Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Get to Know the Different Routes for Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

unsplash-logoJoel Peel

If you were wondering how many routes there are to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, this article will take you through the seven established routes. Because selecting a route is a pretty tough choice for most, to find the best route to climbing Kilimanjaro, you’ll want to consider the route's scenery, difficulty, foot traffic and its altitude acclimatization characteristics. The following are routes to choose from: Marangu, Machame, Lemosho, Shira, Rongai, Northern Circuit and Umbwe. The Marangu, Machame, and Umbwe routes all approach from the south of the mountain, with the Mweka route being used only for descending the mountain. The Lemosho, Shira and Northern Circuit routes approach the mountain from the west, while the Rongai route approaches from the north.

To help you decide the route that’s most suitable for you, you might want to look at some estimates in terms of percentage, on the routes tourists climbing Kilimanjaro take. The Machame route will be taken by 45% of tourists, whilst the Marangu route takes 40%. Lemosho is on 8%, Rongai 5%, Shira 1%, and the Northern Circuit shares 0% with Umbwe. Generally, the way to determine the most popular routes is by looking at those with the most favorable combination of high success rates, excellent scenery, and low foot traffic.

Otherwise known as the "Coca-Cola" route, the Marangu route is a classic Mount Kilimanjaro trek. It is certainly the oldest and most well established route. This particular route is favored by many because it is considered to be the easiest path on the mountain, given its gradual slope. It is also the only route which offers sleeping huts in dormitory style accommodations.

The minimum number of days required to climb Mount Kilimanjaro via this route is five, although the probability of successfully reaching the top in that time period is quite low. It is also highly recommended that you spend an extra day acclimatizing when climbing Kilimanjaro using the Marangu route.

Yes, the Marangu route is immensely popular but operators tend to avoid leading climbs on the Marangu route. The reason being, the route has the least scenic variety of all the routes because the ascent and descent are done on the same path, which makes it the most crowded route for that reason. Marangu is a favorable route during the rainy season, where hut accommodations are preferred over wet ground; and for those with five days to kill climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. Otherwise, the Marangu route is considered a poor choice. If you were a little puzzled as to what route to take up Africa’s highest mountain, I’m sure this article has shed some light on the options available.

About the Author: Anthony J. Namata is a creative travel writer who blogs at, and writes exclusively for tour operators on safari destination Tanzania. For more information on booking a Kilimanjaro climb in Tanzania, visit:

Climbers, How to Prepare for the High Altitude of Mount Kilimanjaro

unsplash-logoSergey Pesterev

If you are a little concerned about your fitness level for the high altitude, then you will find comfort in knowing that your body will get in great shape for the Kilimanjaro climb with physical training to prepare you for altitude. Understandably, and this may come as no surprise, the ability to adjust quickly to the changing oxygen content is largely genetic. According to documented success rates, some people can climb Kilimanjaro in as little as 5 days (not recommended), while some still fail with 8 days. It is basically impossible to predict how well a prospective climber will fair in an oxygen deprived atmosphere until he or she is actually in that environment. High altitude training systems enable climbers to pre-acclimatize at home, thereby drastically improving their success rate, safety and enjoyment of the Kilimanjaro climb.

The more you undergo altitude training in systems that simulate high altitudes, the more you’ll induce beneficial biological adaptations in the body. For this, you can go to high altitude places to help pre-acclimatize to high altitude before your trip.

It may come as a surprise that all climbers should have a medical check prior to attempting the Kilimanjaro mountain climb. And the best place to start is to ask your doctor if high altitude trekking is permissible for your age, fitness level and health condition. And make sure your doctor ascertains whether or not you have any preexisting medical conditions that can cause problems on the climb. Ask if any of your medications can affect altitude acclimatization. And if you find that you have medical issues that can make climbing Kilimanjaro more dangerous for you than the average person, it is recommended that you inform your tour operator before you book. The medical issues in question would include but not be limited to: spine problems; circulation problems; internal problems such as diabetes, hypoglycemia, intestinal or kidney problems; respiratory issues like asthma; high or low blood pressure; head trauma or injury; heart conditions; blood disease; hearing or vision impairment; cancer; seizure disorders; joint dislocations; sprains; hernia.

