Family holidays to Tanzania

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Over one third of Tanzania’s under some form of environmental protection; remarkable, considering it’s a developing country. It’s also home to the Serengeti National Park and Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain. Safari areas are divided into northern, southern and western circuits and almost all operators have multi-centre tours incorporating at least one major park. And, thanks to the fame of the Great Migration, Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Kilimanjaro, Tanzania has outstanding family hotels, lodges, camps and eco-resorts.

Why go on holiday in Tanzania

  • Year round flights from London to Kilimanjaro, Dar Es Salaam, Mwanza and Zanzibar.



  • Northern Circuit parks, including Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Tarangire, are open year round for safari holidays.


  • Wide range of small-group and private family safari tours incorporating both northern and southern circuit parks, beach and safari holidays and walk/drive safaris.


  • Good selection of family camp and lodge accommodation from mid-range to luxury.


  • Distinct dry season from June to October and wet season from November to May. Dry season temperatures can reach 35˚ in Dar Es Salaam on the coast but Arusha, Tanzania’s Safari Capital, is significantly cooler with temperatures between 22 and 28˚.


  • Tanzania has seven UNESCO World Heritage sites including: Kilimanjaro; Ngorongoro Crater; the Serengeti; and Zanzibar Stone Town.

  • Over 33% of Tanzania has some form of protected status compared to South Africa’s 9% and Kenya’s 12%. More than 46,000km² of the country’s dedicated to national parks, conservation areas and reserves.

Where to go

Tanzanian safaris aren’t malaria-free and most operators advise against them for very young children and toddlers. All parks are unfenced and you can expect the experience to be significantly wilder than in South Africa or parts of Botswana.

Older children (10 and over) and teenagers get the most out of Tanzania. Visiting in the dry-season (June to October) reduces the malaria risk and several parks have family friendly lodges and hotels ranging from the likes of Four Seasons Serengeti to excellent privately owned camps in Tarangire and Ruaha.

Arusha City

Tanzania’s unofficial ‘Safari Capital’, Arusha’s the hub for famous Northern Circuit parks and the closest city to Kilimanjaro. It’s more functional than attractive and mostly serves as either a base for visiting surrounding reserves or as a starting point for multi-centre safaris taking in north, west and south circuits parks and the coast at Dar Es Salaam and Zanzibar.

  • Arusha’s often called, the Geneva of Africa. Referencing a diplomatic role in several African conflicts, not an aesthetic comparison to the Swiss capital.
  • Overlooked by Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro, good base for climbing holidays.
  • Arusha National Park’s an easy day trip for birdwatching and views of Kilimanjaro.
  • Most UK safari holidays fly into Kilimanjaro Airport, one hour east of Arusha.
  • Within three hours drive of: Tarangire, Ngorongoro, Lake Manyara and Kilimanjaro National Parks.
  • Direct flights to Serengeti and just over three hours drive of Kenya’s Amboseli and Tsavo West parks.
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Serengeti National Park (Northern Circuit)

The world’s most famous safari park is a UNESCO World Heritage site and known for the Great Migration between late January and August.

  • A mix of grassy plains to the south and hillier in the north, Serengeti has the best wildlife viewing in Africa.
  • Every year over 2 million wildebeest and zebra migrate across Serengeti to the Masai Mara in south west Kenya during the Great Migration.
  • High chance of lion, elephant, buffalo, leopard, but rhino sightings are rare.
  • Serengeti’s visited all year round, most crowded between June and August and has best weather conditions from June to October.
  • Good range of luxury and mid-range lodges and camps, particularly in the northern Seronera area.
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Ngorongoro Crater National Park (Northern Circuit)

Another UNESCO World Heritage site, Ngorongoro is a stunning setting thanks to a serious of enormous volcanic craters. The Big Five are guaranteed here and it’s a leading park for predators.

  • Mid-range and luxury lodges sitting on the crater rim are a unique feature of Ngorongoro safari holidays.
  • Ngorongoro has several Masai Cultural Bomas
  • One of the top Tanzanian parks for spotting Black Rhino, huge flocks of Flamingo on Lake Magadi and impressive elephant herds.
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Tarangire National Park (Northern Circuit)

One of the best dry-season northern circuit parks, Tarangire River attracts large herds of elephants and migrating wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala and gazelle.

  • Excellent park for mid-range family camps and lodges.
  • Tarangire is the greenest northern circuit park and famous for it’s enormous, dramatic Baobab trees.
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Ruaha National Park (Southern Circuit)

Remote Ruaha isn’t the park for young kids. But, large prides of lions, rare wild dogs and an uncrowded and wildly beautiful landscape will appeal to adventurous, eco-conscious teenagers.

  • Best visited during the dry-season when the Great Ruaha River attracts hordes of wildlife.
  • Top park for big cats, rare antelope and wild dogs.
  • Ruaha has quite an exclusive reputation and lodges and camps here are all in the luxury bracket.
  • A range of experiences including guided walking safaris are available in Ruaha.
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Gombe National Park (Western Circuit)

Gombe is world famous for Chimpanzees, first recorded here by Jane Goodall in the mid-20thcentury. The primates are well established and close encounters are common in this remarkable park.

