Attractions

  • The best Safaris from Mombasa

    Vika
    September 8, 2021

    When you are enjoying yourself on the stunning sandy beaches of Mombasa it's worth remembering: being on the African coast, you cannot miss the opportunity to experience one of the most important sights of Africa - a real safari in the bush! To help you plan we have listed the best safaris from Mombasa for you.

    It is super easy to add a safari to your beach trip - Shadows of Africa has the perfect safari for you - whether you are looking for a 1-day safari or a 15-day adventure - we have it all. With so many options to choose from, where should you plan your safari? No worries - we got you covered: Have a look at our favorite safaris starting in Mombasa.

    safari from Mombasa

    1. Minimum Travel & Maximum Safari: Shimba Hills

    Only 30 km from Mombasa - this trip will let you get a taste of safari without even having to pack an overnight bag! If you do not have a lot of time - or if you are not 100% sure yet a safari is for you: this will be the perfect taster! With a pickup and drop off at your hotel - you have nothing to worry about and you can enjoy the wonders of an African Safari - while being back at your hotel for dinner.

    Safari from Mombasa - One day trip to Shimba Hills

    2. Our grand tour from Mombasa!

    Divided by road and rail, adjacent Tsavo East and Tsavo West national parks and the Amboseli offer a variety of landscapes, vegetation, and wildlife, all in abundance. This trip is designed to take you to all the highlights and have you spot the best possible wildlife!

    Safari from Mombasa - Tsavo East Tsavo West and Amboseli National Parks - Five days

    3. Overnight while listening to elephants trumpet and lions roar!

    If you want the full safari experience: but don’t want it to cut too much from your beach time, then our one-night safari in Tsavo East is for you! Spend two days in search of the famous ‘red elephants’, lions and of course all of Kenya’s wildlife!
    Spending a night in a tented camp or luxury safari lodge will be the highlight of your Mombasa trip and will make for unforgettable memories.

    Safari from Mombasa - Two days in Tsavo East National Park

    For a full overview of our safaris from Mombasa have a look here

    safaris from Mombasa

  • Group Tour Safari Great Migration - Calving Season - in Ndutu

    Vika
    August 30, 2021

    Every year, the Great Migration, in the heart of the amazing Serengeti National Park, puts on a magnificent show. From late January to mid-March about 8,000 wildebeest are born every day!! Few things compare to seeing a baby wildebeest take its first steps and start running just minutes after being born.

    We are very excited to offer you the new Ndutu group safari, which will allow you the best way to witness the calving season (January - March) in all of its splendor. In this group tour, you will see beautiful animals in breathtaking landscapes, it will be a sight and an experience you will not soon forget. As we visit the Serengeti to witness the great migration we will go to the Ndutu region of the Serengeti, we will also visit Tarangire national park, Lake Manyara national park, and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and crater, all of which you can call yourself lucky to see.
    group tour great migration

    Why join a group?

    We all know safaris can be quite an expensive endeavor but some of the costs associated with safaris (including things like the vehicle, fuel, guide fees, Crater entry fees for the vehicle,etc.), can be shared with your fellow travelers and help your wallet.
    Group safaris are also a good opportunity to meet some new, nice and interesting people and make friends.
    ndutu group safari

    WHY YOU SHOULD JOIN OUR GREAT MIGRATION CALVING SEASON GROUP TOUR

    There are some other advantages to this great offer:

    • Ndutu area is the only area where the driver can drive off-road - so you are sure to get a good angle on all sightings!
    • There is much less driving distance than when following the migration in the northern Serengeti - so you can expect more fantastic views!
    • There is a maximum of six participants in one car - so you’ll stay in the same small group all the time.
      Spacious 4x4 vehicles with open rooftops offer not only a perfect 360° view but also endless opportunities for enthusiastic photographers.
    • And, quite unparalleled, we offer the only budget-price tour to this magical event, and since there are no camping grounds available, we ensured budget-priced lodges!

    group safari
    Be a respectful witness to the miracle of life and see the predators at a hunt. Add sightings of all the Big Five, most of the cats, other mammals, an abundance of birds, and picturesque nature - this is an opportunity to grab!

    Join one of our groups on one of the dates - there’s one departure each month - December, January, and February.

