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Tanzania Safari Blog

February 12, 2015

The Cadogan guide to Tanzania

Filed under: A guide to Tanzania,An Introduction — Tanzania Odyssey @ 7:21 pm

We are justifiably proud of our expertise when it comes to the best of Tanzania and Zanzibar.

cadoganVery few tour operators have anything like as many days in-country as we do, and when out in Tanzania, we don’t just visit the good stuff. We also have a wealth of knowledge about the country’s less visited areas that do not feature on our site.  We have all contributed to this growing database over the years but we have within our ranks an expert amongst experts, our director Annabel, writer of the Cadogan guide to Tanzania. After a quick scan through her book we think you’ll agree – few people know Tanzania better than her! If you have an interest in the road less travelled, you will find it sated by her fantastic guide.

To see all the chapters simply click on the Guidebook category on the toolbar to the right.

As well as information on some of Tanzania’s lesser visited areas, the guide provides a background to some of the areas we do recommend as well as a brief history. Even though we plan your trip to perfection and provide all the necessary information, it’s still nice to come with a little local knowledge – you may find it enriches your travelling experience!

For those who prefer a hard copy, you can still buy the second edition at Amazon or you can wait til we finish the 3rd edition!

To see all the chapters simply click on the Guidebook category on the toolbar to the right.

September 1, 2017

Tanzania Tops the Travel Charts

Filed under: Tanzania Odyssey News — Tanzania Odyssey @ 6:53 am

Although it comes as no surprise to us, Tanzania has once again been voted as the top destination by travellers.

In an in-depth analysis conducted over the past two years, SafariBookings.com searched for safari tourists and acclaimed experts who have been on African safaris, and invited them to write reviews about their experiences. Over 1000 safari tourists of 53 nationalities, along with 756 experts, including guidebook authors from Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Frommer’s, Bradt and Footprint, participated in the poll. Together, more than 2300 user reviews were compiled and compared.

The result? With an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars, ranking above other popular destinations such as Botswana, Kenya, Zambia and South Africa – Tanzania is the best country for a safari in Africa.

Home to seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the famous Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Serengeti National Park, Tanzania’s has a wealth of wonderful attractions on offer. Tim Bewer, a Lonely Planet guide author and one of the experts polled, wrote: “Tanzania is home to Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater. This alone makes a solid case for declaring it Africa’s best safari country.

Here are 9 factors that make Tanzania such a great destination according to SafariBookings.com:

1. Superb wildlife viewing in top-class parks. Two are Unesco World Heritage Sites.
2. The annual great migration where over 2.5 million wildebeest and zebra migrate from Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya.
3. Authentic African wilderness with unfenced parks, dirt roads and endless plains.
4. A wide range of budget, mid-range and luxury safari options.
5. Beach holiday extensions on Zanzibar Island, including kite-surfing.
6. Best chimp tracking of Africa in Gombe- and Mahale Mountains National Park.
7. Extend your safari holiday by climbing Africa’s highest mountain; Mount Kilimanjaro.
8. Direct flights from abroad make the northern and southern safari circuits easily accessible.
9. Politically stable and generally safe country.

If Tanzania sounds like your kind of safari destination (after all, why wouldn’t it?), get in touch with us and we’ll help you plan your perfect trip, tailored to your needs, budget and dates of travel.

August 18, 2017

Experience the Best of both Bush and Beach in Tanzania

Filed under: Selous Game Reserve,Zanzibar — Tanzania Odyssey @ 6:35 am

Bush and Beach Safari Tanzania

“I love Tanzania because of the light, colours and life in almost every scene, especially at dawn, when the rising sun floods the grasslands with gold, schoolchildren walk along the roadsides and vendors set out their wares. Nature surrounds you with all its exuberance: the largest animals mingle with the most minute; bird calls fill the air; trees blossom with flowers; hills roll into the horizon, and fishing dhows set sail in coastal waters. Mostly, though, the highlight is Tanzanians themselves, with their equanimity, charm, dignity and warm welcome.”
– Mary Fitzpatrick, Writer

When it comes to a winning holiday formula, it’s hard to beat a bush and beach safari. Combining the thrill of the untamed African wilderness, with the romance and relaxation of the beach, Tanzania offers the ideal destination from which to enjoy the best of both the bush and the beach.

