7 Recommended Things To Do With Kids On Uganda Safari
Traveling with children for a safari in Africa, particularly Uganda requires a carefully sorted itinerary with activities that involve the children. Some activities in Uganda are limited by age like gorilla trekking age limit is 15 years and above, chimpanzee trekking age limit is 12 years and above, and much more.
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Uganda is an eco-tourism destination and sustainable tourism is the goal of conservation in the country. By booking a Uganda safari with kids, you expose them to the purpose of wildlife conservation for sustainable tourism development. They may physically see the wild animals in the wild that they may have studied about during school time. It is a safari holiday moment for kids to make memories that last a lifetime.
Most safari activities in Uganda are National Park related which may require long hours of driving on the road. To tailor an itinerary going upcountry, you need to consider if the kids can withstand the bumpy, long dusty or slippery roads.
Some of Uganda’s safari destinations where a family can enjoy holiday time include Murchison Falls National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Lake Mburo National Park, Kibale National Park, Kidepo valley National Park, Jinja source of river Nile and white water rafting, Ssese island in lake Victoria to mention but a few.
Highlights Of 7 Things To Do With Kids On Uganda Safari
- Game Drives in Uganda
- Boat trips
- Gorilla Trekking
- Chimpanzee trekking
- Visit Ssese Island
- White water Rafting and source of River Nile
- Uganda Wildlife Education Center Entebbe
Game drives with Kids On Uganda safari
Uganda is endowed with a variety of wild animals living in different parts of the country. They are conserved in 10 Uganda National parks under government care. With children, you can take an early morning game drive through the tracks of the park of your choice.
Some of the animals you may get to spot include herds of elephants, giraffes, waterbucks, bushbucks, Uganda Kobs, zebras, warthogs, cheetahs, lions, aardwolf leopards, hartebeest, Rhinos, and others. Not all animals are found in one park, but some are common to living in particular parks.
Hiring a vehicle with enough window seats for every child or a porch or pop-up roof for extra viewership is fancy for the kids. Ensure that no child puts their arm or leg outside the car window for their safety. During the game drives, the short call breaks may not be possible because of the predators in the wilderness.
For the best viewership of wildlife, all members on safari should be advised to keep low voices to not scare away the wild animals. Unfamiliar noise pushes them into hiding, denying you the chance to see some of these animals, yet game drives are a chance activity.
A Boat Trip With Kids Uganda Safari
The most spectacular moments of Uganda safaris to Parks like Murchison Falls National Park and Queen Elizabeth National Park are the boat trips. In the company of the kids, You get to watch wildlife feeding from the River banks or shores of the Kazinga channel.
The marshy banks also provide safe haven for an array of birds, which children may be in a position to identify in case they have a clue about the birds.
During the Murchison Falls Nation Park Boat trip, a rainbow may form right before your eyes on a clear day as the vigorous River Nile squeezes through a narrow bend, burst out, and cascades a 43 meters high cliff. It is such a magical moment to enjoy as a family
The Kazinga Channel Boat trip may give you chance to see the snowcapped Rwenzori peak on a clear day. In school, children learn about different landforms, and while on a safari to Queen Elizabeth National Park, they can see the rift valley, mountain Rwenzori and others.
Chances of hiring a private boat trip during Uganda Safari are available, but some public boat trip arrangements are available with Uganda Wildlife Authority.
Make sure you keep the children at your close watch during the boat trip to prevent them from falling into the water because it has huge Nile Crocodiles, hippos, and vipers.
Gorilla Trekking With Kids On Uganda Safari
The age limit for gorilla trekking is 15 years and above, but in Uganda, the adult age is 18 years, so even children age 15 years are still considered kids. You have to obtain a gorilla trekking permit for the children, which currently costs $700 per person per day.
Two parks are the only gorilla trekking destinations in Uganda that is Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga National Park.
Ensure you prepare for gorilla trekking in advance by doing some physicals to keep fit for the hikes and long forest walks, buy the right gorilla trekking gear, and brief the participants about what to expect and do during gorilla trekking. This is to prepare their minds for this adventurous gorilla trekking safari.
Gorilla trekking takes an unknown time span, which requires patience and endurance, especially when you need to hike to the slopes to locate the mountain gorillas. Even the discipline for gorillas trekking is different where you need to stay calm while in front of the gorillas in order not to look suspicious.
The wilderness has other charming primates like black and white colobus, vervet monkeys, red tailed monkeys, grey cheeked mangabey and others that excite the children but they need to learn to control there impulses
Children aged 15 years have a strong opinion about what to do, so take them through the entire plan. Involve them in preparations for this African adventure holiday to make them feel part of the planning.
Chimpanzee Trekking With Kids In Uganda
The age limit for chimpanzee trekking in Uganda is 12 years and above. In case you wish to trek the chimpanzees with kids, you need to consider there are to book a chimpanzee trekking permit for them.
