Arusha, Tanzania
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19 Mar 2020

Green Dreams in Tanzania

Africa has its own seasons. From November to April, while American and European families are donning winter coats and pushing through winter’s wrath, the great plains of the Serengeti are springing to life with fresh green growth on hardy acacias and lofty crotons and flaming red blooms on ubiquitous tulip trees.

This is called “the Green Season,” and it contrasts from Africa’s peak safari season, from July to September, in some dramatic ways – making it Africa’s “Secret Season” for the wealth of rare natural treasure to be discovered. Tanzania is a land of Edens within this drama, bringing the wildlife spectacles to be found at Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park in the north as well as the Ruaha and Selous Game Reserves in the south. Lake Manyara, with scenery Ernest Hemingway called “the loveliest I had seen in Africa” remains as it was – a frame of exploding pinks against blinding blotches black stripes as flamingoes nest, herons light and zebra, wildebeest and giraffes cool off in the equatorial sun. Mt. Kilimanjaro looms in the distance on a clear day as the highest (19,341-foot) mountain on the continent and the tallest free-standing mountain in the world.

All of this is within reach of Arusha, fast becoming one of the top MICE locations in Africa. The Arusha International Conference Centre is a spectacular custom-built facility with the capacity to host up to 10,000 delegates.

“We are steadily preparing the country for the big time when it comes to business tourism,” says Arusha ICC CEO Elishilia D. Kaaya in an interview with AfricaLive.net. “Arusha is home to some of the most acclaimed natural sites in the world and our center is closely associated with these amazing sites because of our proximity to them. We want people to think about these wonders of the world whenever the Arusha International Conference Centre is mentioned.”

The development of the industry in Tanzania will see continued investment in infrastructure and facilities with new conference centers developing close to the country’s main tourist and business hubs such as Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam.

For those who want to mix meetings with a magical immersion in Tanzania’s natural beauty, there is no shortage of luxury safaris that can fill the bill. Top names familiar to US travelers include Micato Safaris, African Travel, Collette, Globus, Gate One, Goway, SITA, Intrepid, Tauck, Travcoa and many more. They manage group travel, private travel, super-luxury travel, even jet safaris. Choices come into play for the level of luxury and lodging rather than animal sightings. In Tanzania, the Big Five conquests come with the territory.

It’s worth noting that the Trump administration made headlines recently with proposed new travel bans for six countries, including Tanzania. However as of this writing, the bans have not yet been officially put in effect, and only apply to certain visas for travel inbound to the US. And as always, before traveling it’s best to check with the State Department for any details about travel documentation.

Select Experiences. 

Access to Tanzania has been boosted in recent years by the return of national carrier Air Tanzania in 2016, which was able to establish direct flights from Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. Travelers can now fly easily into airfields near Kilimanjaro and the other three national park zones as well as Zanzibar – the Spice Islands, all well worth the exploration.

If Tanzania were to delve into the top five reasons to visit, it might look something like this:

  • Wildlife Safaris: The great migrations, Ngorongoro Crater National Park that is home to the largest volcanic crater on earth with the largest concentration of varied wildlife to be found on the planet – and all this comes with the comforts and luxuries of five-star travel.
  • Beaches: The soft sand littorals along the rims of Zanzibar and Pemba are laced with luxury lairs that open to the warm Indian Ocean, just a stone’s throw from the medieval alleys of Stonetown where century-old giant roaming tortoises blend with aromatic cafes and notion shops.
  • Mountain Climbing: While conquering the highest mountain in Africa is always on the list, smaller mountains such as Mountain Meru and Lake Natron’s The Mountain of God also beckon.
  • Balloon Safaris: Gliding over the Serengeti at sunrise? Bucket list.
  • Exotic Foods: Dishes in Tanzania take on a piquant blend of Middle Eastern, Indian and Sub-Sahara. A little ugali, some curried fish, some local nuts and fruits and a lot of spices. Get used to the scent of cloves in Zanzibar.

 Top Resorts in Tanzania. 

Tanzania has been in the resort business for some 80 years as royals and celebrities found Africa’s wilds to be a regular interest, if not an addiction. These range from comfortable permanent tented camps with decked out quarters that include attached bathrooms, hot baths, libraries, even Internet, all on a remote scape where lions roar and elephants make occasional entrances.

