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Found 175 results

  1. On November 2nd, 2017 we had the great fortune to have a rare sighting of a male, White Baboon. Our encounter lasted about 15 minutes or so and as luck would have it, we were the only vehicle to witness this. Our guide had seen it a few years ago and he thought perhaps it was dead as he hadn't seen it in so long. Truly a magical moment for all of us in the vehicle to see this rare sighting. Youtube Video of encounter
  2. Hi all As some of you on here know, my wife and I were planning a trip to Zambia for July this year (previous post in this section) , but we had to back out of it following the follow-up scan Rachel ( my wife) had, which required further chemo treatment and follow-up surgery. It turns out the chemo worked so well that no surgery is required, and currently no further treatment, although another scan in three months time could change that. This has left us with the opportunity to have a much needed holiday in this period and so we plan to go to Northern Tanzania in October, which means we have very little time to sort everything out. We've excluded the Zambia option because we wanted to go there when it was greener, and not so hot, and so we have settled on Northern Tanzania because we researched it a lot a couple of years ago (prior to chosing south and west Tanzania back then), and went on safari to Northern Tanzania back in January 2001, meaning we know enough already to decide where want to stay, etc. Therefore we have already decided precisely what we want to do and intend to get that booked with ATR this coming week. I'll post details of our intinery in a couple of days time when its sorted (we intend to stay in Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro and Serengeti), but we do have a few questions that we really would like answers to quickly, so your advice would be very much appreciated. Flights Plastic bags in Kenya - Flying from the UK it seems most flights transit through Nairobi ( at least on the return flight even if not on the outward). Does the Kenya plastic bags ban affect people in transit through Kenya ( ie plastic bags in your luggage) ? We could use BA flights which go out via Qatar but they still go back via Nairobi. Which flights/routes would any of you recommend going from the UK? Electronics on Planes Are there any restrictions on flights from UK to Tanzania regarding travelling with cameras, etc on the plane? Any recent new restrictions? Luggage restrictions on light aircraft We will be having a few air transfers - Is restriction still 15Kg total per person, and do they weigh it in Kilimanjaro/Arusha ( wherever first departure point is)? Yellow Fever Although only transiting through Kenya, is this likely to be checked? ( it wasnt when we traveled two years ago. We have certs but it was done in 2006 and cert states valid for 10 years , even though we have been assured we do not require another vaccination as ours was the same as vac currently used, and is now valid for life) Also is the Cholera outbreak in Kenya of any significance if transiting through? VISAS Any issues experienced with obtaining a Tanzanian visa by post (ie delays)? Weather Conditions We will be there second half of October - are we actually likely to experience much rainfall? What has the Northern Tanzania weather been like this year ( ie typical or rather unusual)? Tsetse Flies Are they likely to be a problem in October? What anti-histamine would be helpful ( Rachel got quite a bad reaction to these bites on our last safari)? Currency/Tipping We took US $ ( all bills later than 2006) for all cash purchases and tipping two years ago . Is this still OK? First day- overnight Arusha We intend to spend our first night in lodge/hotel in Arusha to catch up on sleep as flight highly likely to be overnight flight. Any recommendations? Also our first air transfer will need to be to to Lake Manyara airstrip - Do these transfers go from Arusha or Kilimanjaro or both? Locations Anything specific/unusual/ problems/etc happening recently that we should be aware of in Manyara/Ngorongoro /Serengeti?
  3. We are in the process of gathering group of 6 people between 10th December to 31st December for a safari ---Daresalaam to Mikumi- Ruaha and back to Dar. .One night in Mikumi. We have confirmed two people iMohamed Mir and partner. Join us on the Safari venture and spread the word to all on a Safari Search.. Inbox for details or Whatsapp +255688301217
  4. Hello! i am planning a calving season safari to Ndutu. I have never been there before! I am really confused which dates to pick. I know the weather is variable, but what would you recommend to maximize the chances that I am there during or right after the births? I am mostly interested in seeing some hunting action. So I guess preferably I err on the side of being there after the births. I see beginning of Feb - March all being mentioned ... I plan to spend 10 days or so, all in Ndutu. Thanks in advance!
