• A very special place - Africa Amini Life

    Fredrick Mwange
    July 15, 2019

    You’re coming on safari to Africa – so why not immerse yourself from day one, like Shelley Fritz did this month with Shadows of Africa!

    The perfect welcome to Tanzania – Afica Amini Life team The perfect welcome to Tanzania – Africa Amini Life team
    Blending into its environment – Africa Amini Life Blending into its environment – Africa Amini Life

     

    Africa Amini Life Maasai Lodge, located an easy drive from Kilimanjaro International Airport and situated midway between Mount Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro, is more than just a bed to rest your weary head. It’s an experience to set you up for the rest of your trip, to celebrate the end of a trip and one to remember for a lifetime.

    Your accommodation Your accommodation

     

    Created by mother and daughter medical doctor team, Christine Wallner and Cornelia Wallner-Frisee, as a closely linked part of their NGO Africa Amini Alama, the lodge incorporates a little bit of everything. European style facilities blend with nature and Maasai earthern houses, solar provides power and hot water, home grown herbs and the extra special ingredients to an enticing choice of international and local cuisine, and activities include cooling off in the pool after spear throwing with a Maasai warrior.

    The pool - Amini Africa Life The pool - Amini Africa Life
    Stories and dancing with the Maasai – an evening option at Amini Africa Life Stories and dancing with the Maasai – an evening option at Amini Africa Life

     

    Be assured that every dollar you spend on accommodation at this special place goes directly into Africa Amini Alama, its sister charitable organization, supporting educational, medical and social projects.

    Come and feel Africa with us. Book your safari now with Shadows of Africa.

     

  • Crossing the Border on Safari: What You Need to Know

    Chris Walker Bush
    July 12, 2019

    Crossing the Border on Safari

    If you're taking part in one of Shadows of Africa's many fantastic multi-country safaris, your trip is likely to include a border crossing.

    Whether you're flying from Kenya's Maasai Mara to Tanzania's Serengeti or crossing into Uganda from Rwanda for your gorilla trekking, you'll have to go through immigration.

    While this can be a stressful experience, your Shadows of Africa driver will be on hand to offer help and guidance.

    You'll also find plenty of helpful information on crossing the various borders that stand between you and your safari adventure.

    Namanga Border Crossing: Kenya and Tanzania

    The most commonly crossed border between Tanzania and Kenya, Namanga lies between Arusha and Amboseli National Park.

    Crossing the border at Namanga can be a slow process, as it is a popular border crossing for tourists and locals alike.

    With immigration needing to check and issue visas as well as check baggage, you can expect anywhere from 1 - 2 hours at the Namanga border crossing.

    Thankfully, you'll have your Shadows of Africa drivers on hand to help you out. No matter what direction you're crossing the border, one driver will wait for you to cross before you meet with your new driver.

    As local law forbids Kenyan drivers from driving in Tanzania and vice versa, you'll switch cars here for your onward travel.

    Isebania Border Crossing: Kenya and Tanzania

    If you look at a map, the Maasai Mara and the Serengeti look close together, but it's not as simple as all that.

    Crossing from the Maasai Mara to the Serengeti requires either two flights or the long, dusty drive via the Isebania border crossing.

    Weighing in at anywhere between 10 and 12 hours, the Isebania crossing is not one we recommend unless you're on a tight budget. It is not only a long, boring day of driving, but it also eats up an entire day. You won't be seeing much (if any) wildlife during your drive.

    Like Namanga, you'll need to go through immigration and customers when crossing the border. You'll also need to switch drivers.

    wildbeest tanzania

    Migori-Tarime Border Crossing: Kenya and Tanzania

    For those wanting to experience both the Maasai Mara and the Serengeti, flying between the two is the best way to avoid a wasted day in the car.

    Crossing the border when there are no international airports on either side means landing and making a land transfer, but the process is much the same as other border crossings.

    You'll land, transfer via shuttle to the border crossing for immigration, and then continue onwards to your second flight.

    While flights between the two parks can be quite expensive, we always recommend it for those who can afford it. The Isebania drive is an unpleasant one.

    lion-tanzania-safari

    Rwanda - Uganda Border Crossing

    Due to the higher prices in Rwanda, more and more people are choosing to fly into Kigali and do their gorilla trekking in Uganda.

    While there are a number of different border crossings between Rwanda and Uganda depending on where you are trekking, the process is the same at each.

    Unlike Tanzania & Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda do not forbid drivers crossing the border, so you'll have your guide on hand at all times to help if you run into any snags.

