• Tanzania Bans Plastic Bags Effective June 1st 2019

    May 28, 2019

    Please help to support Tanzania with this much needed new initiative.

    From June 1st 2019 plastic bags are banned in Tanzania and there are restrictions on plastic bottles, which is long awaited and very welcome, new legislation!

    What this means for your visit to Tanzania is the following:-

    1.  Please ensure that when you enter Tanzania you do not have any of the following items or that you dispose of them as you arrive in the country i.e. at a specially provided desk in the airport terminal:-
      ·         Any single use plastic bag
      ·         Any carrier bag that is not single use but that is made out of plastic. All bags must be made of material, paper, card or biodegradable substances (but not bio-degradable plastic as this will possibly not be recognized by Customs here)
      ·         Any plastic bag used to protect shoes etc. from the rest of the items in your luggage.
      ·         Any plastic wrapping on duty-free purchases made en-route.
      ·         Any plastic used to wrap around/seal your bags for your trip.


    1.  Please make sure that you are aware not to accept any plastic bags with purchases made in Tanzania


    1.  Please do not bring in single use drink/water bottles.  If you already have a reusable metal/solid water bottle at home, then you could bring one to use for the journey over and on your safari.  Otherwise, Shadows of Africa as well as many lodges and camps give out reusable water bottles as gifts and/or for use while on safari. Please ask for details.


    1.  Fines for possession of banned plastics are around TSH 30,000 ($13-$15).
    2.  Please see the helpful notice from the Government addressed to travellers and visitors to Tanzania.

  • The Big Five, Small Five, Special Five, and Big Seven: What Are They?

    May 24, 2019
    Everybody on safari talks about spotting the Big Five, but do you know what they are? What about the Special Five, Small Five, and Big Seven?
  • How Can I Pay for my Safari?

    May 20, 2019
    When it comes to paying for your safari, Shadows of Africa offers a number of payment options to make things easier on you.
  • Mt Meru - Kilimanjaro’s stunning little sister!

    May 16, 2019

    Shadowed by the size of Kilimanjaro, Mt Meru, despite being an impressive 4,562m, does not get the attention it deserves.


    This scenic volcanic shell of a mountain, the surrounding Arusha National Park, the beautifully kept route and mountain huts are awesome!

    Starting our climb we walked, like a dream, into a grassy meadow and ambled past giraffe and cape buffalo, peacefully watching us at close quarters, bemused by our enthusiasm and sprightly pace. The back drop was the spectacular (active but dormant) volcano we were aiming to summit, bust open at its centre, with only the ash cone left as evidence of its majestic past.



    The walk to Miriakamba, through giant cedar trees and olives, is truly lovely. Paths are well maintained and the climb was surprisingly pleasant with sightings of bush buck and red duiker en route. Although out of breath, we managed just fine arriving, in the sunshine, at the inviting wooden chalets that would host us for the night.

    Fuelled with steaming soup, hot porridge, pancakes and bananas we set off upwards and onwards, climbing high up out of the montane forests and into the Afroalpine heath zone. Stopping for lunch on the way, again we reached our next port of call, Saddle hut, feeling strong.


    Well informed by our guide we ate lots and rested early and woke at midnight. Armed with torches we struck out, determined to summit. The climb is long, its challenging but my goodness its rewarding.



    Reaching the top at dawn was stunning, and tripping back down the knife edge that we had climbed in the dark, with the views of the crags and caldera and its cone were breathtaking. Absolutely unbeatable

    Shadows of Africa, you surpassed our expectations with Mt Meru. Kilimanjaro bring it on!



  • The Magnificently Located New ‘Mpingo Ridge - Tarangire’, By Lemala

    May 10, 2019

    A visit by our Shadows of Africa Safari Consultant Inge Olde Rikkert

    The saying ‘beautiful things don’t ask for attention’ is true of Mpingo Ridge. It’s just there in itself, understated, turning the spotlight onto its surroundings and guests.

    This new Lemala property has been placed with the views as its top priority. High up amongst the ebony of Tarangire it gives perspective to the vastness below and an insight into the significance of nature.


