July 2019

July 11, 2019

A Safari Expert’s Guide to the Characters of the Lion King

Filed under: Tanzania Odyssey News — Tags: , , , — Tanzania Odyssey @ 10:41 am
© Copyright of Sam Hankss

The Lion King

Disney’s long line of re-makes continues. On Friday night the new Lion King airs across the world. For animal lovers like us, any movie that includes the magnificence of Africa is surely one to watch. Some cynics will argue that to remake a classic will destroy its reputation, but we hope it will inspire a new generation of children, and reignite old sparks where old flames may have died.

After working as a safari guide in the Greater Kruger for a number of years I often used Lion King anecdotes to help explain aspects of the wildlife to my guests. People’s expressions changed from attentiveness to incredulous delight as I explained how the commonly seen hornbill was actually Zazu from the Lion King. Smiles and chatter would erupt, especially if there were children on board. For many who weren’t lucky enough to live the life of a guide in Africa, it is common to draw on the Lion King for knowledge of the natural world, no matter how accurate this was. Below I am going to dispel some of the myths and explain a bit more about the main characters’ true behavior.

Hyenas – Ed, Shenzi and Banzai

I am going to start with possibly the most misunderstood creature on the open savannah of Africa. What is the first impression you have of a hyena? My guess is that your answer would be a drooling, mangy, ugly animal that scavenges on whatever morsel it can find. Why do you have that impression? I bet it’s because of the Lion King! Unfortunately hyenas have suffered a terrible reputation ever since Disney chose them to be Scar’s side-kicks.

© Copyright of Marc Harris

 This may be a surprise, but hyenas are actually one of the most enigmatic and essential characters of the bush.  They are the clean-up crew and their scavenging habits help to prevent the spread of disease and help to complete many ecological cycles in the eco-system. When scavenging opportunities aren’t available, hyenas are very competent hunters and will actively hunt for themselves. Their lop-sided running technique gives them incredible stamina and helps to maintain their speed until their prey is too exhausted to go on. They have a better hunting rate than lions!

Ridiculed as being stupid throughout the film, hyenas are extremely intelligent. Their clans follow a very complex matriarchal system made up of an alpha female and her subordinates. These clans have learnt to actually follow other predators such as wild dogs or leopards in the search for food. Once the other predator has made its kill, the hyena clan will descend and force its competition to abandon the kill. To do this takes highly intelligent teamwork which involves maneuvering and attacking at specific times to ensure they get their prize.

Lions – Simba, Mfuasa and Scar

When you think of a lion, you probably think of a regal and magnificent, an animal that can do no wrong. The Lion King also follows this thought with its portrayal of Mfuasa and Simba, who are the noble Kings of the savannah, but in truth most male lions are like Scar. With a constant instinct to take over new territories and to usurp other males from the vicinity, male lions are normally power hungry and will do anything they can do claim their reward. Unfortunately for members of their new pride, these male lions will then kill any cubs. This act means the females come into heat and are ready to mate again. The males therefore sire their own offspring and ensure their genetics are passed on.

© Copyright of Marc Harris

As discussed in the previous paragraph, hyenas have a bad reputation for scavenging yet their counterparts are no better. Lions are often found scavenging and stealing kills hard won by other predators. Their size and weight advantage means that leopards and cheetahs are no match for them and kills are often abandoned with a lion in the vicinity.

Warthogs and Meerkats – Timone and Pumba

Everyone’s favourite duo, what would the Lion King be without Timone and Pumba? These two fun-loving, bug-munching creatures spend the movie making jokes and providing some light entertainment to a movie that has some serious undertones. It may sadden you to learn that although these two seem inseparable during the movie, in real life they would never have met. The reason for this is their habitat differences. Whilst warthogs are found in most savannah and wooded areas, but meerkats have a certain niche. They are localized to the Kalahari regions of South Africa and Botswana where warthogs aren’t present. Whist observing warthogs you may however encounter them with other creatures that can be mistaken for meerkats. These are in fact mongoose, and they have a symbiotic relationship with the tusked pigs. You may see mongoose and warthogs sharing the same meal or even the mongoose grooming the warthogs for tics!

