Tanzania family safari

Tanzania is one of the greatest wildlife destinations on earth. The majesty of the Serengeti and the splendour of the Ngorongoro Crater would be tremendous without the extraordinary concentration of animals. But the combination of wildlife and spectacular natural beauty makes a Tanzania family safari a winner with all age groups, including grandparents.

Serengeti smile - two boys having fun on a Tanzania family safari

The grassy plains of the Serengeti.

Nothing can prepare you and the children for your first glimpse of a lion as it hunts its prey, or a herd of elephant as they drink from a watering hole. Solitary acacia trees provide a backdrop to graceful giraffe as they feed on the top branches and lumbering rhino munch their way through low shrubs. Tanzania is such a rewarding country for a family holiday.

Leopard, zebra, buffalo, wildebeest are all found here, together with a huge variety of species of deer, birds and smaller mammals. The landscape rises into the rocky escarpment of the Great Rift Valley and then to the snow-capped peak of Mount Kilimanjaro. There are also game-rich rainforests in the south of the country with both the Selous and Ruaha national parks offering families a true wilderness experience.

Lastly there is Zanzibar, the spice island of legend, with its gorgeous white sandy beaches and a melting pot of Arab, African, European and Indian cultures. It provides the perfect place to round off a Tanzania family safari and is guaranteed to delight the kids.

Young girl learning to make fire on a Tanzania family safari

Learning Bushman skills on a Tanzania family safari

Why take the kids?

Provided that the itinerary includes plenty of non-vehicle based activities to complement the game-viewing, children will love everything about a Tanzania family safari. It is tremendously exciting and you will never see your children as quiet as when the ranger tells them that they need to be silent so as to approach a pride of lion. They will become quickly adept at identifying all the different species and particularly at catching glimpses of the magical big-five (lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo, elephant). Adult vision quickly seems second rate compared to the eagle eyes of your children!

Some of our reasons for choosing a family safari in Tanzania include:

  1. World-class game viewing in beautiful surroundings
  2. Get up-close-and-personal with (safe!) animals on walking safaris
  3. Iconic national parks that the children will remember for ever
  4. Cookery lessons, bike and tuk tuk rides, waterfall walks, village visits
  5. A wide range of attractive child-friendly lodges and tented camps
  6. Learn to track rhino or follow elephant spoor
  7. Swap stories around the camp fire at night, under the stars
  8. Palm-fringed Indian Ocean beaches, perfect for post safari R&R
  9. Zanzibar, the fabled Spice Island of legend

Will all children enjoy a Tanzania family safari?

It is important to give careful consideration as to whether your children are old enough to enjoy a safari. Tanzania is not a cheap destination and you want to be sure that all members of the family will get the most out of their holiday. After all, what parent wants to be asked the dreaded ‘are we nearly there yet?’ just when you are watching a lion stalk its prey?!

There is no simple rule as to what age children need to be to enjoy a safari as this very much depends from one child to the next. However, we generally would not recommend a safari to families travelling with children aged 3 and under as they may struggle with the length of time in the safari vehicle. And of course, once you are out in the middle of a national park there isn’t the scope to stop and let younger ones run around to stretch their legs!

Children aged 4-7 are also, in most cases, probably still a bit on the young side to really enjoy a safari but there are definite exceptions. Some children in this age group find a safari completely thrilling and will be glued to the guidebooks trying to ‘tick off’ the different species and soaking up weird and wonderful information about different animal behaviours.

From 8 upwards, a safari is almost always a hit!

For all families we will be careful to recommend accommodation that we think will suit. This might mean staying in a lodge for a few days with that all important swimming pool, and then moving from here to a remote tented camp where you will go to sleep at night listening to the sounds of the wild. It might also mean selecting camps that have a range of activities for children, whether these are low-key (eg having a few board games and the option for an early child-friendly dinner) or more formal, such as organised tracking lessons during the heat of the day.

To discuss whether a Tanzania family safari would be suitable for your family do please give us a call. You may also find our Family safari blog helpful.

Young boy looks across the plains in the Serengeti on a Tanzania family safari

Scanning the horizon for some wildlife action

Is a Tanzania family safari safe for children?

Seeing lion, buffalo and hippo up close sounds wonderfully exciting, but in the back of most parent’s minds is the tentative question as to whether it is really safe to be quite so close to wild animals.

Fortunately, it is. All camps and lodges in Tanzania have strict safety controls, including regular patrols by trained safari staff. There are also strict safety guidelines, which apply in many camps. For example, guests must keep on the camp paths and cannot walk around after dark unless escorted by a member of staff. Safety is of utmost importance and good practice will be explained to you all on arrival.

When out and about on safari, it is of course imperative that the children don’t get out of the vehicle at any point. If anyone needs a toilet stop the driver will find a safe place to pull over (which may take a few minutes). This will usually be a wide open space so you may only have the vehicle to hide behind, but it means that the driver will have a good view of any nearby game and can be sure it is safe.

Example Tanzania family itineraries

All of our itineraries are bespoke which means that they are tailor-made for your own specific family, taking into account the ages of your children, your interests, your budget and so on.

However, to give you an idea of what you could do on a family safari in Tanzania, have a look at our example itinerary, Tanzania Safari & Beach. For those seeking a challenge we can also arrange for you to conquer Africa’s highest peak on our Kilimanjaro Family Climb itinerary.

Also check out some of the other places that you might like to visit on your trip and if you need further inspiration have a look at our Tanzania photo gallery.

Lastly, don’t forget to check what the weather will be like at the time that you want to travel. Or simply give us a ring and we’ll be delighted to advise you on the best Tanzania holiday for your family.


Call us and we will be happy to provide you with a free-of-charge no obligation itinerary and quotation designed for you.

01728 752751

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