With its idyllic coastline and wide and open spaces will lots of wild animal species, Tanzania is a mosaic of colours and landscapes. Mount Kilimanjaro and its eternal snows; Zanzibar, the Indian Ocean’s island jewel or the Serengeti National Park are names that will quickly entice you into travelling. A land of discovery wherein time seems to stand still, Tanzania is an incredible destination for family getaways and for reconnecting with nature in its purest form.
The land of the Maasai warriors is also the largest of the East African countries, thus making it a mixed-race destination wherein influences blissfully blend. They are well-rooted in its culture and even resonate in its name: for the record, « Tanzania » was derived from the combination of Tanganyika and Zanzibar during the unification of these two countries in 1964. From then on, Tanzania has become a two-faced destination: the sea and its long sandy beaches, on the one hand, the mountains and the savannah on the other.
With her high volcanoes dotted with eternal snow, the north of the country is undoubtedly the most mountainous part of the land (Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro, Mount Méru). In the folds of its magnificent landscapes, you will be able to find the famous « Big Five »: lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and African buffalo. The region is punctuated by large national parks with mythical names (Serengeti, Tarangire…). With the villages of the Maasai warriors, the bush fauna and the yellow ochre palette of the region’s lands, this is the perfect place for a safari away from the built tracks
With the Maasai steppe and the African savannah strewn with baobabs and acacias, the central highlands have an undeniable power of attraction. Without spoiling anything, the landscape is dotted by the famous great lakes (Lake Malawi, Lake Tanganyika …) The western part, meanwhile, is crossed by the Great Rift Valley which extends majestically from the North to the South of the country.
The sea coast and the river deltas are covered with rich mangrove swamps and mangroves. Opposite Dar-es-Salaam, the seaside landscapes of the Zanzibar archipelago, bathed by the Indian Ocean, has been an extremely sought-after destination since the dawn of time.
Located on Sasakwa Hill, the Singita Serengeti House is a splendid house that can be entirely privatized, and which is situated in the heart of Africa’s second-largest wildlife park, the Serengeti. This magical place lives in balance with the surrounding landscapes and, at dusk, there will be a great possibility of you seeing some wild animals from the windows of its luxurious suites. Of course, a little feeling of “Out of Africa” permeates this location! Far from the turpitudes of this world, travellers will here be able to enjoy the most complete relaxation in a refined setting that highlights natural materials. From the establishment, safaris will enable you to be able to observe the wildebeest, zebras, giraffes, but also the famous « Big Five » on a daily basis. To go on a family safari, this place is magical: numerous activities have been thought of for the families and to occupy the youngest travellers (especially if they are too young to go on safari)!
The Meliá Zanzibar hotel is ideally located on the east coast of the main island in the archipelago of the same name. Nestled between the palm trees of the Kiwengwa Pongwe Forest and a 300-meter-long sandy beach, this luxurious address gives travelling families the opportunity of getting away carefreely. Several pavilions brilliantly integrate certain features of Swahili architecture, while winking at the magnificent palaces of the island’s capital, Stone Town. Surrounded by greenery, they hostcomfortable rooms and luxurious family suites. For even more privacy, the exclusive villas with a garden and a private pool never lose sight of the sea. Toddlers love the kids-club’s activities, while the parents love the fact that it is free of charge! Without a shred of doubt, all conditions have been put together to enable you to live an all-inclusive 5-star experience, full of pleasant surprises and relaxation.
