• Planning a Dream Honeymoon in Africa

    AdminSoa
    June 1, 2017
    Planning your dream honeymoon? The Shadows of Africa team can arrange something truly unforgettable across our huge selection of destinations.
  • Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda Too Expensive? Try Uganda!

    AdminSoa
    May 26, 2017

    Price Change

    The Rwanda Development Board's recent announcement that they would immediately be lifting the cost of gorilla trekking permits from $750 USD to $1,500 USD has shocked a lot of people.

    While there's no debating that generating more money for gorilla conservation can only be a good thing, the price change has made the prospect of gorilla trekking in Rwanda a daunting one for many travelers.

    Thankfully, we're here to suggest a few ways in which you can still live your dream of seeing mountain gorillas in the wild without breaking the bank.

    Existing Permits

    If you've already purchased your gorilla trekking permit, your price is unaffected!

    While there were rumors that the price change would affect existing bookings, we can confirm that all pre-booked gorilla trekking permits retain their original price.

    Is gorilla trekking in Rwanda too expensive? Why not try gorilla trekking in Uganda instead? #gorilla #wildlife #trek #safari #rwanda #uganda #travel #africa

    Gorilla Trekking in Uganda

    An obvious alternative to gorilla trekking in Rwanda is heading to neighboring Uganda, where permits range from $450 USD in low season to $600 USD during peak season.

    While gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is a more difficult hike, the experience is no less awe-inspiring.

    With flights to Kigali still more affordable than flights into Entebbe, we've made things easier with our four new Ugandan gorilla trekking safaris.

    Starting and finishing in Kigali, these trips include transfers into southern Uganda where you'll enjoy the thrill of gorilla trekking in either Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga National Park.

    You can check out our new itineraries below:

    Three Day Uganda Gorilla Trekking Itineraries

    The above two itineraries are perfect for people on a tight schedule.

    While the drive north into Uganda is a long (six-hour) one, you'll be hard-pressed to find a more scenic drive in your travels.

    You'll then get to go gorilla trekking in either Bwindi Impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga National Park, both of which offer world-class gorilla trekking at a fraction of the cost.

    Four Day Uganda Gorilla Trekking Itineraries

    If time is less of a factor, you might want to take advantage of these slightly longer itineraries.

    Combining your Uganda gorilla trekking experience with either golden monkey trekking or a cultural tour, these are a great way to expand your trip without expanding your costs by too much.

    Why Combine Uganda and Rwanda?

    These four safaris allow you to combine Uganda's affordable gorilla trekking permits with Kigali's superior accessibility.

    They also all include a complimentary Kigali city tour.

    Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda

    If you still have your heart set on gorilla trekking in Rwanda, there are ways to make the experience more affordable.

    By combining Rwanda's other national parks with your visit to Volcanoes National Park, you can earn a 30% discount on the cost of your gorilla trekking permits.

    How to get cheap Rwanda Gorilla Trekking Permits

    It's as simple as paying a visit to Akagera National Park and Nyungwe Forest National Park.

    Why not combine your gorilla trekking experience with chimpanzee trekking in Nyungwe and a Big Five game drive in Akagera?

    Our seven day Ultimate Rwanda Wildlife Safari combines all three parks into one fantastic itinerary, allowing you to take advantage of the 30% discount on gorilla permits.

    Uganda Instead of Rwanda

    if you didn't have your heart set on Rwandan and don't mind flying into Entebbe, why not just make your whole trip about Uganda?

    The Pearl of Africa offers a huge variety of experiences and landscapes, as highlighted in our recent 10 Reasons Not to Overlook Uganda post.

    From Big Five safaris to gorilla trekking to world-class chimpanzee trekking to whitewater rafting to hiking the Rwenzori Mountains, Uganda has something for everybody.

    Why not browse some of our favorite Uganda itineraries below?

    Combine Rwanda with Tanzania or Kenya

    if the price of gorilla permits isn't an issue for you, why not combine your visit to Rwanda's famous mountain gorillas with a complete safari experience in either Tanzania or Kenya?

    With Kigali International Airport so well connected to the world, it's easy to pair your visit to Rwanda with a Big Five game safari in either Tanzania or Kenya.

    If witnessing the Wildebeest Migration on the Serengeti or Maasai Mara is also a dream of yours, we've got you covered!

    These itineraries are just a taste of what we can offer.

    With offices in Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Kenya - Shadows of Africa is ideally situated to assist in planning a cross country safari.

    Want to know more?

