Family safaris in Africa are an ever-popular vacation choice because they provide unforgettable experiences for all ages. A safari holiday is more than just a photo opportunity for the family album. It’s a chance to connect with loved ones on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
However, it’s worthwhile considering the practicalities of going on safari with children. Based on the ages of your family members, certain activities may be more appropriate than others.
Before you book a safari, you will want to find out which vacation package is the best option for your particular household.
Keep reading to discover some of the best family-friendly African safaris adventures.
Safaris with young children
Families traveling with children under the age of 8 may benefit from planning a shorter family safari holiday and supplementing their vacation with a beach trip to the likes of Diani Beach in Mombasa. Here, your family can experience a mix of some of the most exquisite terrains and cultures that Africa has to offer.
Most organized game drives have a minimum age of 6, so sticking to the beautiful African beaches located within the Indian Ocean is a safe bet if you want every detail arranged for you. The alternative would be a self-drive visit to the national parks.
Best safaris with early teens
If you’re traveling with children ages 9-15, you’ll want to plan for less travel time and minimal walking so that you and your family can make the most out of your visit to Africa.
It’s also good to select lodging that offers private vehicles for its guests so you will not have to travel to an offsite destination for your safari tours. Additionally, you can find many safaris that offer junior rangers programs which include activities and adventures designed specifically for children under 15 years of age.
Serengeti Safari – A 6 Day Trip (Including Serengeti National Park Tour)
As a 6-day safari, this journey is the perfect length for young teens. Your kids are guaranteed to love the variety of zebras, predators, elephants, and even flamingos that they can see during this journey. Combine that with the incredible Serengeti National Park, which holds the largest lion population in Africa, and you will create some unforgettable family memories!
Family Safari for Pre-teens in Kenya – Explore the Masai Mara
This 6-day excursion is one of the best family safaris in Africa, and will provide your family with memories that will last a lifetime. Explore the African plains of the Masai Mara Game Reserve, and on clear days, you can marvel at the dazzling bright orange sunset, one of the best views in Africa. On this adventure, you will likely witness the Big 5, as well as other incredible wildlife. This tour also includes Hell’s Gate National Park, where you can admire abundant wildlife, over 100 bird species, and stunning scenery. Bring your camera to capture the incredible landscapes that range from dramatic cliffs to volcanoes and gorges.
Best safaris with teenagers over 15
If you’re traveling with older teenagers, you can keep them entertained and excited with a gorilla trekking tour in an open safari vehicle through the Ugandan mountains. Here, you will get a chance to witness captivating gorillas in their natural habitats. It is important to note that gorilla trekking is only approved for children over the age of 15.
Another fun activity for teens to enjoy is an exploration of the Serengeti, where they will witness the intensity of the Great Wildebeest Migration firsthand. For families with teenagers, it may be beneficial to seek lodging that has wifi accommodations and a variety of activities available such as boating, horseback riding, and archery ranges, in addition to safari tours.
5-Day Wildlife Sighting Trip to Uganda Including Gorilla Trekking
This 5-day vacation will take you and your family through the incredible Uganda landscape, where you can spot plenty of chimpanzees and gorillas. Start your journey with chimpanzee tracking in the Kyambura gorge, where you will also witness other monkeys, baboons, and vibrant bird species. Explore the Bwindi Forest, boasting enchanting rainforest terrain crisscrossed by natural animal trails. Observe gorilla groups within this forested area, then afterward, check out Lake Bunyoni, surrounded by lush green hills as tall as 2,400 meters. However, the islands in the lake are what really make it spectacular.
12-Day Nature Sighting Trip
From hippos and crocodiles to lions and leopards, this safari is perfect for the animal lover in your family. This 12-day journey includes Murchison Falls National Park, the Kibale Forest, Queen Elizabeth National Park, the Bwindi Forest, and Lake Bunyonyi. With so much to see and do on this trip, there’s no way that your teen will be bored!
