• Things to do in Arusha: Tours & Day Trips from Arusha

    Chris Walker Bush
    November 11, 2019
    Tanzania's safari capital is far more than just a place to overnight before your safari. The home city of Shadows of Africa is a diverse city of cuisines and cultures just begging to be explored.
  • Best safari experience in Tanzania

    Fredrick Mwange
    August 21, 2019

    Something a little different – for the best safari experience in Tanzania

    Graeme and Veronica decided to plan their trip a little differently and concentrate on just the Serengeti and Ngorongoro, allowing a little more time in each place to get the best that they could. With Dickson as their guide, it worked perfectly!

    Staying at Tukaone Camp in the Serengeti, on the Mara River, nailed the wildebeest river crossing for them!

    Moving through to the west of Serengeti Robanda Camp allowed for easy access to the central area of Serengeti and sightings of the cats, including a lioness trying to hunt and a long photographic session with a pair of mating lions.

    A night on the Ngorongoro crater rim allowed for an excursion to the lesser visited, but stunning, Empakai crater, before ending the safari of a lifetime with a full day in the Ngorongoro crater.

    Tanzania can really offer the best of safari experiences. Whatever your plans are, we can make it work for you at Shadows of Africa!

  • How to Spend Two Weeks in Tanzania

    Chris Walker Bush
    August 16, 2019

    How to Spend Two Weeks in Tanzania

    When it comes to experiencing the beauty and majesty of Tanzania, a single week just isn't enough! If you've got two weeks and you're looking for a truly unforgettable African experience, spending two weeks in Tanzania is the perfect way to do it.

    Whether you're seeing wildlife on safari, relaxing on gorgeous beaches, or pushing yourself to the limit with a Mount Kilimanjaro climb, Tanzania really does have something for everybody.

    So, how do you plan a two week trip to Tanzania?

    Don't worry, we've got you covered.

    Week One: Safari

    Unless you've already 'been there, done that', it would be criminal to visit Tanzania for two weeks and not go on safari.

    Regardless of what time of year you're visiting, taking a week to go on safari is always a good idea. While the Serengeti, Ngorongoro, and other Northern Circuit parks are the obvious attraction, repeat visitors will find plenty to amaze them in the often-overlooked Southern Circuit parks such as Selous and Ruaha.

    Shadows of Africa has a number of safaris that fit into a single week. In fact, all of our Wildebeest Migration safaris take just five or six days.

    With a night in Arusha before and after your safari, you have the perfect way to spend a week in Tanzania.

    You can see our full range of Tanzanian safaris on our tours page.

    Week Two: Zanzibar

    The name Zanzibar conjures up images of exotic beauty. It is an island of white sand beaches, turquoise waters, and a charming melting pot of cultures.

    If you've got two weeks in Tanzania planned, taking some time to relax on the picturesque beaches is a great way to unwind after your safari. Heck, you can even start your trip here and then go on safari from Zanzibar!

    While the temptation may be there to spend all of your time on the beaches, the Shadows of Africa strongly recommends also spending some time in Stone Town. It is a great way to learn more about the history of Zanzibar.

    Why not spend a night at Maru Maru or the Park Hyatt, take a guided Stone Town tour, and finish it all with a delicious spice plantation experience?

    You can then head to the beaches of Pongwe, Nungwi, Matemwe, Paje, or wherever tickles your fancy for some oceanfront R&R. Not sure where to go? We've got an amazing guide to Zanzibar beaches to help you make the right choice!

    Alternative: Climbing Kilimanjaro

    Maybe you've been on safari before or you're interested in a shorter safari like our Northern Circuit special.

    Maybe you've got amazing beaches at home and want to try something different.

    Whatever the reason, the other big attraction (pun intended) in Tanzania is Mount Kilimanjaro: Africa's highest mountain.

    Shadows of Africa can arrange climbing packages from the popular Marangu and Machame routes to routes like Umbwe and Lemosho.

    With climbs taking 5-9 days, a Kilimanjaro climb can even be squeezed in between a safari and a Zanzibar escape.

    Planning the Perfect Two Weeks in Tanzania

    Are you trying to plan your trip to Tanzania?

    Why not contact us today and talk to a Shadows of Africa safari expert about how we can plan the perfect two week trip to Tanzania for you.

    Whether it's a two-week safari, a safari/beach escape, or all three - Shadows of Africa has got you covered!

  • What a big baby! What an amazing safari experience!

