The 5 best family lodges in Tanzania


As we know, holiday plans around the world are on hold at the moment due to Covid-19. What better way to get through these troubling times, than to look forward to when this is all over and we can take that family holiday we have been dreaming of. I cannot think of many better countries in the world to enjoy a once in a lifetime family holiday, than in the wild safari parks of Tanzania. Here is a run down of my favourite family friendly lodges on the continent.

Ikuka

Ikuka is perched up high amongst the towering Ruaha baobabs. From your room and the main area, you have stunning views of the park below. The atmosphere is what sets Ikuka apart from all the other lodges in Tanzania; being owner-ran it is truly intimate, and offers a timeless safari experience. If you would like your family to have an authentic safari with amazing guides, a relaxed atmosphere and beautiful big rooms then Ikuka is for you. The wildlife in Ruaha is also exceptional, and you should look at visiting in our summer months of July – October when the park bursts to life and the wildlife is best. Its authenticity means that Ikuka is fairly open-plan, so is probably better for families with teenagers rather than very young children.

Nomad Lamai

Nomad Lamai is a beautiful lodge set in the iconic Kjopes of the northern Serengeti. Aside from the world class Serengeti wildlife, this lodge is particularly appealing for families because of the seperate private property which you can have all to yourself; Mkombe House. Here, you have one of the most enviable family holidays on the continent. Time it right, and your game drives could be filled with hundreds of wildebeest in the Great Migration hurtling themselves across the Mara River (which is just on your doorstep). To be in with a chance of witnessing the river crossings, you must stay at Nomad Lamai from July to October when the wildebeest are (usually!) in the area.

Sand Rivers

The watery and blissful Selous Game Reserve is only a short 45 minute hop from the beautiful beaches of Zanzibar. A combination of beach and safari has never been easier here, and has also never been more memorable than if you were to choose Sand Rivers. This is a lovely lodge with a great atmosphere, huge authentic wooden rooms, and is a great place for families to unwind. The wildlife is also fantastic in the summer months, and importantly, here you can enjoy boating safaris as well as fishing, which makes this a very diverse safari option. Sand Rivers is the Selous’s answer to Ikuka!

Serengeti Safari Camp

Serengeti Safari Camp offers the quintessential East Africa safari experience. This camp is part of an array of “mobile” camps, which move two to three times a year to be in the right location to see the Great Migration herds. Serengeti Safari Camp is my personal favourite, due to its authentic and safari mad approach to the whole experience. The guides are fantastic, and Nomad as a company offer an unrivalled experience across the continent for a certain style of safari; no unnecessary frills but a world class hospitality experience, Serengeti Safari Camp is a true gem. Interconnected family rooms mean that this camp is ideal for families of all ages.

Jabali Ridge

Jabali Ridge is a beautiful and modern lodge, but one which harmoniously fits in with its wild Ruaha surroundings. Like Nomad Lamai, Jabali has a private house too which makes it one of the most elegant, exclusive and sought after family safari houses in East Africa. Jabali is for those who love life on the luxurious side, and want their family holidays to be remote and on the wild side.

Marc Harris is Managing Director of Tanzania Odyssey. Tanzania Odyssey is a leading tour operator that has specialised in Tanzania since 1998.

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Comments (5)

  1. Chris Donaldson says:

    Would you say the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge is also good for families? The photos look amazing but maybe it is more couples-oriented…???

  2. Joseph GATES says:

    I like the idea of a twin stay – safari followed by a beach getaway. Sand Rivers sounds like it would be ideal for this, combining it with somewhere like Mnemba or Pemba. Would you agree?

  3. Leonardo P. says:

    How I miss travelling! It’s as if I am hearing Toto singing Africa while I am reading this post. The Nomad Lamai looks really promising and I am in love with the white canopy bed, a good night’s sleep you’ll have when you’re in it, for sure. To balance the serenity, a trip to the Serengeti Safari Camp is a plus for me. Here’s to wishing that this pandemic will end soon so we can all travel and see the wonders of nature once again.

    • Dana says:

      Actually pretty funny to read about Toto singing Africa after seeing this post. I think you found the perfect word for a trip like this: serenity. It does look very serene and peaceful, a perfect getaway.

  4. Jason R. says:

    I would never peg a safari to be a family-friendly kind of activity. I would be guessing this would be more suitable for families with older children. Some of these lodges seem very high end, but a few look a bit rustic to me like Serengeti Safari Camp. I would think that would be more appealing to adults. But if I were to choose, I’d like to stay on high ground for my peace of mind.

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