    Departure dates GROUP TOUR SAFARI GREAT MIGRATION - CALVING SEASON:
    26th of December 2021
    10th of January 2022
    7th of February 2022

    MORE DETAILS OF OUR GREAT MIGRATION GROUP TOUR

    For more details have a look at this link with day to day descriptions and photographs of the accommodation:

    https://wetu.com/Itinerary/Landing/80053497-24d2-4e68-8c91-68f0dd7bd9db

    Can’t wait to get a spot to this amazing event? Contact us today & book.

    join the group

  • Where to stay in Mombasa: A guide to the best beaches in Mombasa

    Vika
    August 30, 2021

    Mombasa boasts some of the best beaches, not just the best of Africa but of the world. And despite its name "Kisiwa Cha Mvita" in local Kiswahili, meaning "Island of War", Mombasa conjures a vision of endless white beaches and tropical paradise. And this certainly holds true!
    But where to stay in Mombasa - with 500 km of beaches it is not always easy to find the best spot for you! To ease your search and make the right choice, we have written this guide to the best beaches in Mombasa.

    Best beach in Mombasa

    Not only is Mombasa the ideal destination for sun and relaxation, but also the perfect base for a wide variety of water sports, and even whale watching! Thanks to its legacy as the largest port in East Africa, Mombasa is a cultural melting pot. British, Asian, Arabic, Omanis, Indian, and Chinese immigrants have enriched the city's architecture and cuisine, and many mosques and temples grace the city streets. And to top this off - Mombasa is located just a stone throw from some of the best safari parks in the world.

    Roughly, you can divide the beaches to the North and the South Coast. On the south coast of Mombasa, the beaches are lined with gorgeous palm trees and have incredible white sandy beaches. One of the most popular beaches throughout the southern coastline is Diani beach. Overall, the southern beaches offer more tourist facilities than the northern and are detached from the hustle and bustle of local life.
    The North Coast is located very close to the city - within ten minutes, you can immerse your feet in the sand. If you are keen to merge with local life - this is the place for you. Because of the proximity to the city, many locals visit the northern beaches. One downside is the persistent presence of the local beach boys - who are always ready to sell you something you need or do not need. Also, the beaches tend to be slightly rockier here than the ones in the south.

    SOUTH COAST OF MOMBASA

    DIANI BEACH

    That is THE beach in Mombasa. Located 30 km outside of the city, the sparkling white sands and lush greenery of Diani are a fantastic material for films. It has been voted Africa’s best beach destination for the sixth time running since 2015 - there is simply no competition!

    The sandy beaches are wide, white and they stretch out as long as you can see. Beautiful coral reefs protect the beaches from heavy waves and offer fantastic snorkelling opportunities. You can also enjoy some great diving and plain old regular swimming here. It's also renowned for kitesurfing, skydiving, and deep-sea fishing.

    When the sun sets - there is again plenty to do here. Diani offers the best coastal nightlife on the continent!
    And, as a cherry on top, combining your unforgettable beach vacation with a safari adventure is a piece of cake - for the cherry to put on! Nearby Shimba Hills National Reserve and Mwalunganje Elephant Sanctuary are both only a little over an hour’s drive away.

    The best places to stay in Mombasa

    MALINDI

    Not far from Watamu, another half-hour drive north is the 13th-century Swahili city of Malindi. In an idyllic setting, this place offers historical and cultural monuments and attractions in addition to activities along, on, and in the water. The styles of various previous periods are intertwined with modern comfort in an excellent mix of cultural, adrenaline, and relaxation offers.

    You will probably start your vacation on the white beach of paradise and go swimming in the ocean first. But you will soon be tempted by some of the activities on offer. Let’s say scuba diving along the branching coral reef here, for the less active perhaps a glass-bottomed boat ride which also reveals a wonderful underwater world that you can enjoy without having to get wet.

    Once you have soaked up the sea and tested yourself in enough water activities, treat yourself with an explorative trip to the cultural and historical background of Malindi.

    Ancient buildings tell the story of the city. Among the traditional village homes and local shops, we find churches, a palace, and a popular tourist attraction, the Jumaa Mosque. Imagination will be stirred by the sinister ruins of Gedi as you discover, layer by layer, the story hidden in the remains of homes and other buildings.

    For the perfect experience, head northwest to the Marafa Depression, where the ground is split by jagged sandstone gorges. When you see it, you know why its other name is “Hell’s Kitchen”. For a perfect contrast, visit the Arabuko Sokoke Forest Reserve, where you can see several species of endemic vegetation, birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, and insects.

