Memories of family holidays are always held close to the heart because it is time well spent with the people you love the most in the world. A Uganda safari with your family will definitely be that kind of holiday, the kind none of you ever forgets about, the adventure that you will all be glad you went on.
As it happens, more and more people are discovering the magic of going on safari with their families. It is a great and exciting way to introduce your children to other cultures and ways of life, and to discover places beyond the borders of their home country.
There is of course a lot more to consider when travelling to Africa with your family compared to when you’re travelling along. You need to consider the length of the journey, the age of your children, which activities would be good for the whole family, the long drives through Africa, and so much more. But an Africa safari experience will be well worth it.
Yes you might have zoos back home that the children have visited, but the wilderness of Africa just cannot be replicated. Coming to Uganda and seeing the animals on a game drive, or enjoying a boat ride on the Murchison falls, or if they are old enough tracking gorillas and seeing them up close, these are extremely unique experiences.
What should you keep in mind as you plan a safari in Uganda for your family?
First there are some activities that have an age limit. Gorilla trekking and chimpanzee tracking for example allows a minimum age limit of 15 years. So you cannot go gorilla trekking in the Bwindi Impenetrable forest with your children who are below 15 years old.
Some activities are just to tiring and exhausting for children, either because they take a long time or need a lot more strength and resilience than children can master. Volcano hikes for example take up to 8 hours. Most children would be tired before the four hour mark. So perhaps alternative activities for them such as guided walks and visits to the zoos, and game drives are might be friendlier.
Kibale forest has some alternative activities for children that they can do while you the adults go on your gorilla tracking expedition. They will be supervised by trained park staff and will be perfectly safe. At the end of the day you will all have stories to tell.
There are park entrance fees for both adults and children in Uganda. So if you are visiting one of the many national parks in Uganda, budget for park entrance fees for each of your family members except those below 5 years of age. Entrance fee for children below 15 year is usually about 15 dollars or less, children under 5 years get in for free.
Is there lodging accommodation suitable for an entire family?
There are hotels and lodges and tented camps that accommodate families very comfortably. Many of these have discounted prices for children, or when children stay in the same room.
Age limitations vary from one lodge to the next. Some do not mind children of any age, while others do have an age limit of some sort.
Most lodges and hotels have facilities such as swimming pools which will provide the both children and adults a chance to relax in the water, and to cool off from a day under the African sun.
Are there safari vehicles that can carry a big group like a family of say eight?
Yes there are safari vehicles that can carry large groups of people. Some safari vehicles are vans and can therefore comfortably carry a family. Safari vans are spacious and comfortable. So be sure to inform your tour operator to get you a vehicle that carries all of you, preferably a safari van.
Food and snacks: there is a lot to eat in the lodges and hotels and as you travel through the country. There are very many fruits to choose from such as bananas, apples, and some snacks like chips and cookies, and fast foods like chips and fish, or burgers, pizza and so much more or there.
Drinks: there is a variety of soft drinks for you and the children to enjoy. There is juice such as Splash, sodas like coke, fanta, Pepsi, and bottled water. Fresh juice is also available, and there is tea, coffee, and various other drinks. It is advisable to carry cool drinks and snacks if you are going out game viewing with the children
What are some of the interesting and fun things that children can enjoy on a Uganda safari?
Cultural tourism: A Uganda safari with the family is the perfect opportunity for you and your children to learn about other cultures. There are so many opportunities to learn about the cultures in Uganda. You can visit a village with the help and guidance of your safari operator and watch and listen to local entertainment groups perform traditional songs and traditional dances, learn how to play a Ugandan musical instrument, or to prepare a local dish. The children can interact with Ugandan children in nearby school and the cultural exchange and education will be an amazing experience.
Visit the game parks: Uganda has about 10 national game parks and each one of them is unique. There is a variety of wildlife and birds to see, crater lakes, rivers, waterfalls, all of this beauty can be enjoyed by your children. There is Queen Elizabeth national park, Kibale national park, Murchison falls national park, and many more. You will see everything from elephants, to zebras to lions, tree climbing lions, and gorillas and chimpanzees. Some parks such as Murchison falls national park even offer interesting boat rides.
Children like to go camping, so they will most probably enjoy the tented camp lodging that is available near most of the national parks.
If you visit Jinja with your older children you can enjoy the River Nile in ways you hadn’t hoped to before. You can go white water rafting, or bungee jumping or enjoy a sunset cruise on the Nile and have an exciting adventure as a family. You could also go horseback riding.
Who can I contact to help me plan and prepare for this trip?
Get in touch with a safari tour operator in Uganda such as Wild Whispers Africa and get the best advice on how to effectively plan and book the right safari facilities for you and your family. We will help you plan a family friendly Uganda safari holiday that you will not regret.
A family safari in Uganda is a very good way to bond and strengthen family bonds and just have fun together.