Monday, September 1, 2008

Tanzania Travel Tips

Tanzania is a land of tropical forest, savannah, grasslands, mountains, shimmering lakes, sandy beaches and coral reefs. It is one of the world’s last great wildlife refuges. Tanzania also has fascinating mix of people and cultures living on the mainland and residing on the islands of Zanzibar including Masai.

Bagamoyo Town

Bagamoyo town was the centre of the 19thcentury slave trade. The name Bagamoyo is derived from the Swahili bwaga moyo, which means "where the heart lays down its burden".

Many of the European explorers passed through here, including Burton, Speke, Grant, Stanley and Livingstone.There are unlimited tourist attractions within easy reach of Dar es

Salaam, the arrival City. These include the Islands of Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia located in the range of 50 – 100 km away; national parks,which include Mikumi, Selous, Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Lake Manyara and Tarangire. The permanently snow capped Mt. Kilimanjaro (the highest in Africa) is also within reach from Arusha and Moshi Towns.

Getting in and around Dar es Salaam /Tanzania

By Air - Dar es Salaam is approachable through International Airlines flying into Mwalimu Julius Nyerere International Air Port which is thirty minutes drive from the City Centre. These include British Airways, KLM, Swiss Air, Air Tanzania, Precision Air, Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Air Malawi, Gulf Air, Emirates,Yemen Air and South African Airlines among others. Connections can also be made through Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) which is forty five minutes fly to the Dar es Salaam City and thirty minutes drive from the Arusha City.

By Bus - Dar es Salaam, is about 900 kilometres (twelve hours drive) from Nairobi, Kenya. Intercity buses abound, and you can reach almost any town, big or small, by bus.

Car Hire – There are many car hire companies in Dar es Salaam, Arusha

and other major towns. They can be hired with or without drivers. An International Driver’s License is required, and the driving is on the left hand side of the road.


Swahili and English is spoken in major towns and tourist areas, a visitor should be able to get along quite well with English only.

Widlife and excursions

Sightseeing - Tanzania is indeed unsurpassed Africa in the bounty of its wildlife and the beauty of the land: Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain; all of Africa’s Great Lakes; the best game parks in the world; hiking and nature trails such as the Usambara Mountains; the fabulous island of Zanzibar.

Shopping - Locally made products are available at good prices: batiks, Tingatinga paintings, carvings (especially the Makonde artwork), basket ware, jewellers of all kinds, textiles, and more.


The Tanzanian climate is tropical with temperatures averaging 26.6°C. The central plateau is dry and arid with hot days and cool nights, while the northwest highlands are cool and temperate. June to September is the cooler season. The “long rains’ are from-March to

May and the “short rains” are between October and December. The hottest months are between October and February with temperatures averaging 32°C. .


In Dar es Salaam the coast, summer wear would suffice. For safaris in the north, during the day, light clothing. Sturdy shoes are recommended. Canvas hats. For Kilimanjaro or other treks, check with a mountain specialist before departure. To bring: sunscreen, lotions, sunglasses, mosquito cream and binoculars.

On safari, avoid brightly colored clothes, they may alarm the animals, browns, beiges and khaki are preferred. Short-sleeve shirts/blouses and shorts are ideal, but pack a sweater, it can be chilly in the early morning and in the evening.


The basic unit is the Tanzanian shilling. It advisable to carry American dollars. Bureau dechange also accept the major convertible currencies. Travelers’ cheques are exchangeable in some places. Major credit cards are accepted in the larger hotels.

Electricity 230 volts AC, 50 Hz


Travelers may enter Zanzibar directly by air or by sea (e.g., cruise ships). There are frequent air and ferry services from Dar es Salaam, and some services from Tang

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

2008 Maasai Mara Wildebeest Safari

With calm and peace having returned to this beautiful country it is time again for the avid traveler to venture into the land where safari was born. Gifted with numerous game in its national parks and reserves nature lovers shall once again be treated to the spectacle of wide expanses of wildebeest and numerous zebras, impala and gazelles as they join the great trek from the plains of the Serengeti to Maasai Mara the harbingers are already here. We eagerly await the river crossings that make the maasai mara migration safari a lifetime must see as nature takes its toll, hundreds shall be swept by the swollen rivers, the crocodiles await their feast, its been a dry season. In all we will keep you updated as the the events unfold in the African savannah. With calm and peace reigning in Kenya we welcome you back for the 2008 kenya safari holidays peak season with massive discounts and a chance to roam the wild African bush unhindered. Watch this space!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Self Drive Tours and Car Hire in Nairobi & Mombasa

Kenya Self drive tours are a popular option in many vacation destinations here. This type of holiday can be a great value for money when perfectly designed. The beauty of self-drive tours lies in the flexibility. You are able to choose your date of departure and the routing can be tailor-made to suit your needs. You get the freedom to explore your chosen destination at your own pace. It is almost a do-it-yourself type of vacation, save for the fact that you might still need someone reliable to assist, especially if you are first-time traveler to your destination.

