Family safaris in Africa are a fantastic choice for an unforgettable vacation, and it’s easy to understand their enduring popularity. These extraordinary adventures provide bucket list experiences that cater to every member of the family.
When planning a family safari in Africa, it’s important to consider the practical aspects, particularly when bringing children along. The age of the children will determine the most suitable activities and accommodations to ensure that everyone has a wonderful time.
So, before you jump into booking an African family safari, it’s important to do your homework. This way, you can craft an itinerary that suits your family’s unique needs and preferences.
Along with the captivating wildlife, many family-friendly safaris offer interactive activities and educational opportunities. Here, your kids can learn about the fascinating cultures of local tribes, get involved in wildlife conservation projects, or even try their hand at traditional African crafts.
Whether you dream of exploring the vast Serengeti plains, the lush Okavango Delta, or the breathtaking Masai Mara National Park, there’s a family safari waiting for you. So read on, and we’ll help you discover the best family Safari in Africa for you.
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Safaris with young children
If you’re traveling with young children under the age of 8, it’s a good idea to consider a shorter family safari combined with a relaxing beach trip.
Since many organized game drives have a minimum age requirement of 6, opting to visit the stunning African beaches along the Indian Ocean ensures a safe and enjoyable experience where everything is taken care of for you. Alternatively, you can plan a self-drive adventure and explore the national parks at your own pace.
Combining a beach trip with a family safari allows you to have an exciting wildlife experience while also enjoying a laid-back beach vacation. Diani Beach is famous for its pristine white sands and crystal-clear turquoise waters, offering a variety of family-friendly activities. You can enjoy water sports, go snorkeling to explore vibrant coral reefs or take a boat trip to spot dolphins.
You can also immerse yourself in the local culture and traditions. Take leisurely walks through nearby villages, visit local markets, and savor delicious Swahili cuisine.
Top safaris for early teens
If you’re planning a safari adventure with kids aged 9 to 15, it’s important to choose a trip that caters to their needs.
When it comes to accommodations, look for lodges or camps that offer private vehicles for their guests. This means you won’t have to travel long distances to reach the safari sites, which is especially convenient for kids. Having the vehicles close by allows for more time to enjoy wildlife viewing and exploration, so you can avoid lengthy journeys.
What’s more, accommodations with private vehicle hire provide plenty of flexibility. Your guides can tailor the activities and game drives to suit the interests and attention spans of younger travelers. They can focus on exciting sightings like elephants, zebras, and monkeys, or go more in-depth about wildlife and ecosystems, turning the safari into an educational experience for older teens.
Many safari operators even have special programs. specifically designed for kids under 15. These programs give young adventurers the chance to participate in age-appropriate activities that teach them about nature, wildlife conservation, and bushcraft skills. They might go on guided nature walks, try birdwatching, or learn wildlife photography from experienced guides.
Perfectly suited for young teens, this 6-day safari offers an incredible adventure that your kids will cherish. Prepare to be captivated by the diverse wildlife, including zebras, predators, elephants, and even flamingos. The highlight of this journey is the awe-inspiring Serengeti National Park, home to the largest lion population in Africa.
This 6-day excursion is designed to create lasting memories for everyone. Explore the magnificent landscapes of the Masai Mara Game Reserve, renowned for its stunning vistas and jaw-dropping sunsets that paint the sky in vibrant shades of orange. Keep your eyes peeled for the majestic Big 5, including lions, elephants, buffalo, leopards, and rhinos. You’ll also have the opportunity to witness a plethora of other fascinating species.
As part of this amazing tour, you’ll also visit Hell’s Gate National Park, a true gem in Africa’s wilderness. Prepare to be captivated by the abundant wildlife, including over 100 species of birds, as you navigate the park’s diverse landscapes – such as dramatic cliffs an awe-inspiring volcanic formation.
Unforgettable safaris for teenagers over 15
If you’re traveling with older teenagers, you’ll probably be worried about how you’ll keep them engaged throughout the safari.