    Are you planning to see Rwanda's mountain gorillas? Contact us to discuss how we can help to make your gorilla trekking dream a reality.

    Do you want to go gorilla trekking in Africa on a budget? Why not gorilla trek in Uganda! If trekking with gorillas in Rwanda is too expensive, Uganda is the perfect budget option for you! #trekking #gorilla #gorillatrekking #uganda #rwanda #africa #travel

  • How to Plan a Cross-County Safari

    Chris Walker Bush
    May 16, 2017
    A cross country safari is a perfect way to see it all, and Shadows of Africa is your best choice when it comes to designing a cross country safari in East Africa.
  • East African Destinations for a Family Safari

    AdminSoa
    May 8, 2017

    Planning a Family Safari

    Planning a safari for your family can be a stressful affair. You've not only got to consider your own safari ambitions, but also the shorter attention spans of your younger travelers.

    While we've written before about how to plan a family safari, we thought we'd highlight some must-see destinations when it comes to entertaining young and old alike.

    From learning about Maasai culture in Tanzania to walking with giraffes in Kenya to beach escapes in Rwanda, there's a little something for everybody in East Africa.

    Don't leave the kids at home! You can plan an east Africa family safari in Kenya and Tanzania. There are plenty of family safari activities to enjoy with your kids! #familytravel #safari #africa #tanzania #kenya

    Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya

    This former cattle ranch is today a beacon for conservation in East Africa. Not only is Ol Pejeta the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa, it's also home to some of the world's last remaining white rhinos.

    The conservancy is also home to a large variety of other animals, including plenty of Africa's iconic big cats and a chimpanzee sanctuary.

    The opportunity to go on a game drive, visit the chimpanzee sanctuary, and meet Najin, Fatu, and Sudan (three of the world's last white rhinoceros) are the highlights, but there's more!

    Night game drives, lion tracking, bush walks, birding, and plenty to occupy young and old alike make Ol Pejeta a premier family safari destination.

    Lake Naivasha, Kenya

    While it's not a national park in its own right, Lake Naivasha is a regular inclusion on Kenyan safaris.

    Located between Lake Nakuru National Park and the Maasai Mara, Lake Naivasha is often included as a stop due to its abundance of comfortable lodges, its beautiful scenery, and its proximity to a variety of Lake Naivasha attractions.

    Key among these attractions are the opportunity to take a boat ride on Lake Naivasha to see hippos and a variety of birds.

    You can also pay a visit to the Crescent Island Sanctuary, where kids can wander alongside giraffes, zebras, and antelope.

    Nairobi, Kenya

    Nairobi is a common starting point for safaris in both Kenya and Tanzania, but the Kenyan capital is also full of exciting activities for families.

    Our half-day Nairobi tour and full-day Nairobi tour pack in a variety of activities including the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage, the Giraffe Centre, Bomas of Kenya, and more.

    Why not add a day in Nairobi to the start or finish of your safari?

    Hell's Gate National Park, Kenya

    Located a short drive from Lake Nakuru, Lake Naivasha, and Nairobi - Hell's Gate National Park is often thought of as a playground for those who love extreme outdoor activities.

    While rock-climbing and hiking might be a bit much for a young family, Hell's Gate's unique landscape and lack of predators make it a great place for a relaxed family excursion.

    Renting a bike and traveling through Hell's Gate is a great way to see Africa up close. You can also visit the local hot springs and even camp!

    Zanzibar, Tanzania

    Africa's premier beach playground is tailor-made for families.

    With a variety of resorts catering to all budgets and all walks of life, there's something for everybody on Tanzania's spice island.

    Whether you're looking to relax in luxury, take excursions for snorkeling, or learn more about the island's history - there is plenty of things to do in Zanzibar.

    Africa Amini Maasai Lodge, Tanzania

    Authentic cultural experiences can be difficult to come by while traveling. With many locals realizing the value of tourism, there has been a rise in 'fake' attractions aimed at selling souvenirs.

    Thankfully, Africa Amini Maasai Lodge near Arusha has filled this niche. A not for profit organisation aimed at bettering the lives of local Maasai, Africa Amini Lodge combines luxury with an authentic cultural experience.

    At this beautiful lodge, adults and kids alike can participate in Maasai led activities such as guided nature walks, traditional craft lessons, local food, spear throwing, music, and dance.

    Arusha National Park, Tanzania

    Not as popular as the Serengeti or Lake Manyara, Arusha National Park is nonetheless worthy of inclusion on your safari.