You’re probably wondering what the minimum age for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is. Well, just so you know, the minimum age is 10 years old. There is no maximum age. However, because the climb is strenuous it will present health risks to people in high risk categories. That being said, serious consideration should be given to anyone under the age of 18 and over the age of 60. For those climbers on the extreme end of the age spectrum, consulting a doctor is highly recommended.

If your resting heart rate is under 100 beats per minute, you will qualify for the minimum fitness requirement. Please note that before you climb, your resting heart rate will be checked. And if your resting heart rate is above 100, you will be required to see a local doctor for approval, prior to the climb. Just for your information, the average resting heart rate is 60-80 beats per minute. If you’re the kind of person that wants to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, I hope this article helps you adequately prepare for your exciting adventure.

About the Author: Anthony J. Namata is a creative travel writer who blogs at, and writes exclusively for tour operators on safari destination Tanzania. For more information on booking a Kilimanjaro climb in Tanzania, visit:

Planning On Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro? Here’s How to Train for it

unsplash-logoMatthew Spiteri

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro is physically challenging, therefore you must prepare yourself accordingly with a Kilimanjaro training program. It goes without saying, strong and well conditioned legs make it easier to walk uphill and downhill for sustained periods of time. And this is where aerobic fitness allows the body to function efficiently with less oxygen. When your body is fit, it will be able to withstand the stress of consecutive days of hiking and camping. Finally, a positive mental attitude can work wonders for you when fatigue and doubt sets in.

If you’ve ever wondered how hard it is to climb Kilimanjaro, then you might find it a little bit comforting to learn that some people don't train much and fair pretty well, while others engage in a disciplined training program and succumb to the altitude in just a few days. We've heard marathon runners confess that climbing Kilimanjaro was the hardest thing they've ever done. Well, the best advice we can give is to train adequately. You’ll want to get yourself in the best possible shape for hiking. The mountain is a big unknown, and you won't know with certainty how your body will react to the challenge until you are actually there.

Hiking is the best exercise for preparing to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. It is not necessary to indulge in extensive cross-training programs featuring hiking, running, biking, swimming and weight training. Such programs are unnecessary. The best and perhaps only exercise you need to do is to hike. After all, that is what you will be doing on the mountain. Ideally, hiking on hills or mountains will simulate ascending Mount Kilimanjaro. If you don’t have access to trails, you can train very productively on a stair master machine at the gym. If you have no access to trails or a gym, then try to walk as much as possible, with perhaps extended walks on the weekends.

Training for climbing Kilimanjaro should begin at least two months prior to your departure. And if you have never hiked before, it is recommended that you space your training in shorter time intervals, taking it in a slower pace and without a weight in your back, and then gradually increase the hiking and the weight as your fitness level improves. Remember that on Mount Kilimanjaro, you will walk slowly for prolonged periods, and carry probably no more than 20 lbs in your backpack. Therefore, ideally, increase your time intervals and distance in training. Try to train for an hour a day three times a week. Once you’re able to hike four to six hours, with perhaps moderate elevation changes (~1,000 ft/305 m) while carrying a 20 lb backpack; or if you can climb a StairMaster for 1-2 hours, at 30 steps per minute while carrying a 20 lb pack, then you're probably ready for the Kilimanjaro climb.

But the best way to go about training is to do your longest and hardest workouts two to four weeks before your departure, because you’ll want to taper off your training in the last two weeks, so that in the final days, you can grab some rest so that your body has time to recover before the actual climb. Supplementing the walking and hiking with running and cycling will also help to increase your aerobic capacity.

It is imperative, therefore, that during Kilimanjaro training, you wear the boots and carry the backpack you intend to carry—for two reasons: your boots want to be sufficiently broken-in to prevent blisters; and your shoulders, back and hips need to get used to the points of contact and weight, in order to minimize chafing and soreness.

And last but not least, physical training is just one part of getting in shape. If you lead an unhealthy lifestyle, try to use the climb to motivate you to change. Eat more fruit and vegetable. Reduce your red meat consumption. Don't drink or smoke. And try to get eight hours of sleep per night.

