A guide to Tanzania

August 15, 2018

Tanzania Honeymoon Ideas: Safari and Beach Romantic Getaway

Filed under: A guide to Tanzania,Tanzania Safari Guide,Zanzibar — Tags: , , , , , , — Tanzania Odyssey @ 10:30 am

You’ve said your vows, made an evening full of special memories with friends and family, and partied together until dawn. Now that the wedding is over, it’s time for just the two of you to spend quality time together. This might mean relaxing on a white sandy beach or tracking wildlife whilst on a bush safari.

honeymoon destinations; honeymoon ideas; romantic getaways

Sunset over the Katavi National Park © Nomad Tanzania

If you want to do both the beach and safari whilst on honeymoon, then Tanzania – which includes Zanzibar – is one of the best romantic getaways to choose as it offers the best of both. Here are just some of the honeymoon ideas to include when you’re planning a couple’s retreat to Tanzania and Zanzibar.

Witness a wildlife spectacle

Tanzania honeymoon ideas that centre around wildlife safaris afford you the opportunity to witness some of the very best fauna and flora that Africa has to show. Watch the herds of wildebeest, zebras and antelope as they journey over the vast plains of the Serengeti during The Great Migration, whilst staying at Singita’s Faru Faru Lodge in the private Grumeti Game Reserve or Nomad’s Lamai Serengeti Lodge on the Kogakuria Kopje.

honeymoon destinations; honeymoon ideas; romantic getaways

Greystoke Mahale on the shores of Lake Tanganyika © Nomad Tanzania

If you’ve always dreamed of looking into the eyes of a chimpanzee, then do include Lake Tanganyika and the Mahale Mountains in your honeymoon destination itinerary. At Nomad’s Greystoke Mahale, you’ll bed down at the foothills of the mountains in a thatched banda and enjoy sundowners on the lake’s sandy shore. Located in western Tanzania, the Mahale National Park partners well with a stay at neighbouring Katavi National Park.

A trip to Ruaha National Park will put you in the heart of Tanzania’s concentrated wildlife action, where predator-prey sightings are an almost guaranteed part of every safari in this southern park. Here you can stay at the exclusive Selous Safari’s Jongomero Camp, which oozes intimate luxury and gives you some of the very best in excellent views, game drives and bush walks.

honeymoon destinations; honeymoon ideas; romantic getaways

Romantic dinner in the Ruaha National Park © Selous Safari Company

Dive into the Indian Ocean

With palm trees lining the powdery soft sand and sparkling azure water, Zanzibar’s beaches are some of the most idyllic in East Africa and make for a stunning setting for a romantic honeymoon. Whether you’re needing to relax on the beach after a busy time of wedding planning or are keen to check out some of the cultural sights, Zanzibar really does have it all. And since it’s just a quick 15-minute flight from mainland Tanzania, it’s easy to incorporate Zanzibar into your honeymoon escape.

honeymoon destinations; honeymoon ideas; romantic getaways

Rest and relax at Pongwe Beach @ Pongwe Beach Hotel

Pongwe Beach is found on the island’s north-east and gives honeymooners a chance to experience a pristine beach that is far from the maddening crowds of tourists. Pongwe Beach Hotel is excellent value for money if you’re travelling on a smaller budget.

If you’re wanting to take long, romantic sunset walks together, then choose to stay at Nungwi and Kendwa as these are the only beaches on the island that are not tidal. You can also enjoy some partying at night before returning to ultimate luxury at the glamourous Zuri Zanzibar or Essque Zalu Hotel.

honeymoon destinations; honeymoon ideas; romantic getaways

A colourful rooftop tea-time setting © Emerson on Hurumzi

Stone Town is Zanzibar’s main town and is full of rich culture, history and long-standing traditional markets. From tropical fruits to handmade jewellery that are sold by friendly locals, Stone Town is full of East African character and charm. Choose to stay at one of the many boutique lodges and hotels in Stone Town, such as Emerson on Hurumzi or Park Hyatt.

Are you planning a romantic honeymoon? Contact us to discuss how we can tailor a getaway for you that combines both the beach and safari.

May 16, 2018

Tanzania Holiday: The Ultimate Safari

From diving for marine treasures off Tanzania’s remote coastlines and tropical islands, to climbing Africa’s highest mountain, to witnessing scores of iconic African wildlife; a Tanzania holiday has the potential to fulfill the whims and fancies of every traveler.Tanzania Holiday. Photographer: Mark Williams.

Tanzania Safari Holidays

Tanzania is an inherently wild and adventurous area that has only been partly tamed by man. A large portion of the country is dedicated to preserving the wilderness and wildlife, and it is home to three of Africa’s top five destinations – the Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater and Mount Kilimanjaro. There are also numerous lesser visited parks in the south and west of Tanzania that are equally as exciting but offer a more private experience.