  5. Hi there everyone! Having returned to the UK yesterday from Tanzania, I've decided to stop lurking and undertake my first SafariTalk trip report. I have upcoming trips in the next six months to Benin (Pendjari), Chad (Zakouma) and Senegal (Niokolo-Koba) so I'm hopeful this will be the first of many! A bit about me: I'm a 22 year-old with a long-held passion for wildlife, with this trip around the Southern Circuit my 15th safari (which rather pales in comparison to many of you!). My big passion has been African Wild Dogs for as long as I can remember, but I'm fascinated by anything with fur/feathers/scales! A bit about the trip: I travelled with my childhood best friend, Jack, who had previously ventured only to Tsavo East nine years ago. We travelled overland (two guys in their early 20s don't have a particularly malleable budget!) spending four days in Selous before spending a day travelling to Ruaha, where we spent three days. A further two days would be in Mikumi before the reluctant journey home. We used a Tanzanian safari company for the trip who guided, drove and fed and watered us brilliantly. Now, why the thread title? Well, we would be trying to achieve the impossible in two ways. Firstly, we needed to strike a balance between a beginner's safari for Jack, and what we ironically termed a 'connoisseur's safari' for me. This was a big worry for me in organising the trip - would we be able to find enough game to give Jack a wildlife experience not dissimilar to those offered by the game-rich plains to the North? And would I be able to keep Jack enthused by the time I'd taken my thousandth photo of a White-Browed Coucal? In addition, Jack has long wanted to see wild cheetah, so this was a key goal for us. We chose Selous and Ruaha in no small part because they offered the chance to see dogs and cheetah on the same safari, to keep us both happy! Secondly, I've set myself a rather ambitious target of seeking out dogs, cheetah and lion (perhaps even leopard, who knows) in as many of their range states as possible. Before this trip, I had seen dogs in Kenya and South Africa, with an agonising near miss in Botswana. I had encountered Cheetah in Botswana, SA and Kenya, and lions in Botswana, SA, Kenya and Swaziland. Tanzania offered a chance to build on all of these lists, and also perhaps the opportunity to see some wildlife I had never before encountered - a particular bug bear has been my long-standing inability to see wild serval or caracal, so these were also key targets. You can imagine the look on our guide Mansoor's face when we reeled off all of these demands! I should point out that, despite the above, I would have been content just to be back in the bush after a 14-month absence - anything else would be a wonderful bonus. I'm hoping to crack on with this TR in earnest tomorrow and I hope to have as many SafariTalkers on board as possible to relive what was a wonderful adventure! Tom
  6. Hi all - Have been reading way too much and trying to figure out an itinerary for a late July/early August 2018 trip to Africa. We would be a party of four with 2 adults and 2 children (11 and 17). To complicate matters, we MIGHT have an additional adult (age 19 - brother of other kids), who might join us. I realize that the 17 year-old is an adult in most pricing scenarios....we are coming from the West Coast of US I was sold on Tanzania: Tarangire (3N) /Ngorongoro (2N) /Serengeti Lamai (4N) / Grumeti (2N) - same company (e.g. Asila, Nomad) for Tarangire/Ngrongoro and hoping for some savings - booking Serian Serengiti Lamai with private vehicle, Nomad camp is not available at this time - then one of the Grumiti properties for a private reserve Then I started researching and came upon Botswana: Linyante Waterfront (3N), Delta (3N), Delta (2N) - was thinking Lebala - then young explorers at Shinde in the Delta - and then 2 more nights somewhere? - would probably tack on Victoria Falls / Capetown No one in our family has ever been to Africa before. Would probably get private vehicle on either itinerary. My estimates are that 11 night Tanzania itinerary will be close in cost to the 8 night Botswana itinerary. I haven't put either itinerary out to TA's yet. It's high season in both countries, so probably not much flexibility. I think kids will want to see predators, elephants, large herds of animals. -Our dates are a little flexible. But late July/early August works best. Which itinerary is better with those dates? -For kids (they are not really kids), whom will not most likely get back on safari without their parent's dime, what do you recommend? -Any additional suggestions?
