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Re: Kids/Babies in Kruger NP info.

Discuss and find information on the Kruger National Park
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Re: KNP in july with children

Unread post by nightjar » Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:39 pm

Just wanted to add that at the time of year you are going the place you are most likely to feel cold is on an organised drive as these are in open-sided vehicles.
So if you plan on taking any SANparks morning or night drives make sure you have some warm clothing with you.
They do sometimes provide blankets on the drives, but I have been on one or two when we were glad to get back to camp.

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children at the KNP

Unread post by siriol » Wed May 05, 2010 2:49 pm

We will be visiting the KNP from the UK in August 2010. We have 4 children aged 8-14, who are all fit and used to walking and camping. We would dearly love them to experience the wilderness trails of the KNP. Are there any trips that would accomodate kids of this age group?

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Re: children at the KNP

Unread post by Imberbe » Wed May 05, 2010 11:33 pm

Yes, that's correct. Only children from 12 and up may do walks.

It is mainly due to safety concerns. Predators tend to target small children, as it is their natural instinct to go for weaker individuals, which offers an easy meal.

Though you may not be able to take all your children, I would really advise you to take those you can on a morning walk. It is a special experience.
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Re: Infants in Kruger Park

Unread post by esto » Tue Aug 03, 2010 5:20 pm

Hi,my son was 6 weeks old on his first trip, now at 4mounths old and we are going again!!!!
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Re: Infants in Kruger Park

Unread post by bushbaby1980 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 5:36 pm

thanks for the reply

Thats great. I guess when we are with Infants we should drive less and stay in few camps without moving around too much.

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Re: Infants in Kruger Park

Unread post by jacks » Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:20 pm

Suggest you go now as this is the time that you are least likely to get malaria and also its not too hot for travelling

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Re: Infants in Kruger Park

Unread post by Stark » Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:30 pm

Hello bb1980. :)

You might want to keep your # of camps visited to a minimum to keep away from long drives in the car. Even then, short excursions from camp, with stops back to "home base" to take care of family needs, can be very rewarding. Just take a look at some of the Trip Reports where people steal out for a short drive and have great rewards. :dance:
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Re: Infants in Kruger Park

Unread post by Nungu » Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:50 am

!Harebab wrote:Malaria has a 99% fatality in infants.

That stat alone is why we didn't take our kids until they were 30months or older.
Our smallest is 13 weeks now - and unfortunately that means the only way we'll get to KNP in the next 2 years is if we leave him with grandma for a weekend.

To me its just not worth the risk to expose an infant to even the remote possibility of being infected.
When they're a bit older they can communicate with you and tell you when they feel bad and their immune systems are stronger.

But thats just my personal opinion and its everyone's own choice - don't let other people make the choice for you.
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Infants in the park

Unread post by saffa » Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:29 am

Hey to all the parents out there! :tongue:

My wife and I are expecting and we still want to be able to go the park right. The little one is due late Feb and we are going back to SA over Christmas. My folks stay in Nellies (Nelspruit) so its a hop skip and jump to the Park. :dance:

There are two factors that worry me. One is the incredible heat over that period and of course the malaria that is a common threat during the summer months. :hmz: Has any one brought a ten month old to the park over summer and, honestly has it been cruizie or a constant mission? :huh: I am lucky enough to (if need be) be able to leave bub with gran in Nellies as we will only be there for about 4 nights so that is a definate option.

So, to the nice folks who have been down this road, What should I do?

Also note the following:
When we go to the park we only drive max 4 to 5 hours in a day (when hot), not including night and early morning drives. This is because we like to explore look outs, have braai's at picnic spots and explore the camps.
Thanks mom's and dad's, grannies and grandpa's :thumbs_up:

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Re: Infants in the park

Unread post by christo » Wed Oct 13, 2010 8:00 am

First of all, I think you would appreciate the break and it gives the granny some bonding time.

One needs to evaluate such a decision from all angles. In reality, a child that did not grow up in a malaria area (and it is the season) have zero immunity, cannot take effective anti-malarial drugs and can die from cerebral malaria within 48 hours since you first pick it up.

Many a person on the forum will shoot me down and explain how they took their children as babies and nothing ever happened (to them). It is a fact that the baby has a better chance of not getting sick than getting sick. Much the same as you have the odds when you are playing russian roulette. I, for one, would never play russian roulette with my child.

