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Tanzania Safari Blog

February 12, 2015

The Cadogan guide to Tanzania

Filed under: A guide to Tanzania,An Introduction — Tags: , , — 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.

November 16, 2017

Zuri Zanzibar – new hotel opening

We are delighted to announce the opening of Zuri Zanzibar from May this year.  Since our favourite Zanzibar hotel Ras Nungwi burnt down we have been looking for a great hotel which is not too large no to small, has a great beach and has enough amenities without being a huge all inclusive hotel. Zuri is the answer.

Please see as below further details:

LOCATION & DESCRIPTION

  • Zuri Zanzibar Hotel & Resort is a 55 bungalow and villa boutique hotel, located in Kendwa, Zanzibar on the Northwest Coast of Ugunja island
  • the resort is located one hour drive from the international airport of Zanzibar as well as the capital city of Stone Town
  • 350m of white sand pristine beach

 

  • incredible sunset over the island ofTumbatu

 

  • the resort is built on a slight slope falling toward the sea – thus giving all guests and locations partial or excellent sea view

 

GUEST ROOM AMENITIES

  • unlimited Wi-Fi internet connection
  • ecological Evening breeze air-conditioning
  • overhead fans
  • tropical outdoor shower and indoor shower
  • 48 inch flat screen TV with satellite channels
  • In-room laptop size safe
  • Zuri home-made drinking water

-100% non smoking

  • 24h room service
  • DVD, game station, entertainment center
  • minibar
  • tea and coffee making facilities
  • hairdryer
  • kimono

 

 

WHILE ON THE ISLAND

  • Zanzibar Spice Tour
  • Jozani Forest (National Park with Red monkeys)
  • Stone Town and Prison Island visit
  • swimming with dolphins
  • fishermen’s market
  • Sunset Dhow Boat Cruise
  • water sports (snorkelling, diving kite surfing, surfing)

 

 

TRAVELLING

  • Zanzibar Abeid Amani Karume International airport (5 km south of Stone Town)
  • ferry from Dar-Es-Salaam (2 hour trip)

 

ACCOMMODATION

  • 46 Design Bungalows with terrace (66 sqm), 10 units with an interconnected option
  • 6 Deluxe Suites with lounge, terrace and Jacuzzi (132 sqm)
  • 2 Two-bedroom villas with lounge, kitchen, Jacuzzi and private beach access (260 sqm)

-1 Three-bedroom villa with lounge, kitchen, 12 m pool, recreation room  and private beach access (500 sqm)

 

All rooms and villas are facing westward.

Majority of the units offer uninterrupted ocean view.

 

 

 

 

 

FACILITIES

 

Main restaurant and Bar

  • overlooking the entire resort, indoor and outdoor dining, offering breakfast, lunch and dinner

 

Pool Grill and Bar

  • offering breakfast, light lunch snack, grilled food, fresh drinks and cocktails

 

Beach Bar

  • offering all day beach service, cocktails and salad menu

 

Spice Garden

  • a lush private green oasis> perfect for meditation

 

 

Swimming pool

  • 32 m infinity pool with ozone water, sunbeds and hammocks

 

Book and DVD library

  • TOP movies of all time

 

Yoga & Wellness Sanctuary

  • beach yoga classes
  • massages and holistic treatments

-gym

November 15, 2017

Swimming with Whale Sharks at Mafia Island

Photo © Steve De Neef

Just a 30-minute flight south of Zanzibar, the little island of Mafia is a remote, charming and laid-back alternative to the more tourist-driven beaches of Zanzibar.

Primarily known for its ocean glory, Mafia Island really encourages travelers to explore the wonders of its surrounding waters. Home to Tanzania’s first marine park, Mafia Island Marine Park, the reefs around the island offers a staggeringly beautiful display of marine life, as well as some of the most vibrant and varied coral in East Africa. In addition to this, Mafia Island is one of the only destinations where whale shark sightings are virtually guaranteed at the right time of year.

Photo © Steve De Neef

From October through to February, the Kaskazi (north monsoon wind) pushes the plankton-rich surface layer of the water from the nutrient-rich Rufiji River silt, towards the island, trapping it against the west coast. The whale sharks gather at the surface in the areas where the plankton is most dense and use their 1-metre wide mouths to ‘hoover’ up their daily requirement of nutrients.

Sometimes found just ten minutes from the shore, and seldom more than an hour away, the whale sharks’ feeding areas are reached via a quick boat ride. Once they have been located, you’ll spend a sometime waiting for the whale sharks to relax and get used to your presence, before gently climbing into the water for a swim and closer look at them. Measuring up to 8m long, they are an impressive sight next to the boat, and even more stunning to behold under the water. It’s important to remain calm and patient during this experience as to not disturb the whale sharks, after all, this human-animal interaction is a massive privilege. Despite their size, these gentle giants won’t even bump into you if they can avoid it and will swim away if they feel threatened.

Photo © Steve De Neef

Watch this video by National Geographic for more info and why the whale sharks spend so much time around Mafia Island:

If swimming with whale sharks sounds like your idea of fun, then get in touch with us and we’ll help you plan the perfect safari tailored to your interests, budget, and schedule.