    Set back from the main tourist tracks of Tarangire, Mpingo Ridge is a little more interesting and a lot more peaceful. Forget the lions, buffalo, elephant, zebra and masses of antelope we had just seen, this was impressive!




    The 15 tents are modern in design, spacious and give the privacy desired to absorb the panorama around you, as well as to luxuriate in a bath or shower inside or out, under a canopy of stars. Just what I needed with the rains having started and after a muddy and adventurous game drive!


    Aside from the décor and the surroundings Mpingo Ridge delivered service and food beyond expectation. The picnic lunch was especially worth a mention.


    Thanks, Mpingo Ridge, for being so thoughtful and for making me feel beautiful too.


  • Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Going on Safari (but were afraid to ask)

    May 9, 2019
    Got a question about going on safari that you're afraid to ask? We've covered all of the bases in this post! From what to eat to where to pee, it's in here!
  • A Captivating Combination

    May 7, 2019

    Wildlife, Community, And Culture Across A Multitude of Scenic Soda Lakes

    Wildlife in Tanzania would not exist without the communities that are an integral part and parcel of its ecosystems and landscapes; only to experience this is to comprehend. Our 9-day safari was designed especially with this in mind.

    Introduced to Africa with a day on the beguilingly beautifully forested slopes of Mt Meru volcano in Arusha National Park, and the fascinating different colors of the Momella lakes, we then headed out to the elephants and baobabs of Tarangire National Park and across to the groundwater forests and spectacular shores of Manyara National Park, witnessing a first glimpse of the vast array of wildlife that Tanzania has to offer.


    Dropping down to the expansive views of Lake Eyasi under the shadows of the Ngorongoro Highlands we were fascinated both with the scenery and with the different cultures of the people.

    First observing the blacksmithing skills of the Datoga, we then had the most incredible encounter with the hunter-gather Hadzabe, joining them for a hunt in lands now protected for their way of life. Numbering only around 1,000, they have lived successfully with their nature in this harsh and dry environment for thousands of years.


    Moving on just got better. Driving up into the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, we camped right on the rim of the crater, saw rhino in the caldera and then drove on into Serengeti National Park and spent three breathtaking days in the company of millions of wildebeest, zebra, lion, hippo, buffalo, elephant, topi, impala, and warthog.

    The finale was no less engaging. I have never taken in a landscape as alluring as Lake Natron, the Ol Donyo Lengai volcano and the Masonic mountains.

    In this dry and thought-provoking environment, we gained yet more insight into the people of Tanzania. Learning about the Maasai, first hand, we returned to our starting point, Arusha, in awe of this country, its culture and its wildlife.

                                     Can’t wait to experience a safari for yourself: contact us today!

  • Ten Amazing Things to do in Serengeti National Park

    May 6, 2019

    Ten Amazing Things to do in Serengeti National Park


    The very name conjures up a wealth of images, doesn't it?

    Wide open plains dotted with wildebeest, zebras, and antelope as far as the eye can see.

    A pride of lions painted red-gold by the rising sun as they prowl through the tall grass in search of a morning meal.

    The chortling of hippos as they wallow in their pools to escape the heat of the midday sun.

    Brightly colored hot air balloons floating lazily in the crisp, clear morning air.

    Tanzania's Serengeti National Park is one of the world's most beloved and recognizable wilderness areas, and there is so much more to do than 'just' go out on game drives.

    Are you planning a safari to Tanzania's Serengeti National Park? Here are the top 5 things you need to do on a Serengeti safari trip in Tanzania! #serengeti #safari #tanzania #travel

    10 - Go on a Nature Walk

    Walking safaris are not as common in East Africa as they might be in South Africa, but there are still opportunities to stretch your legs.

    Depending on where you are staying, you may have the chance to take a guided nature walk.

    While not technically a walking safari, these nature walks give you a chance to learn about local flora and fauna and soak in the utter quiet of the Serengeti plains.

    Ask your Shadows of Africa safari expert how you can ensure your tented camp or lodge offers guided nature walks.

