Discover The Unexpected

How to Plan a Safari Trip For Your Family

HOW TO PLAN A SAFARI TRIP FOR YOUR FAMILY

What could be more exciting than seeing your kids encounter animals in the wild and not in a zoo? Family safaris in Africa SHOULD be a trip of a lifetime – one that each of you can remember and share stories forever. However, before being able to tick off this item on your bucket list, you need to know certain things like when are where to go, where to stay, what’s best for the kids, etc. This guide will tell you all about how to plan a safari trip for your family.

THINGS TO CONSIDER

Before anything else, you need to take into account the following things in order for you to create the best safari for the entire bunch:

  • How old are your children?
  • What things do you want to experience?
  • What animals do you want to see?
  • Does the tour operator cater to children?

QUESTION 1: WHICH COUNTRY IS BEST FOR A FAMILY SAFARI?

For family safaris, we will focus on the top 3 safari destinations in Africa: South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya. If you want a more authentic African experience, Tanzania and Kenya are the best places to go. These countries are poorer when it comes to infrastructure and its parks remain “wild” despite the tourism surge each year. Between the two, Kenya’s major international airport (Jomo Kenyatta, NBO) caters more international flights from across the globe compared to Tanzania which is relatively more difficult and expensive to go to. However, even though Tanzania is generally more expensive, the country is endowed with more super activities for the entire family — even with kids in tow.

Most families, especially those with younger kids, opt to travel to South Africa. Thanks to its multitude of things to do and places to see which can be enjoyed before and/or after a wildlife safari, it is often the first choice for family safaris. Aside from a more modern/advanced infrastructure and an endless variety of activities including a visit to waterparks, swimming with the whales and dolphins and several city as well as coastal tours, South Africa is also very accessible from other parts of the world – UK and Europe, America, Middle East, Asia and even Oceania. Plus, South Africa is also home to many malaria-free parks as well as a lot of excellent hospitals and healthcare professionals. The downside here, though, is because the country’s infrastructure is more advanced, the “real Africa” feels is toned down. So if you’re after the authentic African experience with your brood, Tanzania is best, followed by Kenya. If you’re looking into doing other activities like visiting vineyards, seeing penguins and whales, and you don’t mind losing the touch of “real Africa”, South Africa is your best choice.

QUESTION 2: WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT?

Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa are all year-round destinations but the best time to visit these countries for game viewing is during a dry season. In Kenya and Tanzania, it’s best to visit between June and October and for South Africa is between July and November. 
December to February is also an excellent time to visit these countries. In Tanzania for the action-packed calving season during the iconic Great Wildebeest Migration, in South Africa for its dry, summer months in the Cape, and in Kenya for the migratory birds, newborn animals and lush scenery.

QUESTION 3: WHAT FAMILY-FRIENDLY PLACES SHOULD WE VISIT?

There are a lot of places to visit in each country. Here are the top 10 attractions that are recommended for families:

SOUTH AFRICATANZANIAKENYA
  • Kruger National Park
  • Table Mountain
  • Kirstenbosch, Cape Town
  • Chapman’s Peak
  • Sun City, Northwest Province
  • De Waal Park
  • Cape Town beaches
  • V&A Waterfront
  • Serengeti National Park
  • Ngorongoro Conservation
  • 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(David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust)
  • Mount Kenya Safari Club
  • Fort Jesus, Mombasa
  • QUESTION 4: ANY OTHER ACTIVITIES WE CAN ENJOY AS A FAMILY?

    There are lots of activities that you can enjoy as a family or each of you can enjoy yourselves. Depending on your interests, travel style, budget and country to visit, these are the activities we recommend:

    ACTIVITIESSOUTH AFRICATANZANIAKENYA
    Hot air balloon ride
    Helicopter tours
    Beach
    Open air cinema
    Karting
    Indoor trampoline park
    Snorkeling
    Water/Amusement Park
    Painting a Masai masterpiece
    Conoeing/ boating
    Cycling
    Horseback Riding
    Dolphin watching or swimming
    Whale watching

    QUESTION 5: HOW CAN WE GET THERE?