19 Mar 2020

The last great ‘Tusker’ elephants in Africa Died – RIP ‘Tim’

Tusker Tim! As I mourn the death of Tim, the magnificent Kenyan tusker, the constant weight of sadness I feel knowing I will never again be able to spend time with him, is incomparable to those who have watched over Tim for so many years. He was such a special elephant. Saving the Wild’s partners Big Life Foundation went to great lengths to protect him, and that he died a natural death, and not at the hands of poachers, is a victory in itself. We must never forget that.

Elephants are extraordinary animals, intelligence beyond our basic human understanding, and deep emotional bonds between family members. We have so much to learn from these gentle giants who have roamed the earth for millions of years. As we mourn the death of Tim, as a community, we also give thanks to those who went to great lengths to protect and honor Tim while he was still alive.

Saving the Wild is committed to the protection of Tim’s offspring and the tusker gene pool, in support of the Big Life Foundation. Over the years and decades to come, we look forward to sharing many wonderful stories from the field as we watch the calves he fathered rise to be Kings.

“The only marks on his body were the imprints left by other elephants. Perhaps it was his companions, trying to lift him back on his feet. Push the life back into him. Tim is dead, and at Big Life Foundation we’re all in a state of shock. One elephant’s life shouldn’t matter more than another. But at this moment, this one does. As one of the biggest elephants in Africa, he was a magnificent relic of a bygone era when his kind was more common.”

“Tim lived a life that saw him become an icon for his species. Photographs, videos, and stories focusing on this grand old boy have been taken and told for years and with that, he has helped influence the world understands and attitude towards elephants. He was a daily reminder that we share this earth with giants who are more impressive and far more beneficial to the health of the planet than we can ever hope to be.”

– Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

“We will miss Tim, but we also hope that his legend lives on and he continues to inspire people to protect elephants. He has fathered many calves too, and we are happy he got to live a long life in the wild.”- Amboseli Trust for Elephants

19 Mar 2020

Tourism Board Chairman to speak at Domestic Tourism Exhibition in Tanzania

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Tourism Board Chairman to speak at Domestic Tourism Exhibition in Tanzania

 

The African Tourism Board (ATB) Chairman Mr. Cuthbert Ncube is all set to speak at the premier domestic tourism exhibition, taking place from Thursday to Saturday this week, in Tanzania’s commercial capital city of Dar es Salaam.

Mr. Ncube who arrived in Tanzania Wednesday evening will participate in the official opening of the UWANDAE Expo 2020 on Thursday, before taking the podium on Friday to discuss key and pertinent issues in tourism in Africa at a special conference that will draw key industry personalities to address participants and other visitors. The event organizers, the Association of Women in Tourism Tanzania (AWOTTA), had confirmed the presence of Mr. Ncube at the conference to be taking place on February 7th, during the second day of the UWANDAE Expo 2020 exhibition.

Mr. Ncube will present a paper titled “Engaging and Aligning key role players in the tourism value chain to develop targets and result-driven partnerships:   Leveraging in the hospitality and light industry sector”. He will speak at a special conference that was organized for all participants to attend free of charge, to discuss and deliberate on “Business, Investment, and Jobs in Domestic Tourism”, which is the theme of the conference.

The participation of the ATB Chairman would add vigor to tourism development in Tanzania and Africa, with positive input from key personalities in the continent’s fast-growing tourism sector. The ATB Chairman is among key personalities with rich experience in tourism in Africa, and the continent’s position in the global tourism map.

The UWANDAE Expo 2020 exhibition will be attended by key government policymakers in the tourist sector, public tourist and wildlife conservation institutions, private investors, travel trade and airline companies, organizations and business partners across many sectors, students and the public from Tanzania and other countries. The theme of this year exhibition is “Recognize the Value of Domestic Tourism”.

To be staged from 6th to 8th, February, UWANDAE Expo 2020 is the second edition of the event. The first such event took place last year and highlighted the potential of domestic tourism fueled by the growth in Tanzanian’s traveling for health, sporting events, study, conferences, national celebrations, weddings, and pilgrimages. The organizers have aimed to attract 100 participants and 3000 visitors, and anticipate extensive nationwide media coverage before, during and after the event.

AWOTTA is a newly formed association to attract and encourage women to take a leading role in tourism in Tanzania and Africa. The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) said in its reports that the majority of the tourism workforce worldwide is female: 54% of people employed in tourism are women compared to 39 percent in the general economy.

Tourism is leading the charge for female empowerment all over the world. Across the private and public sectors women are harnessing the potential of tourism to become financially independent, challenge stereotypes and start their own businesses.

