Elephant Poaching

What a heart-breaking subject to talk about. Poaching. But we need to so we can do something. Together my friends. 

Hear me out. 24,000 elephants poached in three years in East Africa alone. Around 8,000 in a year. 83,000 elephants combined in Central and Southern Africa in three years. Total this up and we are talking around 100,000 elephant souls. 100,000! Terrifying numbers. That is like saying the whole University of Texas Austin campus is wiped out. Forever. [National Geographic].

They say elephants will be extinct in 11 years. Extinct! Extinction is forever.

Can you imagine going on a Safari and not seeing elephants. These wonderous, intelligent, maternal, emotional, sensitive elephants and much more. We can not fathom that.

So let us do something about it! 

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What can we do as wildlife lovers and preservers? Let us start with four things.

Completely ban ivory.
Countries that continue to sell ivory legally should stop this harmful trade.  Asia countries like China and Vietnam are heavy users of ivory.  Their new-found wealth is fueling the demand.

We need to raise our voices.

Wildlife supporters within the Asian nations are working hard to raising awareness. Houston Rocket super star and Chinese citizen Yao Ming has been to Kenya many times to see the atrocities first hand. Action hero Jackie Chan has joined the fight. They are spreading awareness to their countrymen. Look at this amazing WildAid film by Chinese film star Li Bingbing. Oh so powerful.

“When the buying stops, the killing can too.”

Educate the buyer.
How can we let the end-user, the ‘unaware’ trinket wearer, the collector of fine ivory carvings or the person who is thinking about using ivory to show wealth what really happens. [LA Times Article].

It is not just one trinket or just one elephant. Elephants are not just beautiful to watch, they are vital to the eco-system. Their footprints collect watch for the small animals, their dung spreads seeds, the branches they break for food makes compost on the ground. They have excellent memory and other animals depend on elephants to remember water source during droughts. Elephants are part of a bigger picture.

They need to see what is happening to the elephant when it’s tusks are butchered away.  The horrible death the elephant suffers when their tusks are hacked, the orphan[s] that is left behind, the terror to the whole elephant community and the generational deterioration of elephant wisdom.

That buying ivory is actually funding terrorism. Watch The last days of ivory by director Kathryn Bigelow. Terror groups are using ivory to buy weapons so they can hurt and terrorize us.

Fund the fight.
Security for our elephants. We really hate that this is what it has come down to so we can ensure the safety of our elephants. Funding ground rangers, ground vehicles, flying planes, drones, night vision, etc.  Unbelievable but it is what it is.

There are many organizations that do good work and when you stay in some of our lodges, you money goes into elephant conservation.

Some of the hard-working organizations are – David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Big Life Foundation, WildAid, Save the Elephants. Our friends at Elephantopia take care of Kavala at Game Rangers International

Help spread the word.
Please. Time is running out. Our elephants need us for their survival. But, we can do it. Together.

  • Stop buying ivory.
  • Educate those who think just one elephant
  • Help fund the fight.

“Extinction is forever”.

Elephants_Kate Bartell_ Doug Hughes

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Email us – Safari@JourneyToAfrica.com
Toll Free – 1.877.558.6288
Outside of US – 1.713.592.6228
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Keep Calm and Swat Away!

TseTesThis is Richard, my guide on my exhilarating Walking Safari in our private area in Serengeti. He has company – Tsetse flies. I had their company as well … I was right behind him and took this shot.

When on Safari in Tanzania and Kenya, there are areas in the parks and conservation areas where you just can not avoid these pesky flies. We are talking amazing areas like Northern and Central Serengeti and Tarangire National Park.  Rivers, bushes, woody areas are were you find them. Not going there would be such a shame.

You can do a few things to help yourself.

Wear light-colored clothing.
These buggers are attracted to dark colors. Avoid dark blue and black clothing on Safari. You will notice cloths with this color hanging from trees in various areas, put there by the park officials, in hopes that these flies will be hanging out on the cloth instead of on you.

Try loose clothing.
Create a barrier between the fly and your skin. This is the best protection. And will keep you cool when hot. Win-Win.

Fly swatter.
Some clients have brought these swatter and it has helped them but you have to be really fast. They come in droves and are quick to nip.  You have to Keep Calm and Swat Away. You will feel accomplished when you get a few.

Anti-itch cream.
Okay so let’s be realistic here. Chances of getting bitten are there. You can put some anti-itch cream right away and it will help with the itch. And try not to scratch the sweet itch as you are in risk of getting a gash – personal experience here. Ouch.

