Early Morning Game Drive.

One of my many favorite experiences on Safari is an early morning game drive. Your guide will usually ask you if you are up for a 6:00 – 6:30 am start. Say yes most of the time! That means, early morning wake-up call.

What is a wake-up call on Safari?

The time your lodge staff cheerfully wakes you up with a ‘habari za asubuhi – good morning’ but they also bring you coffee/tea and cookies. Ah, the little things in life.

I usually ask for a 5:00 am wake-up call. The reason is that besides them coming outside your tent and waking you up cheerfully, it is a pleasure to sit outside your tent and enjoy your hot coffee/tea listening to the early morning bird calls. Sometimes you have other animals joining the wake-up call. The hyenas, roaring lion or the wildebeest grunting.

Totally makes getting up early on your holiday worth it!

sunrise_wildebeest

Early morning light in Northern Serengeti [June 2014]

And then you head out with your guide who should be waiting for you at the lounge area. You will be in an open vehicle or closed depending on where you are on your Safari journey.

As you are bumping along the wilderness in semi-darkness, tada, you see the sun creeping up, about to light up the amazing land. Oh that glorious moment that awakens your senses. You see things clearly. The wildebeests, the hidden elephant, the birds, the flowers, all ready to be captured in your soul. For photographers both professional and amateur, that sun flare.

These are the moments that will become your memory makers. The luxury of experience. And it’s just the beginning of your day. You must stop and enjoy more coffee/tea with breakfast in silence and in awe. You are on Safari!

Captured by our partners Nomad Tanzania.

These moments await you. We can be your guides.

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 early morning Safari for the memory books. Life worth Exploring. ™

 

 

Advertisements

Dessert time in Stone Town, Zanzibar Island

Here we are in the hustle bustle part of historic Stone Town, Zanzibar Island, patiently waiting for the local halwa stall to serve us our almond and cashew halwa.

Halwa is a sticky dessert made with fragrant spices all cultivated in the Spice Island, one of the names of Zanzibar Island. They use cardamom, saffron, rose-water mixed in with a variety of nuts from cashew to pistachio. The mixture is held together with corn flour and ghee and lots of sugar.

This lovely treat is served best with black coffee. A sweet indulgence when on your guided walking Spice Island tour.

IMG_5659Want to taste sweet Halwa? We can add Zanzibar Island to your Safari.
Finish your time in Tanzania with the lovely beaches and blue waters of Zanzibar Island. Pure bliss!

logo
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

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.

tea post - farhana

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.

logo
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

Bush breakfast on Safari

One of the perks of being on Safari is having a bush breakfast. Ideally, you want to leave before the sun is up. Why? So you can be ready to admire the beautiful colors the sun sprays over the landscape.  A memorable start to any day on Safari. The early morning bird chirping committee will help wake you up.  Also, having coffee + tea and cookies delivered to your door by your crew for your wake-up call makes getting up an enjoyable treat.  An afternoon siesta will be well deserved.

Sunrise1

Watching the sunrise in Northern Serengeti with the wildebeest. Splendid.

Not an early riser? 
No worries. Enjoy the sunrise from your room – that works great as well. Some days on Safari you just want to take it easy and maybe read a book watching the sunrise from the comfort of your room/tent.  Perfect plan. Afterall, you are on Safari. A good breakfast will await you in our dining area.

FotoFriday - BushBreakfast

The views, the sounds, the stillness, the bush breakfast. Life on Safari is delicious.

Back to the morning where you do want to enjoy a bush breakfast.

Your guide will set up your ‘food truck’ style breakfast in an open area.  Just sit back, enjoy your freshly baked bread with eggs, an array of fruits, sweet bread, a good strong cup of Tanzanian coffee or tea all the while listening to the sounds of the wildlife at a safe distance and the morning winds.  Ahhh, life on Safari is amazing. And it is just the morning.

Experiencing a bush breakfast should be on your list of must do things on Safari.

Let us make this happen.
Email – Safari@JourneyToAfrica.com
Call us –  1.877.558.6288

Safari Diary 2014 – Gibbs Farm [Lodge Review]

Our first night stop on our Tanzania Safari was the beautiful Gibbs Farm in Karatu Region close to Ngorongoro Crater gate. You pass through schools and homes of people in Karatu to get to the gate. Then you turn into Gibbs Farm and are welcomed by amazing lush vegetation. A garden with hundreds of species of plants.  Truly a green feast to your tired eyes.

You are welcomed with a rhubarb drink before you are escorted to your lovely cottage.  Each of the currently 17 cottages are beautiful decorated with soothing colors. Little touches like slippers are provided to wear inside the room. There is a fireplace in each of the rooms as Gibbs Farm is located high in the Ngorongoro Highlands and it can get cold here in the mornings and evenings. The bathroom also shares the fireplace. Each of the bathrooms have 1 indoor shower, 1 bathtub and 1 outdoor shower for the hotter days and bath shampoo + wash +lotion are provided. A change from the Safari lodges where water is scarce but at Gibbs Farm, water comes from a bore hole.

