Family safari in Zambia

The last 10 years has seen a marked rise in family-friendly safaris in Zambia, with reduced prices for children and more activities geared towards kids and young adults. Not all lodges allow children, however, and some have age restrictions of eight or 12. Families in general, and especially those with very young children, can find excellent value and flexibility in Zambia’s growing selection of exclusive-use safari houses. These can be found throughout the country, but especially in the prime wildlife regions around the Lower Zambezi and South Luangwa National Parks.

Zambia is growing into one of the most popular family-friendly safari destinations, credit: Alluring Africa

The upper Zambezi Valley – Livingstone, Victoria Falls and surrounds – is also well-suited for a family holiday. Several tour operators, lodges and hotels have facilities and itineraries that cater for all ages. As Zambia’s tourism hub, Livingstone has a variety of half-day and day tours with relatively short transit times that give families some flexibility when choosing what to do each day.

All of Zambia’s major parks offer excellent wildlife and nature, so choose a destination based on a lodge or hotel’s family policy rather than focussing on a specific region. The Lower Zambezi and Luangwa Valley offer the widest range of family-friendly accommodation, with everything from low-key camps and private houses to very high-end luxury lodges.

Highlights

For families with teenagers (and older) Zambia has great potential for a truly memorable holiday. White water rafting down the Zambezi River, bungee jumping from Victoria Falls Bridge, and abseiling into the Bakota Gorge are the sort of activities where bragging rights and family bonding come guaranteed. For the younger ones, a half-day tour of Victoria Falls or a visit to the Victoria Falls Snake Park or Crocodile Ranch top the list of highlights in and around Livingstone.

Children and adults alike will enjoy the variety that Zambia has to offer, credit: Safari Specialists

Zambia also boasts some of the best walking safaris in Africa, in fact, it’s in the Luangwa Valley where the concept of walking safaris first began. Zambia’s award-winning guides undergo rigorous testing, and many are specifically trained to guide young adults. Walking through the bush with some of the world’s best safari guides can be the perfect recreation for inquiring young minds, although it should be noted that national parks do not allow children under 12 to join a walking (or canoeing) safari. Various camps also impose their own, higher, age limits so it’s important check with your hotel, lodge or tented camp operator before you book.

Travel tips

Make sure that your family’s immunisations are up to date, especially those for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), tetanus, polio, diphtheria, hepatitis A and typhoid. Immunisation against rabies, hepatitis B, and TB are also recommended. Zambia is a malaria area so you’ll need to consult with your doctor on the available prophylaxis options for children.

Note that some lodges that do allow families also insist that those travelling with children (under eight mostly) should reserve a private vehicle and/or guide for game drives. Make sure you’re absolutely clear on all aspects of your accommodation’s family policy before you make a booking.

Although it may not be the most prolific period for wildlife sightings, families should also consider visiting Zambia in the shoulder- or off-seasons – April, May and November. Lodges are generally quieter then, and thus often more amenable to hosting younger children. Rates are also lower out of season and family discounts are more frequently available.


Popular Zambia Safaris

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

 | Best of Zambia Wilderness Safari (10 days)

Best of Zambia Wilderness Safari (10 days)

With some of the wildest and most remote game areas on the continent, and a remarkably low population in a massive country, Zambia has an aura of mystery waiting to be uncovered....

Camp fire | Victoria Falls, Okavango Delta and Chobe Safari (7 days)

Victoria Falls, Okavango Delta and Chobe Safari (7 days)

This three-in-one journey will show you the majestic Victoria Falls, the massive elephant bulls of Chobe and the natural wonder that is the Okavango Delta...

 | City and Safari in Southern Africa (14 days)

City and Safari in Southern Africa (14 days)

Majestic wildlife and the riches of Africa. ...

 | Luxury Safari in Botswana and Victoria Falls (7 days)

Luxury Safari in Botswana and Victoria Falls (7 days)

Experience the paradise of Botswana and enjoy game viewing as well as exciting activities in Zambia ...

Victoria Falls | Grand Zambia Wildlife Safari (9 days)

Grand Zambia Wildlife Safari (9 days)

Combine water and wildlife in a journey that takes you from the Victoria Falls to Kafue and South Luangwa national parks – Zambia at its best...

Boating on the Chobe River | Quick Victoria Falls and Chobe Experience (5 days)

Quick Victoria Falls and Chobe Experience (5 days)

Visit Livingstone, Zambia, to marvel at the Victoria Falls – or 'the smoke that thunders' – before going on safari and a river cruise in Botswana's Chobe National Park...

 | Luxurious South Africa and Zambia Honeymoon Safari (10 days)

South Africa and Zambia honeymoon

Explore the romantic Atlantic Ocean with it's multi-cultural heritage and a Big Five safari in the Sabi Sands, finally ending off at Victoria Falls from the Zambian side...

Boat at sunset | Luxury Zambian Odyssey (7 days)

Luxury Zambian Odyssey (7 days)

One week safari to three Zambian national parks, including the flagship South Luangwa, and end in style with a visit to the remarkable Victoria Falls...

 | Jewels of Zimbabwe and Zambia Safari (9 days)

Jewels of Zimbabwe and Zambia Safari (9 days)

Fall under the spell of three prime attractions in Zimbabwe and Zambia – Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park and the Mana Pools ...

 | Wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe (10 days)

Wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe (10 days)

Why not visit more than one exciting African destination? See the Great Migration, Victoria Falls and wildlife-rich Hwange National Park...

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