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    Safari with kids: Everything you need to know

    12 minutes read
    going on safari with kids easy travel tanzania

    Going on a safari is a memorable adventure. It carries you into the fantastic scenes of nature. It places you amid a wide range of animals. 

    But a safari isn’t just about seeing big, wild creatures up close. There is a lot more to it than that. It’s about exploring, understanding, and appreciating the richness and complexity of habitats and ecosystems.

    Want to experience a safari with kids in Tanzania? Read this blog until the end, and contact us today if ever you want to learn more about this adventure. 

    Why go on a safari with kids in Tanzania?

    For younger children, a safari is essentially the live rendition of their geography and biology textbooks. It’s an immersive learning experience that extends well beyond the traditional four walls of a classroom, making it an educational adventure worth embarking on.

    See some of the reasons below why you should consider bringing your kids on game drives or safari in general.

    Let’s begin by reviewing three main reasons why it’s important to expose young minds to the world.

    1. Safari with kids #1 - Diverse Range of Activities

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    Tanzania’s national parks provide various fun family activities. Kids will love exciting boating safaris in places like Arusha National Park and Nyerere National Park. Water-based outings offer a change of pace from vehicle rides. The experience keeps young ones enthralled as they view wildlife from the boat.

    With these adventures, a safari in Tanzania becomes captivating for children. It’s a refreshing way to create lasting memories for young wildlife enthusiasts.

    Guided stargazing experiences enhance the experience, allowing you to learn about the stars and constellations from knowledgeable guides.

    2. Safari with kids #2 - Exploration of Unique Wildlife and Habitats

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    Tanzania boasts impressive wildlife spotting opportunities. With the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park, the country is teeming with life. Kids can observe countless rare animals in their natural homes. During these explorations, young adventurers learn about diverse ecosystems.

    Tanzania’s breathtaking parks promise a truly immersive experience for children. They can create precious memories while learning about conservation, too.

    3. Educational Value

    A Tanzanian safari provides children with a valuable learning experience:

    1. They gain exposure to various animal species and their unique characteristics.

    2. They explore and become familiar with the animals’ natural habitats and ecosystems.

    3. Safaris emphasizes the importance of conservation by highlighting existing threats and conservation efforts.

    As a result, children develop a deeper appreciation for wildlife and a greater understanding of the need to protect these amazing creatures and their homes. This well-rounded education has long-lasting impacts on their awareness and commitment to preserving the environment.

    Note: A Tanzanian safari can be an incredible experience, but it might only be suitable for some young children due to potential safety concerns. Parents are advised to pay close attention to their children and ensure they understand the safety rules and measures. Ask your chosen operator about the kid’s age restrictions on their safari for safety reasons.

    Choosing the Right Safari

    Choosing the right safari is crucial for ensuring an enjoyable and memorable experience. Here are essential considerations when selecting the perfect safari outing for you and your family:

    1. Destination

    Tanzania boasts fantastic wildlife spotting opportunities. With the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park, the country is teeming with life. Kids can observe countless rare animals in their natural homes.

    During these explorations, young adventurers learn about diverse ecosystems. Tanzania’s breathtaking parks promise a truly immersive experience for children. They can create precious memories while learning about conservation, too.

    2. The age of the children

    Taking very young kids on a safari might give them a partial enjoyment or memory of the experience. Thus, it’s vital to choose safaris that suit children’s interests. Look for those that have amenities and activities designed for kids.

    Generally, a child of six or older will better understand the safari’s significance. They can fully appreciate the wildlife and nature around them at this age. It helps turn the safari into a memorable and educational adventure.

    3. Safari lodges

    Choosing the right safari lodge for a family holiday is vital. A suitable lodge offers kids comfort, safety, and familiarity, enhancing their overall experience. Lodges with child-friendly facilities and educational programs cater to kids’ unique needs while sparking their interest in nature.

    They also accommodate children’s routines, ensuring smoother holiday proceedings. Finally, a good lodge lets parents unwind, knowing their children are safe and entertained, making the safari memorable for the whole family.

    4. Type of Safari

    When planning a safari with kids, deciding the type is crucial. You could opt for a private safari, a group safari, or a self-drive safari. 