A Farm-to-Table concept.
90% of the food at Gibbs Farm comes from the farm right near the lodge. In fact, we woke up early to see the cow getting milked and the chickens laying eggs.

The lodge has a well curated art gallery where every 6 weeks they feature a new artist. Their in-house artists offers activities like making recycled paper – a fun break from Safari activities.  And they have a Maasai healer who comes to your cottage to give you a personal massage. Start slow with Lengare. He is a strong Maasai.

We will definitely recommend Gibbs Farm to you.

The lush plants and trees hidding each cottage from view.

The lush plants and trees hidding each cottage from view. A welcoming sight.

The cosy rooms each with their own fireplace.

The cozy rooms each with their own fireplace.  This was a family room but they have double rooms as well.

The bathroom with 3 options on how to clean after a Safari. Indoor shower, outdoor shower or tub. Choices!

The bathroom with 3 options on how to clean after a Safari. Indoor shower, outdoor shower [surrounded by all the greenery] or tub. Choices!

The lush view from the room. Enjoy your morning coffee from here.

The lush view from the room. Enjoy your morning coffee from here.

The morning mist from the main lounge area. The coffee plantation is hidden in the mist.

The morning mist from the main lounge area. The coffee plantation is hidden in the mist.

Art Gallery in the main lounge area. They offer shipping to your home.

Art Gallery in the main lounge area. They offer shipping to your home.

The cow heading to the barn after getting milked. A morning activity to enjoy.

The cow heading to the barn after getting milked. A morning activity to enjoy.

An assortment of breakfast jams. Majority made at Gibbs Farm from their own produce.

An assortment of breakfast jams. Majority made at Gibbs Farm from their own produce.

The dining room with large windows  and beautiful fireplace.

The dining room with large windows and beautiful fireplace.

Make memories on Safari with Journey To Africa.
Get in touch //
Email – Safari@JourneyToAfrica.com
Call us – 1.877.558.6288

Plantation Lodge

When planning your Journey To Africa Safari, we usually like using lodges where we have overnighted, spent time with the manager or owner, enjoyed a meal or coffee / tea with some cookies and pastry, seen what they offer for activities or entertainment + more – we want to be able to tell you about the lodge first hand.


Plantation Lodge.

Owned and operated by Renate and Udo Marahens, the lodge is located in Karatu Region about 20 minutes away from Ngorongoro Crater gate. This lovely lodge was first visited on our research Safari in year 2000. It was in its early stages of operation. Renate and Udo had recently opened Plantation Lodge after having successful managed Rhino Lodge also in Karatu. Our last visit was in October 2009 – we can not wait to go back to Plantation Lodge.

My relationship with the Marahens goes a long way back when living in Arusha.  They were coffee farmers in the 80s and they would come to get supplies from Tanganyika Farmer’s Association, a company where my father worked. They had been based in the Karatu Region long before Tanzanian tourism started taking off with more lodges and better infrastructure.

Why Plantation Lodge?

Plantation Lodge offers excellent food with most of the produce grown locally in their garden near the lodge.  Spend time in the  large well decorated wine cellar with a glass of wine, beer and other drinks from all over the world but mostly from Southern Africa.  Enjoy their coffee locally roasted in Karatu- one of the best coffee producing regions in my opinion. Lunch can be enjoyed outside in the beautiful gardens and dinner in served in the large dining area or enjoy a private dinner outside in the patio.

The lodge grounds are amazing. The lush garden with Arabica coffee bushes overlooking the Ngorongoro Highlands or the nearby farms, a large avocado tree that produces avocados the size of a football – American football, the eucalyptus and jacaranda trees providing lovely shade during the hot days, an array of beautiful flowers from iris to bougainvillea and frangipani well maintained by gardeners  with green thumbs. Enjoy the orchestra of many bird species serenading you when you are outside enjoying your coffee, taking notes on your Safari or inside the lounge area having fresh baked cakes or sipping tea as the windows are always open.

Talking about coffee, ask them to take you on a tour of the local coffee farm and see the very beginning steps of how your favorite cup of coffee gets produced.

The rooms are spacious [even the non-suite], tastefully simplistically decorated with flowers and personal touches and with balconies where you can enjoy the beautiful garden and the views out in the horizon. They also have a family suite with two rooms and a Garden House which has four rooms, perfect for large families or a large group with its own dining area.


They have a pool which can be used during the daytime. During the cool season [April to August], you would have to be brave to dip in the cool pool but during the hot months [September to March], a cool dip may be just the perfect way to end a dusty Safari day or enjoy an afternoon siesta with a good book and enjoy the bird sounds and trees rustling.

As I have mentioned before in my food post, Safari is hard work. Lots of delicious eating you know. Well, you need a massage afterward. In comes the fabulous masseuse Sumaya. Her touch is heavenly. You can choose from a full body massage to foot massage. Book her when you first check-in. You will come out refreshed.

Karibu on a Journey To Africa Safari and enjoy a night, two or more at Plantation Lodge. We definitely have a blast staying here.

Some photos courtesy of Plantation Lodge.