Family safari in Uganda

enter image description here Credit: Steven Dieveney

Uganda is a wonderful choice for a family safari holiday, offering some of the most memorable wildlife experiences on the continent, game drives in national parks without the crowds, island and lakeside beaches to while away relaxing days and more outdoors activities than you can shake a GoPro stick at.

For a family holiday in Uganda, Western Uganda is the top region to visit: home to most of the country’s national parks, reserves and natural attractions, it offers spectacular wildlife, astonishing landscapes to explore and lots of outdoors activities. For families with older children, mountain gorilla and chimpanzee trekking are two top highlights, while children of all ages can enjoy wildlife spotting in the most popular national parks of the region – Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls – and guided nature walks to spot birds and monkeys in the region’s beautiful rainforests, such as in Budongo Forest Reserve.

Central Uganda also has some wonderful attractions for families: children above the age of six can track rhinos on foot and go in search of shoebill storks in canoes at the Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, and for children who are under the age of 15 and can’t go chimp trekking, a visit to Ngamba Island chimpanzee sanctuary is a great alternative. Scattered in Lake Victoria, the Ssese Islands also make for a relaxing beach destination with some fun activities, such as wind surfing and fishing.

For active families, Eastern Uganda is home to the adrenaline capital of East Africa, Jinja, which lies at the source of the Nile River. For children above the age of eight, white-water rafting is a heart-pumping adventure and there’s plenty more fun to be had on the river, including boat cruises, stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking. Then on land there’s bungee-jumping, horse-back riding, quad biking and mountain biking – more than enough to keep even the most energetic of children entertained for a few days.

Highlights

Highlights for families travelling in Uganda include wonderful wildlife encounters – tracking mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, rhinos and shoebill storks and seeing rescued chimps on Ngamba Island, exploring the savanna and rivers of Queen Elizabeth National Park and Murchison Falls National Park to see lions, elephant, giraffe, leopards and hippos, experiencing and learning about the amazing primates, birds and butterflies of Western Uganda’s biodiverse rainforest on guided walks and exciting activities, from windsurfing in the Ssese Island archipelago to white-water rafting on the Nile River.

Travel tips

  • Tracking mountain gorillas is a big reason why people travel to Uganda and it’s a wonderful activity to do as a family, but note that there is a minimum age limit of 15 for gorilla safaris (the same age limit applies for chimp trekking). Many other safari and wildlife activities also have an age limit – for example, rhino trekking at Ziwa is only for children above six.

  • Uganda’s roads are mostly unpaved and rough, which means that travelling by car between destinations can take a lot longer than you would expect, given the distance. If you’re self-driving or hiring a driver to travel around Uganda with your family, it makes sense to limit your itinerary to fewer places, spending more time in each destination, rather than trying to see all of the highlights on one trip.

  • There’s a risk of contracting several mosquito-borne diseases in Uganda. Malaria is the biggest risk, and children are particularly susceptible to catching severe and fatal malaria. It’s essential that you consult your doctor before travelling about taking antimalarial medication for your children, and that while you’re travelling you try to prevent them getting bitten by wearing suitable clothing, insect repellent and sleeping under mosquito nets.

  • Before you book any lodging, check up on the minimum age policies of lodges, as many of them won’t accept children under a certain age (and some don’t allow any children). Some lodges have a policy of only allowing children on game drives if you book a private vehicle and guide. Some lodges, however, are particularly child-friendly, offering family rooms and things like children’s menus and guided nature walks for kids, so it’s worth doing research on the best lodges for families before your trip.


Our Recommended Itinerary

Birding Tour through Uganda (11 days)

day 1

Entebbe, arrival
  • Birding Tour through Uganda (11 days)
  • Birding Tour through Uganda (11 days)
  • Birding Tour through Uganda (11 days)
  • Birding Tour through Uganda (11 days)
  • Birding Tour through Uganda (11 days)
  • Birding Tour through Uganda (11 days)

day 2

Semliki, a birders paradise
  • Birding Tour through Uganda (11 days)
  • Birding Tour through Uganda (11 days)
  • Birding Tour through Uganda (11 days)
  • Birding Tour through Uganda (11 days)
  • Birding Tour through Uganda (11 days)
  • Birding Tour through Uganda (11 days)

