Children on Tanzania Safari
children on tanzania safari

What age can you take a child on safari?

Many people ask us the appropriate age for taking Children on Tanzania Safari. Giving a blanket answer to this question is difficult, as it is very personal to each parent. Generally speaking, if your child can sit in a car for a few hours, you should have no problem taking them on a family safari.

A baby or toddler on a safari holiday

Though it’s not common to see babies or young kids on safari, we have taken them on safari in Tanzania ever since they were 3 or 4 months old! A safari is fine if a younger child still sleeps a lot along the way. Our personal experience is that a baby bumps along with the cadence of the car and falls asleep. We can always ensure we provide a suitable car seat during our consultation with you to plan the trip. The slightly more challenging years are when a child no longer sleeps en route but isn’t quite aware of their environment. As a parent, you are sometimes multitasking: enjoying the safari on the one hand and entertaining your child on the other. Even then, in our experience, everyone in the family quickly adjusts to the rhythm of a safari, and you can all get together in a certain flow.

A safari holiday when kids are 5 or older

Going on a safari becomes much easier with children as soon as primary school is in sight. In fact, a safari can be wonderful and also a very educational experience for them. To quote some of our younger guests—aged five and six—going on safari is “super cool.” Our kids LOVE it, and even though they go a few times yearly, it never gets boring. They always discover new environments and learn new things about nature and animals.

Curious to find out more about a family holiday to Tanzania? Have a look at our example itinerary for a family safari to Tanzania.

A Safari with kids. Where to go?

Children on Tanzania Safari, Every travel guide will tell you that the Ngorongoro Crater is also called the world’s eighth wonder. Every brochure will tell you that Zanzibar has the most magnificent beaches, but if you want to know which rocks lions prefer for their afternoon naps, or which palm tree offers the best shade to enjoy a drink from a coconut? To find out, you must turn to locals who know the country like the back of their hands – locals like us. What’s more, we have children too. We know what children want and where to find them “Timothy” and “Pumba” from Lion King Animation.

Top 10 Facts and Tips while Travelling with Children to Tanzania Safari

1. Book early

One of the first things you need to think about when planning an African safari with young children is that family suites and rooms are limited. So if you’re after a family villa or interconnected rooms, book as early as possible, particularly during the peak safari season.

Consider a lodge with air conditioning so your young adventurers have somewhere comfortable to nap during the heat of the day and a swimming pool to splash around in if you want room to move and space to prepare your snacks, look for suites with a kitchenette equipped with a fridge and microwave for warming up bottles.

2. Don’t move around too much

A classic Tanzania safari often involves a couple of nights at one lodge before moving to another for a few nights. But if you’re travelling with young kids, you might want to consider staying in one place that is suitable as a base to help minimise the disruption of having to pack/unpack multiple times and transfer long distances by road or air.

If you want some variety, consider adding a beach vacation at the end of your Tanzania safari holiday in somewhere like Zanzibar. You can kick back and relax for a few days. You don’t have to worry about the early mornings and late nights of being on safari, and there are plenty of resorts with kids’ clubs and babysitters available.

3. Check the lodge or camp’s age restrictions

If you have got your heart set on a particular lodge or camp, check whether they have any age restrictions for children. Some accommodations are adult-only, while others will allow children over a certain age. In addition, some will permit younger children to stay but have age restrictions on activities they can do, such as walking safaris. So make sure you’re crystal clear about the rules in place to avoid disappointment on arrival.

4. Find out whether you’ll be in a malaria-affected area

Another consideration before booking a Tanzania safari package is whether it involves staying or travelling through malaria-affected areas. Some toddlers and babies may not be able to take malaria prophylactics, so travelling in malaria zones must be avoided at all costs. You must also chat with your doctor about any other vaccinations you may need before travelling to East Africa and whether your children are old enough to have them administered safely.

5. Consider whether the lodge is fenced in

Remember that being on a safari often means being immersed in the wild, with animals (including predators) roaming freely around you. If you’re travelling with young children, it’s essential that you stay in a lodge or camp that is fully fenced to ensure no animals can wander in during the day or at night. This will limit where you can stay but it’s much better to be safe than sorry!

6. Look for lodges and camps with kids’ clubs and/or babysitters

Some lodges and camps have been designed specifically with families in mind and include facilities designed to make the safari experience as easy on parents as possible. Look for lodges and camps that have kids’ clubs or run child-specific activities, such as arts and crafts or short nature walks. They may also offer professional babysitters who can keep an eye on your young ones while you’re out on game drives.

Remember that most properties won’t have television and Wi-Fi can sometimes be limited, so activities other than watching/streaming children’s TV shows must be considered.

7. Drive rather than fly

Flying with toddlers and babies can be challenging at the best of times, but it’s even more difficult on light aircraft that are unpressurised and cramped. These aircraft are also more susceptible to turbulence, which can result in motion sickness, and they will sometimes take off and land multiple times to collect other guests en route to your destination.

So if possible, drive to your lodge or camp, rather than fly. This will give you space to spread out and stop whenever you need, as well as allowing you to bring all the essential gear that children require, without being limited by the (very small) light aircraft baggage allowances. If you do decide to fly, remember that you’ll need to squeeze all your nappies, formula and baby clothing into a soft duffel-style bag that can easily fit into the aircraft’s small baggage compartment.

8. Book a private game-drive vehicle

This decision might be made for you, with many lodges and camps insisting that families with young children book private game-drive vehicles. This is because being quiet and sitting still is all part of the wildlife-viewing experience and loud or wriggly children could affect other guests. Some properties will also restrict how close vehicles carrying young passengers can get to predators, particularly if you’re travelling in an open vehicle.

But even if the lodge doesn’t enforce a private vehicle, it’s a good idea for your family to consider one. This means you can return to the camp when your children have had enough, or you can drop them back there with the babysitting service and then continue with the rest of your game drive.

Remember that the safari schedule means you’ll be up before dawn for early morning game drives, and the bush can be hot, dusty, and bumpy. So consider whether your toddler or baby is up for the adventure before taking the plunge.

9. Come prepared

Most lodges and camps are located in remote areas, so you need to come prepared with everything you and your toddler need. Some properties will have small boutiques where you can buy souvenirs, snacks, and basic toiletries, but they won’t be stocked with baby supplies such as diapers, wipes, and lotions.

You must also bring medicine for any possible ailment, such as upset stomach, teething, vomiting, fever, rashes and constipation. Baby sunscreen, painkillers, and ointments for stings or bites are also essential, along with any other medications or formulas your GP advises.

10. Be flexible with feeding

If possible, breastfeeding will be easier than dealing with bottles, particularly if you don’t have access to a kitchenette to sterilise and warm bottles. Due to the limited availability of baby products, you may also need to be flexible with the solids you’re feeding your toddler if you run out of supplies. Most kitchens can boil vegetables, such as pumpkins, potatoes, or carrots, which can easily be mashed up if need be.

Check out our collection of handpicked Family Safari Lodges, which are perfect for a family safari.

Additional Tips For a Perfect Children-friendly Safari

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

2. Bring snacks and drinks or order special snacks and drinks with us so that no one gets hungry 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 nearby bin.

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

 Older Children and Teenagers’ Activities

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.

2. Walking Safari

Suppose a typical safari is “too boring” for your teens. In that case, they can also join an experienced guide on a walking safari, diving deeper into nature and getting 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 and more!

And So Much More!!!


About Author