Safari vacations

8 Lion King-Inspired Family Safaris

Last updated 26th July 2022

Disney’s Lion King is back in theaters in live action as of July 19, 2019. If your kids were inspired by the film and are dying to see the cast in real life, you can do just that. Lions, hyenas, warthogs and more can be spotted on these family safaris.

1/8 Kings of the Jungle


This safari from andBeyond was directly inspired by the new movie. Dubbed the ‘Kings of the Jungle’ itinerary, this trip supports Disney’s #ProtectThePride campaign and helps the Lion Recovery Fund, a global initiative dedicated to the future of Africa’s lions. Since the release of the original movie 25 years ago, Africa has lost half of its wild lions. For every ‘Kings of the Jungle’ traveler, a donation will be made to the Lion Recovery Fund.

This 10-day journey calls on the kid in every traveler to live out their own adventures in hakuna matata style, taking them through the Masai Mara, Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater to learn how the ‘Circle of Life’ plays out in the bush and meet some of the movie’s starring cast on daily game drives. Guests are likely to encounter Mufasa’s lion pride, Zazu and his fellow hornbills, Shenzi and his giggling hyena clan, along with the fan-favorite warthog, Pumba.  


2/8 South Africa Family Adventure

Classic Journeys

This 9-day itinerary from Classic Journeys was created with the whole family in mind and has elements that everyone will love. Prowling the bush on safari  and spotting the Big Five is always a highlight, and bonding over what you’ve seen throughout the day back in a luxury lodge is the ultimate family bonding experience.

Beyond the wildlife, you’ll experience all that makes South Africa so special, from jaw-dropping views at the top of the Cape of Good Hop to the adorable penguins you’ll find on the beaches down below. Get a taste of city life after your time in the wilderness and explore Cape Town, along with an eye-opening look at its history with visits to Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned and to the cultural townships that grew in the aftermath of apartheid. The whole family with enjoy the culinary walk—kids will especially love the desserts and parents will appreciate the wine-tasting opportunities. A full-time local guide throughout the trip ensures you’re in the best hands the whole time.

3/8 Tanzania Family Safari & Zanzibar Adventure

Wild Frontiers

While the movie takes place in a fictional location, the iconic catchphrase Hakuna Matata (of course, meaning “no worries”) is translated from Swahili, a language spoken in several East Africa countries.  There are few more quintessentially East African experiences than the combination of wild safari and idyllic beaches. Wild Frontiers’  family adventure to Tanzania and Zanzibar offers up the best that the region has to offer.

Along the way you and the kids will track rare wild dogs on the plains of the Selous Game Reserve, set sail on a river cruise to watch elephants coming to drink and get up close with the real stars of the film: lions! On the beach side, enjoy snorkeling in the warm water of the Indian Ocean and relaxing on the picturesque white beaches of Zanzibar.

4/8 Southern Africa Through a Child’s Eyes

African Travel, Inc.

The special needs of families are thoughtfully attended to on Southern Africa Through a Child’s Eyes. On this wonderful vacation be awed by the breathtaking Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and join in the wonder of meeting an African penguin in Cape Town, South Africa.  The idea behind this trip is that we can all learn something from watching children on safari, each new experience is a revelation and their innocent outlook a joy to witness.

At Sabi Sabi Bush Lodge, in Kruger National Park, a fully-fledged children’s facility provides interactive activities designed for children between the ages of 4 and 12 years. Age-appropriate bush themed activities are guided and supervised by qualified staff who aim to create lifelong lovers of the bush. Parents can relax and have a pamper session in the Amani Spa or just kick back and enjoy some private time, knowing that their children are reveling in their own special bush experience.

5/8 Antelope Park

Antelope Park in Zimbabwe is situated on a 3,000 acre game park, making it the perfect place to spot wildlife and get in touch with your wild side. Leave your alarm clark at home and wake up to the roar of lions.

A more affordable safari option, guests of Antelope Park can book a primitive tent site for $20 or splurge on a furnished safari tent for $166/night. Despite the wild surrounds, it’s a shady oasis dotted with green and features a swimming pool for refreshing dips and a lake for boating and fishing in. You can hire boats on site and buy day permits for lake fishing and if you’re fortunate (or skilled) enough to land a bass, bream or catfish you can grill it up for an outdoor feast at your own braai area for dining under the stars.

6/8 Tauck Bridge Tanzania: A Grand Family Safari


Specifically curated for the whole family, Tauck Bridges Tanzania: A Grand Family Safari is a 10-day immersion to life in the African bush. The Lion King experience will bring excitement to guests of all ages and includes morning and afternoon game drives in open-top safari vehicles for the chance to spot lions resting under enormous baobab trees or wildebeest making their way past gazelles and elephants.

A private hot air balloon ride at dawn makes the trip truly unforgettable and takes guests over the savannah and open woodlands of the Serengeti National Park for a birds-eye view of view of vast herds of zebras, giraffes and more. Cultural experiences include meeting the Maasai people and learning crafts, along with visiting a local primary school. Accommodations range from cottage-style lodges to the Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti in the midst of the wildlife action.

7/8 Perfect Family Safari

Thomson Family Adventures

This action-packed adventure with Thomson Family Adventures takes the whole crew on a 12 day journey and invites those as young as 6 years old to participate. Ideal for kids, parents and grandparents, this is easy to turn into a multi-gen vacation everyone will remember.

Highlights of the trip include scouting for the Big 5 (elephants, lions, rhinoceroses, African buffaloes, and leopards) along the Ngorongoro Crater, and seeing Simba and all his pals as you explore Serengeti National Park. At the end of your rewarding days, relax in comfort at Gibb’s Farm, where you’ll have a luxe eco-friendly cottage and enjoy farm-to-table food. In addition to the wildlife, kids can make real-life friends on the visits to the local schools and villages and learn first-hand about the Maasai culture.

8/8 Royal Malewane

Located on the western border of Greater Kruger National Park, this luxury all-inclusive safari stay ensures that you are taking Hakuna Matata to heart and living seriously worry free. Families can choose from a range of accommodations to suit their needs and style and children of all ages are welcome in the two Royal Suites and at the Africa House.

The expert rangers and trackers at Royal Malewane love to share their knowledge with kids of all ages and are masters at making that knowledge accessible and engaging for adults, teens and tiny tykes. The youngest explorers can get help spotting animal friends with animal checklists and pictures, while older children can participate in the Junior Rangers course where they’ll learn everything from animal tracking to plant identification and come away with a wealth of new knowledge and skills, not to mention thrilling tales of getting up close and personal with all their favorite Lion King characters.