Tanzania was by Far the Best Trip.

It’s always fun for me to meet clients before they leave for their Safari. I meet with Fr. Bierschenk in Dallas, TX at Starbucks. He was very calm and had no real questions for me — this was his third Safari to Africa [Kenya and South Africa were his previous Safaris], his first one with Journey To Africa and Tanzania. He was excited to taking time off from his duties and submerge in the quiet Bush Life.

Thank you for letting us show you Tanzania, Fr. Bierschenk!

cheetah_stare

“Fr. Mocio and I want to thank you for all your work in putting together out wonderful trip to Tanzania.  It was our third trip to Africa, and we agreed that Tanzania was by far the best trip. We had a wonderful time.

The Guides: We enjoyed John Bingo very much.  He was very personable and showed us so much.  He is an excellent guide, and since we spent so much time with him, I appreciated his friendliness and interest in us and his sharing of so much information about the life of the people in Tanzania.

At Kimondo, we were picked up by our guide at the airport. He took us on a drive, and we witnessed a crossing by the Wildebeests, during which one was carried away by a crocodile, and as the animal was bleating, a lion ran out from the brush looking to see what he could get – it was amazing.

The Lodges:  Each was unique, well run and enjoyable to stay in.  The most fabulous was Kimondo, and we happened to be there on the night the that the owner of Asilia and his family were visiting.  We had a wonderful and interesting dinner with them.

We also enjoyed the camp at Rhotia Valley.  We had a wonderful view across the valley from our deck. There was one issue there you should ask them about before you book with them again.  They use solar power to heat the water for the shower.  Our first evening we took a cold shower, and I told them about the trouble.  The next day, we had the same problem, and during dinner the manager assured me that when we got back to the tent there would be hot water, but there was no water at all. They did comp our drinks for the inconvenience.  [*Journey To Africa note – we talked to the lodge owner and the assured us that this problem has been looked over and fixed ]

We enjoyed the hotel you put us in for the final night in Arusha.  It was very relaxing and restful before the long trip back.

From beginning to end Journey to Africa prepared a wonderful experience of Tanzania for us.  Everything we needed was taken care of.  I will be recommending you without any reservation.

Even though your literature says in many places that it could be cooler there in the evening, I was not really prepared for the temperature, especially in the Rhotia Valley.  A wonderful change from Texas in July!

Thanks again for assuring that our trip to Tanzania was so fabulous!”

Fr. Bierschenk.
July 2015

buffalos friendship hippo_mouth_wide let_the_little_one_lead like_a_boss

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

Get in touch //
Email – Safari@JourneyToAfrica.com
Call – 1.888.314.SAFARI
Form – Request Information

Don’t Mess With Us!

When Heather T. kindly shared her November 2015 Tanzania Safari photos with me, this sequence of photographs made me want to know more. What happened here? What was the end result?

I emailed Heather and this is her account.

” The elephant was chasing a lion couple because it was leading a small group of elephants which included a baby elephant they wanted to protect.  Indeed there was trumpeting and the elephant stood its ground, scaring the little cats away – twice!  The first time they did not move far enough away for her liking. ”

Oh, I would have loved being part of this conversation in the Safari vehicle with my friends.
“Here she comes.” “She’s scooting them away.” “Oh watch out lions. Don’t make her angry” “What, moving in again” “Go get them mama elephant.” “Oh, the look of defeat.” “Better luck next time.” “No, pick another animal.” “She was so scared, she pissed in her ….”

Okay, this is what is going through my mind when I am looking at these photographs having read Heather’s account.

A memorable moment on Safari!

Elephant_LionElephant_Lion3Elephant_Lion2Elephant_lion4Elephant_Lion1

Come on Safari and witness these great encounters on your African Safari.
We can help you with your Safari Plan.

logo

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.

Personal Encounters with the Wildlife.

Planning a 40th Birthday Safari for Joshua and Teri was a joy. They had brought in a Safari itinerary from another company that was cheaper but when we put the two together, they were not apples to apples. They would have been jumping from park to park daily causing more time on the road doing transfers instead of enjoying the park and its wildlife, no Serengeti to Arusha flying taxi flight hence a 6+ hour road transfer and staying in large 70+ rooms lodges.

