In 2013, &Beyond launched our exciting WILDchild programme at our lodges in South and East Africa.
The programme was designed to create opportunities for families to engage not only with each other, but also with their environment, in a new and stimulating way that will change the way they see the world.
Carefully thought out and presented by rangers trained to share their knowledge in a way that sparks the enthusiasm of even the youngest guests, WILDchild was created to do more than just keep children occupied while their parents enjoy their safari. While it is essential that the programme remains entertaining enough to capture youngsters’ imaginations, it also has a strong conservation message at heart.
The programme is filled with fun, interactive activities that allow children to learn and discover new experiences and cultures. Deeply rooted in the love for the African bush, it not only creates a series of unforgettable moments for the whole family, but forges strong bonds between the children, our planet and its people.
Inspiring young minds
Each young traveller receives a WILDchild backpack with a scrapbook and a gift, such as a solar torch, a magnifying glass or a compass. Throughout the safari, the family’s ranger helps the child to fill up the scrapbook with notes, drawings, stickers, dog tags and badges that the youngsters earn for completing a series of bush-related activities that are selected for them according to their interests and age.
The activities attempt to tie in with the lodge’s environment, as well as the local heritage of the region. For example, children staying at &Beyond Klein’s Camp in Tanzania might be taught how to shoot with a bow and arrow or how to build a fire in the Maasai way. Meanwhile, at &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve in South Africa, they may be taught tracking skills by a local Zulu tracker or set out on a fishing expedition on the Mzinene River.
Each family-friendly lodge puts its own unique spin on the WILDchild programme and so far, our guests have been raving about it.
Well done to all of our creative and hard-working lodge teams and rangers for helping to care for and entertain our young guests and for helping to create memories of a lifetime for families travelling with &Beyond.