Zanzibar

  • A Commitment to Greener Travel: Our Sustainable Transport Selection Policy

    Vika
    June 17, 2024

    Travel offers incredible opportunities to explore new places, cultures, and experiences, but it also comes with significant implications for the climate. The transportation sector is one of the largest contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions, which drive climate change.

    Sustainable travel practices can help mitigate these effects by reducing emissions and promoting more eco-friendly modes of transportation. By making informed choices, travelers can enjoy their journeys while contributing to the preservation of our planet for future generations.

    We at Shadows Of Africa are committed to choosing the most sustainable transport options for our clients traveling in Southern and Eastern Africa. Our Sustainable Transport Selection Policy aims to address these challenges by prioritizing environmentally responsible travel options.

    Our Environmental Objectives

    Our primary objective with the Sustainable Transport Selection Policy is to reduce our carbon footprint. By choosing more eco-friendly transportation options, we aim to lower greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to the fight against climate change.

    This involves prioritizing methods of travel that are less polluting, such as fuel-efficient vehicles, direct flights, and non-motorized transport options like walking and cycling.

    We are committed to promoting environmentally responsible transport and complying with local environmental regulations. This means partnering with airlines and ground transportation providers that adhere to stringent emissions standards.

    We also strive to offer our clients sustainable travel alternatives that support local economies and reduce environmental impact, ensuring that our travel solutions are not only efficient but also aligned with our ecological values.

    Our Guidelines for Selecting Sustainable Transport Options

    Air Travel

    When it comes to air travel, we partner with airlines that comply with Tanzania's and respective national emissions and maintenance standards. We prioritize direct flights to cut down on fuel consumption and emissions.

    Additionally, we choose flights with the shortest travel time to minimize fuel use and collaborate with airlines that participate in carbon offset programs. These efforts help reduce the environmental impact of air travel and help create greener skies.

    Ground Transportation

    For ground transportation, we seek out providers that use fuel-efficient or hybrid vehicles. This helps to reduce emissions and conserve fuel. We also encourage group travel to minimize the number of vehicles on the road, which further reduces our carbon footprint.

    We utilize local transport services that support the local economy and have a smaller environmental footprint, ensuring that our choices benefit both the planet and the communities we visit.

    Non-Motorized and Public Transport

    We promote walking, cycling, or sailing where feasible. These options are not only sustainable but also allow travelers to experience destinations more intimately. We also encourage the use of energy-efficient public transport systems, which can significantly reduce the environmental impact of travel.

    By choosing these modes of transport, we help decrease reliance on fossil fuels and lower overall emissions.

    Advising Clients on Sustainable Travel Alternatives

    We take the time to inform clients about the environmental impact of their travel choices and offer sustainable alternatives.

    Educating our clients on the benefits of greener travel options empowers them to make responsible decisions.

    By adhering to these guidelines, we aim to provide travel solutions that are not only efficient but also environmentally responsible. Our goal is to create a community of travelers who are conscious of their impact on the planet and committed to making positive changes. Together, we can make a positive impact on our planet.

    Our Commitment to Greener Travel

    Our commitment to sustainable travel is more than just a policy - it's a pledge to protect our planet while providing exceptional travel experiences.

    By choosing eco-friendly transportation options, complying with local environmental regulations, and promoting responsible travel practices, we aim to reduce our carbon footprint and support the health of our environment.

    At Shadows Of Africa, we believe that every journey can make a difference. By adhering to our Sustainable Transport Selection Policy, we ensure that our clients can explore Southern and Eastern Africa in a way that respects and preserves these incredible regions.

    Through this policy, we hope to set an example and encourage others to join us in the effort to protect the environment while still enjoying the many benefits of travel. Join us in our efforts to make travel a force for good, ensuring that future generations can also enjoy the wonders of our world.

  • East Africa’s Forbidden Souvenirs

    Vika
    May 20, 2024

    Souvenirs: of course we all want a reminder of our adventurous travels, something physical to attach our cherished memories to, something to show people back home to start conversations. But, it’s important to keep in mind that there is a dark side to souvenirs, and it’s just as important to know how to steer clear from it.

    In East Africa, there are strict regulations on what souvenirs tourists can take home. These regulations are in place to protect endangered species and to combat poaching and the illegal wildlife trade.

    Illegal Souvenirs: What You Can NOT Take Home

    Animal “trophies” are the most notable illegal souvenirs. Taking part of an animal home from your travels is strictly forbidden, and you will be stopped upon leaving the country if you are found carrying any of these items.

    This includes:

    • Ivory: Derived from elephant tusks, ivory is highly sought after but its trade has led to a dramatic decline in elephant populations.
    • Rhinoceros Horn: Valued in some cultures for its supposed medicinal properties, the trade in rhino horn has pushed these animals to the brink of extinction.
    • Hippopotamus Teeth: Less commonly known, hippo teeth are also traded illegally and contribute to the species' decline.
    • Animal Tusks and Horns: Beyond elephants and rhinos, the tusks and horns of various other animals are also prohibited.
    • Animal Skins: The skins of any game animal, often used for rugs, clothing, or decorative items, are also banned.

    “Manufactured trophies” are also prohibited. This includes any items made from the above list of illegal materials. This can include jewelry, carvings, and other decorative items. Anything that is made from or using an animal’s tooth, tusk, horn, bone, claw, hoof, hair, feather, egg, or other durable part of any animal is strictly prohibited.

    Visitors in East Africa are forbidden to purchase and carry any of these items. These measures are part of broader efforts to protect wildlife and ensure the survival of endangered species.

    The Illegal Wildlife Trade: Travelers Beware

    For travelers, this means avoiding markets or vendors that offer such items. Even if a piece looks intriguing or is marketed as a rare find, buying it is both illegal and unethical. Supporting the trade in forbidden souvenirs fuels poaching and the decline of wildlife populations.

    Instead of buying illegal wildlife products, travelers should support conservation efforts by purchasing local crafts and products that are sustainably made. Items like handmade jewelry, textiles, and artwork from local artisans are excellent alternatives. These not only make unique souvenirs but also contribute to the local economy and promote ethical tourism.

    Respect these regulations, and help protect East Africa's rich biodiversity and ensure that future generations can also experience the region's unique wildlife. Remember, the most valuable souvenirs are memories and experiences, not things that harm the natural world.

    leopard-tanzania

  • Essential Safari Etiquette - How to be a Responsible Traveler

    Vika
    May 7, 2024

    Embarking on a safari adventure through Africa's untamed wilderness is a privilege that comes with great responsibility.

    Each moment spent in the presence of Africa’s majestic wildlife presents an opportunity to cultivate a deeper understanding of our interconnectedness with the natural world.

    As visitors to these sacred landscapes, it's essential to make sure our behavior prioritizes the well-being of the wildlife and preserve the delicate balance of the ecosystem for future generations.

    Here are some tips to keep in mind when you head out on safari:

    Don’t feed the animals

    Feeding animals may seem harmless, but it can disrupt the delicate balance of nature. While it may seem like a kind gesture, even small amounts of food from travelers can change animal behavior and dietary patterns.

    Offering food to a curious monkey or impala can lead to a dangerous dependency on human handouts, jeopardizing their ability to forage for natural sustenance and compromising their health and well-being in the process.

    When animals become reliant on human handouts for sustenance, they abandon their natural instincts to forage for food in the wild. Moreover, the food provided by humans usually lacks the essential nutrients necessary for the animals' health, and most human food can even be toxic for animals, further compromising their survival in the long run.

