental health is far from cut and dried.

Authors of this latest review of 186 studies also found that spending time in nature or “green time” was associated with positive mental health outcomes

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We have all probably read similar articles and seen numerous reports about what is the ‘right’ thing to do when it comes to our family and technology, how much is too much? How do we counteract the effects? How do we fix it?

I think we can all admit that home has become our haven, and screen time has become a lifesaver, especially in the last 8 months with all the challenges 2020 had!

Being a mother of a young family it has been such a challenge keeping them not only entertained, but also stimulated while keeping them safely indoors or at home (and keeping the parents sane too!)

We also miss our adventures, travelling, nature, wide open skies, fresh air and just plain old childhood exploration!

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With lockdown restrictions being eased and most countries being allowed to start travelling again now is the time to step out and explore. A nature-based family adventure has never made more sense than now!

Family bonding time, getting exercise, resting and relaxing, playing, learning, and all of that – safely outdoors. Engage the whole family, with something-for-everyone, in a natural environment.

Nothing compares to spending time with family. Family holidays allow for hours and hours of quality time together; a chance to reconnect, talk and laugh; reuniting everyone from grandparents and grand kids to close friends and distant cousins. These precious journeys can be carefully planned so that the whole family is engaged and excited on every level, making for intensely meaningful lifelong memories. Custom-creating these multi-dimensional, multi-generational itineraries is one of my greatest passions.

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So where in Africa are my favourite family-friendly destinations that will engage the kids and where they will naturally want to spend more time away from their screens?

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe or Zambia – great for teens with the abundance of adventure sports from bungee jumping to white-water rafting, all in close proximity to one of the most remarkable natural wonders of our planet and an abundance of safari options.

Mauritius is another great young-family destination. The waters are warm and safe, and, beyond hours of entertainment swimming and snorkelling, most resorts offer activities and care centres for kids where they engage and promote mindful engaging with the environment.

Namibia is a thrill-seekers mecca and teens and adults alike cannot resist the sand boarding, skydiving, surfing and quad-biking of Sossusvlei and Swakopmund. You can have a more tranquil adventure, e.g. game watching from a hot air balloon over the endless desert or interacting with the Himba tribes in the north

Botswana offers lodges with unrivalled game viewing, luxurious accommodation, fine dining and world-class service. Memorable wildlife encounters with some lodges specializing in family travels. The rangers will engage the kids, teach them the “ways of the bush”, whilst the adults can go out on more traditional safaris.

Kenya is a multi-generational destination. From the Laikipia region, said to be the inspiration for the Lion King movie, that mixes horseback safaris and camel trekking with fantastic wildlife, to the Maasai Mara which is home to some of Africa’s most spectacular game viewing.

South Africa has it all. Every generation will be in their element: from big game safaris, to beaches, fine dining, winelands, walking, boating, and so much more. Modern infrastructure and a diverse range of attractions and accommodation make it easy to tailor a holiday to the varying activity levels of three generations. An opportunity to engage with previously disadvantaged communities offers an invaluable insight for the whole family. Whatever holiday you imagine, South Africa will provide.

Travelling in Africa has a way to transform you in more ways you ever thought possible … now imagine sharing this with your family.

Learning, exploring, meeting different cultures and creating memories with a lasting deep impact! A Family Safari is a true Bucket-list experience and we invite you to share this special moment with your loved ones.

Time spent with loved ones is never wasted!

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Resources:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2020-09-05/screen-time-mental-health-kids-adolescents/12612454

https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/24-04-2019-to-grow-up-healthy-children-need-to-sit-less-and-play-more

Written by Luxury Travel Manager, Louise
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