Take an imagination safari

Preparing for your safari:

Make a jeep:
Make a 4×4 safari vehicle out of box. You could simply draw some wheels on to the side of the box and let the kids’ imagination do the rest, or you could fill up a few hours by decorating the box. Remember to make a mini safari vehicle for some favourite toys. Take a look at this post for instructions.

Make binoculars:
To spot those animals, make binoculars out of loo rolls stuck together with masking tape or click here for ideas.

Check it out on a map:
At the start of your journey, get out an atlas (or Google Maps) and trace a line with your finger from where you are, to your destination. Point out to kids that safari animals don’t live everywhere in Africa, just in specially protected national parks and conservancies. Show them where the different animals can be found and plan your safari around Africa – from the gorillas in Rwanda to the lemurs in Madagascar.

Hide wild animal toys or make cardboard cut outs of African animals to hide around the house or in the garden – click here for ideas.

You’re ready to go on safari:

Take your vehicle and binoculars and go on a safari to a new destination every day. Learn about a new animals and new experiences. Visit the mountains to see gorillas. Take a mokoro ride in a river to see crocodiles. Take a walking safari in the savannah to see cheetahs.

Activities while on safari:

Safari I Spy / I Hear:
Pretend to be the game ranger ask the kids to guess what animal sounds you hear. eg “I hear a trumpeting noise. I see a big, grey shape rustling in the leaves. Can you guess what it is?”

Go animal spotting around your house or garden:
When you’re on safari, the animals are very good at hiding and you have to be really good at spotting! Write a checklist of all the animals that they find and where they found them.

Go for a walking safari in your neighbourhood and track animals. Look for insects, butterflies, birds and see if you can identify them.

Make a tent:
Make a tent with your kids using a sheet over some chairs or a table. Go in the tent with them and imagine hearing the sound of hippos grunting in the river nearby, lions roaring in the distance, and the scuffling of footprints near you. Bring a torch if you have one! You can then sit outside your tent and pretend to make some food, and “watch” an elephant walking past.

NB. Remember to keep very still when you spot the animals so that you don’t give them a fright!