    These animals have everything they need to survive in their natural habitat. It is critically important for visitors to resist the temptation to feed the wildlife, and instead observe them from a respectful distance, allowing them to thrive without interference.

    Off-roading can harm flora and fauna

    When you’re out on the safari trail, tread lightly upon the fragile landscape that surrounds us. Driving outside of the designated roads in national parks is strictly prohibited.

    Off-roading poses a serious threat to the delicate balance of ecosystems, and can cause irreparable damage to the fragile flora, fauna, and habitats that sustain life within these pristine areas. Many small animals live in the grasses and are at risk of being trampled and killed by off-roading vehicles.

    By adhering to designated routes and minimizing our footprint on the land, we honor the sanctity of the wilderness and ensure its preservation for future generations to enjoy.

    Leave natural areas as you found them

    Removing items from their natural habitat disrupts the delicate balance of the environment and can have far-reaching consequences for plant and animal populations. Taking souvenirs like rocks and plants from parks is illegal in many countries, including Tanzania, to prevent visitors from harming the pristine wilderness.

    Anything you find out on the safari trail - leave it there. Anything you bring with you - take it back to camp (don’t litter!) Otherwise, you will damage the environment and face serious fines. Respecting these regulations helps protect Africa’s natural treasures.

    Take home only beautiful pictures and cherished memories!

    Flash photography can harm animals

    Even though we all want to capture the beauty of Africa’s wildlife with our cameras, flash photography can be distressing to animals with sensitive eyes, causing them unnecessary discomfort and disorientation.

    Instead, we should exercise patience and restraint, allowing for natural lighting to capture the essence of the wildlife without causing them harm. We must prioritize the well-being of the subjects we seek to immortalize with our photography, so be sure to turn that flash off.

    Loud noises are stressful for wildlife

    Loud noises, whether from raucous conversations or intrusive electronic devices, disrupt the peace and tranquility of the natural world, causing stress and anxiety among the wildlife and detracting from the immersive safari experience for fellow travelers. And, while it may be tempting, don’t shout or imitate animal noises to get their attention.

    By embracing the serenity of the wilderness and minimizing our impact on the natural soundscape, we contribute to creating a harmonious environment where humans and animals coexist in peace. It is essential to maintain a sense of reverence and respect for the sanctity of this pristine landscape.

    Respect the locals

    Don’t take photos of people without their explicit consent. Just as we value our own privacy, it's essential to recognize and honor the autonomy of others. Before capturing any images of local residents, take a moment to engage with them, establish a connection, and seek their permission.

    By prioritizing the wishes and well-being of the locals, we can contribute to building positive relationships and promoting cultural sensitivity within the communities we visit. Ultimately, respecting the locals is not just about following a rule - it's about recognizing and honoring the inherent value and dignity of every individual we encounter on our travels.

    Act responsibly on safari

    As responsible travelers venturing into Africa's untamed wilderness, we carry the responsibility of preserving its delicate ecosystems and majestic wildlife. Each encounter with nature presents an opportunity to deepen our connection with the natural world and embrace a code of conduct that honors and protects its splendor for future generations.

    By adhering to this safari etiquette, we ensure that our presence does not leave a negative impact on the environment and the lives of those who call it home. Let us embrace this privilege with reverence and gratitude, knowing that our actions today shape the legacy we leave for tomorrow's adventurers.

  • The best Africa travel destination for your travel time

    Vika
    October 4, 2023

    In this post you can find out the best places to travel in Africa by month.

    Where to Travel in Africa in January

    January is an absolutely fantastic time of year to be visiting Africa, with many of our destinations being absolutely beautiful.

    Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda all boast some of their best game-viewing conditions at this time of year.

    Tanzania

    Tanzania’s Northern Circuit boasts arguably the best game-viewing in the world during January, as the Wildebeest Migration’s calving season is in full-swing in the Ndutu region of the southern Serengeti.

    With more than 10,000 young wildebeest born each day, predator numbers are especially high, making this an ideal time to spot cheetahs, leopards, and lions on the hunt. Combining the Serengeti and Ngorongoro at this time of year is a terrific choice.

    January is one of the most popular times of year to visit Zanzibar, with conditions being excellent for an extended beach escape.

    Kenya

    While Kenya does not play host to the Wildebeest Migration in January, it is nevertheless still home to its own calving season as many animals give birth in this time of plenty.

    Like Tanzania, the abundance of easy prey makes for a buffet for predators. You’ll have an excellent chance of catching a cheetah or lion on the hunt!

    Conditions on the Kenyan Coast are also terrific for those wanting a beach escape.

    Rwanda

    The pleasant weather in January makes for terrific gorilla trekking conditions. With pleasant temperatures and occasional rainfall, it is a good alternative to the hotly contested peak season months of June – September.

    Uganda

    Part of Uganda’s short dry season, January is an absolutely fantastic time to visit the Pearl of Africa. Both gorilla-trekking and game drive conditions are excellent, with the cooler temperatures in Bwindi-Impenetrable making it an especially popular time for the often gruelling gorilla trek.

    Ethiopia

    January is a terrific time of year to visit Ethiopia, with an average of just two rainy days in the month. This makes it an ideal time to visit the country, whose roads do not always hold up to the rainier months of the wet season.

    Botswana

    Marked by spectacular thunderstorms, January is nonetheless a great time to visit Botswana for two reasons: it is breeding season for the country’s dazzling variety of birds and the overcast conditions make for truly spectacular photography.

    While game drives and game viewing aren’t at their best in January, you can still have an unforgettable safari experience in Botswana, with predators especially easy to spot against the vivid green of the lush grass.

    Zimbabwe

    With rainy season in full swing in Zimbabwe, you won’t have to deal with the usual crowds, but you may encounter less than ideal road conditions in some of the national parks. The thick vegetation does also mean game-viewing can be a little more difficult.

    This translates into good prices, however, with many luxury properties offering competitive rates. If you’re looking to combine your safari experience with some five-star pampering, it’s a great time to visit.

    zimbabawe-lion

    South Africa

    While rainy conditions in Kruger National Park make for less than ideal game-viewing in January, the hot summer weather is perfect for those wanting to experience the beaches and scenic drives of this gorgeous country.

    Taking a tour of the Garden Route, exploring Cape Town, relaxing on the beaches, or paying a visit to wine country are all ideal activities during January.

    For history buffs, the Battlefields of KwaZulu Natal are a popular choice this month, as it marks the anniversary of such famed battles as the Battle of Rorke’s Drift.

    cape town beach

    Namibia

    Namibia is at the peak of a hot, humid summer in January, which makes it a less than ideal choice if you can’t stand the heat.

    Birdwatching is especially good at this time of year, with the pink flamingos of Swakopmund and the birds of the Caprivi Strip being a popular choice.

    Mozambique

    We do not recommend travel to Mozambique at this time of year, as it is the beginning of their rainy season. Cyclones and intense storms are not uncommon along the coast.

    Where to Travel in Africa in February

    February is a time of contrasting fortunes in Africa, with some countries such as Tanzania, Kenya, and Ethiopia enjoying terrific conditions, while Mozambique and Namibia are in their least desirable seasons.

    Botswana, South Africa, Rwanda, and Uganda enjoy good conditions at this time of year as well, although each country also has its weaknesses.

    The undisputed king in February is Tanzania, where the Wildebeest Migration’s calving season sees more than 500,000 wildebeest born in a single month!

    Tanzania

    The calving season of the Wildebeest Migration is in full-swing come February, making this one of Tanzania’s mini peak seasons. Mobile camps in the Ndutu region of the Serengeti/Ngorongoro do brisk business as people travel from all over the world to see the beginnings of the massive animal movement.

