What to do

  • Climbers Experiences on Mount Kilimanjaro

    Bryan Fawcett
    September 30, 2017

    We all get told climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is amazing, that it is one of the seven great peaks to climb on your bucket list; here is some great stories of guests who climbed it recently. First, before I relate these stories to you, let me give you an overview of the largest mountain in Africa. For it has a few facts that most people get confused with. Mt. Kilimanjaro is located in the Republic of Tanzania, in East Africa, most people think it in Kenya as well just like they think the Serengeti is in Kenya too; but they are not, Tanzania is the place for these great features.

    Our latest brochure is about Mount Kilimanjaro and it explains to you what we offer and what is needed for this bucket list adventure of climbing this mountain. There are a few routes, but we mainly take our guests up the Marangu route or the Machame routes. The number of days needed to climb and get back down vary per route and per group! So when booking, make sure you know these important details, because these details will make your Kilimanjaro trek far more satisfactory and enjoyable. Below is a story from one of our guests recently.

    For the Mt Meru trek, our group of 3 were led by Amir and his team of support staff (1 cook, 1 waiter/head porter and 5 other porters). We were grouped together with 3 other companies totaling 9 clients. This was because visitors to Arusha National Park are required to be accompanied by one of their armed rangers which there are a limited number of. Shadows of Africa was noticeably more professional than the other companies I saw. During the trip briefing, Amir made sure that we all had the necessary clothing and equipment by actually checking what we brought over. Our heart rates and oxygen levels were monitored and recorded at the end of every day during the trek (something I’ve never had to do elsewhere — nice touch!). We were talking to our other fellows trekkers with other companies, and almost none of them were as well briefed as us. Some were quite unprepared clothing wise and their guides lacked professionalism (more on that below). The porter to client ratio is apparently set to 2:1 and they each have a weight limit restriction as the government is trying to dissuade operators from overloading their porters. So it’s not surprising if the number of support staff is quite large relative to the group size. My recommendation would be to do the 3D/2N option instead and ask your operator beforehand if they can arrange a car to pick you up from Miriakamba Hut and drive directly back down to the park gates.

    Our guide, Amir was an excellent guide given his experience in leading treks up to the much higher, Mount Kilimanjaro. My friend felt weak from stomach problems before the trek even started, and he provided attentive care throughout the entire trek. On the morning of the third day when we were summiting, one of the other trekkers started feeling unwell with blurred vision likely due to the effects of high altitude. As we were at the front of the group, we didn’t find out about her condition until well into the summiting trek. It’s to my understanding that her own guide (who was also the park ranger overlooking all of us) had her keep going up and barely addressed her concerns. Amir had to step in and lead her hand-in-hand safely back down. I’m quite disappointed on how the guides from the other companies handled the situation as they barely provided any help. Even though the girl wasn’t their own client, they somehow didn’t find it in them to even provide words of comfort. They just stood off to the side. I’ve been on many treks before where the guide doesn’t really play an important role but after this incident, I now realize how important it is to have an experienced guide. Amir saved the day! I highly recommend requesting for him for trekking tours with Shadows of Africa.

  • Adventures on Safaris this July

    Bryan Fawcett
    September 21, 2017

    The safaris in July were absolutely fantastic, our clients truly enjoyed themselves, and were left awestruck. The parks traveled to were mainly the Serengeti, Tarangire and Manyara. We had a variety of clients, from families to just single people traveling in groups or by themselves.

    Our drivers are some of the most experienced locals in the industry, because of this the guests leave not sightings species but also are able to tell stories to their families and friends back home about these beautiful creatures. Our goal is to create experiences for our guests and educate them about Africa and the beauty of it. As distances are far getting from one place to another, it is guaranteed that our drivers will make the drive pleasant filled with laughter and stories about this great continent.

    Most of our safaris have a cultural tour inserted inside which allows the guests to experience first-hand shooting bows and arrows, watch how domestic animals are skinned if you have the stomach for it that is. Otherwise, you can learn how to throw Maasai spears. In these tours, you learn about the culture of the native people in the area and how they live, their traditions and history, sources of income and food. What amazes myself and I am sure most of you, is how they have integrated their cultures etc into the modern world, yet the simplicity of their lives is outstanding. Could you live like this even for just a week?

    As this particular dry season, this year has been drier than normal, the wildlife was pretty scattered across the parks in search of water and food, having a great sighting of animals was pretty lucky. By the photos in this post, you can see that the guests made great memories and had lots of fun. If you have not been to Africa yet, or not this part of Africa we can assure you that memorable experiences will be created with us.

    The migration in July was in northern Serengeti, the river crossing sightings were spectacular! As this is the time of year that they are moving in between the Maasai Mara and the Serengeti. The Mara River is one of the best places to see the famous wildebeest river crossings. Here you will how the animals cross and how the predators take advantage of this movement of animals. In Africa, survival of the fittest and strongest is essential to life. At first, the wildebeest are shy then they literally surge across, here picking out prey is easy for the crocodiles; lions sit and wait for them, and catch them whilst they are weary or the stragglers that are hesitant to cross. Watching the circle of life take place in right in front of you is truly amazing!

    Those that visited Tarangire National Park, got the opportunity of seeing the largest mammals in Africa, the African elephant, this park holds the largest elephant population in East Africa, thereby you won’t drive far without seeing these majestic animals. You will also have seen the ground hornbill, those big black birds with red beaks. Did you know that the elephants are ruled by the Matriarch, the females are the ones who control what is going on in the herd, and the males get kicked out at times.

