Going on a Uganda Safari Holiday is a top experience as far as travelling the world is concerned. Such wonderful experiences are even made better in the company of the people closest to heart. Your family.

Having young children at home means less travelling for most people. For those who try, short nearby trips are the go-to option. At times, this is because there isn’t a lot of information on how a family holiday could happen in a distant place of interest – especially when it comes to Africa. With going on an Africa safari, you get to try out and experience completely new things and have a wonderful time full of many memories.

For children, a wildlife safari is a mind-blowing experience that serves to shape their minds toward a better outlook on life. For a child, getting to see some of the animals she/he has only seen on TV or heard about from class is beyond any description.

In this article, let us look at how you can approach planning for an African Safari holiday with children. We’ll look at some things that usually pose questions and doubts – and how we can work through them together.

Given that Africa is a very big place, we shall limit our specific example to Uganda and generally Eastern Africa. Be that as it may, we still think the article will be able to gainfully give you a proper insight into how to approach an African safari family holiday with children.

Let’s get into it.



Before going any further, the first thing to address is the age of the children. This is because children below certain ages are not allowed to partake in some few activities for safety and conservations reasons.

Seeing gorillas in the wild is restricted to people who are aged 15 years or older. This is the highest restriction based on age. To see chimpanzees, the child must be at least 12 years old. The fact that chimps and gorillas can easily catch and transmit human diseases is why age restrictions are strictly followed. For safety as well as conservation reasons.

Age restrictions also apply to activities such as White water rafting, Kayaking, Ziplining, bungee jumping, abseiling and mountain climbing to certain heights. All this is for safety reasons.

Activities like game drives do not have restrictions based on age. This is because you are usually accompanied by an armed park ranger for your safety.

To properly plan out everything, ask your safari consultants to tell you about any age restrictions in regard to the ages of your children.



Depending on the age of your children your packing lists might vary for the regular safari packing lists. You already know that the packing items will differ with each child. You main guiding principle should be looking at the activities planned.

If you plan on seeing some wild animals, you should pack clothing that doesn’t have ‘shouting’ colours or animal prints. The animals are so many and each reacts differently especially to clothing that has animals vividly printed on. Grey, black, khaki and other neutral colours. Plus, these colours don’t get dirty so fast.

Another important thing to pack is regular medication. Whether it is for the children or for the adults, don’t forget this. Remember to follow your doctor’s recommendation.



There is no saying how safety is important when you are travelling far from home. It is a genuinely good concern. In East Africa where we operate, all countries are very stable and safe for visiting guests. If you happen to be coming to Uganda, be assured that you will feel at home because we are famously known for being very hospitable.

Apart from the safety which concerns security, there is also safety in the national game parks. This is even more crucial when it comes to dealing with children.

A national park is not like a zoo where you can stand next to a lion and take selfies. The animals here are untamed and you have to really understand that. Some animals like hippos might seem very docile and tempt the kids or even you, to get closer and pet it. These are wild animals and they are very unpredictable. You have to understand that to make sure everyone stays safe.

Different animals will require different precautions and how close you are allowed to get. This is generally staying 7 or more metres (22 feet) away from even the smallest herbivore. The park guides are well conversant with all this and will tell you what to do – and what not to do. Follow their directions. It is for the safety of both your kids and yourself.

As a parent, you have to know this and tell the children about it to. Tell them that this isn’t the National Geographic channel where they can pet animals.



Transport is no problem. Depending on how many people you are, our company will provide the most comfortable form of transport.

A full-sized Toyota Landcruiser is fit for a maximum of 5 people, a 4WD Extended Toyota Landcruiser for 7 people and coaster for a much bigger group of people. These are readily available to take you on your next trip together as a family.

Your itinerary might have some very long drives from place to place. If you feel like they drives are too long for the children, you can have the tour adjusted to allow for more rest and stops.



All lodges across the country around game parks are designed with the needs of everyone in mind. There are family-friendly tents, cottages and suites where the young ones can rest at night.

Most swimming pools are also kid-friendly with the shallow end where they can swim and spend the afternoon chilling. The children always have things to keep them busy with ample compounds and playing grounds for volley or football games, biking and any other board games they would be interested in.

This varies from place to place. Talk to your safari operator about any specific requirements for accommodation so that everything is planned in advance.



