Cinnamon Tea or Coffee

Brrrr, it is cold here in Houston, Texas. 35 F as I write this. The Arctic winds have not spared us but boy, seeing pictures of you up there in the north all bundled up with the risk of frostbite, I should not complain.

What has been on rotation on my desk to warm me up? Cinnamon tea and coffee.

tea - cinammonI bought some cinnamon sticks on my Safari to Zanzibar Island. Cinnamon stick and ground cinnamon is everywhere to be found on the Spice Island. The fragrant sweet smell of cinnamon is lovely when walking the streets of Stone Town. Cinnamon is one of Zanzibar’s spice exports.

We got to see cinnamon trees on our guided spice tour. The tree we stopped to look at was not very tall and narrow. The guide said it was a young tree. The cinnamon sticks we buy is actually a bark cut out from the tree and then dried up under the hot sun of the tropics. When it dries up, it gives it the curled up look.

I incorporate cinnamon in my sweet and savory cooking for flavor and adding it to tea makes sense.

Cinnamon Tea.
At our house, we love this loose Ahmed Tea infused with cardamom.
Add a small piece of cinnamon stick.
For a nice kick, a pinch of red chilli flakes.

We use our french press to brew.
Then add milk and sugar if you like.

And tayari [done]. Dip a cookie and enjoy.

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Coffee on the streets in Zanzibar with Halwa. My daughter enjoyed a sip.

Cinnamon Coffee.
Using the same french press, add coffee with a small piece of cinnamon stick and a tiny piece of ginger root.

These drinks should warm you up, a little at least, with this Arctic blast.

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Life worth Exploring. ™
Make memories on your Journey To Africa Safari.

Get in Touch //
Email us – Safari@JourneyToAfrica.com
Toll Free – 1.877.558.6288
Outside of US – 1.713.592.6228
Form – Request Information

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What is a Luxury Safari?

Luxury is relative to each one of us. Is it having 300+ thread counts in our beds or would using a wilderness tent [small dome tent with a sleeping cot] be okay with you if it means enjoying walking in our private area in Serengeti? The best bottle of wine with gourmet meals? Are you going to be happy with perfectly good 5 gallon bucket shower or do you need endless water and a bubble tub? We want to know more about your expectations on Safari.

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How do we define luxury Safaris? 

Here are our 4 thoughts. The minimum expectation you are guaranteed when enjoying our Safaris in Tanzania, Kenya and beyond.

1] Peace of Mind.
Our Safaris take care of you from arrival into Kilimanjaro Airport or Jomo Kenyatta Airport  to when we drop you off at the airport for your flight home. “Safaris are like grandmothers” – Susan Portnoy, a photographer mentioned. All the care with the warm and fuzzy.

We will book your Safari lodges and take care of all the in-between. Your park fees and conservation fees.  All meals and snacks on Safari are arranged. Our well maintained closed or open vehicle will have bottled water and soft drink as well as plugs to charge camera batteries, phones and other electronics so you don’t have to wait until the evening when you go to the lodge. Local flights will be booked. Transfers will be arranged – someone will pick you up and drop you off. And much more.

What we insist you must do is sit back and relax! You are on Safari.

2] Experiences and Great Memories.
Many studies
show that happy people are those who have accumulated experiences and memories in their lives. We aim to enhance your happiness.

“Travel is my therapy”

How do we plan on doing that?

– Via our guides and their knowledge, warmth, patience and more. To our first time on Journey To Africa Safari goers to our fifth time client, our guides are our backbone. They help make great memories and experiences on your Safari. They are also our ambassadors.

– Adding details to your Safari.  We don’t want to give away too much of what we do here but it’s the little things that make the big things happen.

food for Safari - sundowners - Oliver's Camp

3] Ambiance.
Trust us! You will not go hungry on your Safari. Three meals cooked with the basic of tools and snacks – we are talking cakes and cookies and nuts –  at any time. And the abundance of good coffee and tea.

But the best luxurious part is that the settings will be amazing. You may have breakfast in the middle of park, lunch overlooking the Serengeti, Tarangire River or Hippo pool in Ngorongoro, have picnic under the accacia tree and spot elephants roaming in a distance. And dinner under the stars with candlelight sharing stories with your camp manager and other Safari goers while hearing the hyenas, wildebeest or lions in the distance.  Different from how you enjoy your food at home. Luxury.

Food evokes memories and after a Safari, you will bring home lots of those.

dinner ambiance

4] Lodges with a Soul.
Our criteria when choosing the lodges we recommend is that they have to have the 3 Cs. Conservation + Community + Carbon off-setting ethos.

Your dollars help out in a lot of behind the scenes effort.  Now that is luxury to us. The ability to assist the visiting country, it’s people and the precious wildlife.

Whether it is wildlife conservation via Honeyguide Foundation with our Asilia Africa lodges like Olakira Camp or supporting a sustainable orphanage by building a fully equipped bakery like Rhotia Valley Tented Lodge or off setting carbon footprints like our walking Safari partners.

Our lodges also support a lot of families. 1 staff member in our lodge will take care of 4-6 + family members at home. Ask us for more details on each organization should you be interested.