© Copyright of Shutterstock

In terms of their individual behavior, Disney is rather accurate when portraying the warthog and meerkat. Quick to run away from danger and a pig that will eat anything is the perfect way to encapsulate the characteristics of a warthog and whilst meerkats are also very sociable creatures, (although Timone is seen away from his family), he still wants to be around others. Meerkats are also very alert and always aware of their surroundings.

© Copyright of Shutterstock

An additional fact worth knowing is that although meerkats and warthogs are unable to sing ‘Hakuna Matata’, the true translation is ‘no worries’!

Wildebeest

Not featured as heavily in the Lion King as other animals but playing a crucial role in the plot, wildebeests are seldom looked at with much attention. Being classed as part of the ‘Ugly 5’, the wildebeest is said to have been made up of all the remaining parts left over when the animals came to be. In the film we see the wildebeest spooking easily and forming a stampede (spoilers I will not divulge). This is particularly true of real-life wildebeest during the Great Migration. After approaching the great Mara River tentatively, it only takes one individual to spook before the whole herd starts stampeding, either across the river or back into the grassy plains.

© Copyright of Tanzania Odyssey

 If you have been inspired by the new Lion King, take a look at our blog about where to find characters of the Lion King on safari and do not forget to contact us should you wish for more information about the holiday of a lifetime.

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 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:

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 Zanzibar – Stone 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.

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.

November 10, 2016

Tanzania’s first Treetop Walkway:

Get ready for Tanzania’s first Treetop Walkway
Woohoo… after years of building, the Treetop Walkway in Manyara opens this saturday!
Unique perspective
This walkway takes you on a sky-high adventure through the beautiful forest of Lake Manyara. Walk among the treetops and experience untouched nature and wildlife from a unique perspective.Bird’s eye view of the forest
This 370m airwalk starts with a short board-walk that gradually rises from ground level up through the canopy where you reach a height of 18m off the ground. Each of the 10 supension bridges end on a viewing deck situated around tree trunks. The treetop platforms are perfect places to stop and enjoy life in the canopy amongst butterflies, monkeys and birds. Get a unique birds-eye view of the world around you.

Nature lovers & adventure seekers
This walkway is one of the longest treetop walkways in Africa and a great outdoor activity for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Families, couples, individuals and groups are all welcome.

Experience nature like never before!

A perfect opportunity for you guests to experience this airwalk while the guide sorts out all the park fee payments.
Opening: 12th November 2016
Location: ‘old gate’ in the beginning of Lake Manyara
Opening hours: 6:30 am – 5 pm
Duration: about 1 hour
Price: RACK $47 per person ( (incl. Tanapa fee $17,70 and 18% VAT)

July 26, 2016

The Cycle of Life in the Serengeti

the-fight-serengeti-bjorn-persson

When the wildebeest migration arrives on the plains of the Serengeti, a time of plenty begins for the predators. It’s basically a big moving ‘all you can eat’ buffet and the drama that unfolds during this time makes for some of the best wildlife sightings. It’s no wonder that this spectacle is on so many safari enthusiasts bucket lists!

“The survival tactics, the perfectly timed executions and the unexpected escapes are bound to leave any wildlife lover enthralled. However, a certain degree of empathy is also stirred from observing wild animals in their quest for survival, and the raw simplicity of life in the bush is an alluring aspect for many visitors. There are also many lessons to be learnt from the animal kingdom – from trusting instincts and embracing strengths, to working as a team and adapting in the face of adversity.”Africa Geographic describes the migration in a gallery titled ‘Life and Death in the Serengeti’ featuring a series of powerful images captured by wildlife photographer, Björn Persson.