One thrilling option is a gorilla trekking tour in the breathtaking Ugandan mountains. This trip is specifically only for children aged 15 and over. Or, explore the iconic Serengeti, where they can witness the epic drama of the Great Wildebeest Migration firsthand.
You may also want to factor in other aspects such as choosing accommodations that offer Wi-Fi, as well as a variety of activities that cater to their age range, such as boating, horseback riding, and archery ranges.
Embark on a remarkable 5-day adventure through the diverse landscapes of Uganda, where you and your family can spot incredible wildlife, including chimpanzees and gorillas. Begin your journey with chimpanzee tracking in the Kyambura Gorge, where you’ll also encounter other primates, baboons, and a vibrant array of bird species. Explore the enchanting Bwindi Forest, with its lush rainforest terrain and natural animal trails. Observe gorilla groups within this captivating forested area before visiting Lake Bunyonyi, surrounded by majestic green hills that reach heights of up to 2,400 meters.
Head on a breathtaking 14-day adventure through Uganda’s remarkable national parks and landscapes. Encounter captivating wildlife in Murchison Falls National Park, witness enchanting primates in Kibale Forest National Park, and come face-to-face with awe-inspiring gorillas in the Bwindi Forest. Conclude your journey on the serene Ssese Islands, where your family can unwind by the tranquil shores of Lake Victoria. This expedition offers thrilling encounters with monkeys, elephants, tree-climbing lions, diverse bird species, and mighty buffalos.
10 Best African safari destinations for families
Are you and your kids fans of the zoo? Well, get ready for an unforgettable adventure because an African safari will take their love for animals to new heights! The vast African plains provide the perfect backdrop for children of all ages to witness majestic lions, playful hippos, and gentle elephants while learning about conservation.
With so many safari destinations to choose from, finding the best African safari for your family can be a challenge. Join us as we unveil the top destinations you should consider for your upcoming family vacation to the lands of Simba and friends!
1. Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater
Ignite the imaginations of your family as you embark on a remarkable journey to the ancient ridges formed by an extinct volcano. Behold the breathtaking Ngorongoro Crater, a mesmerizing sight within the Great Rift Valley and a revered UNESCO World Heritage Site. Spanning 100 square miles, this natural wonder shelters approximately 25,000 remarkable animals. From mighty elephants to majestic lions, spotting iconic wildlife becomes effortlessly thrilling in this extraordinary location.
The Ngorongoro Crater perfectly complements a family safari to its neighboring Serengeti, doubling the adventure. Moreover, it offers a window into the earliest chapters of humanity’s history at Olduvai Gorge, where evidence of human existence dating back two million years has been unearthed. Meet residents from Maasai pastoralist communities, who graciously welcome visitors eager to learn about their captivating culture. It is from these communities that the very name “Ngorongoro” originates, adding an intriguing layer of heritage to this unforgettable experience.
2. Kenya’s Maasai Mara
While sharing the Maasai culture with Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater, Kenya’s Maasai Mara holds its own special place among the best African safari destinations for families. Here’s why: The Maasai Mara boasts excellent infrastructure and a remarkable diversity of wildlife, rivaling any protected area on the continent. With regular direct flights to Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, accessibility is a breeze. Furthermore, the reserve’s compact size means shorter driving times, perfect for younger children.
As a renowned Big Five safari destination, the Maasai Mara offers thrilling encounters with lions, elephants, leopards, Cape buffalos, and rhinos. Let’s not forget the awe-inspiring annual Great Wildebeest Migration, where around two million animals embark on a grand journey through the Mara’s vast landscapes.
3. Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
If your teenagers are seeking a unique adventure, consider swapping the traditional safari game drive for an extraordinary experience in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Here, anyone over the age of 15 can embark on an exhilarating trek in search of mountain gorillas.
These majestic creatures, wild yet fairly used to human presence, reside just a veil of greenery away. With the guidance of expert ranger guides, you’ll have the privilege of encountering gorilla families up close.
Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest can be seamlessly combined with vehicle-led safaris, allowing you to explore the continent’s beloved animal species. While Queen Elizabeth National Park is often recommended as a top African safari destination for families, we personally favor the enchanting mix of wonders found in Murchison Falls National Park. Here, you’ll not only encounter a diverse array of wildlife but also witness the breathtaking sight of the River Nile cascading through the rocks of Fajao Gorge.
4. Rwanda’s Akagera National Park
Rwanda’s Akagera National Park is emerging as a top destination on the African safari scene. With the reintroduction of rhinos to its vast grasslands, it has become one of the continent’s newest Big Five safari destinations – and especially for families.
Rwanda is widely recognized as a safe country for international visitors, including children. The towns and cities are known for their cleanliness, and the country boasts an excellent road infrastructure, making domestic travel a breeze.
Moreover, Rwanda offers another incredible opportunity for a life-changing experience: gorilla encounters at Volcanoes National Park.
5. South Africa’s Kruger National Park
When it comes to organizing and traveling with ease, South Africa’s Kruger National Park rivals top safari destinations like Kenya and Rwanda. Although Kruger may not offer the chance to trek and see mountain gorillas, its expansive size presents a wealth of diverse habitats to explore.
With an impressive collection of nearly 150 mammal species, including beloved favorites such as African wild dogs, as well as black and white rhinos, Kruger National Park delivers an extraordinary wildlife experience. What sets Kruger apart is its allowance of private vehicles, making self-drive excursions a viable and attractive option for families seeking flexibility and independence during their safari adventure.
6. Botswana, Okavango Delta
Embark on a captivating safari adventure in Botswana’s Okavango Delta, where you can witness the magnificent waterways and wetlands. Glide through the delta’s serene channels in a traditional mokoro canoe, marvel at the sight of majestic hippos and crocodiles, and be enchanted by the diverse array of bird species that call this region home.
The Okavango Delta’s private concessions offer an exclusive safari experience, with luxurious accommodations that blend harmoniously with the surrounding wilderness. Delight in guided game drives, led by knowledgeable experts who will unveil the secrets of the delta’s ecosystem and help you spot extraordinary wildlife encounters.
Experience the thrill of walking safaris, where you can explore the delta’s hidden wonders and discover its smaller inhabitants, often overlooked during traditional game drives. As the sun sets, try out thrilling night drives, venturing into the nocturnal world of the delta. The private concessions in the Okavango Delta provide a sanctuary of seclusion, allowing you to unwind in luxury camps and lodges nestled in the heart of this pristine wilderness. Fall asleep to the symphony of the wild and wake up to extraordinary wildlife sightings just beyond your doorstep.
7. South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
South Luangwa National Park is renowned for its extraordinary walking safaris and remarkable leopard sightings, making it a thrilling destination for safari enthusiasts.
Explore the park’s diverse ecosystems, from dense woodlands to expansive plains, as you embark on guided walks that bring you closer to nature. Along the meandering Luangwa River, catch glimpses of graceful hippos as they wallow in the water, while the skies above are filled with vibrant birdlife. You’ll also witness one of Africa’s most elusive predators – leopards.
8. Etosha National Park, Namibia
Explore the captivating world of Etosha National Park in Namibia, where you’ll be amazed by the vast salt pans that seem to stretch forever. Get ready for incredible wildlife encounters as you spot majestic elephants gracefully roaming the savannah. Keep your eyes open for magnificent rhinos munching on vegetation and lions taking shade under acacia trees.
To make the most of your safari experience, choose to stay in one of the park’s camps or lodges. As the sun starts to set, hop on an exciting game drive led by knowledgeable rangers who will show you the park’s hidden treasures. From the comfort of your vehicle, observe the wildlife in their natural habitat, capturing amazing photos and creating lifelong memories.
9. Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
Prepare for an unforgettable safari adventure in Hwange National Park, the largest and most magnificent national park in Zimbabwe. This incredible destination offers an abundance of exciting game-viewing opportunities that will leave you in awe. Get ready to embark on an extraordinary journey filled with close encounters with majestic elephants, as well as sightings of powerful predators like lions and cheetahs. Hwange National Park is also a haven for bird enthusiasts, with its incredible array of avian species.
