Take your kids on the trip of a lifetime with our family safari holiday in Tanzania. Beginning in Arusha, at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, you’ll set off on safari to Tarangire National Park, the Ngorongoro Crater and the iconic Serengeti National Park. Along the way, your expert driver guide will help you spot herds of elephants, prides of lions and more zebra than you’ve ever imagined.
You’ll stay in atmospheric safari camps and lodges, mostly with swimming pools, allowing you to cool off after a long day on the road. You’ll get to know the locals as well as the wildlife, joining sunset walks with the Maasai people, visiting charity projects, and cycling through villages in the African bush.
After a week of spotting sensational wildlife, you’ll fly across to tropical Zanzibar, where you’ll spend 6 nights swimming in dreamy turquoise waters and relaxing under swaying palms. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime family experience that you’ll never forget.
This itinerary can be tailored to suit your requirements; please contact one of our consultants to start planning your dream trip.
Depart the UK from your chosen airport.
When you land at Kilimanjaro airport, you’ll be met on arrival and transferred to Amini Maasai Lodge. The journey will take around an hour and a half. You’ll stay in a solar-powered earth house with a European toilet and shower. The lodge has a beautiful swimming pool, a sun terrace and a cosy restaurant serving traditional Swahili food.
This morning, you’ll wake up to a majestic view of Kilimanjaro. After breakfast, you’ll set off on a family nature walk with a local Maasai guide. As you walk, you’ll learn about the medicinal plants and herbs of the Maasai culture and prepare traditional tea together.
During your stay, you can also take part in a spear-throwing competition, a deeply-rooted ritual in Maasai tradition, or set off on a donkey ride across the African steppe. There are also all kinds of optional activities on offer, from visiting the local women’s workshop and nearby market to spending time in a family Maasai boma.
After breakfast, you’ll set off in your safari vehicle with your expert driver guide towards Tarangire National Park. Less famous than Tanzania’s other national parks, Tarangire is something of a hidden gem. Home to gnarly baobab trees, grassland plains, swamps, rivers, and ridges, you’ll find breathtaking landscapes around every bend in the track. In Tarangire, you’re likely to see huge herds of elephants plodding peacefully through the bush. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will give you goosebumps.
Halfway through the day, you’ll stop for a picnic lunch, surrounded by the sights and sounds of the African bush. After continuing your game drive throughout the afternoon, you’ll arrive at Ormatai Rock in time for sunset and dinner. Perched on the edge of a massive kopje, Maweninga Camp is a camp packed with atmosphere. You’ll sleep in a family canvas tent with jaw-dropping views towards Lake Manyara.
After breakfast, you’ll enjoy a full-day safari with a picnic lunch under the acacia trees. As you drive along the wilderness trails of Tarangire, you’ll keep your eyes peeled for zebra, antelopes, wildebeest, hyenas, lions and elephants. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a leopard in a tree with its latest kill.
In the afternoon, you’ll continue towards Karatu, near to the rim of Ngorongoro Crater. As you travel, you’ll notice the landscape becoming far lusher and more fertile, with all kinds of flowering tropical plants. You’ll stay at Bashay Rift Lodge, a welcoming lodge with beautiful rooms, a gorgeous swimming pool and sweeping views over the Tanzanian countryside. Cool off with a dip in the pool, enjoy a delicious dinner and look forward to exploring the crater tomorrow.
This morning, you’ll make an early start to explore the world-famous Ngorongoro Crater National Park. As you descend the forested slopes of the world’s largest inactive volcanic caldera, you’ll enter a natural paradise packed with incredible wildlife. The grassland of the crater floor, which covers an area of 100 square miles, is home to a whopping 25,000 animals. There really is nowhere quite like it.
After a morning game drive filled with flocks of pink flamingos, prides of lions on the prowl, and every kind of antelope under the sun, you’ll stop for a picnic lunch in a shady grove on the shore of a lake. Then, in the afternoon, you’ll set off on the spectacular journey to Olduvai Gorge.
Sitting between the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti, Olduvai Camp is a completely unique and very special place. Built around a large rocky outcrop in the middle of a moon-like landscape, the camp is run in partnership with the local Maasai people. When you arrive at Olduvai, you’ll take a sunset walk with the Maasai villagers to a stunning viewpoint for sundowners before dinner. After dinner, you’ll settle into your thatched canvas tent for the night.