    WATAMU & TURTLE BAY

    Watamu

    A good two hours drive from Mombasa, along the picturesque road around the Marine National Park and Watamu Reserve, stretches for about 7 kilometers a beach of the same name. The three bays, Watamu, Blue Lagoon, and Turtle with white sand, constantly kissing the turquoise ocean in a light breeze that just sways the tops of palm trees, are not only breathtaking but also full of interesting activities.

    Stunning coral reefs stretch out just off the coast, part of the Watamu National Marine Park Protected Area. Here are some of the most beautiful diving locations in the world, the desire of every avid observer of the underwater world.

    Something special are the mangrove forests and tidal wetlands on the mainland, where you will enjoy watching many different birds. Perhaps the most important are the nesting grounds of three species of endangered turtles, here safe from egg poachers. Injured or sick turtles have also found shelter, increasingly threatened by plastic that floats in the oceans and is often mistaken for food, or they get fatally entangled in it.

    In this beautiful and diverse environment, pursue your favorite water sport, or try something completely new.

    After a day full of adventures, visit one of the great restaurants in the evening or treat yourself to a glass of your favorite drink while watching the sunset on the beach.

    white sand beaches in Mombasa

    LAMU

    Founded in the 13th century, Lamu island has been continuously inhabited for over seven hundred years. It is proud to be one of the oldest and best-preserved remaining Swahili-tradition settlements in East Africa. It is a city and port just off the Kenyan shore some 250 kilometres north of Mombasa. It is also easily accessible by just a 40 minutes flight from Mombasa to the adjacent island of Manda.

    Nevertheless, a visit to the island of Lamu promises a break from the hustle and bustle and a rest in the most beautiful scenery, worth every postcard.
    If you are looking to stay away from anything too touristy or busy - and luxury facilities are not a must for you, Lamu island might be just what you are searching for. Slow visitors’ flow keeps this place filled with the charming flair of bygone times. The latter is emphasized by seeing locals riding donkeys to get around their daily chores - cars for personal use are on the island banned.

    Lamu Old Town represents the Swahili culture at its truest and finest - not a unique or single way of life and culture, but an ever enriched blend of traditions and cultures from whole Africa, Asia, and Europe. Walking the narrow streets among friendly and kind locals, visibly proud of their traditions, feels somehow surreal, like being a part of an exhibition - but amazingly fulfilling!

    The crescent-like southern shore of Lamu island's windward side is a long, long sandy dune. With no barrier reef to hold the waves, this is one of the few beaches in Kenya, where you can expect wind conditions to surf properly. Perhaps even hang ten! On the northeastern point of the completely uninhabited crescent, there’s this heartwarming, quite laid-back, artsy bohemian town of Shela. A completely different vibe as in Lamu Old Town.

    Diani Beach best beach in Mombasa

    NORTH COAST OF MOMBASA

    Nyali & Bamburi Beach

    The north coast of Mombasa is connected to the mainland by the Nyali Bridge, making it easily accessible and popular with locals. Nyali, Bamburi, Shanzu, and Kikambala are four beaches with big resorts and hotels, and, full of life - visitors to the endless white sandy beaches and residents below sea level. Just off the coast is a stunning coral reef that ranks the north coast of Mombasa among the most interesting diving sites. The reef (for now) bursts with life. Divers dive along the reefs, walls, and on the wreck of the MV Dania. At low tide, you have a fantastic opportunity to walk to the outer reef, which is truly a unique experience, and swimming and other fun in the sea are possible at all times, regardless of the tide. And there are plenty of water activities here, in addition to diving, snorkelling, and swimming, there are many water activities available here, so you can spend a day full of adrenaline.

    The magical beauty of the coast and the beach lull you to rest in between, and you can end the day by visiting one of the top restaurants in the area.
    Or visit the historic Niyali Golf Course, where all guests of the north coast hotels can play squash or tennis in addition to golf.

    So the north coast of Mombasa is suitable for everyone - you will find many activities there, and at the same time you will be able to lie lazily on the beach and enjoy the beautiful views sipping on a delicious cocktail.

    Kilifi Beach

    Just under a two-hour drive from Mombasa is the charming town of Kilifi, perfect for a relaxing holiday, as Kilifi, despite the bridge that greatly facilitates access, is almost overlooked on the tourist map. You will meet locals, mostly Giriama and Chonyi from the Mijikenda tribe, as well as a few tourists.
    The central part of the city is the Kilifi stream, and in its estuary, you can observe thousands of birds and other riparian life.

