Tell Us About Yourself
I am a mom to two competitive boys and the Founder and Editor of L.A. Family Travel. The digital family travel magazine aims to help families everywhere overcome the challenges of traveling with children and find great family trip ideas through its experiential stories filled with essential information.
I lived in 5 different countries before I was 5 years old, so I love new experiences. It led me to become a reporter. Before babies, I was a tv and radio reporter and anchor. Then when I had kids, I switched to print journalism.
Tell Us About Your Big Adventure
As my sons are competitive, I decided to take a tip from Eric Stone with Travel Babo. He has 3 kids, and each year takes each of them on a trip to the destination of their choice.
When I told my sons about the plan, my 13-year-old picked Africa. It’s also somewhere I’ve always wanted to go.
I worked with Lemala Camps and Lodges to design a 9-day extensive itinerary for us.
I also got a tip about breaking long trips with kids into shorter mini trips, so we stopped in Paris and Amsterdam on our way to Africa.
My son got to experience Paris via Segue, which was a great way to see the city and keep him engaged. And in Amsterdam, we did the Anne Frank Museum and a canal tour. Then we flew from Amsterdam to Tanzania, Africa.
What Did You Do in Tanzania?
We landed by Mt. Kilimanjaro & stayed at the Kilimanjaro Golf and Wildlife Estate. We saw our first animals, including the Dik-Dik, the world’s smallest antelope.
Then we traveled to stay for 2 days at Tarangire National Park at Lemala Mpingo Ridge Lodge, which was so lovely. Tarangire National Park, situated within Tanzania’s spectacular Manyara Region, is an awe-inspiring national park comprising granite ridges, river valleys, mixed vegetative landscapes, and free-roaming wildlife.
Then we overnighted at Lemala Ngorongoro Tented Camp at Ngorongoro Crater, where we were greeted by baboons as we arrived. Located in Northern Tanzania, the Ngorongoro Crater is best known for its natural beauty and abundant wildlife, making it one of Africa’s most popular safari destinations.
Then we were in the Central Serengeti at Lemala Ewanjan Tented Camp. Situated in the heart of Tanzania, the Central Serengeti encompasses the world-famous Seronera Valley, which is known for its prime wildlife-viewing opportunities.
We went to the Eastern Serengeti and stayed at Lemala Nanyukie Lodge. The rich acacia-dotted plains of the Eastern Serengeti are home to abundant wildlife. Visitors flock here to view the world-renowned wildebeest migration. Popular activities here include learning about Maasai culture and history and the world-famous Gol Kopjes for the best cheetah viewing in Africa.
The guides are fantastic and just so knowledgeable. Each day we did game hunts in the mornings and late afternoons. Our most excellent guide, Frank, is friends with all the guides & they regularly check in with each other through walkie talkie to alert one another of exciting sightings.
We saw tons of wildlife…giraffes, elephants, lions, leopards, and cheetahs.
It’s just an incredible learning experience. It was so amazing to see my son, who’s disinterested in everything, be captivated by all of it.
What was your son’s favorite part of the trip?
We were able to have a village tour with the chief of a Masai village. He toured us around the village, and everyone showed us how they lived. They were all so welcoming and let us into their lives which was so special.
My son had just had his Bar Mitzvah, and as his charitable act, he took soccer balls and art supplies to give the children of the Masai village. My son, who doesn’t speak Swahili, got the chance to communicate with the local children across language barriers over soccer. It was very moving for him.
And seeing the animals. He really connects with animals. So to see these wild animals living their lives was mind-blowing for him.
Why do you think it’s important to travel with your kids?
We live in an L.A. suburban bubble. There’s no better way to connect with people than learn through other people and places. It’s the best education you can possibly give your kids.
Next trip you’re planning or dreaming about?
My other son wants to go to New York to see Times Square, a Broadway show, the Empire State Building, and learn Ellis Island’s history.
And then we’re going to try a family trip and learn how to sail on a sailing adventure in Greece in summer 2022.
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Thank you for joining us, Rina, and sharing your Tanzania, Africa adventure details!
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For more family vacation inspiration, tune in to all the podcast episodes. Adventure Awaits!