18 Mar 2020

THE CORONA VIRUSES (COVID-19) CASES IN TANZANIA

Tanzania on Monday confirmed its first case of Covid-19 in the country. Health ministry said the 46-year-old woman returned from Belgium on Sunday aboard a Rwandan Air plane. The woman was screened on arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) in Arusha but she did not have any symptoms of the virus. Later, she fell ill while in her hotel room in Arusha and went to hospital, Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu said. Samples were taken to Dar es Salaam for testing and results confirmed the woman was infected with the corona virus.  Ms Mwalimu added that the woman is in isolation and her condition is improving.

Also Tanzania has reported two new Corona Virus cases raising the total to three affected people, Hon. Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa has confirmed.  Majaliwa on Wednesday told journalists that the two patients are foreign nationals from the US and Germany. One case was confirmed in Dar es Salaam and one in Zanzibar, according to Majaliwa.

All activities that involve the mob of people have also postponed until further notes.  Schools and Colleges are also closed since yesterday 17th Mach 2020 to 20th April 2020.

WHO and the Tanzania ministers, urged Tanzanians to take precautions to prevent infection, and to report at any medical centre if they develop any symptoms of the disease by tolling free the following number; 0800110124 and 0800110125. We SHENGENA ADVENTURE CO. LTD also insist Tanzania to take serious precautions by observing all health advice.

BE BEST AND STOP FURTHER SPREAD OF COVID-19. START BY YOURSELF AND SAVE OTHERS

16 Jan 2020

NAMIBIA, TANZANIA INK AGREEMENTS TARGETING TOURISM, ART, CULTURE AND YOUTH DEVELOPMENT

Namibia and Tanzania agreed to revive the Tanzania-Namibia Joint Commission for Cooperation to boost trade and investments in the two countries, according to a report from NCA in Tanzania.

The revival of the joint commission for cooperation which had been dormant for the past 20 years was made at the end of the 2nd session of the Tanzania-Namibia Joint Commission for Cooperation in Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam.

The two countries signed three Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) on tourism, art, and culture and youth development. Palamagamba Kabudi, Tanzanian Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, said the revival of the commission for the joint cooperation marked a new chapter toward improving trade and investments between the two countries.

Kabudi said the activation of the commission will invigorate bilateral relations and friendship between the two countries.“We should now do more to attract trade and investments between our countries,” said Kabudi, adding that there was huge potential in investments in pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, tourism, and mining.

Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for International Relations and Cooperation, said the revival of the commission will enable the two countries to work closely in addressing challenges hindering socio-economic development. “With the revival of the commission, Namibia and Tanzania will continue to grow from strength to strength,” she said.

 

13 Dec 2019

How People cerebrate Christmas in Tanzania?

In Tanzania, Christmas is cerebrated on 25th December each year. Often Christian starts cerebrating the Christmas on 24 December by attending a superb Overnight at churches as they believe that JESUS CHRIST was born around the midnight. Although several Tribes in Tanzania have their own way of cerebrating it but based on religion they have common way of cerebrating Christmas to all people from all tribes.

Always on Christmas different Families and friends or neighbors may invite each other to cerebrate at the chosen area or location where people may make a remarkable photos and have meals together especially Dinner also several Christmas Gifts are provided to each other as  congratulations for reborn with JESUS CHRIST.

The common Meal(s) enjoyed on Christmas are RICE VS MEAT or FISH and sometimes UGALI which is made of a mixture of maize meal and if they can afford it, CHICKEN OR FISH are served as well.

The people of Tanzania are so kind and welcoming when it comes to hospitality during and after Christmas (all the time). Therefore if you are interested to come cerebrate Christmas in Tanzania please we SHENGENA ADVENTURE CO. LTD are welcoming you so much. We always leave a remarkable memory of our services for our beloved guests. YOU COME AS A GUEST; YOU LEAVE AS A BEST FRIEND.

05 Dec 2019

Horrific video shows elephant being hacked to death by mob in Kenya.

Horrific video shows elephant being hacked to death by mob in Kenya

November 20, 2019 | 4:04pm

A still from the disturbing video of a wounded elephant being hacked to death

Residents of a small Kenyan village hacked an elephant to death with axes and machetes in a gruesome scene caught on video.

The devastating clip — that went viral on Twitter this week — shows a group of men taking turns slashing the blood-soaked elephant on its back and hind legs as it lies helplessly on the ground.

Shortly after, the elephant attempts to stand up while exposing a huge bloody gash on its back right foot before falling back to the ground. The cameraman then attempts to get closer to the elephant, but the tortured animal bats him away with its trunk.