    Just make sure you have an East African Visa if you are planning to cross back into Rwanda after you've finished your trekking, or you'll need to pay for a second Rwandan tourist visa!

    tanzania-serengeti-cheetahs

    How to Speed Up Crossing the Border

    While some things are beyond our control when crossing a border, there are certainly ways to make the process as quick and painless as possible.

    1. Have your visa already

    While Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya can all process visas on arrival at border crossings, this can be a major time drain. Get your visas in advance either online or through your local consulate to avoid the long visa on arrival queues.

    2. Have Your Vaccination Card Ready

    When crossing into Tanzania after having spent time in Rwanda, Uganda, or Kenya, you will be required to present your Yellow Fever vaccination card.

    It is possible to get this vaccination done at the border for an additional fee, but this can be time-consuming (and a tad painful). Have your Yellow Fever vaccination card ready and you'll breeze straight through!

    3. Pack Smart

    The Isebania and Namanga border crossings both have extensive customs and security checks for your luggage, so you'll need to carry everything with you and wait for staff to search it.

    If your bag is a jumbled mess, this may take the security staff longer to check.

    Be careful not to travel with plastic bags, animal products, or any other forbidden products. Local laws can be very strict and tourists are not exempt!

    4. Don't panic!

    It can be nerve-wracking dealing with the crowds and the bureaucracy at a border crossing, especially on your own.

    Just remember, you've got Shadows of Africa drivers waiting for you on both sides of the border and our head office is just a phone call away!

    You're perfectly safe at border crossings, so it's just a matter of following the signs and you'll be on your way in no time!

    5. Avoid scammers

    A number of enterprising locals have made a cottage industry out of helping tourists carry their bags from security to their safari cars.

    While these people are not likely to steal from you, their charges can be a tad high. Don't be afraid to give a firm but polite "no" if you don't want to tip $10 USD for their services.

    Food available at the border is also similarly high-priced, so we would advise skipping those bags of cashew nuts or dried peas unless you've got a powerful hunger.


    We've Got You Covered

    Regardless of where you're crossing the border, the Shadows of Africa team is on hand to help out.

    While you may not be able to immediately grab your driver's attention during immigration, you'll have the contact number for our head office as well as your booking agent.

    Don't hesitate to give us a call if you are confused or held up at immigration. We're not going to leave you high and dry!

  • The Ilchokuti’s of Ngorongoro Conservation Area

    Fredrick Mwange
    July 10, 2019

    While you wonder at the incredible wildlife in the Ngorongoro crater and the beauty of its large landscape, at the lions with their golden eyes looking more massive than you had imagined, stop to consider those who live as their neighbors and how they manage to co-exist.

    Lions of Ngorongoro. Photo credit: Kope Lion Lions of Ngorongoro. Photo credit: Kope Lion

     

    Ngorongoro is unique in that it blends wildlife together with the Maasai, Datoga and Hadzabe tribes that live in the area. Of course, it’s not easy, especially when making a living for most is through pastoralism. For the lion of the crater highlands, together with other predators, livestock is an easy target and there’s plenty of great places to hide.

    Additionally, lion killing is traditionally seen as the ultimate show of bravery for the Maasai warriors, earning you a lifetime of respect and admiration.

    Working together with the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority is the Korongoro People’s Lion Project, or Kope Lion as its more usually referred to. Kope Lion work together with twenty Ilchokuti, or Lion Guardians, well respected members of their community who track the lions on the ground daily to warn the herders where the lion are in their vicinity, preventing unnecessary conflict. They also assist to find lost livestock, and to repair and strengthen the fences protecting the livestock at night.

    Ilchokutis of Ngorongoro - tracking lion on the ground. Photo credit: Kopelion Ilchokutis of Ngorongoro - tracking lion on the ground. Photo credit: Kopelion
    Ilchokuti in the vast expanse of Ngorongoro. Photo credit: Kope Lion Ilchokuti in the vast expanse of Ngorongoro. Photo credit: Kope Lion

     

    Without killing the lion these warriors still earn their respect from their community, working bravely and tirelessly to protect their communities and the lion they share their history with.

    Building upon a 50-year study of the Ngorongoro lion population, Kope Lion measures and shares their knowledge and the impacts of their efforts on the lions’ population dynamics and tries to understand the human lion conflicts better to enable them to better mitigate.

    Kimani. Photo credit: Kope Lion Kimani. Photo credit: Kope Lion

     

    Ask your Shadows of Africa guide for more information on Kope Lion and while you watch them, appreciate a little while longer these magnificent beasts, their neighbours and the brave Ilchokuti.

