Go wild with these 15 safari theme party ideas

Does your little explorer spend all their time slashing through the dense jungle in the backyard with their pretend machete? Or maybe their room looks like a wildlife refuge with all their ferocious stuffed safari animals. If either of those descriptions sounds like your child, then we’ve got the perfect birthday party theme for you.

With a safari theme birthday party, your mini adventurer is guaranteed to have a ferociously good time while also showing off their love for nature. Keep reading for more safari theme party ideas than there are zebras on the savannah.


left: A child’s birthday party invitation with a giraffe wearing a pink polka dot party hat shown from the neck-up on the left side. Right: A child feeds a giraffe from behind a fence.Giraffe Birthday” by Rifle Paper Co. for Paperless Post; image via Pexels.


Plan a journey to the wilderness… or to the backyard

You know that a safari theme birthday party would be perfect for your little animal lover—but what exactly does the party planning look like? There are a ton of exciting options to make this next birthday a special one, both at home or out in the wild. Here are some ideas to add a bit of adventure to your safari birthday party:

#1 Visit a local zoo or wildlife center: Zookeepers actually make great party hosts, especially when they bring some of their furry (or scaled) friends for each guest to take a look at. Plus, they often have party rooms you can rent out where the explorers can enjoy safari snacks on-site.

#2 Create a backyard safari: In many places, it’s possible to hire an exotic animal handler who will visit your home with their menagerie. Your little adventurer will never forget the birthday they hung out with a boa constrictor!

#3 Plan a wild dress code: For your safari theme party idea, encourage guests to show up in animal masks, animal print, or full-on costumes of their favorite beasts. 

Due to the *nature* of a safari theme birthday party, there’s a good chance that it includes some kind of outdoor element. But what if the weather isn’t cooperative? Hardy adventurers won’t let a little rain or snow stop them… but it might stop your birthday plans. Luckily, there are plenty of fun safari activities you can plan for the indoors:

#4 Put on a movie: Might we suggest “Madagascar,” “The Lion King,” or “The Jungle Book”?

#5 Play some games: Whether you’re playing Monkey in the Middle or Sleeping Lions, plan some fun kids’ birthday party games to have everyone feeling like a true party animal, indoors or out.

#6 Create some safari crafts: With a few simple party supplies, you can set up a craft station where your young guests can make their own artistic safari animals.


clockwise from top left: Four party bags in animal prints; A banner that reads “PARTY LIKE AN ANIMAL” with an elephant and flamingo; A plate shaped like a cheetah; four scallop-edge napkins in animal prints; four animal print party hats; A cheetah-shaped piñata.Safari themed party supplies are available at Paperless Post Party Shop.


Decorations for a wild safari party

Whether you’re hosting at home or elsewhere, you’ll want the venue to give off serious jungle vibes for your safari-themed party. Seek out garlands and streamers that look like vines, and balloons in varying shades of greens and browns. Some other decoration options to consider include:

#7 An animal-shaped pinata and novelty balloons

#8 Creature-shaped plates 

#9 Animal print party hats and napkins

#10 Delightful safari-themed favor bags (with animal tattoos to go in them)

#11 A fun “Party Like an Animal” garland to set the mood


Feeding hungry safari explorers (aka partygoers)

Of course, a day spent exploring will leave your guests licking their chops and circling the birthday cake like it’s a water buffalo. So, what kind of food does one serve at a safari-themed birthday bash? Animals eat all kinds of things, but these explorers will probably have a taste for cakes and treats, above all else.

#12 The birthday cake: Maybe it’s shaped like your child’s favorite jungle animal or decorated with a scene from the safari of their dreams. Also, some animal candles make the perfect topper. 

#13 Cupcake decorating kit: For desserts that can double as an activity, have your guests decorate cupcakes with animal-themed ingredients. 

#14 Animal tail treats: We love this idea of decorating chocolate-covered pretzel rods to look like tiger tails!

#15 Veggies… but shaped like a lion: For a healthy snack, you can make a safari-themed veggie tray by using a dip (like hummus or ranch) as a lion’s face and surrounding it with peppers and carrots to form a lion’s mane. 



Wording for an adventurous invite

Once you’ve picked out your favorite safari-themed invites, it’s time to invite your child’s fellow adventurers with the perfect birthday invitations. If you’re more of a Tarzan than a Jane and have trouble choosing the right words, consider the below examples for your kids’ birthday invitations to get those creative juices flowing. 

Welcome to the jungle!

Axl is turning FIVE

Saturday, April 2nd

The adventure begins at:

4 o’clock in the afternoon


Please RSVP

Or, if your safari theme party is taking place at a location other than your home, you might use the following wording on your safari invitation:

Calling all critters!

Join us at the John Hammond Zoo

Saturday, April 2nd

4 o’clock in the afternoon


Please RSVP

Animal print attire is highly encouraged!


A child’s online birthday party invite featuring a photo of a young boy holding ice cream cones with a gif of a friendly illustrated lion and giraffe illustration and the words “Wild one” in rainbow script.Wild One” Flyer by Paperless Post.


Have a roaring good time with Paperless Post

If party planning has you feeling like you’re lost in the jungle, Paperless Post is here to make it a walk in the park. Not only is Paperless Post your one-stop destination for exotic invitations and party decorations, but our app—available on both iOS and Android—makes organizing your birthday safari even easier. You can send invitations and track RSVPs right from your phone, plus communicate directly with other parents about things like dietary restrictions for all those safari snacks. 

With Paperless Post, your adventurous safari theme party will have your guests howling for more. 

Looking for other kids’ birthday party themes? Try our articles detailing how to throw parties for mermaids, race car fans, and unicorn lovers.


Browse safari invitations


Hero image via Kara’s Party Ideas.