A second video clip shows the elephant on its left side as the villagers hack at its face and trunk.

Though it’s unclear who recorded the footage, the Kenya Wildlife Service confirmed in a letter Tuesday that the brutal killing happened in the Ncoorolboro-Imenti forest in Meru on June 21 of last year.

Villagers weren’t after the elephant’s valuable ivory tusks, but were instead trying to “chase away” the elephant after it broke through an electric fence and “raided” their farm, the letter states.

One managed to escape their wrath and run to freedom. But the second elephant wasn’t so lucky and broke its legs after falling in a ditch created by a fallen tree.

Animal rescuers from KWS rushed to the scene after catching wind of the incident, but the 44-mile trek to the location allowed the killers to escape. All they found was the elephant’s carcass.

Authorities said they will now pursue charges against the elephant killers with the video as evidence.

But some have taken to Twitter to criticize the rescue group for not acting sooner.

“We will not rest until the people who killed the elephant are brought to book,” Says Benson Kibore “It is unacceptable!”

05 Dec 2019

Man Drowns to death Proposing To Girlfriend Underwater

A tourist named Steven Weber drowned to death over the weekend on 21st Sept 2019, when attempting to make a dramatic proposal to his lover, who was put up in the underwater hotel at Pemba Island.

The incident occurred in Konde area and the grieved bride, Kenesha Antoine stated that her partner died while trying to pull off an underwater proposal, a video going viral online shows Steven Weber swimming up to the window of an underwater resort, with a written proposal.

He dived onto the window of a partially submerged structure anchored to the seafloor that gives guests a look into the ocean. The late Weber is seen holding up a note to Kenesha Antoine, who was standing inside the room. It was a piece of paper asking her to marry him.

The note read: “I can’t hold my breath long enough to tell you everything I love about you. But everything I love about you I love more every day! Will you please be my wife? Marry me???”

Weber, wearing a snorkel and flippers, apparently only gave Antoine time to read the two-sided note before reaching into his pocket to pull out a proposal ring. He then swims out of the video frame as seawater sucked him down.

Antoine replied with a “Yes,” but it was too late. Her lover was already dead in the Indian Ocean waters.

“You never emerged from those depths, so you never got to hear my answer, “Yes! Yes! A million times, yes, I will marry you!!” Antoine wrote on her Face book page, aggrieving about what she described to be “the cruelest twist of fate imaginable.” She did not say how Weber died.

The Department of State of Louisiana admitted to the media that a US tourist died in Tanzania, but no other details were reported. Efforts to contact authorities in Pemba weren’t successful either.

04 Dec 2019

Mount Kilimanjaro climbing routes – which is the best route?

                                                                                                                                     

The six Mount Kilimanjaro climbing routes vary not only in length, cost and scenery; they also have different difficulty levels and different success rates. Selecting a Kilimanjaro climb route is one of the most important decisions you have to make. There is no single best Mt. Kilimanjaro climb route.

For more details and discovering other safaris in Tanzania, please visit this link http://www.shengenaadventure.com

Which route up Kilimanjaro is the best for you depends on several factors:

  • The time Available
  • The money Available (The Budget)
  • Previous experience
  • The fitness
  • The time of the year (Season)
  • Personal preferences

Let’s look at the individual Kilimanjaro climbing routes and who they are suitable for:

  • The Marangu Route: the only Kilimanjaro climb route that offers hut accommodation.
  • The Machame Route: the most popular climbing route up Kilimanjaro.
  • The Rongai Route: the easiest route on Kilimanjaro.
  • The Shira Route: this one catapults you to some serious altitude on the first day.
  • The Lemosho Route: hands down the most beautiful Kilimanjaro climb route, but expensive.
  • The Umbwe Route: the most difficult and demanding route on Kilimanjaro, and the most spectacular.

01: The Marangu Route

The Marangu Route is jokingly referred to as the “Tourist Route” or “Coca-Cola Route.”

It’s called “Tourist Route” for two reasons. One reason is simply its popularity: it makes this climb route somewhat touristy.

The Marangu route is also the only climbing route that uses the same path up and down, which contributes to it being the most crowded climb route on Kilimanjaro.

The Marangu route is a comfortable walking path with a very steady, gradual slope (at least until you reach the last camp). This gave the Marangu route a reputation as an “easy” climb route.

And that’s the other reason for the name “Tourist Route“: because it is supposed to be “easy”, the Marangu route is used by many shockingly unprepared “tourists”, rather than trekkers.

