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!

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“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

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Make memories on your Journey To Africa Safari.

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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!

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

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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.

Take a Break from Game Driving … do some Walking.

A memorable experience to add to your game driving Safari / wildlife viewing adventure, is to do a walking Safari in the wild. The feeling of being out in the wildlife’s own territory brings about many emotions.

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Sally and I with our guide Ernest from Sand River Selous spotting an elephant herd. Pure Joy!

You have your hair raising experiences from healthy fear to pure joy to what you are witnessing.

Sally and I were walking in Selous when we spotted a pair of lions [yup, about 20 ft. away], a herd of elephants, or a lone hippo waddling outside the pond. In wild Ruaha, the tall grass always kept us on our toes. Healthy fear. There was a moment when we all experienced rainbows in the sky. A moment that I couldn’t capture on camera but will always remember.

Why go on a walking Safari?
Introduction to details.

  • Holding the plant and flowers and getting a lesson on its many uses by both humans and animals.
  • The little bugs, we are talking ants and dung beetles, that have a huge impact to the large environment. Watch out for siafu.
  • The animal and bird footprints that you get to identify and maybe follow.
  • The carcasses that leave behind a story.
  • Topography of the land! You get to walk on the ancient rocks or splash in the water dating hundreds of thousands years old.

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There are two types of walking Safari in Tanzania awaiting you.

A few hours of walking.
There are lodges + tented camps where you can go out for a few hours in the morning or afternoon. You will have a ranger and the walking guide, who may also be your main guide depending on their weapon skills. When on your walks, depending on the weather and the lodge + tented camp, you may come back to the lodge for breakfast or get surprised and find breakfast in the middle of nowhere.

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It does feel good to stretch your legs after spending time in the Safari vehicle. And who know, there may be a few hair raising moments on your walk.

Two to three days.
Time to get away from the main areas. There are a few places where we can accommodate this adventure. I have done a walking Safari inside Serengeti and truly enjoyed my time with Richard, my fantastic guide. Our partners on the ground have a special walking area designated for this adventure. You will not see a vehicle.

Tarangire and Selous have the fly camping option within the national park. Then we have areas around the parks, in our private concession areas. Our Alamana Camp in Loliondo area offers this great opportunity of truly being private, in both game driving as well as walking.

wilderness_tent_messYou start out from your main lodge and head out with a small crew who will cater to your delicious meals, set up your light wilderness tents with a cot, pillows and blankets, have shower tents close-by, bring your drinks while you are around the campfire, stoke your roaring fire … you know, basics.

The advantage of doing this. It’s Just You.  

Come on a walking Safari with us and immerse yourself with the wild in their own habitat.
We can help you with your Safari Plan.

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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. ™

Birds of Serengeti.

On Safari, most people are so excited to see the Big 5 or the larger walking wildlife that they may forget to look up. Look up you say? Yes, look up for the lovely birds. They are fantastic to watch. Oh, and let’s not forget the ground dwellers as well.

There are so many lovely birds out there. Some that are resident birds and some that fly all the way from Europe and Americas. Those birds that have flown from other places come here to Tanzania and other East and Southern African countries at the risk of being netted. A lot of countries on their route will poach and illegally trap them. Just unbelievable!

But there is hope.

Organizations around the world who love birds are spreading the word to people like you and me who were not aware of such activities. Paul Oliver was the one who opened my eyes when we were birding in Lake Natron. He told me about the plight of the wadders we spotted on the shores.

I leave you with some lovely birds captured around Central Serengeti.

Croaking Cisticola

Croaking Cisticola

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Secretary Bird

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Egyptian geese family near the Hippo Pool

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A shy white headed buffalo weaver

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The ever beautiful lilac breasted roller

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A magpie shrike feeding the young.

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Common Stilt.

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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. ™

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.

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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.  

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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. ™

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

 

View from the sky.

I can check off being a co-pilot off my bucket list. On my Tanganyika Flying Company’s flying taxi from Arusha to Northern Serengeti and Olakira Camp, Captain Cody let me sit in the front and control the plane. Okay, kidding but how fun getting to sit in-front with the captain!

He gave me a ‘crash course’ on how small Safari related planes work in Tanzania.

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Captain Cody and Co-pilot Mefi

First, they don’t really rely on a control tower but rather the pilots talk amongst themselves for who gets to land first, flight path to small air-strips,  etc. That is why they really are taxis. If they get a call from the main office they have a client on their route, they will fly down and swoop them to the next destination.

Second, it was technical. What gauge to pay attention to, some details on buttons, what to do when the alarm rings. These pilots have to clock in 1000 + hours before they can fly the plane on their own. Safey first. They are carrying precious cargo.

Thirds, watch out for birds. Birds follow the migratory animals and they run the risk of bumping into them. They try to swerve around if they can. Watch out birds – don’t fly into the engine.

Four. Even though I took my co-piloting duty very seriously [cough cough], my main job was to enjoy the view below.

This was the best one on this leg – Ol Doinyo Lengai, the Mountain of God for the Maasai tribe. It is a volcanic mountain that continues to spew gas. Many people still climb it though they should be aware of the risk. But from my flying taxi, I was safe to capture this great mountain.

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Ol Doinyo Lengai – The Mountain of God for the Maasai tribe in Loliondo Area.

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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