Get wild in Tanzania's Saadani National Park and chill out in Zanzibar on an East African family holiday that has it all

Make friends with a monkey, dance like a Maasai, track animals, learn about East Africa’s conservation efforts to protect elephants and turtles, then bliss out in a slice of paradise. This is an incredible ten-day adventure through Saadani National Park and across to the island of Zanzibar. Saadani is one of Tanzania’s least-crowded wildlife sanctuaries, and here you’ll enjoy a sunrise safari across the salt flats, seek out wallowing hippos in the river, set perfect camera traps, and learn about Maasai culture. Then, spice up your life with flight across to the ‘Spice Island’ of Zanzibar. Take time to soak up the sun and lie back in the shade of a coconut palm, then get active with snorkelling or games along the pristine powder of the beach. With comfortable beachside accommodation, delicious meals and knowledgeable local guides, experience both the wild and laidback sides of Tanzania with a family trip to remember.


Start
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Finish
Zanzibar, Tanzania
Country
Tanzania
Style
Comfort
Theme
Family, Wildlife
Code
YTFS
Physical rating
Ages
Min 11
Group size
Min 4, Max 16

Why we love this trip

  • Keep an eye out for hippos wallowing in the mudflats on a boat safari down the Wami River

  • Follow the footprints of nocturnal game on a sunrise salt flat walking safari

  • Learn all about the Maasai, then bust out some local dance moves at a Swahili beach party

  • Get some tips on how to set up the perfect camera trap, then compete to see who can get the best wildlife snap

  • Enjoy a tropical getaway to the incredible paradise of Zanzibar, where days of beach-loving life and water activities await

Is this trip right for you?

  • Camping in the Saadani National Park with no barriers between you and the animals is amazing, but it's important to heed the safety advice of your leader. You'll be briefed on arrival.

  • Our safaris do not necessitate exceptional fitness levels, but a general level of physical movement is required. For example, you need to judge yourself physically fit enough to handle early mornings and getting in and out of the vehicles.