  7. As of 1st December 2017, the Tanzanian government is planning to implement an increase in concession fees for all permanent accommodation based inside the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. A concession fee is a rental tax paid to the government by all hotels/lodges/camps that are located inside these boundaries, for every bed night utilized. This increase has only affected a limited number of lodges. Although you may have received separate emails from various lodges and camps, we would like to provide you with a simplified list below of what type of changes you can expect. Please find below a list of lodge and camp names along with the supplementary increase to the per person per night accommodation pricing from 01 December 2017 onwards into 2018. Rhino Lodge: +$51 Ngorongoro Serena Lodge: +$41 Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge: +$41 Ndutu Safari Lodge: +$50 (estimate) TWC Lake Masek Tented Lodge: +$29.5 Above concession fee increases are inclusive of VAT Please note that andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge pricing will not change as they are absorbing the cost of this increase for the 2018 season. Any properties that are not mentioned in the above list will not have any price change.
  8. With plans like this on the way, there is less and less reason to build a hydropower dam on the Rufiji River in the Selous Game Reserve (and ruin Stiegler's Gorge and Selous ecology in the process): "A Swedish firm that wanted to construct Africa’s largest wind power plant in Malindi at a cost of Sh253 billion has relocated the investment to Tanzania, citing frustration by Kenyan authorities. VR Holding AB had last year expressed interest in building a 600-megawatt (MW) wind farm in the Indian Ocean waters bordering Ras Ngomeni in Malindi, but Ministry of Energy officials turned down the request citing lack of a framework for renewable energy projects of that scale besides low demand for electricity in the country. The firm’s executives said they have now switched their focus to Tanzania, which shares the Indian Ocean coastline." One hopes Tanzanian authorities will wake up and cancel that destructive dam project in a World Heritage Site.
  9. I was very pleased to see a familiar face in one of this morning's papers amongst the winners of this year’s Tusk Conservation Awards, the winner of the Prince William Award for Conservation in Africa 2017 is Rian Labuschagne, a very worthy winner of this lifetime achievement award. For six years from 2010 he was the Director of Zakouma National Park in Chad. The security plan that he put in place completely transformed the situation for the park’s elephants from a point where their numbers had dropped to under 450 and herds were so stressed that they were no longer breeding, to the situation now where their population is rising and has passed 500. Were it not Rian and Lorna and African Parks, Zakouma’s elephants (and much of its other wildlife) could have been lost and with them one of Africa’s great national parks. Last year they left Zakouma and returned to work for the Frankfurt Zoological Society in the Serengeti in Tanzania, where they had been based before moving to Chad. While in Tanzania Rian helped to improve the protection one of the country’s last black rhino populations the Ngorongoro Crater and prior to that he was instrumental in seeing black rhinos reintroduced to Malawi, to the rhino sanctuary established in Liwonde NP. I’ve no doubt that he could not have done so much for the conservation of Africa’s wildlife without the help of his wife Lorna, what they have together achieved is just extraordinary. While not everyone here on ST will have the good fortune to visit Zakouma, many will be able to visit (or already have visited) Ngorongoro and the Serengeti and should you be fortunate enough to see a black rhino when you're there, it will in part be thanks to Rian’s hard work. Tusk Conservation Awards - Rian Labuschagne Rian giving a bull elephant a drink in Zakouma Here are a couple more Tusk videos and if you go to YouTube you can find more videos on the other winners and finalists at this year’s awards.
