• Why We Love Tulia Unique Beach Resort

    Lesia
    August 20, 2018
    Tulia Unique Beach Resort is one of our favourite resorts on Zanzibar. With its attention to detail and impressive inclusions, it's the perfect choice!
  • The Top 10 Destinations for an African Safari

    Chris Walker Bush
    August 10, 2018

    The Top 10 Destinations for an African Safari

    When it comes time to plan your African safari adventure, it can be difficult to choose from the many fantastic safari destinations.

    While East Africa's Wildebeest Migration might be the star attraction, there are plenty of reasons to consider other options.

    Today, the Shadows of Africa team breaks down the benefits and drawbacks of the ten best African safari destinations.

    mountain nyala ethiopian wildlife

    #10 - Ethiopia

    Ethiopia isn't commonly thought of as a safari destination.

    The nation's most famous attractions tend to be of a historic nature, with images of iconic Gondar and Lalibela sure to come to mind first.

    However, it is perfectly possible to combine a cultural and historic exploration of Ethiopia with a safari to see its unique animals.

    Nowhere else in the world will your safari include black-maned lions, walia ibex, or gerada baboons. This makes Ethiopia a fantastic choice for those who have already 'been there, done that'.

    Pros: Unique wildlife. Fascinating history. Delicious food.

    Cons: Not a traditional safari destination. Recent political unrest.

    #9 - Rwanda

    What comes to mind when you think of a trip to Rwanda?

    Chances are, it's either gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park or visiting the haunting Rwanda Genocide Museum in Kigali.

    Did you know you can also combine the above with a Big Five safari in Akagera National Park? While the park was once something of an afterthought, the Rwandan government has recently made huge strides to import both rhinoceros and lions to bring the park back to its former glory.

    A perfect day trip from Kigali, a safari in Akagera can be tailored to also include a boat safari to make for something different.

    Pros: Easy day trip from Kigali. See gorillas, chimpanzees, and the Big Five in one trip.

    Cons: Wildlife numbers are low and Rwanda tends to be expensive.

    namibia-safari

    #8 - Namibia

    Namibia's stunning landscapes are amongst its biggest selling points. How can you not fall in love with the windswept Skeleton Coast or the towering dunes of Sossusvlei?

    While the tiny southern African can't quite compare with the 'big boys' when it comes to game drives, the country is still a fantastic safari destination in its own right.

    Etosha National Park, in particular, is attracting game enthusiasts from around the world with its towering elephants, the huge variety of bird and animal life, and its dramatic landscapes.

    When you combine this with the country's other significant charms, it becomes a very attractive prospect.

    Pros: Stunning landscapes. Very affordable.

    Cons: Long drives between destinations.

    zambia-elephant

    #7 - Zambia

    Like neighboring Zimbabwe, Zambia is perhaps best known as the home of the majestic Victoria Falls.

    But did you know that it is also a fantastic game drive destination?

    While it is certainly a bit more of an off-the-beaten-track destination than Zimbabwe, Botswana, or South Africa - Zambia's South Luangwa National Park and Lower Zambezi National Park are truly awe-inspiring game-drive destinations that can compete with some of the most famous safari parks on earth.

    Pros: Combine a safari with a visit to Victoria Falls. Off the beaten path charm.

    Cons: Off the beaten path translates into less information and infrastructure availability.

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    vic-falls-zimbabwe

    #6 - Zimbabwe

    Zimbabwe is one of Shadows of Africa's most popular new destinations, with people from all over the world coming to witness the powerful Victoria Falls and explore this gorgeous country.

    It's a shame that so few people extend their trip to see more than just the falls, as national parks such as Mana Pools National Park and Hwange National Park offer fantastic game drive opportunity.

    Combine this with the history of Great Zimbabwe and the aforementioned Victoria Falls and you have a country that can boast being the complete package.

    Pros: Victoria Falls. Close to South Africa.

    Cons: Less developed tourist scene away from Victoria Falls. Political issues.

    queen-elizabeth-uganda

    #5 - Uganda

    Uganda was once dubbed the Pearl of Africa by Winston Churchill, and we certainly agree with that sentiment.

