Family safaris in Uganda with Kids


Family safaris in Uganda with Kids: Uganda, the Pearl of Africa, is a perfect tourist destination for families that have children. Whether the children are young or a bit older, the parents do not have to worry while planning their safari to Uganda. This is because the country is adventurous, charming and offers safe experiences and accommodation which provide an incredible safari experience for the entire family as they explore Africa’s Wilderness.

What tourist destinations are good for a family safari in Uganda?

For younger and older children

Wildlife viewing adventures in Lake Mburo National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park and Murchison Falls National Park can be enjoyed by younger children. Additionally, these three parks offer wonderful boat safaris and walking adventures which are suitable for the entire family.

Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary:

Children who are aged above 6 years can track the endangered white rhinos in the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary which is located along the way to Murchison Falls National Park.

The Jinja experience:

White water rafting

The source of the Nile in Jinja is a perfect destination for families with children in Uganda. Some of the activities that can be enjoyed by the children (preferably above 8 years) include whitewater rafting, kayaking, bungee jumping, horseback riding, quad biking, boat cruise, zip-lining and others.

Children aged above 15 years can go for gorilla, golden monkey and chimpanzee trekking. These primate experiences provide an ultimate unforgettable adventure for them and their families.

Western Uganda generally offers spectacular landscapes, varied family safari experiences, and stunning wilderness reserves that protect some of Africa’s most cherished animal and bird species.

The Central part of Uganda:

This area also has captivating attractions concentrated around Lake Victoria for younger kids. Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary offers a good experience with wild chimps for children under fifteen. Kalangala Islands (aka Ssese Islands) is also good for holiday relaxation and beach fun for the kids.

Safari Highlights for family safaris in Uganda

Gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park:

One of the most fascinating experiences that you could ever have with your family is an encounter with the endangered mountain gorillas that inhabit Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. We cannot talk about gorillas and forget to hint on humans’ closest cousins, the chimpanzees. You can see chimpanzees when you visit Kibale Forest National Park and Kalinzu forest in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Undoubtedly, an encounter with this fascinating creatures will leave the entire family with overwhelming excitement and life long memories.

Road trip experience through South Western Uganda:

Driving through South Western Uganda’s emerald rolling hills and exquisitely cultivated slopes can be another precious experience for the whole family. As you head to your gorilla trekking destination, you will enjoy the stunning landscape views in the countryside and this will also teach the children to appreciate untamed natural landscapes.

Wildlife safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park:

The savanna plains and rivers in the park showcase Uganda’s abundant wildlife, perfect for family safari game drives, boat rides, and bird watching. Interestingly, kids will find elephants, buffaloes, and lions very easy to spot in Queen Elizabeth National Park. The park has many antelope species, including Uganda kobs, topis and bushbucks. The thrilling boat rides on the Kazinga channel are some of Uganda’s most revered family safari experiences. The family can really come close to hippos, crocodiles, and elephant herds here.

Walking safaris in Lake Mburo National Park

Guided walks are a significant highlight of visiting Lake Mburo and a great addition to your boat cruise. A walking safari in Lake Mburo National Park allows you to get very close to wild animals, like the impala and zebra herds, on foot.

In the park, a local guide leads the family off the beaten path through enchanting wilderness till they find themselves among a herd of calm ungulates. Kids will love the immersive walking or biking experience while viewing the small animals and giraffes.

City tours

The quiet urban and vibrant streets of Kampala and Entebbe will introduce the whole family to Uganda’s medley of local and international cultures. Expect to take part in food tasting, exploring languages, music, dance, lifestyle and sightseeing.

Cultural experiences

The native Karamojong cultures of the semi-arid region in the North East, the Busoga festivals of the East, and the South Western aboriginal tribes will entertain the family evenings with sky-jumping dances, half-naked dress styles, unbelievable body piercings, and community cultural practices hidden from the familiar world.

Planning Tips

Gorilla and chimpanzee trekking in Uganda

Although Uganda boasts of varied African safari activities, gorilla trekking and chimpanzee tracking are the main reasons most travelers visit Uganda. However, trekking the great apes may not be suitable for a family safari with kids younger than 15 years.