    Book a trip to Ngorongoro Crater now through Shadows of Africa

     

     

  • Lake Eyasi, Ziwani, the Hadzabe and Datoga

    Fredrick Mwange
    July 9, 2019

    Shadows of Africa recent safari with the Fritz group took in an exciting spread of both activities and lodges. Our skilled safari consultants can match your ideas and aspirations with what’s on the ground.

    One desire of theirs was to see not only wildlife but also the different cultures of Tanzania. Lake Eyasi and Ziwani were obvious choices.

    Lodge overview: Photo from Ziwani lodge Lodge overview: Photo from Ziwani lodge

     

    Ziwani Lodge overlooking Lake Eyasi is a refreshing refuge after a few days of concentrated game viewing in Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater.

    Interior. Photo from Ziwani lodge Interior. Photo from Ziwani lodge

     

    Ziwani has a style of its own. Created to provide a peaceful escape, fabulous views and the cool that’s required in this sometimes, harsh environment. Ziwani is gorgeous!

    But it’s not all about putting your feet up, relaxing by the pool and sipping an ice-cold drink, Eyasi is home to the Datoga and Hadzabe tribes and offers an insight into two different and intriguing cultures.

    Hadza with bow. Photo from Ziwani lodge Hadzabe with bow. Photo from Ziwani lodge

     

    The Hadzabe numbering around 1,000 in Tanzania are hunter-gatherers, living off the land. Using only bows and arrows they have no lasting impact on wildlife populations. They don’t cut trees and they don’t dig water holes, and they don’t ‘own’ things – instead they live in harmony with their environment, and we have a lot we can learn from them.

    The Datoga are highland Nilotic pastoralists dependent on their livestock and skilled blacksmiths – often trading their arrowheads with the Hadza in exchange for skins and honey.

    Finishing touches on an arrow head – Datoga tribe. Photo from Ziwani Lodge Finishing touches on an arrow head – Datoga tribe. Photo from Ziwani Lodge

     

    Step out of your box and discover a culture that’s not your own, that teaches you something different and that makes you appreciate more fully, the diversity of our beautiful world.

    Extend your safari and spend a day around the fascinating lake Eyasi.

  • Get out and take a walk – Ngorongoro Crater, Empakai, Lengai to Natron

    Fredrick Mwange
    July 5, 2019

    Tired of sitting in a safari vehicle? Take a hike, stretch your legs, enjoy the smells and sounds of your surrounds and the most incredible scenery.

    One of the most incredible adventures offered by the Shadows of Africa team is walking from the Empakai Crater in the Ngorongoro Highlands down to the soda lake of Natron, passing the classic volcano of Ol Donyo Lengai.

    Ngorongoro Highlands Ngorongoro Highlands

     

    Before you start to walk you have to visit the Ngorongoro crater and take in a chance to see the Big 5. The next day you move onto the neighboring crater of Empakai with its forested slopes, flamingo encrusted lake floor and your first chance to get those legs working.

    Refreshed by the beauty of this lovely cultural area you’re now ready to walk a little further. With donkeys to carry your kit, expertly guided by local Maasai, you are freed up to shake your shoulders and skip down the highlands, and out of the chill, to the drylands below.

    Flamingoes on Lake Natron Flamingoes on Lake Natron

     

    Spending a night camping en route you walk on with the most astounding of views ahead. It is hard to concentrate on the walking with such a distraction.

    Ol Donyo Lengai volcano Ol Donyo Lengai volcano

     

    With choices of climbing Lengai at night to reach the active top and its molten lava by dawn, cooling off in the nearby waterfalls, or taking a drive to get close to the flamingoes at the lake’s edge, there’s plenty to entertain you at your destination.

    Waterfalls alongside Lake Natron Waterfalls alongside Lake Natron

     

    Lakeside Natron Lakeside Natron

     

    Chill out another day, staying at one of Natron’s many options of accommodation, before heading back into Arusha.

    Come take a walk with us and book your safari now!

  • Disney’s The Lion King and Conservation

    Fredrick Mwange
    July 2, 2019

    Since Disney’s The Lion King’s first release 25 years ago, half of Africa’s lions have disappeared.

    With the much anticipated new ‘live’ version of the Lion King out of the 19th July 2019, Disney have initiated a global conservation campaign, Protect the Pride, working primarily with The Lion Recovery Fund to double the number of lions in the wild by 2050.