Safari and Beach

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In addition to its spectacular wilderness areas, Tanzania also offers some breathtaking beaches, making it a brilliant bush and beach safari destination. The Tanzanian coast north of Dar es Salaam is an idyllic stretch of wide sandy beaches and turquoise waters, and the south coast boasts endless stretches of sparsely populated coastline. Just off the coastline, numerous islands, including the renowned Zanzibar archipelago, are dotted within the warm aquamarine waters of the Indian Ocean.
Zanzibar Tanzania Holiday

Tanzania Holiday activites

With so many natural attractions on offer, it makes sense that Tanzania also provides plenty of activities that allow you to explore these scenic wonders. Ranging from walking safaris to hot air ballooning over the Serengeti, snorkeling, scuba diving, horse riding, fly camping under the stars, chimpanzee trekking at Mahale, and more, there are endless possibilities for the adventurous spirit.
Walking safari in Tanzania
Combining these numerous locations and various activities is made easy by the reasonably-priced and efficient internal network of light aircraft. There is also a myriad of choices when it comes to accommodation options that suit the taste and budget of every traveler. Our personal favourites are the smaller, more intimate and luxurious lodges and camps that offer excellent personal service, such as Namiri Plains Camp and Singita Mara Tented Camp.
tents at Siwandu
For all these reasons and more, Tanzania is a brilliant holiday destination for any traveller. Whatever your preferred combination of safari/adventure/beach/relaxation may be, or perhaps even a Tanzania honeymoon, there is an ideal holiday itinerary that will suit you perfectly. For help planning your bespoke Tanzania holiday experience, or for more information on Tanzania, get in touch with us.

April 11, 2018

5 Reasons to take a Family Safari holiday in Tanzania

Filed under: Tanzania Safari Guide — Tags: , , , , — Tanzania Odyssey @ 9:08 am

tanzania-family-safaris

Travelling as a family is an enriching experience and a family safari in Africa is the perfect time for parents, children, and even grandparents, to bond and create life-long memories.

With its combination of spectacular natural scenery, incredible coastline and world-class wildlife reserves and parks, Tanzania provides one of the best destinations for a family safari. While not all safari lodges allow children, many camps and lodges are beginning to specifically focus their attention on families and children and offer activities and facilities to make sure that all age groups are catered for.

Find our top 5 reasons to do a family safari in Tanzania here:

Bush and Beach Safari

Family Safari in Tanzania

Boasting fabulous white sandy beaches, as well as some of the best wildlife reserves in Africa, all within relative proximity to each other, Tanzania is the ideal destination for a bush and beach safari experience.

Wonderful Wildlife

Family Safari in Tanzania

Nothing quite compares to watching your child’s eyes light up with excitement the first time they see an elephant or watch a lion on the hunt. For many people, going on safari is the first time they are able to see wild African animals in their natural environment, making this a truly special experience for both adults and children alike.

Lots of Things to Do

Family safari in Tanzania

Tanzania offers the opportunity for a multitude of safari activities such as game drives, guided walks, watersports, horseback riding and more. There is literally something for everybody to enjoy and no excuse for the kids to get bored.

Variety of Accommodation

Family safari in Tanzania

From rustic tented camps to luxurious private beach villas, the options for accommodation in Tanzania seem endless. Many camps have specific family orientated accommodation that allows for groups to stay together, providing an intimate safari experience.

Special Offers for Families

Tanzania loves families and their child rates and offers reflect this! We have been working with many of the safari companies in Tanzania for 20 years and can get some amazing value deals.

Here are our top 5 tips for doing a family safari in Tanzania:

1. Book a safari camp with interconnecting rooms or a family tent so you can all stay under one roof/canvas!
2. Don’t try and do too much! Tanzania is a vast country and it’s impossible to visit every park. Children will get more out of visiting a few locations in more detail rather than rushing everywhere
3. Get a range of activities- children will start to become blasé after their 15th Lion encounter in a vehicle, so ask us about a safari that has different activities.
4. Tanzania is blessed with beautiful coastlines – after your safari, spend some family time having fun on the beach snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, kite surfing, paddle boarding and much more. Or for exhausted parents, simply relax in a spa with a cold drink and a massage…a tempting alternative!
5. Think about taking a short safari at half term in February or October as you can often take advantage of ‘off season’ rates and fewer tourists.

