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Tanzania – one of those destinations where you can immerse yourself in nature

Everything you need from where to stay, what to do and when to visit

For nearly two years, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced individuals globally to reel in their travel plans, and for many families, it was a very stressful time filled with moments of despair, dread, worry, and mental health challenges. As a result, it is understandable that families are longing for the freedom to move around freely again, and to plan family vacations that provide quiet, peace, and a sense of normality.

Tanzania is one of those destinations where you can immerse yourself in nature and rejuvenate your spirit. If you are planning on visiting Tanzania with your children, places like Selous, Ngorongoro, Katavi, Tarangire, and Ruaha are worth a visit.

Africa is well-known for being one of the top countries for family adventure travel, and what could be more exciting than ascending the world's longest freestanding mountain? Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is Africa's tallest peak, standing at 5 896 metres and taking six days to climb. This mountain is exhilarating because anyone who is athletic and determined can climb it; nevertheless, while no particular climbing expertise or equipment is required, this adventure is not suitable for very small children. It is said that more than half of all attempts to summit this peak fail because individuals attempt the climb in T-shirts and shorts, with alcoholic beverages for hydration.

IMAGE: Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is Africa's tallest peak, standing at 5 896 metres and taking six days to climb, but this adventure is not suited for families with very young children.

We've written about the Serengeti in northern Tanzania before, but we'll mention it again here to emphasise how incredible it is. The Serengeti National Park is the epitome of an African safari scene. Millions of wildebeest and zebra begin their migration here. The Serengeti's huge plains make it ideal for wildlife hunts, which is naturally displayed in a spectacular show by wild animals like lions, to all visitors.

IMAGE: Tanzania is home to millions of wildlife, mammals, birds and reptiles. Here you can see everything from crocodiles to hippos, lions, zebras, buffalo, turtles, and many more.

Because the wildlife is concentrated in certain regions of the park depending on the time of year and weather conditions, there are also some mobile camps worth staying at. The best time to visit here is between December and June, but there isn't really a specific period of the year that is better than the other because this country has beautiful weather all year. A hot air balloon flight over the Serengeti at sunrise is also a fantastic family adventure.

Beach holidays in Zanzibar

In general, children are not particularly keen on or interested in natural phenomena and gorgeous landscapes, but nothing beats a day at the beach for a youngster, and Zanzibar's spectacular beaches make it one of Tanzania's top family holiday locations.

Zanzibar, known for its spices, also served as an important slave trading post for its Arab overlords. Stone Town, the capital city of Zanzibar, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a Sultan's palace, gorgeous traditional dwellings, several mosques, and a few narrow corridors that you can explore.

The magnificent beaches of Zanzibar can be enjoyed on any budget. Mnemba Island, for example, is the ideal location for a romantic break and some of the nearby islands are a luxury traveller’s paradise.

Where to stay

In Tanzania, there is a myriad of holiday accommodation alternatives to choose from, but for the purposes of this article, we will focus on Sand Rivers Lodge.

IMAGE: The Selous Game Reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and also Africa's largest reserve, but much less crowded than the Serengeti.

African hunting dogs, cheetahs, elephants, hippos, black rhinos, and crocodiles can be seen at The Selous Game Reserve. The Selous swamps, wetlands and rivers allow guests to go on a boat safari, which is a big lure. Guided hiking safaris are also very popular, and you guests can book game drives here.

Accommodation in and around Selous is rather limited (compared to other parts of Tanzania), however most, such as Sand Rivers Lodge, offer a very intimate and unique safari experience. Accommodation options include Sable Mountain Lodge, Rufiji River Camp, and Sand Rivers, and there are countless online reviews to persuade you that this is the right location for you and your family.

The Mahale Mountains in Western Tanzania

For several decades, Mahale has served as a research base for a group of Japanese anthropologists. Despite the magnificent clean waters of Lake Tanganyika and the obvious presence of chimps, Mahale was not a well-known tourist attraction until around 10 years ago, but the journey is well worth it because this area is still quite isolated. Some other primates one will see here in their natural habitat, in addition to the 1000 chimps, include the yellow baboons and red colobus.

IMAGE: A family trip to the Mahale Mountains in Western Tanzania is well worth it, as you will see more than 1 000 chimpanzees and other wild animals like red colobus and yellow baboons in their natural habitat.

Nkungwe Tented Camp and Greystoke Mahale (or Zoe's Camp) are two wonderful camps to stay at, and the best time to visit Mahale is during the dry season, which runs from May to October. A trip to Mahale is frequently paired with a few nights in Katavi. Charter flights connect Mahale to Kigoma, Dar es Salaam, and Arusha.

Mafia Island, with less than 1 000 visitors a year, is also an unknown Tanzanian gem. It boasts excellent tourism, a vibrant Swahili culture, and rich history. A large portion of the island, including its stunning beaches, has been classified as a marine park. It is one of the best spots in Africa for snorkelling, underwater diving (scuba diving), and deep-sea fishing, where you can see turtles, whale sharks, and a variety of other intriguing game species.

Coastal Aviation operates regular flights from Dar es Salaam to Mafia Island and there are also a few boutique hotels and intimate resorts to choose from. Among these are the intimate and eco-friendly Poolspool, as well as Ras Mbisi Lodge and Kinasi Lodge.

Tanzania, home to some of the world’s top attractions and most famous national parks, awaits you and your family! There is no end to what you can do in such a wild and lovely African country, and there is something for everyone's taste. Just keep in mind that if you want to travel to Tanzania, you (and every member of your family) must have a negative covid-19 PCR test certificate when you arrive.

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