Elephants on an African safari game drive

8 Family-Friendly Safari Activities to Exploring Africa’s Wildlife

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Going on a family safari is one of the most exhilarating experiences. Indeed, an African family safari promises to create lasting memories for you and your loved ones. But to plan an unforgettable family safari in Africa, you must get the destination right. 

Africa has many iconic safari destinations but the most popular ones include South Africa, Kenya, and Tanzania. But to have the best experience, weigh the options, especially if you’re going with the little ones. 

The table below summarizes the pros and cons of visiting either destination.

AspectSouth AfricaTanzania Kenya
1. Rich WildlifeDiverse wildlife, including the Big Five, in various reserves.Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater offer unparalleled wildlife encounters.Maasai Mara hosts the iconic Great Migration, a wildlife spectacle.
2. Scenic LandscapesBeautiful scenery, from Table Mountain to the Garden Route.Stunning landscapes, including Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar’s beaches.Picturesque landscapes with savannahs and Rift Valley escarpments
3. Cultural DiversityVibrant cities with a blend of African cultures and cuisinesRich cultural experiences with local tribes like the Maasai.Cultural interactions with Maasai tribes and local communities.
1. Longer Travel TimesDistances between parks and cities can lead to travel fatigue.Some safari destinations may require longer travel times between parks.Distance between major reserves can result in extended drives.
2. Safari CostsSafaris can be costly, especially in private reserves.Tanzania’s safaris can be relatively expensive, especially in peak seasons.Prices can be high, particularly in popular areas like the Maasai Mara.
3. Crowded SeasonsCrowded game drives during peak times may diminish the experience.Peak seasons can get crowded with tourists, affecting the wilderness experience.High tourist numbers during the Great Migration season can be overwhelming.

If you’re going for a family safari in Africa, you must be cautious about malaria. However, countries like Tanzania are working towards zero malaria, especially in Zanzibar. WHO highlighted it as one of the islands in Tanzania and East Africa with low malaria risk. They’re currently below 1%. 

To be safe, consult a healthcare professional for precautions. Malaria-free zones are a game-changer for family safaris, ensuring a worry-free adventure, especially for young children. Join us in this exciting series to explore Tanzania’s family-friendly safari activities, making it the ideal choice for your African wildlife adventure!

  1. Consider Safari Experiences for Every Age 

To have an exciting experience on a safari, make sure you plan for age-appropriate safari adventures. You may find some safari operators imposing age restrictions. This is usually due to safety concerns and the duration of game drives. 

For instance, some safari operators may allow kids as young as 6 to 8. While others will recommend waiting until they’re around 12. But to ensure an enriching experience for kids of different age groups, consider safari lodges that offer tailored activities. For example, some lodges offer guided nature walks and junior ranger programs. 

Younger children can enjoy interactive storytelling sessions and easy-paced game drives. You will notice that teenagers relish more immersive experiences like photography workshops and tracking lessons. So, families can create unforgettable safari memories by catering to each age group’s interests.

  1. Have a Safari Checklist for Your Family

Thorough preparation is key if you want to have a lifetime family safari adventure. Here’s an essential safari checklist for a comfortable and memorable journey:

  • Pack Smart: First, ensure you include versatile clothing for both warm days and cool evenings. For instance, you may need sturdy walking shoes, sunscreen, hats, and insect repellent. Don’t forget any necessary medications, like antimalarials. Better still you can include a first-aid kit in your luggage. 
  • Gadgets & Gear:  Also, ensure to equip your family with binoculars and cameras to capture the captivating wildlife moments in the African wild. Pack them securely in padded bags or cases to prevent damage during transit.
  • Weather Ready: African weather can be unpredictable. Thus, you must pack layers of clothes from cool mornings to hot afternoons. You can include raincoats and waterproof bags for rainy seasons. 
  1. Consider the Best Time to Go on a Family Safari

Also, the timing of your African safari is crucial. To have a relaxing and memorable experience, you must know the best time for a family Africa safari. Remember best time is relative it all depends on your situation and what you seek to experience. Here is a breakdown:

For instance, you may consider when animals are most active and visible. The dry seasons may be an ideal time to visit some parts of Africa for a safari. This is because it’s easy to spot animals as there is less grass to hide them. Also, they’re usually up and about looking for shade and water spots to quench their thirst. 

The best time to enjoy a family safari Tanzania is between June and August. This is ideal, as you’ll enjoy a front-row seat to Tanzania’s Great Migration. The Great Migration is an incredible yearly movement of many animals, like wildebeests. They travel across East Africa’s Serengeti region to find better grazing spots. So, if your children’s school holidays fall at this time, start packing; the African wilderness is calling. 

