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Tanzania Family Safaris

Tanzania is a great choice for a family safari. The big wildlife densities and varied landscapes make it perfect for first-time visitors. Aside from the parks, it is also home to the famous Spice Islands of Zanzibar and Mafia, with their idyllic beaches. Whether you want to do a beach-bush combo or you want to disappear into the wilderness for at least a week, Tanzania is bound to offer an unforgettable experience. It’s even better if you can share the experience with your family. Your kids will love it, but there are a few things to consider when planning a trip to Tanzania with children. Below, some often-asked questions are answered.

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6 Questions About Tanzania Family Safaris

 
 

6 Questions About Tanzania Family Safaris

Answered by Ariadne van Zandbergen

Which Tanzanian parks are most suited for a safari with the family?

“Although the incredible wildlife viewing in the Northern safari circuit is hard to beat, the Southern safari circuit (Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha National Park) is perhaps more suited to children. The proximity to the beaches of Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar make tours of the Southern circuit a great choice for a combined beach-bush holiday. Several Tanzania family safari packages are available at relatively affordable prices. Kids will enjoy the range of activities in Selous. Aside from vehicle-based safaris, boating excursions offer the opportunity to see big croc and hippo from a unique vantage point, which is hugely rewarding. They might enjoy a bit of fishing, too. Ruaha and Selous offer walking safaris and this could be very educational, not to mention exciting, for older teenagers. A night drive in Ruaha is yet another activity to keep the family entertained. The camps in Selous and Ruaha tend to be small, and many have a real bush feel. A couple of days in an authentic tented camp with boma (traditional building) dinners and log fires is an adventure the kids won’t easily forget. ”

1

Is there an age restriction on activities in Tanzanian parks?

“There is no age restriction for most activities available in the parks and reserves (all Tanzanian parks permit children). This includes game drives, night drives and boat safaris. The one exception is walking safaris. Although walking safaris are only available in limited parks, kids have to be over 16 years old to participate. Some lodges have age restrictions as well. If you are traveling with kids, check this before booking. Aside from age restrictions, some lodges are more child-friendly than others. Depending on your children’s ages and personalities, different considerations come into play. You might want to find out, for instance, whether the lodge offers special children’s meals and activities, whether it has wifi or a swimming pool, and whether or not the property is fenced. ”

2

What is the recommended minimum age for children to go on safari?

“Although there is no legal minimum age for children to go on safari with their parents, there are some things to consider. All children are different and there is no general recommended minimum age. As a parent, you know your children best, and you are able to judge what your children are ready for. There is no point paying a lot of money for a holiday that your children are too young to appreciate. Most safaris entail sitting in the car quite a lot. Therefore, I wouldn’t recommend taking toddlers on a safari in Tanzania. Children should have quite a mature attention span and, ideally, a pre-existing interest in nature. As a rule, children that have been exposed to and enjoy bush camping and other such outdoor activities will be ready for a Tanzanian safari at a younger age than children without any such experience or interest. In general, children over about eight years old should gain a lot from a Tanzanian safari if planned carefully. ”

3

Are many of the Tanzanian lodges family-friendly?

“Not all lodges in Tanzania are family-friendly. Many lodges don’t allow kids under six years old and some set the minimum age at 12 years. Even when children are allowed, you might have to book private drives, so your children won’t disturb other guests. However, some lodges market themselves as child-friendly and will have things in place to make travel with kids easier. Even if kids are allowed, there is the cost to consider as well. Traveling with a family is not cheap, but some lodges offer heavily discounted rates for children. Some lodges offer interconnected rooms or special family units. Small concessions, such as flexible dinner times and maybe a separate dining area for families, all indicate a child-friendly environment.”

4

How many days do we need for a family safari in Tanzania?

“I would recommend a family safari of about six to eight days in Tanzania, depending on your children’s age. A safari is likely to be a new experience for your children. As with many new things we embark on, there is a learning curve involved. You need to get into the daily routine of being on safari. I feel it takes a few days to find that rhythm and to settle into a new environment and reality. A safari should be therapeutic and it takes a few days to leave all your worries and everyday stresses behind. Therefore, I would recommend a minimum of six days. Longer is better, but it shouldn’t become stale. Most children have a shorter attention span than adults and the typical safari routine of two daily game drives might bore them after a while. It would be a shame to push your children to the point where their lasting memory is wanting to go home. Rather, leave on a high and plan another trip in the future. ”

5

Is it safe for a family to book a camping safari in Tanzania?

“Tanzania is a very safe and stable country, and if you book with a reputable company, there is little to worry about on a camping safari. You’ll be in good hands, and your professional guide will be responsible for your safety. You’ll be briefed on what to do and what not to do. Note though, that campsites in the parks and reserves are unfenced. Wild animals can walk through camp at night and even during the day. Although incidents with wild animals are almost unheard of, this kind of camping might not be advisable for families with young children. There are many privately owned fenced campsites outside the parks that have facilities more suited for families with smaller kids. ”

6

Tanzania Safari Reviews

4.8/5 1039 Reviews
Expert
Stephen Cunliffe  –  
South Africa ZA

Stephen is a travel writer and avid conservationist whose work appears in prestigious magazines such as Africa Geographic and Travel Africa.

Much More than a Migration Destination
5/5

For me, Tanzania is a country of two halves. Both hemispheres have been richly endowed with natural beauty and plentiful wildlife, but there are some big differences when it comes to the type of safari experience you’re looking for. The...

Full Review

Expert
Mary Fitzpatrick  –  
United States US

Mary is an acclaimed travel writer and author of many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including South Africa, Tanzania, East Africa and Africa.

Tanzania - Classic African Safari Destination
5/5

With its abundant wildlife, excellent species diversity and evocative acacia- and baobab-studded landscapes, Tanzania is one of Africa's most rewarding safari destinations. Most of the country's main parks are easily accessible via paved...

Full Review

Emanuel  –  
Israel IL
Reviewed: Feb 7, 2021
I would highly recommend Friendship Adventure to anyone looking to have an unforgettable trip!
5/5

I have just finished amazing 10 days of safari in Tanzanya.This was my first safari experience in Africa! Everything was wonderful, much better than what I expected! The tour was very well organized by Friendship African Adventures Safaris...

Full Review

ShaNae McCleskey  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Dec 19, 2020
The most eye-opening and life-changing experience I’ve ever had.
5/5

I’m writing this review many years late. But my appreciation for Tanzania, the people I met there, and the wildlife is still a driving force in my life. I went in 2012 and my tour guide on this safari was Loth Kornelio and his team. They...

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DMBT195  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Dec 17, 2020
An Awesome Experience Worth Repeating
5/5

Did a 3D/2N "Camping Safari" that was arranged through Swahili Paradise Tours & Safaris. From start to finish it was an easy process and pleasant experience dealing with everyone from Jimmy to Mashaka, Juma (Driver) and Paul (Chef who made...

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Luna  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Sep 1, 2020
A respite from quarantine
5/5

After a few months of restrictions of our normal activities, we decided to return to our favorite destination, Tanzania. We have traveled with African Big Cats in the past and would not consider traveling with any other tour company....

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