    Fredrick Mwange
    August 13, 2019

    Sightings like this in Ngorongoro just confirm that in Tanzania you are in the centre of the best safari experience in the world!

    With just two nights on safari, Damaris had chosen Bougainvillea’s two properties; their lodge in Karatu in easy access of the Ngorongoro Crater, and their Thorn Tree camp in Serengeti.

    Guided by Lomayani, they had the most incredible 3 day safari, sighting lion, leopard and leopard cub and cheetah in the Serengeti, and this wonderful large baby elephant demanded some milk from its mother, despite being too large to fit anywhere nearly underneath her!

    Two nights in the right place can be all that you need for the safari of a lifetime. Don’t make it complicated, just book with Shadows of Africa.

  • Lions kill Wildebeest in the Serengeti National Park

    Fredrick Mwange
    August 2, 2019

    What a spectacular safari for Rishi Bagaria and family!

    Two Lioness pulled down a Wildebeest right in front of them, in the middle of the Serengeti!

    Lions kill in the Serengeti

     

    Thirsty lions after a kill in Serengeti

     

    Rishi and his family started at the Maasai Amini lodge between Mt Kilimanjaro and Mt Meru, moving onto their first wildlife encounters in Lake Manyara National Park before heading up and around the Ngorongoro Crater to the lovely Karibu Lions paw camp.

    They spent a day in the crater, returning to Lions paw again before dropping down into the Serengeti, where they spent two full days, overnighting at magnificently comfortable Ole Serai Turner Springs.

    Cheetah and cubs sighted in the Serengeti

     

  • Taking a Lion King Safari in Tanzania and Kenya

    Chris Walker Bush
    July 29, 2019
    Disney's The Lion King has made more and more people curious about Africa. Why not take your own Lion King safari to see the animals in person?
  • Celebrating the Lion King

    Fredrick Mwange
    July 24, 2019

    With so many reliving, or seeing for the first time, the fantastic story of the Lion King, it’s time to celebrate some of its characters.

    We reckon, from the landscapes, that the Lion King story was based in the Serengeti/Ngorongoro ecosystem and even in the famous Ol Karien Gorge.

    Why not come and experience Lion King country for yourself and see some of the films best characters really up close and personal with Shadows of Africa.

    The lions, obviously, are a must; Simba, Nala, Mufasa, Sarabi and Scar. Interestingly, and what you might not realise when watching them laze in the sun, is that male lions are highly competitive, and are well known to practice infanticide if they take over a pride of females that have young cubs, ensuring that their genes, and not another’s, are passed onto the next generation.

    And then there’s those terrible cackling hyena. Wonderful to see in the wild and additionally one of the most fascinating species, spotted hyena are the most social of all the carnivores. They are also matriarchal, meaning that the females are bigger and are more dominant than the males.

    Pumbaa, that plump joker, full of life and laughs, is everywhere when you’re on safari. Tossing his head and running along with his tail held high like an antenna behind him. Warthogs live in burrows in the ground and the mother usually push their piglets in first and then reverse in behind them, able to charge out and protect them from any signs of danger. They really do love to wallow in mud, cooling themselves down from the heat of the sun.

    We think the Lion King is fantastic, but the real thing is unforgettable!

     

     

  • A very special place - Africa Amini Life

    Fredrick Mwange
    July 15, 2019

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

    The perfect welcome to Tanzania – Afica Amini Life team The perfect welcome to Tanzania – Africa Amini Life team

     

    Blending into its environment – Africa Amini Life Blending into its environment – Africa Amini Life

     

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

    Your accommodation Your accommodation

     

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

    Africa Amini Swimming Pool

     

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

     

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

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

     

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

    Chris Walker Bush
    July 12, 2019

    Crossing the Border on Safari

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

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

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

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

    Namanga Border Crossing: Kenya and Tanzania

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

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

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

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

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

    Isebania Border Crossing: Kenya and Tanzania

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

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

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

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

    wildbeest tanzania

    Migori-Tarime Border Crossing: Kenya and Tanzania

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

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

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

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

    lion-tanzania-safari

    Rwanda - Uganda Border Crossing

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

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

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

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

    tanzania-serengeti-cheetahs

    How to Speed Up Crossing the Border

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

    1. Have your visa already

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

    2. Have Your Vaccination Card Ready

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

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

    3. Pack Smart

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

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

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

    4. Don't panic!

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

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

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

    5. Avoid scammers

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

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

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


    We've Got You Covered

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

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

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

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