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!

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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.

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

 

 

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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 

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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.

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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 family Safari for the memory books. Life worth Exploring. ™

5 unforgettable Safari experiences for Mothers.

mother's_dayBeing on a family Safari is a special time to make memories that you can remember forever. And who better than a mother, who loves getting everyone together, so that family stories are kept alive. Indulge mama on her Luxury Safari.

We know 5 experiences mommy would love on her Safari.

1] Let’s start with jewelry.
Mamas, we all like browsing, receiving and buying jewelry. On Safari, you will see lots of beautiful Maasai jewelry on display. So why not go straight to the source to see how it is done. Head to the Maasai village with our friend Tati of Tanzania Maasai Women Art Spend time with the Maasai women seeing how they use their beads to create unique jewelry piece. She will always have something to admire and reminisce.

The Maasai women get assistance designing these unique pieces from an Italian designer.  This relationship has helped the Maasai women gain financial independence and given us jewelry that we mother’s can enjoy. We love supporting other women.

2] A cooking class in the middle of Serengeti.
Chefs at many of the lodges will set up time to help mother’s cook up a feast. Of course she will have lots of help from the sous chefs and the kitchen staff  – she is on Safari after all. The chef will show off their talents in their kitchen. The chef will come up with a cooking plan that best suits mama and her cooking skills.

A gourmet meal is always on the menu on Safari.

3] How does date night sound on Safari!
Would mommy be traveling with young children? A big yes to bringing children on Safari. Babysitters are available!  The babysitter can play with the children in the room until you get back from your date-night dinner.

The goal here is for you to enjoy a delicious dinner with amazing wine under the African skies on your night out. Bliss on Safari.

4] A massage for mama.
Imagine coming back after your wildlife viewing to a soothing room, essential oils burning, and a massage. Don’t you feel your muscles relaxing already? Some of the lodges take you outside where nature gives you the music.

Get pampered on your Safari. Yes mom, you deserve it!

5] Fly high over Serengeti or Tarangire in a hot-air balloon.
Oh the little luxuries in life for the mother in your family. Soar over the African savannah and enjoy this special family moment in your own balloon basket. Upon landing, you will have a breakfast table set up in the middle of the park where you can toast with champagne bubbles and enjoy a delicious English breakfast under a tree.

A high flying family treasure to keep.

Add any of these fun memory keepers to your family Safari. Happiness is being on Safari.

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Get in touch with us via email at Safari@JourneyToAfrica.com
Call us on our Toll Free No. at 1.877.558.6288.

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

Safari with children, why yes!

Taking children on Safari? Brilliant idea.  You will be making some great memories together as a family on Safari.

We have been lucky to introduce Tanzania and Kenya to many children over the years.   The ideal children age to go on a Safari of course depends on the maturity of your child but generally we say 8 – 9 years old is a good age to head out. That is also the minimum age at some of the lodges on Safari.

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Walking in the village of Mto-wa-Mbu. A chance to see how other people live around the world.

Together when planning the Safari with the parents and grandparents, our Safaris with children have included more cultural stops. School visits are arranged, spending time with Maasai or Hadzabe tribe, village stops, and shopping in the local food markets.  An eye-opening experience for your children and adults alike.

We have two families climb the highest mountain in Africa, Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Kyle H, 16 year old young traveler stands out.  Her parents had already booked their Safari + Kilimanjaro climb and warned me she was not interested in ‘Africa’. Her friends were going to Paris.  Well, when she came back after having made it to Uhuru Peak, the roof of Africa, she called to say she was so glad she went .  She made great friends with the guide and crew on Kilimanjaro, learned Swahili, enjoyed berry picking with Hadza girls in Lake Eyasi and of course loved seeing animals on Safari. Whew!

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We have a four helpful tips for you to consider when planning a Safari with your children.

# 1. Slow down.
We would definitely recommend spending at least two nights in each lodge. This way the children get a sense of ‘home’.  Find lodges that welcome children and have activities to keep them entertained. We have a list of lodges that do just that.

You have places like Rhotia Valley Tented Lodge in Ngorongoro Area where your children will be playing soccer with the kids in the field or chatting about future aspirations and dreams.  Life long friendship may develop from these evening chats.

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Masai warrior at Mara Bush House taking children on a walk. Photo @AsiliaAfrica

Lodges like Mara Bush House in Kenya’s Masai Mara let’s you have some down time, if you like, while the Maasai tribe member takes the children out for an activity around the lodge [besides game driving]. They discuss wildlife and plants, take part in local customs, learn conservation — your children will come back with experiences they will never forgot.

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Jake G. having a go at Maasai dancing. Not bad for his first time.

# 2. Short hours.
Parents traveling with children realize that spending all day on a game drive may not be ideal. Take breaks from game driving from the vehicle.

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Longer picnic lunches were a good time to stretch our legs. In the distance, you could see a herd of elephants coming for a drink from the Tarangire River.

Remember to stretch out during your game drive. Enjoy a long lunch at the picnic spot where the young can ‘run’ around a bit under controlled environment — ask your guide. Make stops to visit the local village and tribes. This breaks the Safari a bit and allows the children to get hands on.

Be prepared to spend a few hours in the morning exploring and then come back to the lodge.  Enjoy the afternoon by the pool or reading a book or maybe watching a movie on an iPad. In the late afternoon /early evening, let them pick a drink of the choice from the lodge and head out for a sundowner where you get to enjoy your drink while watching a glorious sunset.

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Sunset in Forodhani, Stone Town, Zanzibar Island

#3. Stop.
In Stone Town, we had plans to walk the alleyways in the afternoon and do some shopping.  Well, diving into the Indian Ocean happened. Our children were happy to sit and watch the Zanzibari children jump the wall into the Indian Ocean for hours. Stop. I had to let shopping go and instead I captured their happiness with the beautiful sunset.

Our families on Safari do the same. We chose lodges with amazing views so they can stop. One family spent the whole day at Sayari Camp enjoying wildlife while lounging at the pool and their tent. The father told me he managed to read a whole book, a luxury for most busy parents while still enjoying elephants, birds, wildebeests and zebra strolling in the distance. A good stop for everyone.

17th birthday for Yanni

Yanni serenaded by the staff at Lake Masek Camp

#4. Savor the moments.
Traveling with your children is all about memory making as a family.  Taking them on a Safari will inspire them to be future conservation leaders, wildlife researchers, and maybe even assist Tanzania + Kenya in other areas like education and technology.

“To travel is to take a journey into yourself” – Danny Kaye.

Our young Safari traveler turned 17 years old in Serengeti.  The staff at Lake Masek Tented Camp in Southern Serengeti baked him a birthday day and the staff sang happy birthday to him … for breakfast. They were leaving by lunch time. We hope that memory is special to him and his family forever.

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Journal keeping

My Safari experience was enhanced this past June on our Safari. My 5-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter are huge Wild Kratt fan, a PBS show fan. It was great to hear my son asking our guide Elisa all these questions about the animals.  Why is the giraffe tongue dark? Have you seen a caracal? What makes flamingos pink? You could see him testing Elisa with what he had heard from Chris and Martin Kratt.

When I asked him to record his sightings, he would somehow tie in the animals with his love for Star Wars. Death Star and the warthog. The journal with his observations is a keeper. My 3-year-old daughter, she wants to be Aviva and save the animals.

Take your children on Safari. It is definitely worth it!

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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