Tsetse flies do carry the disease sleeping sickness but the chances of getting the sickness is very rare. If you exhibit high fever for days and it is not Malaria, let your hospital/ doctor [with help from infectious disease] know you have been in areas with Tsetse flies.

The silver lining here is that these flies keep the cows and humans away from the wildlife zones. They don’t seem to bother wildlife which means more areas for the wildlife to roam and slow down of human encroachment. We are talking about the Maasai tribe who live on the periphery of the parks with their cow herds and farmers with their machines. Stay back!

Keep Calm and Swat Away. Happiness is being on Safari … even with pesky Tsetse flies.

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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

 

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

 

World Elephant Day

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Everyone needs a good scratching post.  No need to ‘hide’.
#WorldElephantDay

Witness elephants in person, in the wild, in their natural element, on your Safari.
Being on Safari is taking part in conservation.  More funding will go into national parks, private conservancy, lodges +camps, and organizations that help with our elephants survival. Elephants need all our help. 

We support David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and Big Life Foundation [in Amboseli Area] which teamed up with Honeyguide Foundation in Tanzania who patrol the Serengeti and West Kilimanjaro area.

Say NO to ivory.
Tell your friends. Spread the world. Make your own elephant memories.

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Get in touch via email – Safari@JourneyToAfrica.com
Call us at 1.877.558.6288 or 713.592.6228.

Together, we can plan your Safari to Tanzania for the memory books.
Life worth Exploring. ™

World Lion Day

IMG_6651We love our lions!  

When you are sitting in your vehicle watching a mighty lion or lioness, you can feel your senses heighten. Their powerful stare towards you can get your heart racing. Their roar letting you know, we are kings [or queens] of the African savannah. And then you see a young one tagging behind the lion and your feeling changes to warmth. The next generation is on the move, learning, dependant on its mother or other females for survival, and oh so cute.

Let us keep our lions safe!
Come on Safari so you can be part of their existence. Their conservation.
#WorldLionDay

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

Wildlife Wednesday

When you are on Safari, seeing elephants is always special. But seeing an elephant mama with her babies makes it even more special. They are so precious, literally.

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Elephant mama with her babies in #Serengeti National Park in beautiful #Tanzania.

With the ever-increasing demand for elephant ivory, conservation takes priority. We need your help! You coming to see the elephants in our parks helps keep them alive. More tourism dollars spent correctly goes into education, patrolling, community partnering and more. We partners with lodges and organizations that work tirelessly to help in the efforts.

Come see our elephants so together we can keep ivory on the elephant only.  

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

Get in touch //
Email  – Safari@JourneyToAfrica.com
Call – 1.877.558.6288 or 713.592.6288

Safari Diary 2014 – Mto-wa-Mbu [Cultural Stop]

When on Safari, sometimes it is nice to get out of the Safari vehicle and meet people and local tribes like the Hadza and the colorful Maasai. There are many areas you can enjoy this interaction – some a bit touristy and some away from the beaten path.

Mto-wa-Mbu is a little village between Tarangire National Park and Ngorongoro Crater and frankly, slightly on the beaten route. But even so, it was a good place to get a quick glimpse of how this fertile region is home to many people who depend on tourism.

This area is known for growing rice [a walk in the rice fields is possible], coffee, different vegetables, delicious papayas and much more for the lodges and camps hence tourism is important for the residents. Within Tanzania, it is famous for its banana plantation. There are about 25-30 different species. Growing up in Arusha, if someone was going to Karatu, the neighbouring village and farming hub, or Mto-wa-Mbu, we would ask for the red bananas which would make a delicious desserts.

A walk here also takes you to a local home where your guide will give you a glimpse of how local Tanzanians live in a farm. {Note. Our guides have an understanding with the families that they will bring visitors as part of cultural tourism and you are not expected to give any tips or payment to the families}.

We offer a guided tour of this area. If you do a morning tour, you can eat lunch at a local restaurant and sample some local dishes like Ugali, cooked dough made with corn flour with meat stew and of course, banana. Chris with Wayo Africa lead this tour for me.

A good 3-4 hour stop in-between your Safari.

Banana bunch on the tree. 5000 bunchs cultivated everyday.

Banana bunch on the tree. 5000 bunchs cultivated everyday.

farm

Lots of vegetable gardens. These are for personal use I believe though this area has many farms that grow vegetables for lodges and camps.

home

Hodi [knock, knock]. We are about to enter a home. They are not waiting and it is up to you to decide how much you want to explore.

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A good activity for kids. Short walking.

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Sweet papaya. For breakfast, you will almost always have papayas and a lot of them will come from this region.

red_banana

Cooking red banana.

Chris

Our friendly guide Chris showing us custard apple fruit on the trees.