Tanzania Safari: A Family Adventure
Choreographed for families so that everyone has a great time, from children to parents to grandparents, explore the dusty tracks of the African wilderness on a fabulous family safari in search on the Serengeti.
WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY
It was such a harmonious experience from beginning to end. I recommend it enthusiastically to anyone who wants a bonding experience with their child or grandchild. I was expecting a lot, but this was twice as good.”
Our family safari in Tanzania was first-rate. We saw and learned so much and believe our grandsons had an experience they'll cherish always.”
I thoroughly enjoyed this adventure. My family had an opportunity to see a beautiful country and breathtaking animals in their natural habitat. We'll talk about these eleven days for a lifetime!”
Your people are incredible. The experience was wonderful… We felt very cared for by Thomson. Your outfit is a cut above the rest.”
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Embark on game drives with your family in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater and take walks in a nature preserve. Learn about the groundbreaking work of Louis and Mary Leakey at Olduvai Gorge. Listen to Maasai elders who share vivid folktales and talk with local artisans. Plus, gather around the campfire for stargazing. This is an exciting safari for families with children ages 8 and older.
Days 1 & 2 — Depart home and arrive in Tanzania
Upon arrival in Arusha, you and your family will be met and transferred to your lodge. Rest and relax after your long journey—the real adventure begins tomorrow! Mount Meru Game Lodge
Day 3 — Arusha to Eastern Serengeti Ecosystem
Rise and embrace the day! Fly to the tiny outpost of Wasso, and meet your guide, who will be your community liaison, wildlife expert, and Tanzania ambassador along this wonderful journey. Take a short drive to a private nature refuge deep in the eastern Serengeti eco-system.
Have lunch at camp and then spend the afternoon exploring the area by Land Rover in search of your favorite animals. Nicknamed Giraffic Park, this portion of the Serengeti ecosystem will give you a glimpse into the past. The vast expanses of wilderness, diversity of species, and the warm welcome you’ll receive from the local Maasai people will harken back to the days when Teddy Roosevelt first went on safari near this area.
Take a hike before sunset tonight, and then return to your Nyumba in time for dinner. Eastern Serengeti Nyumba (B,L,D)
Day 4 — Eastern Serengeti Ecosystem
Start the day with a hot drink and a light snack before heading out for a pre-breakfast guided nature walk. This afternoon, visit a Maasai women’s cooperative to learn how these women have paired their own skills as artisans and homemakers with their desire to help their families, as well as their own communities.
Later in the day, you will immerse yourself in the semi-nomadic culture of the Maasai by visiting a boma, which is a settlement of circular mud-and-dung Maasai homes. Many Maasai still roam the plains of northern Tanzania with their herds of cattle, maintaining their traditions while adapting to new ways of life. Learn more about their extraordinary culture as you tour the boma and take in the scenes of village life. Relax over dinner in the bush. Afterwards you may opt to go on a night drive through the bush. Eastern Serengeti Nyumba (B,L,D)
Day 5 — Eastern Serengeti Ecosystem to Serengeti National Park
Visit a school, where children can meet their Tanzanian peers in an informal setting (children who have written ahead to a pen pal can meet him or her here). Exchange stories, talk about your favorite music, or teach a team sport—whatever feels fun and interesting to the group.
Continue west to the Serengeti where you will explore for the next three days. As you travel further into the African wilds, look for giraffe, lion, ostrich, zebra and warthog. Late this afternoon you can settle into your Nyumba, throw a Frisbee, play some games or have a cool drink before joining folks in the dining area for your evening meal. Afterwards, gather round the campfire for some stargazing or stories with your guide before heading off to bed. Serengeti Nyumba (B,L,D)
Day 6 — Serengeti National Park
Spanning nearly 6,000 square miles, the Serengeti has so much to offer. Take a picnic lunch and your camera as you head out in your trusted Land Rovers to navigate the winding park roads in pursuit of interesting wildlife sightings. With this perspective, you have unhindered views. The possibilities for what lies ahead are endless!
Families with advanced reservations will awaken early (approx. 4 a.m.) for the sunrise hot-air balloon ride, then meet up with the group after a bush breakfast. (Extra costs and advance reservations apply. Participants must be at least 4’ tall and seven years old.) Travelers who opt to skip the balloon ride will wake up to hot drinks and a hearty breakfast at camp. Then hit the trail in your trusty safari vehicle for wildlife viewing with your guides. You’ll meet up with ballooners later this morning.
When you return to the Nyumba this evening, you can indulge in a few tasty snacks while watching the brilliant equatorial sun dip below the horizon. Head into the dining tent where the tempting aromas of homemade soup and fresh bread beckon you to dinner. Serengeti Nyumba (B,L,D)
Day 7 — Serengeti National Park to Ngorongoro Crater
Depart your Serengeti Nyumba for the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. As you drive, continue wildlife viewing in Serengeti National Park. Enjoy more exploration of this remarkable place, with stunning landscapes, jaw-dropping sunrises and sunsets, and amazing wildlife.
After cutting across the desert-like bush country, you will arrive at a range of hills that lead to the Ngorongoro Highlands. En route, you will see Maasai herding their cattle alongside the road. The Maasai are allowed to live in boma settlements throughout the conservation area.
Stop to visit Ngorongoro’s Olduvai Gorge, a deep ravine and site of fossilized remains of animals and hominids that date as far back as two million years. A brief lecture and small museum tour are included. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the way to your nyumba.
Arrive to camp with time to relax after a busy day. Under your dining tent, hot soup, fresh bread, main courses, and a scrumptious dessert await. Ngorongoro Nyumba (B,L,D)
Day 8 — Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Spend the full day today exploring the Crater floor. The area is famous around the world and very small in its scale, so you will see other safari goers. Don’t let that distract you from the beauty of the place or from the fact that this remains one of the only places on earth where you may see all of the "Big Five" at once: lion, leopard, African elephant, Cape buffalo, and rhinoceros.
After a picnic lunch, your journey continues throughout this tremendous landscape. Animals move to and fro in search of pasture, water, or prey. You will have ample opportunities to see numerous giraffe, zebra, warthog, jackal, hippo, hyena, and more. Tonight, you’ll have a special opportunity to try some traditional Tanzanian dishes. Local cuisine here is known for its fresh, flavorful ingredients, diverse culinary influences, and masterful use of spices. (Please note that this does not include game meat.) Your expert camp chef will share some tasty treats with you tonight! Ngorongoro Nyumba (B,L,D)
Day 9 — Depart
Stop at Cultural Heritage Center, a shopping mainstay in Arusha, the center attracts many travelers each year with its abundance of wooden carvings, artifacts, apparel, and crafts. The center also has Tanzanite and other gemstones for sale. They also have wonderful cultural displays and a separate wing that displays some of the finest African art in Tanzania.
During a special farewell lunch in Arusha, you will have time to say goodbye to your safari companions as you prepare for your departure. You may wish to exchange addresses or take some final photographs, to help preserve fond memories of an extraordinary trip.
Day rooms are provided for your family to take an afternoon swim, rest, repack, and have a snack before your early evening transfer to Kilimanjaro International Airport, where you’ll check in for your departing flight to Amsterdam. Day Room: Mt. Meru Hotel (B,L,Snack)
Day 10 — Arrive U.S.
Connect in Amsterdam and arrive back in the U.S.