I would suggest you have some quality time with mommy in the bush and "recharge" for the next round of nappy runs.

In the end, this is the wrong place to ask for advice on the topic as a Sanparks forum is just not qualified to answer a medical question where the well being of your child is at stake. The best answer you can get will be from your paediatrician.
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Re: Infants in the park

Unread post by GlenD » Wed Oct 13, 2010 8:31 am

Hi Saffa
I would advise to rather seek advise from your doctor and stick to that advice despite what is said here on this forum. December would be right in the middle of malaria season.
and BTW, is Nelspruit not also in a malaria area? :hmz:

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Re: Infants in the park

Unread post by Zatara » Wed Oct 13, 2010 9:29 am


Our daughter will be 2years old this December. We took her for the first time to kruger when she was 4months old - unfortunately there is no medication you can give her at that age. We took a mosquito net for the pram/cot, you get Mr Mozzie spray/cream (babycity) for babies, and i put a little bit of citronella oil in her bath. And we took her inside as soon as the sun was setting. That was April 2009. We stayed in a bungalow.

October 2009 we went camping in Satara, she was then 10 months old. Again no meds could be given. We basically did the same as April, took all the necessary precautions. The weather was quite kind to us, not too hot, but we did drive in the aircon car in the heat of the day, to make sure she gets a good midday rest - cannot stay in camp - caravan too hot. We also spent quite some time at the swimming pool with her. She really enjoyed that (she started crawling in Satara).

Then again in April this year, (16 months old) we went camping in Lower Sabie, fornutately this time she could take medication (she had to be more than 12 kg). But i did for extra precaution, still use mosquito spray. It was quite hot this time, 43 degrees, that was quite a challenge with her. She was sweaty and very irritated, and we couldnt really do anyting about it, we tried to be in the car in the heat of the day.

I think the decision lies with each and every parent, you should decide if you are going to take the risk. We did, and we are grateful that nothing happened. As for your wife being pregnant, that i would say is also a very big risk.

If you do decide to go to the Park - enjoy - and remember to take good care of your little one and your wife.

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Re: Infants in the park

Unread post by wbevents » Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:21 am

Hi saffa

Personally, I think it’s too much off a mission in December, just too hot, then also to mission with a 10month old baby...anyway that’s us. Pregnant wife - risk

Took both my children to park at various occasions at 3 months, 6 months etc etc, however we only go in the winter months , always in bungalows etc, never used any malaria medicine, although lots of repellent, etc.

Like someone said, it’s a personal choice for each parent, enjoy it anyway !
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Re: Infants in the park

Unread post by francoisd » Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:38 pm

Also to be remembered is that the risk of getting malaria in Kruger is not more than getting malaria in Nelspruit, both fall in the high risk malaria area. Actually your chance of getting malaria in Nelspruit should in theory be more because there are more people around who might carry the parasite so greater chance of a mosquito becoming infected.

If you are willing to take your child to Nelspruit for a holiday, you can also take him/her to Kruger.

My first fist to Kruger was as 5 months of age (long ago) and my eldest went on 10 months old.
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Re: Infants in the park

Unread post by christo » Fri Oct 15, 2010 7:05 am

Glad to hear grandma will have some bonding time. Trust me, a break from the little one usually does a couple more good than they felt possible!

Just as a matter of interest: people living in a malaria area build a natural immunity to some extend. It has now been strongly suggested that the immunity transfer from mother to baby. Still malaria under infant is a major cause for deaths of children under 2 years.

About treatment for children. Treatment is not as simple as for adults, due to more than one reason:
1) the spleen is usually enlarged and could cause the child problems for the rest of his/her life
2) Children, especially those under 2, deteriorate very rapidly. A couple of cases has been noted where they have died withing 120 minutes of showing the first signs.

The abovementioned is not put on the table to dispute with those that believe in chance or think that something as simple as citronella spray is the answer. It is purely put on the table to scetch the worst case scenario. In the end this is the choice of the parent if they want to expose the child to the risk or not.

Have a look at the 11 guidelines as put down by the WHO international travel plan and decide for yourselves.

Interesting facts from the WHO:

1) 800 000 children in Africa die annually from malaria.
2) The fatality rate of children that did contract the disease is between 8-18%. So if 10 children got the disease, on average 1 or 2 will die.
Last edited by christo on Fri Oct 15, 2010 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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