Family safaris in Tanzania

Family travel – especially big or extended families travelling together – can prove a bit chaotic and more costly, but there is something so special about experiencing and sharing superb safari experiences with your children and partner. Most safari camps and lodges also have one or two family suites where adjoining rooms or tents allow mom and dad their own space, while still ensuring the kids are close by and safe, because you can move between the family tents or rooms at night without having to step outside and worry about wild animals. From a family perspective, it is also worth emphasising that Tanzania is a largely safe country where violent crime against foreigners is incredibly rare.

Experiencing Tanzania with children is a magical experience I Credit: Travel Without Tears

Tanzania’s northern safari circuit is prime wildlife-viewing country. Although not renowned for its affordability, kids will love seeing the well-habituated animals, as well as the vibrant Maasai culture. A good selection of child-friendly lodges, camps, hotels and restaurants ensures that there is plenty of choice. The southern safari circuit is definitely a more adventurous option and should probably be restricted to families with older children who will better appreciate longer and wilder safaris in open-top game viewing vehicles.

The mellow beaches of Zanzibar and the other Spice Islands are reason enough to recommend the Indian Ocean islands as ideally suited to families and children. Many Zanzibari hotels also have swimming pools (ideal for swimming with kids in a controlled environment when seas are rough or while the tide is out) as well as spacious hotel grounds where kids can run wild and burn off energy in a safe place. Because many families visit Zanzibar, there is also a wide choice of child-friendly cuisine on almost every menu.

Highlights

Families travelling with small kids and tighter budgets might find it easier to base themselves in major centres like Arusha (where there are shops, medical facilities and other support services) and do shorter excursions from that base. An example of an easy and rewarding daytrip would be to nearby Arusha National Park where there is plenty of wildlife, but for the full experience a trip further afield to Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire or Lake Manyara would be more impressive.

Experiencing Tanzania through the eyes of a child I Credit: Tanzania Safari Supremecy

Ngorongoro Crater with its nearby family-friendly accommodation is especially well-suited to families and young children, while the extremely relaxed and abundant wildlife should keep even the most restless children engaged and excited. Furthermore, children under eighteen also get sizeable discounts on daily park fees and permits to climb Kilimanjaro.

It would be unfair – almost cruel – to bring your children to Tanzania and not finish off with at least some time to explore the Spice Islands and enjoy the surrounding warm-water and white-sand beaches. Zanzibar Island has an abundance of lovely east-coast beaches with soft sand and calm seas, while most resorts also have a swimming pool. For families with more of a sense of adventure, or looking to get away from the crowds, Mafia Island with its little beaches, exciting dhow rides and top quality snorkelling is the place to head with your children.

Travel tips

Tanzania may initially seem daunting for travel with children: prices for accommodation and park entry fees can add up, road travel distances can be long, and vehicle rental is rather costly. But for families with a sense of adventure, it’s a destination brimming with wonderful attractions, including wildlife, beaches, friendly people and great weather. Having a real sense of adventure (and humour) is invaluable as you explore the wilds of Tanzania, but proper planning for family travel is equally important. The following are some pre-trip considerations and travel tips to help you get started:

Arusha National Park is a great option for families  I  Credit: Tanzania-Experience

  • The cooler, dry season (June through September) is best for family travel. Travel during the dry season months tends to be easier and transportation more dependable. Mosquitoes also tend to be less common, although malaria prophylaxis should still be taken. Malarone and Paediatric Malarone for the little ones is definitely the anti-malarial drug of choice with high efficacy and the fewest side effects.

  • Aside from malaria prophylaxis, it is recommended that you consult your local travel clinic, doctor or paediatrician for vaccination recommendations, remembering that a Yellow Fever vaccination is required for every visitor over the age of two years.

  • It is important to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes, so travelling with your own mosquito nets and ensuring that your children always sleep under them is first prize. Dressing in long-sleeved shirts, long trousers and socks, as well as religiously using mosquito repellent at dawn and dusk further reduces the likelihood of getting malaria.

  • At beaches, keep in mind the risks of hookworm infestation in populated areas, and watch out for spiny sea urchins when wading or snorkelling in the shallows. Take care about bilharzia infection in stagnant water and lakes in populated areas. A fully stocked child-oriented first aid kit is a travel imperative.

  • The equatorial sun in Africa can be lethal, so make sure to always wear hats, use plenty of sunscreen and drink lots of water to avoid sunburn and dehydration.