day 3

Semliki, focus on Shoebill

day 4

day 5

to Kibale for some Chimps
  • Birding Tour through Uganda (11 days)
  • Birding Tour through Uganda (11 days)
  • Birding Tour through Uganda (11 days)
  • Birding Tour through Uganda (11 days)
  • Birding Tour through Uganda (11 days)

day 6

Kyambura Gorge, Queen
  • Birding Tour through Uganda (11 days)
  • Birding Tour through Uganda (11 days)
  • Birding Tour through Uganda (11 days)
  • Birding Tour through Uganda (11 days)
  • Birding Tour through Uganda (11 days)
  • Birding Tour through Uganda (11 days)

day 7

Ishasha, Queen's wild side
  • Birding Tour through Uganda (11 days)
  • Birding Tour through Uganda (11 days)
  • Birding Tour through Uganda (11 days)
  • Birding Tour through Uganda (11 days)
  • Birding Tour through Uganda (11 days)
  • Birding Tour through Uganda (11 days)

day 8

Bwindi and more forest birds
  • Birding Tour through Uganda (11 days)
  • Birding Tour through Uganda (11 days)
  • Birding Tour through Uganda (11 days)
  • Birding Tour through Uganda (11 days)
  • Birding Tour through Uganda (11 days)
  • Birding Tour through Uganda (11 days)

day 9

Gorillas while you there

day 10

day 11

Fly Home

View Full Itinerary

You might also like

Photographic safari in Uganda

Uganda’s spectacular wildlife, birds and dramatic landscapes are a treat for any photographer. The best region to visit for a photographic holiday is Western Uganda, where the biggest highlight will be photographing mountain gorillas from just a few metres away in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. A camera that performs well in low light is ideal, as the forest environment can be…

Honeymoon in Uganda

For wildlife and nature lovers, a romantic holiday in Uganda means thrilling animal encounters, wilderness adventures and exploring beautiful landscapes without the crowds. Scattered across the most beautiful wilderness areas of the country – in national parks and rainforests, nestled on private islands and on the shores of picturesque lakes – Uganda’s luxury lodges offer…

Solo travel in Uganda

The best region for solo travellers in Uganda is Western Uganda, where you’ll find most of the national parks and reserves as well as magnificent landscapes and a huge array of different activities. In Western Uganda, you can go mountain gorilla and chimpanzee trekking in Bwindi and Kibale Forest, wildlife spotting and birdwatching on the rivers and savanna of Queen Elizabeth National…

Uganda vs Tanzania

Tanzania is a far larger country than landlocked Uganda, and offers superb game parks teeming with game as well as the incredible spectacle of the annual Great Migration in addition to a beautiful coastline and idyllic islands. If you’d like to combine a wildlife safari with beach time, then Tanzania is a great choice. While you can do chimpanzee trekking in both East African…

Uganda in December

The rains ease off in December, making it a good month for travel to both southern and northern Uganda, although it’s not the ideal time for wildlife viewing in Queen Elizabeth National Park. ...

Luxury safari in Uganda

Apoka Safari Lodge Uganda offers excellent luxury lodges and tented camps situated in and around the best national parks and reserves, from Queen Elizabeth National Park, Kidepo National Park and Murchison Falls National Park to a private island in the Nile River, a high-altitude forest outside of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and the foothills of the Rwenzori Mountains. For city…

Popular Uganda Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

Chimpanzee | Meet the Primates of Uganda and Rwanda (12 days)

Meet the Primates of Uganda and Rwanda (12 days)

See mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, golden monkeys and tree-climbing lions, take a boat cruise and visit Rwanda's genocide memorial ...

 | Birding Tour through Uganda (11 days)

Birding Tour through Uganda (11 days)

This is a safari for the serious birder wanting to see exciting new bird species, as well as chimpanzees and mountain gorillas...

Ready to start your adventure?

Your tailor-made African holiday starts here...

How can we get hold of you?

How many people will be travelling?

Details

Please tell us more about your travel plans?


Discover Africa needs the contact information you provide, to us to contact you. You may unsubscribe from these communications at anytime.

Submitting your inquiry

Thank you, your enquiry has been received

Thank you, your enquiry has been received

Reference:


   discover.africa
    info@discoverafrica.com
    8AM - 5PM GMT+2