    More than 500,000 Wildebeest are born in the month of February, making it an ideal time to spot both the massive herd and the predators who prey on them.

    Kenya

    While Tanzania is where the action is for the Wildebeest Migration, Kenya is nonetheless worthwhile during the hot, dry month of February. With many water sources within the parks drying up, herbivores and carnivores are forced closer together in order to access water. This is the perfect recipe for those wishing to see a hunt or kill.

    Rwanda

    With warm weather and less rain, February is a popular time to visit Rwanda for gorilla trekking. Towards the end of the month, rains begin to increase again, so it’s a good idea to arrange your gorilla trekking earlier in the month to avoid a slippery climb!

    Uganda

    Like neighbouring Rwanda, Uganda enjoys terrific conditions and sunny weather during the month of February. This is great for gorilla trekking and chimpanzee trekking, as well as providing excellent conditions for game drives in parks like Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls.

    Ethiopia

    Dry conditions in Ethiopia make for safe roads and pleasant weather – the perfect opportunity to trekking in the Simien Mountains or observing the antelope migration in Gambela National Park.

    Botswana

    February is a fascinating time in Botswana, with the Kalahari slowly beginning to come to life as the grasslands begin to draw in herds of grazing animals. Ripe figs attract fruit bats and the Okavango well and truly comes alive thanks to recent rains.

    While you will still have to contend with occasional daily rain, the lush greenery and burst of bird, insect, reptile, and mammal life in the region makes this a truly special time of year to be in Botswana.

    Zimbabwe

    As with January, February is part of Zimbabwe’s rainy season. This translates into brilliantly green scenery and lower crowds within national parks, but you’ll need to contend with daily showers and occasionally bad road conditions.

    Game viewing is nonetheless terrific due to it being calving season, and those wishing to raft along the Zambezi River will find conditions quite perfect.

    South Africa

    February is a perfect time to visit South Africa, with conditions in both Kruger National Park and along the picturesque Garden Route quite spectacular.

    With the high temperatures, Cape Town and other beach destinations tend to be in high demand, so you need to either book early or be prepared to pay extra to secure a booking.

    Namibia

    Like January, February does not offer ideal conditions in Namibia. Hot humid days give way to afternoon downpours, but this remains a good time of year to spot flamingos and other bird life.

    Mozambique

    The rainy season and cyclone conditions continue in Mozambique through February, making it a less than ideal holiday destination.

    Where to Travel in Africa in March

    March sees the beginning of low season in many countries, which means popular destinations like Tanzania and Kenya see less crowds. Rwanda and Uganda are in the beginning of their rainy season, making gorilla trekking a less pleasant (but still very possible) experience.

    Conversely, Botswana and Zimbabwe are at their very best, making a Southern African safari the ideal solution.

    Tanzania

    While not quite as good as January or February, March is still a good option for those wishing to experience the Wildebeest Migration outside of the traditional June – September peak season. The Ndutu and Seronera regions of the Serengeti are where the action is.

    With rainy season on the horizon, prices tend to decrease and crowds are on the wane, making this a good time to capitalize in pleasant weather and less crowded hotels.

    Kenya

    Kenya remains a good option in March, although the lack of the Wildebeest Migration and the approach of rainy season does mean that Tanzania is a much better option for your safari.

    Rwanda

    With rainy season beginning, conditions for gorilla trekking decline sharply in the month of March. While it is still possible to venture into Volcanoes National Park or Nyungwe Forest National Park for primate viewing, you’ll need to contend with slippery mountains, ankle-deep mud, and primates who have a lot more places to find water.

    Uganda

    March is low season in Uganda, with rainier conditions making the popular primate trekking activities less appetizing.

    The national parks still remain good for game drives, but those wishing to combine these with primate trekking might be best served waiting until later in the year.

    Ethiopia

    Ethiopia’s high season begins to wind down in March, but conditions remain favourable for game drives and trekking. It is a terrific time to visit.

    Botswana

    March is a fantastic time to experience Botswana’s Okavango Delta, with the recent months of rain translating into fabulous conditions to experience the wetlands.

    Combining your Okavango experience with a visit to Victoria Falls in neighbouring Zimbabwe is a terrific option at this time of year.

    Zimbabwe

    With the rainy season winding down, March presents perhaps the best conditions in Zimbabwe so far. The country is awash with color, crowds are still relatively low, Victoria Falls is at its peak, and the calving season means there is plenty of activity within the national parks.

    If you can’t afford to visit during the June – August peak season, March is the next best bet for Zimbabwe.

    South Africa

    Safari conditions aren’t ideal in March, but the Cape region and the Garden Route are truly stunning in the month of March.

    With that being said, Kruger and Sabi Sands remain viable safari options. Those looking to combine their trip with neighbouring countries might be best served waiting until later in the year, however.

    Namibia

    While the temperature is finally beginning to drop in Namibia as the rainy season passes, the country is yet to be at its best.

    We’d recommend holding off another month or two if you wish to experience Namibia at its most beautiful.

    Mozambique

    With rains easing, March marks the first time of year that Mozambique should be considered. The pleasant change in weather translates into a sudden increase in demand, so be sure to book early if your trip falls in the last half of March.

    Where to Travel in Africa in April

    April makes the beginning of the long rainy season in East Africa, meaning a number of popular destinations in that region experience their low season. While this does mean less ideal game-viewing conditions, it also means you’re getting access to great prices in Tanzania and Kenya.

    With that being said, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Mozambique are our recommendations at this time of year. Conditions are great across all four countries!

    Tanzania

    Tanzania enters what we call its Green Season in April, as seasonal rains make for vibrant national parks. The taller grass and denser foliage do mean that game-viewing isn’t quite as good as it might otherwise be, but the trade-off is amazing pricing on luxury lodges.

    If you’ve ever wanted to treat yourself to a five-star safari experience, April (and May) provide the best prices you’ll ever see for Tanzania. While game-viewing isn’t what it is in peak season, you still stand a very good chance of seeing the Big Five.

    Kenya

    Like Tanzania, Kenya’s low season sees rainier days and denser foliage throughout its parks. You’ll also find that prices in Kenya are more competitive at this time of year.

    We still recommend Tanzania over Kenya in April, as you stand a good chance of spotting the Wildebeest Migration in Tanzania.

    Rwanda

    We do not recommend visiting Rwanda in April, as the heavy rains make for extremely difficult and slippery gorilla trekking conditions.

    With that said, birdwatchers or those looking to go gorilla trekking without the risk of missing out on permits are going to find Rwanda is still very much open for business.

    Uganda

    While gorilla and chimpanzee trekking conditions are less than ideal in April, you’ll find there are great deals on accommodation across the country’s national parks.

    If you’ve ever dreamed of exploring the width and breadth of the Pearl of Africa on a budget, this is the ideal time to do it!

    Chimps_Kibale

    Ethiopia

    The coming rains and the increasing temperatures do make travel in April a bit less pleasant than in earlier months, but it remains a good time to visit Ethiopia and explore its historic sites and spectacular vistas.

    As April marks Easter on the Ethiopian calendar, those interested in observing Fasika (Orthodox Easter) and attending a traditional Mass are in for a treat.

    Botswana

    Botswana is absolutely spectacular in April. With the world-famous Okavango Delta in flood, there are few places in Africa that can attest to being more beautiful than Botswana in April.

    It is still technically low season in Botswana, however, as game-viewing can be hard to predict this early in the year. Still, with our help finding the right camp, you can expect to have a world-class safari at rock-bottom low season prices!