The name “Coca Cola Route” stems from the sleeping huts along the route. They sell the stuff (as well as bottled water and candy bars). The Marangu route is the only Kilimanjaro climbing route that offers hut accommodation. Camping is not allowed. A climb on the Marangu route is comparatively cheap. You need no camping equipment (no cost for extra porters to carry the equipment) and you can do the climb in five days/four nights. Also, many cut throat budget operators run treks on this route.

But make no mistake: the Marangu route is NOT easy and it is NOT for tourists! It is a serious climb with very low success rates. Only a quarter to a third of the climbers on this route reach the summit of Kilimanjaro.

What are the reason?

  • The “tourists” on this route are shockingly unprepared.
  • A five day climb does not allow for sufficient acclimatization, many climbers have to turn around because of altitude sickness. (You can add an optional acclimatization day.)
  • Budget operators have much lower client success rates. Equipment, food, experience level of guides, all that makes a big difference and all that costs money.
  • The last day before the summit attempt is a long one and covers 1000 m of altitude difference. There is not much time to recover or acclimatize before setting out again at midnight to climb another 1200 m. Not good.

Add to that the lack of scenic variety compared to the other routes, and you wonder why anyone would want to climb Kili on the Marangu route.

Well, even if not as scenic as other routes, it is still a spectacular experience with great views all along. There are two reasons why you may want to climb Kilimanjaro on the Marangu route:

  1. You absolutely cannot climb this route under no circumstances; imagine sleeping in a tent for five nights or more. (But don’t think those huts offer luxury accommodation or that there are any amenities. There aren’t. You get a mattress and pillow – no linen – on a bunk bed, and you get to eat in a crowded dining hall. No less and no more.)
  2. The other reason to select Marangu is if money is your main consideration, before everything else. I you don’t care about scenery, and you aren’t worried by big crowds, and are willing to accept a reduced chance of success, Marangu is the cheapest option you have. (But do yourself a favor and take that optional extra acclimatization day.)

02: The Machame Route

The Machame route is also called the “Whiskey Route“, a reference to the “Coca Cola Route” Marangu (see above). Machame is “tougher” than that.

Machame is indeed a more difficult climb in some respects, but it does have much higher success rates than Marangu, especially if you choose the seven day version. (According to estimates about 60% of the climbers on Machame make it to the summit, and over three quarters reach the crater rim.)

The seven day version gives you a very short day before your summit attempt, which leaves plenty of time to recover, acclimatize and get ready. The six day version has the same problem as the Marangu route in that respect. See above.

The Machame route is not technically difficult. It is more strenuous. The trail is often steeper and it involves many ups and downs, crossing a succession of valleys and ridges. But that’s why it is also one day longer than Marangu.

Still, for people who have never done any longer hikes in their life and are not well prepared it can be demanding and tiring.

There is also the Barranco Wall to cross, a very steep, one and a half hour climb that will require you to occasionally use your hands for balance. (It sounds and looks a lot more difficult than it actually is!)

Well, and you have to camp all the way. If you go with a budget operator that alone can be demanding, especially if the weather turns bad. As for scenery, the Machame route is absolutely spectacular: the Shira Plateau, the Lava Tower, the Barranco Wall…

You start from the west, circle Kibo on the southern side, and then descend on the Mweka route in the south east. The variety is hard to beat. Machame is considered the most scenic Kilimanjaro climbing route.

For that reason the Machame route has become the most popular climb route on Kilimanjaro. The advantage of that is that prices have dropped and you can find many budget operators on it. The disadvantage is that the Machame route is very crowded.

If you are confident in your ability to hike in difficult terrain for days in a row, if you like camping and nature, but money is very tight, and then Machame may be the Kilimanjaro climb route of choice for you. You will have to put up with the crowds.

 03: The Rongai Route

The six day version of the Rongai route (via Mawenzi Tarn) is the route of choice for those looking for an easy climb with excellent success rates, but away from the crowds, with great scenery and a wilderness feel to it. It is slightly more expensive. The Rongai route is the only climb route that approaches Kilimanjaro from the north. The descent is in the south-east via the Marangu route, so you get to see both sides of the mountain. The extra transport cost makes a Rongai route climb more expensive. It is also more expensive because there is less demand and fewer budget operators.

The Rongai route has a reputation of being less scenic, but even if there is not quite as much variety as on Machame, it is still a spectacular route, especially on the later days. The camp beneath Mawenzi Peak is one of the most scenic on the mountain.