    The town of Kilifi is set on beautiful white sandy beaches - Bofa beach, which is considered one of the most beautiful, uninhabited towns along the Kenyan coast, lined with palm trees, and the smaller Shauri Moyo beach on the south side of Kilifi Creek, ideal for sunbathing or active rest while engaging in one of the water sports available. Kilifi lies next to important archaeological sites, and the ruins of two 15th-century Mnarani mosques are worth a visit.

    Best Beaches in Mombasa

    In short, there is the perfect place for everyone! Contact us today and book your trip to Mombasa.

  • ’Join the group’ - what is it?

    Vika
    July 28, 2021

    In general, we can say that safaris are amazing & unforgettable, but also quite expensive. The 4x4 car hire, and high fees for the parks, make a safari more expensive than a regular holiday. When traveling alone or with 2 pax, these costs of the car can’t be shared with other people, and that is exactly the reason why we provide group safaris. Each safari vehicle has 6 seats - so the groups still stay very small - but at least you can share the prices of the car with fellow travellers to decrease the price by almost half.

    Why Shadows Of Africa?

    The high quality of your game drive is guaranteed:

    • Shadows Of Africa chooses the best camping accommodations, and you even have the chance to upgrade your accommodations for a small additional cost.
    • The cars used for our group safaris have the same luxury quality compared to the vehicles we use for a private safari - which makes Shadows Of Africa unique. Other companies might not guarantee WiFi, charging panels, or a fridge on board, while the Shadows vehicles have it all!
    • On top of that our guides are super experienced and you will know everything about wildlife and nature when you come back from your safari.

    When?

    From the 1st of August 2021 - we will provide a 4-day tour each Monday, and every weekend from Friday to Sunday another group will go on a 3-day safari.

    You can book your own seat - for only $690,- per person for the 3-day tour and $1000,- per person for a 4-day tour. Our departures are already guaranteed with 2 participants!

    The 3-day tours visits are:

    • Friday: Departure from Arusha to Lake Manyara national park
    • Saturday: Full day game drive in Ngorongoro Crater
    • Sunday: Game drive in Tarangire national park with drop off in Arusha

    The 4-day tour:

    • Monday: Departure from Arusha to Lake Manyara national park or Tarangire
    • Tuesday: Transfer through Ngorongoro conservation area, afternoon game drive in Serengeti
    • Wednesday: Full day game drive in Serengeti national park, afternoon transfer to the crater rim for overnight
    • Thursday: Morning descend in the Ngorongoro crater, after lunch transfer to Arusha.

    join-the-group-tanzania

    These tours are also doable when coming from Zanzibar! Shadows Of Africa can arrange flights for you that arrive in the morning on your first day of the safari, and return to Zanzibar in the afternoon on your last safari day. Prices depend on flight availability.

    I want to book my seat

    If you want to book one of our safaris or you have more questions about this safari, you can contact us by email at info@shadowsofafrica.com or you can send a WhatsApp message to +1 585 213 5821

    More specific info needed about the tours? Visit:
    Three Day Northern Circuit Special
    Four Day Tanzania Express Safari
    Calving Season Safari - Five Days
    Wildebeest Migration Safari - Calving Season - 5 days (December to March)
    Safari from Zanzibar - Mikumi Day Trip
    Safari from Zanzibar - Mkomazi Day Trip
    Safari from Zanzibar - Selous Day Trip
    Safari from Zanzibar - Saadani National Park - Day Trip

  • What camera to bring on safari

    Giulia
    March 30, 2021

    If you are wondering what camera gear to pack for your safari experience, look no further! Here is the comprehensive list of all the camera equipment and accessories you will need for your safari.

    This photography gear list is brought to you by our resident photographer Giulia Cimarosti, safari specialist at Shadows of Africa and professional photographer. Guilia also leads groups on our special photographic safaris in Tanzania.

    Generally speaking, depending on the device you use you can expect different results. Let’s go through some options:

    Mobile Photography on Safari

    You don’t have to own super pricey, professional equipment, however it’s quite safe to say that using a mobile phone to take photos during your safari won’t make good close-up images of the wildlife possible, no matter the phone’s model or quality.

    Mobile phones tend to have very poor zooming capabilities, however they can be great for African sunsets, photographing a herd in the landscape, and of course to take the occasional short video for social media, when a curious cheetah decides to climb on the vehicle!

    Keep in mind though that during your safari you won’t always get very close to the animals, so the best way to frame the subject is to use a zoom-telephoto lens on an actual camera.

    Cameras and Lenses on Safari

    If you want to take really good photos on your safari, make sure you bring your DSLR camera! A digital single lens reflex camera will allow you to use manual settings, adapting them to the lighting situation, the distance to the subject and the effects you want to achieve.