  10. Hi, Looking for some advice here on tipping. I travel to Tanzania a few times a year and always have the same private guide who is excellent by the way. If I'm traveling alone I usually tip him around 150 USD per day. My average stay is 15 days. I thought I 150 per day was fair until today. The person who has guided me for the last 4-5 years moved to a new camp this year so rather than losing him as my guide I'm staying with his new camp. When I received the quote it included a line item for the private guide tip of 250.00 USD per day. I'm traveling alone and staying 16 days so the uncharge is 4000.00. When I inquired about the charge the camp told me the entire fee is passed directly to my guide and that they keep none of it for themselves. This is a reputable camp so I believe that they pass it through. Is 250.00 per day the average tip for private camp guide? Thanks in advance for providing input ...
  11. I have experienced exceptional cultural and game viewing experiences in Tanzania with Warrior Trails on 4 separate safaris! Each trip has been unbelievably rewarding in its own way because Warrior Trails is brilliant at what they do…providing “Unforgettable Safaris and Lifelong Memories” (as per their company tagline). I have had the pleasure of being on safari with 4 different WT guides, each of whom has been remarkable in their game spotting ability, and their knowledge of the local flora, fauna, and cultures. Not only are they highly trained and skilled, but they are fun and engaging. Our guide Frank was absolutely exceptional; he is a treasure!! Typically, I go on safari in June or July, but Warrior Trails recommended a trip in May last year in order for me to experience the green season, witness the migration in a different location, and see lots of baby animals. I was amazed at how just a few months earlier in the year could make such a marked difference in my experience; I was NOT disappointed. Bonus: May is much less expensive time to be on safari, and there weren’t the crowds of earlier or later in the year. In fact, we had several camps to ourselves!! Cultural experiences are a hallmark of Warrior Trails. Because the owner of the company is Maasai, the company is able to offer unique, authentic experiences with local Maasai communities. Highlights on each of my trips have included spending a night at a Maasai boma, and participating in traditional Maasai activities including: milking cattle, beading with Maasai women, storytelling around a campfire, visiting a Maasai well, and going on nature walks with Maasai warriors. These cultural interactions are not the contrived experiences of the “tourist bomas” that other safari companies use. If you book your safari with Warrior Trails make sure to include a visit to a Maasai boma in your itinerary. Camps and lodges used on safari last year: Mt Meru Hotel in Arusha, overnight at Makuyuni Maasai boma, Maramboi Tented Camp, Lake Masek Tented Camp, Ang’ata Serengeti, Ang’ata Ngorongoro, Ngorongoro Farmhouse. Of these, we had the boma, Lake Masek, and the 2 Ang’ata camps to ourselves! Incredible. Our wildlife and bird viewing were exceptional; as always, I saw and experienced everything I had hoped to see, and more! Next year I hope to include a balloon safari and a trip to Zanzibar in my itinerary. One of these times I'll do a gorilla trek!
  12. I flew in to Arusha and I was pleasantly surprised how clean and efficient everything was. The weather was beautiful and I stayed at Arusha Coffee Lodge. I had stayed there 10 years ago, but I had no real memory of it. It's a beautiful lodge located in beautiful grounds. There were birds singing everywhere. The rooms were just lovely, the food and the services were both excellent. I slept one night and flew the next day to Katavi National Park. I was staying at Chada Katavi which I felt was simply an outstanding camp. The Tanzanian manager Mwanza was excellent and I couldn't have been more impressed with his kindness, courtesy and enthusiasm. I spent no less than one week here and was fortunate enough to go fly camping twice, and one night drive. I'm not exaggerating when I say that this was without doubt one of the best experiences which I ever had on safari. This was already my 12th safari and my longest safari lasted 2 months and my second longest lasted 6 weeks. The all important wilderness "vibe".I couldn't have been better; elephants were constantly coming into the camp and one could hear their footsteps at night. I also heard lions and many other animals at night. The tents couldn't have been more comfortable and the staff was just excellent as was the food.
