Brooke Burke Takes Her Kids on an African Adventure

03/20/2010 at 02:00 PM ET
Courtesy Brooke Burke

How far would you go for love?

Brooke Burke recently traveled across continents to reunite with fiancé David Charvet after five weeks apart as he films the French reality show La Ferme Célébrités in South Africa.

In a move that would make many parents tremble in fear, Burke brought along the couple’s two young children — Heaven Rain, 3, and Shaya Braven, who just turned 2 earlier this month.

“It was a really ambitious trip to take a 2-year-old and a 3-year-old to Africa for four days,” the Dancing With the Stars co-host, 38, admits.

“Everybody told me I was nuts! People would rather die than take two toddlers on a flight overseas, but I think it comes down to what you do for love.”

“We spent five weeks apart — he really needed to see the family and we really needed to see him,” explains Burke. “Honestly, I would have gone further. It was incredibly romantic as much as it was adventurous, but it was really important.”

Which part of their African adventure was the family’s favorite? Getting up close and personal with the local wildlife, the former Wild On… host says — even if it means the local zoos will no longer hold much allure for the Charvet children.

“I always wanted to go on a safari. I thought I would wait ’til my children were a ‘appropriate age,'” Burke says. “[But] there is no ‘appropriate age’ in my opinion. They had an amazing time — I don’t know how I’ll ever take them to the zoo again!”

— Bethany Powers

FILED UNDER: Exclusive , Kids , News , Parenting

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Showing 29 comments

JMO on

Her daughter looks so much older then 3!

delilah on

She’s cute but yes she looks a lot older than 3. I thought they had four kids. I guess, I was wrong.

Lisa on

I aqree with both posters above that she looks older than 3, however I saw her on the show visiting David and she had the manerisms of a 3 year old. Brooke has four kids, but only 2 of them are kids from her relationship with David. I guess she didn’t want to take the kids out of school to go to Africa, so instead let them stay with their father Garth Fischer. I believe Brooke’s oldest, Neriah, just turned 10 and Sierra, her other daughter, is 7 years old. However, if I went to Africa with my kids, i’d stay much longer than 4 days. I want to read a blog from Brooke about how the two older girls get along with David because according to Brooke it is hard.

KellyJS on

Delilah, Brooke has 2 other kids with a previous husband. She only has 2 kids with David Charvet.

Tracey on

I don’t see what’s so ‘nuts’ about taking two kids to South Africa.

Erin on

The only thing I find nuts about the trip is that they went to visit their dad who was filming a reality show. Can the man find no other work? I guess you take the money where you can get it….but an ocean away for a reality show seems a bit nutty when you have small kids at home.

amandamay on

i’ve flown 3 or 4 times every year from the west coast (usa) to europe with my son (starting at age 2 months and he’s now 7) – it’s not that bad (around 13 hrs non-stop or more if you have layovers, not including driving to and from airports). kids get used to traveling and my son now loves being a little jet-setter. to him it’s normal.

meghan on

i’ve flown numerous times overseas alone with an infant and toddler and then 2 toddlers… the longest flight being 17 hours. it really isn’t that bad.

Allie-Rose on

My parents have been traveling overseas with my sister and I in tow ever since we were born. I don’t see how traveling with 2 toddlers is something that “would make many parents tremble in fear,” unless the kids are bad flyers … or you’re implying there’s something fearful about bringing children to Africa (which case I would suggest deleting or rephrasing this comment because it can be very negatively interpreted)

Sharon on

Hmmmm….I wonder why she did not take her older children also, they might have enjpoyed it and appreciated it more so than the younger ones who will not even remember the trip.

robinepowell on

Well there’s also the consideration that maybe Brooke wanted her two younger kids with their father, her two older girls could spend time with their own father too. It works out that way.

Brooke’s girls are probably very close to David, but are probably Daddy’s girls, who enjoy extra time with him. 😉

ecl on

The thing that I find nuts is that they traveled so far for such a short period of time. Other than that, sounds like great fun for the kids.

h on

i saw the video, the kids didn’t seem to mind the cameras. I’m suprised they don’t speak french though…
I think Heaven “Rain” Charvet, got her name from dad’s song “sometimes it rains”, the song debuted in the summer of 06, and Heaven was born in early 2007, that could be it right?

Luna on

We’ve been taking our kids on planes since they were born and there’s never been an issue. I think our funniest little flyer moment was when my five year old daughter turned to someone who just made the metal detector beep and said, “Do you have the top of your ear pierced or your belly button?” It turns out the girl did have a belly button piercing with enough metal to set it off. As long as the kids are good travelers, it’s fine.

April on

I am NEVER taking my toddlers on planes again until they are older. I have 2 and 4 year old girls and we tried to go to Disney this year. Well one got horrible ear pain from the pressure changes (despite having her sippy cup and gum to help) and the other got motion sickness and was vomiting the majority of the flight. Roadtrips only for us the next couple years!!!

That’s a great picture of Brooke and Rain, by the way.