Besides, the weather can be a huge game changer for a fun-filled safari experience. Thus it’s vital to consider what the weather will be like when you visit. Just know that extreme weather (too hot or rainy) can make the safari experience awful. But when the weather is pleasant, it’s a guarantee the experience will be breathtaking. 

  1. Consider Accommodation Options

Remember, accommodation during an African family safari is more than just a place to sleep. It can be one of the main things that makes your trip memorable. A good family-friendly safari lodge goes beyond game drives. They offer amenities like game lounges, swimming pools, and educational activities.

 For instance, Selous River Camp is among the coziest safari lodges. It’s nestled within the woodlands overlooking the beautiful river Rufiji. And yes, all guests have access to their magnificent swimming pool. These extras will enhance your safari experience, providing relaxation and entertainment for all ages. 

After a thrilling game drive, you can cool off in the swimming pool. Or engage in wildlife-focused educational programs. One thing is for sure, the right lodge can transform your family’s safari into an enriching and memorable experience. 

  1. Self-Drive vs. Guided Tours

You want your privacy but don’t want to miss any of the spectacular moments during a safari. This can be a confusing situation for any family. Indeed, if anything, most tourists will go for self-drive as it offers freedom and flexibility. 

It allows you to set your own pace and explore at will. But the downside of self-drive is that they can be so demanding. You must meticulously plan for car rentals to route navigation, which can be a bit hectic if it’s your first time in Africa. 

Guided tours can be ideal as they provide expert knowledge and convenience. But the notable downside is the cost implications. However, families seeking a hassle-free experience with expert insights into the African wild can opt for guided tours.

 But if you prefer an ultimate and unique family safari, self-drives are a fantastic choice. Better still, you can forge your own path and learn about the wilderness through your own lens. With the right preparation self drive safaris can be rewarding and slightly affordable. 

  1. Cultural and Educational Experiences

Another exciting activity for an African safari, especially in Tanzania, is immersing yourselves in local culture. This is an exciting experience that can add to your wildlife encounters. You can learn much about a region’s traditions and lifestyle by visiting Maasai villages on a Tanzania safari. Also, the vibrant local markets are great places to learn about their culture, food, and general lifestyle. 

Don’t take lightly these experiences as they broaden and create lasting memories for the little champions. Besides, it’s essential to understand African cultural tapestry to enhance the appreciation of its natural wonders. This is a great highlight that makes a family safari holistic and enlightening trip for all. 

  1. Safety Measures and Health Precautions

It is vital to ensure the safety and well-being of your family during a safari. A good place to start before traveling is talking to a healthcare professional. They’re better placed to recommend vaccinations, malaria medications, and general health precautions. 

It’s advisable to carry a well-equipped first aid kit and familiarize yourself with emergency procedures at your chosen destination. Also, ensure you and your family adhere to park rules and the laws. Remember that our cultures are different, and you should have sufficient information on how to interact with locals. For instance, you need to:

  • At no point should you feed the animals; remember, this is not a zoo
  • Don’t smoke while you are on a safari
  • Refrain from taking pictures of the locals without their consent
  • Don’t ask so many questions or requests, especially before greeting them properly
  • Give candy or sweets to kids without their parent’s consent
  • Don’t offer money gifts to the locals

Additionally, leverage communication tools like satellite phones. They’re such a valuable asset when you’re in remote areas. Knowledge is power. When you stay informed and prepared, you minimize risks and focus on creating cherished family memories. 

  1. Budgeting Your Family Safari

Going for a family safari in Africa requires careful planning, especially with the budget. You must research costs for flights, accommodation, meals, and activities. A budget safari can be as low as $150 a day, while a Tanzania Luxury safari can cost up to $1000 per person per day. 

So, you need to be careful when budgeting for an African family safari. For instance, you can scout for package deals and discounts on group bookings to save money. But you need to be careful not to compromise your overall safari experience. 

Focus on activities that align with your family’s interests, considering additional expenses. It is vital to set a realistic budget and seek cost-effective options. This will allow you to go on an unforgettable African adventure without breaking the bank.


1. Is a safari suitable for young children?

A safari can be suitable for young children depending on age restrictions and available family-friendly activities.

2. What are the health risks involved?

Health risks on a safari include vaccinations, malaria zones, and various health precautions to protect your family. 

3. How can we make the safari educational for our kids?

You can make the safari educational for your kids by incorporating interactive activities and engaging educational games into the experience.


Planning a family safari adventure to Africa requires careful consideration and preparation. From choosing the right destination and accommodations, ensuring safety measures, and creating educational experiences. Every detail matters to make this journey a cherished memory for your loved ones. Following the tips and insights in this guide, your family is set for a remarkable safari experience. You will enjoy wildlife wonders, cultural discoveries, and lifelong bonding moments amid the African wilderness.

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