Travelling to Tanzania with your family is an outstanding way to spend quality time with your children, immersed in nature and free from the tyranny of Facebook, Xbox and other evils.
We've brought up our own kids in Africa, guided numerous family safaris over the years and there's no doubt that one of the greatest things you can do is scoop everyone up and take them on safari.
There are plenty of amazing things to do, but here are a couple of our favourites:
Using a private light safari camp to see the Serengeti wildebeest migration - just you, your family, a great guide, private camp and an awful lot of animals
The private house at Lamai - an outstanding small safari lodge tucked into a kopje just a couple of miles from where the migration crosses the Mara River
Take a look at more ideas for family safaris in Africa
Most countries in Africa are great for family safaris and Tanzania is certainly right up there. Huge quantities of big wild animals (always a winner), lots of different things to do (if you pick the right parks and camps), very diverse areas within relatively easy reach and good options for small private camps. Much will depend on the age of your children, but if they're on the young side (less than 10 yrs), then we'd advise that you don't try to do too much with them and plan your safari in bite size chunks so there is always a new excitement around the corner. Better to leave wanting more than wish you'd left earlier.....
Northern Tanzania is a great place to start, its so diverse and relatively easy to plug together all your favourite elements. It can be visited in a safari of around 5 nights (minimum) and with a good guide and a private vehicle in this time you can be fairly certain of seeing most of the major species of mammal. Probably THE most important element if you're with children is that you have a good, patient guide and this is something we will always place a major emphasis on.
Most of the best camps encourage all but the youngest children but some do place age restrictions and if not within the camp itself, these restrictions can apply to participation in some of the key activities. Our job is to plan the best possible options according to specific ages which is key from the very outset.
If you are a family that prefers being out there on your own, or perhaps are planning to travel with another family, then the best possible safari you can have is a private wilderness mobile camp. This is a small highly authentic safari camp, a perfect mix of comfort and excitement - the sort of thing Hemingway would have used - and you can arrange pretty much every aspect of the safari entirely to suit yourselves, whether that be different activities every day, particular meal schedules, the occasional picnic or sundowner, football matches with the camp crew or whatever takes your fancy.
Alternatively if you want to limit the amount of comfort you bestow on your kids, we operate very popular light mobile camping safaris. Small tents, bedrolls or sleeping bags, shared bush facilities and relatively simple food - these camps will move every night or two, being quickly collapsed and packed into the back of the land rover or trailer. There will be a cook along to help with most camp chores but you may be asked to muck in at times, perhaps helping establish camp in the evening or keeping the hot water on tap for 'bucket shower' duty!.
Southern Tanzania is also well worth visiting with children, and the increased flexibility in areas of the Selous can make it a positively electrifying experience for children. Combining gamedrives with some boating, fishing and walking safaris, along with the chance to sleep out under the stars in simple flycamps surrounded by the sounds, sights and smells of the African night makes for memories that will not fade quickly.
For a more detailed review take at a look at our top 5 picks for family safaris in Tanzania or browse some of our sample trips.
Posted by: Alex