tanzania

  • Where to Stay in Zanzibar: A Guide to Zanzibar Beaches

    Chris Walker Bush
    February 12, 2018
    When planning your trip to Zanzibar, you're likely to find yourself spoiled for choice. Thankfully, we've arranged this handy guide to Zanzibar beaches to help you find the right fit for you!
  • News on Tarangire National Park

    Bryan Fawcett
    October 17, 2017

    Reports from recent safaris in Tarangire National Park, we can see the movement elephants in the region. Water is low now, due to the lack of rains in this short rainy season. A lot of the animals are migrating to where there is water still. The National Park is still relatively full of wildlife, as the region is protected from villages trying to seek water for their domestic herds of cattle, goats and sheep.

    The animals migrate in the park according to weather patterns and the access to water. The Tarangire River rarely drys up, so the elephants hang around the extent of the river depending on the vegetation in the area. Tarangire National Park is known for its large elephant population.

    At the moment the herds, are on the move and are covering large areas every day in search of food. Other animals are hanging around the swamp areas where there is more water and vegetation around. At lot of the lodges have pumped waterholes which allow for animals to stay in the areas but this is dependent on the vegetation in the area.

    From our pictures you can see that the elephants are moving in big herds relying on each other for protection and food. The lodges are getting fantastic views of elephants,  zebra, waterbuck, the odd wildebeest and a plethora of birds. It is without a doubt that you will wake up to sound of birds and a view of animals close by. You may even get an elephant close to your room in the night! Tarangire Safari Lodge, Sopa Lodge and Oliver’s Camp are excellent examples of lodges with this atmosphere around them.

    The WMA’s (wildlife management areas) next to the park have it pretty rough at the moment where domestic animals and the wild ones fight for vegetation and access to water. The areas close to the lodges in the WMA’s are a safe haven for wildlife and having waterholes close by they tend to stay. Nimali and Tarangire Treetops are prime examples of such places.

    Our guests recently have had the pleasure of seeing vast amounts of elephants and a range of other animals. Some were lucky enough to see lion, and a few other predators like hyena. This time of year the wildebeest and zebra are still here in a reasonable number, as later in the year they migrate for the calving season in February.

    I mentioned birds earlier, now let me explain them a little more. The amount of bird species in East Africa is huge, with many sub species. So for the avid birder reading here, you will immensely enjoy being in Tarangire, you just may fill up your SD card with birds! The beauty is that you don’t have to look hard, they are everywhere! Some birds you may get tired of seeing but there are certainly others that you won’t get the opportunity of seeing again! If you are counting you will be adding up your list pretty fast here.

    Keep on watching our blog and we will with delight bring you updates and news from places and events in East and Southern Africa.

  • An Extraordinary African Safari

    Bryan Fawcett
    October 11, 2017

    Before we get to the actual story, I have to restate the heading. A wild dog sighting in the Serengeti National Park! To see these amazing creatures is truly amazing, there are not many packs left in the wild throughout Africa today, there are an estimated number of 6,600 left in the wild, and they have been endangered for more than 20 years. A pack can cover a range of 900 square miles, so getting a chance to see them is awesome! I have lived in Africa all my life and have only seen them in the wild twice; hopefully, I’ll get to see them again soon! So these guests of ours were truly lucky! Most areas where they exist now have programs that monitor and protect them.

     

    These guests had the beauty of seeing a few endangered species on their safari, with different settings to admire these magnificent creatures. So they saw the wild dog and the vulture, two of Africa’s endangered animals. They had the opportunity to see the wild dogs playing about in the shade and the vultures at a zebra kill. Both sightings are really good the photos will show you that. Yet, as mentioned earlier, the wild dog is by far one of the rarest sightings you will have in the Serengeti.

    The guests were overjoyed in seeing these beautiful animals! Our driver, did a great job in finding these animals. The wild dogs are a playful bunch always looking for fun and games. They are such great creatures.

    The guests were able to watch vultures and lion squabble over a zebra kill. Vultures are also amongst the endangered species that exist in the savannah plains. Sitting and watching these animals you realize that survival of the fittest is at play here, there is no mommy to look after you in the African bush.

    The strongest only survive here and from these pictures you can see that! Even among the same species you have to fight, survive and be better than the one next to you. You can learn a lot about life from watching wildlife whilst on an African safari.

    Here is a picture of a cheetah on an anthill, from this picture you can see he is on it to get a view of his surroundings so that he can locate his prey. On examination of this picture you can see that this anthill is used for many things, it’s a den from hyena or warthog sometimes both. Fun fact, termites which built this anthill are regarded keystone creatures in the circle of life, as they provide shelter for themselves and also for other animals.

    Lion prides are common because of the plethora of animals around. Our guests got to see a few prides in different settings, from lazing in the shade to defending a kill. It is always good to see cubs about this shows that the lion population is maintaining itself in the region.

