East Africa´s best kept secret is a country of stunning beauty, a kaleidoscope of landscape, wildlife and people. With an area of 939,701 sq. km., Tanzania is situated below the Equator and is bordered by shimmering lakes and the Indian Ocean, from Mount Kilimanjaro in the North to Mozambique in the South. Its landscapes varies from the green tr...
East Africa´s best kept secret is a country of stunning beauty, a kaleidoscope of landscape, wildlife and people. With an area of 939,701 sq. km., Tanzania is situated below the Equator and is bordered by shimmering lakes and the Indian Ocean, from Mount Kilimanjaro in the North to Mozambique in the South. Its landscapes varies from the green tropical 800 km of coastline, with silver sand, coral reefs and mangrove swamps, to the beige semidesert of the central plateau, the eternal snow of the northern mountains and the savannah of the largest and best game reserves in the world.
What first strikes the visitor to Tanzania is its sheer physical size and infinite variety. The country embraces the green islands of Pemba, Zanzibar and Mafia.
Over a quarter of Tanzania is made up of National Parks, game reserves, and controlled areas. In the North, the remarkable Serengeti plains support over three million animals; further east is Ngorongoro Crater, an inequalable caldera which reveals on its floor a magic world teeming with animals; nearby, Lake Manyara at the foot of the Rift Valley is a bird watchers paradise. Tanzania has 53,000 sq. km. of inland water. Lake Tanganyika is Africa´s deepest and longest fresh water lake. In the north-west, Lake Victoria, the second largest on earth, lies in a huge shallow depression.
But above all, at 5,895 m, there is mighty Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, which rises majestically out of the dusty bush of the northern Masai Steppe. Its densely forested sides give way to the blue glaciers and unbelievably white snow of its rounded peak.
Once a small trading post, its only significance due to its geographical position in the centre of Africa, mid way between the Cape and Cairo, Arusha is today an agricultural town and the comfortable base for all safaris in the northern part of Tanzania.
The Arusha National Park, just outside the city is a string of lovely lakes with a miniature volcanic crater hidden in a forest of mahogany and olive on the slopes of Mount Meru.
Discovered by Johan Rebmann in 1848, Mount Kilimanjaro is a beautiful great shining mountain of 5,895m always bearing a glittering mantle of snow. The highest mountain in Africa is also a national park which extends from mountain rain forest to scrub and alpine moorland and finally snow and ice fields at the summit.
Indisputably one of Africa´s true wonders of nature and an extraordinary place of haunting beauty, with its grand majestic mountain ring and lake, Ngorongoro, an active volcano some 8 million years ago, covers an area of 264 sq. km and is the largest intact caldera in the world.
Approaching Ngorongoro Crater is a unique experience. The road winds upwards through a beautiful area of tropical rainforest and meadows carpeted with wild flowers. Its enduring charm stems from its overwhelming physical beauty and the abundance of wildlife permanently resident on the crater floor.
Set around a shallow alkaline lake, surrounded by ancient baobabs, ground water forest of fig and mahogany and open grasslands, this park lies at the foot of a dramatic escarpment, offering a rich diversity of scenery and wildlife.
Considered as one of Tanzania´s most attractive game sanctuaries, it is home for the famous tree climbing lions. Birdlife is prolific, and a very high density of elephant population coexist with buffalo, zebra, wildebeest and other big game.
Between the Ngorongoro Conservation area and the Serengeti National Park lies Olduvai Gorge. This remote spot has become famous as the archaeological site where Dr Mary Leakey in 1959 discovered Australopithecus Boisei dated 1.5 million years ago.
A museum overlooking the gorge displays many of their finds such as prehistoric elephant, enormous ostrich and giant horned sheep, explaining the significance of the geology, fossils and artifacts.
SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK
With 14,500 sq kms., the Serengeti plain is undoubtedly the most famous wildlife sanctuary in the world, unequalled for its natural beauty and the greatest concentration of plains game anywhere. It lies between the shores of Lake Victoria in the east and the Maasai Mara to the north west.
Serengeti is renown for its black-maned lion and other predators including wild dog, spotted hyena, jackal, cheetah and leopard. The wealth of birdlife is of a special interest including colourful rollers, bee-eaters, kingfishers and sunbirds and a large number of birds of prey.
During May and June, Lake Ndutu at the foot of the Ngorongoro highlands, is the starting point for one of the great natural wonders of nature - the famous annual migration. Nearly 2 million wildebeests and a quarter of a million zebra move in winding columns several miles in length towards the Maasai Mara.