Chimpanzees are the closest relatives of humans in the animal kingdom. They have a DNA of about 98% that of humans. They live in communities under the leadership of an Alpha male. They are generally vegetarian but, in times of scarcity, may feed on monkeys.
Unlike gorilla trekking, where you may hike the slopes, the topography of the chimpanzee habitats is fairly flat. You need to be free from infectious diseases like the flu, Corona Virus that can be spread to chimpanzees.
Some of the chimpanzee trekking destinations in Uganda Include Kibale National Park, Kaniyo pabidi in Murchison Falls National park, Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National park, Ngamba Chimpanzee sanctuary in lake Victoria and others
Children below 12 years can take part in children’s ecosystem activities in Kibale National Park while parents go for chimpanzee trekking. They go through activities like short walks into the forest to identify monkeys, birds, trees, butterflies, etc. They take part in games that teach them about wildlife, like pond dipping, cyanotype photography, batik making, and others.
Visit Ngamba Chimpanzee Sanctuary Island in Koome gives the children a glimpse into what chimpanzees do in the wilderness, where they may not be allowed to go because of age. To get to the Island, you need a boat. When you get there, you participate in feeding the chimpanzee from the visitor platform, caregiving and so much more.
These chimpanzees were rescued from captivity, especially from poacher, traffickers and others abandoned by there families yet cannot return back to the community.
Ssese Island Family Visit In Uganda
Within Lake Victoria is the tranquil Ssese Island, where your family can enjoy private time together with less interference. To get there, you need to book a ferry or private boat, or charter.
On this island, you can take part in swimming in the clear water, take a beach walk, nature walk through the forest with a guide, visit the fishing community, and tour the palm tour gardens and factories to mention but a few.
White water Rafting and source of River Nile
White water rafting on River Nile as a family is a thrilling adventure. You do not need to have any experience because instructors are on the ground to take you through all the necessary procedures. Safety gadgets are available to prevent you from sinking. You just need to keep peddling and enjoy the entire experience. It is a family bonding adventure.
In case you are not interested, you can do kayaking of float on River Nile. It’s an adrenaline-stimulating adventure but worth a try for daring individuals.
Visit the Source of River Nile point where River Nile water dramatically separates from Lake Victoria water to continue with its course till Egypt, where it pours the water into the Mediterranean Sea. Different tide levels are located in different parts of Itanda falls so its up to you to select where you wish to stop as a family.
Uganda Wildlife Education Center Entebbe
The Uganda Wildlife Education Center (UWEC), the former Entebbe Zoo is the summary of all wildlife that Uganda is proud of . Wild animals are kept in exhibits similar to the environment where they live in the wilderness and not in cages
You can do a guided walk through the center or follow the walkways created in the center. Children are able to see the chimpanzees they might not have been allowed to see in the wilderness.
As family members, you can book chimpanzee up close or caregiving for the day as recommended by the center authorities.
The center has animals like chimpanzees, lions, cheetahs, water bucks, an elephant, Rhinos, leopard, wide range of birds, including parrots and shoe bill, zebras, vipers, crocodiles, ostriches, giraffes and so many others.
What to Pack For In Uganda Safari With Kids
- Ensure you pack light but relevantly, especially if you have children to travel with on safari. It’s normally challenging for parents to travel with children because of their swing moods. Just be on point and precise when packing the bags to use while in the wilderness away from their usual environment.
- Safari clothes in colors like Khaki or tan that are friendly to the wilderness. Wearing colors like blue, white, black may attract stinging insects like Tsetse flies that may sting you.
- Insect repellant to keep away stinging insects in the wild
- First aid kit just in case anyone falls sick or is gets injured while on safari
- Energy bites to snack on especially during activities because children get hungry very fast, get impatient and may disturb you.
- Sun screen to cover the body from getting sunburns especially when relaxing by the poolside under the sun.
- Safari foldable hats to wear over your hair and protect your head from buzzing insects in the wild.
- A camera to capture great safari moments that the family may turn too when back home. Creating family memories on safari is a lifetime moment.
- Pajamas to wear in the night because while in the park, its extremely cold in the night and early morning.
- Some hard cash to use for purchasing personal items.
- Safari boots and flip- flops to wear and protect your feet from creeping insects.
- A sweater or poncho to warm you during early morning game drives or late evening game drives.
- Toiletries that everybody in your party of comfortable with although most lodge provide, its best to use what you are most comfortable with to avoid skin problems.
- A light bag to carry your belongings in especially what the children may require while in the wilderness away from the lodge.
- A travel adapter and charger just in case you need to recharge your gadgets.
- A tablet or computer with safari games that will keep the children busy while you go for activities where they are not allowed to participate.
- A pair of binoculars to view some of the far ranging attractions in the wilderness like birds, monkeys, chimpanzees that hide up on the tree tops especially in severe rain seasons.
- Safari boots especially for activities like gorilla trekking in Uganda, Chimpanzee trekking, forest walks and others. They should be comfortable enough to support you while in the wilderness.
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