Your Guide To Planning A Family Safari In Uganda 2023
A Family Safari in Uganda is personalized tour package designed to cater for both the youngsters (kids) and adults on a vacation.
Uganda is an ideal destination for families looking for adventure.
The country is best known for its incredible wildlife, rich culture, friendly people, and outstanding natural beauty.
Uganda offers everything from amazing sightseeing to incredible bird watching and gorilla trekking, wonderful chimpanzee tracking, rhino tracking and other wildlife safaris to cultural encounters and white-water rafting on the Nile.
You can enjoy thrilling safari game drives and boat cruises in savannah, plus plenty of other family friendly activities at an affordable price.
The places, activities, and accommodation chosen on a family safari in Uganda are all kids friendly.
Why Choose Uganda For A Family Safari?
Sir Winston Churchill a former British prime minister in 1907 penned down the statement that “For magnificence, for variety of form and color, for profusion of brilliant life-bird, insect reptile, beast – for vast scale – Uganda is truly the pearl of Africa”.
And more than a century later the statement still manifests.
Uganda is one of the world’s most bio-diverse countries. The country is home to 20 species of primates. In total Uganda have 340 different mammal species and over 1090 bird species!
And also encompasses the vast range of landscape.
Africa’s tallest mountain range – Rwenzori Mountains, the source of the world’s longest river – River Nile, Africa’s largest lake – Lake Victoria, Africa’s second deepest lake – Lake Bunyonyi and the world’s most powerful waterfalls – Murchison Falls are all found in Uganda.
When it comes to a family safari to East Africa, Uganda is wonderful choice, though most people think of Tanzania and Kenya.
Uganda is also a great choice since the country offers one more thing that cannot be found in the other two countries. Uganda is home to more than half of the world’s population of endangered Mountain Gorillas.
And the magnificent primates inhabit the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, and the Mgahinga National Park in the western part of the country.
Uganda is also the best destination in Africa to see wild chimpanzees. It is home to over 5700 chimps.
Our family safaris Uganda tours will offer you the chance to trek these Great Apes in their pristine rainforest habitats. This is not only thrilling and memorable, but one of the strong reasons why many tourists visit Uganda on their African safaris.
Where To Go For A Family Safari In Uganda?
The best Uganda safari activities for families with kids or children below 10 are in the savannah national parks of Western Uganda:
1. Lake Mburo National Park
Lake Mburo National Park specifically has excellent activities for families with kids.
These include wildlife game drives, safari boat cruise, game walks, horseback riding, and cycling tours to get close to big animals.
2. Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda’s most popular park, offers the best game drives and boat safaris for families.
Here you can get close to big game like lion, hippo, Crocodiles, buffalo, leopard, elephant, hyenas, Giant Forest hogs, and small ones like antelope, warthogs, and mongoose.
3. Murchison Falls National Park
Murchison Falls National Park will take your family to the world’s strongest waterfall with an exciting safari boat cruise on the Nile River. On the river banks, you will see a variety of big and small wild animals, plus fantastic waterbirds.
This Uganda’s largest park will require the family to spend at least 3 days enjoying its incredible attractions. A game drive will bring the kids close to Giraffe, Lions, African elephants, African buffalo, Leopards, Hippos, and huge Nile Crocodiles.
4. Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary is perfect for the family to track wild white Rhinos on foot.
It is an incredibly an exciting adventure into the wild savannah, searching for the second largest land animals on Earth – after the African Elephant.
5. Uganda Gorilla Safari Parks
Please note that children under the age of 15 and 12 years are not permitted on gorilla trekking and chimpanzee viewing safaris respectively.
But if you do choose to visit primate parks like Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park or Kibale Forest National Park, we suggest that you plan nature walks, forest hikes, or cultural tours.
Going on a nature walking excursion with the safety of a walking bush guide and an armed ranger can be an educational and eye-opening experience for older children.
They will learn about the healing properties of the plants they see and how to identify insects and animals by their tracks and droppings.
However, it would require some amount of patience to drive long hours and reach the gorilla parks.
6. UWEC Zoo in Entebbe And Ngamba Island
Only children above 15-year-olds can trek primate in Uganda’s rainforests.
However, the younger ones can watch the orphaned chimps at Ngamba Island on Lake Victoria or Uganda Wildlife Education Centre Zoo in Entebbe.
These are great introductory family attractions to Uganda’s incredible variety of animal species in the wild.
7. Lake Bunyonyi And Ssese Islands
Lake Bunyonyi is an incredible place for relaxation and offers a variety of family friendly activities.
These include boat cruises, canoeing, island hopping, bird watching, community village walks, local school visits, hiking, zipping, etc.
The Ssese Islands in Lake Victoria have gorgeous palm-fringed sandy beaches and are perfect for relaxing private days for the whole family.
8. Jinja – Source Of The Nile
Jinja is the adventure capital of East Africa and the source of the Nile River – the longest river in the world.
It is a perfect destination mainly for active families.
While here, you can have a variety of outdoor activities.
A family with children aged eight years and above can engage in white water rafting on the Nile.
It is one of the hilarious activities that is a heart pumping adventure and definitely fun.
Much more can be done here for instance boat cruise to the source of the Nile River, kayaking, bungee jumping, horseback riding, mountain biking, quad biking, and relaxation at the banks of the Nile.
This will definitely keep your family entertained.
Gorilla Trekking With Kids – Family Gorilla Tours In Uganda
Trekking gorillas in Uganda is an adventure with age limits, 15 years.