DAR ES SALAAM
Heaven of peace is the Arab meaning of Tanzania´s capital city.
A perfect tropical port beautifully situated on the shores of a palm fringed bay. An intriguing mixture of african and oriental influences, this really informal and relaxed african city has narrow winding streets and low buildings dating back to the Arab period. The national museum in the botanical gardens has some fine examples of chinese porcelain, persian pottery and trade beads used instead of coins in earlier times. The outstanding attraction is the Hall of Man with many of the first finds from Olduvai Gorge including the skull of australopithecus Boisei and other human fossils. Kariokor is the main market, a colourful meeting place, with an exotic mixture of tropical fruits, spices and african crafts. Bagamoyo, 64kms. north along the coast was once the capital of German East Africa.
Worldwide known as the terminus of the slave caravan route from the interior, this was also the starting point for many legendary explorers, Burton, Speake and Stanley.
ZANZIBAR AND ISLANDS
Few places evoke such romance as the fabled exotic spice islands of Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia. Places of great wealth and power in the turbulent history of East Africa, they are today sleepy islands with the sparkling waters of the Indian Ocean washing up on the shores of virgin white sandy beaches.
Lush tropical vegetation, redolent of the cloves, cinnamon and other spices flourish everywhere.
The Arabic town of Zanzibar possesses interesting relics, the former Sultans Palace set in gardens on the front near the Arab Fort and Beit el Ajaib, the Sultan´s House of Wonders, the Marahubi Palace built for the harem of a Sultan Prince, the Kidichi Baths, a gift from an early Sultan to his persian wife, the houses where Livingstone and Burton lived....
East Africa offers some of the finest natural attractions in the world, which combined with a network of the outstanding hotels and game lodges give visitors’ great value for money. In terms of the sights, sounds and smells of ageless Africa, East Africa can only be described in the superlative.
A simple safari in East Africa is inspiring and on it’s own merits, a grand affair. It needs no additions to justify the experience and qualify it as memorable. Having said that, the quality of experience could be improved tremendously or embellished a million times over to make it an indeed unique experience. There are unlimited, inexpensive and value added inclusions, virtually in every area that could achieve this effect. This is more so, for that special incentive trip, convention or congress.
These extras could start off as superior accommodations within the same unit (suites, villas, seas-facing, etc…) to sundowners and bush dinners or private gala dinner with a live band in performance. For instance, on international arrival, a band of traditional dancers, either at the Airport or on check-in at the Hotel might be an excellent jolt into the reality of Africa, where dancing and taking a moment to enjoy/join-in is not only the essence but a custom. In Nairobi, innumerable options could leave one entirely dazed - an out of Africa dinner at the Karen Blixen Museum has been severally acclaimed as a highlight to many a farewell diners. As rule of rule thumb, it is unusual when at least a lunch or dinner is not included at the famous game meat restaurant, The Carnivore.
On Safari, the options are unlimited – half a day’s treasure hunt if properly organised can create a great sense of purpose and team building for participants. An equator Ceremony at Mount Kenya is mind boggling and a must for the curious and those in quest of ‘an additional theory’ to take home. A sundowner, in the vast Africa open plains, maybe overlooking the great Mara/Serengeti Plains, might be a helpful insight to the sense of time and space, african style. A bush meal, especially dinner, is travel back in time, and nothing could get one as close to nature, the sounds of african jungle, the roar of a lion close by, the hyenas howling in the periphery….. Then the per excellence experience in the bush, limited to the Mara or Serengeti is an early morning hot-air balloon ride over the plains, forests and rivers of this expansive game area. Lions, Elephants, Buffaloes, Hippos, Crocodiles and prolific numbers of plains game are regularly seen, as are countless species of birds both in flight and atop their lofty perches in the trees. The flight lasts about an hour, with ample opportunities for photography and video filming from this unusual and often exciting perspective. After landing there is a traditional champagne toast, followed by a breakfast cooked on balloon burners in the middle of the rolling plains. Each passenger is presented with a certificate signed by the pilot to commemorate the flight.
On the East African Coast, the options are breathtaking and as plentiful, some of these towns have rich histories, going back to the 07th century. Compound this with the selection of sea food restaurants, dhow safaris/restaurants and the rich marine life/reserves! Plentiful to do and so little time!
We could not exhaust the possibilities here, contact us for comprehensive list of activities…everything is truly possible and the results could be enriching to no end.