    Zimbabwe

    Zimbabwe just keeps getting better and better as the rainy season tapers off. While not yet peak season, major attractions such as Victoria Falls and Mana Pools National Park are open and provide excellent conditions.

    While the weather is cooler than other times of year, it is a perfect opportunity to take advantage of low season crowds and pricing before the country really begins to open up.

    South Africa

    Safari conditions begin to improve as South Africa’s autumn begins, with the slow loss of leaves on the trees making it easier to spot animals while on safari.

    If you’re looking to go hiking or indulge in some more physical activities, the cooling temperatures provide excellent conditions. Wine tasting or city touring are a delight in the autumn weather, although you might want to rethink your beach plans!

    Namibia

    April marks the last month of Namibia’s rainy low season, with temperatures dropping and weather improving.

    This is the earliest time of year we would recommend visiting Namibia, as conditions are now good enough for you to enjoy famed landmarks like Etosha National Park, Sossusvlei, and the Skeleton Coast. Still, if you can hold off one more month, Namibia is about to get spectacular.

    Mozambique

    With the weather finally on your side, Mozambique is a gem in April. Clear sunny days and light winds will greet you as you touch down, accompanying you as you explore this often overlooked corner of the world.

    Where to Travel in Africa in May

    With much of East Africa experiencing its heaviest rains, May is not an ideal time to visit popular destinations such as Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda – although the poorer conditions do allow for savings on luxury hotels.

    With that in mind, we recommend Southern African destinations such as Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and South Africa.

    Tanzania

    May is the wettest month in Tanzania, with daily rain making for dense foliage and muddy roads. This isn’t to say that you can’t still enjoy a safari, but visitors can expect delays due to poor road conditions.

    If you’re willing to put up with the humidity and the occasional delay, however, you can get amazing pricing on luxury lodges as they look to fill up their rooms during the low season.

    Kenya

    Like Tanzania, Kenya is in the thick of its rainy season during May. You’ll find great deals on luxury lodges, but these come with the trade-off of less ideal safari conditions.

    Rwanda

    Gorilla trekking conditions remain poor due to the rainy days, but this can be a good time to get permits if you’re having trouble finding available dates at busier times of year.

    Conditions in Nyungwe and Akagera are less than ideal, but you can still go chimpanzee trekking or on a safari.

    Uganda

    The wet weather can wreak havoc on Uganda’s infamously bad roads, so be prepared for delays if you’re going on safari during the month of May.

    The wet conditions also make the already difficult gorilla trekking conditions in Bwindi Impenetrable even less pleasant, but permit availability is quite good.

    Ethiopia

    While rainy season is about to begin, Ethiopia is unquestionably beautiful in the month of May. The rains paint the country in vivid shades of green, but certain areas (such as the Lower Omo Valley) do become impassable due to the muddy conditions.

    Botswana

    Botswana is arguably the most beautiful place in the world in May. The Okavango Delta is in full flood and the country is just alive with colour.

    Sometimes called the “secret season”, May in Botswana combines the country’s immense natural beauty with the last of the year’s low season pricing.

    Zimbabwe

    Zimbabwe really starts to come into its own in May. As rains taper off and water levels drop, Victoria Falls becomes absolutely breathtaking to behold.

    With less water in the national parks, wildlife are forced to congregate around reliable water sources. This coupled with the thinning vegetation make for ideal game-viewing conditions, so you’re in for a treat on safari. If you’ve ever wanted to track rhinos in Matobo Hills, this is the perfect time to do it!

    On the flip side, the popular Devil’s Pool (as well as rafting on the Zambezi) are not available at this time of year.

    South Africa

    With the thinning of foliage, Kruger National Park becomes one of the best places in Africa to go on a game drive. In addition, the cooler weather means that exploring Cape Town, the Garden Route, and the popular wine regions are much more comfortable.

    Namibia

    While it is still technically low season in Namibia in May (hooray for lower prices), the cooler weather and the lack of rain make this an ideal time to explore the country.

    For those eager to see Sossusvlei, the Skeleton Coast, Etosha National Park, and the Kalahari, this is the first time of year where you can do so without running the risk of being rained on every day.

    Mozambique

    With the rainy season well and truly behind it, Mozambique is a sight to behold in May. With dry season officially underway, conditions are terrific to explore all of Mozambique’s National Parks and scenic sites.

    Where to Travel in Africa in June

    With rainy season ending and the Wildebeest Migration in full swing, Tanzania takes centre stage for safari lovers in the month of June.

    Across southern and eastern Africa, many destinations offer fantastic safari conditions, meaning you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to planning your big trip.

    Tanzania

    The Wildebeest Migration makes its way into the Central Serengeti in the month of June, and while occasional showers are not uncommon, conditions improve as the month winds on – making June an ideal time to visit Tanzania.

    Kenya

    June is still something of a low season in Kenya, as the Wildebeest Migration takes place squarely within Tanzania during the month. With that being said, the end of rainy season does mean that the parks are gorgeous and not too crowded, making it a good time to get a terrific deal on a Kenyan safari.

    Rwanda

    The long dry season has begun and that means it is peak season in Rwanda. Gorilla permits are in high demand in the month of June, so those wishing to go trekking should book early.

    Akagera National Park also has ideal conditions for those wanting to undertake a Rwandan safari.

    Uganda

    Like neighbouring Rwanda, Uganda is about to enter its peak season. Gorilla permits sell out early, so be sure to make a booking early if you’re wanting the experience for yourself.

    In Uganda’s safari parks, conditions are right for seeing all manner of wildlife. It is a terrific time to visit the Pearl of Africa.

    Ethiopia

    The rains come to Ethiopia in June, making for poor conditions both on the roads and in the parks.

    We do not recommend visiting Ethiopia in June.

    Botswana

    With peak season just around the corner, June may well be your last chance to take place of low-season pricing in Botswana before Africa’s most expensive safari destination kicks into overdrive.

    Zimbabwe

    Zimbabwe is quite popular in June, as conditions across the country’s national parks make for great game-viewing.

    Water levels at Victoria Falls are slightly lower, allowing for clearer photos of the spectacular waterfall.

    As June is quite popular in Zimbabwe, you’ll likely have to book early to avoid disappointment.

    South Africa

    June marks the beginning of peak season in South Africa, as the cooler winter conditions make for fantastic safaris. It is dry season in the country’s north, forcing animals to bunch closer together to find water sources.

    The weather does turn wet around Cape Town, which means colder days and less ideal conditions for exploration.

    Namibia

    Etosha National Park has amazing conditions during June, as the dry season forces the park’s wildlife to congregate around a few water sources. Often likened to Noah’s Ark, Etosha is a sight to behold at this time of year.

    All across the country, drier conditions make for excellent travel conditions.

    Mozambique

    Mozambique’s peak season officially kicks off in June, as the drier conditions make the country a perfect choice.

    With lower winds, conditions for scuba diving and whale-watching are excellent.

    Where to Travel in Africa in July

    East Africa is the place to be in July, with Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda all being spectacular at this time of year.

    There is honestly very few bad places at this time of year, however, with Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Mozambique all terrific as well.

    Tanzania

    Tanzania is the place to be in July, as the world-famous Wildebeest Migration begins to make its way north towards the Maasai Mara.

    Game-viewing conditions in Ngorongoro, the Central Serengeti, and the Northern Serengeti are sublime at this time of year, although you’ll likely have to share the parks with others looking to see a river crossing for themselves.

