Taking Kids on Safari

Surveying the savanna. Photo taken by Susan Thurston on an Ujuzi safari to Tanzania.
Surveying the savanna. Photo taken by Susan Thurston on an Ujuzi safari to Tanzania.

In 2016 and 2017, Kenya is waiving visa fees for children. What a great time to introduce your kids or grandkids to the joys of exploration! The country offers a range of fun safari activities for kids of all ages, a few of which include:

  • Feeding endangered Rothschild giraffes by hand at the Giraffe Centre in Karen
  • Petting baby elephants at the Daphne Sheldrick Animal Orphanage and David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
  • Visiting  chimpanzees at the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Ol Pejeta Conservancy.  This sanctuary offers a safe haven for abused and orphaned chimpanzees from West  and Central Africa. (Chimpanzees are not native to Kenya.) After being nursed back to health, chimpanzees spend their days exploring, climbing, socializing, and learning to be chimpanzees all over again. This is an amazing project supported by the Jane Goodall Institute.

Giraffe center
Feeding an endangered Rothschild giraffe is a fun experience for all ages at the Giraffe Center in Karen, Kenya. Photo taken by Kathryn Kingsbury on an Ujuzi Safari.

In addition to game drives for the whole family, many lodges offer hands-on activities specifically geared towards children. For example, Samburu Intrepids has the Adventurers’ Club, where kids can:

  • Build a mini Maasai homestead
  • Have a close brush with a toothbrush tree
  • Learn to make fire with a pair of sticks
  • Catch, study, and release butterflies
  • Learn to identify snakes, birds, and mammals
  • Cast big cat tracks from the real thing
  • Shoot a  traditional Samburu  bow and arrow (supervised, of course!)
  • Learn first aid
Kids are great at making new friends. Photo taken by Susan Thurston on an Ujuzi safari to Tanzania.
Kids are great at making new friends. Photo taken by Susan Thurston on an Ujuzi safari to Tanzania.

Of course, Kenya isn’t the only country offering safari experiences for kids. Uganda and Tanzania have also been popular destinations for families traveling with Ujuzi, and South Africa and Namibia offer lots of incredible options. And who is more physically prepared for a Rwandan gorilla trek than a healthy teen?

Read about a teen’s Ujuzi experience in Uganda here.

Want to learn more about traveling to Africa with kids? Contact Ujuzi so I can help plan a successful safari for your whole family.

Learning how to start a fire with the Batwa people in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda. Photo taken by Petra Kilian-Gehring on an Ujuzi safari.
Learning how to start a fire with the Batwa people in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda. Photo taken by Petra Kilian-Gehring on an Ujuzi safari.
%d bloggers like this: