This East African country is perfect for visiting families, as it offers the ideal mix of educational historical- and cultural-elements, pristine beaches, amazing wildlife experiences and unforgettable scenery.
Whether you are travelling with younger kids who need more activity and entertainment or older tweens and teens who require less stimulation but more adventure – Tanzania is ideal for family travel.
In this post, we look at some of the best family-friendly day trips to enjoy in tantalising Tanzania:
1. Enjoy a Beach Day at Mafia Island – or Zanzibar Island
One of the stand-out destinations for visitors to Tanzania is certainly Mafia Island. It is especially ideal for those travelling with kids, as it offers a rich history, world-class snorkelling, stunning beaches and dreamy ocean views, Mafia Island Marine Park and more.
For those who wish to enjoy (briefly) visiting Mafia Island, there are short, 30-minute-long flights from Dar es Salaam or Zanzibar Island so logistically, travel is no big issue.
As for day activities, Mafia Island has no shortage of those! You can hit the beach; swim in the warm Indian Ocean; teach your children about the region’s important conservation efforts; enjoy a guided island tour; and much more.
If you prefer an extended stay over a day outing, Mafia Island and its surrounds offer some incredible accommodation options. An excellent, family-friendly choice is a place like Mafia Island Lodge, which specifically caters to both singles and families alike.
Also, many other local hotels and lodges can accommodate families – and some even offer on-site activities and experiences too.
Of course, another famous and much-loved beach destination is Unguja – otherwise known as Zanzibar Island.
With its own dreamy array of beaches, island beauty, under-water activities (like snorkelling or diving), rich heritage to name only a few attractions – Unguja, or Zanzibar Island, is an equally ideal beach destination for families to enjoy together.
For local accommodation, try a great option like Unguja Lodge. It has lovely family-style villas and no minimum age for children, making it ideal for families with kids!
2. Head on a Wildlife Safari
Another excellent day trip idea in Tanzania is, of course, embarking on a wildlife safari. These are sure to thrill young kiddies and older children alike!
Obviously, the type of safari you go on will depend on your kids’ ages, especially as some accommodation, including luxury lodges and camps, have restrictions in place when it comes to accommodating children under 12.
Generally, though, planning a family safari is relatively effortless. Best of all, it is sure to create lasting memories for the whole family to reflect back on.
One of the country’s best regions for kids is undoubtedly northern Tanzania. It might not be the cheapest – but it offers a wealth of wildlife and vibrant cultural insights too. While child-friendly accommodation and restaurants only add to the overall family-friendliness.
For some local travel ideas, Arusha National Park (a short day trip from Arusha) is always a good choice. Ngorongoro Crater is another amazing option that always guarantees excellent wildlife viewing opportunities.
3. Visit the Insightful Meserani Snake Park
Another fun, though slightly different day trip near Arusha is Meserani Snake Park. Here, you can enjoy seeing some of the world’s most dangerous snakes.
With various activities on offer, the snake park makes for a wonderful, insightful visit for all.
Highlights include short camel rides; a lovely Masai Cultural Market (which even offers some 13 traditional huts); a Masai Cultural Museum and of course, the snakes and other creatures that call this place home.
There are some 48 snakes that you can see here, as well as reptiles such as monitor lizards, tortoises and even crocodiles.
A visit to Meserani Snake Park is sure to interest and educate the whole family and provide a great day trip, especially if you are based in and around Arusha.
4. Go Wildlife Watching
If all else fails and you are stumped for day trip outings or activities, why not simply enjoy the amazing wildlife that Tanzania has on offer?
Some travel companies and operators specially cater to families with kids, making sure that everyone enjoys a wonderful, safe experience.
Local travel highlights, perfect for wildlife watching, include: Arusha National Park, Lake Manyara National Park and Ngorongoro Crater, which forms part of the beautiful Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
Each offers the chance to enjoy rich wildlife viewing opportunities, thus making them perfect for special safaris with those you love.
Children are sure to enjoy seeing all the animals and if they tire of exploring, there are plenty of accommodation options to check into, just to really cap off a blissful family vacation in Tanzania.
Tips for Travelling to Tanzania with Kids
Here are a few tips for travelling to Tanzania with kids:
- Make sure you arrange family shots and necessary travel medication well in advance. Always check travel requirements and seek medical advice.
- Pack in plenty of sunscreen, insect repellent and sun hats to keep the whole family safe and protected from the insects – and the natural elements.
- Plastic bags are prohibited in Tanzania, even packed within your luggage, so rather use cloth bags.
- Ensure you pack in extra changes of clothes, especially if planning to go on safari.
- Pack in some entertainment for kids to enjoy in between trips so they don’t get bored and bothersome.
- Teach yourselves, and your children, a few words of Swahili. This is something locals always appreciate and warm to – and it’s a wonderful way to educate your kids on different cultures and languages too.
- Educate your children on the country and explain all about the rich cultures, history and beauty that this East African gem offers. That way, they will be well-versed beforehand and will appreciate even more about this amazing country when visiting.
- If you feel unsure how to plan a family holiday to Tanzania on your own, why not book your holiday through a local travel company or tour operator so that the whole family gets the most out of the experience without any added stress?
These are just four of the best family-friendly day trips to enjoy in beautiful Tanzania!