Rongai is also one of the routes where seeing wildlife on Kilimanjaro is still possible. The Rongai climb has the same easy, gradual climb profile as the Marangu route. It rises very steadily; there aren’t any steep climbs involved, no major ups and downs.

However, the camps are staggered a lot better than on Marangu. On your last day before the summit attempt you only ascend a few hundred meters, and you have all afternoon to rest and acclimatize. With a good operator you have an 80 – 90% chance to make it to the crater rim, and 70 – 80% will make it to Uhuru Peak. (If you have some trekking experience your chances to make it to the summit could be as good as 90%. (The remaining 10% come down to weather, individual preparation, individual altitude tolerance and unforeseen mishaps.) The Rongai route has another important advantage: the northern side of Kilimanjaro is a lot drier than the other side. Your chances NOT to get soaked on the first days are excellent. Especially if you climb Kilimanjaro during one of the wetter periods of the year, using Rongai makes a lot of sense.

04: The Shira Route

The Shira route approaches Kilimanjaro from the west and then joins the Machame route. Hence everything that has been said about the Machame climb route also applies to the Shira route. There are several variations to the Shira route. It can be done in six days but most operators also offer a longer version of it. (A really good operator will also time their departure and stagger their camps in a way that avoids the heaviest traffic on the Machame trail.)

That and the added transport cost can make Shira a more expensive option. The first day on the Shira route is different to other climb routes: It follows a four wheel drive route. So you either walk on the road for most of the day (not very attractive) or you opt to drive as far as possible. The latter not only means you skip the first stage of the climb, the rainforest zone. It also means that you catapult your body to a height of over 3500 m/11500 ft without time for proper acclimatization. If you live near sea level and you only flew into Tanzania the day before, this may hurt.

Overall, Shira has excellent success rates if the schedule involves a night at Karanga Valley (making for a short and easy day before the summit day). However, the good success rate is partly due to the operators on this route being higher level than on the more crowded routes. Like the Machame route, the Shira route is for people who are confident in their ability to hike in difficult terrain and camp out for extended periods. It has less traffic but it is a more expensive option. You should also be confident about the way you will react to the altitude on the first day.

05: The Lemosho Route

Like the Shira route, the Lemosho route approaches Kilimanjaro from the west and then joins the Machame route. Hence everything that has been said about the Machame climb route also applies to the Lemosho route. The first two days on the Lemosho route take you through beautiful and very remote rainforest, with good chances of seeing wildlife. The start of the trail is also known as the Lemosho Glades.

Lemosho is usually a longer trek, seven or eight days, and there are many variations of it. Which one you take depends on the operator. (A really good operator will also time their departure and stagger their camps in a way that avoids the heaviest traffic on the Machame trail.). The length, the remoteness and the added transport cost make Lemosho a rather expensive option.

 However, the longer itinerary and the fact that there are no budget operators (you can’t do this route on a budget) lead to excellent success rates on this route and it has become quite a popular one. It is a route for people who are confident in their ability to hike in difficult terrain and camp out for extended periods, who want a superb wilderness experience and for whom cost is not the main consideration.

 

06: The Umbwe Route

The Umbwe route is not a technical route, but it is a very direct, very steep, very tough, and in parts very exposed route. The Umbwe route joins the Machame route near the Barranco Camp on the second night. On the other routes Barranco Camp is reached on the third or fourth night. Goes to show how much steeper Umbwe is…

Parts of the trail on the first day are so steep; they can only be negotiated because the tree roots provide something like steps. The tree roots also serve as handle bars to haul you up where needed. The second day is also steep and uphill all the way. The exposed ridge is not for people uncomfortable at heights… And have a guess why the “Rope Rock” (Jiwe Kamba) is called “Rope Rock”. This is the most difficult and demanding of all Kilimanjaro climb routes. Don’t even think about it unless you have experience climbing mountains. Having said that, it is a spectacular route!

27 Sep 2019

10 African Safaris Travel Tips to must-consider.

10 African Safari Travel Tips to Keep in Mind

As the saying goes, “It’s better to be safe, than sorry.” for an awesome safaris with us there is no regret when you travel with Shengena Adventure. We have come up with Safari Tips that will help you plan a safari without any mishaps.

  1. Travel insurance

As soon as you confirm your travel plans, take out travel insurance. Select a policy that covers cancellation, medical illness, and emergency evacuation and associated hospital treatments. Be sure to take your travel insurance emergency phone numbers and your policy number/details with you.

