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Thursday
Apr142016

The Best Family Safari Lodges in Tanzania - Top Safaris for Kids & Families in Tanzania

An African safari is an incredible travel experience for everyone and for every occasion whether it's a honeymoon, a romantic getaway or a family vacation. As for families, especially those travelling with younger children, you want to make sure that the destination, accommodation and experiences are all child-friendly and can be enjoyed by everyone. A safari is the ultimate vacation for families, and even more so if you select the safari lodge that is right for you.

We have compiled the following list of the best family safari lodges in Tanzania & the top safaris for kids and families when visiting Tanzania. Our selection features lodges that expertly combine the notions of luxury, comfort, safety, fine foods, breathtaking natural surroundings, surreal proximity to Africa's iconic wildlife and last but not least, fun for all ages.

It is important to note that in the interest of safety however, the majority of safari camps do have age restrictions when it comes to younger children participating in safari game drives. These restrictions vary but most recommend that kids, at most, under the age of 12 or, at the very least, under the age of 6, not partake in game drives - the decision is often left upto the property manager's or your guide's discretion. To compensate however, many of the lodges have designed amazing programs that are specifically geared towards children with activities and are both fun-filled and educational. Moreover, the properties in the below list of the best family safari lodges all feature an incredible selection of activities that parents and children can enjoy together.

&Beyond Bateleur Camp

&Beyond Bateleur Camp is technically located in Kenya's Masai Mara National Park but seeing as it shares a border with Tanzania's Serengeti National Park, and given its' phenomenal reputation as one of the best safari lodges for families, we opted to include it regardless. &Beyond Bateleur Camp was listed as highly recommended at the Safari Awards 2016, specifically under the category of 'Best Family Safari Experience'.

The lodge easily and happily accommodates parents who wish to share a room with younger children. Safari game drives are available to children aged 12 and above, though those aged 6 to 12 are allowed on game drives per the lodge manager's discretion. Whereas children under the age of 6 are not permitted to participate in game drives, the camp has a series of supervised kid-friendly activities that can be arranged during your safari as well as during meals.

There is one thing in particular that makes the &Byeond Bateleur Camp such an exceptional safari lodge for kids and families - the &Beyond WILDChild Programme. As its' name suggests, the program was specifically designed for children and includes a series of exciting and interactive activities that offer opportunities to learn and to appreciate and partake in new experiences and cultures. Upon arrival, every child is given a signature WILDChild bag containing a logbook, crayons, pencils, an age-appropriate toy and more. It also contains a personalized welcome note as they want your child's experience to be just as special as yours.

Lamai Serengeti

Lamai Serengeti is operated by Nomad and is in our opinion, one of the best family safari lodges in Tanzania. Lamai is incredibly welcoming to families and features a great selection of activities that can be appreciated by adults and children alike. Whereas children under the age of 12 are generally not permitted on walking safaris, regular game drives are slightly more flexible here. Extraordinary animal sightings are great to share with the family and will surely create amazing memories that you will cherish for a lifetime. Lamai's pool is also child-friendly!

At Lamai, you can end the day with signature sundowners (juice for the kids) on top of 'the rock', home to an entertaining troop of baboons and panoramic views of the breathtaking, seemingly endless plains.

The accommodation at Lamai is comprised of 12 raised luxury suites, 8 of which are at the Main Camp and the remaining 4 make up the Private Camp. The front walls are made of mosquito gauze so that you can enjoy the views of the Serengeti and its' iconic wildlife even from the comfort of you bed. Depending on the size of your family, we may recommend that you book the 4-room Private Camp exclusively, which then has the added advantage of your own dining room, lounge and swimming pool.

Singita Sasakwa

Singita Sasakwa is the ultimate family safari lodge. The property is extremely welcoming to children of all ages, has babysitting services on offer and tailor-made activities to suite each and every family. Children's participation in safari game drives and related activities are left to the discretion of your private guide. Activities that children can partake in include swimming, archery, snooker table, tennis, baking lessons with in-house chefs, arts & crafts, visits to the Environmental Education Center, face painting, and a special program called the Mini Ranger's Course.

The program is specifically designed for young explorers are includes the following: tracking animals, frogging, butterly capture & release, a cosmic safari, learning bush survival techniques, flower-pressing, game-spotting competitions, nature quizzes and a final Ranger's test. Upon completion of the course, children are awarded a special certificate.

There are only 10 accommodation units at Sasakwa, including 9 cottages with the option of 1-3 bedrooms and 1 villa, all featuring a private infinity pool. For bigger families, we do recommend the villa which boasts 4 bedrooms.

Little Chem Chem

Little Chem Chem offers a great safari experience for families. Little Chem Chem features just 5 exquisitely decorated luxury tents, which you can rent out in its' entirety if you are travelling with a lot of family members. Each tent either has a king-size bed or twin beds, a charming rocking chair and study desk, a vanity area with dressing room and an en-suite bathroom. Each tent also has its own private fire pit so families can sit together and enjoy the sounds and star-speckled skies of the African night.

Not specific to families, but worth mentioning nonetheless, is the unparalleled wilderness and proximity to wildlife. Lions roam the camp and call for each other at night, elephants march down to the lake to cool off and spray themselves with water, cheetah sprint by before your very eyes and the surrounding dense woods are full of iconic African wildlife including leopard and eland.

Activities on offer include both day and night game drives, animal tracking experiences, photographic safaris, private helicopter tours, hot air balloon safaris and more.

Serengeti Bushtops

Serengeti Bushtops is a Tanzanian haven for family safari seekers. Their 2 family tents are ideal for bigger families, especially since they are linked by a short bridge to create a private family suite that can accommodate up to 8 persons. One thing to note however is that only children over the age of 7 are permitted to stay at Serengeti Bushtops.

Activities beyond the safari game drive include walking safaris, breakfast in the bush, local community visits, Kuria archery lessons, Swahili lessons, traditional board games, aromatherapy massages and simply relaxing from your private outdoor hot tub. If you're feeling social, you can also hang out at the open-aired restaurant, library or sit by the campfire and pool.

Private Selous Family Safari

The Private Selous Family Safari is perhaps the bespoke family safari experience to be had in Tanzania. You experience the luxury of an entirely private safari lodge with a private guide and camp crew who are dedicated exclusively to your every need and to ensuring that your safari experience as a family is nothing short of perfect and better than you could have ever imagined. Take full advantage of private safari game drives, the private pool, your luxury open-aired suite, the nearby hot springs and Miombo forest and essentially what will be your own private little corner of Africa.

One of our favorite experiences for families here is fly camping. An afternoon walk leads you to a small camp set by the water where adults can enjoy fun cocktails and everyone can enjoy a 3-course dinner under the stars. In our opinion, 'glamping', or glamorous camping, is the ultimate compromise or happy medium for parents and kids so we definitely recommend that you opt for fly camping during your stay at Selous.