The thrills of an African safari can be found at the top of many world traveler’s bucket lists, but is the wild savanna an adventure suited for children? All around the world, families travel together to visit foreign countries and have unique experiences.
There are many things to consider when selecting the destination for your next family vacation, and when it comes to African safaris, here are a few of the most commonly asked questions regarding children and safari.
Which African countries are best for a safari with kids?
In our experience, South Africa is the classic go-to for a family safari, especially if this will be your first time visiting Africa. South Africa is a wonderful place to visit with children! From feeling ‘on top of the world’ after a hike up Table Mountain to getting eye-level on a paddleboard with the playful penguins at Boulders Beach, there is a great mix of adult and kid-friendly activities for the whole family.
Zambia & Zimbabwe also offer plenty of activities for a young family to enjoy, including tours to roaring waters at Victoria Falls, or getting up close and personal with elephants and rhinos. (Please keep in mind that children must be above the age of 14 to take part in the Rhino experience.)
How old do kids have to be to go on safari in Africa?
While all safari lodges have different restrictions, we generally recommend leaving younger children at home until they are old enough to fully appreciate and participate in the experience.
Some lodges are much more kid-friendly, offering babysitting services for very young children – and some offer modified safari activities for guests between the ages of 3-to-7 years old. Modified safari activities include guided nature walks in safer areas and shortened safari excursions tailored to younger guests.
The instruction and protection from experienced guides make safaris and nature walks very safe, but the natural environment is still unpredictable and could be a bit scary for younger children. Additionally, game drives lasting 3-4 hours may be difficult for kids who have a shorter attention span or take regular naps.
Can we go on an African safari with a toddler?
Generally, a safari vehicle is not safe for toddlers, and the youngest for a child to go in a safari vehicle is 6 years old. Of course, this is all dependent on the lodge. If your child is too young for the game vehicle, most lodges will accommodate young children also offer a babysitting service.
Some lodges will have higher age restrictions for activities such as Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda where the minimum age to trek is 16 years old. Others lodges and camps have a plethora of activities to keep both younger and older children occupied in between game drives which allow them to wander and explore.
Is it dangerous to take young kids on safari?
As a rule of thumb safari’s are very safe and have guides that are immersed every day with the animals and very familiar with their behaviors and temperaments. All of the lodges take extreme precautions to ensure their guests are safe while on safari and have an incredible game viewing experience.
Do all African Safari camps accept kids?
Not all camps will allow children to stay, but your Safari travel company can help to take the guessing and research out of it for you and pair you with the perfect lodges or camps to fit your family’s needs. While safaris are extremely safe, they are still a wild experience! You want your children to be fully immersed in this once-in-a-lifetime experience to have the best adventure possible.
At Ubuntu Travel we love to design custom Safari experiences for families! Let us plan your dream vacation that has something special planned for the younger members and the grown-ups too. Speak with us today to see how we can help you plan your perfect African safari vacation.