2.  Personal safety

Your personal safety and security is mostly a matter of common sense. So take the same precautions while travelling in Africa on safari that you would in any major city at home:

  • Do not carry large sums of cash (see below for more information on Cash, Credit Cards & ATM’s).
  • Carry your cash (plus passport and other travel documents) in a money pouch hidden under your shirt.  Keep it out of sight or stowed in your camera bag or knapsack (which should remain in sight at all times).
  • Keep a close watch on your personal bags when walking in crowded areas (airports, markets, restaurants and on the street).
  • Do not walk alone at night.
  • Leave your passport, airline tickets and cash in a safe place (the hotel/lodge safe) when venturing out.
  • Keep tempting valuables (including phones, cameras, wallet pouches, handbags) out of sight. Lock them up in the room safe or hand them in to management.
  • If possible, leave your jewelry at home.

3.  Cash, Credit Cards & ATM’s

Carry a combination of cash (preferably US$ for most countries…and Rand for South Africa) and at least one credit card.

Traveler’s cheques (checks) are not widely accepted in African countries (i.e. Tanzania) anymore. The United States Dollar remains the most widely accepted, followed by the Euro and Sterling.

A very important Travel Tip relates to money.  Take at least US$150 to $250 per person/per week in cash from home. Visas secured on arrival must be paid in cash and in the exact amount.

Some countries do not accept US$ bills dated before the year 2000, due to suspicions of counterfeiting.

Be wary of street side money-changers!  If you do use one, be sure to count each note separately to satisfy yourself that the whole amount is there before handing across any of your own cash. Once counted, be sure not to let the pile out of your sight. It is an old trick to switch bundles and for you to later discover that the new bundle is mostly newspaper. If the money traders are legitimate, they will not be offended!

Credit & Debit cards

Most establishments accept international credit cards. Use them as a method of payment wherever possible. It makes sense to carry more than one brand of credit card as not all types are accepted by all outlets/hotels. On the downside, credit card companies do not offer the best exchange rates going around and will often add a foreign transaction fee for good measure!

Credit cards in Africa carry attract a surcharge – up to 5% in some cases, and possibly more!  Be sure to ask about any surcharges before you hand over your credit card.

Important Travel Tip: 

Most banks and credit card companies advocate that you advise them before you travel overseas. This is so that their credit card monitoring systems do not suspend your card when they detect any unusual purchases. Such purchases will trigger the suspension of your card and leave you with the embarrassing consequences.

Also, be cautious of providing your credit card details when travelling. And do not let your card out of your sight when paying your bill.

ATM machines

In Africa, ATM machines supply only local currency and you may need an international PIN code. Be sure to check with your bank/credit card facility at home about how this should work. Not all ATMs in Africa will accept every credit card type. VISA has the best coverage in Africa. Use an ATM at a bank, so if your card is retained for any reason, you can go in and get it back. Don’t rely on ATMs as your main source of cash while on safari!

 

  4.  Electric current

Electricity in Africa is all 220 -240V/50Hz AC, as is much of Europe, the UK, Australia and New Zealand and virtually all the Asian countries and India. Those of you from North America must bring an adapter for the proper plug configuration and a converter.

Plugs/Types:

C (European)  :  Two-prong round (unearthed)
D (Old British plug)  :  Three-prong round (small)
F (Schuko plug)  :  Two-prong round (with 2 x earth contacts)
G (UK plug)  :  Three-prong rectangular
M (South African plug)  :  Three-prong round (large)

Type M (standard in South Africa , Type D (standard in Namibia plug sockets and Type G (the UK standard) plug sockets are the dominant plug types in Africa. However, some countries do offer the Type C & F plug sockets (see Table below). A number of hotels have international wall sockets which will take an array of both two-prong and three-prong plugs. North America and Japan use Type A & B plugs, and Australia a Type I plug . All will require an adapter plug!

Country  :  Plug type

Botswana  :  D & G
Rwanda  :  C
Kenya  :  G
South Africa  :  D & M
Malawi  :  G
Swaziland  :  M
Mozambique  :  C, F, & M
Tanzania  :  D & G
Namibia  :  D & M
Zambia  :  C, D, & G
Uganda  :  G
Zimbabwe  :  D & G

Not all safari camps and lodges have electrical outlets in the tents/rooms but they always have a place where you can recharge your camera/video and phone/iPod batteries.

Some camps run their generator at certain times of the day – so be sure to check with the manager when you arrive.

A number of mobile safari operators have inverts in their vehicles, so you can charge your camera/video batteries on the move.