SPECIAL INTEREST SAFARIS
Kenya and Tanzania offers unlimited opportunities to enrich a visit to the country with visits to establishments of special interest and meetings with professionals in a particular field. There is a whole range of subjects which may be encompassed in a purpose built itinerary.
Kenya and Tanzania have a predominantly agriculture economy, with agriculture, horticulture, livestock, forestry and fishing accounting for a sizeable percentage of the Gross Domestic Product. Most important cash crops are coffee and tea grown in the cool fertile uplands.
Archaeologically, East Africa is of world-wide interest being the discovery site for some extremely important excavations and findings.
The coastline of Kenya and Tanzania bears the remains of the many foreign peoples who have passed through its shores in the last 1000 years of history - Chinese, Persians, Arabs, Portuguese...; traders and invaders who have left a fascinating collection of coastal antiquities.
For lovers of geology and gemology, a safari combined with opportunities of meeting local enthusiasts and visits to areas of mineralogical interest can be an exciting experience. The volcanic eruptions that have taken place have created fascinating structures of earth variations.
Tropical fruits such as pineapples, paw paws, bananas, mangoes, cashews and macademias are all grown in Kenya and Tanzania for home consumption and export. In the farming centre of Nakuru, it is possible to visit a pyrethrum factory (Kenya produces almost 80% of the total world production). In addition, this area is ideally suited to ranching with fine herds of beef cattle as is Naivasha and Nanyuki, with Boran, Sahiwal, Charolais and Hereford breeds.
There are four championship golf courses in and around Nairobi and nearly 30 courses throughout Kenya and Tanzania, all in beautiful settings. The Kenya Open (handicap 3 or under) attracts world golfing stars during the months of February and March and the Kenya Amateur Championships (handicap seven of less) in November.
For deep sea fishing fans, between the months of October and March there are opportunities of landing record marlin, mako shark and sailfish as well as a plethora of game fish including kingfish, bonito, felusi and black runner along the coastline. During this period regular competitions are held in which overseas visitors are encouraged to participate.
If there is a perfect climate in the world, surely it is in East Africa with cool mornings and warm middays. Although it can be hot and sticky by the sea, inland the air is dry and even at midday the temperatures are equitable. Due to the proximity to the equator, sunrise occurs daily between 06.00hrs and 06.30hrs while sunset takes place 12 hours later. It can get quite chilly in the early morning and evening hence visitors should pack a sweater. Each time of year has its special attractions. There are two main rainy seasons - usually mid-April to the end of May and November to mid-December. Even during the rains, the weather can be pleasant with rain occurring in the early morning and late in the afternoon or evening.
Visitors must be in possession of valid visa on arrival. The regulations vary dependent on nationality and country of origin and should be checked with the nearest tourist office or diplomatic mission. may a countries now ahve access visa on arrrival . East Africa To HEALTH REGULATIONS AND MEDICAL ADVICE
Inoculation centres in the country of origin will provide updated information and advice on health regulations and recommendations.
As Kenya & Tanzania enjoy a healthy, invigorating climate, visitors need feel no concern for their general health during their stay. However, malaria is endemic in certain areas and anti-malaria medication should be taken according to prescription recommendations. Visitor requiring special medication should pack sufficient supplies in their hand luggage. Chemist shops are well stocked, but the same generic medication may not be readily available. Tap water is considered safe in Nairobi. On safari, rooms are provided with flasks of filtered and purified water. Mineral water is readily available.
CUSTOMS AND EXIT REGULATIONS
Personal effects, film and cameras may be imported temporarily free of duty. However professional video equipment, tape recorders, radios, musical instruments and souvenirs from other countries may require a customs bond to ensure re-exportation. Baggage is normally inspected by customs officials on arrival and departure.
Please strictly adhere to baggage limitations as advised by the airline as excess baggage charges can be quite expensive.
AIRPORT DEPARTURE TAX
A local airport service charge is payable on departure for domestic flights.
There is no restriction to the amount of foreign currency a visitor may import provided that it is exchanged through authorized dealers only. It is essential to retain a receipt for each transaction in order to re-exchange the local currency on departure. Foreign currency as the U.S. dollar or British pound (in cash or travellers cheque) is the most widely accepted. Well known credit cards are also widely accepted in Kenya & Tanzania it is a legal offence to deface local currency.
Banking hours are from 09.00hrs to 14.00hrs Monday to Friday. Most Hotels and Lodges change money outside these hours.
