Planning a family safari in Tanzania
Planning a family safari in Tanzania
Tanzania Safari With Kids
While family safaris in Kenya may be more common than in Tanzania, the abundance of wildlife in Tanzania means you’re bound to see the Big Five (always a hit with kids.) Serengeti National Park and Ngoronogoro Crater (particularly the crater floor) teeming with wildlife, and the country’s coral reefs and long coastline – not to mention wonderful Zanzibar – make Tanzania a great choice for a family safari destination.
How do I plan a family safari in Tanzania?
Before you get into the nitty gritty, it’s important to know a few basic truths about family safaris in Tanzania. First, most tented camps, safari camps, and safari lodges have age restrictions and will only allow kids of a minimum age, which is usually anywhere from 8-12 years old. This, of course, is due to the safety considerations with proximity to local wildlife in any given national park on a Tanzania safari.
Second, it’s important to work with a locally-based tour operator with first-hand knowledge of Tanzania so that all of your family’s special requests and unique needs during safari activities can be seamlessly taken care of. You may want to do a little preliminary research on family safaris to find out which lodges have the most experience working in family travel and with children on safari.
For example, some safari lodges have swimming pools, which can be a fun activity when you aren’t out in the African bush. You want your children to have the best experience possible seeing wild animals in the bush for the first time as well as opportunities to visit with the local community.
When is the best time of year to go on a family safari in Tanzania?
The best time to visit Tanzania is during the dry season, which runs from late June to October, when it’s easier to spot wildlife on safari drives. National parks are busy then, but the weather is fantastic and game viewing for big cats, elephants, giraffe and other animals is at its peak. Consider taking your Tanzania family safari during this time. The wildebeest migration in the Serengeti is usually during June and July and the best time to see the wildebeest calving is late January to February. While spotting smaller mammals has its own unique thrill, taking children to see the great migration is simply jaw-dropping.
What is the cost of a family safari in Tanzania?
The cost of a Tanzania family safari varies depending on whether or not you are willing to include other guests in your vehicle. If you choose to take game drives with other guests staying at your lodge, this could save you money. If you opt for a private safari with a private vehicle, where it’s only you and your family on game drives, you will pay for that privacy. Safaris can range from $200 per person, per day to upwards of $1,000 per person, per day. Natural World Kenya Safaris can work with just about any family size and any budget.
Is it safe to travel to Tanzania with kids?
While Tanzania may seem intimidating for traveling with kids, overall it is a safe destination as long you practice common sense. There are some health concerns, and you’ll need to check with your doctor about recommended vaccinations and use of malarial prophylactics. It’s essential to bring long-sleeved shirts, pants and socks for dawn and dusk and always use mosquito repellent.
However, for families with a sense of adventure, a safari in Tanzania is well worth the time, effort, and cost. Your vacation will include wildlife, beaches, friendly people and excellent weather and you’re bound to have an unforgettable safari experience.
Best parks to visit in Tanzania with kids
Tanzania is home to some of Africa’s best known wildlife reserves. Serengeti National Park, Tarangire National Park, and the Ngorongoro Crater offer frequent sightings of wildlife. Often, these encounters include the Big Five and usually at close range which is naturally a hit with kids. Inside the Ngorongoro Crater, a world of wonder awaits children as they may encounter a world-famous population of lion with about 50 lion spread across three or four prides.
Kids might also see more than 200 elephants and nearly 600 spotted hyena, as well as wildebeest, buffalo, zebra, golden and black-backed jackals, hippos, and flamingos. The greatest reward, however, is a cherished group of approximately 30 critically endangered black rhinos.
It’s always a good idea to choose family friendly lodges or a safari camp with a swimming pool where the kids can play and expend their energy between game drives. Alternatively, base yourself outside the park at a hotel or lodge with large grounds for running around. Alternating afternoon game drives with cultural tours, night drives, and other activities is a great way to keep the kids entertained and occupied.