Tanzania is a beautiful country with various game reserves and parks that offer fascinating safari experiences. If you are looking for a vacation with your family, a Tanzania safari is excellent.
When traveling with children, safari options are abundant, and there are a lot of family-friendly activities. Tanzania has a variety of national parks, each with its draws. Whether you are traveling with young children or teenagers, we’re sure there’s a safari for you.
Although Africa is excellent year-round, there are some factors to consider when planning your vacation. We’ve given some pointers on the best time for African safaris, where to stay, and fun things to do.
Where to Stay During Your Safari
Tanzania offers a diverse and varied accommodation profile, no matter your family’s needs. From camping in the plains of the Serengeti to having your private pool, Tanzania has everything.
If your family has a thirst for adventure, camping is an excellent option for you. Another budget-friendly option is tented camps and lodges outside park boundaries. With these lodges, you will have to travel a little more than staying within the parks.
Sometimes family vacations call for a bit of splurging. If you can afford it, a fantastic option is luxury accommodation. With luxury accommodation, you are provided with air-conditioned rooms with TVs, a swimming pool (some places offer private pools) and a safe.
Tip: For more accommodation options, check out this guide on Tanzania safari lodges.
Best Places for Family Safaris in Tanzania
If you want a vacation in Tanzania, family safaris offer a wild adventure that will certainly keep boredom at bay. Picking a game reserve to visit can be difficult, but the country has various options to suit your needs. Whether you travel to north or south Tanzania, here are a few of the top-rated places to consider.
Serengeti National Park
Touted as the home of the Great Migration, Serengeti National Park is Tanzania’s biggest game reserve. This park is split into different regions, each with its highlights.
The Ndutu region, for example, is home to the annual calving season. The Seronera region is popular among visitors who want to see big cats.
During July and August, the Northern Serengeti is popular as this is when the Mara River crossing portion of the Wildebeest Migration occurs.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Home to the Ngorongoro Crater, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, is renowned for its rhinoceros population. The crater formed when the cone of an extinct volcano collapsed inward.
The result is that the area now boasts immense biodiversity with various wildlife like buffalo, hyenas, elephants, and lions. Since the area is primarily open grassland, it is the perfect place for a family safari in Tanzania.
Selous Game Reserve
Also known as Nyerere National Park, Selous Game Reserve is located in southern Tanzania and is perfect if you want a quieter safari with children. The game reserve was declared a World Heritage Site in 1982 because of its untouched nature and diverse wildlife.
Selous Game Reserve offers ample opportunities for animal viewing, like taking a game drive or cruising along the river. If you have children 15 years or older, you can take a walking tour of the reserve.
Ruaha National Park
Ruaha National Park is also another superb option if you are looking for a game reserve with fewer tourists. It is worth visiting if you are looking for a remote place in Tanzania for kids. The savannah is a beautiful gold color in the dry season and is covered with baobabs.
You are sure to find impala, waterbuck, and gazelle at the riverbanks, and, if you are lucky, you might witness a lioness hunting.
Lake Manyara National Park
This is one of the game reserves that is best to visit during the rainy season as its waters are at their peak. Many hippos and flamingos come to the lake to cool off and stay hydrated.
The park is also home to 400 species of birds and the famous tree-climbing lions. It is also one of the few game reserves that allow night drives. If your kids like nocturnal critters, this is worth checking out.
Tarangire National Park
This game reserve is one of Tanzania’s most unique national parks as it is the home of the great baobab trees. Tarangire also has the largest elephant population in Northern Tanzania.
The best time to visit the park is during the dry season. Animals gather along the Tarangire river banks, which increases your chances of spotting giraffes, elephants, lions, and other wildlife.
Tarangire is also one of the best for birdwatching as over 500 species of birds fly over the park. This can be pretty entertaining for younger children as they can count how many different birds they can spot.
A trip to Zanzibar is a perfect end to your Tanzania safari vacation. Nothing beats a few days of family time at the beach. It gives the little ones the opportunity to splash around in the sparkling waters while adults relax with a good book.
Tanzania has various options for beaches to visit. Some of the best include Paje, Bwejuu, and Kizimkazi. Zanzibar’s sandy shores are some of the most beautiful in the world. It’s the cherry on top of a perfect family experience.
Fun Family Activities in Tanzania
Safaris are more than driving around and watching animals. Most game reserves offer different fun activities for travelers of any age. Below are some of the best options in Tanzania for kid-friendly adventures.
Game drives are a fantastic option if you’re on a safari with children. Both the Serengeti and Ngorongoro game drives allow you to view the animals from the safety of a 4×4.
The parks also offer activities that appeal to people of all ages. In some instances, people can interact with the community and learn more about their culture.
Camping Under The Stars
If you are a family of adventurers, the thought of camping under the stars is a compelling one. This is also a fantastic activity if you want to travel on a budget.
Campsites are public with communal kitchen and bathroom facilities, but some private camping sites at a higher cost if you’d prefer.
Fishing And Canoeing
Selous Game Reserve offers fishing and canoeing for older children. It’s an excellent way to add variety to your safari with kids. You can spend the afternoon on one of the lakes or patrol along the sandbanks of the Rufiji River.
Both the lakes and rivers are home to catfish and Africa’s greatest freshwater fish, the tiger fish. The latter is a highly sought fish as it’s pretty fierce with its razor-sharp teeth.
Warning: This activity is not recommended for children younger than 15 years old as the fish are aggressive.
Animal Tracker Training
Some Tanzania family tours offer a lesson on tracking from an experienced guide. During this lesson, you are taught the difference between animal footprints. The guide also teaches you and your children how to identify different types of scat and certain plant species.
Tracker training is lovely if you have kids that love animals and want to learn more about them, what they eat and how they roam their natural habitats. It also enhances your safari experience as you know which animals are common in certain areas.
Another great activity to get the kids moving is archery lessons. A trained askari (watchman) teaches you how to shoot a traditional Ikoma bow and arrow. The Ikoma tribe is known for its hunting skills.
Tip: If you are worried about injury, your kids will be given a point-free arrow to use for the lessons.
After the demonstration, the children can compete and see who has the best aim. Parents and adults are also encouraged to join in the fun and try it.
Archery is a great activity if you want your kids to be active while on vacation while still having fun.
Take a Balloon Adventure
Experience the Serengeti from a different perspective with an air balloon safari. It is quiet, and you get to see the animals from a bird’s eye view. If your children love flying, this is an excellent way to break up the monotony of game drives while still seeing the Serengeti’s wildlife.
Head out on a sunrise balloon excursion and watch the wildebeest gallop as the morning greets you. After your descent, you can enjoy a delicious breakfast while recounting everything you saw.
The Serengeti balloon ride is one of the best Tanzanian family tours in the country. This adventure makes for a perfect family safari activity and is something everyone will remember for a long time.
A Footnote on Family Safaris Tanzania
Tanzania is a fantastic destination for a memorable family vacation. This Tanzania safari review should get you started with your planning.
Nothing beats seeing Africa’s wildlife in person, and you should share this life-changing experience with your loved ones. So don’t hesitate to book your Tanzania safari. A family vacation in Africa will be a once-in-a-lifetime trip for all.
For more inspiration and planning tips, have a look at this exciting Tanzania safari itinerary.