With its name inspired by the African tradition, Boma Grill could only highlight local products. In the centre of the main room, an open fireplace gives the room a very pleasant warm atmosphere after a day outdoors. On the menu, some original dishes will surprise curious palates, such as the tasty banana soup and its diced roast beef, the masala shrimp accompanied by crispy sweet potatoes or the typical Kachumbari salad. Emblem of East Africa, this spicy rawness highlights finely cut tomatoes and onions. Central Serengeti, Serengeti National Park, 14321. Itinerary
Do you wish to savour the local cuisine, in a secret place that is surrounded by greenery, while partaking in an ethical approach? Themi Living Garden will meet all your expectations. This friendly, rustic and above all eco-friendly Tanzanian restaurant is managed by a community of women. Here, everything is grown in organic, association gardens. Thus, for a healthy and vegetarian lunch, Themi Living is the ideal place. In all simplicity, you will be served eggplant patties or spinach frittata with lentils and sweet potatoes enhanced by chilli sauce. The spicy tea is a delight! Old Moshi Road, Southeast Side of Themi Bridge, Arusha National Park, Tanzania. Itinerary
Imagine a little lonely island covered with vegetation, a few small houses with braided roofs and a host of terraces overlooking the blue waves of the ocean. In short, a soothing away from the built track! With the sea stretching as far as the eye can see, The Island – Pongwe Lodge Restaurant, offers iodized gastronomy: lobsters, shrimps, squid and octopus, not leaving out the sea urchin dishes which make the reputation of this locations. While « the grown-ups » will be sipping a cocktail, the toddlers will be feasting on the banana chips guacamole that accompanies them. Bonus: after the treat, you will be able to seize the opportunity on taking a dip in the establishment’s private cove! Pongwe Island, Zanzibar, Tanzania. Itinerary
The Silk Route, a whole program in itself! Zanzibar is strongly influenced by neighbouring India, so it should be no surprise to see that the Hindu cuisine and its spicy flavours are being highlighted here! In a modern setting, The Silk Route showcases the country’s great classics with a contemporary twist. Children love the vegetarian samosas and the Makmali Boti Kebab where tender lamb cubes are spiced up with a touch of mint-flavoured cashew puree. A large selection of tandoori and tikka masala chickens will delight its lovers… Shangani Street, Stone Town, Zanzibar. Itinerary
Going on a family safari is not a sure bet… and in order to win, it is better to anticipate and speak to professionals. Obviously, the impressive rangers’ green 4X4s, with their panoramic flat roof, are well-loved by the children, but… after a day, the bump, the dust on the way and the heat can become very stressful. If your little ones loved watching the Lion King on a loop, that’s a good sign, but don’t forget that although their capacity for amazement is infinite, they, however, lack the patience we have. So, what can be done?
It’s very simple, you need to ask yourself the right questions before setting off for the trip: can my child remain calm and sit for several hours? Can he/she respect the basic rules of a safari (do not shout, do not make sudden movements…). The travel time to go from one reserve to another, in addition to the time spent on site (three to four hours in the bush) is it convenient to my child’s age…? The answer will obviously depend on the personality of your little darlings. Note that there is also a minimum age, variable, imposed by the regulations and by the organizers of the safari. Most safaris require children to be at least 7 years of age. This makes sense indeed, but with children below the age of 12, you can’t go everywhere or do everything…
It can be summed up in one sentence: properly choose your lodge. A family-friendly establishment, with a swimming pool for relaxation, play areas and children-dedicated activities. The presence of a babysitting service is an added advantage, as you will be able to entrust your little ones in their care, while you explore the bush in peace. The prestigious Singita Game Reserve group is recognized worldwide for the quality of its facilities and for the bespoke safaris it organizes. Aside from the Family Safaris in the rentable jeeps that are convenient for the younger ones, what makes Singita Serengeti House and Singita Explore stand apart are their “kids” offers and their Mini-Ranger program. Thanks to this unique concept, your children will be able to learn how to follow animals, observe the stars, hunt frogs and spot birds. At the end of the stay, they will be given a nature quiz. If they succeed, they will be awarded an official certificate to prove their new knowledge of the African wild world!
In Tanzania it’s quite simple, the further we go southwards and towards the Indian Ocean, the hotter it gets! In the North, in the region of large parks, January, February and March are the hottest months of the year (around 14 °C at night and 28 °C during the day). April and May are the rainy season months, so they are the wettest. On the other hand, July-August are the driest months. East Africa is subject to an equatorial climate, generally constant throughout the year, which is rather good news!
Mylène, 28 years old, art and travel lover, from Strasbourg, France