    A private or group tour led by an experienced guide could amplify your wildlife viewing potential. These options can prove excellent because guides possess deep knowledge about habitats, animal behaviour, and safe distances, ensuring your kids learn while being secure and comfortable.

    On the other hand, a self-drive safari might give you more flexibility to plan your day and move at your own pace, which can be beneficial with younger kids who may need more frequent stops. However, it does require more preparation, from planning the route to understanding safety guidelines.

    Duration

    The length of a safari should be carefully thought out when taking children along, and it should be suited to their ages and interests. Younger children might have lower endurance standards and could get fatigued during extensive expeditions.

    For such cases, choosing shorter-duration safaris or ones that allow plenty of downtime and rest periods amidst activities can be more suitable. Journeys that include interactive experiences, like animal feeding or short wildlife walks, may be more appealing to this age group.

    Older kids or teenagers may be better able to handle more extended explorations and could appreciate longer safari trips that offer in-depth wildlife observations. Their heightened interest could make them keen observers and participators in game drives, bird watching, and conservation efforts. It is crucial to balance their enthusiasm with adequate rest to ensure they remain engaged and enjoy the experience fully.

    Accommodation

    Safari accommodations span a diverse range – from budget-friendly campsites to luxurious lodges. When taking kids on safari, it’s crucial to contemplate what type of accommodation would best cater to the comfort and needs of your family.

    An array of family safari lodges are available, explicitly targeting family groups. These come equipped with numerous child-friendly amenities like play areas, specialized meals, and family rooms, ensuring a convenient and relaxed stay for everyone.

    Simultaneously, the lodges often cater to educational and engaging activities for kids. These could include special children’s programs that keep children entertained while informing them about the wilderness, wildlife habits, and conservation methods.

    Emphasize lodges that blend amusement, rest, safety, and learning while offering you the peace of mind to absorb the adventurous outings. This will make your safari trip a treasured experience for the entire family.

    Budget

    Your budget will dictate several aspects of the safari, including travel, accommodation, length of stay, and additional activities. Be sure to consider all costs while planning.

    Remember, every safari is unique, and what works well for one family might not be suitable for another. It’s essential to research, plan, and seek advice as needed to ensure a rewarding safari experience for the whole family.

    Planning and Booking Your Safari

    1. Timing Your Safari

    Timing plays a significant role when planning your safari, especially with kids. One option is to go during the dry seasons when wildlife congregates around water sources. This increases the chances of successful wildlife spotting, piquing children’s interest and making it an exciting adventure.

    Also, choosing the right season avoids extreme weather conditions, ensuring the family remains comfortable during the trip. Lastly, plan your safari during school breaks or holidays to prevent disrupting your kids’ regular schedules. Proper timing enhances the safari experience for you and your children.

    2. Selection of Tour Companies

    Selecting a safari tour company proficient in organizing family travels can be a game-changer for your safari trip. These companies understand the unique needs of families and curate experiences accordingly, making your planning process much more manageable. They are also experienced in ensuring safety while maximizing enjoyment for all ages – a crucial aspect of any family adventure.

    Furthermore, such companies often offer child-friendly facilities and activities to keep young travelers engaged. Checking their reviews can provide insight into their reliability and competence in handling family travels. Therefore, due diligence while choosing a safari company can significantly enhance your family’s safari experience.

    Preparing Your Kids for Safari

    1. Pre-Safari Educational Discussions

    Prepping children before embarking on a safari adventure can enrich their experience and foster a greater appreciation for the journey. Engage them in conversations about diverse cultures, broadening their understanding of the host countries’ customs and traditions.

    Discuss various habitats, shedding light on the rich biodiversity and distinct ecosystems.

    Highlight the significance of wildlife conservation and the delicate balance of ecosystems. 

    Encouraging curiosity around these topics can spur their interest and turn the trip into a learning opportunity. Preparing kids beforehand can lead to a more meaningful and enjoyable safari experience.

    2. Health and Safety Precautions

    A pre-safari health consultation with your family doctor is a crucial preparatory step. This visit can help you understand which vaccinations would be necessary for travel, safeguarding the family’s health.

