A family on safari, sitting on a jeep looking for wildlife © Steve Cole 178020/Getty Images

Waiting patiently for that special guest © Steve Cole 178020/Getty Images

Going on safari is an incredible experience whatever your age, but for children who are learning all about the animal world it can be particularly mind-blowing. Taking them on safari is guaranteed to create lifelong memories.

However, given that you are viewing wild animals and often have to drive long distances deep into the bush or jungle to do so, there are inherent risks in taking a safari – and those risks can be harder to manage with children. So what do concerned grown-ups need to know?

The expert view

‘We’re currently three months in to a six-month trip through Africa with our two daughters. Being aware of the safety issues is major. The key rules really need to be drummed into both parents and kids – no running, and an adult has to be with them at all times, even during the day. Ideally you’d want your youngest to be a little older than our five-year-old (mainly for the sake of everyone’s experience and also for safety) but it is certainly doable and the rewards are the best family memories you’ll ever be able to make.’

– Richard Field from African Family Safaris

‘Both kids and wild animals are unpredictable at the best of times, and the combination of the two may be unnerving. Nevertheless, if you respect the space and behaviour of the animals you encounter on safari and keep inside your vehicle at all times (tip: pack a travel potty for young kids), it is perfectly safe. Also, if staying overnight, check that the camp is fenced; there are some in Africa which are unfenced and open to wildlife.’

– Family travel blogger Jenny Lyn from Travelynn Family

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Having their own binoculars is a great way to keep kids occupied © Imogen Hall

Want to investigate further? Try these helpful extra resources:

1. African Family Safaris ask ‘is it safe to take kids on safari?’

2. Our Pathfinder Jurga answers 14 questions about taking children on safari.

3. CNTraveller also has a Q&A article on whether you should bring your kids on safari.

4. Lonely Planet has advice on taking children on safari in East Africa and Botswana.

5. And finally, you can get small children excited about going on safari with our Let’s Explore Safari book which includes stickers, colouring pages and activities.

Do you have a question you want answered? Email us at lonelyplanet.kids@lonelyplanet.com or Tweet us @lpkids using #asklpkids.