Tailored from £16,950 per family excl. flights
12 days Selous, Ruaha, Zanzibar
12 days Selous, Ruaha, Zanzibar
Lesser known than their northern counterparts, the Selous and Ruaha can boast Africa’s largest animal populations, including Tanzania’s biggest elephant herd. The diversity of landscapes – from desert-like savannah to wetlands, and from rocky outcrops to Baobab trees - offer ever-changing points of interest, and also translates into a wide array of A-list wildlife (think: lions, leopards, elephants, hippos, crocodiles and more).
Fun game drives and exciting boat safaris add to the adventure, making this a natural choice for families with older children or teenagers.
Due to their proximate location, a southern circuit safari, involves light aircraft flights which eliminates the need for long drives that can characterise safaris in the north of Tanzania.
Staying at accommodation that effortlessly oozes style throughout, this safari lends itself to both sophisticated parents and their adventurous children.
We recommend a safari in Tanzania for families with children aged 10-12 and upwards, although younger children are also welcome. Camps in Tanzania are not fenced, meaning wildlife roams freely day and night, making it essential to supervise youngsters at all times.
Arrive in Dar es Salaam and transfer to the Selous, located an hour and half from Tanzania’s bustling capital in the south. Depending on the time of your arrival flight into Dar es Salaam it is also easy for us to include an overnight at a comfortable hotel in the suburbs of Dar to recover before the start of your safari tomorrow.
Your home for the next four nights will be the effortlessly stylish Siwandu Camp, where luxury tented suites offer that back-to-nature feel, but with all the comforts of an exceptional safari experience. This luxury tented camp is in a prime wildlife viewing of the Selous situated in a grove of palms right on the shores of Lake Nzerakera.
The camp accepts children over the age of six, but they do not have any set activities or additional services to cater for children. The camp is also un-fenced so wildlife can pass through camp at anytime of day, as such children need to be kept under supervision at all time. Walking and fly-camping is available to those over 16 years of age.
The Selous is a true haven for safari-goers of an adventurous persuasion. Three times the size of South Africa’s iconic Kruger National Park and teeming with Africa’s largest and most undisturbed wildlife populations, it makes for an unrivalled safari experience.
On safari in the Selous, you are unlikely to encounter other tourists, making for a peaceful and authentic experience. Children will enjoy the varied game activities and wildlife they will see as a result of its remarkable topography, from boat rides on the river to game drives in open-sided vehicles.
The Selous is a wildlife mecca and has over 400 species of birds, more than half of Tanzania’s elephant population and over 120,000 buffalos. The Reserve's 40,000 hippo and 4,000 lion are probably the largest populations on the continent; not to mention the fact that it is home to the planet’s largest population of rare wild dogs. Visiting in dry season is ideal, as a remarkable density of game congregates around the water sources, making for captivating and frequent game spotting that keeps children engaged.
Depending on the time of your internal flight you may have time for a final safari activity in the Selous before being driven to the airstrip for your flight to Ruaha.
Your home for the next four nights is Ikuka Safari Camp, which is around a 45 minute drive from Msembe Airstrip, however this may well depend on what you encounter on the way!
Children over the age of seven are welcomed at Ikuka and the entire family might enjoy the lodge’s swimming pool as well as the recently constructed family banda which can house up to five.
The lodge is located on the edge of an escarpment and it has incredible views, due to its location you don’t often get animals through camp, however it is a wild area and children should be kept under constant supervision. Walking safaris are available for those over aged 16 and over.
Enjoy the next three full days in Ruaha. Contrast the lush and aqueous landscape of the Selous with Ruaha’s comparatively more desert-like conditions, home to savannah flats, rocky outcrops and surreal baobab trees.
Ruaha National Park can also boast Tanzania’s largest elephant population – an enduring game favourite amongst adults and youngsters alike – and ostriches can also be seen dashing about here too. Combined with its other residents, including lions, leopards and crocodiles, families will be in their element.
The days will focus on game drives in open 4WD safari vehicles. Although the schedule may change day to day generally you should expect to leave on an early morning safari with a picnic between 6-6.30am and then return for lunch and potentially a welcome siesta. The afternoon safari then usually commences between 4-4.30pm, returning to camp by 7pm.
After just over a week on safari, time to unwind at the beach is most certainly in order.
Ikuka Safari Lodge will transport you to the airstrip in time for your internal flight to Zanzibar, it is a beautiful flight especially as you near Zanzibar and glimpse the azure waters lapping at the island.
Upon arrival at Zanzibar you will be met by a driver and transported to Baraza Resort & Spa where you stay for the next five nights on an all-inclusive basis in a Garden View Two-Bedroom Villa. From the airport it is a drive of around an hour to the Michamvi Peninsula on the eastern coast of the island to the all-inclusive resort which is located in beautiful gardens along a long stretch of white sandy beach.
Baraza has 30 villas of varying styles, for families we recommend the either a Garden View Villa or upgrading to a Sultan’s Sea Facing Villa, each complete with two bedrooms. As well as the ideal accommodation options, Baraza has many amenities which make it one of the best family friendly options on the island, including a stunning sandy beach, sheltered lagoon, swimming pool, gardens, a water sports centre and a children’s club. Baby sitting and child minding are also available.
You have the following four days to enjoy Baraza and Zanzibar.
If you’re not content to simply soak up the sun, sea and sand there are many activities you can get involved with. We can recommend activities that you might like to pre-book or you can organise extra activities directly with the lodge when you arrive.
For those keen to explore the underwater world, along the beach at one of Baraza’s sister properties there is a PADI dive centre where novices can learn to dive and more experienced divers can explore the outer reefs off the east coast. It is also possible to do day trips from here to some of the best dive sites off the southwest coast, but it really is a long drive up to the very best diving in the Matemwe area to the northeast of the island.
Kayaks are usually available free of charge for modest explorations of the lagoon and there are some modest snorkelling opportunities inside the reef in front of the lodge, particularly at low tide.
Heading further afield, it is possible to undertake a number of different guided tours from here, notably a day trip into Stone Town or a tour of the south of the island including Jozani Forest and some of the small islands to the southwest.
Today marks your departure from Tanzania. It’s time to bid ocean breezes adieu and a transfer is included to Zanzibar Airport to meet your international flights home. If you have booked return flights from Dar es Salaam, then it is straightforward for us to add a short flight from Zanzibar to Dar in time for your flight.
After two weeks in country you certainly will have memories to last a lifetime.