  13. Before I get to the photo editing over the weekend and later ..... many many Thanks to Sangeeta, Smita and the Chalo Africa team for putting together a trip for us chasing the migration up north in Kogatende. Not only did they ensure we had a smooth trip, but, also ensured that Coastal got us checked in for our international flights on time by using their fast track service in DAR. Must say very impressed by the crew at the camps at both Asilia and Sanctuary lodges ......... Simply brilliant!!!! Thanks to our guides; Ellisante and Kivoyo from Asilia and Emmanuel from Kusini Lodge (he knows the Kusini area at the back of his fingertips - amazing!!!) Camp Management was brilliant too - Thanks to Michael and Abu at Olakira; Julie at Sayari Camp and Van / Es at Kusini camp. Top notch service and warm Tanzanian hospitality at it's best!!! Here's the first batch of photos....
  14. This seems like a positive and hopefully effective way to get meds to more remote regions a bit quicker
  15. The Road Not Taken Two roads diverged in a yellow wood And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that, the passing there Had worn them really about the same, And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. Robert Frost
  16. Greetings! So: I have been reading and stalking and think I have a general outline for what I'd like to do; however, I would appreciate any/all feedback/suggestions. I can't book flights yet (insert eyeroll) so this is the proposal and I hope I'll be able to book the content once the flights open. Anyway, onward! Who: Parents (70s), self and husband, son (will be 3.5). All fairly experienced travelers, all have been to Africa before, none have been to this region. Mom happy to be on the trip, most wants Giraffe Manor and to see whatever there is; Dad is participating because he's a good sport, would prefer not to move too much and too often at a time; husband wants to see gorillas and go in a hot air balloon to see the great migration; I want to see everything and it's probably reflected below. This will be my parents' last trip to Africa and they want to go big. We care most about good food. I don't want to break the bank, but I want it clean and high end. My husband doesn't do "outdoors"--he's a former submariner so "camping" is not a thing for him. Ha! When: September 2018 Proposed plan: Not sure how I will route us from the US, so we'll start counting days from when we land Concerns: - Too much movement? Not enough (i.e. am I missing anything you'd recommend? There is no shame in our tourist game). This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing--my mom won't be able to get my dad to go back to Africa, so she wants to leave no stone unturned . . . - I've found five places we would like to stay (Wildwaters Lodge, Giraffe Manor, Hyatt in Zanzibar, Masa Fairmont, Clouds), looking for feedback on those and suggestions for the rest. Will mention chances of changing my mind on Giraffe Manor is zero since it's my mom's wish ;-) My husband prefers a chain so he has a venue to complain if stuff goes wrong (*sigh*) c'est la vie. -21 days on the ground is probably the max I will be able to get out of my dad so I technically have a few extra, but if we don't use them, that's okay, too, since my husband's leave will be at almost zero . . . Day 1: land in Entebbe, rent car (I'm the driver--have driven in a lot of places so feel comfortable on both sides of road with all types of terrain) to stay at Wildwaters Lodge, sunset cruise on Nile; overnight -- this is one of our only 1 night stops, is that okay or would you recommend 2? Day 2: Drive to Nkuringo; overnight at Clouds Day 3: Husband and I gorilla hike (a must for husband); overnight at Clouds Day 4: Second full day at Clouds--suggestions for what to do? Parents don't want to hike, I think it might be nice to stay 3 nights in one place to ease on