We encouraged them to look at the logistics and chose smaller quality lodges that have our 3 Cs requirement – Conservation, Community and Carbon Off-setting ethos.

They were also from Houston, Texas and having a Safari Chat before they left was fantastic. They had a lot of questions for me and I could go in detail over each answer.

cheetah

“Journey to Africa was everything we needed … a great experience, from planning to execution, to our return home. Very fair pricing, and very attentive team, in particular Mefi. Our time and money were very well spent for the trip of a lifetime!

While on safari, the game drive trucks were perfect providing plenty of view and very personal encounters with the wildlife. The drivers were experts and were so knowledgeable of the wildlife, landscapes, history, and weather!

Mefi and the team supported our budget and duration goals, as well as our goals for a truly wild experience, limiting impact to the communities / outdoors, and also enabling encounters with the local community (for example, the opportunity to visit an orphanage and make a donation of lesson books to a school in Rhotia Valley).

We would not change anything, and there is zero doubt in our minds who we will call for our next trip to Africa!”

Joshua and Teri G.
April 2015 Safari
elephant_baby_leadingowljoshua.terilionshornbillwildebeestdunia_camp

logo

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

Safari Staple.

One Safari essential I have been happy to have with me on Safari for the past few years.

My Wind Jacket.

selfie_carhatt_jacketDid you know that during the cooler months it can be around 50s-60s during the early morning and evening times. Ngorongoro Crater can go down to 40s. The cooler months on Safari in Tanzania are usually from April/May to September/October.

It has been a life saver for those cold early morning game drives as well as the evening sundowners. Layering is so necessary on Safari. Even during the cold months of June, during the day, it can warm up hence having an easy zipper jacket to remove is quite convenient. Open vehicles add to the cold factor but oh so fun.

Keep it Nylon. I have a Carhartt jacket that I ordered from Zappos. It has worked well for me but there are so many options for you to consider.

Why I like a nylon wind-jacket?
– It folds into a small bundle. When opened, it does not wrinkle.
– It is very light weight but packs a warm punch. I only carried a carry-on during my last 10-day Safari in Feb/March 2015. Weight was important in my packing.
– Easy to clean. Your favorite drink spills during the bumpy ride, no worries, wipe it off.
– Acts as a rain coat. I was caught in a down pour during my June 2014 Safari in Serengeti. I was dry and so was my Canon T3i once tucked inside my jacket.

Do you have any favorite jacket that would work for your Safari?

logo

 

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. ™

 

A Family Safari in Tanzania.

I am privileged I get to return to Tanzania every year and head back on my favorite thing to do … be on a Safari. Tanzania is where I grew up.

ngorongoro_shirazLast June, we made it a family affair again. I brought my family based in Houston, Texas on Safari and it was perfect. We spent time in Tarangire,  Ngorongoro Crater and finished off in Zanzibar Island. The kids loved it and the best part is that they are still talk about their experience. Now that is priceless!

Here is a Safari itinerary to get your thoughts going. Together, we can work on the final Safari itinerary that best fits your family.

Day 1:
Karibu.
We will pick you up on arrival into Kilimanjaro Airport. Transfer to your lodge for a good night’s rest before the Safari excitement starts.
Lodge: River Trees Inn | Meru House

Day 2:
Eye opener day.
Spend a day in Arusha. Arusha is a bustling mini-city. Before you get to Arusha, you and I will have come up with a plan on what you and your family would like to do in Arusha.

Some ideas:
– Visit a local primary or secondary school. We will arrange in advance for the children to sit in a classroom and observe. Maybe spend time playing.
– Go shopping in Arusha’s central market. A very different grocery store experience.
– Visit a local primary or secondary school. When you
– Enjoy coffee and lunch at Stiggybucks, a local coffee shop run by a friend of mine.
Lodge: River Trees Inn | Meru House

Day 3 and 4:
Tarangire National Park.
This lovely park has huge elephant herds, lions, leopards, kudus and birds. Spend time watching the elephants splash themselves in the Tarangire River or Silale Swamps. Our guides will teach them about conservation as well as wildlife information.
Lodge: Tarangire Mbali Mbali | Oliver’s Camp

Day 5:
Maasai Moment.