Here are a few on the photographs that were featured:

first-steps-serengeti-bjorn-persson

Entering the world as baby wildebeest, odds for survival aren’t great. With predators around every corner, a weak little wildebeest is an easy target. Getting on their feet and walking as soon as possible is their only chance of survival.

lion-buffet-serengeti-bjorn-persson

When the calving season arrives, the big cats feast in the Serengeti! During this time, it is vital that they gain weight and store energy for the future when easy meals might not be as abundant.

last-breath-serengeti-bjorn-persson

Built for speed, cheetahs have the option of targeting prey that would be more difficult for the other predators to catch. Once they have caught their prey, cheetahs need time to rest but they also have to eat their meal relatively quickly as larger predators often chase the cheetahs off their kill and steal it for themselves.

the-feast-serengeti-bjorn-persson

Unlike cheetahs, lions cannot rely on their speed to make a kill and need to carefully stalk their prey until it’s the right time to pounce. Often taking advantage of the cover of darkness, lions usually hunt in groups to increase their chances of success.

Click here to see the rest of the gallery.

If this sounds like your kind of safari experience, then get in touch with us! We consider ourselves to be somewhat ‘experts’ on the topic and can help you plan the best safari possible in the heart of the Great Wildebeest Migration.

July 17, 2015

Katavi National Park

Thirty-one years after his first visit, Andrew Sharp returns to Katavi National Park, in the remote far west of Tanzania, to see if it still has the same magic

HR-Sharp-VehicleIt was June 1983. My wife and I were young, venturesome and travelling from Zimbabwe to Uganda in a Land Rover that was scarred from the Rhodesian war years and weighted with mine-proof steel plates bolted to the footwells. The road north through remote western Tanzania was deeply rutted, dusty and deserted, and for six hours we ground our lonely way past miles of miombo woodland whose dry leaves seemed primed to catch fire in the heat.

Inside the vehicle we sweltered, with the windows shut to prevent an invasion by the tsetse flies swarming furiously around the spare wheel on the bonnet. There was no air con in those days. As evening approached, exhausted and drained, we looked for a place to camp and turned off the road onto a faint, narrow track.

We ascended a low hill, but there was no let up in the thorn scrub. It seemed most unpromising. Little did we know that we were about to stumble upon one of the most alluring places in Africa.

We crested a sandy ridge and came to a standstill, stunned by the sight that opened up before us: a vast open expanse stretching to the horizon, verdantly green and threaded with silver waterways, streaked in black by huge herds of buffalo and liberally humped with hippos and elephants, all under a soft, pinking sky. We had arrived at Katavi, one of three floodplains that form Katavi National Park, the third largest in Tanzania.

Later, watered and cool, and breathing in the honeysuckle scent of nearby mahogany blossom, we lay in our little tent listening to the stealthy army of hippos grazing all around us. Out on the dark plain, under the bright constellations, lions rocked the night with their roars and hyenas yodelled. It was probable that we were at least a hundred miles from any other human being. This, surely, was the wild whose call the nineteenth-century explorers and hunters would have felt. We vowed that one day we would be back.

It took us more than thirty years to fulfil that dream. This time there was no gruelling journey to make. We could now afford to fly in with a safari company, and would be ‘glamping’ rather than crawling into a two-person tent. Despite our comparatively luxurious transport we still caught a sense of Katavi’s remoteness as the Cessna made its way west from Dar es Salaam. En route we landed on dirt airstrips to drop off fellow tourists in Selous Game Reserve (described in guidebooks as ‘remote and wild’) and then in Ruaha National Park (‘even remoter and wilder’), and then flew for another two hours with barely a scar of human habitation below. Still we wondered if our memories of Katavi were rose-tinted or whether our Eden was gone. Three decades is a long time in the modern world.

After the steep Mlele Escarpment on the park’s eastern boundary came into view we descended in a gentle arc, down to the tiny airstrip, our eyes drawn compulsively to the great floodplains spreading north and south. Our safari camp was on the edge of one of the park’s three main mbugas (or ‘marshy plains’) of the 4471 sq km Katisunga, which is, incidentally, larger than Rutland. From our canvas-and-thatch room we gazed out over the plain to distant lines of zebra and giraffe that resembled flotillas of sloops on a wide sea.

