Today's teenagers are rarely seen without earphones resolutely docked in their ears, fingers deftly generating more text messages per minute than Reuters issues global news updates. Their constant connectivity with friends in cyberspace often disconnects them from the people around them, their parents and even their siblings.
So how on earth do you coax these detached human beings out of hiding and into a family holiday? We say, take them on safari in Africa!
Comparing Mickey Mouse to Etosha National Park
When I was 15 and my brother 11, my parents uttered the magic words: 'We're going to Disney World!' It was a kid's fantasy come true: a month-long holiday in the United States, experiencing some of the biggest rollercoasters in the world, living in a 101 Dalmatians-themed hotel and eating junk food I had only ever seen on TV.
A year later we set off on holiday in the family car, heading north of the South African border for Etosha National Park in Namibia - a land of endless horizons, crisp mornings and some of the most spectacular scenery on earth. However, for a couple of teenagers in the backseat, it sounded like an incredibly monotonous three weeks away from our friends.
As it turned out Namibia was one of my most memorable holidays ever. The African landscape unfolded in such thrilling ways: pink-streaked sunsets, prides of stalking lion, elephants as far as the eye could see... Like our shared recollections of Disney World, Etosha added brand new adventures and tales to our store of family memories.