Menus are available for both adults and children. Restaurants serve both international and local cuisines making it easy for anybody to choose whatever they are in the mood for.

Children love snacking and this will not be an issue, there is no need to carry snacks all the way from home, there are many convenience stores and supermarkets stocked with all kinds of snacks and soft drinks.

I would recommend for the kids to try the fresh juice and fruits that are rich in colour and bursting with deep flavours. Uganda is blessed with tropical climate allowing an abundance of tropical fruits like pineapples, mangoes, passion fruits, oranges and apples that you can get fresh and at good prices.


Child or adult the point of travelling is experiencing new things in new places with new people. For that matter, the activities you will do on your Uganda Safari are a big deal. For the children, it is an even bigger deal. Here are the several activities you can engage in as a family. Some might not exactly suit your situation because of age and preferences, but let’s see.

(i) Game drives.

African Safaris are generally thought of in terms of seeing many wild animals. Savannah animals that can’t be found in the wild anywhere else.

While some animals can be seen in a zoo, that is not their natural habitat and the experience is totally different in each case. On a game drive, you and your family will see animals like lions, African elephants, leopards, Zebras, giraffes, hippos, crocodiles, monkeys, buffalo, and various kinds of antelopes among many others. Your itinerary will tell you what you will see in each of the various locations.

(ii) Birdwatching.

Bird watching is more popular than you might think. With more than 1000 bird species, Uganda is a haven for bird watching in Africa.

There are many places where you can do birdwatching to see some rare bird species like the shoebill or the great blue turaco. If you are competitive, you could even make a game out of it and see who wins the family trophy. If you are not necessarily a birder, you can have it as an additional activity after a game drive. Queen Elizabeth National Park is perfect for this as it has more than 600 bird species and has most of the animals mentioned above.

(iii) Primate tracking.

Uganda is well known for primates. With mountain gorillas, Chimpanzees and more than 10 other primate species, the reputation holds true.

With age considerations are taken into place, gorillas and chimpanzees might not work out. But you can see all the other monkeys and baboons and observe how they go about their day. The good thing is that no restrictions are set for these other primates, and watching them is very pleasurable experience.

In some places like Kibale, some species of monkeys will even be staying very close to your lodging area and you will just watch them from the comfort of your room.

(iv) Nature Walks.

Apart from being very relaxing in a way only nature can do, nature walks are very informative and educational. During a nature walk, you learn about the various plants, animals and even the history of the place.

Like Game drives, Nature walks are good at engaging the curiosity of children and adults alike.

(v) Launch Cruise

A launch cruise is another great way your family will get to see many animals and birds as they come to the banks of the river or the lake.

The most popular of such boat rides are in Murchison Falls National Park, along the Nile and in Queen Elizabeth National Park along Kazinga Channel. On any of these boat rides, you will see elephants, buffaloes, crocodiles, hippos and various birds.

(vi) Community Visits

Visiting local communities is the best way to witness the way of life in the various parts of Africa. On a community visit, you can learn about the various ways of life such as cattle keeping, local folklore, and even the meaning of various traditional dances.

As a fun thing, the children could always try to learn some of the traditional dance routines of the community. The various dances can be very interesting to learn about and practice. Here is our article on Uganda’s traditional dances.

(vii) Mountain biking

If you have a very active family that loves the outdoors, mountain biking is another activity you can engage in. While there are many places you can ride bikes, we are thinking of doing it in the national park.

In Uganda’s Lake Mburo National park, there are very few lions and other big cat predators that would make leisurely rides risky. Escorted by an armed Uganda Wildlife Authority ranger, you can ride mountain bikes and follow some safe routes through the park.

Photo credit: Mihingo Lodge in Lake Mburo

On your ride, you will pass herds of zebra, Eland, buffaloes, Uganda kobs and many more. This should be very exciting for you and your family if you love the outdoors.


This is such a long piece but we hope it delivered some insights for planning and having a family safari in Uganda. Since the needs will vary depending on the ages and number of people in the family, you will need to get a tailored answer to your family. The same questions could have a different answer for different situation and we want you to have the best information to put your mind at ease – so that you do enjoy your family’s time together.

We hope this article gives you some idea of what can happen. For a specific question that applies to you, feel free to just contact us and we’ll get you all the right answers. And of course, when you decide to take that family safari, we hope you do so with us.

Thank you for taking the time.

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