    No country in Africa can offer quite what Uganda does: world-class gorilla and chimpanzee trekking, terrific game drives, and the majesty of the mighty Nile.

    A perfect destination for those who have already visited Tanzania, Kenya, and South Africa - Ugana's wild charm and variety of offerings makes it a great place to plan that second safari.

    Pros: The best place to combine gorilla trekking, chimpanzee trekking, and a Big Five safari.

    Cons: Poor road conditions, expensive domestic flights.

    botswana-safari

    #4 - Botswana

    One of the world leaders when it comes to wildlife conservation, Botswana is a truly world-class African safari destination.

    Chobe National Park is home to Africa's densest concentration of wildlife, Chobe is a conservationist's dream that can boast Africa's largest elephant population and some of the world's most stunning landscapes.

    Of course, there's more to a Botswana safari than just Chobe. Botswana is home to a number of other fantastic parks that are worthy of your time.

    Pros: World class conservation record. Africa's densest wildlife population.

    Cons: One of Africa's most expensive destinations.

    south africa cheetahs safari

    #3 - South Africa

    Arguably the most famous African safari destination, South Africa is justified in its popularity.

    Its diverse landscapes, fantastic beaches, world-class wines, and famous game parks make it a hugely popular destination.

    South Africa's level of development and the fact English is the primary language makes it an appealing destination for first-time safari travelers, but it also means a more crowded tourism scene.

    Still, Kruger National Park is justifiably considered one of the world's best safari parks, and the prospect of combining this with the stunning Garden Route, the popular South African wine regions, and the gorgeous beaches makes South Africa a great choice.

    Pros: English speaking nation, well-developed tourism market, and a variety of activities.

    Cons: Crowded market can make booking hotels difficult.

    amboseli

    #2 - Kenya

    Kenya often refers to itself as "Africa's safari capital", and the East African country absolutely has a claim to that mantle.

    Home to the world-famous Maasai Mara as well as boasting the best views of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Kenya is also an affordable and well-developed tourism market that is great for families or people traveling on a budget.

    Shadows of Africa offers a huge variety of Kenyan safari tours, so there is something for all walks of life.

    Pros: Home to the Wildebeest Migration in August-September. Views of Mt. Kilimanjaro from Amboseli. Cheapest East African nation.

    Cons: Popularity means hotels sell out early.

    leopard-tanzania

    #1 - Tanzania

    The undisputed king when it comes to African safaris, Tanzania is home to the Wildebeest Migration for ten months of the year.

    It's also home to the World Heritage-listed Ngorongoro Crater, Africa's tallest mountain, and the gorgeous island paradise of Zanzibar.

    When it comes to putting together your dream Tanzanian safari, Shadows of Africa have you covered. We've been in operation here for almost a decade and know the country inside and out.

    Pros: The best place to see the Wildebeest Migration. Mt. Kilimanjaro. Zanzibar. Ngorongoro Crater.

    Cons: East Africa's most expensive destination.

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    With so many choices when it comes to planning your African safari, it can be difficult to find the right fit for you.

    Thankfully, Shadows of Africa has expertise in all ten of the above countries and can help find the perfect fit for you!

    Contact us to start planning your dream safari now!

  • How to Plan The Ultimate Lion Safari

    Chris Walker Bush
    August 10, 2018

    Planning the Ultimate Lion Safari

    When people think of African wildlife, a variety of images probably come to their minds.

    The colossal silhouette of an African elephant against the backdrop of thorny acacia trees.

    Long-necked giraffe or stealthy leopards.

    But for most, the regal lion is the most enduring symbol of Africa, and they come from all around the world to experience their own lion safari.

    But if you're as obsessed with lions as we are, where is the best place to go for a lion safari?

    Manyara_Park_lions

    Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania

    One of two places in the world that can proudly boast being home to tree-climbing lions, Lake Manyara National Park is a popular choice for Tanzanian lion safaris.

