It was 9 years ago, before children, that Glen and I travelled to Tanzania to volunteer and explore for the year. Our time there had its challenges- illness, the language barrier and adjusting to a different way of life. But here we are, 3 children later, and we can’t wait to go back!
Travelling Tanzania with Kids
We’re sure that travelling Tanzania with kids will bring a whole new range of challenges. Travelling with kids anywhere brings a lot of challenges (let alone to the other side of the world!) but we’re ready to take them on and this is why.
While in Tanzania we spent a few months travelling via a beaten up 30-year-old BMW motorbike. This was an adventure on its own and not one we can repeat this time!
But really there is so many opportunities for adventure. Just getting from A to B, using public transport, squeezing yourself onto a bus or ‘Dala Dala’ with locals and perhaps a few chickens too. Navigating yourself through a local market, visiting amazing places, seeing, experiencing and tasting things far different to your home country.
With the kids, we’re looking forward to showing them Mt. Kilimanjaro, the tallest freestanding mountain in the world and the tallest in Africa as well as exploring Moshi nearby.
We want to see them discover the local markets and find what treasures they hold and perhaps a trip to Zanzibar too. We are keeping our plans flexible, who knows what other adventures will present themselves to us!
Last time we were in Tanzania we experienced nothing but kindness. No matter the situation, we met people who were grateful, happy, willing to share what they had and help how they could, and there were plenty of times we needed help!
I still remember clearly the time when we had broken down in the middle of nowhere, not a person or building in site! Completely out of our depth with no way to fix our bike on our own. In a matter of minutes, we had friendly locals surrounding us, offering suggestions, tools and helping us to problem solve a fix so we could get back on the road.
Our time in Tanzania helped us realise that we should be grateful for what we do have and not focussed on what we don’t.
Having this experience, we know that our children will only grow from the same. They will be warmly welcomed by the people we meet. They will have Mama’s doting on them and children to play with. We are sure they will make many new friends who will be hard to leave when the time comes.
What we enjoyed most in Tanzania was the importance of family and your community. That sense of “it takes a village to raise a child” you can see in practice and makes you wish you had more of the same back home.
And celebrations, do they know how to celebrate! Celebrating achievements and special occasions as a community and always with cake. The warmth and happiness that radiates from these occasions is contagious and to be a part of it, is something special and something we hope our children will also get to experience.
And of course, then there is the wildlife!
There is nothing quite like being out in the African wilderness, right there with these amazing creatures that you’ve been seeing in movies and in books all your life. Right there in front of you, without fences or barriers, you are in their world and it is something that you will never forget. You will have the sound track of the Lion King stuck on repeat in your mind the whole time!
This is something that I’m sure that our kids, although young, are unlikely to forget either. With plans to visit one of our favourite parks from our last trip- Ngorongoro Crater. Absolutely breathtaking and an absolute must see to add to your bucket list.
Opportunity to give back
We find volunteering is a way that we can give a little bit back to the community that we are visiting. It also gives us the opportunity to slow down and experience the Tanzanian way of life.
We can share our skills and make a difference to a community project, and through volunteering you meet people you would never meet in normal travels. You learn from them and get to experience their life and share yours with them too.
Last time we were in Tanzania, we had met the now founders of the Bandari Project and from afar we’ve watched them build the organisation that it has become today. As such, it was an easy choice for us when we were looking for somewhere to approach, and we were thrilled that we are able to spend time as a family at the project during our time in Tanzania. Stay tuned to learn more.
A New Adventure Awaits
I know there are many more reasons which are drawing us back to Tanzania but these 5 are at the core and it is for these reasons that we want to share this experience with our children too.
We want them to experience the people, the culture, the adventure and wildlife that it has to offer and we can’t wait to see them grow and learn along the way.
Please get in touch if you have any family travel tips for Tanzania, we’d love to go check out something new!
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