Zanzibar

  • We Plant Trees. Together, Planting a Forest

    Vika
    October 19, 2022

    Travel with us, and we plant a tree in your destination.

    Shadows Of Africa has partnered with One Tree Planted to maintain and restore our beloved continent.

    By supporting reforestation in the delicate ecosystems of our African home, we are making sure that this beautiful land will be around for much longer, so that it can continue to give life to its inhabitants, and that we can continue to enjoy its wonder.

    Our partners at One Tree Planted have a mission to rebuild animal habitats, restore biodiversity, and improve the lives of the communities who rely on these forests by promoting sustainable forestry practices.

    Trees are critical to protecting Mother Nature. They provide habitat for countless creatures, they filter the air we breathe, they clean the water we drink, and they play a big role in the fight against climate change.

    Take a trip to Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, or Uganda, and we will plant a tree on your behalf!

    Traveling with Shadows means that you leave Africa greener than when you arrived!

  • Our Top 5 Tips for Your Second Safari!

    Vika
    October 10, 2022

    Recovered from your first African safari? Start getting ready for round 2!

    The magic of safari is this: no two safaris are ever the same. Once you’ve been on your first safari, it’s only a matter of time before you’ll be coming back for more! Trust us - we know from personal experience.

    First-time safari-goes usually head for the more famous places, like the beautiful Serengeti or Maasai Mara National Park. The second time opens up more opportunities - once you have had your first taste of this unique experience, you naturally feel more comfortable exploring the less-beaten paths.

    Here are our top 5 tips for your second safari:

    Tip #1: Really enjoy the safari

    You’ve already ticked off all of the Big 5, now you can relax and really enjoy! For those coming back again, we recommend taking it more slowly this time.

    For most people, the pressure of having to spot all the animals is now off. If you do all of this on your first safari, and tick off everything that you wanted to see, now you can just relax and take everything as it comes.

    Spend a few nights at one camp to appreciate the sunsets and sunrises. Spend a few hours with a family of elephants and watch how they spend their days. Focus on the quality of wildlife sightings, rather than the quantity.

    A lot of the African wilderness’ beauty comes from its spontaneity. Of course, if you have a clear goal in mind (and a good safari guide!), you can certainly do everything you want. But on the other hand, if you head out on safari with an open mind, you will see many things you didn’t even know you wanted to see!

    Tip #2: Make time for more than wildlife

    Adding some cultural activities to your itinerary can make for a much more immersive African experience.

    It should go without saying that Africa is incredibly rich in culture and history. It is well worth it to spend some time exploring the uniquely interesting life of the African continent and her people.

    Of course, the African wildlife is what draws many people to the continent, but if you have already seen a lot of these majestic animals, you probably won’t feel the need to spend the extra time looking for them again. So why not go for something new!

    Tip #3: Save money on accommodation to add more activities

    Naturally, once you have spent some time with Africa’s wild animals, you will feel more comfortable being around them. Even if the idea of sleeping among lions still doesn’t excite you, you might be more open to spending your nights under the stars.

    The money you can save on accommodation will mean that you can add more activities to your itinerary. Instead of opting for that luxury lodge, why not go on a balloon safari!

    There are plenty of comfortable ways to save money on accommodation, so that you can add more to your adventure!

    Tip #4: Visit in a different season

    The Serengeti in the dry season is a completely different place than the Serengeti in the rainy season. The golden savannahs make way for lush green grass.

    Animal behavior is different at certains times of the year too. From the Calving Season of the Great Migration, to the River Crossing in Maasai Mara, to the Whale Shark Season on Zanzibar, and even the Bird Breeding Season, where birds show of their spectacular breeding plumage to attract a mate - the timing of your trip can determine what kind of show nature will put on for you.

    If you want to get the timing just right to see the landscape at its most vibrant or witness the special moments of an animal’s life cycle, talk to one of our experts and they will make sure you don’t miss out!

    Tip #5: Check out another country or region

    If you have been to eastern Tanzania for your first safari, you may not realize just how different Uganda’s natural environment is.

    East Africa is a very biodiverse region. There are many animal and plant species that only exist in very specific areas. In fact, if you were to drive from Dar-Es-Salaam to Kigali, you may feel like you passed through many different worlds.

    On top of the differences in wildlife and nature, East Africa is a region with very diverse cultures. This diversity exists between countries, but also within countries, as different communities have their own unique histories and ways of life.