Go to a Maasai Village and get a behind the scenes look at how these unique tribe has managed to retain its culture in modern world while embracing some of the technology yet still surrounded by wilderness. Sometimes the relationship works, and other times, there are clashes.
Lodge: Msyigiyo Tented Camp | Rhotia Valley Tented Lodge | Lemala Ngorongoro

Day 6:
Ngorongoro Crater.
This amazing 12 mile sq. radius national park has some of the highest density of wildlife within the walls. Black rhinos roams this protected areas besides resident lions, cheetahs as well as zebras, impalas and the cerval cat.
Lodge: Msyigiyo Tented Camp | Rhotia Valley Tented Lodge | Lemala Ngorongoro

Day 7 and 8 and 9:
Serengeti National Park.
This park needs no introduction. You have to enjoy a minimum of 3 nights here to fully immerse yourself in this vast national park. Beside the Big 5, you have the wildebeest and zebra migration draw … a site you must witness to believe. The location of where you stay depends on the month of your Safari. The animals are constantly moving.
Lodge: Kati Kati Tented Lodge | Dunia Camp | Olakira Camp |Ubuntu Camp | Lamai Serengeti | Alamana Wilderness | Mkombe House

Day 10:
See you again.
We will fly you from Serengeti to Arusha Airport in the morning. Lunch at the lovely Shanga River House where you will visit a for-profit organization that is helping the disabled community by giving them work. You will find some lovely souvenirs to take back home.
Rest up before you fly back home. We hope you are making plans for your return Safari to Tanzania.
Day room: River Trees Inn 

IMG_5765

On our Spice Tour in Zanzibar Island

Safari Price for your Family Safari:
Starting from $4,580 per person in a family friendly room.
Estimated for a family of 4.

This is just a start. No two Safaris are the same.
– Add two night to Lake Eyasi and visit the Hadzabe and Datoga tribe.
– Have more time to spend on Safari? We can visit two areas in Serengeti.
– Are your kids older and enjoy biking? Lake Manyara area offers this great opportunity.
– Want to finish off on the beach like we did in Zanzibar Island? You will love it.

If you can get your family to travel during the low season from April – May | November to mid-December, we can find great discounts. Children under 6 years do not pay park fees.

Together, we can plan in making unforgettable memories on your Family Safari.

logo

 

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

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

The wildebeest and zebra migration pattern

One of the biggest draw to the wildlife-rich Serengeti National Park in Northern Tanzania and Masai Mara in Kenya is the wildebeest and zebra migration. The 1.5 million wildebeest and 0.5 zebra strong herbivore team, and its many herbivore and carnivore co-dependants, are constantly roaming this expansive area. The phenomenon is one of the Natural Wonders of the World. An experience that must be witnessed first hand as words alone can’t justify this wonder.

sunrise

The large herds are constantly moving this approximately 7,000 sq. miles area in search of fresh food and water.

They will feast on the nutritious mineral-rich grass of the Southern Serengeti during birthing time. With lots of calves, the cats have easy target. They sustain themselves on the long grass of Northern Serengeti and Masai Mara after rutting in Western Serengeti. And pass through Central and Eastern Serengeti / Loliondo area when heading back to Southern Serengeti. While on the move, you may be lucky and witness the Grumeti River crossing in Western Serengeti  and Mara River crossing in Northern Serengeti. That is bonus.

Quick guidelines ::

– November to December // short rain season.
Sporadic showers will not hinder your Safari. The wildebeest and zebra migration are heading to Southern Serengeti from Northern Serengeti. They are moving down via east of Serengeti in the Loliondo area and the many private concession areas. During this time, it is best to hedge your bets and stay in two regions of Serengeti.

– January to March // hot.
Birthing season for the wildebeest and zebra. The place to be is Southern Serengeti to Loliondo and the many private concessions areas. The herds will also spill over to Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
A good time to enjoy lots of hunts as cats come out to play with lots of young calves around.