movement; however, I don't want to spend a day just to spend a day . . . ; overnight at Clouds Day 5 (Assuming we stay a third night): drive to airport drop off car, end independent travel. Fly to Nairobi and transfer to Fairmont Mara Safari Club Day 6: Masa hot air balloon (a must for husband); overnight Fairmont Mara Safari Club Day 7: Safari; overnight Fairmont Mara Safari Club Day 8: Transfer to Serengeti; overnight at recommend lodge--any suggestions? Day 9: Safari (should we plan a second hot air balloon in the event it's not possible in Masa?); overnight at recommend lodge--any suggestions? Day 10: Safari; overnight at recommend lodge--any suggestions? Day 11: Transfer to Ngorongoro Crater; overnight at recommend lodge--any suggestions? Day 12: Explore Ngorongoro Crater; overnight at recommend lodge--any suggestions? Day 13: Transfer to Amboseli; overnight at recommend lodge--any suggestions? Day 14: Safari; overnight at recommend lodge--any suggestions? Day 15: Transfer to Nairobi airport, flight to Zanzibar; overnight at Hyatt Day 16: All day Zanzibar; overnight at Hyatt Day 17: All day Zanzibar; overnight at Hyatt Day 18: flight to Nairobi, transfer to Giraffe Manor; overnight Giraffe Manor Day 19: All day Giraffe Manor; overnight Giraffe Manor Day 20: Transfer to airport; flight home Very sincerely thank anyone who reads and/or is able to provide suggestions and advice. Also: I finally got around to uploading the earlier video: Michelle
  17. As of 1st July 2017, the Tanzanian government implemented an increase in concession fees for all permanent accommodation based inside national parks. A concession fee is a rental tax paid to the government by all hotels/lodges/camps that are located inside national park boundaries, for every bed night utilized. This increase has only affected a limited number of lodges and tented camps. Although you may have seen separate notices from various lodges and camps, this consolidated list of all the camps that have had an increase in their rates may be helpful. Please find below a list of lodge and camp names along with the supplementary increase to the per person per night accommodation pricing for 2017. andBeyond Manyara Tree Lodge: +$24 andBeyond Grumeti Tented Camp: +$35 Asilia Sayari Camp: +$29 Asilia Oliver's / Little Oliver's Camps: +$17 Elewana Serengeti Migration Camp: +$30 Four Seasons Safari Lodge: +$30 Lemala Kuria Hills: +$23 Mbalageti Safari Camp: +$30 Mbali Mbali Soroi Serengeti Lodge: +$44 Nomad Lamai: +$23 Serengeti Bushtops: +$24 Serena Serengeti Lodge: +$41 Serena Kirawira Tented Camp: +$37 Serena Mbuzi Mawe Tented Camp: +$39 Sopa Serengeti Lodge: +$41 Sopa Tarangire Lodge: +$35 Sanctuary Swala Camp: +$15 Sanctuary Kusini Camp: +$35 Tarangire Safari Lodge: +$33 TWC Kubu Kubu Tented Camp: +$12 As you may understand, this increase was set by the government without a significant advanced notice to the industry.
  18. the Tanzanian govt has told the world heritage committee of UNESCO that the hydro dam is definitely going ahead , and the affected Stigler's gorge area of the reserve will be removed from this boundaries it is only 3% of the total please see the president is declaring that it will go ahead and there will be no adverse impact on the reserve major dams have very bad records with environmental damage for one thing the access roads will be a great asset for wildlife poachers
  19. Between October and November we spent 10 days in the Serengeti. 5 days at Dunia Camp and another 5 at Sayari. We had a really wonderful time and had some great sightings. I was a bit worried about visiting in "shoulder season" but in the end it was a very good time to visit. We had quite a bit of rain in the Northern Serengeti but we enjoyed it a lot - quite something to see the clouds rolling in, and wet cats But most of the time it was beautiful and sunny. Here is a short video trip report by Mr Cheetah80.