Allie-Rose on

H – it may not be such a bad thing that Rain and Shaya don’t speak French. David doesn’t speak good French himself so, and that’s my personal opinion, but if you are going to teach your kid a language, it’s better that you speak it well yourself

April – When I was a kid, I had air sickness as well. My mom used to give me some Dramamine before boarding, which helped a lot. Maybe it could help.

Brooke on

I watched the video when David was reunited with Rain and Shaya and it was lovely. He and Brooke look completely in love and David seems nuts about his kids.

I agree that Rain looks older than 3, but if you saw her in the video I did,…..she is DEFINITELY 3.

Anna on

Seems like a great opportunity but why only 4 days? That’s just crazy!

Cat on

Allie-Rose, what on earth are you talking about? David is fluent in French lol…he may have a different “accent” than what you are used to (if you even speak French, and yes, I do, and so does my family) and his intonation can be funny, but he definitely speaks it well enough to pass on the type of info children need at a rudimentary level for a foreign language…Sorry, but you just sounded like a snob trying to show that she’s better than a celebrity or “knows” better lol…

Allie-Rose on

Cat, I don’t care if I sound “like a snob trying to show that she’s better than a celebrity or “knows” better” to you. However, and probably unlike you, I’m French and living in France. Trust me, my problem is not David’s accent or intonation (I seriously couldn’t care less), but I’ve heard him speak French and his grammar and syntax are often questionable, and I’m a grammar peeve.

Caroline on

My husband is from South Africa and we’ve made the (very long) flight a few times. It’s much easier to take the kids when they are small and can nap easily. Makes the flight go faster! I agree that 4 days is a very short stay for such a long flight, especially when it takes a few days to get used to the time difference. You’re barely adjusted and then back home again? Tough on everyone.

Also, it’s a shame that David has to go to South Africa to file a French reality show but the guy has to work to provide for his family and if that’s all he can get … it is what it is.

h on

Allie Rose, David speaks french just like us (i’m french too).
Tu devrais pouvoir faire la différence entre quelqu’un qui parle mal ou peu français et quelqu’un qui fait quelques fautes de grammaire de temps en temps parce qu’il n’a pas forcement eu la même éducation que nous, ex: “les enfants à david”, je connais des parisiens qui parlent comme cela et qui pourtant sont français. Cela ne les empechent pas de parler français à leurs enfants!

Allie-Rose on

H – j’ai regardé quelques fois la Ferme, et bien que j’accepte certaines erreurs, je t’assure qu’il y a des fois je m’arrache les cheveux à ce que j’entends dans la bouche de David (d’accord, il n’y a pas que lui, mais chez lui c’est beaucoup plus flagrant). Désolée, mais c’est comme ça pour ce qui me concerne.

CelebBabyLover on

Just a quick question…..Is David French (Charvet DOES sound like a French name!)? I’m wondering because of all the comments about him speaking French. 🙂

Martine on

David was born in France (Lyon to be exact) but moved to the U.S. at a young age. He speaks French very well but, naturally, after so many years abroad he has a teeny accent and a slight difficulty with the fluidity of his speech. For someone who is bilingual, these are quite normal problems to encounter. I say “Bravo” to David for continuing to speak his native tongue. If his kids would like to learn French one day, then that is great. If not, it is not the end of the world. I’m French-American myself and teaching children two languages at the same time is not easy street, despite the common thinking that it comes automatically.
Allie-Rose, j’ai regardé David sur La Ferme plusieurs fois moi aussi et je ne trouve pas qu’il a un gros accent. Par contre, il était sur Le Zapping un jour parce que un moment dans le programme il avait beaucoup de mal à parler correctement. Heureusement, David n’a pas les mêmes soucis que Jean-Claude Van Damme avec la langue française!

Allie-Rose on

Martine – comme je l’ai indiqué, ce n’est pas son accent qui me hérisse.
Quant à Jean-Claude Van Damme … nous dirons que c’est parce qu’il est belge (même si les belges parlent souvent mieux français que les français)? Bon, d’accord, c’est méchant envers les belges, mais il est vrai que sa tirade de 2003 dans Loft Story est imbattable!

Kim Madden on

South Africa is very modern country, unlike most of Africa. I don’t see it being so adventurous!? My kids have been all over Africa since they were six weeks old!

Melanie on

I lived in South Africa for many years before returning to Canada (my 3 year old was born in SA) and I have to say it is a more “kid friendly” place in many ways than Canada… and its not like those folks were camping but rather staying at a swish luxury lodge (complete with babysitting services should they so require) so the whole family would have had a very nice time indeed!! 4 days is incredibly short. I planned to visit for 4 months and that ended up turning into 12 years 🙂

CelebBabyLover on

Uh, if you read the post, what Brooke actually said was “Everybody told me I was nuts! People would rather die than take two toddlers on a flight overseas, but I think it comes down to what you do for love.” So she was clearly talking about the flight, not about taking the kids to Africa. 🙂