    During the annual wet season (April - May), the park comes alive with life as all manner of wildlife flock to the lake's shores.

    Hippopotamus and water birds are popular sights in the park, but it is its resident tree-climbing lions that make it a good lion safari destination.

    Believe me, you haven't seen a lion until you've seen it lazily lounging in the branches of an umbrella acacia!

    When to Visit: April, May, or November.

    Where to Stay: Check out our fantastic Lake Manyara accommodation guide!

    What to See: Hippos, water birds, and tree-climbing lions.

    Tree_lion_uganda

    Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda

    The other park that can boast tree-climbing lions, Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda is a popular spot between Kibale's chimp trekking and Bwindi's gorilla trekking.

    The park's Ishasha sector is especially popular, as it is here that you can find prides of lions relaxing in trees between meals.

    Queen Elizabeth National Park is arguably Uganda's best safari park, but it's especially popular as a lion safari destination. It's the perfect stop on the road to Bwindi!

    When to Visit: Year-round.

    Where to Stay: There are some fantastic lodges in Queen Elizabeth, but Enjojo Lodge puts you closest to the action!

    What to See: Lions, elephants, antelope, and chimpanzees.

    masai-mara-lion

    Maasai Mara, Kenya

    One of Africa's most famous safari destinations, Kenya's Maasai Mara is a fantastic place to spot lions in the wild.

    While only home to the Wildebeest Migration for a few months of each year, the Maasai Mara is a top-class lion safari destination regardless of what time you visit.

    The best part about the Maasai Mara is how affordable accommodation can be during the off-peak season, with luxury lodges for the price you'll pay for a regular tented camp across the border!

    When to Visit: Year-round for lions or in August/September for the Migration.

    Where to Stay: There are too many Maasai Mara lodges to count! Our favourites are Sopa Maasai Mara, Ashnil Mara, Mara Leisure, and Ol Moran.

    What to See: The Big Five, African wild dogs, and the Wildebeest Migration.

    lions tanzania babies

    Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

    The piece de resistance when it comes to lion safari destinations, the Serengeti is Africa's most stunning wilderness and the home of the annual Wildebeest Migration.

    With an abundance of Serengeti accommodation options and something to be seen throughout the year, it is the ultimate safari destination.

    The Seronera region, in particular, is known as 'big cat country', and the famous Simba kopjes are said to have inspired Pride Rock from The Lion King!

    When to Visit: Year-round. Check out our post on when to visit the Serengeti.

    Where to Stay: Check out our Serengeti accommodation guide for some great ideas.

    What to See: The Big Five and the Wildebeest Migration.

    lion-wildlife-big-5

    Akagera National Park, Rwanda

    You don't need to take an international flight to see lions while in Rwanda.

    Akagera National Park is now home to a pride of 14 lions, making it possible to embark on a lion safari as a day trip from Kigali!

    While not of the same quality as a safari destination as the Serengeti or Maasai Mara, Akagera National Park is the perfect option if you're in Rwanda and need more to do than 'just' gorilla trekking.

    When to Visit: Year-round.

    Where to Stay: Consult your Shadows of Africa safari expert for Akagera accommodation recommendations!

    What to See: The Big Five, Nile Crocodiles, and water birds.

    tanzania-lion-ngorongoro

    Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

    If you want to see a kill, there are few places better than the World Heritage-listed Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

    Rare are the days where guests on safari in Ngorongoro Crater don't see a pride of lions guarding a fresh kill against hyenas looking for an easy meal.

    When you add the spectacular backdrop of the soaring crater walls, you've got a recipe for an unforgettable lion safari.

    When to Visit: Year-round.

    Where to Stay: Check out our Ngorongoro accommodation guide.

    What to See: The Big Five, especially rhinos.


    Planning a lion safari? Reach out to your Shadows of Africa expert and let them help you design the perfect itinerary!

  • Exploring Historic Stone Town - A Guide

    Chris Walker Bush
    August 6, 2018

    Stone Town - A Guide

    Historic Stone Town is one of Tanzania's most beloved tourist attractions.

