Tiger safaris with children

Tiger safaris with children

What does Responsible Travel recommend?

As if seeing a tiger in the wild isn’t emotional enough, spotting one with your children is something that goes way beyond words. But it’s not just a love thing. The tiger is highly endangered, and our children are the future conservationists. So, we need to educate them about the issues, about how tigers are the prime predators, affecting everything that lies beneath them in this ecosystem and, if destroyed, the impact of the loss is huge. If we can successfully get the next generation to absorb and act upon this message, then we will have given them a profound experience that stretches way beyond the school ground, school room or daily social media whirl. No pressure then.

Health & safety



  • Do not go on a tiger safari with children at the hottest times of year, March – June. This is tough even on the most acclimatised adult.
  • Bring plenty of sun protection and water, although you need to protect yourself from the cold on early morning tiger safaris too.
  • For any medical emergencies in India and Nepal, call 102, in Bangladesh 999 and Bhutan 110
  • With kids, in particular, use hand sanitiser when you can
  • Malaria is a risk in India, although there are few cases. But take precautions, covering up in the evenings, using repellents and sleeping under a mosquito net
  • Dengue fever is also a feature, particularly during monsoon season, so good precautions such as strong repellants and nets are vital
  • Recommended vaccinations for general travel to India are Hepatitis A, Tetanus and Typhoid. See NHS site Fit for Travel for more details
  • Stick with bottled water, although sometimes tricksters seal bottles filled from a tap. Well-known brands are safest but if it tastes odd, just leave it. Similarly, avoid ice if you are not sure
  • Altitude sickness can occur in certain regions, so let your body adjust to the elevation slowly, and keep hydrated
  • Always travel with a basic medical kit, including Imodium for stomach upsets. Ensure to bring your own prescription medicines along with a copy of your prescription. If you do get dehydrated through illness or heat, the 1 tsp salt/8 tsp sugar/1 litre of water ratio combo works a treat
  • Parasites are a common cause of diarrhea, and may not get better without treatment so if it goes on for more than two days, seek medical help
  • There are venomous snakes in India, so look out for markings if you are bitten, seek help urgently and report which snake bit you


Do what your guide says – it goes without saying really, as these are wild animals, and not to be cuddled or cooed over. We are no longer in the world of Shere Khan or Disney.

Always keep noise to a minimum when on a tiger safari. Disturbed wildlife may attack your vehicle if unduly startled.

Safety in India is not as bad as you might be led to believe, and issues vary per region. Petty theft is the most common, so you need to protect yourself from that. Padlock your luggage and keep valuables next to the skin.

The best bet is always to check with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) for updated, regional issues regarding safety.

In general, women are advised to keep the body covered as much as possible, no matter where you are traveling in India.

If traveling overnight on trains, do not accept food from strangers due to episodes of drugging tourists and robbing them

Activities for families


Tiger safaris are trips for older children and young adults really, as many tiger reserves don’t allow children under five. Having exposed them to the wildlife by jeep, challenge them to a hike in the wilds too in a with a proper guided trek into the foothills of mountain ranges just to discover the joy of walking in wilderness.
If you choose a tiger safari in Rajasthan, head into its magnificent desert landscapes for a few days on a camel safari across dunes. Start this journey in Jaipur, this ‘Pink City’ which feels like a collection of movie sets, with flower markets, bazaars, Palace of the Winds and Amber Fort all glistening prettily in the sunlight. Its old town is a place to let the reality of India seep in. With camels and carts in the streets, monkeys climbing the city walls, fortune tellers, snake charmers and a Maharaja’s palace.
You might think that this will take you out of your comfort zone, but staying in a homestay will be one of the most memorable things you will do in on your travels as a family. Indians genuinely love to include you in their everyday lives, whether it is farming, fishing, visiting the local school, or teaching you their natural cooking skills. Bring a cricket ball and just watch those kids bond in minutes. Bring a bat and they will be friends for life.

Tips for families

responsibletravel.com asks the experts

Guy Marks, co-director at award-winning responsible tourism supplier, Tribes Travel:
Seeing tigers is one of the world’s wildlife highlights. Take your kids now while the last remaining tigers still exist. If they exist at all when they grow up, then we are going to need the next generation to continue the conservation fight.
Paul Goldstein, top tiger safari guide and expert at one of our leading suppliers, Exodus:
“As with all wildlife watching, it is great to take kids on a tiger safari. But just be aware of the heat. Choose the time of year correctly to avoid the hottest times. If you go beyond mid-March, I would say it would be disastrous with kids weather wise, but February half term would be perfect.“
Julian Matthews , founder and chair of tourism action charity Travel Operators for Tigers (TOFTigers) and Tiger Nation, both aiming to use tourism to support tiger conservation more effectively:

"I always recommend nature safaris for families, and from a young age, when kids are open to the joys and hands on wonders of the natural world. If you look at any conservationist today, their interest in wildlife was fostered at a young age."
Photo credits: [Top box - family in jeep: Belinda Wright - Kanha National Park Kipling Camp] [Activity 1: hiking: Premnath Thirumalaisamy] [Activity 2: camel trekking in Rajasthan: Benjamin Vander Steen] [Activity 2: camel trekking in Rajasthan: Tawheed Manzoor] [Activity 3: kids playin cricket: John Haslam] [Family in jeep: Ivcrn]
Written by Catherine Mack
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