Whether you choose to go on exhilarating game drives or immerse yourself in the tranquility of a walking safari, Hwange National Park guarantees an extraordinary wildlife experience that will leave you completely captivated.
10. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania10. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Get ready to embark on an extraordinary adventure in Serengeti National Park, the crown jewel of Tanzania and a paradise for safari enthusiasts. This remarkable destination is famous for its vast savannahs and the breathtaking Great Wildebeest Migration, where you’ll witness the mesmerizing spectacle of thousands upon thousands of wildebeest and zebras on their annual journey across the plains in search of greener pastures.
As you delve deeper into the heart of the Serengeti, be prepared to be enthralled by the presence of the mighty lions that reign over these lands. The Serengeti is home to a diverse array of iconic African wildlife, including elephants, giraffes, leopards, and rhinos.
Frequently Asked Questions
Curious about taking your kids on a safari?
We’ve got you covered with answers to the most common questions.
An African safari is a wonderful experience that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Whether your children are toddlers, young kids, or teenagers, there are plenty of suitable safari options available, including family-friendly safaris.
For younger children, there are activities and programs designed to engage and entertain them, such as wildlife spotting games, nature walks, and educational sessions about animals and conservation. Older children and teenagers can participate in more adventurous activities like guided bush walks, learning bushcraft skills, and even photography workshops.
It’s important to consider the specific interests and energy levels of your children when planning the safari. Some children may prefer shorter game drives, while others may enjoy longer wildlife encounters. It’s also advisable to choose accommodations that provide family-friendly amenities, such as interconnecting rooms or family suites.
Children of all ages can go on safari, as there are options available to accommodate them. Many safari operators offer family-friendly safaris that include activities and experiences suitable for children. However, it’s important to note that some activities, such as gorilla trekking may have age restrictions or limitations due to safety concerns or regulations.
The cost of an African safari for a family of 4 can vary depending on the package and the level of accommodation chosen. On average, it can range from $500 to $3,000 per night, with prices varying between $125 and $750 per person per night.
The best safari location for kids is all dependent on age. If you’re traveling with children above the age of nine, Kenya offers excellent safari options. For younger children, it’s advisable to choose malaria-free regions to prevent them from getting sick on your travels.
Yes, it is generally safe to take kids on safari in Africa. Governments in African countries invest heavily in generating the safety of visitors by taking the relevant precautions. Tour vehicles are often designed to keep animals out and children in, so no one gets hurt.
It’s also highly advisable to follow the guidance of the safari operator and adhere to the safety protocols in place. This may include staying in designated areas and keeping a safe distance from animals. It’s also recommended to choose destinations that have a good track record of safety and security, and to check travel advisories and consult with local authorities before your trip.
Certain activities, like gorilla trekking, may have age restrictions due to safety concerns, but there are plenty of alternatives that the whole family can enjoy.
Children should pack lightweight clothing that covers their skin to protect against sun exposure and insect bites. It’s important to dress them comfortably and include long-sleeved shirts, long stockings (if wearing shorts), comfortable pants or trousers, a hat or cap, comfortable shoes, and a rain jacket. If you’re also planning a beach trip, don’t forget to pack appropriate swimwear and clothing for warmer weather.
Book your family safari to Africa today!
When it comes to choosing a family African safari vacation, you’ll be spoiled for choice with the options available. Whether you opt for the iconic Serengeti in Tanzania, the magical Okavango Delta in Botswana, or the family-friendly Kruger National Park in South Africa, each destination offers a unique and awe-inspiring experience for all ages.
From thrilling game drives to unforgettable encounters with majestic wildlife, these carefully curated safaris are designed to create lasting memories and foster a deep appreciation for the natural world in your children. With expert guides to educate and entertain, you can enjoy an unforgettable African adventure that will leave your family with amazing memories.