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How to Create a Safari Themed Nursery

How to Create a Safari Themed Nursery

Creating our safari themed nursery for our baby boy was one of the most exciting times for us as we prepared for parenthood. As a travel couple, we knew we wanted the nursery to incorporate travel in some capacity. Then as we progressed in our theme, we realized we wanted the nursery filled with safari animals.

Since 2015, we have been fortunate to travel the world. We have hiked Machu Picchu, road-tripped 7 days in Ireland, swam with stingrays in the Grand Cayman, and more. All of these trips have been amazing, but the one trip that made the biggest impact on us was our trip to Africa to go on safari game drives.

When we were traveling throughout Africa, we immediately knew that we would return with our children one day. So this safari themed nursery for our first-born is influenced by our trip.

This guide is to help other travelers and safari-loving parents create the perfect nursery for their children. It includes ideas and items we used for our safari themed nursery with links of where you can purchase them too. By the end, you will have great resources to help inspire and create the perfect safari-themed nursery for your own little one.

A safari themed nursery with a world map canvas, giraffe rocking chair, cheetah plush toy, white crib with a grey blanket, and more.

This post may contain affiliate links. When you click on the link you will have the option to purchase a product at no extra cost to you, but I would receive a small commission. I want to thank everyone for following and supporting us on all of “Our Sweet Adventures.” 

What Kind of Safari Theme Are You Looking For?

Yes, there are two different safari themes to choose from! You can do a jungle safari or an African safari. A jungle safari can incorporate a lot of greenery and animals such as monkeys, tigers, and sloths. Whereas an African safari would include softer color tones, giraffes, cheetahs, zebras, and lions.

Or you can do a mix of both because this is your nursery after all! In fact, a lot of bedding and nursery decor include a mix of animals such as lions, elephants, monkeys, sloths, and giraffes. So do not be afraid to just pick and choose a theme with safari animals that fit your interest.

Other things to consider when you begin decorating your safari theme nursery is the decor style and to keep it simple. I will discuss these two considerations further below.

Modern or Kid-Friendly?

One thing to decide for the safari themed nursery is whether you want the decor to be more modern or kid-friendly. When you begin your search for cute safari animals and decor to place in the nursery, do you want the pieces to look realistic or cartoonish?

Here is an example of how I differentiate modern decor vs. more kid-friendly decor. Both are adorable but have distinct styles to set the tone of the nursery.

Keep it Simple

My biggest piece of advice is to keep it simple. You will come across so many cute safari-themed furniture and decor that can easily fit in the nursery. However, there comes a time when it can be too much.

Mix the nursery with big and small items that reflect a safari. For example, we have a beautiful world map canvas with animals and monuments on the wall behind the crib. When we were searching for the perfect bedding for the crib, there were plenty of safari themed blankets and sheets that were adorable. Yet, we decided to go with a simple grey blanket because a “busy” blanket would take away from our beautiful canvas.

With that said, if you have a simple backdrop against the crib then you could definitely go all out with a cute safari animal blanket! The trick is to balance the room with safari pieces and decide what is important to you in the nursery.

Think of Your Colors

When you start to plan and create your safari theme nursery, think about your color scheme. Are you going for a gender-neutral color? Are you looking to go more towards pink and blue? Or will you do a little bit of both?

Whichever color you choose, just remember to use the colors as accents and decorative touches. For example, we only painted our color, grey, on one wall so it was used as an accent wall. The rest of the room is a neutral off-white.

Then when we added more accents of grey with our changing mat, laundry basket, bedding, and rocking chair. Once we added the travel and safari decor, every piece pops out nicely. So when you enter the room, you feel a balance of color.

What You Need for a Safari Themed Nursery

Of course, you will need all the basics to create your safari themed nursery. I am talking about a crib, dresser, rocking chair, changing table, etc. However, to make it a safari nursery, you will add different elements of decor to the room that fits the theme.

For example, safari bedding, animal plush toys, watercolor safari animal paintings, animal growth chart, mobile, and more. Your options are almost endless; so it is truly all about what you want and your style.

Decor that can Enhance the Safari Themed Nursery

Based on my personal experience and our son’s nursery, here are some decoration items to consider when you are looking for inspiration for your nursery. Most of our decorations were purchased from either Amazon or Etsy. If you like what you see, you can click on the items below to view and purchase them.

World Map Canvas

The world map canvas is one of my favorite pieces in the entire nursery and was the very first decor we purchased. As the focal point, it really set the tone for the rest of the room. You can either get a world map in a canvas print or wall decal. Both options offer a variety of sizes and background colors that you can choose from to best fit your nursery.

Click here to view Etsy world map canvases.
Click here to view what we ordered – it comes in different colors.

Watercolor Safari Baby Animals Prints

In addition to the world map canvas, the watercolor safari baby animal prints is another decorative element that brings our nursery together. We went for a realistic look and framed the prints in grey to fit our color scheme. Just like the world map canvas, there are several artists that offer some great safari animal prints. For example, one artist creates adorable baby animal prints with floral crowns for a girl’s nursery.

Click here to view safari animal prints.
Click here to view what we ordered.

Safari Animal Drawer Knobs

A simple touch of decor for your safari theme nursery can be changing your drawer knobs. The drawer knobs are a very small feature but still a cute piece of decor for the nursery.

Click here to view Etsy safari animal drawer knobs.
We ordered individual safari animal drawer knobs – giraffe, lion, and elephant.

Safari Animal Growth Chart

I cannot speak from personal experience (yet), but I have no doubt that one of the most exciting parts of being a parent is watching your child grow. I remember as a kid, I was always excited to visit my grandparents just to get measured! So having a growth chart in our nursery was something essential to us and it can be a great addition to your nursery too.

Click here to view Etsy safari animal prints.
Click here to view what we ordered.

Animal Play Mat

The animal play mat is super cute and can be versatile for your nursery and little one. It can be used as a center rug for decoration in the nursery, for a newborn photo shoot, a crawling or play mat for your baby, or all of the above. There are several different animals to choose from, each in a grey and white tone. You can pick a giraffe, elephant, lion, tiger, monkey, and more.

Click here to view the different animal play mats – we picked the tiger.

Plush Safari Animal Toys

Of course, every baby needs plush animal toys. It’s a baby’s first friend, right? After all, this is a safari-themed nursery, so plush animal toys are essential. You can go wild and stuff (no pun intended) the room with several animals or just pick and choose a few. For us, we chose to focus on cheetahs, lions, giraffes, and elephants.

Click here to view different safari animal plush toys.
Click here to view our cheetah plush toy.

Plush Giraffe Rocking Chair

This plush giraffe rocking chair is an item all for show! As our son grows, I am sure he will enjoy playing on it but for now, it is just one of the cutest elements in the nursery. If you love giraffes, you will love this rocking chair.

Click here to view the cutest plush giraffe rocking chair.

Safari Animal Mobile

The safari animal mobile is more of a necessity item in the nursery but also adds a decorative element to the crib and bedding. There are quite a few brands that offer matching bedding and mobiles to complete your crib and nursery. To match our elephant, lion, giraffe, and grey theme, Lambs & Ivy had the perfect safari animal mobile for us.

Click here to view safari animal mobiles.
Click here to view our safari animal mobile.

Our Safari Themed Nursery

For more inspiration, here are a few photos of our safari themed nursery with items I mentioned above.

I hope this guide on how to create the perfect safari-themed nursery has helped you! Wishing you all the best during your incredible journey!

Elizabeth Grasso

Wednesday 15th of July 2020

Beautiful room! That is one lucky baby:)


Thursday 30th of July 2020

Thank you so much! We are excited for him to enjoy the nursery.