    9 - Enjoy a Bush Dinner

    Regardless of where you are staying, your meals on the Serengeti are going to be something special. From BBQ buffets to traditional cuisine to succulent Chinese or Indian meals, you're not going to go hungry!

    If you're looking to have a romantic dinner for two, many properties offer a bush dinner away from the main restaurant.

    Little by candles or a crackling fire, you'll dine under the stars with table service as if you were in a five-star restaurant. A bush dinner is a great way to add a little extra romance to your Serengeti safari.


    8 - Camp Under the Stars

    While we're on the subject of stars, there is something primal and magical about pitching a tent out on the Serengeti and falling asleep to the sounds of the wilderness.

    Shadows of Africa are experts at arranging camping safaris. We not only provide all of your camping equipment but send along one of our staff chefs to ensure you're eating well. Got a dietary requirement? Don't worry: our chefs have you covered!

    Camping on safari can be a great way to conserve your budget as well, although we don't advise it during a rainy season safari.

    7 - Take a Night Game Drive

    Night game drives are not allowed within Tanzanian National Parks and that holds true of the Serengeti, but it is possible to take a night game drive in one of the neighboring conservancies.

    If seeing the Serengeti by moonlight and spotlight is on your bucket list, you'll need to be staying at Buffalo Tented Lodge. Buffalo Tented Lodge is one of the only properties in all of Tanzania who can lead night game drives.

    You can also take a night game drive as part of your visit to Tarangire National Park, with a number of properties offering the experience.

    6 - See the Moru Kopjes

    Scattered around the heart of the Serengeti's Seronera region are towering piles of stones known as kopjes. Popular with lions who like to stretch out on them to soak up the sun, they are a distinctive feature of the Central Serengeti.

    No game drive to the Serengeti would be complete without observing a lazy pride of lions stretching, playing, and relaxing on the stones that inspired The Lion King's Pride Rock.

    It is even possible overnight close to these impressive structures, with tented camps such as Kisura Tented Camp and Ole Serai Moru Kopjes built in the shadows of these massive rock formations.


    5 - Relax by the Pool

    After a long and dusty day out on safari, there are few feelings more heavenly than slipping into a deliciously cold pool and soaking in the last of the sun's rays. While not all properties on the Serengeti can boast a pool, those that do are great for families on safari with children.

    Properties such as Melia Serengeti and the Four Seasons Safari Lodge boast truly impressive infinity pools from which you can indulge in a little game-viewing, with poolside service of cocktails a great way to finish your day.

    Relaxing by a Hippo Pool

    Of course, tourists aren't the only ones who enjoy a good soak on a hot day. The Serengeti's resident hippos love a good wallow!

    The Retina Hippo Pool is located in the Seronera region of the Serengeti and is a great spot to photograph yawning hippos from the safety of your safari vehicle.


    4 - Take a Sunrise Game Drive

    Many of the Serengeti's animals are most active during the cooler morning and evening hours, making a sunrise game drive the perfect opportunity to spot leopards, lions, cheetahs, hyenas, and other crepuscular animals on the move. If you're intent on seeing African Wild Dogs, this is also the best time to spot the elusive pack hunters.

    Shadows of Africa allows its clients unlimited game drives between 06:00 and 18:00 (park operating hours), so all you need to do is let your driver know that you'd like a sunrise game drive and he'll make it happen.

    Whether you take a picnic breakfast with you or return to your lodge to take full advantage on the buffet, a sunrise game drive is an invigorating way to start your day. Just don't forget to bring a coat!

    3 - Stay in a Luxury Tented Camp

    There's something magical about falling asleep to the sound of lions roaring and Wildebeest... doing whatever it is they do.

    Pitching a tent at the heart of the Serengeti isn't everybody's cup of tea, so the luxury tented camps of the Serengeti offer a nice balance between creature comforts and, well, creatures.