This is by no means the only option, but here is one of our favourite bush and beach combinations that works well together:

Selous Game Reserve – Zanzibar

Selous Game Reserve: This is one of the world’s biggest wilderness sanctuaries where wildlife dominates the vast landscapes. Although it is easily accessible via a 1-hour light plane flight from Dar es Salaam, once within the reserve you’ll feel miles away from anywhere and the game viewing opportunities are wonderful. In addition to being able to explore the area on foot or in a game vehicle, the intricate network of river channels within the reserve allows you to also go in search of wildlife in a boat. See our Selous accommodation options here.

Selous Game Reserve

Zanzibar: After an exciting and adventure-filled safari in the Selous Game Reserve, there’s no better place to wash the dust from your feet than in Zanzibar’s turquoise waters. Renowned for its white sand beaches and world-class snorkelling and diving opportunities, Zanzibar is truly an island paradise with countless accommodation options. Here, travellers can also explore the sights and smells within the cultural heart of ZanzibarStone Town.

Bush and Beach Safari Tanzania

The combinations of epic bush and beach combinations in Zanzibar are endless. We highly recommend getting in touch with us so that we can determine the best fit for your needs, budget and dates of travel.

July 25, 2017

Where to stay in Zanzibar

Filed under: Tanzania Odyssey News — Tanzania Odyssey @ 1:53 pm

From charming and rustic beach chalets to luxury private islands – accommodation in Zanzibar caters for every travellers’ whims and fancies.

Whether you’re looking for romance and relaxation, or adventure and activity, you can find it in Zanzibar. No matter what your budget may be, or where your interests may lie, you’re guaranteed to spend your holiday in Zanzibar somewhere that is perfect for you.

However, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by all of the options, take a look at a few of our favourite places to stay at whilst in Zanzibar:

Pongwe Beach Hotel

Accommodation: 3 room types – Sea View Suites, Beach Front Rooms, Garden View Rooms
Distance from Airport: 1-hour drive from the airport.
Price: From $164 per person

Located on one of Zanzibar’s most beautiful beaches, Pongwe is a small, simple hotel, ideal for relaxing while soaking up the scenery. In terms of value for money for accommodation in Zanzibar, it’s hard to beat Pongwe.

Mchanga Beach Lodge

Accommodation: 6 Double rooms, 2 Family rooms and 2 Twin bedded rooms
Distance from Airport: 45-mins to 1-hour drive from the airport and Stone Town.
Price: From $169 per person

Machanga Beach Lodge is set on a great little beach, situated away from the large hotel resorts both up and down the coast. Built right on the sand and surrounded by nature, this small and intimate lodge is comfortable, welcoming and excellent value for money.

Zawadi

Accommodation: 9 villas
Distance from Airport: 60-minute drive from the airport.
Price: From $384 per person

Perched atop a cliff, with spectacular views of the vast Indian Ocean, Zawadi is one of the most exclusive properties in Zanzibar. At the centre of the property, the cliff recedes, creating a beautiful cove of pristine white sandy beach from which guests can snorkel in the warm waters. Intimate and luxurious, Zawadi is ideal for a Tanzania honeymoon.

Mnemba Island Lodge

Accommodation: 10 thatched beach bandas
Distance from Airport: 90-minute road trip followed by 10 – 15 minute boat ride to the island.
Price: From $1,672 per person

Situated just off the north-east coast of Zanzibar, Mnemba Island is the ultimate destination for a private, barefoot luxury experience. The island’s beach is one of the top beaches in the world and Mnemba is one of the few places where you can snorkel straight off the beach and onto pristine reef. Owned and run by &Beyond, the location, staff and impeccable cuisine make this the perfect beach location for travellers whose budget allow for such luxury.

If none of the above sound like your ideal accommodation options, find more of our options here.

June 28, 2017

5 Foods to Try when in Tanzania

Filed under: Tanzania Odyssey News — Tanzania Odyssey @ 6:17 am

Zanzibar Street Food Market

One of the most common questions we receive from our clients is what sort of food they should expect to find in Tanzania.

After all, eating foreign food can be an intimidating prospect. However, it can also be exciting and eye-opening. Travelling is about embracing new ideas and stepping out of your comfort zone, and trying the local cuisine plays a huge role in the experience.