October 25, 2017

Tanzania’s Best Kept Secret – Ruaha National Park

With its seemingly endless list of places to explore and experiences to be had, it’s no secret that Tanzania is a top-notch country for travellers to visit.

From the Serengeti plains to Zanzibar’s beaches, to Mount Kilimanjaro, to the Ngorongoro Crater and beyond, Tanzania is home to many bucket list destinations. However, it’s the lesser known, uncrowded attractions that really make Tanzania such a safari gem. Ruaha National Park is just one example of such an attraction.

Situated right in the heart of Tanzania, covering a unique transition area where the Eastern and Southern species of fauna and flora meet against a dramatic topographical background, Ruaha National Park is one of Tanzania’s best-kept secrets. Covering more than 20,000km², Ruaha is the largest park in the country, however, despite this, it remains largely off the radar for tourists and therefore provides a truly unhurried and uncrowded game viewing experience.

Highlights of Ruaha National Park:
• Diverse range of habitats and landscapes
• Huge variety of wildlife and birds, including large prides of lions, an elephant population numbering over 10 000, and approximately 500 bird species
• There are only a handful of camps within the vast area of the park, ensuring a uncrowded safari experience.
• The park is has been described as a ‘predator’s paradise’ as it is home to a healthy population of lions, leopards, cheetahs, African wild dogs and other smaller predators.
• It is also one of the only national parks in Tanzania where both the greater and lesser kudu co-exist.

What to do in Ruaha National Park:
• Go and a game drive and spot the diverse game within the park, including the Big Five.
• Enjoy excellent birdwatching opportunities, especially during the European winter season when the migratory birds are around.
• Sip on a ‘sundowner’ drink while watching the sunset over the horizon.
• Go on a guided walking safari and experience the park up-close and personal. Some camps even offer fly camping for an authentic and wild bush camping experience.

Where to stay in Ruaha National Park:
There are only a few places to stay within the Ruaha National Park. Here are two of our top choices:

Ikuka: https://www.tanzaniaodyssey.com/tanzania/ikuka
Set atop the Mwagusi Escarpment, Ikuka Safari Camp is an intimate, secluded camp with expansive, uninterrupted views across the savannah and sprawling Ruaha valley. With just six thatched, open-sided suites, Ikuka is an intimate and luxurious base for travellers looking to explore Tanzania’s remote and wild Ruaha National Park.

Jongomero: https://www.tanzaniaodyssey.com/tanzania/jongomero
Situated along the flourishing banks of the seasonal Jongomero Sand River, Jongomero Camp is the only camp that is set right at the bottom of the park. With the nearest camp located 70kms away, Jongomero boasts a truly remote setting. Consisting of eight large and well-appointed tented luxury tents on raised wooden decks, Jongomero is one of our firm favourites.

Find more accommodation options here: https://www.tanzaniaodyssey.com/tanzania/ruaha

When to visit Ruaha National Park:
The best game viewing in Ruaha is during the dry season (May to November) when the waterholes and rivers begin to dry up and the wildlife concentrates around remaining water sources. The bush is greener and prettier from January to June, and visiting Ruaha out of season virtually guarantees that you see no other travellers whilst on safari. Birding is best during the December to March (the European winter months).

For more information on Ruaha National Park, or to start planning your safari, get in touch with us!

October 10, 2017

Tanzania​ ​Odyssey​ ​listing​ ​with​ ​InfoHub.com​ ​+​ ​GIVEAWAY

Filed under: Tanzania Odyssey News — Tags: , , , , , — Tanzania Odyssey @ 9:15 am

Dear All

Today we’re excited to announce that our 10-Day​ ​Siwandu,​ ​Jongomero​ ​and​ ​Ras​ ​Kutani Tour​ has been selected as an Unordinary​ ​Trip​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Month​ by InfoHub.com, the #1 travel portal on the Internet specialized in the out-of-ordinary, special interest vacations.  This is a great news and a wonderful chance to promote quality vacations in Southern Tanzania.

On this occasion, we are happy to offer our clients a special prize! Any of you who book the above tour before November​ ​10,​ ​2017​ ​may be eligible for a very special prize from InfoHub’s sister-company GPSmyCity – publisher of travel apps for Apple and Android.  The GPSmyCity app features offline city maps, self-guided walking tours and travel articles for 1,000 cities worldwide, using which you can turn your mobile into a personal tour guide. With this app you can explore any major urban destination in Africa and anywhere in the world on your own, at your own pace. The GPSmyCity app works offline so there’s NO need to worry about roaming charges when traveling abroad.

A lucky winner, chosen randomly, will get a one-year full membership of the GPSmyCity app including access to ALL the GPSmyCity content – over 6,500 self-guided city walks and travel articles – to the total value of over $8,000!!! Book now and enjoy your vacation with Tanzania​ ​Odyssey​!

September 1, 2017

Tanzania Tops the Travel Charts

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 — Tags: , , , , , , , — 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

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

Tanzanian Food: 5 Foods to Try when in Tanzania

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 — Tags: , , , , , — 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

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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