    If you read our reviews on TripAdvisor you will be able to read the personal stories of the guests on safaris. Join us on an adventure and tick of those items on your bucket list! You can contact us at info@shadowsofafrica.com

  • Planning a Dream Honeymoon in Africa

    AdminSoa
    June 1, 2017
    Planning your dream honeymoon? The Shadows of Africa team can arrange something truly unforgettable across our huge selection of destinations.
  • Lunch at The Kibowa Orphanage

    Lesia
    February 20, 2017

    Look at these happy faces! The children at the Kibowa orphanage received food supplies for a couple of months recently. We could provide it thanks to a generous donation from Ken and Linda Cohen, 2 of our USA clients. Their donations were so generous that we brought food deliveries to Kibowa twice! Once around Christmas week and the rest about a month later!

    The children from the orphanage really appreciated all the gifts and kindly invited us for lunch to share what they have. They didn’t forget to feed the cat who seemed to be the happiest in the room. He was getting food from everyone!

    Wonderful thing about the children at the Kibowa orphanage is that they share and help each other. They brought bags to the kitchen by themselves like one amicable family. They help the mamas to cook and to take care of the house. All of them are going to school which is not far from a new building that the orphanage has moved into.

    Our team thinks that all of these kids deserve a nice education. And we are sure they will study and work hard to get the best future they can for themselves and for Tanzania. Their smiles are the best gift that we can receive. Thank you to Ken and Linda as it is not possible without their help!

  • "Mother Bear" Visited Tanzanian Orphanage

    Lesia
    January 30, 2017

    The Shadows of Africa Team has a fantastic source of inspiration: our customers. Not only adventurers, but people with open hearts and great ways of thinking.

    Patty and Kathleen from the USA brought one extra bag for their safari. We were surprised to find out it was full of hand-made bears. Kathleen has been a part of the community, “Mother Bear” for fourteen years and they have sent thousands of bears to different African countries.

    Now her dream came true – she finally had an opportunity to give these bears to kids in person!Lesia and Julia from our team joined the ladies for the orphanage visit. They headed to Africa Amini Life, which is famous not only because of its unique lodge but because of its successful social projects such as the local hospital, school, and orphanage support.

    One of the founders of Africa Amini, Austrian doctor Kornelia Wallner, met guests in the hospital and escorted them to the orphanage. She shared a story about a newborn child they’d just saved from death. Unfortunately, the mother died giving birth, but the baby was strong enough to survive. That’s why they gave her the name, Leon, which sounds close to “lion”.

    It seems like these bears really have lots of a mother’s warmth that kids from the orphanage are looking for. All of them were more than excited to get their presents and started playing immediately, trying to guess their new friends’ names. Kathleen and Peggy taught the kids to sing a “Teddy Bear Song” and the kids all banded together to teach the ladies how to sing a popular local song, “Jambo”.

    We are proud of our travelers who can bring additional meaning to their African journey. It’s not that hard to do something great and important in your life, you just need to be brave enough to start!

  • Meaningful Travel & Packing with Purpose

    Chris Walker Bush
    October 22, 2016
    Visitors to Tanzania may wish to visit Kibowa Orphanage as part of their trip. Here's how you can pack with purpose and bring some happiness to needy kids.
  • Amini Africa Maasai Lodge: A Cultural Experience with Social Benefit to Match

    Lauren Smith
    September 5, 2016

    Bordering Arusha National Park, Africa Amini Maasai Lodge gets a huge tick of approval from the Shadows of Africa team. Not only does this lodge offer a unique experience and offer genuine interaction with the Maasai and elements of their culture but your stay also helps to support social projects run by the founders and members of the local Maasai community.

    Healthcare in Tanzania is largely determined based on accessibility and affordability. Such barriers to healthcare are significantly exacerbated in more rural areas of the country. Recognising that healthcare was not attending to the needs of Maasai in Momella, Arusha, Doctor Cristine Wallner from Austria (founder) began to take this issue into her own hands. From its small beginnings of attending to clients under the giant fig tree, Amini Africa has expanded into a permanent hospital, and also provides access to other social services such as education and vocational skills training.

    Amini Africa The Fig Tree and Starting Place for Africa Amini

     

    “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services”
    - Article 25 of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948

    When Dr Wallner shifted to Tanzania, her idea was to establish access to professional healthcare where there was none. Due to the isolation of Momella, people requiring treatment needed to travel hours by foot to the nearest health facility. Today, the health facilities at Momella are some of the best in the region.

    Shadows of Africa recently visited Amini to get a glimpse at the work they were undertaking. Remtulla, our designated tour guide, took us around the hospital including their new operating theatre (opening in October), the school and orphanage, computer learning centre, women’s centre, library and healing centre.

    Amini Africa Hospital Nurses Rooms

     

    If you’re interested in getting a genuine cultural experience during your stay in Tanzania, while supporting a great cause at the same time, don’t go past Africa Amini Maasai Lodge. Check out the rest of the photos from our tour below!

    Africa Amini Womens Centre Women's Centre
    Africa Amini Healing Centre Healing Centre with Natural Remedies
    Africa Amini Library Library
    Africa Amini Orphanage Orphanage
  • How to Book the Perfect African Safari Vacation

    Chris Walker Bush
    April 24, 2016
    Planning your dream safari trip? Here are a few questions you should ask yourself to ensure you get exactly what you're looking for.
  • Climbing Mt. Meru

    Chris Walker Bush
    January 20, 2016
    While not as tall as Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru is a challenging but rewarding hike that can act as ideal preparation for tackling the Roof of Africa.

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