    If necessary, your doctor can also provide essential travel medications, such as anti-malarial drugs. Pre-existing conditions should be discussed to ensure everyone’s well-being during the journey.

    Also, the doctor can provide tips on staying healthy under different climatic conditions. Ultimately, this consultation ensures your safari trip is comfortable and safe from health risks.

    Packing for a Family Safari

    1. Essentials to Pack

    Packing for a safari means being prepared for varying weather conditions. Include lightweight clothing to combat the heat during daytime adventures, and pack warm garments for chilly evenings.

    Hats are essential to provide protection from the sun and remain comfortable in hot temperatures. Ensure you carry sunscreen with adequate SPF protection to shield against harmful rays and prevent sunburns. 

    Finally, insect repellent should also be a packing priority, as it helps ward off bugs and avoids potential complications from bug bites. With the right combination of items in your bag, you can have a comfortable and pleasant safari experience for the whole family.

    2. Entertainment and First-Aid Kits

    Keeping children entertained during a safari trip is equally important to planning the expedition. Bring along books, games, or other favorite forms of entertainment to keep the kids engaged during downtime or long transits. This ensures they remain amused and helps instil a sense of routine amidst the new experiences.

    Another crucial item for your safari checklist should be a comprehensive first-aid kit. Pack essential medical supplies like bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and any prescribed medication. This ensures you’re well-equipped to tackle minor health issues and can provide immediate care if needed.

    Together, these preparations can contribute to a smooth and hassle-free safari memory for your family.

    During the Safari: Kids Friendly Activities

    1. Range of Activities for Kids

    Modern safaris have evolved to include various activities geared towards children. One such offering is wildlife spotting, which allows kids to observe animals in their natural habitats.

    Another popular activity is bird watching, where children can learn about various bird species and their unique characteristics. Nature walks, often conducted under adult supervision, allow kids to explore the wilderness and learn about indigenous flora.

    These carefully supervised activities entertain children and help them connect more deeply with nature. As a result, kids return with cherished memories and newfound knowledge about wildlife and ecology.

    2. Educational Opportunities

    Many safari lodges expand the adventure beyond wildlife by organizing local cultural programs. These often include demonstrations of local traditions, customs, and practices, offering an authentic glimpse into the region’s way of life. Children can participate in or observe these activities, expanding their understanding of diverse cultures.

    Some programs also introduce traditional arts and crafts, engaging the kids creatively. Storytelling sessions can help children grasp the history and mythology of the area. Overall, these cultural events significantly enhance the educational aspect of the safari trip for children.

    Tips for Safari Etiquette and Safety with Kids

    1. Teaching Safari Etiquette

    Good safari etiquette in children is essential for a respectful and safe wildlife experience. Teach them the value of maintaining silence in the presence of animals, ensuring that they don’t frighten or disturb them.

    Explain how quiet observation allows a better appreciation of wildlife behaviour and interaction. Remind the kids to respect animals’ space and personal boundaries. 

    2. Safety Measures and Emergency Contacts

    Prioritizing safety during wildlife sightings is vital for an enjoyable safari experience with your kids. Educate them about safety precautions, such as staying inside the vehicle or following a guide’s instructions during guided walks. 

    Emphasize the importance of not startling or provoking animals in any way. Be sure to have a list of emergency numbers and contacts readily accessible for prompt responses in unexpected situations.

    Inform your kids of the communication plan should they separate from the group. By reinforcing these safety guidelines, you can help make a secure environment for your children to explore the natural world confidently.

    Post Safari: Keeping The Experience Alive

    Inform your kids of the communication plan should they separate from the group. By reinforcing these safety guidelines, you can help make a secure environment for your children to explore the natural world confidently.

    1. Documenting the Safari Experience

    Please encourage your children to make their safari journey unforgettable by preserving their experiences. We suggest they keep a journal to record impressions, observations, and learnings about the trip. They can sketch animals seen or write about the happenings of each day.

    Facilitate them to click photos, capturing the moments of awe and wonder while observing wildlife. If interested in videography, motivate them to take short videos documenting the expedition and their reactions.

    In the digital age, they could also use apps to recognize and catalog different species. These tangible memories serve as a safari souvenir and ensure the adventure continues long after the journey has ended.

