With multi-generational travel consistently on the rise, families across the globe are looking to reconnect in meaningful ways. They want to explore new destinations, have authentic experiences, learn about local cultures, witness unique wildlife and have the opportunity to give back, not only to our planet, but also to its people. The growing need to disconnect oneself from reality and bond as a family is becoming more and more important to today’s traveler.
&Beyond understands the importance of family travel and we have been designing fun-filled, educational and inspirational family adventures for as long as we can remember. From island escapes and intimate villa safaris in Africa, to jungle adventures and cultural festivals in South Asia, all the way to bicycle tours, horseback riding and culinary excursions in South America, we help families explore, learn and, most importantly, reconnect with each other in the most magnificent, enviable destinations.
As we celebrate #25YearsandBeyond, we take a look back at some of the special moments families have shared with us.
Young Maasai warrior in training
There’s no doubt safaris are fun for the whole family. Just ask the Andrade family from France. When Hugues and Agnes visited &Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge back in 2003, they immediately fell in love with its dramatic setting, diverse wildlife and warm-hearted people.
They vowed to return, and that they did in 2009. Happily reunited with the staff they had formed friendships with six years prior, especially Pascal their butler, it was like coming home. Again, they vowed to come back once more, but this time with their family. They wanted to share their love affair with the Ngorongoro Crater with their nearest and dearest and celebrate three very special birthdays together.
True to their word, earlier this year, Hugues and Agnes traveled all the way from France to Ngorongoro Crater Lodge with their son Antoine, his wife Caroline and their 10-year-old grandson Victor. They enjoyed full days exploring the Crater floor, private meals on the veranda overlooking the world-famous Crater and in the lodge’s well-stocked wine store, and an electrifying Maasai warrior performance at sunset. As the captivating shuka-clad warriors chanted and marched amidst a blazing bonfire, even Victor joined in on the fun, taking part in the jumping competition.
The next day, Maasai warrior Kamonduli ole Sokoi gave Victor and Antoine a private spear throwing lesson. A cardboard target was mounted on spears, and Kamonduli imparted his wisdom on how best to use the traditional bow and arrows to successfully hit the bullseye … or in this case, the sketch of a lion.
Victor did a great job as a young Maasai warrior, not to mention budding photographer, and the whole family had an unforgettable time reconnecting in one of the natural wonders of the world. To the Andrade family, we hope you returned to France with memories to last a lifetime and we look forward to welcoming you back, yet again, in 2017! Tutaonana tena … until we meet again.
A life-changing safari
At &Beyond, we take great pride in creating emotional, life-changing experiences for our guests. Yet every now and then the tables are turned and certain guests come along that end up changing our lives for the better. This was most definitely the case when the Krusiewicz family chose to visit &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve to commemorate a very important family milestone – the adoption of their beautiful son Wandile.
&Beyond Travel Planner Jomandie Dempers ensured that every last detail was taken care of seamlessly, and although the Krusiewicz’s thank you letter expresses their sincere gratitude to &Beyond, it is us that should be thanking them. They taught us about love, compassion and family bonds.
Here’s their story…
“I’m writing with a debt of gratitude for our experience at &Beyond Phinda Mountain Lodge. My family flew to South Africa from the US to adopt a little boy from Durban. Once the proceedings were complete, we celebrated the excitement of becoming a family of six with a safari at Phinda. It was the single best guest experience we have ever had.
Two things stood out as highlights for the service we received. First, I believe our newest addition, Wandile, was the most popular guest all weekend. The staff doted on him, helped us with Zulu translations and truly eased his transition into our family. Second, my oldest son Max turned 14, and during our last game drive, we reached a mountain peak to find a surprise pancake breakfast waiting for him.
From the moment we arrived, the staff were amazing. The WILDchild backpacks, journals, and snacks were a huge hit and I was blown away by the amazing care everyone showed our kids. Wandile was in heaven and had so much fun telling tales to all the staff in Zulu. He had a huge grin on his face the entire time. Talk about memories to last a lifetime.
Every single detail was on point and we soaked it all in. We were floored by the hospitality. Phinda was the perfect way to celebrate our newly expanded family. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. It was an incredible gift to us.”
~ The Krusiewicz Family, &Beyond Guest Book
The Jansen van Rensburg family are no strangers to &Beyond. Gideon and Coreen celebrated Coreen’s 30th birthday with us and have been returning to &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve to get their bush fix ever since. Now a family of five, the Jansen van Rensburgs visited &Beyond Phinda Forest Lodge for a weekend of family fun with their gorgeous five-year-old twin girls, Ami and Inge, and their ten-month-old girl Kelsi.
The twins have obviously grown up spending quality time in the bush and they were definitely keen for some adventure. Kitted out with their &Beyond WILDchild backpacks and snack bags, these girls didn’t miss a single game drive on their private vehicle with ranger Bruce Hedges and tracker Musa.
They were lucky enough to see elephant, rhino, and leopard at one single sighting and they also had nocturnal viewings not only of a lioness with four small cubs, but also of a large male vocalising.
One morning the family was treated to a surprise crumpet stop in the middle of the rare sand forest. The twins played in the sand, helped flip pancakes, coloured in their WILDchild Planet Manager booklets and if their chocolate grins were anything to go on … we’d say they had a fantastic time. Not many other children in their class could say they saw the Big Five that weekend!
Gideon and Coreen, we look forward to welcoming you back for your next safari(s) and we hope your two bushbabies Ami and Inge teach their little sister Kelsi to love the bush as much as they do.
Which &Beyonders made a difference to YOUR family adventure?