About the Author: Anthony J. Namata is a creative travel writer who blogs at, and writes exclusively for tour operators on safari destination Tanzania. For more information on booking a Kilimanjaro climb in Tanzania, visit:

Why You Should Never Over Pack for Kilimanjaro Mountain Climb

unsplash-logoAntônio Soletti

It is quite common for climbers to over pack and to bring way too much gear for the climb. You’ll want to be very selective in what you take with you. Mount Kilimanjaro porters are limited to carrying 33 lbs (15 kgs) of your personal belongings. Therefore, everything that they will carry for you between campsites should be placed inside a duffel bag. And that includes your sleeping bag. That being said, it is okay to pack the sleeping bag separately if necessary. If you plan to rent a sleeping bag, please note that the bag alone weighs 5 lbs 6 oz. and that this additional weight will count against the 33 lb limit. What’ll generally happen is porters will place both your duffel bag and sleeping bag into a large, sturdy, waterproof bag with a roll-top closure.

A word of caution: If you carry excess weight, you will be required to hire an additional porter. It is rare for climbers to require an extra porter. Only in special cases, such as for carrying extensive photography equipment, that this can be allowed. Warm sleeping bags are available for rent on location, and so are trekking poles, but you are expected to bring everything you need. Whatever extra items you won’t be using on your Mount Kilimanjaro climb, such as extra luggage, safari clothing, gear and equipment, can all be stored safely at the hotel.

Due to environmental concerns, plastic, recyclable water bottles are not allowed in the park. So, water should be carried in Nalgene bottles, water bladders, or similar devices. It is recommended that you carry 3-4 liters of water with you at all times, ideally. And please do not bring any alcohol. In fact, alcohol is illegal in the park. Just so you know… alcohol and high altitude do not mix well at all.

In case your airplane checked luggage got lost or delayed on the way to Tanzania, it is advisable that you should be prepared, by perhaps wearing or carrying on the items that are essential to your Kilimanjaro climb. Although most equipment, clothing and gear can be replaced in Tanzania prior to your climb, there’s always the odd item that you should not replace.

By wearing one complete hiking outfit on the plane, and a long sleeve shirt, hiking pants, underwear, socks and hiking boots, you will at least have climbing gear on you just in case your luggage didn’t arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport with you. Make sure you bring in your carryon baggage, the following items: backpack, waterproof jacket and pants, insulated jacket, fleece pants, snacks, toiletries, medications, camera and all paperwork. Please note that airline regulations do not allow you to carry trekking poles on the plane.

Wearing a different pair of boots on your climb will likely cause blistering, therefore, make sure you wear or carry your hiking boots, and if by any chance your baggage is lost or delayed, please make sure that you notify your tour operator on your arrival so they can assist you in assembling the necessary gear. There are a few local, independently owned rental gear shops in Moshi. Note that these shops generally carry second-hand items that may not be up to Western standards. Hence, the fit, quality or functionality of items found in local shops can’t be guaranteed.

About the Author: Anthony J. Namata is a creative travel writer who blogs at, and writes exclusively for tour operators on safari destination Tanzania. For more information on booking a Kilimanjaro climb in Tanzania, visit:

Technical Clothing You'll Need for Your Kilimanjaro Mountain Climb

unsplash-logoHarshil Gudka

If you are planning a climbing adventure up Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, you are going to need specific technical clothing. The following, therefore, is a list of items you must carry with you. A Waterproof Jacket is essential. No doubt about that. It can get rather wet and moist up there; and your jacket must be breathable and with hood. You’ll also require an insulated jacket, synthetic or down; a soft Jacket, fleece or soft-shell. You musn’t forget a long Sleeve Shirt, that’s light-weight, and with moisture-wicking fabric. A short sleeve shirt also comes in handy, and you’ll want one that’s light-weight, and with moisture-wicking fabric.

Moving down to the pants department, here’s what you’ll need to carry with you: Waterproof Pants, breathable (side zipper recommended); Hiking Pants, Fleece Pants, Shorts (optional), Long Underwear with moisture-wicking fabric, normal Underwear with moisture-wicking fabric recommended; 2 Sport Bras (women), Headwear, Brimmed Hat for sun protection; a Knit Hat for warmth, and a Balaclava or Buff for face coverage (optional).

Handwear is essential on this trip, also. So here’s a list of stuff you need to carry with you. A pair of Gloves, warm (waterproof recommended); and thin Gloves. Your footwear must include Hiking Boots that are warm, waterproof, and broken-in; a pair of Gym Shoes, to wear at camp (optional), 3 pairs of Socks—wool or synthetic; 1 Gaiters—waterproof (optional).