Itinerary

Jambo! Welcome to Tanzania. Meet the group at Dar es Salaam International Airport. From here, you will transfer by road to Saadani National Park. Located on the northern coast of Tanzania, Saadani is the only wildlife sanctuary in the country that borders the sea, offering safari and beach in one location. The unique combination of both marine and mainland flora and fauna makes this destination extra special. On top of that, the park remains relatively unknown, so you can expect to avoid the crowds. Babs' Camp is your first destination, which sits on the salt flats of Saadani with an amazing 20-metre viewing tower at its centre. After lunch in the tower, sit in the Crow's Nest and look out for wildlife padding along the salt flats – herds of buffalo traversing the savannah, elephants wandering through the scrub, and lion hiding in the thickets. In the later afternoon, head out on a game drive in the surrounding area (known as Elephant Island), and at night drive back to camp for dinner in the Tower restaurant.
Meals Included
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Get up early for a sunrise walking safari on the salt flats of Saadani. Here you will learn about animal spoor, and get a sense of what went on the night before, by studying the various animals' behaviour through the mosaic of prints left in the sand. Learn how to set a camera trap – what to look for, and how to find the right place to set it up. Hopefully you’ll get the perfect wildlife shot! After a late breakfast back at Babs' Camp, enjoy some time to relax. Then head out for a late afternoon game drive – if you’re lucky the lions and leopards might be out hunting. Return for your own dinner back on the salt flats, sitting under the stars by a roaring campfire.
Accommodation
  • Babs' Camp (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Masai Mara - Full Day 4x4 Game Drive
  • Sunrise guided foot safari
  • Camera trap setting
  • Evening Game Drive
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After a leisurely breakfast, head down to the Wami River for a thrilling boat safari. On the river you can expect to find a wide variety of bird life, crocodiles, and beautiful, feathery black and white Colobus monkeys studying you from the trees along the banks. There is also a good chance of some hippo sightings – snack on your packed lunch as you watch the hippos rise from their mud wallows on the riverbanks as the boat approaches. After the boat safari, the group will find its way back through the park on a late afternoon game drive in search of Saadani's rich diversity of wildlife.
Included Activities
  • Boat Safari
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After breakfast, bid farewell to Babs' Camp as you transfer to your new home. Pick up your camera trap and check out the best shots as you drive to beachside Simply Saadani camp. The camp lies on the beautiful Indian Ocean coast and is bordered by national park to the north. After settling in to your camp, enjoy some lunch in the sea view restaurant, which is surround by fantastic bush. After lunch, head down to the wildlife research centre to learn about the value of camera traps in wildlife research and conservation, particularly in relation to the Saadani elephants. This is a further opportunity to learn the fine art of setting these traps. Afterwards, you might like to glide through the mangroves down the Mafui creek watching stunning birdlife, or hike through one of the colour-coded bush trails surrounding the camp.
Included Activities
  • Masai Mara - Full Day 4x4 Game Drive
  • Canoe on Mafui Creek
  • Wildlife Conservation Talk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
This morning you might head up to the local fishing village of Mkwaka on foot with your guide, where you can learn about elephant conservation in the area. If the season is right, you might instead travel the short distance to the marine park at Madete. Here you’ll witness the truly wonderful sight of endangered Green Turtles hatching from their nests on the turtle breeding beach and heading out to sea. Later today, look back on all you’ve learned this week, and maybe have a contest to see who got the best photo from their camera trap.
Included Activities
  • Sunrise guided foot safari
  • Fishing Village visit
  • Green Turtle visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today you will spend the morning learning about life as a Maasai. This includes a lecture about the Maasai and their traditions, as well as the modern-day problems Africa faces from over-grazing. You will learn about the colourful clothing of the Maasai tribe, as well as their hair and face paint. This is also a great chance to learn a thing or two about their medicinal plants and pick up a few key phrases of the language. After lunch, take a dance lesson, during which you can dress up in a Maasai blanket (a cloth known as a 'Shuka'). This evening, head to the boma and join a traditional Swahili barbeque party as the traditional Maasai dancing continues.
Included Activities
  • Swahili BBQ
  • Maasai Traditions talk
  • Maasai dance lesson
  • Learn about Maasai clothes, hair and face paint.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Enjoy some free time in the wonderful atmosphere of Simply Saadani this morning, lazing away the day on this pristine stretch of Indian Ocean beach. After lunch you’ll transfer the airstrip for your 3pm flight to Zanzibar, the famous 'Spice Island'. Touch down and then transfer to the very northern tip of the island – Nungwi. Your accommodation is set above the beach on a low coral cliff with easy access to the sea. There are lots of activities on offer, but also a healthy dose of peace and tranquillity with stunning views of the Indian Ocean. The beaches of the north are some of the quietest on the whole island.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Here you can spend the day chilling out by the pool, or head to the beach and run your hands through the perfect powder of the white sand – just right for a game of beach soccer of volleyball. The Indian Ocean is like a warm hug, and it’s deep blue in colour, filled with marine life, and perfect for swimming and snorkelling. This is the perfect place to climb into a hammock with drink and a book, watch a gorgeous sun set and then relax underneath a blanket of glowing stars.
Accommodation
  • The Zanzibari (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Take the day to do a much or as little as you like. Of course the beach and pool call to you, but you could also get involved with some optional activities. There are a host of water-based entertainments – maybe sea kayaking, snorkelling, scuba diving, and sailing trips on a dhow ship. You could also dive into the culture of the island itself on a Zanzibar spice tour. You would head to a spice plantation and receive a guided tour and the opportunity to touch, smell and taste various spices such as cinnamon, vanilla and ginger, as well as teas made with these spices. Wander around the Nungwi Village, take a trek in the nearby forests, or just hit the spa. Maybe get together and celebrate with a big group dinner on your final night of this Tanzanian adventure.
Included Activities
  • Best camera trap photo competition
  • Afternoon quiz
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
This trip though Tanzania and along the island of Zanzibar comes to an end today after breakfast. Hop on your flight and head back home.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

9 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 9 dinners

Transport

4x4 Safari Vehicle, Plane

Accommodation

Lodge (1 night)

Included activities

  • Masai Mara - Full Day 4x4 Game Drive
  • Sunrise guided foot safari
  • Camera trap setting
  • Evening Game Drive
  • Boat Safari
  • Canoe on Mafui Creek
  • Wildlife Conservation Talk
  • Fishing Village visit
  • Green Turtle visit
  • Swahili BBQ
  • Maasai Traditions talk
  • Maasai dance lesson
  • Learn about Maasai clothes, hair and face paint.
  • Best camera trap photo competition
  • Afternoon quiz

Dates & availability

Trip search is unavailable.

Jump to a departure month

Important notes

A DISCOUNT OF 10% APPLIES ON THIS TRIP TO CHILDREN UNDER 14 YEARS OF AGE AND UNDER AT THE TIME OF TRAVEL.

Please note that these trips are for adults and children travelling together and there must be at least one child under 18 with you.

Minimum age for children on this trip is 11 years old.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.