Africa Inspires a Summer Kiddie Birthday Party: DIY Ideas and Inspiration!

Is a Jungle Safari theme drumming in your mind for your child’s birthday this summer? Or maybe Jungle Book, Lion King, Madagascar, or Jumanji? Well, any of these animal, nature, and adventure-filled themes owe their inspiration to the majestic wilds and rich culture of Africa. So you can expect really exciting decorating possibilities, tasty eats, creative drinks, and fun party favors!

Starting with details from our own safari-themed party set, take cues for your table settings, menu cards, and a wild welcome display. Then, we share more fab ideas we found for African-inspired party elements. Let’s set off on this party planning adventure! (*this post contains affiliate links)

Jungle Safari Party Decorating Ideas

An outdoor setting in a lush garden is ideal for this theme. The more jungle-like, the better!  Then, assemble guest tables decorated with natural elements and touches of child-like whimsy.

African birthday party tablescape and decorations

Set out rustic-style tables and chairs, and tablescape elements taken from nature like small branches, twigs, leaves, bamboo, and twine—plus outdoorsy accents like a hurricane lantern. Then, for an adorable centerpiece, have stuffed toy animals waiting to welcome the kiddie guests!

African themed place setting with safari decorations

Choose a table runner in neutral-toned woven fabric. As placemats, use scrapbook or gift wrapping paper with African patterns or animal prints, and for napkin accents, tie on pieces of tree bark with paper twine. Add jungle animal puzzle pieces or plastic toy animals for a playful touch.

African centerpiece with safari elements.

For greenery on the guest tables, you can either grab some cuttings from your garden and place them in glass vases. Or you can craft leaves out of paper, and attach them to small natural branches with crafting wire.

African table decor accents.

Grapevine balls, bamboo trays, wooden bowls, and woven baskets are just some of the accent pieces you may already have or can easily find in a home decor store. Oh, and that charming wooden giraffe? You might just find similar vintage-style childhood items in your attic, your child’s toy stash, or in a yard sale!

Flavorful Food Choices: Safari-themed and Authentic African

African themed birthday menu

We did mention our earlier post on a safari-themed menu card, didn’t we? Well, here are some great ideas we found for what your party menu can include. Some are easy home recipes cleverly re-named to suit the theme, while others are actual delicious dishes from Africa!

African birthday party food

For “disguised” choices, try these tortilla salmon rolls that you can call “tiger bites” (1 – from Chicken of the Sea), which are actually smoked salmon and cream cheese roll ups, or these “Bamboo Sticks” (2 – from Pretti Mini) that are actually celery stalks with cheese filling.

While for authentic African recipes, here are options easy to serve at a party. Chicken Suya (3 – from African Bites), baked African-style chicken satay with a spicy peanut butter sauce; Fried Fish Balls from Senegal (4 – recipe by 196 Flavors), little round fish cakes flavored with garlic, parsley, and chili pepper, browned in a pan and served with spicy tomato sauce; and a light and refreshing Ethiopian Cucumber-Mango Salad (5 – adapted from Cooking Light by This and That), spiced with jalapeños, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, and cloves, plus peanuts for crunch.

Delightful Safari-themed Party Drinks

The choices for jungle-themed beverages are so cool and colorful!  And in many cases, it’s the presentation that brings on that safari vibe.

African birthday party drinks

Take your pick from a kiddie version of Jungle Juice (1 – from My Craftily Ever After) made with Tropical Punch Kool-Aid and frozen fruit mix, or your choice of fruit juice dressed up with DIY jungle animal stirrers (2 – from Handmade Charlotte).

You may also set out drinking jars with burlap and animal print wraps (3 – from Spaceships and Laser Beams), bottled drinks with safari-themed labels displayed in tree-stump buckets (4 – from Oh It’s Perfect), and bamboo-pattern straws; or “Tiger Juice” (5 – from Lark and Lola) which is actually orange juice in a tiger-striped dispenser!

Party Favors for a Safari-themed Send-off

Treat the kiddie guests to keepsakes of this cool theme. Prepare loot bags filled with fun jungle novelty items and treats, like these bulk finds from Amazon.

  1. Zoo Animal Cardboard Treat Boxes (24 Pack)
  2. Zoo Animals (12 Pack)
  3. Wild Jungle Animal Crackers (24 ct of 1.75 oz. boxes)
  4. Assorted Zoo Animals Squeeze Balls (12 pieces)
  5. Toy Binoculars with Neck String (12 pieces)
  6. Animal Jungle Characters Bubble Bottles (24 pieces)
  7. Safari Theme Party Favor Set (12 mini memo pads /12 pencils / 144 tattoos)

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