    Kenya

    While the Wildebeest Migration is unlikely to have reached the Mara River so early in the season, the Maasai Mara is nonetheless spectacular in July. Kenya’s peak season kicks off in July, with properties across the country experiencing higher demand due to the ideal game-viewing conditions.

    Rwanda

    There’s a perfect storm in Rwanda in July, as conditions are perfect and much of the world begins its summer holidays. You’ll want to book early if you’re thinking of going gorilla trekking in Rwanda this month!

    If you can get permits and accommodation, however, July is the perfect month to be exploring Rwanda.

    Uganda

    Like Rwanda, Uganda experiences a boom in tourism in the month of July, although the country’s sprawling nature and variety of parks does mean that there are always options for those wanting to do more than just go gorilla trekking.

    If you’re visiting Uganda in July, we can’t speak highly enough of taking an extended trip to take advantage of all the country has to offer.

    Ethiopia

    Heavy rains make travel in Ethiopia unsafe at this time of year. We do not advise visiting Ethiopia in July.

    Botswana

    It is officially peak season in Botswana! All across the country – from the Okavango to Morembi to Chobe – hotels and tented camps fill fast as people flock to the country to see it in all its glory.

    The only exception to this are drier areas such as the Kalahari, which are all but empty (of both guests and wildlife) at this time of year.

    Zimbabwe

    Dry conditions make for perfect game-viewing conditions in Zimbabwe, where animals continue to move towards reliable water sources and come into conflict with one another.

    If you’re planning a Zimbabwe safari, this is the time to visit.

    South Africa

    Peak season continues in South Africa’s safari parks, as the dry conditions continue to bring wildlife together at water sources.
    In the south, where rain continues to fall, places like Cape Town and Stellenbosch are less than ideal.

    Namibia

    Namibia is spectacular in July, with Etosha’s dry conditions continuing to make for excellent game-viewing.

    Dry conditions across the country make for clear roads and clear skies, perfect for photographing the country’s many stunning landscapes.

    Mozambique

    Mozambique remains spectacular in July, as conditions remain perfect for exploration both on land and in the water. If you’re keen on fishing or scuba diving, you’re in for a treat!

    Where to Travel in Africa in August

    All things being equal, Tanzania is the unquestioned king at this time of year. With the Wildebeest Migration in full swing along the banks of the Mara River, you can also find world class game viewing in Kenya.

    Like July, there are no ‘bad’ places to be in August, although Ethiopia remains a bit of a no go as their rainy season continues.

    Tanzania

    Arguably the best time of year to visit Tanzania, August sees the high drama of a Wildebeest Migration river crossing taking place along the Mara River.

    It’s not just the Serengeti that thrives in August, however, as even the parks of the Southern Circuit (such as Selous and Ruaha) are spectacular. You’re truly spoiled for choice in August!

    hippo tanzania

    Kenya

    Kenya takes the mantle from Tanzania in August, as the Wildebeest Migration begins to cross into the Maasai Mara and bring the park to life.

    Accommodation in Kenya is often booked out early for this special time of year, so be sure to book early!

    Rwanda

    The dry season continues in Rwanda, making for great gorilla trekking and chimpanzee trekking conditions. This translates into huge demand for permits and accommodation, so be sure to book early.

    Rwanda’s only safari park, Akagera, is also quite spectacular in August.

    Uganda

    It’s peak season in Uganda, so you can expect to find gorilla permits are sold out months in advance. Other parks – such as Kibale Forest, Murchison Falls, and Queen Elizabeth – are spectacular in August.

    If you’re looking to avoid the costs of a Tanzanian or Kenyan safari, Uganda is a good, budget-conscious option.

    Lioness lying on a tree. Uganda.

    Ethiopia

    The long rainy season continues in Ethiopia. Travel is not advised.

    Botswana

    Like July, August is incredibly beautiful (and incredibly busy) in Botswana. If you can get your accommodation booked early, you’re in for a treat.

    The Okavango is in full flood, Chobe and other parks are full of life, and the country is abuzz with international tourism.

    Zimbabwe

    Peak season continues in Zimbabwe, with lowering water levels at Victoria Falls also meaning that white-water rafting can be included in your itinerary.

    Even though it is peak season, accommodation in the country’s national parks is usually available, with only Victoria Falls experiencing sold out accommodation.

    South Africa

    With fantastic safari conditions in the north and the beginning of whale-watching season in Cape Town, August is a terrific time to be heading to South Africa.

    There is plenty to see and do, but you’ll have to contend with other travellers with the same idea!

    Namibia

    Namibia is picture perfect in August. From the conditions in Etosha to the brilliantly blue skies over the Namib Desert and Skeleton Coast, you couldn’t ask for a better time of year to be visiting this gorgeous country.

    Mozambique

    While temperatures begin to drop in August, Mozambique remains a great place to be. Days remain warm and tropical, with cooler nights.

    Scuba diving and fishing conditions remain terrific.

    Where to Travel in Africa in September

    September is Kenya’s time to shine, with the Maasai Mara taking centre stage as the Wildebeest Migration arrives.

    All across Africa, conditions are terrific, with even Ethiopia coming to the party as rains taper off and the country begins to open itself up to tourists again.

    For the best bang for your buck, look at combining your Kenyan safari with an extended tour of Uganda.

    Tanzania

    While the Wildebeest Migration will likely have made its way into Kenya by now, September remains a fantastic time to be exploring Tanzania.

    With peak season crowds dropping off a little, you can take an extended safari across the plains of the Serengeti & Ngorongoro, make your way down to the Southern Circuit to explore Selous or Mikumi, and finish it all up with terrific conditions on Zanzibar.

    Kenya

    Arguably the best time of year to be in Kenya, September sees the Wildebeest Migration making a temporary home for itself on the Maasai Mara.

    While demand for accommodation in the Mara and other nearby parks remains high, you can explore northern parks such as Samburu without the crowds.

    Rwanda

    While dry season is coming to an end, conditions for gorilla trekking remain good throughout September. The occasional rainfall isn’t enough to turn the mountains into a muddy mess, so you can still see the gorgeous mountain gorillas up close.

    Uganda

    September is a fine time to be visiting Uganda, with peak season crowds diminishing but conditions remaining good for game drives and primate trekking alike.

    Ethiopia

    While the first half of the month is usually rainy and unpleasant, things start to look truly gorgeous by month’s end. With the country looking lush and alive, a late September trip to Ethiopia is a possibility.

    Botswana

    Botswana remains world-class in September, with demand for accommodation remaining high across the country.

    Expect to book early and pay top dollar for your trip in September, but you’ll be getting a spectacular experience.

    Zimbabwe

    While conditions in September remain terrific, the diminishing crowds make September the perfect time of year to be planning your trip.

    As dry season forces wildlife into closer proximity, game-viewing conditions are terrific.

    Attractions such as white-water rafting and the Devil’s Pool are available in September.

    South Africa

    South Africa is terrific in September. Game-viewing in the north remains world-class, while the whale migration along the Garden Route makes it an ideal time to be visiting the country’s south.

    While weather in the south can be a bit wet and cool, the entire country is nonetheless spectacular in September.

    Namibia

    Like August before it, Namibia is just amazing in September.

    From Etosha to Sossuvlei to Swakopmund to Windhoek, conditions are ideal for exploring this oft-overlooked gem.

    Mozambique

    As European and American holidaymakers begin to make their way back home, Mozambique remains gorgeous in September.

    If you’re looking to explore the country without contending with the crowds, September is an ideal time to be visiting.