    Without any predators to worry about, visitors to Arusha National Park can trade the car for the open air - with both walking safaris and canoe safaris available.

    There's plenty to do in Arusha National Park, and it's thoroughly worth including in your trip if time allows.

    Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda

    While Murchison Falls National Park is a little out of the way compared to Uganda's other popular parks, there are plenty of reasons why your family will love the park.

    Not only is the park home to some of Africa's most iconic animals, but the waterfall from which it takes its name is worth a visit.

    Murchison Falls is the world's most powerful waterfall, and the chance to witness its power up close and take a cruise on the Nile are this park's big selling points.

    Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda

    Located on the drive between Kibale Forest National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Queen Elizabeth National Park is Uganda's premier game drive destination.

    Famed for its tree climbing lions, the park's open plains are also home to a variety of other animals and an equally huge variety of lodges and camps.

    A highlight of any visit to the park is the chance to take a boat safari on Kazinga Channel to see elephants, hippos, crocodiles, and a huge variety of birds.

    Lake Kivu, Rwanda

    Rwanda's main attractions - chimpanzees and gorillas - aren't available to kids under the age of twelve, but there are still reasons to visit The Land of 1,000 Hills.

    Lake Kivu is one of the most beautiful bodies of water in all of East Africa - the perfect place for a beach escape without the ocean.

    The shores of Lake Kivu are dotted with gorgeous accommodations ranging from luxury lodges to quaint B&Bs, and there are a variety of local cultural activities to participate in.

    Iby Iwacu Cultural Village, Rwanda

    Located in Musanze, the Iby Iwacu Cultural Village is a project by reformed poachers to raise awareness of traditional Rwandan culture.

    Visitors to this cultural park can try traditional food, see displays of local dance and music, learn about traditional culture, and even try their hand at being King or Queen for a day!

    Are you planning an East African safari with your family? Here are some awesome safari activities for kids and families of all ages in Tanzania and Kenya! #Safari #kids #family #familytravel #tanzania #kenya #africa

     

  • 10 Reasons Not to Overlook Uganda

    AdminSoa
    May 2, 2017
    Uganda is often overlooked on safari itineraries. We highlight ten reasons why Uganda is a can't miss African destination.
  • Five Unmissable Luxury Hotels on Zanzibar

    AdminSoa
    April 19, 2017

    Zanzibar: The Perfect Luxury Escape

    With its white sand beaches, crystal clear turquoise waters, and spice perfumed beach resorts, Zanzibar has become synonymous with the idea of a once-in-a-lifetime romantic beach escape.

    Accommodation on the Tanzanian island runs the gamut from backpacker hostels to budget-friendly B&Bs to five star luxury resorts,

    While there are options for all walks of life, today we're highlighting five of the most luxurious properties the Tanzanian beach escape has to offer.

    Tulia Zanzibar, Pongwe

    The very definition of a tropical island retreat, green and verdant Tulia is the perfect escape for those wanting privacy while they explore the white sand beach of Pongwe.

    Guests at this all-inclusive resort can expect to get away from the hustle and bustle in their own luxury villa, complete with a Jacuzzi from which to soak it all in and a hammock to relax in after a day spent exploring.

    tulia zanzibar private villa

    While many resorts on Zanzibar offer all-inclusive options, Tulia Zanzibar's differs in that its alcohol selection is not limited to local beers and wines. Guests can indulge in a wide variety of drinks and dishes - ensuring you're spoiled for choice whether you stay for one night or one week.

    tulia zanzibar food all inclusive resort

    For families, Tulia is a special option. The resort is the only one on Zanzibar with water slides, and its beachside location means you'll have access to all of the water sports that you'd expect to find on an island paradise.

    Despite all of these amazing details, our team's favourite element of their time visiting Tulia? The wonderfully warm and welcoming staff!

    tulia zanzibar bath tub

    Tulia prides itself on a high level of personal care, and guests are made to feel like honoured friends rather than being 'just another guest'. It's a welcome addition to the already stellar accommodations.

    tulia zanzibar honeymoon

    Park Hyatt Zanzibar, Stone Town

    Located at the heart of historic Stone Town, the Park Hyatt Zanzibar blends Zanzibar's unique fusion of cultures with modern luxury.