  20. Having an interest in Africa’s culture/history as well as it’s wildlife I thought it was time for a thread on a subject that perfectly combines these two interests and that hasn’t come up as far as I can recall very often and that is rock art. I’m not any kind of expert on this subject and haven’t visited a huge numbers of sites but I thought I’d write a brief intro before getting to some photos from the places I have been to. All over Africa there are fine examples of rock art, ancient paintings and engravings or petroglyphs, such art has been found on all continents except Antarctica but there is more of this art in Africa than anywhere else in the world. The Saharan Region is especially rich in both paintings and petroglyphs which provide a fascinating insight into the lives of the ancient peoples of this region and the of wildlife that they lived alongside, much of this artwork dates from a wet period when the Sahara was not a desert but a lush green land of rivers and lakes, lush grasslands and savannahs. Besides depictions of people and their cattle and other livestock there are numerous representations of easily recognisable wild animals like giraffes, elephants and white rhinos in countries like Libya and Algeria far outside their modern historical distribution. Sadly much of this rock art is found in areas of the Sahara that are no longer accessible to tourists due to ongoing political instability, I don’t know enough about all of the countries of this region so there may be some sites that are safe to visit, certainly it should be okay to visit some of the sites in the Ennedi region of Chad, I have not done so. I have only admired the extraordinary engravings of giraffes for example found in Niger in photographs in Nat Geo and online. Here’s a link to the Trust for African Rock Art click on the countries highlighted to see photos of this extraordinary art. While rock art can be found in various places in East Africa the largest collection of paintings (that I know of) is as at Kondoa in Tanzania just south west of Tarangire NP, although I’ve not visited Kondoa the rock art sites are not that hard to get to being only 9kms from the main highway going south from Arusha to Dodoma. While the site is accessible it’s only 3.5 hrs drive south of Arusha it is somewhat off the beaten track as far as Tanzania’s northern safari circuit is concerned and most people going from Arusha down to say Ruaha NP or Selous GR would tend to fly rather than drive. You really need to make a special trip to visit Kondoa as you’re not likely to be passing by, therefore few tourists visit these paintings. The depictions of elongated human figures and local wildlife are thought primarily to have been painted by the Sandawe people, related to the San peoples of Southern Africa and speaking a similar click language the Sandawe were likewise originally hunter gatherers. Here’s a guide to Kondoa Rock Art of Kondoa Irangi Further south, Southern Africa has an abundance of rock art, around the whole region numerous caves and rock shelters have been richly decorated with depictions of the local wildlife and people, for the most part these paintings and pictographs were created by San hunter gatherers and later Khoekhoe herders. The pictures are in many cases not actually depictions of the real world as observed by the San, but are in fact scenes taken from the spirit world visited by their shamans during trances brought on during ceremonial dances. The frequency with which certain animal species were depicted depended on their spiritual significance to the people of the area. In South Africa (& Lesotho) where there could be anywhere up to 30,000 rock art sites and over 1 million images, the eland was the most totemic species in the Drakensberg and Maloti Mts for example there are whole galleries of eland paintings. In Namibia and Zimbabwe depictions of eland are far less frequent and giraffes much more common, other animals like zebras, rhinos, elephants and ostriches are also commonly depicted. I don’t know if this reflects a difference in the past abundance of these animals or simply their significance to the artists who portrayed them. Many of the painting and petroglyphs date back to around 2,000 years or so ago, although it’s recently been confirmed that some of the oldest paintings in South Africa date back to 5,000 years ago. The tradition may go back far longer but paintings on sandstone apparently don’t last for more than a few thousand years due to the porous nature of the rock. There are also much more recent paintings but it’s generally thought that certainly in South Africa the San stopped painting soon after European colonisation, large numbers of San died from smallpox brought in by the settlers or were killed in conflicts with the newly arrived whites and also the expanding black tribes that were encroaching into their territory. Conflict was inevitable as the San saw no distinction between wild game and domestic livestock regarding both simply as meat to be hunted, the severe reduction in their numbers, the disruption to their culture and mixing with other peoples brought an end to their production of rock art. While I’ve not visited rock art