    If you visited one country or region on your first safari, don’t make the mistake in thinking that other places are the same!

    uganda

    Come back again!

    The second safari is often even more enjoyable than the first. There are so many reasons to return to this great continent for another adventure.

    You feel a well-earned sense of accomplishment after your first African safari adventure, but the second trip opens up many new and unique opportunities, making it well worth coming back!

    Of course, the main point here is: you can’t see everything Africa has to offer in one trip, nor even in one lifetime. On the plus side, this means there will always be something new and exciting to greet you every time you return!

    How was your first safari? Feeling like it missed something? Or just interested in knowing what else you can see in this endlessly-fascinating continent? Don’t hesitate to get in touch - our safari experts will make sure your second trip is even more memorable than the first!

  • Six Ways an African Safari Will Change Your Life

    Vika
    October 10, 2022

    African nature is an incredibly powerful force. It leaves a profound impression on everyone who sets foot on these lands.

    The pure and exhilarating natural beauty of the African landscape and all of its inhabitants is not something you easily forget. The experiences you have here will live on in your memory, but also in your spirit.

    There are many ways an African safari can have a life-changing effect on you!

    #1: You’ll reconnect with Mother Nature 🌍

    You’ll get a glimpse at what it means to be truly wild. Seeing animals roam free as Mother Nature intended and without human interference is something special, and Africa may be the best place in the world to find that experience.

    The best way to open your eyes to the full wonder of this planet is to fully immerse yourself in its nature: feel the breeze on your skin as it blows across the savannah, your hair waving like the grass; watch the sun set behind the Kilimanjaro, birds flying overhead; fall asleep to the sounds of nocturnal animals singing out through the jungle; wake up to the smell of fresh morning dew on the greenery around you.

    Even simply standing in the broad plains, just being among everything that makes Africa so special is enough to feel changed. It reminds you of the fact that the human race is part of something much larger than itself.

    You’ll feel a kind of reset in your body, and this can have a profound effect on a person. An African safari is good for the mind, body, and spirit. It opens your eyes to the true wonder of this planet, and makes you feel more connected to everything around you.

    Elephants in the Great Ruaha River

    #2: You’ll learn to appreciate new things 🐘

    It is hard to fully grasp the size and majesty of the African landscape from watching nature documentaries. Nothing compares to being here in person. Seeing these scenes in real life will definitely exceed your expectations.

    You may come for the elephants, but you will leave with a deep appreciation for much more than that. These experiences will live in your memories and conversations for a lifetime.

    Whatever expectations you had going into your first African safari, when it comes time to plan your next adventure, you won’t settle for anything less than spectacular. Your local zoo will never be the same again. 😉

    #3: You’ll reassess your priorities 🌱

    See the world in a new way. You’ll ponder this planet and your place in it while bearing witness to its wonders.

    Stepping outside of your comfort zone always leaves you changed on a spiritual level. Whether it is realizing that the material things you once valued are not actually so important, or realizing that you need to make a change in the direction of your life, Africa has the power to make people really think about their lives on a profound level.

    The peace you find by slowing down to the pace of Africa, watching herds of animals calmly drinking from a watering hole in the early hours of the day, will be a welcome break from your life at home.

    You may just find that life makes sense again after your African safari…

    #4: You’ll address your fears 🐍

    Being in a totally new environment with totally new creatures can be a real shock to the psyche. The best place to address your fears is outside of your comfort zone.

    By spending time with unfamiliar animals and in unfamiliar environments, you will get more comfortable, and suddenly you’ll realize that you understand these things better.

    Your fear of snakes, spiders, or big cats will disappear when you see how they live, and you learn to appreciate their lives and their important place in the habitat. They won’t seem so scary any more after that!

    Overcoming these fears comes with a great feeling of accomplishment, and one that lasts forever!

    #5: You’ll contribute to wildlife conservation 🏞️

    Making a positive difference to the planet makes a positive difference in your life (since you also live on this planet!).

    Most safaris actively contribute to local conservation initiatives. The funds gained from these safaris go towards protecting the precious nature that we are lucky enough to enjoy on this continent. Many local communities rely on funding from international travelers to support conservation efforts.

    African safaris are good to help you understand the natural world and the role of humanity in protecting and maintaining it. Ethical ecotourism is a great way to support conservation efforts, all while giving you the trip of a lifetime!


