Why Choose Kenya and Tanzania for a Family Safari of a Lifetime
There is so much joy to be had in sharing a special family safari in Africa with your children and special partner. There is so much adventure and beauty to experience on a family safari of a lifetime to East Africa, a land of wildlife, enormous open spaces, warm days and friendly cultures. From the plains of the Masai Mara in Kenya to the beaches of Zanzibar and Lamu, family safaris are safe, thrilling and soul-fulfilling in Kenya and Tanzania. Our top 8 safaris for adventurous families traveling to Africa include game viewing in open 4×4 vehicles, participation in wildlife conservation projects, meeting real Maasai warriors, walking close to huge elephants and rhinos and staying in luxury safari lodges with glistening swimming pools and fun stuff to do.
Traveling with children can be chaotic and wild, scary and unsettling but if you choose a safe African safari destination with affordable game-viewing activities and accommodation, you simply cannot go wrong. Start saving now for that family safari of a lifetime to Kenya and Tanzania, using our best suggestions for the wildlife and outdoor magic you are looking for. Children under the age of 15 fit in best to lodges that offer junior rangers programmes or environmental education clubs so that they can revel in tracking live animals, picnics in the bush, arts and crafts at the lodge, cooking real bush meals and finding out more about the game rangers and their local villages.
Teenagers on a family safari are a different kettle of fish as they will want wi-fi and entertainment – so offer them wilderness walks, game drives and meals in the bush, as well as adventurous activities such as rhino tracking, horseback game viewing, cycling safaris, camel safaris, feeding wild animals in rehabilitation and conservation centers, participating in endangered animal research such as wild dog monitoring and darting rhinos. Choose luxury lodges with games rooms and swimming pools where your teens can meet like-minded youths and spend time alone with skilled game rangers to find out how ecosystems support all life.
Choose one of our best 8 Tanzania and Kenya Family Safaris here:
Arusha Town, Tanzania
Always sunny and mild, Arusha is a top family destination close to Serengeti National Park, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Lake Manyara National Park, Olduvai Gorge, Tarangire National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro, and Mount Meru in the Arusha National Park. Not only does this pretty town offer shops and medical facilities, but it also offers Arusha National Park close by for wildlife sightings. Book a special walking trail or spectacular game drives in the foothills of Mount Meru, try the unique canoeing safaris at Momela Lakes and explore Arusha’s Instagrammable biodiversity.
Recommended Lodge: Arusha Coffee Lodge is perfect for families who can tour the coffee plantations, the neighboring and famous game reserves of Kilimanjaro, Arush and the Serengeti, experience the markets, artworks and spicy local foods, the museums and monuments – then relax at the sparkling swimming pool.
Recommended family holiday tour: See our 10-day Tanzania Best Parks Luxury Fly-In Safari here.
Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania
Lake Manyara is appealing to family safaris as it is close to Arusha town and to other northern circuit safari destinations such as the mind-blowing Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Tarangire National Park. Skilled game rangers will entice your children into a world of make-believe biodiversity thrills and spills. Lake Manyara provides a special bonding aura for families on quests to see the magic in Africa – its huge lake covered in pink flamingos, its extraordinary lions climbing trees and its ancient giant elephants sporting long heavy tusks.
Recommended Lodge: The fantastical &Beyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge with its spacious family suite high in the boughs of a lush mahogany forest, and swimming pool – interpretive walks and bicycle rides to explore the lake.
Zanzibar Spice Island, Tanzania
Pack up the entire family for a safari holiday to Zanzibar that they will never forget focused on beach walks, splendid sunrises, ocean cruises and diving excursions. Combine it with safaris into the best Tanzania national parks and see what makes East Africa tick. Your children will have a ball in the true starry open-air beauty of Zanzibar, and revel in rustic luxury cabins on the beach where water sports are in and swimming all day in the balmy waters is the best fun ever.
Recommended Lodge: The Palms is super exclusive with only 6 spacious villas with their own plunge pools and decks – families can use the gym, tennis court, snorkeling equipment rental, kayaks, reef shoes and the main swimming pool plus excellent restaurant and pool bar.
Recommended family holiday tour: See our East Africa bush and beach escape package deal for Tanzania here!