In 1983 we had been the only people camping in the park, and even now there are just four permanent tented camps. The network of game-viewing roads is confined mainly to the centre of the park. The south is largely trackless, and passing another safari vehicle is uncommon enough to prompt mutual interest. We explored our wilderness, armed against the flies with Dettol spray, fly whisks, Maasai blankets and smouldering elephant dung in a pot on the back of the four-wheel drive. Katavi isn’t famed just for its insects but also for the huge pods of hippos that crowd the Katuma River. Nothing prepared us for the gloriously thick muck and muddle of such tight presses of the beasts. Stubble-headed marabou storks stood, hunched as always, wobbling their fleshy gular sacs and relieving themselves shamelessly on their hosts. Forced into ever-smaller stretches of dark-brown, glutinous water as the dry season progressed, the hippos grunted and jostled, sharing their pools uneasily with five-metre-long crocodiles.

At night, sitting around the fire at Foxes’ Katavi Wildlife Camp, Nick Greaves (camp manager, writer, photographer and all-round bush expert) traced for us the constellation of Scorpio that arched over the plains like an ancient and wise protector. Katavi abounds with big beasts such as lion, roan antelope, buffalo, elephant and more. But when our guide showed us the clever architecture of a weaver’s nest, we had an overwhelming sense that every single blade of grass in the wide expanses of the park, living and dead, and indeed every invisible bacterium in the dung-enriched earth, every ant, tsetse fly, scorpion, mongoose, sandgrouse, wild sesame, acacia and palm, is vital for the health of the whole ecosystem and its astonishing biodiversity. While tracts of our world such as this remain, there seems hope for the survival of our planet.

Our six days in the park were not long enough to explore its far reaches, but we could not leave without attempting to find our campsite from thirty years before. It’s a two-hour drive from Katisunga to the Katavi plain, travelling first south and then west around the huge floodplain, before finally heading north. There is no convenient shortcut. With our guide, Whiteman, we started early, to avoid the tsetses, and journeyed through beautiful forests of umbrella acacia, ashy-barked marula and then Cape chestnut, their pale branches stretching gracefully upwards into the blue sky. Even the stinging flies could not dampen our mood as we drew closer to our destination.

We finally joined the old main road that we had taken three decades before. It was still dusty and bumpy: that much at least had not changed. The side track was instantly recognisable, though now it was signposted ‘Lake Katavi’, raising our excitement to new levels. Slowly we crested a sandy ridge and — yes! — the same stunning sight, just as we had remembered it, crossed with strands of water, despite it being so late in the dry season. We found the precise spot where we had camped in 1983, recognising the lie of the land and remembering the crackle of the leaves under our groundsheet and the sweet aroma of mahogany blossom.

Soon coffee was served, and we sat and watched waterbuck and baboons sipping from the water channels while a 25-strong herd of male elephants lumbered past.

On the far horizon zebras shimmered in the sunlight. A pair of noisy blacksmith lapwings harassed an African marsh harrier that was hunting for eggs, just as they have done in Katavi for tens of thousands of years. It seemed then that three decades was not such a long time to have left it to come back.

Andrew Sharp and his wife travelled with Africa Odyssey https://www.africaodyssey.com/

Ode to Katavi
The scenery here is spectacular, both in scope and drama. The Katuma River flows into Chada Lake, an amphitheatre framed by the Mlele Escarpment. Wedge-shaped Kipapa Hill stands sentinel over herds of animals that roam the region in a never-ending quest for grazing. And faraway horizons, bruised purple at dusk, remind you that you’re tucked under the western arm of the Great Rift Valley.

Katavi shouldn’t be beautiful — its remoteness and wildness should give it teeth — but with its tamarind trees blushing at the prospect of rain, the marula, terminalia and pod mahogany trees shivering with similar anticipation, the rattle of the parchment fronds of borassus palms and the long pod cassia festooned with sunshine-yellow blooms, it is. Very.