However, what if you planning a family safari to Uganda with kids below the minimum age and wishes to trek gorillas! Here is how to do it.
You will be required to sign an indemnity form by the park warden in Gorilla Park so that in case the child fails to make it through the trek, you will not hold it against them.
But they will always try to allocate them the gorilla family that is known to be closer so there hasn’t been a case where they failed to make it!
You can also hire porters to carry them through the trek. This is the easiest way for kids to trek the Gorillas of Uganda.
Although children under 15 years can be allowed to trek, kids below 10 years are highly advised against going into Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
We advise families to leave the kids at the lodge while they’re trekking gorillas.
At the lodge, there are several activities that are kids friendly.
They may go swimming, bird watching guided by staffs at the lodge, nature or village walks and many other activities as per the lodge.
Are you planning a family holiday wishing to do Gorilla trekking with kids in Uganda? Contact us today and we will set you up for an unforgettable experience.
More Useful Tips For Planning A Family Safari In Uganda
1. Plan For At Least a Week or Two
Uganda is a small country, compared to its neighbors.
However, it has a variety of safari activities that would require at least a week or two for a family traveling together to enjoy fully.
Even if you are considering less movement between attractions, children will need some time to normalize from the long continental flight to Uganda. And they also need time to get used to the weather and catch up on their expectations.
Your family can spend a week around cultures that children can easily relate to. These can include like city walks, site visits, community walks, island and beach stay.
You can then spend the second week in the savannah game parks viewing wildlife or trekking primates in the forests.
Family safari activities need good spacing with some time to relax to avoid fatigue.
This will create more memorable and exciting moments in the young minds. Therefore, when planning your family safari in Uganda, allow for more time on the trip to create more relaxing and exciting hours in family-friendly attractions.
2. Be Prepared To Be Vigilant
Taking children to watch animals in the wild does usually come attached with a health and safety warning.
Your kids need to be able to understand and adhere to instructions when it comes to their safety.
These include no running, always sticks with an adult, never leave the truck or camp/lodge on their own and so on.
But you also have to be prepared to be on watch at all times.
Having a sundowner or a bush breakfast in the African bush in Uganda is something you want to remember for the calm and beauty – not because your youngest decided to make friends with a nearby zebra when your back was turned.
3. Consider Your Children’s Ages
A family safari in Uganda is suitable for children over 5 years who have the attention span to appreciate the wilderness.
Most safari camps and lodges around gorilla parks are not child-friendly.
This is due to their extreme remoteness and rugged locations.
However, your Tulambule Uganda Safaris can help you find a safari lodge to keep your child (5-10) busy while the adult family members trek into the thick forest to find the mountain gorillas.
4. Family Members’ Abilities & Interests
Talk about this trip with the whole family before planning the safari.
And know their interests, what they would like to see, experience, and what activities they can do.
Give them the various experiences and activities available on the trip and allow them to choose.
Then, let your safari operator know all the family’s choices to include them in the itinerary and advice you on what is possible.
5. Consider Including Sustainable Activities On Your Family Safari in Uganda
A family safari in Uganda is a great way to introduce the family to native African cultures, and sustainable activities.
Community visits are the best way to connect with culture.
Uganda presents some of the most engaging cultural and community experiences for family travelers.
From the Kampala or Entebbe city’s back streets to the remote villages close to the national parks, you’ll get thrilling, unstaged cultural encounters to leave the whole family amazed.
Uganda’s cities’ best cultural encounters can include a market-day visit, a backstreet city walk, a home visit to test local home-cooked meals, and an evening story-telling evening in the hotel lounge.
The remote community experiences would involve walking through a native village community, listening to stories and dancing to local tunes by village entertainers, visiting a crafts village, a day within a home to experience their daily chores, cow milking, harvesting, coffee and tea making experiences.
6. Best Time Of The Year For A Family Safari in Uganda
You can visit Uganda any time of the year.
But the ideal time to go on a family safari in Uganda is around school vacations, winter holidays, and summer breaks.
Most travelers plan their African safaris based on weather patterns and Uganda has more distinct dry and wet seasons but also a tropical climate.
The dry seasons that are great for family travel in Uganda are December to February.
Between June and August, conditions are particularly good for trekking to see mountain gorillas and chimpanzees.
Game spotting in national parks is also good at this time, including between February and March.
The family can get close to large numbers of wildlife in Uganda from September through to early October.
Many travelers avoid the wet seasons of March to May and September to November because of the unexpected downpours and unnavigable roads.
7. Prepare For Your Luggage
Look into your packing list a few weeks before you travel.
This is to avoid bringing unnecessary things and get precisely what your kids will comfortably need.
Consider packing your children’s favorite electronic devices to keep them occupied during the evenings when adults are having a conversation over a drink.
You can bring a couple of exciting books, especially books about Africa, animals, and people.
The entire family should bring good walking shoes and clothing in neutral colors.
Perhaps, each person should bring a camera (or phone) and a pair of binoculars.
Please leave all the bulky stuff, like electronics, back home. Pack light for easy airport transit of local transfers.
Read our guide on what to pack for a safari in Uganda.
Plan Your Family Safari In Uganda With Tulambule
Are you ready to start planning your family safari? We make planning your family trip to Africa mistake-free and enjoyable.
Call or email us today at firstname.lastname@example.org to explore your best options for a safari with your children that you’ll never forget!