Family Safari and Beach Holidays in Tanzania

There’s no doubt that a family safari to Tanzania is a truly memorable holiday for adults and children alike, offering a wealth of adventures to experience. On a Tanzania wildlife safari, the sheer concentration of wildlife spread throughout the country, including an amazing variety of birds, means that you’re highly likely to see a remarkable amount of wildlife. Adventures include searching for Africa’s Big Five which can be seen in wildlife hotspots such as Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater, and the great ‘race of survival’, the wildebeest migration in the northern circuit, an incredible sight to witness.

For a family-friendly wildlife safari experience, the best time to visit is July to October. This is Tanzania’s dry season when the vegetation and water sources throughout the wildlife reserves dry up, leaving only a few waterholes where the wildlife can quench their thirst, making it easier to spot animals as they gather around perennial waterholes.

Our Tanzania safari trip guide highlights some of our family-friendly wildlife safaris and beach safaris.

A. Tanzania Family-Friendly Safaris

1. Tanzania Northern Circuit Family Safaris

Tanzania Northern Circuit Family Safaris

Tanzania’s northern circuit offers visitors a chance to experience some of Tanzania’s very best safari adventures: witness the glorious spectacle of the largest wildebeest herds in the heart of Serengeti National Park during the annual migration, take in the impressive sights of tree-climbing lions at Lake Manyara, keep your eyes peeled for the spectacular big five animals in Ngorongoro Crater and in Tarangire National Park see huge herds of elephants.

Further adventures come in the form of a hot air balloon ride over the Serengeti National Park and an opportunity to watch the wildebeest give birth in the Ndutu region, where the lions lie in wait, while Enduimet Wildlife Management Area, located in the western Kilimanjaro region, is a hidden gem that allows visitors to learn more about Maasai culture and wildlife. All northern circuit parks have exceptional birdlife, including water birds such as the stunning flamingoes and graceful pelicans.

National Park/ DestinationHighlights
Serengeti National ParkWildebeest migration, Maasai village, Moru kopjes, big five animal sightings
Ngorongoro Conservation AreaOlduvai Gorge, Ngorongoro Crater, Empakaai Crater, Laetoli, Gol Mountains, big five animal sightings
Kilimanjaro National ParkMateruni waterfall, Kikuletwa hot springs, Kilimanjaro coffee plantation tour, canoeing on Little Momella Lake
Lake Manyara National ParkTree climbing lions, flamingo watching, cultural excursions
Tarangire National ParkAbundant elephants, beautiful baobab trees

Best Northern Circuit Family Safaris

2. Tanzania Southern Circuit Family Safaris

Tanzania Southern Circuit Family Safaris

Tanzania’s less-visited southern safari circuit is home to Africa’s largest game reserve, Selous Game Reserve, covering an expanse of 55,500 sq km. Selous safaris are wildlife adventures where visitors can see a pride of lions, hippos wallowing in the water, and herds of elephants and zebras throughout the park.

The lesser-known national parks of Tanzania’s southern circuit, Mikumi and Ruaha National Parks have fewer visitors and allow children the opportunity to experience a really adventurous safari. Ruaha National Park offers a bounty of adventures including hiking and walking safaris, while Mikumi National Park, known for its scenic landscape, is a terrific bird-watching destination. Black-bellied bustard, cattle egret, and saddle-billed stork are the three most commonly spotted birds in Mikumi.

National Park/ DestinationHighlights
Selous Game ReserveAfrican wild dog sightings, luxury lodges, year-round boating safaris
Mikumi National ParkHigh wildlife concentration, Hippo pool, Baobab treehouse
Ruaha National ParkLarge concentration of elephants and lions, African wild dog sightings

Best Southern Circuit Family Safaris

3. Chemka Hot Springs Safari

Chemka Hot Springs Safari

Chemka Hot Springs offers a wonderful family-friendly one-day trip to swim in crystal clear water. Locally known as Kikuletwa Hotsprings or Maji Moto, Chemka Hot Springs is a stunning geothermal spring – an oasis amidst the endless savannahs in Tanzania. Enjoy a relaxing day, swimming in the crystal clear waters, swinging on a rope swing and having a delicious lunch. On the way to Chemka, you will have the opportunity to gain an insight into the locals’ daily life passing through the farms, villages, and markets.