    There are plenty of flights from all over the world to South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania but among the three, Tanzania is the most expensive to fly to and flights, although plenty, isn’t as much available compared to the other two countries. What other people do to visit this ultimate safari paradise is they book a flight via Nairobi or Johannesburg and then take a connecting flight to Tanzania, which is usually cheaper than a direct flight.
    Kenya and South Africa are the biggest hubs in the continent as both international airports are linked to the rest of the world by a plethora of major airlines like KLM, Delta, Emirates and Turkish Airlines. Due to competition, airfares to either Kenya or South Africa are relatively cheaper.

    When it comes to flight duration, travel to East Africa (Tanzania and Kenya) is shorter., which takes about 8 hours from Europe. Traveling to South Africa, on the other hand, is roughly 11 to 12 hours on average. Most families take an overnight flight or make a short stopover to acclimate to the time difference and avoid any jet lags.

    QUESTION 6: CAN WE SELF-DRIVE?

    Self-driving is the most ideal way to go on a family safari because of the freedom when it comes to the needs of each family member. However, this option is not available nor advisable in East Africa including Tanzania and Kenya. If you want to self-drive, South Africa is the place to go. It has excellent roads with good signs or posts for directions and there are many vehicles you can rent.

    QUESTION 7: WHAT TO PACK FOR THE KIDS?

    There really is nothing special to pack for the kids unless they have special needs or restrictions or personal preferences. These are the usual stuff for any kid on a safari:

    • comfortable clothes and lots of extras
    • comfortable closed shoes
    • sun hat/cap
    • sunscreen
    • light jacket
    • binoculars
    • mosquito repellant or bug spray
    • malaria tablets
    • interesting books or African wildlife guide
    • sunglassess

    SUGGESTED FAMILY SAFARI TOURS

    South Africa:

    These safaris will take you to the best safari park in South Africa and some more wildlife sanctuaries that could blow you and your entire bunch away.

    Tanzania:

    These safari tours guarantee the best of Tanzania, with an option to cap off your holiday with an escape to a piece of tropical paradise in Tanzania!

    Kenya:

    Explore Kenya with these family-centered and well-loved safaris! From iconic wildlife to even a visit to the neighboring country, Tanzania!

    TIPS ON PLANNING A FAMILY SAFARI:

    Serengeti National Park
    • Plan ahead and brainstorm with the entire family for ideas and preferences. Is there anything specific you want to see as a family, like perhaps a variety of birds, a large pride of lions or an adventure up a mountain? One member might want a toilet or loo that flushes, the other might want to stay in a camp with a swimming pool and your spouse might want to have a bottle of champagne at night. List all the wants and needs and tailor your safari as well as picking of tour operator from there.
    • Decide on what kind of accommodation you would like to stay in… and make sure the lodge/camp allows children. Would you prefer connecting rooms, a family suite or a private villa? Or maybe you want to try roughing it out in a budget camping tent for a few days?
    • Do not hesitate to give the tour operator/specialist a brief of what you want on your safari. Each operator offers different tried-and-tested tours and frankly, most of them offer more or less the same itineraries. The difference comes in with the level of service they provide. If you can’t find a perfect ready-made itinerary, always confide in the tour operator and find out what they can offer. Contact as many operators as you can and when you find an operator you’re comfortable with, work with them and refine your tour with them until you have the perfect family holiday of your dreams.
    • Get details. Don’t be shy to ask for all the details from your chosen tour operator regarding your trip. You can call them, send them an e-mail or even talk to them in person.
    • When happy with the plan, book. Prices may increase or accommodations may become unavailable in time. If you are already confident with the tour operator and the tailor-made itinerary you’ve created with them, book it right away and relax in the knowledge that probably the best family vacation you’ll have awaits you and your family.
    • Keep your kids interested when you’re already in the safari. Let them use the binoculars and camera, give them a checklist of animals to watch out for, and stay with family-oriented lodges particularly in those with kid-friendly programs and childminders/babysitters.
    • Make sure that safari activities are age-appropriate. This way, you can be sure that everyone in the family gets to enjoy the vacation.

    Tags

    Related Articles

    Check Out These Tours For You!