    The perfect base from which to launch your exploration of the city's labyrinthine alleys and bustling marketplaces, the Park Hyatt is also a beachfront property - the perfect middle ground between the city's two biggest attractions.

    park hyatt stone town zanzibar pool

    While designed in a distinctly Zanzibari style that keeps you firmly rooted in the culture you're exploring, rooms boast all of the modern conveniences such as air conditioning, TVs, and bath tubs. The hotel itself has a beauty and massage centre, fully equipped gym, on site shopping, and more.

    For those wanting to experience Stone Town without surrendering luxury, the Park Hyatt is the perfect choice.

    park hyatt zanzibar stone town room

    Star of the East, Nungwi

    For many visitors to Zanzibar, the iconic beaches of Nungwi are the first thing that comes to mind.

    The very picture of island paradise, Nungwi's long stretches of pristine white sand dissolve deliciously into the turquoise waters that seem to stay warm year round.

    While many luxury properties adorn this band of sand like jewels, the Star of the East shines brightest.

    star of the east ungwi zanzibar

    Attached to the famous (and luxurious in its own right) Diamonds La Gemma Hotel, the Star of the East is the property's exclusive luxury retreat.

    Guests enjoy 24/7 butler service in their private villas, each of which comes with sunny terraces and private pools.

    star of the east nungwi zanzibar 2

    An island of calm in the hustle and bustle of the popular Nungwi region, the Star of the East offers privacy with access to the very best that the island has to offer. Guests are free to use the facilities of the nearby Diamonds La Gemma Hotel and then retreat back to the Star of the East.

    A real highlight of the resort is its open air gym and spa. What better way to work on your fitness than out under the dazzling blue skies with the ocean breeze to cool you off?

    star of the east nungwi zanzibar spa

    White Sand Luxury Villas, Paje

    Southeastern Zanzibar isn't quite as popular as the often crowded beaches of the northeast, but Paje Beach draws a lot of its charm from this very fact.

    If your dreams of Zanzibar paint a picture of an isolated beach, starry nights, and the gentle rattle & rustle of palms rather than loud music and laughing children, White Sand Luxury Villas on Paje Beach might be what you're looking for.

    Rather than being just another beach side resort, White Sand seamlessly blends the luxury experience in with the idea of being on the beach. Each of the resort's sunny and breezy private villas has an outdoor shower and bath tub, perfect for washing away the salt and sand beneath starry skies.

    Far away from the touristic Nungwe and Pongwe regions of the island, White Sand compensates for its isolation by giving its guests access to bicycles for exploring the nearby beaches.

    There is also an extensive spa and beauty facility at the resort - including sauna, Turkish baths, massage, beauty services, yoga sessions, and a fully equipped gym.

    For those looking to let their hair down, the resort boasts all of the usual water sports as well as three bars: a cruisy beach bar, a classy lounge, and a rooftop bar perfect for sundowners.

    white-sands-zanzibar

    &Beyond Mnemba Island, Mnemba

    The &Beyond name has become synonymous with luxury, and it's unsurprising that the luxury label has put together something truly remarkable for their Zanzibar property.

    Designed for those wanting a true castaway experience, &Beyond's Mnemba Island property holds just twenty guests and markets itself as the perfect place for those wanting the experience of holidaying on their own private island.

    andbeyond-mnemba-island-17.jpg.1920x810_0_340_10000 andbeyond-mnemba-island-37.jpg.1920x810_default

    It's barefoot luxury: the simple pleasure of feeling the sand between your toes combined with the decadence of private beachside bandas, candlelit walkways, and personalised service the likes of which you won't find elsewhere.

    The island's private house reef and on-site PADI Dive Centre make it a perfect escape for snorkelling and scuba diving enthusiasts, while romantics have the option of private beach dinners, romantic walks, and much more.

    It's a Maldives experience with a distinctly Zanzibari twist.

    zanzibar luxury hotels pinterest

  • How to Spend a Day in Kigali

    AdminSoa
    April 7, 2017
    Kigali is more than just a layover city. In addition to its historic genocide sites, there's a wealth of cultural and culinary experiences to be had.
  • Gorillas, Golden Monkeys and the Big Five

    Lesia
    April 3, 2017

    If you are planning for your African trip, there is no better option than cross-country itinerary. Our clients Eric and Michael chose to combine gorilla trekking in Rwanda with the classic safari in Tanzania. Eric kindly shared with us his amazing photo works and we are truly admiring his talent. 

    Continue reading

  • Things to do at Lake Naivasha

    Chris Walker Bush
    March 11, 2017
    Lake Naivasha is a popular stop on Kenyan safaris due to its proximity to a number of other attractions. Read on to find out why it should feature on your itinerary.

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