    Where to Travel in Africa in October

    With temperatures begin to climb across southern Africa and the East African nations heading towards their rainy seasons, October can be a good time to avoid the worst of the peak season crowds without having to contend with poor viewing conditions.

    While not as good as the June – August window, October remains a fine time to visit Africa.

    Tanzania

    October marks the last month of Tanzania’s peak season before the November rains, but conditions remain terrific across the country.

    From the north of the Serengeti all the way down to the Southern Circuit’s wild and rugged parks, there isn’t a bad place to be in October.

    Crowds tend to be lower than in July – September, so it is a good time to have a bit more peace and quiet on safari.

    Kenya

    Despite still being in peak season, October sees crowds begin to drop across Kenya. If you’re looking to catch the tail end of the Wildebeest Migration or you’re just looking to avoid the worst of the peak season crowds, this is the time of year to do it.

    Rwanda

    While the short rainy season does equate to the occasional heavy downpour, the rains shouldn’t be enough to derail your plans to visit Rwanda in October.

    In fact, the sudden burst of hydration tends to make for more gorgeous landscapes and excellent birding conditions.

    Uganda

    It is shoulder season in Uganda, meaning lower prices on luxury lodges!

    Conditions at Murchison Falls and along the Nile are especially nice at this time in comparison to the eastern parks, but the entire country is very much open for business.

    Murchison Falls NP

    Ethiopia

    With the rains finally behind us, Ethiopia becomes a viable option again in October. The entire country is verdant and alive with life thanks to the rains, making for truly stunning landscapes.

    Crowds remain low, so you won’t be fighting for accommodation, either!

    Botswana

    Temperatures begin to soar in October, but this works in your favour – as herbivores and predators alike are driven to diminishing water sources to escape the heat. If you’ve ever wanted to see a hunt or a kill, you’re in the right place! Conditions across the country remain great for game-viewing.

    Zimbabwe

    If you can handle the heat, Zimbabwe remains a good choice in October. Like Botswana, the heat drives wildlife towards watering holes, making game drives all the easier.

    South Africa

    October is a great time to be in South Africa. The safari parks remain alive with life ahead of rainy season, while the Cape region finally gets a reprieve from the wet, winter weather.

    cape town

    Namibia

    October marks the peak of dry season in Namibia. This means temperatures in excess of 29C most days, but it also means wildlife congregate around what few water sources remain.

    If you can handle the soaring mercury, you’ll find the country is quite gorgeous in October.

    Mozambique

    While the temperatures are high in October, it’s the perfect excuse to spend your Mozambique trip relaxing on the coast.

    Scuba diving conditions are arguably at their best in October, so grab a mask and head on in!

    Where to Travel in Africa in November

    November tends to be something of a low season across Africa, although Mozambique, Uganda, and South Africa remain quite good.

    If you’re looking to do your safari on a budget, November can be a great time to score a great deal on luxury properties.

    Tanzania

    November marks Tanzania’s short rainy season, with the inclement weather meaning taller grass, muddier roads, and more scattered wildlife.

    If you’re looking to experience a luxury safari on a budget, however, November provides you with an excellent opportunity to capitalize on low season rates without the same level of rain you would find during the longer rainy season (April-May).

    Kenya

    Like Tanzania, Kenya experiences a short rainy season during the month of November, and prices fall almost as fast as the rain. You can get some superb deals on luxury accommodation in November, making it a great time to plan that family safari you’ve always dreamed of.

    Rwanda

    The rainy season continues in Rwanda, with short downpours making gorilla trekking conditions a little tougher than in the dry season. Nevertheless, Rwanda is very much open for business, and there is a strange beauty to its mountains and forests in the mist and rain.

    Uganda

    With the worst of the rains having passed during the month of October, Uganda is a green and gorgeous gem at this time of year. Shoulder season pricing, verdant parks, and less crowded tourist attractions make this a great time to be visiting the Pearl of Africa.

    Gorilla and chimpanzee trekking can be a little more difficult due to the muddier conditions and denser undergrowth, but the adventure is still very much on offer.

    Ethiopia

    November is a terrific time to be visiting Ethiopia. With the long rainy season now a distant memory, the nation is awash with colour. If you’ve ever wanted to see some of Ethiopia’s endemic wildlife, this is the time of year to be doing it.

    Botswana

    Dramatic thunderstorms sweep across Botswana in November, making for some pretty spectacular vistas.

    The less than ideal weather translates into a return to low season rates in Botswana, so it can be a great time to get a fantastic deal in what is a notoriously pricey safari destination.

    Zimbabwe

    Between soaring temperatures and increased rainfall, Zimbabwe isn’t at its best in November. With that being said, low season rates and lower crowds do give you the opportunity to experience the country at a budget rate.

    Birders will be especially intrigue by Zimbabwe in November, as insect hatching season heralds huge numbers of migratory birds looking for an easy meal.

    While the Devil’s Pool and Mana Pools National Park are both closed for much of November, it can be a good time for white water rafting.

    South Africa

    South Africa enjoys terrific weather throughout the month of November. As spring transitions into summer, you can expect warmer days and more pleasant evenings.
    Wherever you’re going in South Africa, November is a good month to be doing it.

    Namibia

    If you’re looking to catch predators on the prowl in Etosha National Park, the November calving season is an ideal opportunity to do so.

    Despite this, the high temperatures and occasional thunderstorms do make for less than ideal conditions across Namibia, so you’ll need to bear that in mind when planning your trip.

    Mozambique

    November remains a good time to be visiting Mozambique. Although rainy season begins towards the end of the month, you can still expect hot days, clear nights, and great snorkelling conditions.

    Where to Travel in Africa in December

    With the rainy season underway in southern Africa, the focus turns back to East Africa, where the November rains tend to reinvigorate the parched parks and bring about a rash of changes.

    Christmas through New Year’s is considered peak season virtually everywhere, with higher prices and huge demand for properties. You’ll want to factor this in if you’re hoping to celebrate Christmas or New Year’s Eve in Africa.

    Tanzania

    The November rains tend to mix things up nicely in Tanzania, with parks such as Ruaha, Katavi, and Selous seeing dramatic changes in wildlife movement as they become green again.

    The Northern Circuit – especially the Serengeti and Ngorongoro – remain spectacular in December, with the calving season about to begin.

    Zanzibar resorts institute strict minimum stays from Christmas Eve through January 10th, so be prepared to have to commit to 3-5 nights as a minimum on the island.

    Kenya

    While early December can still be a bit wet, Kenya returns to business as usual by mid-December. The greener conditions do make game-viewing a little more difficult, but the decrease in crowds can make this a great time to have the parks to yourselves.

    Christmas and New Year’s remain extremely in demand.

    lions tanzania babies

    Rwanda

    With the rainy season done and a short dry season underway, Rwanda is immensely popular in December. Both gorilla permits and accommodation tend to be at a premium in December, so you’ll want to book early to avoid disappointment.

    Uganda

    Like Rwanda, Uganda is also terrific in December. With both local families and international travellers taking advantage of holidays to travel, you will encounter more competition for rooms and higher prices as a result.

    Still, if you book early enough, December is a fantastic time to be visiting Uganda.

    Ethiopia

    For those wishing to visit the Danakil Depression – the ‘hottest place on earth’ is considerably more pleasant during the month of December.

    Across the country, dynamic landscapes and diverse wildlife can be seen in terrific conditions. Like November, December is a terrific time to be visiting Ethiopia’s historic sites and natural wonders.

    Botswana

    Wet and hot, December is not an ideal time to be visiting Botswana. This extra rain does translate into brilliantly green landscapes and spectacular thunderstorms, however, so landscape photographers are in for a treat.

