Tanzania is a very child friendly and makes a great safari destination for families. A safari to the African wilderness of Tanzania can be the single most rewarding family vacation experience. The educational opportunities and enriching activities are endless. The guides and lodge staff love children and they will receive lots of extra attention and careful looking after. However, special consideration must be given to safety when traveling with young children. Please note that many safari lodges and camps are not fenced and that wildlife does move freely in and around these areas. Under no circumstances should you let your child wander alone or out of your sight. When traveling with children it is important to follow the safety instructions of your guide and from the lodge and camp staff with regard to moving to and from your tent and while on wildlife game drives. You should not move to and from your tent/room during the night without being escorted. Some specific recommendations to make your family safari more rewarding are noted below:
- Diversify your safari experience with cultural activities including visiting a Maasai village and a local Tanzanian school (come prepared with school supplies) along with traditional wildlife game drives. It’s an enlightening experience for children to see how other children live including both the Maasai and rural children.
- Incorporate educational nature walks guided by traditional Maasai warriors where kids can track footprints and learn about the little things like dung beetles and various medicinal plants.
- Plan a diverse itinerary including lodges with swimming pools and try to group lodges in two night bundles where feasible. One or two nights private camping makes a wonderful family experience with roaring campfires, bush dinners and thrilling nocturnal sounds. We do recommend our private luxury camp for young children, as the bathrooms are ensuite.
- Zanzibar makes a great post safari extension including some time on the beach and a historical and cultural walking tour of ancient Stone Town.
- Have your driver-guide teach a few Swahili words each day.
- Please let us know any special dietary requirements in advance. We recommend to pack snacks and other comfort foods to supplement meals and they also come in handy on longer game drives. Some suggestions include granola bars, trail mix, crackers, candy, nuts and fruit rolls. Additionally, you can purchase chips, candy bars and crackers at the various ranger stations and visitors centers throughout the national park system.
- Bring small games like hand held video games, walkmans and other items to pass the time in transit.
- Dehydration and sunburns can be a problem so make sure they drink lots of water and use ample amounts of sun block
- Walkie-talkies (two-way radios) are a good idea to keep in contact between rooms and tents.
- Request adjoining rooms and family suites. Mbalageti Safari Camp (ideal for a family of four) offers the best family suite with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, dinning room and a family room with TV.
- Its good idea for each child to have their own camera and binoculars as this makes things more interesting and interactive.
- Provide each child with an animal checklist (see the ADS animal checklist) to record their sightings including the animal names in Swahili.
- Buy field guides and other safari related books (see the ADS reading list)
Africa Dream Safaris is proud to offer the JUNIOR GAME RANGER CHALLENGE to all our young guests. This program is full of exciting games and activities designed to enhance your child's safari experience - inspiring and educating them along the way!Learn about it HERE!