Your list of accessories would include Sunglasses or Goggles; Backpack Cover—waterproof (optional); Water Bottle (Nalgene, 32 oz.); a Water Bladder (Camelbak type, 3 liters); a Towel, lightweight, quick-dry (optional); a Pee Bottle, to avoid leaving tent at night (recommended); Stuff Sacks, Dry Bags or Plastic Bags in various sizes to keep gear dry and separate.

Your Equipment list will need to include a Sleeping Bag, warm, four seasons; a pair of Trekking Poles, collapsible (highly recommended); Head lamp, with extra batteries; a Duffel bag, 50-90L capacity, for porters to carry your equipment; and a Daypack, 30-35L capacity, for you to carry your personal gear. Please note that this particular item can also be rented on location.

And to conclude this list of items to carry on your Mount Kilimanjaro climb: Toiletries, Prescriptions, Sunscreen, Lip Balm, Insect Repellent containing DEET, First Aid Kit, Hand Sanitizer, Toilet Paper,
Wet Wipes (recommended), Snacks—light-weight, high calorie, high energy (optional); Electrolytes powder or tablets (optional), Camera with extra batteries (optional), Paperwork, Trip Receipt, Passport, Visa (available at JRO), Immunization Papers, Insurance Documents.

Just to help you locate these items, we can recommend a couple of online stores:, and for all of your gear needs.

About the Author: Anthony J. Namata is a creative travel writer who blogs at, and writes exclusively for tour operators on safari destination Tanzania. For more information on booking a Kilimanjaro climb in Tanzania, visit:

Friday, October 13, 2017

Uncover the Lake Natron Mystery that Turns Animals to Stone

One of Africa’s most serene lakes has become the source of perhaps the most phantasmagorical photographs ever captured—images that depict living animals instantly turned to stone. What is responsible for this is the alkaline water in Lake Natron, whose PH is as high as 10.5 and is so caustic it can burn the skin and eyes of animals that aren't adapted to it. This article will look at one of the two alkaline lakes in East Africa—Lake Natron; the other is Lake Bahi. Both these lakes are fed by hot springs and small rivers, and do not drain out to any river or sea. They are basically shallow lakes in a very hot climate, with water temperatures as high as 106 degrees Fahrenheit (41 degrees Celsius).

The alkalinity of the water comes from the sodium carbonate and other minerals that flow into the lake from the surrounding hills. You’re going to be surprised to discover that deposits of sodium carbonate, once used in Egyptian mummification, are what act as a preservative for those animals unlucky enough to die in the waters of Lake Natron.

Some misleading media reports suggest that the animals die after coming into contact with the lake's water. This is untrue, however. The fact is Lake Natron's alkaline waters support a thriving ecosystem comprising freshwater wetlands, salt marshes, flamingos and other wetland birds, tilapia and the algae on which large flocks of flamingos feed. Haunting images of the lake and its dead have been captured by photographer Nick Brandt, and published in a book titled "Across the Ravaged Land."
Brandt discovered the remains of flamingos and other animals with chalky sodium carbonate deposits outlining their bodies in sharp relief. "I unexpectedly found the creatures — all manner of birds and bats — washed up along the shoreline of Lake Natron," Brandt wrote in his book. "No one knows for certain exactly how they die, but … the water has an extremely high soda and salt content, so high that it would strip the ink off my Kodak film boxes within a few seconds."

"I took these creatures as I found them on the shoreline, and then placed them in 'living' positions, bringing them back to 'life,' as it were," Brandt wrote, referring to how he repositioned the animals, to bring them back to life again in death.

If you want to enjoy the beauty of Lake Natron, the breeding season, where more than 2 million flamingos use the shallow lake as their primary breeding ground, would be an ideal time to visit. You’ll also get to see the flamingos' nests, which are built on small islands that form in the lake during the dry season. The view is breathtaking, and photography opportunities are simply magnificent.