    Wildlife is very much out and about due to the boom in foliage, but the taller grass and abundance of water can make game-viewing difficult.

    Zimbabwe

    The wet conditions make for muddier roads and sparser wildlife, so bear this in mind if you’re planning to visit Zimbabwe during December.

    Parks (and accommodation) are quieter and prices are lower, so it can certainly be a fine time to visit if you don’t mind the occasional torrential downpour or long, wet day.

    South Africa

    While game-viewing is not at its best in December, the Cape Town region and Garden Route are sublime in December.

    South Africa is arguably at its most popular at this time of year, with tourists from across the world converging on the rainbow nation for its spectacular weather. Beach properties are in especially high demand, while the Christmas to New Year’s period can be incredibly busy.

    Namibia

    December is a fine month to be visiting Namibia. While temperatures are still on the rise as summer approaches, rains do taper off.

    Etosha National Park and Sossusvlei are both gorgeous at this time of year.

    Mozambique

    With hot days, clear mornings, and afternoon showers, Mozambique remains a fine choice in December. While cyclone season is just around the corner, the beaches of Mozambique remain quite spectacular.

    Turtle spotting is especially fine in December.

    With weather being unpredictable in December, we do not advise short trips to Mozambique. You’ll want a few buffer days in your itinerary, just in case the rains ‘spoil’ your day’s plans.

  • What to Pack for Your African Safari

    Vika
    July 21, 2023

    The ultimate guide to packing for an African safari adventure!

    Are you ready to embark on an African safari? It is an exhilarating experience filled with breathtaking landscapes, diverse wildlife, and captivating cultures.

    However, to properly enjoy the experience, you need to be prepared. What you pack will make all the difference on your safari. Pack wisely and be prepared for the unique conditions you may encounter.

    Protect yourself: In the African wilderness, there are unique risks and dangers, but with the right preparation, you can easily minimize these risks and they won’t ruin your experience.

    Pack only what is necessary: Traveling through the African wilderness can be challenging, so make sure you’re not carrying a big bag with excess weight and your luggage won’t become a burden.

    Enjoy your safari: Ultimately, all the preparations you make are to ensure you have a good time (which is the main aim of this article!) 😄

    Included in this guide is some information about luggage, a comprehensive packing list, including clothing, footwear, accessories, health & safety, and other miscellaneous items to take with you, as well as some general tips to consider when you’re preparing for your trip.

    Disclaimer: Your packing needs may vary depending on the specific location, season, and activities planned for your African safari. We advise you to research the destination thoroughly and consult with your tour operator or safari lodge for any specific packing requirements.

    Luggage for an African safari

    The size and type of your luggage is more important than you may realize when embarking on a safari trip. Having the appropriate luggage can really make your trip more comfortable.

    Make sure you know the specific luggage restrictions for each of your flights. While international flights may offer generous baggage allowances, smaller aircraft that connect you to remote safari destinations often impose strict limitations on weight and size.

    The permitted weight allocation may vary slightly depending on your destination, but typically falls between 15 and 20 kg (33 and 44 lb) per person. This usually does not include camera equipment, handbags, and additional carry-on items. And yes, they do sometimes check, so it's wise to pack as lightly as possible for a seamless and stress-free journey. If you really can’t choose what to bring - you can book additional luggage beforehand via your safari expert - or pay the extra fee directly to the airline at the airport. Prices vary per airline and route - but generally are between $2 and $5 per additional kilo.

    The choice of luggage is equally important as the weight considerations. Hard-shell cases are generally not recommended for safari travel, as soft-shell bags are typically required for transportation on smaller aircraft.

    Also important to realize is the size limit of the safari car. Hard-case luggage is harder to pack and takes up more space. Especially when traveling with a group of 4 to 6 people per car, this means it will not be possible to fit in 6 hard case suitcases - where 6 duffel bags will fit without any worry. A last thing to be mindful of is that there is a lot of moving from location to location on a typical safari - so your hard-case suitcase will very likely run into some dents and scratches along the way.

    Certain activities, such as gorilla trekking, may require a sturdy and waterproof backpack. For most safaris, a lightweight, soft-sided duffel bag is the preferred option. If you have a lot of things to pack, some opt to leave the wheeled luggage at home, as the added weight of the luggage can get in the way when every kilogram counts.

    Packing list for an African safari

    Create your own list from this guide and check off items as you pack them!

    1. Clothing
      1. Lightweight, neutral-colored clothing: Pack breathable, lightweight fabrics like cotton or linen to stay comfortable in the African heat. Opt for neutral colors such as khaki, tan, or olive green to blend in with the environment and minimize disturbances to wildlife.
      2. Long-sleeved shirts and trousers: Protect yourself from the sun, insects, and thorny vegetation by packing lightweight, long-sleeved clothes. They also offer an additional layer of protection in the cooler mornings and evenings.
      3. Sweater or jacket: Although the days may be hot, nights and early mornings can be chilly, particularly in certain regions. Pack a warm sweater or jacket to keep you comfortable in these cooler periods.
      4. Swimwear: Some safari lodges and camps offer swimming pools or water-based activities. Don't forget to pack your swimwear for a refreshing dip or some relaxation at the lodge.
    2. Footwear
      1. Sturdy, closed-toe walking shoes: Invest in comfortable, closed-toe shoes with good traction for walking safaris and game drives. Choose footwear that provides support and protection against uneven terrain and potential encounters with thorns or insects.
      2. Lightweight sandals or flip-flops: Pack a pair of comfortable, lightweight sandals or flip-flops for relaxing at the lodge or camp after a day of exploration.
      3. Socks: Bring a few pairs of moisture-wicking socks to keep your feet comfortable and protected inside your shoes.
    3. Accessories

      1. Wide-brimmed hat or cap: Shield yourself from the sun's rays during game drives and walks by wearing a wide-brimmed hat or a cap with a neck flap.
      2. Sunglasses: Protect your eyes from the intense sunlight and glare, giving you clear vision during your safari adventures.
      3. Bandana or scarf: A versatile accessory that can be used to protect your face from dust, cover your head, or serve as an impromptu accessory.
      4. Binoculars: Enhance your wildlife viewing experience by bringing a good pair of binoculars. They allow you to observe animals and birds in greater detail, even at a distance.
      5. Camera equipment: Capture the thrilling moments and breathtaking landscapes with a high-quality camera. Don’t forget your additional lenses, spare batteries, memory cards, or whatever else you need for your camera.
      6. Power bank: Safaris often take you into remote areas with limited access to electricity. Carry a reliable power bank to ensure your important electronic devices stay charged.
      7. Waterproof backpack or daypack: Choose a waterproof backpack or daypack with sufficient space to carry your essentials such as water, sunscreen, camera gear, and personal items.
    4. Health and Safety
      1. Insect repellent: Protect yourself from mosquitoes and other biting insects by packing a high-quality repellent containing a high percentage of DEET. Apply it generously to exposed skin and clothing.
      2. Malaria prophylaxis: Consult with a healthcare professional or travel clinic to determine if malaria medication is recommended for the specific regions and time of year you'll be visiting.
      3. Sunscreen: Carry a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF to shield your skin from the intense African sun. Apply it generously and frequently, especially on exposed areas.
      4. First aid kit: Prepare a basic first aid kit with essentials such as band-aids, antiseptic cream, pain relievers, antihistamines, and any necessary prescription medications.
      5. Hand sanitizer: Maintain good hygiene standards, especially during game drives and in remote areas where handwashing facilities may be limited.
    5. Miscellaneous
      1. Travel documents: Carry a valid passport with at least six months' validity, any required visas, your travel insurance documents, and any necessary permits or vaccination certificates (check the up-to-date requirements online or with a healthcare professional). Keep both digital and physical copies of these documents.
      2. Travel adapters: Ensure you have the appropriate power adapters for the country you're visiting to charge your devices. Some African countries may have different plug types and voltages.
      3. Cash and cards: Bring a mix of local currency and internationally accepted credit/debit cards for convenience. ATMs may not be readily available in some remote safari destinations.
      4. Travel guidebooks/maps: Stay informed and learn about the regions you'll be visiting. Pack guidebooks, maps, or download relevant travel apps to navigate and enhance your safari experience.