Find more useful information and tips on a family safari in Tanzania here: https://www.tanzaniaodyssey.com/tanzania-family-holidays 

August 17, 2016

Touring Tanzania on Foot

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“In a country crowned by the tallest free-standing volcano in the world and almost bisected by chains of ancient mountain ranges, hiking takes on a high profile. Stunning scenery and rugged terrain combine with a fascinating cultural backdrop to create several challenging and adventurous routes.” – Lonely Planet

The hustle and bustle of travelling can be exhausting at times. Whisking off from one place to another means that sometimes there is barely enough time to enjoy every experience to the full and that’s a downright shame! The whole point of travelling is to encounter new things and immerse yourself in different experiences. In doing so, you learn about the country’s unique culture and traditions, as well as visiting places completely unique to your own homeland.

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Tanzania has so many exquisite things on offer and we believe that one of the best ways to explore some of this country’s highlights is on foot. Walking allows travellers the time to develop a deeper connection and understanding of their surroundings. It forces you to be completely involved and aware and travellers will often discover and learn about things that they never would have even noticed before.

Here are a few of our favourite places for taking a walk in Tanzania:

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

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Famous for being one of Tanzania’s premier wildlife destinations and home to the famous volcanic Ngorongoro Crater, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area offers rugged and scenic guided walking opportunities. There are no set routes, which makes for many possibilities, and guests are often treated to thrilling up-close wildlife encounters. Walking is less invasive than driving in game vehicles and therefore provides a more eco-friendly and authentic safari experience.

Stone Town

© Helen Suk

© Helen Suk

Stone Town is the oldest part of Zanzibar and also the cultural heart of the city. As the world’s oldest functioning Swahili city, many of the landmarks in Stone Town have been restored to their former glory. Walking down the narrow streets of the city, you’ll feel as though you’ve been transported back in time as you take in the grand old Arabian homes lining the winding alleys.

Lake Victoria

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Bordered by Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, Lake Victoria is Africa’s largest freshwater lake and yet is one of the least visited regions of Tanzania. This remote and scenic area is a birdwatcher’s paradise and perfect for nature walks. There are also a few villages in the area which can be visited, including Musoma and Bukoba, which have a quiet waterside charm.

Gombe Stream National Park

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Gombe Stream National Park is the smallest national park in Tanzania. The park is home to many species of primates and mammals but is most famous for its chimpanzee population. Guided walks take visitors into the forest to observe chimps in the wild – a true bucket list activity!

In other words, if you’re planning a trip to Tanzania, make sure to pack a comfy pair of walking shoes. You’ll be needing them a lot!

March 14, 2013

Safaris

Filed under: Tanzania Safari Guide — Tags: — Tanzania Odyssey @ 3:14 pm

Tanzania Safari – A history

Safari is a KiSwahili word that evolved from the Arabic safariya, meaning a voyage or expedition. Although Tanzanian Swahili uses it to describe undertaking a journey of any kind, and a popular radio jingle for Safari Lager sings merrily about the joys of ‘Safari, o Safari the beer on any safari journey’, for most people these days the word has one specific meaning: travelling to watch wildlife in the African bush, for the sheer interest and enjoyment of doing so.

A main attraction of the vast protected reaches of the Tanzanian safari landscape is its utterly raw, wild nature. Each day sees pure energy and instinct focused entirely on survival, life reduced to its most basic impulses, the absolutes of killing, feeding, reproduction. And yet no experience is guaranteed. Spotting different animals and birds is a matter of luck, diligence and some knowledge of their preferred habitats, but often your most breathtaking moments will be the least expected. An entire afternoon might be spent searching for a glimpse of a leopard, to find instead a vision of migrating wildebeest and zebra jostling for precious, dangerous minutes at a crocodile-haunted waterhole, or a herd of impala poised like dancers in a lovely sunlit glade.

One enduring truth of safaris, whether you are [a novice or] an old-timer, or even if you spend every day of the year guiding clients through the passions and pathways of the bush: every safari is different. Each venture into the bush brings new experiences, sights, sounds and smells, and always the possibility that you may be in the right place at the right time to witness something marvellous. 

The word ‘safari’ was introduced to English by Sir Richard Francis Burton, the scholar, explorer and linguist, fluent in 29 languages. Burton was so passionate about his studies of Arabic culture that on occasion he dyed his skin darker in order to travel to places not usually open to white men, and was the first European to make the pilgrimage to Mecca and through the closed city of Harar in Abyssinia.

Safari used to mean dangerous and unpalatable expeditions into the African interior, whether to plunder ivory and slaves for trade or to go on hunting sprees. But changing attitudes and ideals over the past couple of centuries have irrevocably altered the definition of safari. Now the images that the word conjures, aside from subtly co-ordinated khaki clothes, are of exploration into the wilds of the African bush motivated only by a fascination for beauty, natural life and adventure. The safari is now more progressively focused on conservation and no longer on conquest, except for the achievement of the experience itself.