    Our guests were extremely lucky to see a vast range of animals on safari and especially to see some of Africa’s most endangered animals.

  • Climbers Experiences on Mount Kilimanjaro

    Bryan Fawcett
    September 30, 2017

    We all get told climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is amazing, that it is one of the seven great peaks to climb on your bucket list; here is some great stories of guests who climbed it recently. First, before I relate these stories to you, let me give you an overview of the largest mountain in Africa. For it has a few facts that most people get confused with. Mt. Kilimanjaro is located in the Republic of Tanzania, in East Africa, most people think it in Kenya as well just like they think the Serengeti is in Kenya too; but they are not, Tanzania is the place for these great features.

    Our latest brochure is about Mount Kilimanjaro and it explains to you what we offer and what is needed for this bucket list adventure of climbing this mountain. There are a few routes, but we mainly take our guests up the Marangu route or the Machame routes. The number of days needed to climb and get back down vary per route and per group! So when booking, make sure you know these important details, because these details will make your Kilimanjaro trek far more satisfactory and enjoyable. Below is a story from one of our guests recently.

    For the Mt Meru trek, our group of 3 were led by Amir and his team of support staff (1 cook, 1 waiter/head porter and 5 other porters). We were grouped together with 3 other companies totaling 9 clients. This was because visitors to Arusha National Park are required to be accompanied by one of their armed rangers which there are a limited number of. Shadows of Africa was noticeably more professional than the other companies I saw. During the trip briefing, Amir made sure that we all had the necessary clothing and equipment by actually checking what we brought over. Our heart rates and oxygen levels were monitored and recorded at the end of every day during the trek (something I’ve never had to do elsewhere — nice touch!). We were talking to our other fellows trekkers with other companies, and almost none of them were as well briefed as us. Some were quite unprepared clothing wise and their guides lacked professionalism (more on that below). The porter to client ratio is apparently set to 2:1 and they each have a weight limit restriction as the government is trying to dissuade operators from overloading their porters. So it’s not surprising if the number of support staff is quite large relative to the group size. My recommendation would be to do the 3D/2N option instead and ask your operator beforehand if they can arrange a car to pick you up from Miriakamba Hut and drive directly back down to the park gates.

    Our guide, Amir was an excellent guide given his experience in leading treks up to the much higher, Mount Kilimanjaro. My friend felt weak from stomach problems before the trek even started, and he provided attentive care throughout the entire trek. On the morning of the third day when we were summiting, one of the other trekkers started feeling unwell with blurred vision likely due to the effects of high altitude. As we were at the front of the group, we didn’t find out about her condition until well into the summiting trek. It’s to my understanding that her own guide (who was also the park ranger overlooking all of us) had her keep going up and barely addressed her concerns. Amir had to step in and lead her hand-in-hand safely back down. I’m quite disappointed on how the guides from the other companies handled the situation as they barely provided any help. Even though the girl wasn’t their own client, they somehow didn’t find it in them to even provide words of comfort. They just stood off to the side. I’ve been on many treks before where the guide doesn’t really play an important role but after this incident, I now realize how important it is to have an experienced guide. Amir saved the day! I highly recommend requesting for him for trekking tours with Shadows of Africa.

  • A Weekend Visit to Oldeani Mountain Lodge

    Bryan Fawcett
    September 25, 2017

    This past weekend, a few members of the Shadows of Africa team visited Oldeani Mountain Lodge just outside Karutu! This is located near Ngorongoro Crater. Rated as one of the most luxurious lodges in the region, it is truly a splendid lodge to stay at whilst exploring this breathtaking area. If you want a place where you can relax and freshen up in comfort, this is definitely the place to come to.

    The team arrived just before lunch after a 2-hour drive from Arusha. Once inside the gates, you can truly feel that you step out of the bush into luxury comfort! The greetings by the staff and the Maasai women were warm and welcoming! The design is modern African with a western touch. When one walks inside, you cannot help but let your eyes wander at the pictures and the ornaments displayed – most are of local African design or of wildlife from the area. The air is filled with sounds of birds, the most common being the Fisher Love Bird, they add to the atmosphere of the place. As you walk out onto the veranda the infinity pool extends out and you can see Oldeani right in front of you!

    oldeani ngorongoro

    The rooms are beautiful and whether you are in a suite or a twin, you can certainly be treated to all the delights of the luxury hotel. Those that want to get in touch with nature can shower outside – privacy though is guaranteed. The beds are soft and comfortable, air conditioning is available for those that want it, The hot water is hot and there is lots of it! In the mornings you can open the sliding doors and allow the sunshine and fresh morning air to flood the room. After being in a safari truck all day, this is exactly what you need! Relax, this place also has an upcoming spa where you can take it one level further in achieving a relaxed state.