– April to May // long rain season.
Showers can last a few hours but when it clears, fresh skies. If you don’t mind being adventurous this is a great time to visit and get some amazing deals on lodges. Central Serengeti to Western Serengeti is the place to be.

– June to July // cooler months.
June is green after the rains. Enjoy the wild flowers. Migratory animals are roaming from Central to Western Serengeti on their way to Northern Serengeti. During this time, the herds may be crossing the Grumeti River to get to Northern Serengeti or may already be in this area. Grumeti River is home to large crocodiles. Areas outside western Serengeti are also prime viewing spots.

– August to October // cool and dry season.
The Wildebeest and Zebra population are usually in the long lush grass of Masai Mara and Northern Serengeti. They are in this region for a few month enjoying vegetation that long rains of April May brought about. The herds are going back and forth between Tanzania and Kenya and increasing the odds of seeing a lovely Mara River crossing.

sunrise_migrationPlanning a Safari to Serengeti?
The wildebeest and zebra herd of a million plus are always moving. The thing to remember is getting to the right place, right lodge at the right time.  

logo

 

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

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

Kwihala Camp in Ruaha.

I can see you spending many nights in Kwihala Camp, a luxury tented lodge in wild Ruaha National Park. Many nights you say? First, you need at least 3 days to explore this stunning National Park.  Trust me, you will thank me. Then, you have this lovely little camp where you can completely unwind after not only game driving but also daily walking Safaris and night game drives. So yes, many nights!

As common with most Asilia Africa Lodges, on arrival you have the host welcoming you at the entrance with a refreshing drink and cold towel to wipe off the dust. My host for Kwihala was Sandy who is originally from Zimbabwe.

lounge_teaNext stop, the lounge area where I met up with my client Sally. Sally had been on two previous Safari and she joined my on her third Safari. After the many phone calls and emails we had exchanged, it was great sitting down with her face to face, sipping Tanzanian tea and enjoying freshly baked cookies. dining

I felt privileged to be in vast Ruaha National Park, with Sally, a client who trusts me in planning her many Safaris to Tanzania, about to head out on an evening Safari in amazing Africa.

sally_lorenzo_leverdIn comes professional guide Lorenzo Rossi. I was really excited to meet him as I had been following his work. He is one of the training experts in Tanzania as well as a skilled photographer. I also learnt he does not like to wear shoes. Well then. Leverd was learning the ropes of guiding.

Kwihala Camp has some of the best guides in the Safari business. From Pietro Luraschi, who has been published by Africa Geographic to Tony Reumerman. Guiding at it’s finest. 

tentThere are currently 8 rooms at Kwihala Camp.  The distance between the tents are well spaced out to give you bush privacy. Far away where you can’t hear the person snoring but close enough where a scream will not go unheard. Umh, try to keep in mind that geckos are your constant companions.

room_with_bathroomPower for charging your electronics is generated by solar panels. An electric fan is there to keep you cool during the hot months of October to February March. Walkie-talkie for the emergency calls which we hope never has to be used. Flashlight for the walks back and forth. If you need anything extra, just ask Sandy or any of the staff members and they will help.

bathroomThe beaded styled bathroom has all the amenities to make this a comfortable stay. Flush toilets, running sink water though conservation is always appreciated, bucket shower with enough water, soap, shampoo and conditioner and a cozy bathrobe to snuggle.

Evenings have to be by the campfire. That is where Sally and I were the first night with Lorenzo. Stories shared, wine had, owl call followed and spotted under the African skies.

dining_candlelight_1The second night after our afternoon walking Safari and night game drive, a delicious lantern-lite dinner await us on arrival. Banana stew [mtori], bbq ribs, rice pillau [rice with lots of spices], grilled fish, roast potatoes and more. Pure delight.

I look forward to returning to Kwihala Camp in wild Ruaha.

logo

 

Get in touch via email – Safari@JourneyToAfrica.com

Call us at 1.877.558.6288 or 713.592.6228.

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