    See What Our Clients Have to Say

    LoveTravel259094
    LoveTravel259094
    August 8, 2023
    Asante Gosheni and espacially Hassan Nous tenons à recommander Hassan car nous venons de passer un séjour mémorable avec lui. Grâce à son expérience, sa connaissance parfaite du monde animal et des parcs, Hassan nous a permis de voir de nombreux animaux en étant extrêmement bien placé.
    Bien évidemment les big five (même le rhinocéros!), la traversée de la rivière par les gnous et bien d'autres animaux.
    En faisant un safari avec Hassan vous trouverez tout ce que vous êtes venus chercher.
    A l'avenir si nous décidons de refaire un safari, nous voudrions repartir avec Hassan.
    Myriam D
    Myriam D
    August 8, 2023
    Hassan is the best guide !!!! Nous avons eu la chance de faire un safari de 8 jours dans les parcs nationaux du nord de la Tanzanie avec Hassan comme guide. Hassan est un guide très expérimenté.
    Grâce à lui et sa grande expérience nous avons découvert et appris énormément de choses sur la Tanzanie, les animaux, les végétaux etc. Hassan est un véritable passionné qui aime transmettre son savoir.
    En plus de ses connaissances, Hassan a un véritable œil de lynx et sais débusquer le moindre animal caché.
    Grâce à Hassan nous avons eu la chance de voir beaucoup d’animaux et tous ceux du « Big Five ».
    Parmi tous les véhicules présents lors des safaris, Hassan sait se frayer un chemin pour nous permettre d’avoir toujours le meilleur point de vue.
    Hassan sait où se placer pour nous permettre d’avoir une vue sans égal sur les animaux, en les observant de très près.
    Hassan est également un excellent conducteur. La route n’a aucun secret pour lui.
    C’est également un guide très attentionné, toujours aux petits soins pour nous et d’une extrême gentillesse.
    Nous recommandons Hassan les yeux fermés et si nous devions refaire un safari, nous demanderons d’être guidés par Hassan sans hésitation.
    Merci encore à Hassan pour ces merveilleux moments qui resterons gravés dans notre mémoire !!
    bonny l
    bonny l
    August 6, 2023
    amazing Safari experience wiz gosheni nice trip wiz our amazing guide Samir We saw all the wild animals during Safari
    thx a lot for the thoughtful and excellent service
    highly recommend
    FENG Y
    FENG Y
    August 6, 2023
    愉快的非洲之旅 幸运的选择了gosheni Safari,我们的向导samir服务非常好,小朋友们都很喜欢他,非洲五霸除了犀牛没有看到外,其他都替我们找到了,寻找动物经验丰富,在超远的地方就能看到目标。可以在众多的车子中抢到一个很好的观赏位,办事灵活。
    Vladimir T
    Vladimir T
    August 6, 2023
    Great experience! Great experience! Starting from the trip planning the communications were very clear and smooth to organize the tour and select itinerary. In the end we opted for 5 days/4 nights route including the Tarangire, Serengeti and Lake Manyara nations parks as well as a visit to the Ngorongoro crater. The tour itself was excellent and very punctual, here kudos to our guide Wilson who is very experienced and knowledgeable about his job and also went well beyond his duty and gave us a nice summary of country’s history. It was really a pleasure to spend time with him and we managed to see the big 5:) Accommodations were superb: great camps, an amazing farmhouse close to Ngorongoro, meals were also good and picnic lunches well organized.
    In summary the experience was highly satisfying, I sincerely recommend Gosheni Safaris and to ask for Wilson as a guide.
    Allison B
    Allison B
    August 5, 2023
    Great Taste of Tanzania Had a great 5-day tour. Our guide James was very dedicated to making sure we saw amazing sights. He asked us our favorite animals to see and made it his mission to help us spot them. The food was good, the lodging was very pleasant, and enjoying a glass of wine on lunches was a nice touch. Favorite lodging was definitely the Farmhouse by Ngorongoro. Beautiful landscapes along the entire tour, covered a lot of ground and got a great introduction to Tanzania.
    Sukhraj S
    Sukhraj S
    August 5, 2023
    Gosheni number 1 What an unforgettable 6 days, courtesy of Gosheni Safari and our guide/driver Zadock!!!
    I booked this holiday back in 2020 but then had to cancel due to Covid. That was after a lot of research of tour companies and finally picking Ghosheni. The time was right to get this once in a lifetime trip set up again, so working via email with William at Gosheni we compiled the agenda…he was so helpful and we settled on one day in Tarangire, one day in Lake Manyara, three days in Serengeti and one day in Ngorongoro Crater…I’m now on the way to Zanzibar after an amazing experience, Gosheni took care of the whole package for my wife, three teenage sons and I.