As a result of its rich history and diverse influences, Tanzania has a wide variety of traditional foods. Zanzibar, in particular, is famous for its street vendors and street food night markets. If you can translate the Swahili names for the dishes, some of the items of the menu may be more familiar than one would expect!

Here are just five of our favourite dishes to eat when visiting Tanzania:

Chapatti (Fried Flatbread)
Chapatti originated in India but Tanzanians have created their own version. It is one of the most commonly consumed foods among locals as it can be eaten at any time of the day. This unleavened pan-grill bread goes well with tea and coffee, as well as soup, stew and vegetables.

Ndizi Kaanga (Fried Bananas or Plantains)
Plantains grow in abundance in Tanzania, and Ndizi kaanga, meaning fried plantain, is a very popular Tanzanian snack. It can be enjoyed sweet, savoury, as a snack or even as a side dish with a meal.

Nyama Choma (Grilled Meat)
Nyama Choma can be goat, chicken or even fish, that has been slow roasted to perfection and is served with lemon wedges and a chilli sauce called pili pili. This is a firm favourite with locals.

Mahindi ya Kuchoma (Grilled Corn)
Mahindi ya kuchoma is a grilled corn on the cob, often drizzled with lime and pepper. For the tastiest version, buy it from a street vendor!

Mandazi (East African Donuts)
Mandazi is a form of fried coconut bread made with coconut milk, flavoured with cardamom and grated fresh coconut or coconut flakes. These fluffy sweet treats can be eaten at breakfast with tea, as a snack, or as dessert.

Is your mouth watering for Tanzania safari yet? Contact us and we’ll make you drool over our safari packages.

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May 16, 2017

Sleep with the Fishes in The Underwater Room

Filed under: Tanzania Odyssey News — Tanzania Odyssey @ 9:05 am

Underwater Room Manta Resort

Sleeping with the fishes takes on a whole new meaning at The Manta Resort’s Underwater Room.

Appearing to float on the turquoise waters just off Tanzania’s coast, The Underwater Room is undoubtedly one of the most unique places to stay in Africa. Tethered to the ocean floor, the room is anchored in place and affords guests 360 degree underwater views of the ocean and the life that teems within in.

Soak up the Sun on the Roof
Serenely set atop the ocean waters, the structure offers a sea level landing deck, with a lounge area and bathroom. From there, a ladder leads up to the roof where guests can sunbathe and stargaze. Due to its location, just off the coast of Pemba, the room offers astonishing views of the Milky Way.

Underwater Room Manta Resort

Wild beneath the Waves
Beneath the wooden deck, lies the true appeal – a soft double bed surrounded by panes of glass. Beyond the glass lies the wonderland that is the Indian Ocean. Guests can fall asleep watching as seemingly endless shoals of reef fish swim by. There is even a resident trumpet fish called ‘Nick’ who is often seen swimming around.

At night, the underwater spotlights attract and illuminate a few more unusual and elusive species, such as squid. If you’re lucky, an octopus or Spanish dancer might even attach itself to the glass while you’re inside.

Underwater Room Manta Resort

Getting there
The room lies approximately 250m from shore and can be reached via a 2min boat ride from the Manta house reef. On arrival at the room, you will be given a tour of your private floating island and then left to settle in before enjoying a light tropical lunch. A kayak, snorkel and fins are all provided for you at the room, as well as a full stocked bar fridge, and mobile phone with the contact numbers required should you need assistance with anything.

If this sounds like something you’d like to experience, get in touch with us and we’ll help you plan your perfect trip.

April 21, 2017

The Tanzanian Cheetah

Filed under: Tanzania Odyssey News — Tanzania Odyssey @ 8:10 am

The Tanzanian cheetah, also commonly known as the East African cheetah, is a subspecies of cheetah native to East Africa.

There are a total of five subspecies of cheetahs in the world, and of these, the Tanzanian Cheetah is the oldest and largest subspecies. While they can be found in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Somalia; the best places to see them are the Serengeti and the Masai Mara, where the majority of the population lives.

Five Facts about the Tanzanian Cheetah:

1. Archaeologists have found remains of a Tanzania cheetah that dates back a few million years, making them the oldest subspecies of cheetah to date.

