© Tanzania Tourist Board

Overview

By Rhonda Carrier

Big game, light-aircraft flights, comfortable lodges and the true African bush – Tanzania is a destination for extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime family holidays, with nature sanctuaries that offer you the chance to see a huge array of African game.

It's also a great place for a two-centre holiday: partner your stay with time on the exotic spice island of Zanzibar with its white sandy beaches, water sports and wildlife sanctuaries for the ultimate combined safari and beach holiday.

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Things to do with kids in Tanzania and Zanzibar

Immerse yourself in the African wilderness of Tanzania's coastal Saadani Game Reserve, which is breathtaking in its tranquillity. A short walk one way brings you to the beach, but head the other way and you are in the wilds. As well as seeing animals (eland, waterbuck, zebra, giraffe, oryx and perhaps the rare Roosevelt sable, and, on boat trips upriver, a glimpse of hippo, crocodile and plenty of birdlife), you can visit a local village and its school and experience everyday life. On organised adventure holidays, you'll stay at a beach camp with thatched bungalows.

Then head inland to contrasting Mikumi National Park, with fantastic opportunities for spotting elephants, buffalo and large herds of antelope, and the dense rainforest at the foot of the Uluguru Mountains, home to Colobus monkeys, plus more elephants, buffalo, wildebeest, impala and other antelope.

Discover Zanzibar, a prime ecotourism destination and a great place for windsurfing and kitesurfing, snorkelling, dhow cruises, kayaking, parasailing and stand-up paddleboarding. Sea safaris to view a variety of creatures including dolphins take you through the Mnemba Marine Nature Reserve, while on land there's the Jozani National Park with its endemic red colobus monkeys and 50+ species of butterfly, Ngezi rainforest and the endangered coastal mangroves. You could also take a walking tour of Stone Town, Freddie Mercury's birthplace, with its old slave markets and Sultan's Palace, tour one of the many spice farms, visit Prison Island (Changgu Island) with its giant sea turtles, learn about animal welfare and wildlife conservation at the Cheetah's Rock rescue and conservation centre, and swim in the lagoon at the Sea Turtle Conservation Pond.

A dhow in Zanzibar © Zanzibar Watersports

A dhow in Zanzibar

Eat

Poultry, corn, beef, fish, lamb, eggs, tropical fruit and vegetables are the main ingredients of Tanzania's cuisine. On safaris and family adventure holidays, you'll normally be offered relatively simple but tasty dishes.

Zanzibar is a good place for exotic seafood dishes, but Western staples at the bigger resorts mean you can cover all bases.

Hot-air ballooning in Tanzania © Tanzania Tourist Board

Hot-air ballooning in Tanzania

When to go to Tanzania and Zanzibar

Tanzania's long dry season (June–Oct) is followed by the 'short rains' (Nov and Dec). Then comes the short dry season (Jan–Mar), when it can be too hot (Dar es Salaam, 30–32°C) and humid, at least with younger kids. The ‘long rains’ fall Apr–May. All this said, this seasonal pattern and the amount of rainfall has been less regular in recent years.

On the coast, the heat is tempered by sea breezes. In the mountains, it can be considerably cooler, especially in the evening.

Zanzibar is only 6° south of the equator so the climate is essentially tropical – hot and humid, with average daytime temperatures in the low 30°Cs.

Colobus monkeys in Tanzania © Tanzania Tourist Board

Colobus monkeys in Tanzania

Cost

For family adventure holidays in Tanzania, including flights, reckon to pay from about £2,000pp for adults.

Destination stats

Capital cityDar es Salaam

Flying time10hrs All flight times are based on flights from UK London airports, to the capital or nearest destination airport.

Carbon footprint5.25 CO2 Estimated tonnes of CO2 produced for return flights for a family of four.

TimezoneGMT +3

CurrencyTanzanian Shilling

Weather Today

31°C

87.8°F

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