Normal precautions as in any other destination worldwide should be taken. Keep a close watch on handbags, wallets and cameras when walking in crowded places and avoid walking at night (take a taxi). Place all valuables in safety deposit boxes at hotels and lodges and only carry small amounts of cash. Wear as little jewellery as possible, if any, and never leave valuables on show in an unattended car or tour bus. Taking photographs at airports, near military installations, of policemen, the President, the national flag, the State House, state lodges, soldiers, prisons and prisoners etc., is prohibited. Before photographing local people, permission should be obtained and a fixed price agreed. Seek the assistance of your driver/guide in this matter.
Driving is on the left for all countries.
Safari clothing should be casual and comfortable. Cotton slacks and shirts, with skirts and culottes for ladies and a light sweater or jacket, during the day. Evening wear in game lodges and safari camps can be very casual. In the more sophisticated clubs and hotels gentlemen will be required to wear a jacket, while ladies should dress rather more formally. At high altitudes, where early mornings and evenings can be very chilly, warm sweaters, socks and comfortable shoes are recommended. Pack suntan lotion, swimwear (to be reserved for the beach and pool only) and a small first aid kit. Local customs and modesty should be respected.
Most hotels, game lodges and safari camps offer a 24-hour inexpensive laundry service.
Voltage in East Africa is 240volts/50 cycles AC, British standard generally through three-pin square plugs. Some lodges and camps have power only in the early mornings and evenings and, in some, video charging facilities are centralized.
We strongly recommend that luggage is limited to one piece per person. A small overnight bag is essential. All city hotels provide secure storage for left luggage. On all itineraries where journeys by light aircraft are involved the baggage allowance is 15kgs per person. At Treetops and The Ark only one small overnight bag per person is permitted, secure storage is provided at the Outspan Hotel and Aberdare Country Club.
There is no shortage of the more usual film throughout Kenya, however it is expensive and visitors are advised to bring plentiful supplies, especially where specialist film is concerned. As a general guide, double the amount of film normally needed in other areas. In Tanzania films may not be available. For wildlife photography a 35mm single reflex camera, with telephoto lens of 200mm to 300mm is recommended. Larger lenses which require a tripod, or double reflex cameras are generally impractical. An ultra violet filter, waterproof dust cover and spare batteries are essential. A pair of good quality binoculars for each person will be a great asset.
The standard check-out time is 10.00hrs hence rooms may not normally be ready for occupancy until 12.00hrs. Should an early arrival be anticipated, please reserve rooms from the preceding night. Day rooms up to 18.00hrs are usually available.
MOUNT KENYA AND KILIMANJARO
No special mountaineering skills are necessary for climbing either mountain but due to the high altitudes attained, the climbs should not be undertaken unless climbers are fit and well-exercised. Climbers should have a physical check-up and start a fitness training programme at least a month before the safari. In Kenya and Tanzania a limited amount of equipment is available from the base hotels. Recommended kit lists can be provided on request.
QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE
Bank Hours 9.00-14.00hrs 8.30-15.00hrs
Mon to Fri Mon to Fri
Currency Kenya Shillings (Ksh) Tanzania Shillings (Tsh)
Major Credit Cards Amex, Mastercard, Visa Visa
Travellers Cheque Most denominations U.S. dollars and sterling pound
Tipping 10% at restaurants 10% at restaurants
Time Difference GMT + 3hrs GMT + 3hrs
Shopping 9.00-17.30hrs 8.30-17.00hrs
Mon to Sat Mon to Sat
With no check-in and no elevators, it's the ultimate outdoor experience. You can relax while your leaders, a Camp Chef and a Camp Assistant handle the tents and camp chores, and perform culinary magic with everything from broiled salmon and roast chicken to fresh salads and rich desserts. Imagine rolling into a campsite to find your spacious dome tents set up, your luggage inside and your plush sleeping bag laid out on an extra-thick sleeping pad.
Looking for a little extra from your adventure but don’t want to skip out on all the genuine experiences? Comfort is your ticket. These trips offer upgraded accommodations and more inclusions while still delivering plenty of freedom to pursue spontaneous situations on your own.
As the world's tallest freestanding mountain at 5,985m, it is hardly surprising that trekking holidays to the magnificent Kilimanjaro summit are in demand. A Kilimanjaro trek offers sweeping views of two of the world's most spectacular nations, Tanzania and Kenya. You have four routes to choose from on one of our trekking holiday to Kilimanjaro, each offering something different and unique.