About the Author: Anthony J. Namata is a creative travel writer who blogs at, and writes exclusively for tour operators on safari destination Tanzania. For more information on booking a safari to the mysterious Lake Natron in Tanzania, visit:

Hunting Expeditions: World’s Last Remaining Hunter Gatherer Tribe

If you have wondered what hunting with the Hadzabe hunter-gatherer tribe in Tanzania was like, then this article will not only take you through the penultimate experience into the cradle of humanity itself, it will show you on one level, how our relationship with food—or more accurately, with our ancestors and what might be the oldest food story in the world—that began in the large woodlands Savannahs east and south of the impressive Lake Eyasi… a beautiful soda lake that’s part of the Great Rift Valley of East Africa, where a small group of hunter gatherers live and exist today in exactly the same way they did over forty thousand years ago.

The Hadza are a population of just over a thousand people who survive on berry fruit, baobab tree fruit, honey, porcupine and other wild animals. They do not grow anything; don’t farm; and don’t keep poultry, or animals of any kind for subsistence. But what makes this tribe particularly interesting, is the revolutionary idea that this small group of people could be so crucial to the future of the whole human race. Professor of genetics, Tim Specter, believes the gut microbiome found in the Hadza population hold the key to the nutritional equivalent of the missing link.

The more you look at 40,000 to 50,000 years before obesity and diabetes, the more you’ll appreciate the absence of 21st century diseases in the Hadza population being directly linked to their diet and way of life that has existed and continues to exist for over fifty thousand years. A safari adventure into the footsteps of our ancestors, therefore, is perhaps the most fascinating experience you’ll ever have.

On a Hadza hunting expedition, expect an early morning rise when it is still dark, followed by a short Land Rover drive to the Hadza’s overnight camp. You’ll arrive at the crack of dawn to perhaps find a circle of men and boys sitting around a fire; most of whom would be silently gazing into the fire as they hand around a pipe, taking long, deep drags from it. They’ll be preparing arrows, checking their quills and placing them into quivers. A morning snack-hunt would involve hunting small animals. Don’t expect to go out on a big animal hunt with them, because it can be dangerous. The wounds you’ll likely sustain from an injured buffalo or baboon can be serious for the slow and uninitiated hunter.

That being said, you’re going to be surprised to find how exhilarating the thrill of the chase can be for you, even when you’ll likely find it rather impossible to keep up with the Hadza who seem to move like phantoms in the bush. If you’re the kind of person that wants to discover the thrill of the hunt with one of the last remaining hunter-gatherer tribes in the world, then a hunting safari with the Hadzabe is exactly what you’re looking for. So get ready to run through the scrub land; and to dodge low-hanging branches, thorny bushes and jump ditches, in an effort to keep up with the Hadza.

About the Author: Anthony J. Namata is a creative travel writer who blogs at, and writes exclusively for tour operators on safari destination Tanzania. For more information on booking a Hadzabe hunting safari in Tanzania, visit:

A Closer Look at What Inspired Serengeti Hot Air Balloon Safaris

On the 19th of September 1783, a scientist by the name Pilatre De Rozier launched the very first hot air balloon christened 'Aerostat Reveillon'. For obvious reasons, the passengers on this particular voyage were a sheep, a duck and a rooster. The balloon managed 15 minutes in the air before plummeting back to earth with a resounding crash. The first manned attempt came about two months later, on November 21st, with a balloon built by two French brothers, Joseph and Etienne Montgolfier. Launched from the center of Paris, the balloon flew for twenty minutes. And that was the birth of hot air ballooning! If you’ve ever desired a trip on the balloon over the natural habitat and beauty of African game, this article will help you explore what to expect on a Serengeti balloon safari centuries after the first flight.

What’s rather fascinating about the hot air balloon is that centuries after it was first invented, it is still flying and luring in more and more enthusiasts. It makes you wonder: there’s got to be something incredibly special about it. Novelist Jules Verne, generally considered a major literary author in France and most of Europe in the 1800s, dreamed of flying in a balloon, but it wasn’t until 1962 when his dream became a reality with a few balloon safari organizations springing up in East Africa, all of whom expressing plans to review their balloon safari offers to accommodate more enthusiasts.
Considered a breathtaking experience, flying in a balloon serves as a great opportunity to see wildlife, awe-inspiring landscapes, and cascading mountains and rivers from an aerial view. Since its birth in East Africa in the 1960s, millions have engaged in the adventure over the years.  According to historians, balloon safaris all began some 100 years after Jules Verne wrote his book “Five weeks in a Balloon”.