sites in the Sahara or East Africa I have been to a couple of sites in Zimbabwe and in Namibia, as with the rest of Southern Africa the San were the original inhabitants of Zimbabwe and would have lived throughout the country, they produced the majority of the rock art found at over 15,000 sites around the Zimbabwe. One of the highest concentrations of rock paintings can be found in the Matobos Hills just south of Bulawayo throughout these beautiful hills caves and rock overhangs were decorated by the San. The most accessible of these caves sites in Matobos National Park is Nswatugi Cave which has some of Zimbabwe’s most impressive paintings and is also conveniently close to Malindidzimu or World’s End the spectacular burial place of Cecil Rhodes. Nswatugi Cave a Guide to the Big Game of the Matobos. Rhodes Matopos NP as it was originally called was created in 1926 after Cecil Rhodes bequeathed the area to the country, much of the original big game that would once have been found in the Matobos had been hunted out. When it was decided in the 1960s to set aside an area of the park as a game preserve that would be restocked with suitable wildlife, they needed to know which species they should reintroduce, caves like Nswatugi provided a perfect guide to the original fauna of the park. At another site that I’ve not visited known as the White Rhino Shelter is the faint outline of what is clearly a white rhino, a species that was entirely extinct in the country when Southern Rhodesia was founded in the 1890s, exactly when they became extinct is not known (as far as I know) but this evidence of their former presence led to their reintroduction. There is now a healthy and seemingly well protected population of southern white rhinos and also black rhinos in the park. Some of the other game hasn’t fared quite as well some species like buffalo were actively exterminated some years ago for reasons of foot and mouth disease control and a lot of game was poached during the recent chaos, but hopefully more restocking will be carried out in future when the opportunity arises. Photographing rock paintings can be a bit of a challenge as you can’t use flash which would damage the paintings, so I wasn't sure how well my photos would come out when I visited Nswatugi a few years ago. These paintings are perhaps 2,000 years old and have survived remarkably well considering that Ndebele rebels hid out in caves like this one during the first Chimurenga or freedom war that lasted from 1894-97. It was from hideouts in the Matobos that they launched their guerilla war against the white settlers that nearly extinguished the fledgling colony of Southern Rhodesia. The large animal in the centre of the scene is an eland The artists would often simply paint on top of the earlier paintings frequently creating a jumble of images which can make it a little difficult to make out some of the individual animals and people, the shapes below the eland appear to be entirely abstract and I don't recall what their significance may have been if known. Probably the finest painting of giraffes in Zimbabwe This would appear to be a female greater kudu Greater kudu bull Giraffes, zebras, antelopes and other animals Plains zebra
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  24. In two months and a couple of days, we will be winging our way to Kenya! I cannot wait and have nothing left to plan!! I am thrilled that a friend from work and her high-school aged daughter decided to join us at the last minute, which should make the experience that much better (unless I drive her bonkers with my many exclamations.) My boss is retiring at the end of the school year and she considered going with us too; the timing wasn't right as we leave two days after school gets out and she has to stay through the end of June. So now I am wondering about a "next safari," when I haven't gone on the first one yet! What say you, collective Safari Gurus? This might be a teacher's trip, so probably shorter than the 2 weeks that I'm going this year. Daughter will be doing an internship next summer so I won't have to work around her schedule, although we will be pretty much restricted to mid-June to early-August again. PS That we I in the title is going to drive me bonkers. Can someone fix it to we?
  25. Hello, I'm planning a return trip to the Serengeti, self-driving and camping again, but this time in June of 2018. I understand that the migration movement has been very erratic last year and herds arrived earlier than normal at the spots in their merry-go-around. Any predictions of what will happen when this year? I'm considering spending a night or two camping in the Ndutu area of the Serengeti, but.... Only if there is a reasonable chance of seeing wildlife. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but by June, the bulk of the migration should be in the western corridor, as per normal? Would you skip Ndutu in June and rather spend more time around Seronera? Time is not an issue, as we will be spending a total of 22 nights in Tarangire, LM, and Serengeti NPs. Hope one or more of you with experience or an opinion will write back. Thanks, KaliCA

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