5.    Mobile (cell) phone & internet access

Generally speaking, communications in Africa are not what you are accustomed to at home but mobile (cell) phone coverage (and even Wi-Fi) is certainly  more widespread throughout Africa – although not in some of the more remote safari destinations (thankfully).

A Travel Tip before you leave home: check with your service provider that your phone is registered for international roaming (and check that the phone you have is compatible with the networks in Africa. Most operate on GSM digital networks, running at a frequency of 900 MHz (and some 3G networks too). If your phone is a dual or tri-band GSM phone it will work just fine.

More and more we are seeing Wi-Fi being offered at safari camps/lodges – some as an extension of that countries communications grid, and some connected via satellite. Check with your Africa Travel Specialist before you leave home about which camps/lodges have WiFi. Better to use WiFi than your mobile phone. Avoid exorbitant international roaming charges!

Please note: Not all conventional communication options (phone, fax, internet and email) are available at the more remote safari camps (and mobile camps particularly). Communications are sometimes only available via HF radio.

6.    Water

Drink bottled water. You are always safe drinking the bottled water that is readily available at all the camps and lodges. Carry a bottle of water with you at all times – including on transfers between camps. If you are at all apprehensive about the quality of water where you are staying, check with the staff. And if the water is not treated or bottled, then avoid ice in your drinks or cleaning your teeth with the tap water. Take water purification tablets for emergency use if you think bottled water will not be available.

The safari industry is making a concerted effort to reduce the use of plastic water bottles – try to work with them.

A number of safari operators are making sterilized water bottles (mostly stainless steel) available for you to fill with purified water at their camps and lodges. This is an initiative that you should adopt wherever possible as this will have a significant and positive environmental impact. By doing away with the factory-filled (sealed) plastic water bottles you will not only save fuel in transporting these bottles to remote regions (by their thousands) but also solve the problem of the enormous pollution to roadsides and towns that these plastic bottles foster.

Caution: Dehydration is a real danger on safari. Make sure to drink at regular intervals and have water at hand at all times.

7.    Dust

In the winter months (June to October), the game reserves can be extremely dusty. Contact lens wearers should bring eye drops and eyeglasses, to avoid eye irritation. Clean camera and video lenses regularly and store in a camera bag, while on safari.

8.    Tipping

Should we tip, and if so – how much?? This is a common dilemma for most visitors to any foreign country! In Africa, tipping is not expected but is customary. The traditional gratuity to safari guides or camp staff is not included in the price of your tour and is completely discretionary.

Bear in mind that what may seem like an inconsequential amount to you may be significant to local African staff and will certainly be received with a display of gratitude that is genuinely humbling.

Most safari lodges will have a ‘tip box’ at reception for the staff – this covers all the ‘unseen’ services you have enjoyed during your stay, including the housekeeper and kitchen staff.

Guidelines: Tip moderately and in accordance with the level and quality of service provided – and only if you are satisfied with that service. Tips can be paid in US dollars or local currency. Use the following guide:

Driver/guide – US$10 and upwards per day.
Private safari guide – US$25 and upwards per day;
Camp staff – US$10 to $20 per day, as a pooled tip to be shared among the housekeepers, waiters, bartender, etc.

If you spend a great deal of time with a single guide, consider increasing the above amounts in accordance with the enthusiasm and effort displayed (or your overall satisfaction level).

9.    Charity on safari

Many visitors to Africa feel a strong urge to help the less fortunate whom they encounter on safari, or when visiting a local village or school. It is best to seek an appropriate opportunity while you are traveling, rather than carry along gifts from home.  Many safari camps and lodges are actively involved in working with their local communities to sustain schools, clinics and other projects. Ask about this when you are there and visit the school, clinic or project if you can.  A donation to something you have seen on the ground will bring you more satisfaction (and directly help the neediest). Contribute in a way that helps a person (or community) help themselves, and enhance their way of life.

Resist the temptation to offer ‘hand outs’ to kids on the side of the road. This only encourages dependency on such generosity and teaches these children that begging brings reward. There is no dignity in begging and the harassment it fosters will not endear you to the next group of tourists either!

10.    General

Most African countries have stringent exchange control regulations and it is illegal to enter or leave the country with anything other than nominal amounts of local currency. To avoid problems, do not exchange too much money into local currency at any one time. There is normally no restriction on the amount of foreign currency that may be imported.

Are you ready for your safari adventure?

We hope these 10 Travel Tips have been helpful to you. For more information or to book, Contact Us. It is our pleasure to assist you with your safari plans.

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