Without any doubt, within the Eastern and Southern Africa, the operation of self-drive tours is most advanced in the Republic of South Africa. The country boasts a good network of well-maintained roads and an excellent spread of inns and lodges. Kenya, like other sub saharan countries, enjoys some degree of confidence when it comes to operating self-drive tours, but we have to play catch up game with South Africa.

At the risk of sounding unfair, I dare say that, although it is rated as one of the top safari destinations, Kenya still faces minor challenges with the self-drive alternative. For some reason, this type of tour has not been able to take off in Kenya. In fact, some travel agents and tour operators will advise you the first time visitor - against self-drive tours in the whole of East Africa! But apart for the fact that tour operators have not promoted it as a viable option to the traditional escorted tour, there seems to be a good reason for this cautionary approach.

Top on the list of reasons is the condition of the roads, followed by safety and security concerns. The road network connecting the various attractions is very good. But the condition of most of these road is bad, to say the least. Even the roads connecting some of the major towns are in a bad shape. The traffic on the major roads and highways can be heavy and haphazard. The drivers of public service vehicles, who also share these roads, pose great danger by driving recklessly, without regard to traffic rules.

Does this mean self-drive tour is a no-go zone in Kenya?

No. You will still enjoy a self-drive safari in Kenya, as long as you get to know in advance what to expect, design a good itinerary and prepare well for the tour. For vehicle hire in Nairobi and Mombasa see In principle, any itinerary that can be done as an escorted tour can be done on a self-drive basis. For those seeking to drive themselves into the national parks and game reserves, get ready for long driving hours on unpaved, rough roads or muddy, if it is wet. This can be fun as long as you do not get stuck in the middle of the park. The good news is that with the mobile telephone network covering most of Kenya, help will be just a phone call way.

Generally, the wettest months in Kenya will be April, May and part of June. If you must travel during this season, you have no options when choosing the type of vehicle. You are limited to off-road vehicles, sometimes called 4WD. These are better equipped for wet conditions.

You accommodation needs

The major towns in Kenya offer acceptable standards of hotel services, but the farther you move away from the major towns, the lower the standards get. However, as you enter the national parks and game reserves, services gets better. Beach accommodation as an inclusive to a safari package is also on offer. If you want a specific type of accommodation, or would like to stay in a particular lodge within the parks, please book in advance. This way you avoid the possible disappointment that comes with finding that the facility booked up. Keep this in mind especially if you intend to travel to Kenya during the high travel seasons generally between July and October. You can get around this challenge by contacting the lodge directly to secure your accommodation space, or by booking through an established Kenya safari holidays booking agent.

While on your self-drive tours, take general precautions that will ensure a trouble-free vacation. Always keep the vehicle locked when unattended. Lock the doors at all times. Do not leave luggage or valuables visible in the vehicle. Do not give lifts to strangers and hitchhikers.

Get wise and enjoy your self-drive tour in Kenya!

If you intend to visit Kenya for the first time and would like to try the self-drive option, your first task would be to make contact with a Kenya travel specialist, who will listen to your needs and give you practical suggestions to come up with the best itinerary. As you engage your appointed travel specialist, the checklist below will guide you on what to get done:

.Ensure your accommodation arrangements are in place.

.Get the right type of vehicle considering the time of the year and route.

.Choose the unlimited mileage option on your car-rental deal.

.Insist on securing a vehicle that is not older than 12 months.

.Get assurance that you will get a detailed tourist map.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Tanzania National Parks and Reserves

National Parks and Reserves
Tanzania is most famous for the vast Serengeti National Park, stretching out for almost 13,00sq kms.But there is so much more to this most fascinating country. Ngorongoro Crater, a World Heritage Site, is home to a host of wildlife that make the crater floor their habitat. Tanzania's Rift Valley features the popular Lake Manyara and Tarangire National Parks. Ruaha and the Selous in the southern part of Tanzania are spectacular, with abundant game. To the coast, the ' spice island' of Zanzibar is well worth visiting. Possibly the most well known sight is the snow capped tip of Mt Kilimanjaro
Lake Manyara National Park
Set around the lake, this park lies at the foot of a dramatic escarpment and offers a rich diversity of scenery and wildlife, including the famous tree lions a very high density of elephant population and other big game. Its lake is a haven for birdlife and hippo. Ngorongoro Crater
A wonder of the world set in the African Wild. Ngorongoro was an active volcano some 8 million years ago whose cone collapsed leaving a sunken caldera of 311sq km, renedering it into one of the largest craters in the world. The magic stems form its sheer physical beauty and stunning panoply of wildlife that roam its floor. The 2000ft descent into the crater reveals a sight of unequalled glamour.These are some of the places you can view game while on a Tanzania safari