  • Hiking safaris are part of the unique Gombe experience.
  • Several other primate species co-exist with the chimpanzees in Gombe including Olive Baboons and Red Colobus monkeys.
  • Gombe’s accommodation is limited in the park but several operators include the park in small-group and private family safaris.
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In the Indian Ocean to the east of Tanzania, Zanzibar’s an idyllic end to a family safari. An exotic spice island with all the beaches, blue-green seas and lush beauty of the Seychelles or Maldives, it’s infinitely more interesting and historic than either.

  • Under two hours flight from Serengeti and just over 45 minutes from southern circuit parks.
  • Lively Zanzibar town is a colourful, bustling contrast to idyllic beaches and where to find UNESCO World Heritage Stone Town.
  • 40km wide and 100km long, Zanzibar has only five main roads, a scattering of villages and almost no development outside Zanzibar Town.
  • Gorgeous beachfront resorts are the island’s signature. Look at hotels in Pongwe and Kiwengwa to the east and Matemwe in the north east.
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What to do

  • Mount Kilimanjaro Western Approach
    This guided climb to the summit of Kilimanjaro takes nine days, includes high-altitude acclimatisation and is designed for families with children over 12 years. The route’s one of the least crowded and loveliest on the world’s tallest freestanding mountain.
  • Masai Cultural Bomas, Ngorongoro Crater
    Masai Bomas are traditional communities and welcome guests to visit, learn about their way of life, customs and culture.
  • Stone Town, Zanzibar
    Stone Town is the heart of ancient Zanzibar Town and where to discover its dark past as an 18thcentury slave trading port.
  • Momella Lake Canoe Safaris, Arusha National Park
    Little Momella Lake is one of the easiest spots for a short two to three hour guided canoe safari with kids. High chance of spotting giraffe, hippo and buffalo.
  • Jane Goodall Chimpanzee Trek, Gombe National Park
    Four day guided tour trekking Gombe in the footsteps of Jane Goodall who first researched the Chimpanzees in this remarkable park. Suitable for kids of 15 and over.
  • Serengeti Balloon Safari
    Seeing wildlife roaming across the vast, unbroken grasslands of the Serengeti from a hot-air balloon is one of Tanzania’s most thrilling adventures.
  • Kichaka Safari Camp, Ruaha National Park
    Kichaka Safari Camp operates traditional jeep safaris but also specialises in walking and fly-camps. Sleeping in fly-tents on a guided trek in this unspoiled park is an unforgettable experience with teenagers.
  • Chumbe Island, Zanzibar
    Privately owned Chumbe Island is a short sail from Zanzibar and part of the protected Chumbe Island Coral Park. Chumbe Island Lodge is a non-profit conservation project and welcomes children as guests.
  • The Great Migration, Serengeti
    At the peak of the Great Migration over the Mara River, the Serengeti seethes with wildebeest and attendant wildlife as far as the eye can see. It’s one of the Wonders of the Natural World and Tanzania’s iconic safari experience.
  • Meserani Snake Park, Arusha
    An excellent, fund and well managed park where kids can see, touch and find out about snakes from the world’s most deadly to the entirely harmless. There are several culture tours and exciting outdoor adventure experiences too. Safari tourism here supports a free education facility for the Masai and a free health centre treating up to 1000 patients every month.

Educational value for kids

  • Mix cultural tours in with wildlife experiences in Tanzania; fascinating for kids and supports traditional communities and lifestyles.
  • Rubondo Island just off the south west shores of enormous Lake Victoria is one of Tanzania’s most successful bird and wildlife sanctuaries. Short stays on the island with kids can be arranged independently or as part of a tour.
  • Several of the Masai Bomas in Ngorongoro National Park are women’s co-operatives supported by traditional arts and crafts.
  • Take a tour of UNESCO World Heritage Stone Town with a local guide; a combo of entertainment and education.
  • Safari in Tanzania’s very real and prepping kids for normal predatory events is always a plan.
  • Zanzibar’s a mix of many cultures (the Sultanate of Oman decamped here for a time in the 19th century), it’s also deeply and traditional Swahili; just walking around is a default history lesson.
  • Spend some time finding out about Tanzanian’s indigenous communities and ways your safari can directly and positively contribute to conservation and protection. Many safari companies now support local environmental, social and cultural initiatives.

Getting around with kids in Tanzania

Family safari holidays with everything, from transport to park passes, accommodation and experiences, included is by far the safest and easiest way to see Tanzania with kids. Self-drive holidays can be arranged, but their success depends on the weather and how confident you are travelling independently. Tanzanian’s are friendly and hospitable, wonderful with kids and you’ll be welcome almost everywhere you go. Always be aware that parks and reserves are unfenced and children should never be left without adult supervision at any time.

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