    Inside the main area, there is the lounge and bar! The lounge is supplied with great board games to amuse children and adults alike. A billiards room is located on the on the corner to entertain the more active person. Don’t worry the bar has you covered, and drink they can conjure up for you by a there plentiful array of alcoholic beverages. The food served here is tantalizing, the team was certainly happy with all the choices on the menu. The chef is definitely really good, you will be filled up in a healthy way. Those that want to maintain a healthy lifestyle you may go to the gym are relieve your body of those extra calories gained whilst on safari. A children’s club is located on the ground floor where they can amuse themselves for hours, with a movie theatre right next to it as well. People travelling on a more serious note can have board meetings etc in the boardroom located within the main building. I can say this place is a great location for a company retreat, and team building retreat!

    oldeani pool lodge tanzania lodge oldeani lodge-oldeani

    With outstanding day trips close by, this lodge is in a prime location for the luxury traveller. If you have any more questions email us at info@shadowsofafrica.com

  • Adventures on Safaris this July

    Bryan Fawcett
    September 21, 2017

    The safaris in July were absolutely fantastic, our clients truly enjoyed themselves, and were left awestruck. The parks traveled to were mainly the Serengeti, Tarangire and Manyara. We had a variety of clients, from families to just single people traveling in groups or by themselves.

    Our drivers are some of the most experienced locals in the industry, because of this the guests leave not sightings species but also are able to tell stories to their families and friends back home about these beautiful creatures. Our goal is to create experiences for our guests and educate them about Africa and the beauty of it. As distances are far getting from one place to another, it is guaranteed that our drivers will make the drive pleasant filled with laughter and stories about this great continent.

    Most of our safaris have a cultural tour inserted inside which allows the guests to experience first-hand shooting bows and arrows, watch how domestic animals are skinned if you have the stomach for it that is. Otherwise, you can learn how to throw Maasai spears. In these tours, you learn about the culture of the native people in the area and how they live, their traditions and history, sources of income and food. What amazes myself and I am sure most of you, is how they have integrated their cultures etc into the modern world, yet the simplicity of their lives is outstanding. Could you live like this even for just a week?

    As this particular dry season, this year has been drier than normal, the wildlife was pretty scattered across the parks in search of water and food, having a great sighting of animals was pretty lucky. By the photos in this post, you can see that the guests made great memories and had lots of fun. If you have not been to Africa yet, or not this part of Africa we can assure you that memorable experiences will be created with us.

    The migration in July was in northern Serengeti, the river crossing sightings were spectacular! As this is the time of year that they are moving in between the Maasai Mara and the Serengeti. The Mara River is one of the best places to see the famous wildebeest river crossings. Here you will how the animals cross and how the predators take advantage of this movement of animals. In Africa, survival of the fittest and strongest is essential to life. At first, the wildebeest are shy then they literally surge across, here picking out prey is easy for the crocodiles; lions sit and wait for them, and catch them whilst they are weary or the stragglers that are hesitant to cross. Watching the circle of life take place in right in front of you is truly amazing!

    Those that visited Tarangire National Park, got the opportunity of seeing the largest mammals in Africa, the African elephant, this park holds the largest elephant population in East Africa, thereby you won’t drive far without seeing these majestic animals. You will also have seen the ground hornbill, those big black birds with red beaks. Did you know that the elephants are ruled by the Matriarch, the females are the ones who control what is going on in the herd, and the males get kicked out at times.

    If you read our reviews on TripAdvisor you will be able to read the personal stories of the guests on safaris. Join us on an adventure and tick of those items on your bucket list! You can contact us at info@shadowsofafrica.com

  • Father and Son Safari

    Lauren Smith
    November 25, 2016

    Having never been to Africa before Juan and his son were excited to finally get a taste of the African continent starting with a safari in Tanzania.

    On day one they started with a quick trip to the Shadows office in Arusha to have a briefing, as we do with all clients, and for Alex their driver to pick up the last minute things like their lunchboxes, and water, coffee and tea. They then started the 2 hour drive to Manyara National Park, excited to see the flamingoes, elephants, giraffes etc. and crossing their fingers that they might be to see a tree-climbing lion in the park.

    Day two they got up early to start the drive to Serengeti National Park. The drive was broken up with visits to Oldupai and a visit to a Masai cultural boma before arriving at the campsite of Kati Kati. The next day was a full day of game driving around central Serengeti ecosystem where they saw lots of the big cats: leopards, lion, cheetahs.

    Day four they heading to Ngorongoro crater with a game drive along the way.

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  • An Eventful Family Safari in Pictures

    Lauren Smith
    November 10, 2016
    Photos from a Family Safari in Northern Tanzania
  • October Safari Sightings in North Tanzania

    Lauren Smith
    October 12, 2016
    Want to know what is possible to see in Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro and Central Serengeti this time of year?

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