Your family is on a ten-day safari. The sun is setting over a primordial lakebed in the Great Rift Valley, where fossilized footprints nearby date back three million years. It’s only been four days and your children have already received a semester’s worth of education in ecology, conservation biology, anthropology, and bilingual communication. More importantly: they are engaged. No yawns, no “are-we-there-yet’s?” Your kids are living it, breathing it, falling in love with endangered species and exploring age-old volcano calderas. Your family will forever share these indelible memories.
To visit Tanzania is kind of like stepping into a time capsule. You’ll walk alongside 3.5 million-year-old footprints, crane your neck up at ancient volcanoes, and weave through wildlife that’s been evolving over millennia. But Tanzania is also a destination for those interested in our planet’s future.
Here, you will find 120 ethnic groups carrying some of our planet’s critical linguistic and cultural diversity. Also, 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites pepper the landscape, along with the planet’s largest remaining land migration, and East Africa’s most prosperous economy. Tanzania is both a step back in time, while also a nation that leads East Africa into a promising future, on the cutting edge of both economy and ecology.
Three Reasons Why Traveling with Children is Important (Read: Necessary)
Let’s begin by reviewing three main reasons why it’s important to expose young minds to the world:
1 – Multiple Perspectives
As our planet becomes more tightly bound in global trade and communication, these intercultural systems demand compassion, empathy, and understanding. There’s simply no better method to cultivate such competency than through travel at a young age. Source
2 – Patience, Flexibility, Adaptability
Traveling as a youngster puts you in situations that require patience, where you must find new ways of thinking and problem-solving, and become adaptable to changing scenarios. Source
3 – It Pays Off in the Classroom
Like the flamingo scene above, an entire classroom education can be captured in a week of safari. To experience the world with all your senses—touch, smell, taste, sight, sound—are ways we humans learn best. Science proves this, that young minds learn optimally by doing, not by mechanical learning or contained inside all day. Not all classrooms have four walls. Source
Is Taking My Children to Tanzania Safe?
The short answer is: YES. Tanzania is one of the safest destinations in Africa and one of the easiest logistically to experience a lot in a little amount of time. A family-run business for over three decades, Easy Travel loves working with families. Here’s a simple checklist for traveling to Tanzania with kids:
Before you Go:
- Get a Passport – First things first: no passport, no entry. If your children do not yet have a passport, make this your first priority. The process can take 4-8 weeks in the U.S. and Europe.
- Travel Vaccinations and Insurance – This is always an interesting one with little kiddos. Hepatitis, Yellow Fever, Rabies, Typhoid. Getting your jabs early-on is always helpful. Travel insurance is a must-do, too! Source
- Educational Materials – Don’t wait for your experience in-country to be the learning opportunity. Books, films, and podcasts are all helpful media preparations to stoke your family’s context for the journey ahead. Here are some resources we found helpful – View More.
- Slow Start – Jet lag can be tricky upon arrival, and children might need a bit more time to adjust. To absorb the long flights and hopscotching time zones, a friendly Easy Travel driver will be waiting for you at the airport when you land, and they will take you directly to your accommodation in Arusha to help you settle in, hassle-free. Here are the latest tips on curbing jet lag: View More!
- Get on your Feet – Taking children to Arusha’s Maasai market or an artisan cooperative is a great way to ease into Tanzanian life. Getting those feet on the ground and some old fashion exercise is a great way to stabilize after a long flight.
While on Safari:
- Road Trip! – The best thing about traveling in Northern Tanzania is that you can access a ton of world-class destinations in a short amount of time. For this, you will spend several hours on the road and in vehicles during game drives. Tanzania Exclusive Journeys understands that car travel is central to safaris, and that’s why we always invest in state-of-the-art, customized Land Cruisers for every tour. They even come with coloring books! Pack a pair of binoculars and/or any trusted road trip games for your children.
- Get to Know your Friendly Driver-Guides – Our experienced drivers will make every long-distance journey for your family as comfortable, fun, and informative as possible. Tanzania Exclusive Journeys driver-guides are all parents themselves, and they love kids! Here’s an interview with Ian Mike, Senior Guide for over 16 years!
- Choose Family-Friendly Lodges – Some lodges are more kid-friendly than others, and Tanzania Exclusive Journeys can help organize this for you. Lodges will often provide an additional bed for children, sharing a room with parents at a reduced cost. Others might offer rooms with two double beds. Swimming pools are great venues for children to play, to cool off and expend energy. Some safari accommodations will have them, and most beachside resorts in Zanzibar will, too. Happy kids, happy parents.
Tanzania is a land of pure awe. It’s a nation of economic stability and great ethnic and biological diversity. It’s a perfect living classroom for every member of your family. Tanzania Exclusive Journeys can tailor-make any itinerary to meet the needs of you and your children—it’s what we love to do most. So call us and let’s start crafting your family itinerary today.
Getting You There?
Looking to experience an African Safari with your young ones? Easy Travel cater for all ages and have over 30 years of experience creating a variety of Safari Experiences suitable for all types of adventures. Looking to join us on a Private Safari Tour to Tanzania and witness the Big Five? Or are you interested in your own Tailor Made tour? Contact Us today to get started.