How to Plan an Unforgettable Family Safari Trip

How to Plan an Unforgettable Family Safari Trip

There’s nothing more thrilling than witnessing your children encounter wild animals in their natural habitat rather than a zoo. A family safari in Africa promises to be a trip of a lifetime, creating memories and stories that will be cherished forever. However, before embarking on this exciting adventure, there are certain considerations to ensure a successful and enjoyable safari experience for the whole family. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to plan a family safari trip.

Things to Consider:

  • Age of Children: Take into account the ages of your children to plan suitable activities and accommodations.
  • Desired Experiences: Decide on the experiences you want to have during the safari, whether it’s game viewing, cultural encounters, or other activities.
  • Animal Sightings: Discuss with your family the animals you’d like to see and consider destinations known for these species.
  • Family-Friendly Tour Operators: Choose a tour operator that caters to families and offers activities suitable for children.

Question 1: Which Country is Best for a Family Safari?

For family safaris, focus on the top three safari destinations in Africa: South Africa, Tanzania, and Kenya. Tanzania and Kenya offer more authentic African experiences, with “wild” parks and abundant wildlife. Kenya’s major international airport, Jomo Kenyatta (NBO), has more flight options compared to Tanzania. South Africa is ideal for families with younger children, as it offers a variety of activities, modern infrastructure, and numerous malaria-free parks.

Question 2: When is the Best Time to Visit?

For the best game viewing, consider visiting during the dry season in Kenya and Tanzania, between June and October, and in South Africa, between July and November. December to February also offers unique experiences, like the Great Wildebeest Migration in Tanzania, dry months in Cape Town, and migratory birds in Kenya.

Kenya for a safari tour
Question 3: What Family-Friendly Places Should We Visit?

Each country offers a wide range of attractions suitable for families. Here are the top ten recommended places to visit in Tanzania and Kenya:


  • Serengeti National Park
  • Ngorongoro Conservation Area
  • Lake Manyara National Park
  • Mount Kilimanjaro
  • Arusha National Park
  • Zanzibar
  • Tarangire National Park
  • Mto Wa Mbu banana plantations
  • Tinga Tinga Arts Cooperative Society
  • Dar es Salaam


  • Masai Mara National Reserve
  • Nairobi National Park
  • The Crocodile Farm and Snake Park, Malindi
  • Giraffe Center
  • Splash Water World
  • Nairobi City playgrounds and attractions
  • Karen Blixed Museum
  • Elephant Orphanage (DSWT)
  • Mount Kenya Safari Club
  • Fort Jesus, Mombasa

Question 4: Any Other Activities We Can Enjoy as a Family?

Both Tanzania and Kenya offer a variety of exciting activities for families, including hot air balloon rides, snorkeling, water/amusement parks, horseback riding, and more.

Question 5: How Can We Get There?

There are plenty of flights from around the world to South Africa, Kenya, and Tanzania. Flights to Tanzania can be more expensive, but many travelers book flights via Nairobi or Johannesburg and then take connecting flights to Tanzania, which may be more affordable.

Question 6: Can We Self-Drive?

While self-driving is ideal for family safaris due to its flexibility, it is not advisable in East Africa (Tanzania and Kenya). South Africa is the best option for self-driving safaris, with good roads and rental vehicle options.

Question 7: What to Pack for the Kids?

Pack comfortable clothes, closed shoes, sun hats, sunscreen, light jackets, binoculars, mosquito repellent, malaria tablets, interesting books or wildlife guides, and sunglasses for your children.

Suggested Family Safari Tours:

Consider tailor-made safari tours that cater to your family’s interests and preferences, ensuring a perfect vacation for everyone.

Tips on Planning a Family Safari:

  • Plan Ahead: Brainstorm with the family and tailor the safari to suit everyone’s desires.
  • Accommodations: Choose family-friendly lodges or camps that cater to children’s needs.
  • Communicate with the tour Operator: Discuss your preferences and work together to create the perfect itinerary.
  • Book in Advance: Secure your preferred accommodations and activities in advance.
  • Keep the Kids Engaged: Involve the kids in the safari experience by letting them use binoculars and cameras.
  • Age-Appropriate Activities: Ensure safari activities are suitable for the age of your children.

With these guidelines, you’ll be well-prepared to plan an extraordinary family safari adventure that your loved ones will cherish forever.