  • Street food isn’t generally suitable for children, and ‘healthy kid-friendly snacks’ are a challenge to find on the road, so stock up on fresh and dried fruit as well as fruit juices whenever you are passing through a big town or major city.

  • For those travelling with infants, baby-changing facilities are almost non-existent except for possibly in the upmarket hotels, so bring along a small blanket or your own portable change mat to spread out whenever necessary.

  • Baby foods and powdered milk, disposable nappies, baby wipes and similar items are only available in major towns like Arusha, Moshi and Dar es Salaam. Child car seats – whether for rental cars or safari vehicles – are generally not available, unless arranged well in advance.

  • Many wildlife lodges and safari camps have age restrictions on accommodating children, so make sure to confirm the child policy for all the places you intend to stay. Conversely, some lodges and safari camps actively court families.

  • Most hotels, lodges and national parks offer discounted entry and accommodation rates for children – and infants (under two years) are usually free of charge – but you will need to specifically request these discounts, especially when booking through tour operators.

  • Aside from the discounts related to the age of your children, many lodges, camps, hotels and guesthouses will offer seasonal discounts, or will be willing to adjust their advertised rates outside of the peak-season months, so make sure to always ask and negotiate.

  • Tanzania’s parks are completely unfenced, as are the lodges and camps located inside these wildlife areas, so carefully supervising your children at all times is critical. Wild animals frequently enter public areas and children should not be allowed to walk alone around camp, even for short distances. Exercise particular vigilance after dark.

For any family travelling in Tanzania, it is the allure of the country’s productive wildlife areas and high quality safari experiences that are the main attraction with legendary parks like Serengeti, Tarangire and Ngorongoro Crater boasting high quality animal sightings and often at extremely close range. The fact that all parks offer substantially reduced children’s entry fees is a bonus. If staying inside the park, it’s a good idea to opt for a lodge or safari camp with a pool where the kids can expend their energy between game drives. Alternatively, base yourself outside the park at a hotel with a pool and large grounds for kids to run around, and only venture into the park on well-timed animal-spotting forays, while also enjoying cultural interactions and other activities (such as night drives) that take place outside of the national parks.


Our Recommended Itinerary

Tanzania Affordable Calving Season safari 2019 (Best for budget)

day 1

Arrival in Arusha
  • Tanzania Affordable Calving Season safari 2019 (Best for budget)
  • Tanzania Affordable Calving Season safari 2019 (Best for budget)
  • Tanzania Affordable Calving Season safari 2019 (Best for budget)
  • Tanzania Affordable Calving Season safari 2019 (Best for budget)
  • Tanzania Affordable Calving Season safari 2019 (Best for budget)
  • Tanzania Affordable Calving Season safari 2019 (Best for budget)

day 2 to 3

Tarangire National Park
  • Tanzania Affordable Calving Season safari 2019 (Best for budget)
  • Tanzania Affordable Calving Season safari 2019 (Best for budget)
  • Tanzania Affordable Calving Season safari 2019 (Best for budget)
  • Tanzania Affordable Calving Season safari 2019 (Best for budget)
  • Tanzania Affordable Calving Season safari 2019 (Best for budget)
  • Tanzania Affordable Calving Season safari 2019 (Best for budget)

day 4 to 5

  • Tanzania Affordable Calving Season safari 2019 (Best for budget)
  • Tanzania Affordable Calving Season safari 2019 (Best for budget)
  • Tanzania Affordable Calving Season safari 2019 (Best for budget)
  • Tanzania Affordable Calving Season safari 2019 (Best for budget)
  • Tanzania Affordable Calving Season safari 2019 (Best for budget)
  • Tanzania Affordable Calving Season safari 2019 (Best for budget)

day 6 to 8

  • Tanzania Affordable Calving Season safari 2019 (Best for budget)
  • Tanzania Affordable Calving Season safari 2019 (Best for budget)
  • Tanzania Affordable Calving Season safari 2019 (Best for budget)
  • Tanzania Affordable Calving Season safari 2019 (Best for budget)
  • Tanzania Affordable Calving Season safari 2019 (Best for budget)
  • Tanzania Affordable Calving Season safari 2019 (Best for budget)

day 9

Say your goodbyes to the nation!

