Comprehensive Guide To A Family-Friendly Tanzania Safari

Tanzania has over 22 national parks and game reserves established for wildlife conservation. It is also home to millions of wildebeest and host to the annual great wildebeest migration that takes place between Serengeti National Park (Tanzania) and Masai Mara National Park (Kenya).

Tanzania is one of the most visited African safari destinations, suitable for the whole family. Some of its primary wildlife spots include Serengeti National Park, Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara National Park and Ngorongoro Crater. Let’s check out what Tanzania has to offer children on a family safari and take a look at a sample Tanzania Safari trip (itinerary).

Why should you take kids on a Tanzania safari?

While planning your safari, ensure that you check to see if there are any age restrictions and book a safari package that includes child-friendly accommodation. Often these camps and lodges provide great activities especially tailored for children so they have a really immersive experience.

What does Tanzania have in store for kids:

  • They can experience awe-inspiring wildlife viewing; there’s nothing like watching Tanzania’s resident wildlife up close and personal in the company of knowledgeable and interesting guides.
  • They might be really lucky and have the opportunity to watch lions or leopards hunting their prey in the wild; a live example of nature as it happens.
  • They can see other animals like elephants gathering around the water holes enjoying a drink, giraffes feeding on leaves of the top tree branches, and perhaps the rare and endangered rhinoceros.
  • Experience the scenic Serengeti National Park, home to the annual Great Migration, a remarkable natural event to witness (make sure you visit during the right months)
  • If you head to the coast, children can enjoy the spectacular marine life in the waters of the Indian Ocean surrounding Zanzibar, such as bottlenose dolphins, sea turtles, humpback whales, and white tip reef sharks.

These experiences will create long-lasting memories of their visit to Tanzania’s national parks and may well get them interested in wildlife conservation and future safaris and travel.

Many accommodation and safari packages offer activities dedicated to children, including cooking, bike riding, bush walks, knowledge centers, camping, archery, stargazing, balloon safaris, and learning to track wildlife with locals.

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Is Tanzania safe for children?

Parents might be a bit unsure of taking their children on wildlife safaris with a fear of having their children so close to wild animals. Remember that Tanzania park authorities have strict security and safety protocols in place, plus you will be guided by fully trained safari guides.

When on safari, make sure you are always following the rules and regulations to keep everyone safe.

    • Pay close attention to your children and ensure they don’t wander off if they spot an animal. Always stay with the group and follow the instructions provided by the safari guide.
    • Stay within the boundaries of the lodge/camp you are staying at. Do not go outside after dark unless you have an escort.
    • On a game drive, make sure that your children stay seated in the vehicle. Talk to your safari guide beforehand about scheduled toilet breaks.

In addition, make sure you tailor your safari to the age of the children. A safari can include some activities requiring more patience, such as a full day following the wildebeest migration, sitting quietly in a hide or a walking safari, which can be hard work for younger children. Make sure that you are aware of the activities and match these to your child’s age. Generally kids older than nine should be fine to take part in most activities – just know their limits and keep them entertained.

When you follow these rules, you and your kids will be safe and have tons of fun on your safari adventure.

6-day Tanzania family-friendly safari

Day 1: Meet & Greet at Kilimanjaro Airport, drive to Arusha

Your Point Africa Safaris representative will greet you at the airport and take you to your lodge in Arusha. Upon arrival, you’ll have ample time to freshen up and settle in. Your safari guide will give you a briefing on the safari itinerary, explaining the activities planned for the next six days. Post that, you can explore the lodge and relax in preparation for your safari ahead.

Day 2: Drive to Tarangire National Park and Tarangire River

After breakfast, your guide will pick you up at the lodge and take you to your first safari destination – Tarangire National Park. You’ll arrive in the early afternoon and head out to explore Tarangire National Park and Tarangire River in a game viewing vehicle. The kids will be able to spot Tarangire’s residents: elephants, zebras, giraffes, flamingoes, blue monkeys, black and white colobus monkeys, and much more. A thrilling first safari experience!

In the evening, on your way to the lodge, you might even spot an elusive leopard. You will freshen up, enjoy a hearty meal and have the chance to talk about your day’s adventure before heading to bed. The next day is a new adventure, this time in the Serengeti National Park!

Day 3: Drive to Serengeti National Park, visit Olduvai Gorge

A early start to your day, setting off to Serengeti National Park after breakfast. Along the way , you can visit the Olduvai Gorge, which offers an exceptional learning experience for kids. Known as the cradle of mankind, you’ll learn about our early human ancestors at Olduvai Gorge. Enjoy an al-fresco lunch on the way to the Serengeti National Park, and then onto a late afternoon/evening game drive. Serengeti is just as fascinating in the evening when the nocturnal species start rising from their sleep. You head to your lodge for dinner and a good night’s sleep, ready for the next day’s adventures.

Day 4: A Full Day Exploring Serengeti National Park

Whatever time of year you visit the remarkable Serengeti National Park, seeing the wealth of wildlife and birds on a full day’s game drive is a memorable adventure for all. Depending on the time of year, you might experience the annual wildebeest migration, the annual circular journey of wildebeest, zebra and other antelopes as they move in search of lush grassland between Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park and Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve.

If you are visiting between June and July, you might spot the wildebeest migration along the Grumeti River. The herds are spread across the vast Serengeti plains, and you should have plenty of opportunities to witness it at this time of year, as they head towards the river. In September, you can watch the wildebeest crossing the Mara River in the north of the park. If your visit coincides with the wildebeest calving season in January and February, the Serengeti will be teeming with baby wildebeest on the southern plains.

In the early afternoon, you explore Serengeti kopies – a perfect location to spot predators who lie in wait for their prey. At the end of the day, return to your accommodation for a delicious dinner, talking about the day’s wonderful adventures.

Day 5: Drive to Ngorongoro Crater

It will be your final day of exploring Serengeti National Park on a morning game drive. After that, you can take an optional cultural tour at a Maasai Boma, where your children can watch the locals milk their cattle and witness a Maasai traditional dance, a great opportunity to learn more about the local way of life. By nightfall you will be at your lodge, enjoying dinner and having a good sleep before the next day’s visit to the crater.

Day 6: Explore the Ngorongoro Crater, drive to the airport

On your last safari day in Tanzania you and the family will explore the breathtaking Ngorongoro Crater and the surrounding Conservation Area. The views of the dormant volcano from the crater rim are spectacular while the crater floor is great for wildlife viewing, with its fantastic variety and concentrations of the majority of Serengeti’s popular wildlife species, including the renowned Big Five. After lunch in the crater, you make your way back to Arusha, for a drop off at your hotel or the airport. The only thing left to do is say farewell to your guide and start planning your next safari adventure!

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