    Our guide and driver was Zadock, a humble, honest, genuine, proud and generous man. He did absolutely everything for us, answered every question and took us to all the places to see the big five up close, hunts and more.

    The food was served every lunch time as a picnic, with plates, blanket, wtc whilst others had lunch boxes. The Jeep was cleaned daily, and was extremely comfortable along the difficult rough terrain…a credit to Zadock.

    Zadock had so much knowledge not only of the animal kingdom’s hundreds of species but also the history of Tanzania, Africa, politics, and social customs, we felt as though he was part of our family.

    Thankyou Zadock and Gosheni, I very rarely write reviews after holidays and I have travelled extensively around the world, but these guys are special and have made this so memorable for my family and I….I recommend to everyone if you are unsure about who, how, what, these guys will sort out the whole trip and at a very reasonable price.

    Well done William, Gosheni and Zadock, and I really hope you get to be recognised as the number one tour company in Tanzania!
    Eric W
    Eric W
    August 4, 2023
    Extraordinary Safari with Gosheni I am so glad to have Gosheni as our tour operator. They provide excellent service starting from arranging the tour till the end of our safari.
    As our city had quarantine arrangement due to COVID-19, we were so worry about our trip. Luckily, Gosheni is so considerate and try their best endeavors to rearrange our scedule. With their assistance, everything is set and we feel comfortable for all of their kind arrangements.

    During the safari, we have a terrific tour guide, Edward! He takes care of all the stuff and administration including liaison with hotels, lunch packing, other add-on safaris so that we can fully enjoy the trip.

    Not only Edward spots a lot a lot of animals and birds for us, including the top 5 in the trip, he also introduces us the habitat and features of the animals and birds. We are very impressed by his rich knowledge and do enjoy listening the "stories" of the animals.

    Edwward is definitely experienced and propose the best programme during the safari, e.g. he tries to maximise our time for the game drive in different locations and tribe visit. We fully trust his expertise and professionalism.

    We are very happy with Edward and Gosheni. We will absolutely consider them in our next Africam safari.
    Priyank S
    Priyank S
    August 4, 2023
    Amazing Safari with Gosheni and Ombeni Our guide, Ombeni, was the best part of our trip. He is really knowledgeable, friendly, and we trusted his expertise for the whole 9 days across Tarangire, Serengeti, and Ngorongoro. We were lucky to see some amazing things on our game drives. Having grown up in Kenya, I have been lucky to go on many safaris, and this is one of the best I've been on.
    The food was excellent, and even on the all-day game drives we had a cooked, sit-down meal for lunch which was a big plus point. All the accommodation was excellent as well.

    We had a bespoke itinerary which we planned in advance with William from Gosheni, and he was extremely helpful in answering our questions and accommodating our requests.

    I would highly recommend Gosheni and especially Ombeni for future travels.
    Banu
    Banu
    August 4, 2023
    Dreams come true!!! Thanks to best guide Hassani I have been dreaming Serengeti Safari tour for a long time and Gosheni Safaris made my dreams come true. We completed our 5 days safari at the end of July and it was wonderful. We visited Central Serengeti, North Serengeti and Ngorongoro.
    The company is very professional from beginning to end. Peter the owner of Gosheni Safaris helped us a lot about planning our itinary. I asked too many questions and he replied all of them everytime. Sometimes he can be in the bush and has no internet connection but be sure he always will reply your questions. Just be sure that you are in safe hands and Hakuna Matata☺️

    Our guide was Hassani who is a perfect guide, safari driver, friend and everything. He always did his best to show us as much as possible. We always felt safe and witnessed lots of amazing moments by help of Hassani. Beside being a perfect safari guide, he prepared very nice lunch tables every afternoon. He is very funny person and makes lots of jokes during the safari. I higly recommend Gosheni Safaris which is best one and Hassani who is a very good guide. I want to thank Hassani in person for making our safari perfect and looking forward to meet again🙏🏻

    Tips: I recommend ‘Morning Hot air Balloon safari’.

    Destinations

    Experiences