    And finally…

    #6: You’ll want to come back 🧳

    You will never forget this experience. It’s something you can’t quite get anywhere else.

    You will miss the friends you make on safari, whether the local people or the wildlife. You will miss the African sun on your skin. You will miss the incredible experiences you had here. You will long to return, to revisit your experiences, but also to discover new ones.

    Unfortunately, you can’t see everything Africa has to offer in one trip, nor even in one lifetime. But the good news is: this means there will always be something new and exciting to greet you every time you return! There’s still so much to do and see!

    Africa is waiting for you!

    We know from traveler reviews that we have already helped many people have a life-changing experience in Africa.

    Everyone who is lucky enough to come to this great continent forms a connection to the land. It engages all the senses in ways that you cannot find elsewhere. The wild teaches us how to coexist with the world and everything in it.

    It affects everyone in a different way. The moment your food touches the ground for the first time, you feel something new and refreshing. As you experience life here, in all its many diverse beauties, that new feeling becomes clearer, and by the end of your trip you will understand something you didn’t before.

    That feeling is forever.

  • What Vaccinations Do I Need to Travel to Africa?

    Chris
    September 27, 2022
    What vaccines do you need ahead of your safari adventure? We highlight the vaccines and medications you should look into ahead of your trip to Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, or Tanzania.
  • Best Lodges in Zanzibar - Top 5!

    Vika
    August 31, 2022

    Zanzibar is one of those special exotic places that has everything you could want in a luxury getaway. It is world-famous as a tropical island paradise, and people come from all over to witness its natural beauty and unwind with the fresh Indian Ocean breeze blowing through their hair.

    Even though the Zanzibar archipelago of Tanzania is fairly small, there is an impressive range of breathtaking accommodations to choose from when you visit. They are nestled in all of the most beautiful corners of these islands.

    Shadows Of Africa has welcomed many travelers to our beloved Zanzibar from all over the world. We know this part of the world very well, and we can help you find the perfect accommodation for your visit.

    Here are our 5 favorite lodges in Zanzibar to make the decision easier for you!

    № 1. The Nest

    Probably the best place to unwind in Zanzibar - in fact, “unwind” would be putting it mildly - the Nest is a truly luxurious place to nourish the soul and body.

    The Nest was built in harmony with the surrounding nature around the concept of happiness, with ocean-facing accommodation and co-working space. The resort features plenty of activities to engage yourself with during your stay: sports, arts, yoga, meditation, kite surfing - all amongst unbelievable natural wonders.




    № 2. Emerson Spice Hotel (Stone Town)

    A historic building in the heart of Zanzibar’s historic Stone Town, the Emerson Spice Hotel is steeped in history - and fully celebrates it. Every room is unique and has its own unique story to tell - including the kitchen, which offers local gourmet cuisine prepared by Zanzibari chefs.

    Exotic, stylish, and atmospheric: a mix of mystery and history makes this hotel a truly special place to stay when you visit Zanzibar.



    № 3. The Island Pongwe

    A visit to Pongwe, a serene private island resort, is an unforgettably romantic experience. This is an exclusive piece of paradise for those open to an “unconventional detox journey” between the lush green of the island’s nature and the brilliant blue of the Indian Ocean.

    The ambience here makes every moment on the island something special. This experience is equaled in the resort’s sophisticated restaurant, featuring a perfect balance of fresh local flavors with a gourmet touch. For these reasons and more, a visit to Pongwe and its restaurant is a must for travelers coming to the Zanzibar archipelago.




    № 4. andBeyond (Mnemba Island)

    A barefoot private island paradise, andBeyond’s Mnemba Island is the perfect romantic hideaway to indulge in the full luxury of Zanzibar’s tropical nature. The simple pleasures on Mnemba become your most cherished memories for years to come.

    The Mnemba atoll is the perfect backdrop to the many relaxing and reinvigorating activities available on the island’s beaches. The size of this tiny intimate island makes it possible to spend your days however you wish - whether that be snorkeling just off the beach, getting a massage while breathing in the crisp ocean air, or enjoying the sunset with a glass of champagne - all of this is possible in just one day on Mnemba.




    № 5. Tulia

    Tulia is one of the most sustainable and eco-friendly resorts in Zanzibar. Offering many activities to fully indulge in the beauty of Zanzibar, this beachside resort exists in perfect harmony with the island around it - both the nature and the local communities.