    The storied history of Stone Town is every bit as big an attraction as Zanzibar's famous white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. No visit to Zanzibar would be complete without a night (or two) in Stone Town.

    zanzibar-stone-town-view-min

    Getting to Stone Town

    Flights

    Stone Town is home to Zanzibar's only international airport: Abeid Amani Karume International Airport.

    As such, the easiest way to get there is via flights from Arusha, Kilimanjaro, Dar Es Salaam, or even the Serengeti!

    Airlines such as Coastal Aviation, Precision, and FlightLink offer multiple daily flights from a number of airstrips and airports across Tanzania.

    This makes taking a safari from Zanzibar super easy!

    As an international airport, it is also possible to fly to larger international airports such as Nairobi.

    Ferries

    Zanzibar is quite close to the Tanzanian mainland, so it is also possible to take a ferry to Dar Es Salaam.

    With domestic flights to Dar Es Salaam being so cheap, however, it is often easier to simply fly and avoid the hassle of dealing with a crowded public ferry.

    Where to Stay in Stone Town

    Stone Town boasts a wealth of accommodation options for all budgets. From friendly backpacker hostels to luxury five-star resorts, there's something for all walks of life.

    We've highlighted a few of our favourite Stone Town accommodation options below.

    zenji-zanzibar

    Zenji Guesthouse (Budget)

    Part B&B, part restaurant, and part backpacker hostel, Zenji Guesthouse is a fantastic option for people on a tight budget.

    Boasting a variety of rooms in different styles and price ranges, it is a centrally located property just a few minutes' walk from the Ferry Terminal and popular tourist attractions.

    Recommended For: Backpackers and families on a budget.

    Maru-Maru-Hotel

    Maru Maru (Medium)

    Home to one of the breathtaking views in all of Stone Town, Maru Maru's rooftop bar, restaurant, and pool is the envy of properties all across the island.

    Maru Maru is a modern hotel that stays true to its Zanzibari cultural heritage, Maru Maru offers the comforts from home with a distinctly African sensibility.

    Their buffet breakfast is to die for too!

    Recommended For: Families and couples.

    Emerson Spice Hotel in Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania

    Emerson Spice (Medium)

    Built in a refurbished former merchant's home, Emerson Spice gives guests the chance to stay in an authentic bit of Zanzibar history while enjoying all of the comforts you'd expect from a top-class hotel.

    One of our most popular hotel options, Emerson Spice offers a variety of room configurations and prices to cater for all kinds of travelers.

    Recommended For: Families and groups.

    serena-stone-town

    Serena Stone Town (Upper Medium)

    The Serena brand can always be relied upon to provide quality service, spacious rooms, and gorgeous grounds.

    A common feature in many Tanzanian safari itineraries, Serena's presence in Stown Town offers up the opportunity to take advantage of their very competitive circuit discount pricing.

    It's also a thoroughly gorgeous lodge in its own right!

    Recommended For: Groups and families.

    hyatt-zanzibar

    Park Hyatt Zanzibar (Luxury)

    The only name in luxury in Stone Town, the gorgeous Park Hyatt Zanzibar proudly embraces its historic roots while also offering world-class luxury service.

    Whether you're staying in a city view room or one of the lavish suites, you've got access to Park Hyatt's world-renowned service, amazing food, and on-site facilities such as an infinity pool, fully equipped gym, souvenir store, and much more.

    Recommended For: Honeymooners and couples.

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    Of course, there are plenty of other options when it comes to Stone Town accommodation, but the above are a few of our absolute favourites!

    What to do in Stone Town

    Many visitors to Stone Town use it as a stopping off point between the airport and their Zanzibar beach resort, but they're missing out! Some of the most popular Zanzibar activities can be accessed from right here in the city!

    stonetown-zanzibar

    Stone Town City Tour

    First and foremost is a tour of historic Stone Town's labyrinthine alleys, bustling market bazaars, and historic sites. Our Stone Town tour is a memorable half-day experience that showcases the rich and often dark history of the former Omani territory and independent nation.