View Full Itinerary

You might also like

Southern safari circuit in Tanzania

The southern safari circuit sprawls across southern Tanzania. From the gigantic Selous Game Reserve in the east to Mahale Mountains and Gombe Stream national parks on the shore of Lake Tanganyika in the west, this is wildest Africa and the domain of adventurers and explorers. Between Africa’s deepest lake and the Selous World Heritage Site lie the diminutive Mikumi and Udzungwa…

Tanzania visa requirements

Visitors to Tanzania require a passport that is valid for at least six months after the initial date of travel. Almost all visitors to Tanzania require a tourist visa, which costs between US$20 and US$100 for a tourist visa that is valid for three months. While most embassy and travel websites will encourage you to get this visa before departing your home country (especially if you…

Tanzania in November

This is one of the most underrated months to go on safari in Tanzania. You will definitely have some rain to contend with, but it is usually in the form of periodic afternoon thundershowers. The northern parks in general are great for game year-round and although the Serengeti receives rain, this means that the wildebeest will be moving south across the plains to make the most of this…

Languages spoken in Tanzania

With around 129 different ethnic groups, the Republic of Tanzania has evolved the greatest linguistic diversity in the whole of the African continent with four major African language bases, ranging from Bantu, Cushitic and the Nilotic languages to the less comprehensively spoken Khoisan. One of the founding directives of independent Tanzania was that no ethnic group should dominate, and…

Photographic safari in Tanzania

Tanzania must be one of the most photographer-friendly destinations on the planet. From snow-capped mountain peaks to ‘Big Five’ safaris and dreamy tropical islands, Tanzania is basking in its newfound status of being a seriously hot photographic travel destination. From the Serengeti plains and steep-sided Ngorongoro Crater to the flamingos of Lake Manyara and giant tuskers of…

Safety in Tanzania

Tanzania is generally a safe, hassle-free country, but you still need to take the usual safety precautions and keep up with local travel advisories. Take note of the following safety tips in order to stay safe while in Tanzania: Avoid isolated areas, especially remote stretches of beach; and safety in numbers. In cities and tourist areas always take a taxi at night and only from…

Popular Tanzania Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

 | Tanzania July/October Great Migration safari with HerdTracker

Tanzania July/October Great Migration safari with HerdTracker

The wildebeest migration, is one of the “Seven New Wonder of the World” and also known as The World Cup of Wildlife. If there is a safari you should go on, this has to be it!...

Close up view of Wildebeest | Medium Budget, Maximum Game Viewing in Tanzania’s North (EA 11 days)

Tanzania - medium budget, maximum game viewing

Visit Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Ngorogoro Crater and Serengeti for a four-in-one safari you'll remember forever...

 | Tanzania June/July Great Migration safari with HerdTracker

Tanzania June/July Great Migration safari with HerdTracker

Explore the wonder of the great wildebeest migration from the best Tanzania has to offer...

 | Tanzania couples safari

Tanzania couples safari

Enjoy the wildlife of Tanzania as well as the paradise of Zanzibar...

 | HerdTracker June/July Great Migration Safari in Tanzania

HerdTracker June/July Great Migration Safari in Tanzania

HerdTracker invites you to join them on a migration safari in Tanzania's Arusha, Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti National Park....

 | 9-day HerdTracker June/July great migration safari

9-day HerdTracker June/July great migration safari

If the great migration is on your travel bucket list, then this memorable safari in Tanzania is ideal for you....

 | 10-day HerdTracker August great migration safari

10-day HerdTracker August great migration safari

Experience the drama of the nature's greatest spectacle in the Tanzania...

 | The Serengeti on Foot (EA 9 days)

The Serengeti on foot

There's no better way to get close to nature and feel alive than on foot, and no better place to walk than the remarkable Serengeti...

 | Nature, Romance, Exclusivity and Luxury - A Complete African Honeymoon

Nature, Romance, Exclusivity and Luxury - A Complete African Honeymoon

This exclusive African honeymoon through East and Southern Africa is the perfect way to celebrate the start of your new journey together...

 | HerdTracker February Calving Season in Tanzania

HerdTracker February Calving Season in Tanzania

Travelling to Tanzania during the calving season is a sight to behold and something unique to the region...

Ready to start your adventure?

Your tailor-made African holiday starts here...

How can we get hold of you?

How many people will be travelling?

Details

Please tell us more about your travel plans?


Discover Africa Group needs the contact information you provide to us to contact you about our products and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at anytime. For information on how to unsubscribe, as well as our privacy practices and commitment to protecting your privacy, check out our Privacy Policy.

Submitting your inquiry

Thank you, your enquiry has been received

Thank you, your enquiry has been received

Reference:

 +27 21 422 3498
   discover.africa
    info@discoverafrica.com
    8AM - 5PM GMT+2