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Safari with kids in Tanzania

If you have kids, you have surely looked at some picture books with African animals at some point. Wouldn’t it be amazing to see these animals in their natural habitat? Not only your little ones are dreaming about that, but probably also you, right? 😉 However, going to Tanzania on a safari with your kids might cause you some worries and let us tell you: you are not alone! After all, you’ll be in a country far far away with wild animals roaming around closeby, wherever you are.

So it’s no surprise that we often get asked: “Is it even possible to go on a safari in Tanzania with kids?” We can tell you: yes, it is! And it’s much easier than you might think. In this article our experienced travel consultant Julia Trento shares some insights, tips and tricks for your family vacation in Tanzania. Spoiler alert: seeing the Big Five with your own eyes will leave you, your kids and even your teens in awe – and we all know how hard it can be to impress them.

 

 

How old should kids be for a safari?

There is no minimum age to enter Tanzanian national parks. And it gets better: as long as your kids are under the age of 15, you even pay a lower entry fee for them. Is it a sign? We think so! But let’s hear what Julia recommends.

“You as parents know your kids the best. When it comes to accommodation, we work with partners who are accustomed to kids. You need an extra bed for kids of any age? Simply book it on top. You want to enjoy one or two hours by yourself? Some lodges in Tanzania even offer childcare services with great programmes for the older kids!’

But just to give you an idea: most families who book a family-friendly safari with us have kids who are at least six years old. If you think that your kid is still a little to young for a safari, have a look at a holiday on Zanzibar, a paradisiac island just off the Tanzanian coast. Or you simply wait one, two or three more years – Tanzania will be waiting for you.

It’s all about the right preparation

Of course there are a lot of things to organize when travelling with children.

“If you plan a family holiday in Tanzania with toddlers and your kids, best check with your doctor or health office regarding recommended vaccinations and medication. It’s also advisable to take out an additional Flying Doctors insurance. If something happens (knock on wood it won’t), a helicopter can transport you to the nearest hospital straight away.”

On top of that, Julia has another good tip for travelling families: “Best book an accommodation with a swimming pool so that the kids can have some fun after the game drives – and you as well.”

And what about packing? It only needs a good system 😉 “Since you change accommodation several times, packing can become really annoying at some point. I recommend you already pick out the outfits at home and pack them into the suitcase as a set – underwear, socks, t-shirt, trousers, skirt, jumper, etc. If you stack all of these clothes on top of each other and then roll them up, you can save a lot of space. This way, you can simply take out the next outfit each morning, wrinkle-free! Put the dirty clothes in a separate bag, done!”

5 tips for the perfect child-friendly safari

No matter if the Serengeti or the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Lake Manyara or Arusha National Park – it only takes a few little things to make your family safari unforgettable.

“We want to make sure that you can travel comfortably with your kids, for example with booster seats that can be rented for the cars. The safari jeeps are often also equipped with a fridge for milk etc. and if you let us know special dietary wishes of your little ones beforehand, we can accommodate them as well.”

On top of that Julia has five more tips for a hassle-free safari for the whole family:

1. Bring some toys or order Wi-Fi in the car in case your kids get a little bored.

2. Bring snacks and drinks, or order special snacks and drinks with us, so that no one of you gets hangry during the adventure.

3. Always have some baby wipes at hand.

4. Diaper bags are handy if you have to change diapers but don’t have a bin somewhere close.

5. Don’t forget sunscreen and insect repellant – that’s always important, no matter if you travel with or without kids 😉

 

What other families say

Willemijn de Vrieze went on a safari with her two kids Michiel and Jeroen (four and two years old).

“What I really like about the Tanzanian culture is that everyone is so kind to the kids and takes care of them. Everybody speaks to them, help at the pool or in the restaurant and sings with them. It’s always fun and never gets boring. And everyone knows that travelling with kids can be a challenge, so everyone is extremely helpful.

Michiel and Jeroen had so much fun spotting and identifying the animals in the wild and were so proud when they saw another one. Rama, our guide, stopped immediately when he saw a fascinating animal. At some point Michiel even said: okay thanks, Rama, we can go on now!”.

And what about older kids and teenagers?

Everything up to this point also applies for travelling to Africa with older kids or teenagers (except the diaper bag). Of course you can, and should, go on a safari with them as well, but there are also many other activities they will surely like. These are our top three:

1. Rundugai Hot Springs

These natural hot springs between Arusha and Moshi are the perfect spot for your kids. They can jump into the crystal blue water with a rope, relax in a tube and take countless pictures in, under and at the water. Instagrammable? 100%!

2. Walking Safari

If a typical safari is “too boring” for your teens, they can also join an experienced guide on a walking safari, diving even deeper into nature and getting even closer to the wild animals. Now there’s something they can tell their friends after the holidays.

3. Kendwa Full Moon Party

If your kids are somewhat older and you want to include a trip to Zanzibar in your family vacation, head up north during a full moon and let them go to the Kendwa Full Moon Party… with you of course – they’re going to love you (even more!).

 

Our guides are already looking forward

Joshua Mbaga, one of our German- and English-speaking guides, says: “I really love taking families on a safari since I get along super well with kids. And the feeling is mutual: I have been working for Tanzania Specialist for four years and have received only good reviews from the little ones, my biggest critics. I think it’s really cool and fun to tell kids gripping stories about nature, the Big Five and of course lion cubs, just as in the Lion King.”

Our German-speaking guide, Timothy Kinango Msuya, agrees: “Kids are little angels. I also have kids myself and to me it’s a lot of fun going on safaris with my youngest guests. Even if there are some challenges here and there – we all know what it can be like. I love them and travelling with families is the favourite part of my job. I don’t see any difficulty going on a safari with kids, quite the contrary: it’s a blessing for me having the opportunity to show them my country.”

Kinder beim BBQ im Busch auf Safari in Tansania

We hope that we could shed a light on family safaris in Tanzania. If you want more info on what your itinerary could look like, have a look at our family-friendly trips and get in touch as soon as you have picked a favourite. We cannot wait to organize everything for just the way you like it and make your family’s dreams come true.

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