    Its gourmet restaurant is stocked from its own organic produce garden, and its food is prepared by some of Tanzania’s best chefs. Tulia fully celebrates the nature of Zanzibar with its tropical garden, and actively supports local communities with a number of practical initiatives. The harmony is here tangible, and you can feel it when you stay at Tulia, at one with everything around you.






    Each of these Zanzibari lodges offers a unique but equally luxurious island experience. We are sure that when you stay at one of them you will agree with our expert reviews!

    Thinking of visiting other parts of Tanzania as well? Check out the country’s 5 coolest lodges on the mainland here.

    Still undecided? Get in touch and we will find the right lodge for you!

  • Plastic-Free Safari

    Vika
    April 19, 2022

    It has long been a thorn in the side of travel agencies like us to send out safari vehicles packed with single-use plastics.

    Our Tanzania team has already found and implemented a solution: we have now installed refillable water canisters in our safari vehicles.

    We designed custom brackets to fit the reusable canisters in the back of our safari cars, so everyone out on the trail with us has constant access to drinking water, without any unnecessary plastic footprint.

    All of our travelers get their own reusable water bottles as a gift.

    ♻️ Reduce your carbon footprint with us ♻️

    So when you’re going on your next safari with us, you will get your own reusable drink bottle. You can refill your bottles on our safari vehicles.

    All you need to do is email us in advance and we will bring one for you. We appreciate you returning this at the end of the safari - we would like to recycle and minimize our waste as much as possible.

    East Africa is a world-leading region on minimizing waste and banning single-use plastics. Travelers are not allowed to bring plastic bags when traveling to Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda or Zanzibar.

    People here realize the harm that single-use plastics can cause, so we expect everyone visiting to keep this in mind as well. Help us create a plastic-free Africa.

    Our Shadows team is always striving to minimize our impact on the natural environment that we are lucky enough to call our home. We want to do everything possible to make sure our visitors can have a plastic-free safari too.

  • See the Serengeti from a Balloon!

    Vika
    March 28, 2022

    Witness Tanzania’s breathtaking landscapes from the sky

    If you ask the average person the best way to enjoy a safari, the idea of flying over the wilderness in a balloon may not come up.

    But, if you ask us, we will definitely tell you all about the wonderful and unique experience of taking a safari from the air!

    See the natural wonders of the Serengeti or Tarangire with all the serenity and all the romance that a luxurious hot-air balloon offers. A balloon safari is truly an unforgettable experience.

    Take a balloon ride in the African skies!


    As you cross the plains at a comfortable altitude of 1000 feet, the landscapes will amaze you. This perspective also offers a unique view of the Great Migration in progress.

    We can arrange a balloon safari on your trips to Tarangire, Serengeti, Maasai Mara, and Ruaha; four of the most beautiful natural places anywhere on the planet.


    Rise from your bed and rise to the sky - the best time of day for a balloon safari is first thing in the morning. The rising sun illuminates a fantastic horizon, which you are able to see in full panorama from your balloon.

    Watch the sun peek up over the horizon to greet all the wildlife down below. You will be able to see cheetahs, lions, leopards, elephants, buffalos, hippos, hyenas, vultures, eagles, wildebeest, zebras, baboons, warthogs, monkeys, giraffes, and more - all right as they wake up and start their day!

    If you thought this journey could not be more romantic, you will be pleasantly surprised upon touching down in the wilderness with a delicious champagne breakfast waiting for you. In our humble opinion, a luxurious meal surrounded by acacia trees and grassy plains in a peaceful corner of Africa is one of the best ways to start your day!

    Nothing can quite compare to the experience of flying over Tanzania’s open plains at sunrise.

    Find out more and get in touch to arrange a sky safari today!

  • Safari on Zanzibar - Visit Jozani Forest and Saadani National Park

    Vika
    December 22, 2021

    Safari on Zanzibar - Visit Jozani Forest

    Zanzibar Island is home to a great nature spot, so you don't need to travel to the African mainland to find your East-African safari experience.
    Book your Jozani Forest tour on Zanzibar Island!

    Jozani Forest, even though quite small (only 50 square kilometres), is still teeming with all forms of life and nature. It may not offer the same experience as a safari tour in the Serengeti or Saadani just across the water, but you are still able to witness the nature and wildlife of Tanzania in the only remaining natural forest on Zanzibar Island.