After breakfast with an unforgettable view this morning, you’ll drive into the Serengeti National Park. The journey becomes a spectacular game drive along the way. Home to vast savannah grasslands and swampy riverine forests, the Serengeti is one of the best places to spot wildlife on the planet. See hippos floating in their mud pools, watch lion cubs play on the plains, see giraffes nibbling at the treetops and hyenas scrambling in the bush.
You’ll arrive at camp for lunch at the wonderful new Togoro Plains Camp in the heart of the Serengeti, before continuing your game drive into the afternoon should you wish. Alternatively, just soak up your surroundings and enjoy a relaxing afternoon at camp by the refreshing swimming pool overlooking the plains. Togoro Plains is ideally located to break the journey across the vast Serengeti, there's a high concentration of lions in this region and the area is renowned for year round wildlife.
Enjoy your morning in the central Serengeti NP, before weaving your way further north to the beautiful Mara River. Traditionally, from July to October the great migration herds pass through this region.
Optional extra: In the Serengeti you can enjoy a spectatcular hot air balloon ride with our trusted local partners. This is an enchanting experience, with uninterrupted views across the breathtaking scenery and wildlife the Serengeti NP is so famous for. We can include this here near Togoro, or a subsequent morning while staying at Mara River Post (just be aware it's an early start required for sunrise!)
Located in the northern Serengeti (near Kogatende), from mid July the great migration herds traditionally head north towards the beautiful Mara River. Time this right and this area is known for some spectacular river crossings, where huge herds of wildebeast attempt to navigate the Mara River whilst avoiding local predators. The river here carries water all year round, with elephants, crocodiles and hippos frequent visitors.
After breakfast, you’ll be driven to Kogatende airstrip and fly (via Arusha) to Zanzibar. Leaving the wilderness by small plane is an unforgettable experience in itself, with incredible views over the African bushland. You might even need to clear the zebra off the airstrip before take off! A picnic lunch will be provided during the journey.
When you arrive in Zanzibar, you’ll be transferred to Kisiwa On The Beach, where you’ll stay in a family room for 6 nights. Kisiwa On The Beach is located in Paje, on the southeast coast of Zanzibar. Tucked away on a soft white sand beach, surrounded by palm trees and clear turquoise waters, it’s a little slice of paradise. Spend your days swimming, snorkelling, sunbathing, and eating seafood fresh from the sea. What could be better?
Today, you’ll be collected from Kisiwa On The Beach and driven to the airport to begin your journey home to the UK.
As Tanzania sits close to the Equator, you’re guaranteed at least eight hours of sunlight every day, making it possible to visit the Northern Circuit at any time of year. However, the area does have a subtropical climate made up of warm, wet seasons and cooler, drier seasons.
From January to mid-March, a short dry season settles over Northern Tanzania, making it a great time for a safari. The days can be very hot, so prepare for strong sun! It’s calving season for zebras and antelopes, so you’re likely to see all kinds of baby animals on the plains. This is also a brilliant time for seeing migratory birds.
In mid-March, the rains begin and stick around until the end of May. This is the Northern Circuit’s longest wet season. However, there are plenty of dry spells between downpours and the rains bring gorgeous green landscapes to the region. It’s still possible to go on safari during this green season, although some roads may become flooded and impassable.
In June, the rains dwindle to almost nothing and a long dry season sets in, lasting all the way until late October. This is the most popular time to do a Northern Circuit, especially as it coincides with school holidays. Tourist numbers reach their peak in July and August, as well as lodge prices. In terms of wildlife, the herds of The Great Migration pass through the area during this dry spell, providing another major draw for wildlife lovers.
From late October through to the end of December, another short and wet season kicks in, boosting the greenery of the bush. It’s a fairly quiet time for tourists, making it ideal for travellers wishing to avoid peak season crowds. Migratory birds begin to arrive in November, particularly in Tarangire National Park, attracting bird-watchers from all over the world.
If you'd like to get a feel for this trip, read our blog post ‘My top tips for planning a Tanzania family safari’ - written by Jonny, our Managing Director.
This itinerary is purely a suggestion and can be tailor-made to your requirements, so please contact us with your dates and requests, and we’ll put together a bespoke quotation for you.