Antony Smith, a hot air balloonist; and Sir Alan Root, a photographer cum movie director, successfully flew in a hot air balloon from Zanzibar to inner Tanzania and later, through the Serengeti and the Great Rift Valley. That expedition had inspired Sir Alan Root to produce the film “Safari by Balloon,” which was watched by an estimated 98 million people in 28 countries.

Their desires, however, didn’t end there. In January 1976, Smith felt that people visiting the Maasai Mara could enjoy picturesque views from a hot air balloon. After the first flight took off that year from Keekorok Lodge in the Mara, thousands have since taken notes on the wildlife they saw from the skies, right across the region, including the breathtaking wonders of the Great Serengeti.

About the Author: Anthony J. Namata is a creative travel writer who blogs at, and writes exclusively for tour operators on safari destination Tanzania. For more information on booking a hot air balloon safari in Tanzania’s Serengeti, visit:

What to Expect on a Picturesque Serengeti Balloon Safari

If you’ve been wondering what to expect on a Serengeti balloon safari, it doesn’t surprise me. Well, you’ve probably read or heard a lot about this fascinating excursion through the skies of famous African terrain, but I can assure you there’s no need to mull over it anymore. This article will aim to take you through the actual experience, so that you know exactly what to expect on a picturesque Serengeti balloon safari.

Your Serengeti balloon safari begins in the wee hours of the morning on the day of departure. As a valued guest of the excursion, you will receive a wake-up call in your tented camp or lodge. You will then get stuck in with a hearty breakfast, with local teas and bites on the menu. As your curiosity and expectations for the trip reach fever pitch, you will be whisked to the site of departure of the grand hot air balloon.

You can expect around 12 to 14 people to enter the balloon’s basket. Typically, those are the numbers per balloon safari. You will be advised to wear warm clothing and to bring along a camera and perhaps a notebook to take notes of the animals and the vast expanse of safari attractions below as you fly overhead.

Once on board, the pilot will light up the banners and as the flames flare, the balloon will begin to inflate and eventually rise to the skies. What with the basket suspended beneath the balloon, you’ll get to enjoy an unobstructed view of the wildlife, landscape, and the rivers and lakes beneath. It is an experience like none other.

What is truly amazing and magical about the balloon safari, is the tranquility, stillness and silence as it glides through the skies. Occasionally, you’ll hear sounds from below: from elephants bustling through the bush, baboons screeching from trees; and you’ll even hear lions roar. After being in flight for an hour, the balloon will return to base and you disembark to an awaiting celebration with champagne and delicious bites. And for having had the opportunity to fly in a hot air Serengeti balloon safari expedition, you will be awarded a certificate. What a splendid way to end an unforgettable voyage that has been around for literally centuries. Its intrinsic historical value alone is worth the experience. So, if you’ve been contemplating a trip on a hot air balloon, now you know what to expect.

About the Author: Anthony J. Namata is a creative travel writer who blogs at, and writes exclusively for tour operators on safari destination Tanzania. For more information on booking a Serengeti balloon safari in Tanzania, visit:

Thursday, October 12, 2017

How to Draw Inspiration From an African Safari to Create a Hollywood Blockbuster

This may sound a little farfetched, I know, but if you were to let your imagination run wild while watching animals during an exotic vacation, who knows, you may came up with an outline for a blockbuster film or book. Well, are you a writer looking for the perfect setting around which to weave a compelling plot? So what are you going to do about it? This article will help ignite that fire within you to overcome writers block or whatever it is that’s holding you back, to use the enchanting African tapestry of wildlife, flora and fauna to come up with a plot befitting a Hollywood blockbuster.

There are no guarantees, but if you put your mind to it, who knows what you can come up with. The Lion King, inspired by the Serengeti in Tanzania, is one example of how one can draw inspiration from an African wilderness setting. Bestselling author Wilber Smith writes his novels in an African setting. He has sold millions of books. So let’s take a look at how to create a compelling plot around a setting that is, presumably, unfamiliar territory to you. I’d say don’t think too hard. If you can afford it, travel to an African destination and take a safari excursion. Soak in everything you see around you and let your imagination run wild.