    2. Continued Learning Opportunities

    Once you return from the safari, it’s an excellent opportunity to nurture your children’s curiosity further. Encourage them to dig deeper into the knowledge about the wildlife they have observed during the journey. They could research the animals’ habits, diets, or even threats to their conservation.

    Motivate them to learn about the cultures they’ve experienced, including traditions, languages, and histories. An excellent follow-up activity could be to arrange a show-and-tell session where they can share their experiences with friends. Such active learning enhances their understanding and helps retain the excitement and interest aroused during the safari trip.

    Is taking my children to Tanzania safe?

    Safari with kids

    The short answer is: YES. Tanzania is one of the safest destinations in Africa and one of the easiest logistically to experience a lot in a little amount of time. A family-run business for over three decades, Easy Travel loves working with families. Here’s a simple checklist for traveling to Tanzania with kids:

    Before you go

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    • Get a Passport – First things first: no passport, no entry. If your children do not yet have a passport, make this your first priority. The process can take 4-8 weeks in the U.S. and Europe.
    • Travel Vaccinations and Insurance – This is always an interesting one with little kiddos. Hepatitis, Yellow Fever, Rabies, Typhoid. Getting your jabs early-on is always helpful. Travel insurance is a must-do, too! Source
    • Educational Materials – Don’t wait for your experience in-country to be the learning opportunity. Books, films, and podcasts are all helpful media preparations to stoke your family’s context for the journey ahead. Here are some resources we found helpful – View More.

    Upon arrival

    • Slow Start – Jet lag can be tricky upon arrival, and children might need a bit more time to adjust. To absorb the long flights and hopscotching time zones, a friendly Easy Travel driver will be waiting for you at the airport when you land, and they will take you directly to your accommodation in Arusha to help you settle in, hassle-free. Here are the latest tips on curbing jet lag: View More!
    • Get on your Feet – Taking children to Arusha’s Maasai market or an artisan cooperative is a great way to ease into Tanzanian life. Getting those feet on the ground and some old fashion exercise is a great way to stabilize after a long flight.

    While on safari

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    • Road Trip! – The best thing about traveling in Northern Tanzania is that you can access a ton of world-class destinations in a short amount of time. For this, you will spend several hours on the road and in vehicles during game drives. Easy Travel understands that car travel is central to safaris, and that’s why we always invest in state-of-the-art, customized Land Rovers for every tour.They even come with coloring books! Pack a pair of binoculars and/or any trusted road trip games for your children.
    • Get to Know your Friendly Driver-Guides Our experienced drivers will make every long-distance journey for your family as comfortable, fun, and informative as possible. Easy Travel’s driver-guides are all parents themselves, and they love kids! Here’s an interview with Gerald Mollel, Senior Guide for over 20 years!
    • Choose Family-Friendly Lodges – Some lodges are more kid-friendly than others, and Easy Travel can help organize this for you. Lodges will often provide an additional bed for children, sharing a room with parents at a reduced cost. Others might offer rooms with two double beds. Swimming pools are great venues for children to play, to cool off and expend energy. Some safari accommodations will have them, and most beachside resorts in Zanzibar will, too. Happy kids, happy parents.

    Bottom line?

    Tanzania is a land of pure awe. It’s a nation of economic stability and great ethnic and biological diversity. It’s a perfect living classroom for every member of your family. Easy Travel can tailor-make any itinerary to meet the needs of you and your children—it’s what we love to do most. So call us and let’s start crafting your family itinerary today.

    Getting you there?

    Looking to experience an African Safari with your young ones? Easy Travel cater for all ages and have over 30 years of experience creating a variety of Safari Experiences suitable for all types of adventures. Looking to join us on a Private Safari Tour to Tanzania and witness the Big Five? Or are you interested in your own Tailor Made tour?Contact Us today to get started.

    Musaddiq Gulamhussein - Owner - Easy Travel Tanzania

    About the author: Musaddiq

    Meet Musaddiq Gulamhussein, owner of Easy Travel Tanzania, a tour company creating life-changing safari experiences for over 35 years. Musaddiq has explored Tanzania, developing a deep understanding of the local cultures and traditions. Follow his journey and gain insights into the African Safari experience through Easy Travel's social media and blog.

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