    Busy all day? We also offer a Stone Town by night tour!

    Spice Plantation Tour

    Before it was famous for its beaches, Zanzibar was famous around the world as the 'spice island' where so many dishes across the globe got their flavour.

    Today, you can take a Zanzibar spice tour to taste, smell, touch, and even cook with the various herbs, spices, and tropical fruits that are still a staple of the Zanzibari economy. It's a delicious experience!

    zanzibar prison island

    Prison Island

    Located not far from Stone Town, Prison Island is a former prison that now acts as a sanctuary for giant tortoises.

    A Prison Island tour allows you to take a walk back in time while also seeing these gigantic amphibians up close and personal!

    Where to Eat in Stone Town

    With so many of the world's herbs and spices coming from Zanzibar, is it any surprise that the food is exquisite?

    Combine this with the island's melting pot of cultures and you've got a dizzying array of dining options at your fingertips.

    Whether you are craving a little Spanish tapas, a fiery Indian curry, authentic Italian, or you want to sample the local fare, Stone Town's dining scene has got you covered.

    Want to know our favourites?

    beach-house-zanzibar

    The Beach House

    A trendy eatery from the people behind the Park Hyatt Zanzibar, Beach House offers up both African and European cuisine, designer gin & tonic cocktails, and a stunning view of the Indian Ocean to boot.

    Try their paella - it's to die for!

    Puzzle Coffee Shop

    If you've got some time to spare in Stone Town and want to catch up on your emails, Puzzle Coffee Shop offers high speed WiFi, aromatic coffee, and tasty pastries to sate that hunger.

    Located in one of the city's many winding alleys, it's a cute little hidden treasure that local expats swear by.

    Tea House Restaurant

    Stone Town's top restaurant according to TripAdvisor, Tea House is a rooftop restaurant offering up decadent five-course degustation for gourmands and foodies from around the world.

    For those wanting an intimate dining experience, this is the place to be.

    For guests staying at Emerson Spice, this is the restaurant where you'll be doing all of your dining. Not bad!

    Planning Your Stone Town Experience

    Has our Stone Town guide got your attention?

    Get in touch with one of Shadows of Africa's safari experts at info@shadowsofafrica.com to start planning your Stone Town escape!

  • 10 Things You Need to Know About a Serengeti Safari

    Chris Walker Bush
    July 23, 2018
    Planning a Serengeti safari? Here is all the information you'll need to make sure your Serengeti safari experience is unforgettable.
  • Where to Stay in Lake Manyara: The Best Hotels in Lake Manyara National Park

    Chris Walker Bush
    July 12, 2018

    Where to Stay in Lake Manyara

    One of Tanzania's most beloved national parks, Lake Manyara is a popular stop-off on the way to (or from) the Serengeti and Ngorongoro regions.

    Home to Tanzania's tree-climbing lions, a startling variety of bird life, and the many hippos who call its waters home.

    A popular location for optional activities such as night game drives, Lake Manyara offers a variety of accommodation options while also being a short drive from the huge variety of accommodation in Karatu.

    Budget

    Most budget travelers will find there are better options in nearby Karatu, but Lake Manyara National Park is also home to both a campsite and budget lodge that cater to those on a tight budget.

    Twiga Camp

    If you're not looking for all of the bells and whistles, Twiga Camp is the best value for money you can find in the area.

    With both regular rooms and campsites, there are a variety of options to suit all budgets. The presence of a swimming pool and on-site restaurant make it a cut above other campsites in Tanzania's National Parks too!

    Recommended For: Budget travelers and adventurous travelers.

    Medium

    There are a number of Lake Manyara lodges for those on a conservative budget, with both tented camps and brick and mortar options available.

    lakemanyarawildlife_lodge_pool_1

    Lake Manyara Wildlife Lodge

    Boasting one of the most breathtaking views of Lake Manyara you're likely to find, Lake Manyara Wildlife Lodge is a brick and mortar lodge catering to families, large groups, and those who want affordable accommodation close to the park.

    While the rooms are a little small and it lacks some amenities, you can't beat the stunning view.