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We hope you will join us on a Luxury Safari.

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Life worth Exploring. ™
Make memories on your Journey To Africa Safari.

Get in touch //
Email – Safari@JourneyToAfrica.com
Call – 1.877.558.6288 / 713.592.6228 [outside US]
Form – Request Information

 

Ebola and Safari in Tanzania and Kenya

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Enjoy waking up on Safari from Namiri Plains in Central Serengeti, Tanzania

Ebola has been in the news a lot lately. It is a terrible disease that has plagued West Africa. The good news for those heading to, in, or planning to head to Tanzania and Kenya on a Safari – we are 3,300 miles away.  The distance of Orlando, FL and Juno, Alaska.

The virus has not been detected in Kenya or Tanzania. The airport officials are on a look out with anyone coming in that look like they have a symptom. Thermometers and thermal scanners have been brought in for detection in some airport. They would be immediately quarantined. No one has been quarantined yet in Tanzania and Kenya. Kenya and other countries with airlines are so cautious that they have stopped flights.

Talking about flights, it is not transmitted via air.  You would need to handshake a person with Ebola to contact this terrible disease.

Should a sick individual even have a ticket to travel from West Africa, they will not be able to travel as they will be too sick. And may not even be able to get on board.

So, don’t change your Safari plans. If you are planning a Safari to Tanzania and Kenya, don’t let Ebola stop you.  There are some great Safari deals right now for both Tanzania and Kenya to take advantage.

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Life worth Exploring! ™
Make memories on your Journey To Africa Safari.

Get in touch //
Email – Safari@JourneyToAfrica.com
Toll Free – 877.558.6288
Outside US –  713.592.6228
Form – Request Information

Safari Diary 2014 – Rhotia Valley Tented Lodge [Lodge Review]

As you turn from the main tarmac road connecting Tarangire National Park and Ngorongoro Crater, past the beautiful sunflower field and the corn/ maize farms, towards Ngorongoro Highland on the slightly bumpy road toward Rhotia Valley, you are welcomed with refreshments by managers Evelyn and Arjan and their dog.

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Karibu Rhotia Valley Tented Lodge on a Journey To Africa Safari.

Rhotia Valley Tented Lodge.

Rhotia Valley Tented Lodge.

Rhotia Valley Tented Lodge has a wonderful soul. A portion of the proceeds fund the Children’s Home that is about a 10 minutes walk from the lodge. The Children’s Home takes care of about 40 kids, orphaned or some whose parents can’t afford to take care of them. They have made the home stand on its own by setting up a bakery. They produce enough bread to feed themselves and sell the surplus in Karatu. A win-win situation.  The children who played with us [my two kids were with me] greeted us as they were coming from school and spoke great English which they have picked up from volunteers as well as school.

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Rhotia Valley Children’s Home.

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Fun playing with the kids at Rhotia Valley Children’s home. From swings, football to talking about becoming pilots. Dream Big!!

About the lodge //

Rhotia Valley Tented Lodge is a rustic yet comfortable lodge. Each of the 15 rooms are comfortably sized with double beds or two double beds for our family of four. Hot water bottles were tucked in at night to keep you warm in the cold June nights.

In the bathroom,  they will explain why there is bucket near the shower – it is to collect the initial cold water before the hot water comes through. Keep the cold water bucket – they will use it to water their organic farm where they
grow a lot of their vegetables and herbs. Water heating and lights in the room are controlled by both solar power [9 -7 pm] and generators during the peak shower hours of [7-9 pm]. Drinking water that is provided will be plastic bottles or water purified via biofilter.

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Comfortable inside of the room. You can see the hot water bottles on top of the bed that will be filled up when you come back to your room after dinner.

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The organic farm where they grow most of their vegetables and herbs.

The food at night was delicious as well as the packed lunch. From the dining room, you can see the hustle bustle of the open kitchen and the charcoal fire that is preparing good food.

The views // Two sides //
From the fire-light front lounge deck and some of the rooms, you get the greenery from the farmlands of fertile Karatu Region. Corn or maize as Tanzanians call it, beans, sunflower … the list goes on. From the side facing the Ngorongoro Highlands, you have the greenery from the thick forest. Either way, you are in for some great views and amazing sounds of the birds in the morning.

Rhotia Valley is a wonderful place to spend a few days on Safari.

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You can see the children’s home in the distance. Rhotia Valley does a wonderful job supporting the kids of the Children’s Home.

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Room view from the south side of the lodge.

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Room view looking at Ngorongoro Highlands.

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The beautiful lounge area where you can enjoy your drink before dinner and enjoy the fire place. The dining area is right behind the lounge. At night, they close the canvas in the back to keep the cold wind out.

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The lovely deck. Lunch is sometimes taken from here.

Photo of the week

Don showing a little boy his own image. The smile on the boy is precious!

Don showing a little boy his own image. The smile on the boy is precious!

When on Safari, clients get to enjoy some cultural interactions. Whether is it spending time with your Tanzanian guide, going to see the Hadzabe tribe around Lake Eyasi, visiting a local school or stopping at a Maasai boma, these interactions for a lot of clients bring great joy. They are an eye-opening experience.