    The Lion Recovery Fund currently support 9 different projects in Tanzania alone, including KopeLion in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Honeyguide Foundation south east of Tarangire National Park.

    Make the most of your safari with Shadows of Africa and learn about some of the work that is happening to protect lion in the areas that you visit.

    See how you can help support this significant action https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VdOSE8pb7i8

    Follow "The Lion King," Disney Conservation Fund, and the Lion Recovery Fund on social media to stay up to date on #TheLionKing #ProtectThePride campaign and share information with your friends and family about how they can help Protect the Pride.

    Come and see a lion in the wild for yourself. Book your safari now with Shadows of Africa.

     

     

  • Ngorongoro Crater East – Lemala Camp

    Fredrick Mwange
    June 28, 2019

    Is the drive around the crater worth staying on the eastern side?

    Ngorongoro crater Ngorongoro crater

     

    We think so…..especially if you get to stay somewhere as refreshing as Lemala’s lovely camp on the rim, like Shadows of Africa recent safari guests, Robert Humphreys and friends.

    Sundowners under the Lahai – Ngorongoro crater east side at Lemala camp Sundowners under the Lahai – Ngorongoro crater east side at Lemala camp

     

    The east side of Ngorongoro Crater is blessed with the exquisite Acacia Lahai trees – magical and reminiscent of shapes from a Tolkien novel, looming out of the mist. Beneath these majestic trees the camp is welcoming and warm and comfortable – all that you need after a long day of game drives and excitement.

    Warmth on the east side of the Ngorongoro Crater in Lemala camp Warmth on the east side of the Ngorongoro Crater in Lemala camp

     

    The east of the crater also ‘own’ the Olmoti and Empakai craters where you can walk and take in the flora and fauna as well as wander amongst the Maasai and their cattle in the grasslands that abound. A welcome diversion after a few days driving around the Serengeti, these walks in the Ngorongoro highlands get you up close and personal.

    It’s a bit different, slightly off the beaten track, and a whole lot more interesting.

    Take the time to explore……book your safari now!

  • On safari with Shadows of Africa, few things to know!

    AdminSoa
    June 26, 2019

    When you take a trip with Shadows of Africa, its extra special!

    Safari car

    Not only do you get amazing safari guides, durable and reliable 4WD Land cruisers specially customised for comfort and 360 degree views of the action, wonderful wildlife spectacles and scenery to die for…. you also get added extras, the small things that make all the difference:

    A hot picnic lunch on your first day of safari, laid out with tables and chairs and our traditional Maasai blankets as tablecloths. Enjoy our freshly prepared selection, together with home baked sweets and a superb cup of Tanzanian coffee to finish.

    Food at picnic

    Two bottles of wine to enjoy at your leisure throughout your safari.

    Daily coffee and tea, as well as a coolbox with mineral water in your vehicle, keeping it chilled to enjoy in that perfect moment.

    A pair of binoculars available for your use in every vehicle.

    An in-car charger to ensure that your camera batteries never run out.

    Free wifi in your vehicle for whenever it is available en-route, in case you need to connect with the world you left behind.

    Emergency air evacuation membership with every trip.

    Amref - Flying doctors

    It’s the attention to detail, and the small things that make the difference!

    Book your safari now with us and we’ll take care of your every need.

     

  • Big cats in the Serengeti

    AdminSoa
    June 21, 2019

    This month our Shadows of Africa safari guests have encountered amazing big cats and cubs. They are delighted and the photos rolling in from our guides are incredible.

    Here’s just a few to samples to share with you and give you a taster of what Shadows of Africa can offer.

    Big Cat Serengeti.Lion Big cat Serengeti. Lion - Yen Yu Li safari with Edwin Diah - June 2019
    Big Cat Serengeti - Leopard on rock Big cat Serengeti – leopard on rock - Michael Morris safari with Edwin Diah, June 2019
    Big Cat Serengeti - Older Lion Cub Big cat Serengeti – older lion cub – Robert Humphrey & friends with Moody Kabongo, June 2019
    Big cat Serengeti – lions mating Big cat Serengeti – lions mating – Robert Humphrey & friends with Moody Kabongo, June 2019
    Big cat Serengeti – cheetah Big cat Serengeti – cheetah - Robert Humphrey & friends with Moody Kabongo, June 2019
    Big cat Serengeti – huge scarred male lion Big cat Serengeti – huge scarred male lion - Robert Humphrey & friends with Moody Kabongo, June 2019

    Impressed yet?

    Take a trip with Shadows of Africa and you will be.

    Contact us now!

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