2. Although Tanzanian cheetahs have the second-largest population, after the most numerous South African cheetah, they are still listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN.  The main threats for the Tanzanian cheetah include poaching, habitat loss, and larger predators such as lions, leopards, hyenas and wild dogs.

3. The average cheetah measures from 110 to 135 cm in length and weighs between 20 to 60 kg. However, the average size of a Tanzanian cheetah ranges between 40 to 60kgs in weight, and 200 to 220cm in length. Despite this, Tanzanian cheetahs still have a leaner build than the other subspecies.

4. The Tanzanian cheetah has a pale coat that ranges from tannish to a white-yellowish colour. They have spots all over, except on their white bellies. The spots begin to merge toward the end of the tail to form dark rings followed by a white tuft at the tip of the tail.

5. Tanzanian cheetahs’ main source of food are antelopes, with their favourite being the Thomson’s gazelle. The Thomson’s gazelle is often found grazing in the savannas and open fields of the Serengeti ecosystem, where the cheetahs can chase and catch their prey at full speed.

They are truly beautiful creatures and seeing them in the wild is always a highly rewarding experience.
For a chance to see Tanzanian cheetahs in the natural environment, get in touch with us and we’ll help you plan your perfect safari tailored to your interests, budget and schedule.

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March 31, 2017

What to See when in Arusha

Filed under: Tanzania Odyssey News — Tags: — Tanzania Odyssey @ 7:14 am

Situated in the northeastern tip on Tanzania, at the foot of Mount Meru, Arusha is the biggest city in northern Tanzania and home to more than 1 million people. Often only regarded as a good starting point for safaris, the city has a lot to offer and it’s worth spending a few days there.

If you’ve got time to spare before starting your trek or safari, here are a few attractions worth exploring in and around Arusha:

1.    Maji Moto Hot Spring
Maji Moto (Swahili for ‘hot water’) is an oasis in the dry Maasai land, just 2 hours from Arusha. Surrounded by palms and fig trees, Maji Moto is a natural outlet for an underground spring. The sapphire water is the perfect temperature for swimming and is crystal clear to the bottom. It is a little piece of hidden paradise!

2.    Kilimanjaro Day Trip
A day trip to Kilimanjaro is a good option for those not wanting to climb the mountain but still wanting to experience a taste of its magic. Mandara Hut is at 2700m and can be reached after a 3-4 hour hike through the lush rainforest. Hikers can then enjoy lunch at the huts with a great view of the Moshi district.

3.    Canoe Trip through Arusha National Park
Arusha National Park is just outside of the city. While most people experience a safari in an open-roofed truck, a scenic canoe safari is a great way to experience the beauty of Tanzania. Momella Lake, in the heart of Arusha, offers the perfect opportunities for a canoe safari and to witness animals in their natural environment without disturbing them. It is an activity that should not be overlooked when in Arusha.

4.    Grab a bite to eat in the Themi Living Gardens
The Themi Living Garden is hidden in the heart of Arusha and offers a wonderful setting for a lunch spot. The Themi Living Garden is a women-lead community centre and part of a project implemented by Italian NGO Istituto Oikos. The project promotes sustainable gardening in Arusha as a way to improve nutrition, employment and income for people with disabilities or care takers of disabled people. The food is fresh, organic, vegetarian and served with love by the ladies. It is the first eco-restaurant in Tanzania.

These are just a few of the many activities on offer in and around Arusha. Other notable attractions include the Olpopongi Maasai Cultural Village & Museum, The Natural History Museum and a walking coffee tour through Nkoaranga Village.

Get in touch with us for help planning your perfect holiday to Tanzania today.

February 23, 2017

Under the Sea Safari in Zanzibar

Filed under: Tanzania Odyssey News — Tags: , , , — Tanzania Odyssey @ 1:02 pm

Sebastian from The Little Mermaid had a point, especially if you’re talking about the undersea world around a paradise island like Zanzibar.

Zanzibar’s beaches are a picturesque sight to behold; however the true beauty of the island lies under the ocean surface. Named as the ‘world’s leading dive destination’ in the 2015 World Travel Awards, it’s definitely worth taking the plunge and exploring the wild beneath Zanzibar’s waves.