14-Day Vacation to Uganda
Explore Murchison Falls National Park, Kibale Forest National Park, Bwindi Forest, and the Ssese Island on this spectacular 14-day experience. Along the way, your kids are likely to spot an abundance of monkeys, elephants, tree-climbing lions, plenty of bird species, and buffalos, among other wildlife.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can children go on an African Safari?
All children can enjoy a family safari in Africa, and there are plenty of options available based on the ages of your children.
If you are traveling with young children under the age of 5, you will want to keep the travelling to a minimum and consider visiting a certified malaria-free region, which can prevent illness in little ones.
What age can children go on Safari?
Children of any age can enjoy the excitement of African safaris. In fact, many family safaris include activities specifically designed with children in mind. Because some safari options are not safe for younger children, such as gorilla trekking, you will want to choose which safari activities you take your family on according to the ages of your children. This will ensure that they can participate in all of the available activities, so that it is a fun vacation for everyone.
What does an African Safari cost for a Family of 4?
Depending on your package, an African safari can cost anywhere between $125 and $750 per person per night. This means that an African safari cost for a family of four would range from $500 to $3,000 per night, dependent on the standard of accommodation sought.
Where is the best Safari location for Kids?
The best safari destination for kids depends on the age of your children. If you are traveling with kids above the age of nine, they will delight in the safaris of Kenya. It is good to stick to malaria-free regions if you are traveling with young children to avoid sickness.
Is it safe to take kids on Safari in Africa?
It is safe to take children on African safaris. Africa’s governments spend vast sums of money ensuring the safety of their visitors. Of course, some destinations are always going to be safer than others, and there are a variety of reasons for this. So, if you’re looking for the safest places to visit in Africa, you can’t go wrong with the following nations.
When it comes to getting up close and personal with wild animals, many tour vehicles are closed, so the animals cannot get in, and the children cannot get out.
Some tours, such as gorilla trekking, are not available to youngsters due to safety concerns and a lengthy trek involved, but there are plenty of alternatives the whole family can enjoy.
What should children pack for a Safari?
Children should pack lightweight clothing covering their skin to protect against sun exposure and insect bites when on safari. Keep clothing simple and comfortable. Long-sleeved shirts offer proper protection from thorns and insects, long stockings (if putting on shorts) and comfortable pants/trousers are a must.
Don’t forget a hat or cap, comfortable shoes and a rain jacket just in case!
If you are traveling to the beach on your family vacation, you will want to pack for warmer weather and include some swimwear.
Alternatively, visit South Africa
Whilst East Africa delivers on all fronts for an authentic safari experience, perhaps you’ve been before and are looking for something slightly different In that case, why not consider South Africa…
South African Safari: Garden Route, Eastern Cape & Madikwe
Start your family adventure by exploring the innovative and exciting city of Cape Town. From there, head to South Africa’s bright and beautiful coastline, famously known as the Garden Route. This area features gorgeous beaches, exquisite ecosystems, and easy-to-navigate roads, making it the perfect destination for a self-guided driving tour of South Africa.
There are plenty of activities to keep your family entertained along the Garden Route, such as visiting a monkey or bird sanctuary, touring the forest canopy, or even swimming with dolphins offshore. Finish off your exploration of South Africa with a Big 5 safari in one of the nearby, malaria-free game reserves in the Eastern Cape Province.
Visit the island of Mauritius to experience a plethora of family-friendly activities in a beautiful island setting. This destination is surrounded by stunning island scenes, including coral reefs and aquatic life such as dolphins and whales. Relax on peaceful, white sandy beaches or swim in the crystal-clear waters, ideal for scuba diving. There are plenty of water sports available for the whole family to enjoy.
The Seychelles Archipelago is more of an upscale destination that offers soft, quiet beaches, peaceful settings, and luxury accommodations. With 115 different islands to choose from, this is a perfect place for a remote and secluded vacation where you can enjoy private time with your loved ones. Your family can revel in the excitement of Mahe Island or explore the vast forests and beaches of Praslin Island. There are also several unique private island accommodations available.