Nairobi Capital City, Kenya
Start and end all family safaris here, in this bustling city with all the people, lights and noise but stay in the serene, leafy suburbs in guest houses with rolling lawns and swimming pools. Take day trips to see fascinating sights to make unforgettable memories – climb a platform to get as tall as a rare Rothschild’s giraffe and feed the animals with pellets from your flat palm at the famous Giraffe Centre! See the baby elephant orphans at the incredible David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage and watch them feed from bottles and roll in the mud! Take a drive out to the awesome Nairobi National Park complete with the Big 5, wild bushveld and game drives, all in sight of the tall skyscrapers and smog of the city.
Recommended Lodge: The Giraffe Manor is an attractive boutique hotel where you can feed and photograph the giraffe over your breakfast table, at the front door, and even from your bedroom window! Find a bag of giraffe pellets in your room.
Laikipia Central Highlands, Kenya
Head to Laikipia East, embracing the Lewa Wildlife Reserve, Samburu, Shaba and Buffalo Springs, plus Meru National Park. Visit the Rhino Sanctuary, the most important place for rhinos in East Africa, its population of over 100 black rhinos having to be under constant guard. Picnic at Thomson’s Falls between Masai Mara and Samburu Game Reserves, especially after the rains. Meet people from the diverse tribes and hear about their cultures – the Maasai, Mukugodo, Kikuyu, Samburu, Meru, Europeans, Turkana and Pokot.
Recommended accommodation: Loisaba Tented Camp for sheer opulence on safari and extraordinary game viewing activities for families – camel rides, mountain biking, horse riding and 4×4 game drives if you don’t want to experience a life-changing bush walk!
Recommended family holiday tour: See our luxury 10-day Kenya Air Safari here!
Lake Victoria, Kenya
Lake Victoria is not only beautiful but entertaining too for all ages – take your family shopping at the main lively market at Kisumu, then venture to Thimlich Ohinga Archaeological Site, one of East Africa’s most important archaeological sites. Ruma National Park is a beautiful stopover venue on the edge of the Kanyamaa Escarpment – see Kenya’s only population of roans (one of Africa’s rarest and largest antelope) as well as Bohor’s reedbuck, Jackson’s hartebeest, the tiny oribi antelope and Kenya’s largest concentration of the endangered Rothschild’s giraffe. Visit Mbasa Bird Island to see wetland birds, including breeding long-tailed cormorants, fish eagles, marsh harriers and little white egrets – all coming in to roost at sunset.
Recommended accommodation: Set in manicured green gardens, Mfangano Camp has only 6 rondavels with clay walls and banana-thatched roofs, like the houses of the Luo tribe. Fun fishing, birding, Luo village tours, sundowner cruises, water sports as well as rock art hikes.
Amboseli National Park, Kenya
Huge families of free-ranging elephants stroll around in the stunning backdrop of majestic Mount Kilimanjaro’s snow-topped peak. Amboseli National Park is one of the best reserves to see African wildlife because the vegetation is sparse due to the long, dry months – look out for buffalo, impala, lion, cheetah, hyena, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest and so much more. Meet the colorful Maasai tribal people who have lived in complete harmony with their environment for decades. They’re well known for their bright red robes, colorful bead necklaces and bracelets and for jumping high in the air during ceremonial dances.
Recommended accommodation: Families are welcome at Tortillas Camp in special larger tents and they can Swim all day in the shady swimming pool and delight in wholesome bush breakfasts on thrilling game drives.
Recommended family holiday tour: See our best-selling safari package tour to renowned Kenyan game reserves here!
Ol Pejeta Wildlife Sanctuary, Kenya
Ol Pejeta Wildlife Sanctuary is brimming with lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and the only place in Kenya to see wild chimps in lush forests. The Great Wildebeest Migration passes through the park from June to October and families can see how park rangers use the latest technology to monitor species populations, and how they have set up smart fencing techniques to encourage migrating animals to move freely. A thrilly family safari here for sure and also the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa! Track lions with expert rangers and see how dogs have been trained to sniff out poachers, find ammunition or attack the bad guys!
Recommended accommodation: The elegant andBeyond Sirikoi Camp offers a large family cottage and swimming pool. See endangered black and white rhinos on a horse or a camel safari or from a small plane or helicopter; Masai and Samburu staff entertain kids with fun games and environmental education activities.
From the plains of Masai Mara in Kenya to the beaches of Zanzibar and Lamu, our top 8 safaris for adventurous families traveling to Africa play out in the captivating landscapes of Kenya and Tanzania. We give you all the right reasons why you should choose Kenya and Tanzania for a family safari of a lifetime.