    Preparing for an African safari - general tips

    Here are some general tips and useful information to consider when preparing for your African safari adventure:

    • Research your destination: Africa is a vast continent with diverse ecosystems and wildlife. Research the specific country or countries you'll be visiting, including the climate, terrain, wildlife species, and any unique requirements or considerations.
    • Be mindful of luggage restrictions: Some safari camps and lodges have weight restrictions for luggage due to limited space on small planes or vehicles. Check with your tour operator or accommodation providers regarding luggage restrictions and guidelines.
    • Pack light: It's essential to pack efficiently and keep your luggage to a minimum. Opt for versatile clothing items that can be layered and mixed and matched. Choose lightweight and quick-drying fabrics to facilitate easy washing and drying.
    • Don’t bring unnecessary plastic: Some African countries have totally banned plastic bags and won’t allow you to bring them into the country. Be a responsible traveler and support efforts to reduce pollution by leaving plastic bags at home.
    • Plan for different weather conditions: African weather can be unpredictable. While the days might be hot, nights and early mornings can be chilly. Pack clothing for both warm and cooler temperatures, and don't forget a waterproof layer in case of rain.
    • Respect wildlife and follow safety guidelines: Remember while on safari that you are in the animals' territory. Always listen to your guide's instructions, maintain a safe distance from wildlife, and avoid any disruptive behavior that may stress or endanger the animals.
    • Prepare for dust and sun: Safaris often involve driving on dirt roads, which can kick up a lot of dust. Bring a scarf or bandana to cover your face and protect yourself from dust and potential allergies. Apply sunscreen regularly, wear a hat, and use sunglasses to shield yourself from the strong African sun.
    • Stay hydrated and drink safe water: Carry a reusable water bottle and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, especially in hot climates. Inquire about the safety of tap water at your accommodation and use bottled or treated water if necessary.
    • Respect local customs and traditions: Learn about the local customs, traditions, and etiquette of the country or communities you'll be visiting. Respect the local culture, be open-minded, and embrace the opportunity to learn from and interact with local people.
    • Dress appropriately: Respect the local culture and dress modestly, especially when visiting communities or cultural sites outside of safari areas. Be mindful of packing clothing that covers your shoulders and knees.
    • Follow health and vaccination recommendations: Consult with a healthcare professional or travel clinic well in advance to ensure you are up to date on necessary vaccinations and receive any recommended medications, such as malaria prophylaxis, and make sure to take proof of vaccinations with you!
    • Engage in responsible tourism: Choose tour operators and accommodations that prioritize sustainability, conservation efforts, and responsible wildlife viewing practices. Minimize your impact on the environment by following guidelines, avoiding littering, and supporting local communities.
    • Have travel insurance: It's crucial to have comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellation, and any safari-specific activities you'll be participating in. Ensure your policy covers the countries you'll be visiting and the activities you'll be undertaking.

    Are you prepared for your African safari?

    Preparing for an African safari requires careful consideration and planning. Follow the tips and guidelines in this guide, and have an incredible, stress-free safari experience.

    Remember to research your destination thoroughly, understand the luggage restrictions for your flights, and pack only what is necessary. Protect yourself from the unique risks of the African wilderness, pay attention to clothing and footwear choices, and take useful and practical accessories. Prioritize your health and safety.

    Make a packing checklist for yourself and make sure you have everything you need!

    We at Shadows Of Africa want you to have the best possible experience when you’re out on the trail with us. Reach out to us to book your African safari, and we'll make sure you’re prepared before we head out together on our adventure!

    Remember, each safari experience is unique, so adapt these tips and guidelines to suit your specific destination and itinerary. Embrace the adventure, immerse yourself in the beauty of Africa, and create memories that will last a lifetime!

  • Food on safari: the taste of adventure!

    Vika
    March 3, 2023

    The African safari is usually associated with serene plains full of grazing herds, the thrill of majestic big cats hunting for a meal, and the breathtaking sights of Mount Kilimanjaro. With these kinds of settings to dine in, it's not often that you hear about the food on the traveler’s plate.

    That being said, there are plenty of culinary adventures to be found on your safari trail as well!

    Africa has an incredibly rich and diverse food culture. Let’s take a moment to look at what kind of culinary experiences you can expect in this part of the world.

    Eating on safari: what to expect

    You can absolutely expect to find familiar, globally-popular foods on your African safari. Safari lodges are used to catering to people from all over the world, and they know what people like to eat.

    Breakfast: Start your day well with omelets, cereals, toast, fruits, salads, or continental breakfast.

    Lunch: You are most likely going to be enjoying your lunch in the middle of your game drive, in some stunning natural location. This will usually be served picnic-style, and Shadows Of Africa takes these meals very seriously.

    Dinner: At dinnertime, you will typically be treated to a full three-course meal, taking advantage of local produce and the culinary talents of the lodge chefs. These menus will usually have a choice of 3 different starters, 3 different mains, and a selection of desserts. Usually, the menu will feature at least 1 meat-based and at least 1 vegetarian option.

    Nothing that catches your fancy? Don’t be shy to talk to your waiter - in most cases, the kitchen will be more than happy to create a dish to your liking.

    Drinks: Quench your thirst throughout the day with water, coffee, tea, wine, or beer. Filtered water will always be readily available when you travel with Shadows Of Africa. At your lodges, there will be drinks available as well, from sodas, to wine, to cocktails.

    Some lodges will offer buffet-style dining, with plenty of snacks and other tasty treats available all day, while others will offer restaurant-style dining with set menus.

    In more remote areas, you can expect simpler menus, but this doesn’t mean the chefs will put any less love in what they serve!

    You can definitely find familiar foods, but you can also enhance your African experience by venturing into the local cuisine.

    Delicious food in ‘the middle of nowhere’ 🍲

    In the more remote corners of game parks, being far away from food markets and grocery stores, the supply of food can be more complicated. Most lodges will work with local communities for supply of vegetables, dairy, and seasonal products, also supporting the local economy.

    Many chefs will serve familiar dishes with influences from local cuisine, with a little creativity, using what is available to feed travelers from all over the world what they want to eat.

    Special dietary requirements 🍲

    The most important thing to making sure your special dietary requirements are met is: communication.

    Make sure to let Shadows of Africa know about any dietary requirements in advance, before your trip. With a little extra preparation, we will make sure that your needs are met at every stage of your trip.

    We will also be able to check with lodges to make sure they can provide the meals you need.

    East Africa is very accustomed to plant-based diets. Many of the local meals are purely plant-based anyway.

    Hungry for safari? 🌱

    Honestly, Africa should be more famous for its food. The continent is host to countless destinations for food lovers, with some of the richest cuisines in the world, and every corner has a uniquely delicious gastronomic experience to offer.

    The perfect safari meal is a combination of a stunning location around you and beautiful food in front of you.

    Come taste the adventure with us!

  • 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.

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