The island receives the majority of its tourism through watersport inspired holidays. While scuba-diving may seem a little adventurous for some travelers, we’re here to tell you that it’s not nearly as difficult as most people imagine. Anybody who knows how to swim can complete an open-water diving course in just 3 days…and then you’re ready to explore the ocean’s wonders!

Situated just off the northeast coast near Matwmwe, Mneba Atoll Marine Reserve is one Zanzibar’s most popular diving sites. Declared a Marine Conservation Area, itis home to an abundance of sea life and is a breeding ground for green turtles, which can often be seen swimming in the shallows.

Other than turtles, Mneba is famous for the dolphins that like to join you as you snorkel or dive. During the migrating season, one might even spot whale sharks or humpback whales in the distance.  This dive is not one  to be missed if you are planning a dive trip to Zanzibar.

While it may be tempting to spend your time lazing in sun on Zanzibar’s white sand beaches, an ‘under the sea safari’ is well worth getting your feet wet for and is guaranteed to make your trip an unforgettable one.

© The Manta Resort

In addition to having some of the most spectacular diving and snorkeling opportunities, Zanzibar also has some of the most stunning accommodation options, ranging from rustic beach lodges, to upscale resorts and spas. Take a look at our Zanzibar lodge index for more information and inspiration: https://www.tanzaniaodyssey.com/tanzania/zanzibar

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February 6, 2017

Fire at Ras Nungwi

Filed under: Tanzania Odyssey News — Tanzania Odyssey @ 11:26 am

It is with great sadness that we announce that Ras Nungwi Beach Hotel has been destroyed by a fire. The fire started at a neighbouring property on the morning of 4 February 2017, and stoked by strong winds, engulfed our hotel causing catastrophic damage. Mercifully, everyone was evacuated without injury, thanks in large part to the dedicated efforts of the hotel’s management and staff.

Ras Nungwi was a much-loved, award-winning hotel established some 20 years ago and we are devastated by this great loss. It is going to take some time to assess the options and plan for the future but we hope that Ras Nungwi will re-open in due course. Thank you for the kind messages of sympathy and support. It means a lot to us.

January 13, 2017

5 Reasons to Travel to Tanzania in 2017

The start of a new year is the perfect excuse to start planning new adventures.

2017 is set to be a great year for tourism in Tanzania. Its vast wilderness areas give a sense of the unexplored, and its wildlife offering is world-class; making it one of the most beloved and captivating safari destinations in the world.

Here are 5 reasons why you should spend your holiday in Tanzania in 2017:

1. Experience the Great Migration

The Wildebeest Migration is something that every traveler should experience at least once. A movement of more than one million wildebeest, plus hundreds of thousands of other animals, this annual procession is often the singular reason many travelers go on safari to Africa and Tanzania offers the absolute best opportunity to see this massive movement of animals.

2. Epic Hiking Opportunities

Tanzania is home to Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa. However, despite being 5895m tall, you don’t necessarily need to be a mountaineer to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. In fact, all of the trails are walking trails and most people with a reasonable level of fitness are able to make the summit within 8 days. Alternatively, the volcanic slopes to Ol Doinyo Lengai and Empakai Crater in the Ngorongoro also offer excellent hiking opportunities.

3. Ngoronogoro Crater

Periods of ancient volcanic activity are responsible for the Ngorongoro Crater, the world’s largest intact caldera, and a wildlife sanctuary with some of the highest predator densities in Africa. The Ngorongoro Crater is the best place in Tanzania to see ‘The Big Five’.

4. Explore Stone Town in Zanzibar

Situated in the cultural heart of Zanzibar, Stone Town is a fascinating living monument to the history of East Africa. The ancient maze of narrow streets that make up Zanzibar’s ‘Old Town’ are now a web of markets, shops and craft centres, and an extraordinary place to explore.

© Helen Suk

5. Soak up the sun in Zanzibar

Fringed by the brilliant blue and beautifully warm Indian Ocean; Zanzibar has some of the most achingly gorgeous white sand beaches in the world. The water is teaming with life making it a brilliant destination for snorkeling and scuba diving. Whether opting for beach-shack-chic accommodation or a deluxe resort, the island has something for everyone and is the perfect end to a dusty safari.

Contact us to start planning your perfect tailor-made Tanzania safari.

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