    Now you may be wondering what camera body is the best one, but the answer is not an easy one. There are cameras of all formats and brands, but they all have one thing in common: manual settings!

    The thing you need to concentrate on, when thinking about the right photography gear for safari photography, is what lens - or better, lenses - to bring.

    Zoom lenses

    The must-have kind of lens for safari photography is a zoom or telephoto. This is the kind of lens that allows you to zoom into the subject, making it appear closer. There are countless zoom lenses on the market, but make sure your telephoto lens has a focal length of at least 200 mm.

    • Budget
      28-300 mm or 70-300 mm lenses are good budget options for beginners.
    • Medium
      A 150-600 mm lens will allow you to shoot almost anything in daylight, taking your photography to the next level with a reasonable investment.
    • Pro
      A 70-200 mm f/2,8 prime lens, although the focal length is not extreme, is an excellent lens that will not disappoint.
      There are other lenses such 400 mm f/4 or even f/2,8 prime lenses which are top choices but at an extremely high price tag.

    If there is a lens worth an investment when planning to go on a photographic safari, it has to be the zoom!

    Medium and Wide Angle Lenses

    Although zoom lenses are the first ones that come to mind when thinking about safari photography, a wide angle lens also goes a long way when it comes to shooting the animals in their habitat, dramatic African skies and sunsets, and large herds moving during the Great Migration. Make sure you pack a wide to medium lens too!

    • Budget
      The 18-55 mm “kit lens” that comes with most camera kits works perfectly for this kind of photos. As a budget option, any kit lens works perfectly, actually!
      Lenses in the 10-24 mm range are much wider - another good option that will allow you to take creative photographs during your safari.
    • Medium
      A 15-30 mm f/2,8 wide lens is a high quality choice for landscape.
    • Pro
      The 24-70 mm f/2,8 is a “classic”, very sharp lens that never disappoints, allowing you to shoot landscapes (or good quality files to stitch in panoramas later on) and zoom into the subject too.

    Bear in mind that a good wide angle lens also allows you to take wonderful nocturnal photos of the clear skies of the savannah.

    Other accessories

    Now that you know what to use to shoot your safari photographs, let’s think about the accessories you shouldn’t forget:

    • Spare batteries. Although all our vehicles have charging stations to recharge your batteries during the game drives, having one or two extra batteries is always a good idea to keep shooting without a single worry!
    • Memory cards. Believe it or not, I can guarantee you will find yourself shooting dozens and dozens of photos to the same animal or scene. It’s easy when you have lions posing for you, or a hunting scene taking place. So pack extra memory cards!
    • Battery charger. There are regular battery chargers and also double battery chargers that work with USB and/or car power outlets. I like these, as you can charge 2 batteries at once.
    • Protection for your camera gear. The savannah is dusty, and dust is the real enemy of cameras and their sensors. Try to keep everything protected from dust except what you are using. Camera bags or pouches/cloths will work great.
    • Cleaning kit. A full kit includes the sensor cleaning kit and tools to remove dust and clean the camera. Try to keep everything clean by gently removing the dust every day after the game drives. Please note: the sensor tends to get dirty with all the dust of the safari, but at the same time cleaning the sensor is a very delicate task so don’t risk it if you are not sure how to do it!

    Are you ready to embark on your photographic safari adventure? Please let us know if you need more suggestions and information about what camera gear to pack for your safari. We look forward to having you travel with us!

  • Why is Tanzania the Top Safari Destination in Africa? 10 Reasons to Visit Tanzania in 2020

    Chris
    February 10, 2020
    Tanzania is Africa's foremost safari destination, and there are so many reasons for this. Here are the ten most appealing reasons to visit Tanzania in 2020.
  • Things to do in Arusha: Tours & Day Trips from Arusha

    Chris
    November 11, 2019
    Tanzania's safari capital is far more than just a place to overnight before your safari. The home city of Shadows of Africa is a diverse city of cuisines and cultures just begging to be explored.
  • Take a Cultural Safari with the Tribes of Tanzania

    Chris
    June 10, 2019
    Whatever the length of your trip, a chance to visit with the many tribes of Tanzania is a great way to add a fun, cultural element to your Tanzania trip.
  • The Big Five, Small Five, Special Five, and Big Seven: What Are They?

    Chris
    May 24, 2019
    Everybody on safari talks about spotting the Big Five, but do you know what they are? What about the Special Five, Small Five, and Big Seven?

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