The minimum age restriction for both experiences is 15 years. However, some safari lodges offer babysitting services for young children so that grown-ups get a chance to join the early morning trekking excursion.


Ngamba Island Chimpanzee Sanctuary and the UWEC in Entebbe provide promising alternatives for viewing chimpanzees behind a protected fence. For an immersive jungle adventure, you can also book nature walking experiences for kids in Kibale, Kyambura, and Budongo Forests.

Preparation for trekking

Mountain gorillas live at high elevations of 8,000 to 13,000 feet, and nights can get pretty cold. Please allow the kids to acclimatize to the altitude before engaging in active adventures in South Western Uganda. Book more nights and stay longer at the safari lodge near the visitor center and allow the whole family to get familiar with the environment.

Schedule breaks during your safari

The international airport at Entebbe is at least a 7 to 8-hour drive from all Western Uganda attractions. Kids may find the long hour drives exhausting. Schedule breaks along the routes with fun activities like visiting museums, cultural centers, photography moments, and maybe a night in one of the towns. This will make the journey less tiresome.

Domestic flights

Besides having road transportation, you can take domestic flights between remote destinations to reduce travel time. Uganda has small airstrips with scheduled flights between national parks and the international airport at Entebbe.

Exciting stop-overs

The most famous driving stops for a family safari in Uganda include Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary en route to Murchison Falls National Park, The Equator crossing, Igongo Cultural Center, Mbarara Town, Fort Portal and Lake Mburo National Park in Western Uganda.

Allocation of time

If you have enough time on your family safari vacation, it makes sense to limit your itinerary to fewer places to visit and get the most rewarding experiences for the kids with fewer transfers. Spend more time in fewer destinations to allow the children to get the whole experience rather than packing all highlights on a single trip.

For example, 2 nights in Kampala/Entebbe, 2 nights in Lake Mburo, 2 nights in Kibale Forest, and 2 nights in Jinja is a good trip for a family with kids. A Family with older children can add 2 nights in Bwindi.

Medical check-ups

Malaria is a considerable risk for children traveling in Uganda. Even grown-ups are particularly susceptible to catching severe and fatal malaria. Before traveling, you must consult your doctor about taking antimalarial medication for your children. While traveling, try to protect them from mosquito bites by wearing suitable clothing, using insect repellent and sleeping under mosquito nets.

Age policies of lodges

Before booking family safari lodging, check the minimum age policies of lodges and camps with your trip planner. Most camps’ child policy accepts infants of less than five years to share a room with their parents for free, while 5-12 years old have a special child rate. Others have family rooms that accept the entire family to share the same living spaces, offering child-friendly services like menus and guided nature walks for kids. It’s worth researching about the best lodges for families before your Uganda trip.

Safety precautions

Uganda safaris involve traveling long distances for long hours during the day and staying in very remote places with limited facilities. You may spend long hours in the bush looking for animals, which will require a significant amount of patience and observing all the necessary safety precautions.

Cut game drive time and hours in the bush into shorter buffs, which will require careful planning that should be more than six months before the trip.

How to plan a family safari in Uganda

Planning a family safari in Uganda that involves kids is a demanding task requiring a considerable amount of cognition and careful consideration of all parts of the journey.

Nonetheless, with proper planning, you can make the dream of taking your younger kids, teenagers, and older children on a family safari in Uganda’s wilderness.

Here are some valuable tips to use when preparing a family-friendly adventure:

  1. Start with gradually introducing the idea to the children
  2. Use direct flights to eliminate family travel stress
  3. Check for age restrictions
  4. Look for family-friendly activities
  5. Consider an all-inclusive private family safari holiday
  6. Bring binoculars, wildlife books, cameras, music gadgets etc to make your safari more exciting
  7. Ensure child supervision and safety precautions

Best time to go

The best months for a family safari holiday in Uganda are June, July, August, September, October, December, January, and February. The weather during these months is favorable, with no guaranteed downpours, dry walking trails, and plenty of animals on the arid plains.

Travel With Pamoja Tours and Travel

If you are interested in having a family safari, look no further than Pamoja Tours and Travel. We offer safari packages in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zanzibar and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Make your safari booking with us today and allow us to transform your safari dream into a reality.

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