Suggested Safari:

4. Materuni Waterfalls Safari

Like Chemka Hot Springs, Materuni Waterfalls is a scenic and relaxing spot located a short hike from Tanzania’s Kilimanjaro National Park. The path to the park may be a bit muddy but is quite manageable, even for little ones. On their journey to the Materuni waterfalls, visitors will pass the Materuni village, home to the Chagga Tribe, Bantu people.

The cascading waterfalls surrounded by lush vegetation are not only a joy to watch, but visitors can also swim in the crystal clear waters. Materuni waterfalls offer a splendid adventure designed for families who want to treat their kids to a slice of paradise amidst Tanzania’s safari adventures.

Suggested Safari:

5. Tanzania Camping Safaris

Visitors can camp under Tanzania’s starry sky on a family adventure and wake up amidst the beautiful wild spaces. Take in the spectacular sunrises and sounds of the bush and enjoy the experience of sleeping under canvas. Safari tour operators offer camping packages that take visitors on a journey throughout Tanzania’s primary national parks.

At the end of each day, head back to campsites located in the heart of these national parks often in beautiful locations. For example, a Ngorongoro campsite might be located on the edge of the famous Ngorongoro Crater, where visitors can take in the incredible views as the sun sets over the massive caldera, presenting a clear view of the nightlife.

Suggested Safari:

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B. Beach Holidays in Zanzibar, Tanzania

1. Island Exploration

Island Exploration

After a safari, there’s nothing better than exploring the best spots of the beautiful Zanzibar Islands – the lush island forests, tropical white beaches, spice plantations and ancient monuments, including the historically significant Stone Town. A trip to Zanzibar Island would be incomplete without a snorkeling adventure in the crystal clear waters teeming with vibrant marine life, which sometimes include turtles and dolphins.

Take a guided walk in the beautiful Jozani Forest, home to a variety of stunning bird species and red colobus monkey, blue monkey and two small antelope species only found in Zanzibar: the Zanzibar sunni and duiker. Changuu Island is home to an isolated population of the giant Aldabra tortoises, which otherwise are endemic to the islands of Seychelles. Zanzibar’s historical monuments such as Beit al-Ajaib, Kidichi Persian Baths, and Livingstone House are remnants of a bygone era.

Suggested Safari:

2. Walking Safari

Walking Safari

Walking safaris are the staple of Africa’s cultural excursions giving you the opportunity to view the life of the locals. On this Zanzibar walking safari, you will journey into the heart of Zanzibar villages such as Koani village, Mchangani village, and Nungwi village. Sample local delicacies, learn about traditional foods, visit a Zanzibar dhow (lateen-rigged ship) making site as well as see where renowned Zanzibar doors are crafted.

On your walking adventure, you may also have the chance to tour the Kizimbani plantation, a spice farm where you can learn how to harvest traditional spices and fruits. Visit the Kidichi Persian baths – a remnant of a historical bath house located in Stone Town – as well as explore Stone Town, a historical UNESCO World Heritage Site with fascinating narrow streets.

Suggested Safari: Zanzibar Walking Safari

3. Dolphin Safari

Dolphin Safari

Zanzibar Islands, with its scenic beauty and tranquil sandy beaches, is also a marine life paradise. After spending days in Tanzania’s renowned national parks, visitors can head over to Zanzibar Island to unwind and take in the beautiful vistas. Safari tours usually focus on two spots in Zanzibar Island – Menai Bay and the Kizimkazi beach. At Kizimkazi beach, visitors can swim with bottle-nosed and spinner dolphins and enjoy snorkeling and boat trips, memorable family-friendly adventures.

Dolphin watching in Zanzibar is best done from January to February and June to October, which are the dry months with the greatest chances of taking in the awe-inspiring views of frolicking dolphins.

Suggested Safari:

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