    Jozani boasts sky-high trees, some over 100 years old, including palms and pandanus, a special mangrove habitat, and even a natural pharmacy…

    The forest is an amazing source of natural remedies. Basically every plant and tree has a medicinal use, and you can find cures for almost everything. Your experienced tour guide will tell you all about the vegetation and their surprising uses. You will find out all about their historical usage in the local Zanzibar culture and beyond.

    Safari on Zanzibar - Visit Jozani Forest

    The wildlife in the forest is equally as interesting and diverse. On your island safari, you can find:

    • the red colobus monkey - famous in the area for their beauty and unique behaviour, but they are threatened across the continent and are very rare, even in Jozani, one of their last remaining sanctuaries in Africa,
    • Zanzibar Sykes’ monkey - endemic to the island, but even rarer (a good challenge to spot one!),
    • antelopes - including two endemic species, the duiker and sunni,
    • blue monkeys,
    • chameleons,
    • mongoose,
    • tree hyraxes,
    • bush pigs,
    • civets, and
    • 40 different species of birds and 50 different species of butterflies.

    Jozani Forest is a great opportunity for safari lovers. As you can see, there are many unique and extraordinary things to be found here even in this small area, so you will still need good walking shoes!

    Shadows Of Africa welcomes you on a tour of this amazing natural wonderland. This is the only nature experience available on Zanzibar Island itself. It is perfect for those who want a magical and relaxing adventure without making the trip to the Tanzanian mainland; to combine their tropical island getaway with a real safari experience.

    Jozani Forest

    The central location on the island means that Jozani is accessible for a day tour from wherever you are staying. It is perfect to combine your refreshing forest trip with a Zanzibar spice tour or a visit to historic Stonetown.

    Book your tour today!

    Saadani day trip from Zanzibar

    For those with more time willing to travel a little bit further for their safari fix, Saadani National Park on the Tanzanian mainland is just across the water from Zanzibar Island.

    The beach meets the bush at Saadani where you can see even more of Tanzania’s diverse wildlife, including giraffes, elephants, wildebeest, baboons, hippos, crocodiles, turtles, and much, much more. Saadani on the mainland is much larger than Jozani and offers a more classical idea of a safari experience in an easy trip from Zanzibar, but both places are special and unique in their own ways and both are absolutely worth visiting!

    You can safari in Saadani on a day trip with a short boat ride or an even shorter flight from Zanzibar.

    Wherever you choose to visit, staying on an island doesn’t mean you need to miss out on your African safari experience. Get in touch and you will be enjoying your ideal African adventure in no time!

  • Swim with Whale Sharks on Mafia Island

    Vika
    December 22, 2021

    The waters around Mafia Island are infested with whale sharks.

    That may sound dangerous, but whale sharks are shy, gentle, and, above all, magnificent creatures. They may be the same size as a bus, but humans are able to swim freely with them, and Zanzibar’s gorgeous tropical Mafia Island is the best place to do just that.

    whale shark

    NOW is the time

    You can see whale sharks around Mafia Island from October to February every year, which is the longest whale shark watching season on offer anywhere in the world.

    November and December are the best months for swimming with whale sharks, when they are most common in these waters. This also happens to be the best season for humpback whale sightings. So start packing and get ready for some swimming!

    In the water

    It is important to treat whale sharks with respect and give them their space. Even though they have no real teeth, it is important to be safe and sensible when you’re in the water with these massive animals.

    If you are calm and respectful they may even shake off their shyness and come up to inspect you. Their curiosity will come out if they feel safe around you!

    With safety in mind, swimming with whale sharks can be one of the most thrilling adventures of your life. Dive among a flock of whale sharks and bring home breathtaking photos and memories that will last forever!

    It is an unbeatable experience: swimming in Mafia Island’s gorgeous clear-blue waters and making friends with giant whale sharks. What more reason do you need to visit this tropical paradise?

    whale shark with yellow pilot fish and snorkeler

    Mafia Island

    Most travellers head straight for Zanzibar’s main island, Unguja (also known as Zanzibar Island), but the smaller and quieter Mafia Island, just to the south, offers so much for every traveller.

    Even if swimming with enormous fish is not your thing, it is a serene holiday getaway with pristine diving and snorkelling conditions. The island is lately even gaining popularity as a honeymoon destination.

    Mafia Island and its friendly whale sharks are waiting for you. We look forward to introducing you! Get in touch to plan your adventure today, before the season ends!

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