Don got to enjoy a lot of smiles from Tanzania. He stopped in the town of Moshi, base of Mt. Kilimanjaro first to meet with a girl he sponsors. On Safari, he and his friends got to spend time with the Hadza as well as Maasai tribe.

Specialist Guides on Safari

Our Safari guides are fantastic! We feel incredibly lucky to have some of the best trained guides working with us.

Sometimes, some clients want something different. They want to dig a lot deeper as they crave more knowledge of the animals and the land. They want in-depth answers to the what, why, how, when, why not, what if, what now, what more. Specialist guides will have your in-depth knowledge soar.

What makes them specialist guides?

  • Guides that have been guiding for more than 20-25 + years.
  • They train other guides.
  • They are friends/mentors with other specialist guides.
  • They cater to clients who already know a lot about the land, its people and wildlife.
  • Guides who are in the news as they have done research or have been part of research teams or organizations.
  • They are into photography and have articles published or are mentioned in articles.
  • They care about conservation and are our public voice. They have access to a larger platform.

But above all, they want you to come and enjoy being on Safari. They will have you love our country as much as they do. Twende [let’s go] Safari. There are fantastic memories to be made.

Stunning capture of zebras fighting.

Stunning capture of zebras fighting.

Paul Kirui.
We were first introduced to him in 2005 when we were on Safari in Masai Mara. Our luck we crossed paths with him. Paul, who has a gold standard certification, has been a source of information. He was involved with BBC’s Big Cat production as well as Disney’s African Cats.  He has been on many top Safari guide list. A Safari with him would be equal to winning a lottery.

Paul Oliver.
You have head of him many times on our blog. He has been our mentor when we first started Journey To Africa. At that time he operated Oliver’s Camp in Tarangire. Today he divided time between Tanzania and Australia. His passion for guiding is unwavering. He is an avid birder. He and his trusty land-rover can take you from Northern to Southern Tanzania. Get ready for a witty time.

Paul Oliver birding in Southern Tanzania's Katavi National Park

Birding in Southern Tanzania’s Katavi National Park. Taken by our friend Paul Oliver.

Jo Anderson and Mark Baker. 
Jo and his business partner Marc, started an organization in Tanzania called Carbon Tanzania. They have teamed up with local community and together with lodges and Safari companies, off-seat your carbon footprints.  They are deeply involved in conservation and going on a Safari with them will want you doing more for Mother Earth.

Why so many elephants in Ngorongoro? Poaching in other regions have them taking refuge here.

On his May Safari, Jo counted 350 + elephants in Ngorongoro? Not normal. Poaching in other regions have them taking refuge here.

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Life worth Exploring. ™
Make memories on your Journey To Africa Safari.

Get in Touch //
Email us – Safari@JourneyToAfrica.com
Toll Free – 1.877.558.6288 
Outside of US – 1.713.592.6228
Form – Request Information

Our Guides

One of the biggest reason we have many repeat clients and clients sending referrals is our guides. Our guides will always make your Safari special. They will help you fall in love with Tanzania and Kenya and get you hooked on being on Safari.

We had a fantastic time. It all started with Ayoub. He was a fantastic guide. He was very articulate and spoke multiple languages. Kate Bartell had told me to request him. We got him by accident. He made the days truly memorable and outstanding. I made him an honorary Texan. If I ever do this again, I want him, and I would highly recommend him to your future clients.”
Carlos Mata – July 2011 and June 2013

Carlos went on Safari both times with Ayoub. He has made a friend in Ayoub for life.

Carlos and John with Ayoub

Carlos M. and John L. with guide Ayoub on their second Journey To Africa Safari

Our guide, Luke, in Kenya was very good.  Our guide, Elissa was outstanding.  We enjoyed the company of both men and they made us very comfortable during our safari excursions.  Elissa was always on time and always explained things to us in detail.  We also felt very safe with him.  He also has a great sense of humor.”
– Gayle Thomas – July 2013

Gayle is mother to Alisa Thomas who has been on 5 Safari with Journey To Africa. She and her mother had a mother + daughter Safari to Southern Africa in 2008 and went back to Tanzania + Kenya in July 2013. 

lunch in Ngorongoro Crater

Maria J. with guide Jackson having lunch at Ngorongoro Crater picnic site.

Our guides have to work hard to keep working as guides. During off-season, they have to go through intense training not only in wildlife and plant knowledge but human phycology, astronomy, vehicle maintenance, first-aid, and much more. Trained by renowned guides like Lewis Mangaba, head guide at our favorite Oliver’s Camp, who recently won the Wanderlust Magazine best guide award to fantastic teachers like Richard Knocker, Ethan Kinsey and our friend Paul Oliver.

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Receiving their training certificate from Lewis Mangaba [in shorts]

Asante Sana [thank you] to all the hard-working guys on Safari.

Life worth Exploring! Capture memories on your Journey To Africa Safari.

Get in touch //
Email – Safari@JourneyToAfrica.com
Call – 1.877.558.6288