The change in attitude began in the late 1800s, in the era of the first expeditions undertaken by international geographers, naturalists (Birchell, Harry Johnston), and hunters, (Cornwallis Harris, Fredrick Courtnay Selous), who began to realize the need for conservation of African wildlife and to work for it. East Africa became the focal point for such safaris, not least because the southern African wildlife had suffered such decimation at the hands of early hunters.

At this time too, more people began to travel for travel’s sake, simply to feed their curiosity and need for adventure, inspired by the writings and information filtering back from the strange African continent. Some of the greatest proponents of adventurous travel at this time were women[. Among those who demonstrated notable spirit] were the flamboyant feminist American Mary French Sheldon, who [single-handedly] ran a 150-porter trek from Zanzibar to Kilimanjaro in 1891, and the impressive Mary Hall, who made a successful trek from Cape Town to Cairo at 50. (Mary French Sheldon subsequently published a revealing, still readable account of her trip, entitled Sultan to Sultan: Adventures among the Masai and other tribes of East Africa

As more writings and news of the African colonies and protectorates drifted back to Europe and America, safaris developed a glamorous appeal. Hunting safaris in East Africa were the widely reported fun of the rich and famous, of film stars, aristocrats, the monarchy, or any millionaire rich enough to afford the pleasure. Theodore Roosevelt’s safari in 1909– during which an estimated 5,000 animals, including nine white rhinos, were killed – reportedly cost £15,000, and no doubt others succeeded in spending even more. At the turn of the twentieth century any safari into the bush required hundreds of porters to carry a vast cargo of goods for elaborately styled camping, particularly impressive when you consider that every single item was carried on foot. Even the white ‘masters’ would frequently be carried, borne between the shoulders of four strong men on a palanquin, a shady, often canvas ‘box’ contrived to rest on two long poles. So the safari industry was born in these early days, existing solely to cater to the demands of such high-rolling and demanding adventurers.

The invention of the motor car in the early 20th century considerably reduced the cost of such East African adventures, and hunting as the primary aim of safari was gradually superseded by a greater interest in wildlife and travel. Other modes of transport also became popular, including hot air balloons, following the Boyce Balloonograph Expedition of 1909, masterminded by a Chicago newspaper. The newly possible photographic safaris were well-publicised by Martin and Osa Johnson when they embarked on a five-year film trip in the 1920s, funded by George Eastman of Eastman-Kodak. The African wildlife safari was fast developing an ever-closer association with conservation.

Tanzania Safaris – today

Any extended trip into the wilderness of the African bush is necessarily a costly venture, after international airfares and internal travel, and with safety, comfort and possibly fully-catered camping all needing to be funded. But generally it has become less prohibitively expensive to experience the extraordinary beauty of the African wildlife, and the safari market has developed different levels of service to suit differing budgets.

During the last decade a much greater range of choice and style has become available in the furthest reaches of the African bush, from fly-in opulence to simple budget camping, with different operators appealing to widely different budgets and tastes. A number of fine lodges maintain a remarkable standard of style and finesse, even when the daily delivery of food and supplies from the nearest town entails at least six hours’ bumpy drive, and the cost of enjoying their luxury is often extravagant, but not ridiculous.

The methods and means of safari travel have also diversified, so that you may choose to watch wildlife from a specially adapted safari vehicle, a balloon, a boat, on horseback or, in the tradition of old, close-up and personal—on foot. Itineraries suitable for all different budgets, ambitions and experiences are available. The key is in preparation, and in choosing the right combination to suit you.

Tanzania Safaris 

Including the National Parks, Game Reserves, Conservation Areas and Marine Parks, Tanzania has set aside 38% of its overall landmass for conservation protection in some form or another. It is an impressive expanse. The Serengeti alone, just one of its twelve National Parks, is 7,000 square kilometres, comparative in size to Belgium, Wales or the state of Ohio; the Selous Game Reserve encompasses a greater region for conservation than any other in Africa. From east to west, south to north, the landscapes, eco-systems and altitudes vary dramatically within the different conservation areas to provide an incredible range of choice for safaris.

A safari in any of the parks, conservation areas or game reserves in Tanzania should not be undertaken lightly. Regardless of the enormous advances in modern safari-going, all safaris require pre-planning and preparation, especially if you wish to travel independently. Most people wishing to experience the magical spell of the East African bush venture into the wilderness accompanied by a driver-guide, and potentially cooks and bottle-washers if they are planning to camp. Thus the job of planning and equipping the safari is left in the hands of experts, while you need only worry about your camera, films, sun cream and the experience.

All safari-goers, independent or guided, should adhere to the rules for conservation and preservation as laid down by each park and region. These are discussed within the text for each park, below; a more complete instruction is available at each park gate when you pay your entry fees. At least one popular conservationist’s rule applies to all, and that is to ‘take only photographs, and leave only footprints’.

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