The opening scene of The Lion King movie is their first introduction to landscapes like those of the Serengeti for many children — the vast boulder-dotted plains stretching to the horizon, packed with herds of elephant, prowled by lion, and rumbling with the footsteps of wildebeest. That thrilling sense of familiarity is just one of the reasons that makes Tanzania an ideal destination for family safaris.
Where you go depends on what you’re looking for, but all things being equal, I suggest northern Tanzania for most families. This is the classic safari destination and you’ll be able to choose from an excess of camps and lodges set up to welcome children of all ages.
Northern Tanzania is a big place, however, so you’ll spend a lot of time driving (though in a private vehicle). If you have a youngster who won’t deal well with that much time in a vehicle, you might want a briefer safari in southern Tanzania. There, you can visit two enormous and very different parks with few other visitors, and without the need for road journeys. Most visits to the northern part of the country follow a path that starts in Arusha, moves on often via Tarangire or Lake Manyara National Park, to the Ngorongoro Crater, and then the Serengeti. This classic route is well populated with excellent lodges in a range of prices. You’ll have the same driver-guide from the moment you land, including on game drives, making for a more flexible trip. If little legs get restless, your driver can plan in stops. And, if you have a child who’s obsessed with, say, rhino, they’ll tailor your game drives around ensuring maximum rhino sightings — something that’s not really feasible in a shared vehicle. (You’re on your own negotiating between siblings, though.)
DAY 1 – ARRIVAL Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) you will be met by Safari Nuggets representative and transferred to Arusha to recover from your journey. Overnight: Hotel in Arusha 9
DAY 2- TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK This morning you will travel to Tarangire National Park, taking approximately 3-4 hours. Tarangire is a sanctuary for an unusually large elephant population. Majestic baobab trees are an interesting feature of the park. Animals concentrate along the Tarangire River, which provides the only permanent water supply in the area. There is a great diversity of wildlife including lions, leopards, cheetah, and up to six thousand elephants. Enjoy your afternoon game drive. Overnight: Inside Tarangire National Park
DAY 3 – LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK & NGORONGORO CONSERVATION AREA This morning, after breakfast, you will travel for approximately one hour to Lake Manyara National Park. Spend the afternoon on a game drive in Manyara, described as one of the hidden gems of Tanzania. This park is famous for its tree-climbing lions and large herds of elephants, which are not shy to come straight up to the vehicle. After your game drive, travel the short distance to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, taking approximately 2 hours. Overnight: Lodge at Ngorongoro Area
DAY 4 – NGORONGORO CRATER Today you will journey into the heart of this wondrous crater. Spend the full day on the crater floor. Ngorongoro Crater is unique in that almost all the wildlife lives within the crater walls; hence you have the opportunity to find the game easily. Rhinos are seen regularly, as well as prides of lions and other predators like the cheetah. Enjoy lunch by the hippo pond. Overnight: Lodge at Ngorongoro Area
DAYS 5 TO 7 – SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK Begin your journey from Ngorongoro to Serengeti, taking approximately four hours, with the opportunity to stop at Olduvai Gorge on the way. This is one of the most amazing archeological sites in the world. Serengeti is home to millions of wildebeest during the migration and over the huge flat plains you are likely to find lion, cheetah, leopard, hyena and many other small predators. Your guide will choose the best wildlife viewing locations for the time of year. Spend time at the hippo pool, watching these enormous animals laze about in the cool water alongside the crocodiles, watch a lion stalking its prey or be staggered by the scale of the great wildebeest migration. Journey from wide, open plains to the kopjes, volcanic rocky outcrops that provide protection and shelter for a wide variety of animals. This diverse and interesting landscape will provide you with the ultimate in game viewing. Overnight: Inside Serengeti National Park
DAYS 8, 9, 10 & 11 – ZANZIBAR On the morning of day 9 you will be transferred to the Seronera airstrip for your flight to Zanzibar, flying via Arusha. Upon arrival at Zanzibar Airport, you will be met and transferred to your hotel to relax and soak up the sea air! You have four days to enjoy this beautiful island paradise. Enjoy activities such as snorkeling or scuba diving; exploring the history and architecture of Stone Town; kite-surfing; swimming with dolphins; a spice tour; dhow sailing or relaxing on the beach. Your Zanzibar extension can be as active or relaxing as you like. All activities can be arranged through your hotel at an extra cost. Overnight: Hotel in Zanzibar
DAY 12 – DEPARTURE Today you will be transferred back to Zanzibar International Airport in time for your flight.
Prices: Adults (Age 16 and above)-$7,200 per person Children (Age 5 to 15) – $6,200 per child