But it’s scorched. Its low elevation means it’s simmering. You can hear it in the pressure-cooker hiss of a thousand invisible cicadas. You can see it when mirages dance an agitated, shimmering distortion at the edge of the earth. You can feel it when your hair sticks to the back of your neck. The sky seems to be pulled taut, with a few faint, teasing wisps of cloud that are nudged along by the reluctant exhalations of an enervated breeze. The savannah is the colour of cracked poppadums. The star-chestnut trunks are bleached bone white.

Elephants lumber down the Katuma’s bank to drink and slap mud onto their sunbaked skin. Crocodiles snap shut jaundiced, malevolent smiles and then slither into the water as you approach. Lions snooze in the shade of sausage trees, observing rare visitors with slit-eyed interest. Everything pants, willing the rain to hurry up.

Anthea Rowan

Safari Planner
• Getting there The writer travelled with Africa Odyssey, who can arrange all your transport and accommodation. By road, the journey from Dar es Salaam to Katavi takes three days. Safari Air Link flies twice a week from Dar es Salaam to Ruaha, Katavi and Mahale on Lake Tanganyika, and many travellers visit all three parks on one trip.
• Where to stay The two longest-established camps are Foxes’ Katavi Wildlife Camp, on the edge of the Katisunga plains, and Chada Katavi, run by Nomad Tanzania. Alternatives are Flycatcher Katavi Camp, Palahala Luxury Tented Camp and Katuma Katavi Tented Camp. All include game drives and most offer fly-camping adventures.
• When to go In the dry season (May-October), when the floodwaters retreat and animals congregate around the rivers.
• Health Check with your doctor or a travel clinic at least two months before you go to be certain which vaccinations are currently required. Antimalarials are essential and tsetse flies can be a nuisance, so be sure to pack effective insect repellent.

July 1, 2015

Tanzania voted best safari country in Africa

Tanzania voted best safari country in Africa
A new poll crowns the East African country the king of safaris

Tanzania is the best place for a safari, according to a new poll.
First problem when considering a safari — where to go.

Zimbabwe has the majestic Victoria Falls, South Africa great boutique reserves.

Kenya offers chances to see big cats and Botswana is a leader in eco-friendly tours.

But you’d be best off selecting Tanzania, according to a recent poll on safaribookings.com.

The Netherlands-based website polled 1,000 safari tourists and 756 experts, including guidebook authors from Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Frommer’s, Bradt and Footprint, over two years.

The result: Tanzania is a clear favorite for novice and veteran safari-goers alike.

“Tanzania is home to Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater,” wrote Tim Bewer, a Lonely Planet guides author and one of the experts polled. “This alone makes a solid case for declaring it Africa’s best safari country.”

Adventure calls

Tanzania has seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including safari favorites the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Serengeti National Park, home to millions of wildebeest that form one of the world’s most spectacular sights as they migrate the area year-round.

The country is also home to Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa.

Tanzania’s only drawback, according to Safari Bookings, is that there are “too many highlights to fit in one safari.”

The news comes as welcome affirmation of the country as a tourist destination, after a recent bombing at a rally that killed two in Arusha. That event sparked anxiety among visitors.

Ratings out of 5 of Africa’s top safari countries

As voted by tourists and safari experts

Tanzania – 4.84
Botswana – 4.75
Kenya – 4.66
Zambia – 4.58
South Africa – 4.55
Namibia – 4.54
Uganda – 4.16
Zimbabwe – 4.14

Clearly, we love Tanzania! We also love nothing more than sharing our passion with budding Tanzania travellers, so if you are considering visiting the best safari country in Africa then contact us or give us a call on +44 (0) 20 8704 1216 in the UK, or via our toll free US number +1 866 356 4691. We can give you the low down on where to stay, general prices and what kind of experiences are possible around the country and which ones you will love.