    Offering the perfect blend of modern comfort and closeness to nature, the luxury tented camps of the Serengeti are hugely popular year round. Budget tented camps such as Thorntree and Kisura are the entry-level properties on the Serengeti, but luxury options like Ole Serai, Kubu Kubu, and Lemala Nanyuki are redefining the glamping experience.

    Whatever your budget, it wouldn't be a visit to the Serengeti without at least one night in a tented camp. However, if you're visiting Tanzania during the rainy season, a brick and mortar lodge is the best option.


    2 - Take a Hot Air Balloon Safari

    For a little added romance on your trip, you should consider adding a hot air balloon safari.

    Nothing can compare to the feeling of soaring several thousand feet above the plains of the Serengeti at sunrise. You're afforded a completely unique view of the Serengeti and its inhabitants, and the silence is utterly remarkable.

    Once you touch down on the open plains, you'll enjoy a decadent champagne breakfast out in the wilderness. It's the perfect way to celebrate a birthday or anniversary. We've even had several clients pop the question after their hot air balloon safari!


    1 - Witness a River Crossing

    The #1 attraction in all of East Africa, the annual Wildebeest Migration sees more than a million wildebeest and zebras making the arduous journey north onto Kenya's Maasai Mara. The Serengeti plays host to the migration for much of the year, but from July to September each year, you can get front row seats to the high drama of a river crossing.

    Speak with your Shadows of Africa safari expert about the best time to see the river crossing and they'll arrange for your trip to take you into the Kogatende and Lobo regions of the Serengeti.

    Our six-day River Crossing Safari and five-day Flying River Crossing Safari are the most popular options for seeing a river crossing, but any of our itineraries can be modified to include a visit to the Northern Serengeti.

    If time allows, you should also consider a cross-country safari to both Kenya and Tanzania. This way, you'll have the chance to see a river crossing from both sides!

    Here are the five things you need to add to your Serengeti safari itinerary! If you're heading to Tanzania's Serengeti for a safari trip, don't miss out on these five adventure activities! #travel #safari #serengeti #tanzania


    A Wealth of Options

    As you can see, there is no shortage of things to do in Serengeti National Park.

    Speak with your Shadows of Africa safari expert about how to maximize your enjoyment of your Serengeti safari.

  • Copious Cats in the Serengeti

    May 2, 2019

    Serengeti never ceases to impress experienced Shadows of Africa guide, Ukadi Msuya, and this time was no less incredible! What an amazing visit for his guests Guido and Mariana! Cheetah, lion, leopard and one of the most stunning of the smaller felines – a serval cat, in just two days.

    Seldom seen, serval cat are shy cats with enormous ears which they, interestingly, use them for echolocation to detect their prey. It’s a special day when you get to hang out with a serval cat.



    Staying at the incredibly stylish Melia hotel throughout their time in Serengeti, Guido and Mariana could have been forgiven for choosing just to relax and look at the spectacular view! Electing to explore instead, they were well rewarded not only with the cat sightings but with views of the expansive migration of wildebeest and zebra as well as hippo, Nile crocodile, klipspringers, buffalo, topi and many other plains game.


    Safaris to Serengeti National Park are often combined with visits to both Manyara National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater and this was no exception. Guido and Mariana wisely complimented their amazing wildlife experiences with some of the best accommodation in northern Tanzania.

    Lucky to have Ukadi’s expert eye they spent their day in Manyara amongst elephants, lion, baboon, blue monkeys, black faced monkeys, monitor lizard, hippo, zebra and wildebeest, not to mention the birds and the stunning groundwater forest.The evening was enjoyed winding down and recollecting while looking down over Lake Manyara from the comfort and luxury of the Manyara Escarpment Lodge.


    Ngorongoro was no less enthralling with still more lion sightings, finally getting to see a black rhino in the wild and both golden and black backed jackals gracing their path. The Acacia Farm Lodge in Karatu always compliments a crater visit, and allowed Guido and Mariana the choice to stretch their legs around the calm of the gardens and farm or to simply sip a glass of wine and enjoy the quiet to reflect on their amazing trip!

    All photographs by: Guido Heijblok

    Can’t wait to experience a safari for yourself: contact us today!

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