    Recommended For: Families.

    Escarpment-Lodge-Chalet

    Escarpment Lodge

    Perched on the Great Rift Valley escarpment, the aptly named Escarpment Lodge is another property that can boast a gorgeous view of the park.

    Its infinity pool, huge viewing deck, and gorgeous decoration make it a better option than Lake Manyara Wildlife Lodge for those who want a little something special.

    Recommended For: Those with a little extra money.

    kirurumu-manyara

    Kirurumu Manyara

    For those wanting the tented camp experience, Kirurumu Under Canvas offers stunning views of the Great Rift Valley and the thrill of camping in the wilderness.

    You're not roughing it in your tented accommodation, either! There's hot and cold water, 24-hour electricity, and all of the comforts you'd expect to find in a hotel room.

    Ideally located between Ngorongoro, Lake Manyara, and Tarangire - Kirurumu Manyara is a great place to base yourself for a few days.

    Recommended ForAdventurous travelers.

    Luxury

    Lake Manyara's immense natural beauty and its position on the Great Rift Valley escarpment lend it to some truly spectacular luxury lodges.
    kilimamoja-manyara

    Lake Manyara Kilimamoja

    The best value when it comes to luxury properties in Lake Manyara, Kilimamoja offers luxury services at a price that even medium travelers can afford.

    From the same family behind the popular Ole Serai and Oldeani properties, Kilimamoja is one of our favourite lodges.

    Recommended For: Luxury on a budget.

    serena-manyara

    Serena Lake Manyara

    The popular Serena chain of hotels has a strong presence in Lake Manyara. For those traveling with their family or a large group, the trusted Serena brand is always a good option.

    Like other Serena properties, Lake Manyara Serena can boast a large pool, spacious dining facilities, and comfortable lodge accommodation.

    Recommended For: Families.

    wildlife-camp-manyara

    Manyara Wildlife Safari Camp

    For a luxury tented camp experience, Manyara Wildlife Safari Camp is the place to be.

    Combining world-class luxury with a closeness to nature you won't find at other Lake Manyara lodges, Wildlife Safari Camp is perfect for those wanting the comforts from home while also enjoying an authentic African bush experience.

    Recommended For: Barefoot luxury and adventurous luxury.

    Ultra Luxury

    There may not be many top luxury options in Lake Manyara, but the one the park can boast is one of the best.

    treehouse-suites-at-andBeyond-lake-manyara-lodge

    &Beyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge

    From the first name in African luxury experiences comes Lake Manyara Tree Lodge. Not only is this one of Tanzania's most photogenic properties, it's also one of its most decadent.

    Each of the property's nine tree house suites can boast 360-degree views of the surrounding landscape. Designed to leave a minimal footprint on the surrouding ecosystem, Tree Lodge combines &Beyond's signature flair for luxury with an experience that is akin to sleeping in the trees like on of the park's famous tree-climbing lions!

    Recommended For: Honeymooners.

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    While Lake Manyara National Park may not boast the same variety of accommodation as Ngorongoro or the Serengeti, there is nonetheless something for all tastes and budgets.

    Got a favourite that you don't see here? Let us know!

     

     

     

  • Where to Stay in Ngorongoro: The Best Hotels in Ngorongoro and Karatu

    Chris Walker Bush
    June 5, 2018
    When planning your safari to Ngorongoro Crater, you'll want to consider the various hotels in Ngorongoro and nearby Karatu. Here, we've highlighted the best hotels in the area.
  • Six Stunning Hotels for your Zanzibar Honeymoon

    Chris Walker Bush
    April 7, 2018
    A Zanzibar honeymoon is a fantastic way to start your adventure with your new partner. We highlight six romantic Zanzibar hotels that are perfect for your first holiday as husband and wife.
  • 5 Insider Tips for Planning a Budget Safari in Tanzania

    Chris Walker Bush
    March 26, 2018
    Planning a budget safari in Tanzania can be intimidating, but it's entirely possible to have an unforgettable private safari without breaking the bank.

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