June 21, 2013

TZ voted Africa’s best safari country

Filed under: Tanzania Odyssey News — Tags: , , , — Tanzania Odyssey @ 1:45 pm

In Summary

Experts and visitors voted Tanzania for it is a host to the best chimp tracking in Africa, and visitors can climb the highest mountain on the continent.

Dar es Salaam. It is now beyond dispute: Tanzania has the best natural tourist attractions in Africa, luring hordes of travellers from all over the world, an international survey has shown.

According to an analysis released yesterday by an online marketplace for African tours, SafariBookings.com, Tanzania has been voted overwhelmingly as the best safari destination in Africa, viewed as the ideal getaway for tourists.

SafariBookings.com conducted an extensive analysis of 3,061 reviews of over 1,000 tourists and travel experts who participated in a survey and concluded that both parties concurred Tanzania is tops in the continent. The country has an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars, the highest score of all eight major safari countries. Botswana and Kenya scored 4.7 each, followed by South Africa and Zambia which scored 4.6 each against Namibia’s 4.5 stars. Uganda took 4.2 against Zimbabwe’s 4.1 stars.

Why do experts and travellers prefer Tanzania?

Reputable guidebook authors from such renowned publications as ‘Frommer’s’ and ‘Lonely Planet’ teamed up to create a database of expert reviews which determined the many reasons Tanzania is the best safari country.

“The reasons are simple: Two of Unesco’s World Heritage Sites, Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater, are located in Tanzania’s northern safari circuit. The Serengeti is home to the “great migration”, an event in which over 2.5 million zebra and wildebeest migrate annually,” says The Netherlands-based Wouter Vergeer, owner of the website. He adds:

“Experts and visitors voted Tanzania for it is a host to the best chimp tracking in Africa, and visitors can climb the highest mountain on the continent. Visitors can enjoy authentic African wilderness without paved roads and fencing. There are safari options for any budget and holidays can be spent enjoying beach extensions on Zanzibar Island. Travel is simple, with direct access flights to the two major safari circuits. Tanzania is also a politically stable and safe country.”

He notes that when breaking down the reviews, monthly ratings remained consistently high emphasising the notion that tourists can safely visit Tanzania any time of the year. The team at SafariBookings, he says, found it surprising that even the wet season received very positive ratings from experts and tourists.

Furthermore, says Mr Vergeer, the afternoon rains don’t typically hamper a Tanzanian safari, yet wildlife viewing in Tarangire, the southern and western circuit parks is considerably less rewarding during these times and could, therefore, lower ratings.

The reviewers responsible for collecting and analysing data came from 53 nationalities; 42 per cent were first time safari-goers, 37 per cent had been on over 5 safaris and 21per cent had taken 2 to 5.

Ms Mary Fitzpatrick, a US-based author of six Lonely Planet guides to Africa, including Tanzania, writes: “With its abundant wildlife, excellent species diversity and evocative acacia- and baobab-studded landscapes, Tanzania is one of Africa’s most rewarding safari destinations.”

However, her main concern was about the cost of daily park entry fees, high accommodation prices and fuel costs.

Mr Philip Briggs from South Africa, an acclaimed travel writer and author of many guidebooks, including the ‘Bradt Guides to Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa’ rated Tanzania the highest possible score – five stars.

“There is arguably no better safari destination than Tanzania. And, to be honest, I’m not even sure I should be using the word ‘arguably’ here! Tanzania’s superb network of wildlife reserves is the most extensive in Africa, collectively covering a quarter of the country’s surface area, and harbouring around 20 per cent of the continent’s large mammal biomass,” he writes.

“It includes … a well fed entourage of lion, cheetah, leopard, hyena plus various smaller predators and lynchpin of a northern safari circuit that also incorporates the superlative Ngorongoro Crater (the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera) and pretty Lake Manyara National Park, with its giant tuskers and tree-climbing lions,” adds Mr Briggs.

Tanzania best safari country of Africa

Odyssey Travels Tanzania Odyssey Asia Odyssey South America Odyssey