Many years ago, when I’d completed my first creative writing course, I embarked on penning my very first novel with an intricate plot woven around the Seychelles islands. I wasn’t a great writer back then, so my manuscript has, over the years, undergone several revisions. To come up with a plot, the fastest way is to imagine yourself in the plot by drawing on your surroundings for backdrop, and begin developing a story around that. It flows more naturally when you work from yourself outward, even when you write in the third person. Let’s say you travel to Tanzania to find that inspiration, the key thing is to soak up anything and everything you see on the trip. From the minute you step off the plane, begin a search for likely characters and settings for your story. Take down the names of streets you find interesting; make a note of how you would describe these locations in your literary work; talk to people, try to find out something about their personal lives. It may trigger something.

Tanzanians, especially, are very friendly people. It would be very easy to start up a conversation with anyone. If you need a translator, get one! Remember, you are looking for a story with an interesting backdrop; a compelling plot; and most importantly, characters that will breathe life into your story. A leaf dropping off a tree; a lion sprawled lazily over a tree trunk; an exotic bird tweeting from a nearby nest, can all help trigger an idea for your book and bring sizzling ingredients to your plot…but only when you listen and allow your creative flow to run its full course.

About the Author: Anthony J. Namata is a creative travel writer who blogs at, and writes exclusively for tour operators on safari destination Tanzania.

Grannies on Safari Explore the Spice Island of Zanzibar

Marilyn Miglin, a cosmetic icon, traveled with Grannies on Safari best friends and co-hosts Pat Johnson and Regina Fraser to Zanzibar back in May 2009, to fulfill her quest to find ingredients for a new fragrance. The new scent, Zanzi, is infused with mysterious spices from Zanzibar Island. Their televised journey was tremendous fun and its excitement is seemingly captured in the fragrance. After a trip to South Africa, the famous duo made another trip to Zanzibar this year. What is it about Zanzibar that has visitors from far and wide returning to this fabulous Indian Ocean Island in Tanzania? This article will explore Zanzibar’s exoticness and how you too, drawing inspiration from the two globetrotting grannies, can seize the day and see the world.

Both cancer survivors, Fraser and Johnson, who sold their fur coats to raise seed money for their travel project, wanted to inspire folks of all ages to seize the day and see the world. Exclusively sponsored by AARP, their TV series airs on PBS stations nationwide across the USA and in 117 countries via UK Travel Channel. When they arrived in Egypt with a group, the day civil unrest erupted, they ended up reporting for news channels back in the States. In the third season of their Grannies on Safari, their itinerary includes travels to India, Peru, South Africa (Western Cape) and the Island of Zanzibar in Tanzania.

Like Fraser, who worked as marketing executive for Chicago-based United Airlines, I too worked as marketing executive for a travel agency in Dar es salaam for ten years. In so far as travel goes, those were my best years. I can’t honestly say anything out there can ever compare to travel. It’s fun, educational, relaxing…and to see other cultures and peoples is perhaps the most amazing experience I’ve ever had. If you haven’t traveled, for whatever reason, draw some inspiration from the Grannies on Safari and plan your own trip sometime soon.

"We are role models because we are women, we are role models because we are women of color, and role models because we are women of color who are articulate and who are not pulling each others' hair out," says Fraser. And what’s interesting is that their viewership includes a large number of 55-year-old white men. The two women have been contacted by viewers who wanted to know where they were going next because they (viewers) wanted to join them. And they did!

The capital of Zanzibar, located on the island of Unguja, is Zanzibar City, and its historic center, known as Stone Town, is a World Heritage Site. Spices, raffia, and tourism are its main industries... particularly, production of cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and pepper. Sun, sand and sea are a huge tourist attraction with crystal clear waters, and fascinating underwater life ideal for diving and snorkeling. And mainland Tanzania, only fifteen minutes away from Zanzibar by plane, with all its wonderful flora, fauna and wildlife in the Selous, Serengeti, Manyara, Ngorongoro and Mount Kilimanjaro, is the perfect add-on destination to combine a spice island experience with the more rugged safari. The Grannies on Safari may have inspired a whole new generation of travelers from all walks of life, but I’m almost certain, if you put your mind to it, you too can get to see the world on YOUR terms.

About the Author: Anthony J. Namata is a creative travel writer who blogs at, and writes exclusively for tour operators on safari destination Tanzania.

Ngorongoro Crater: Experience the Garden of Eden

What really fascinates me about the Ngorongoro crater is how it was formed about three million years ago. To imagine that it was once a mountain as high as the Kilimanjaro and that it blew up to cover the Serengeti in ash and then the crater floor sank leaving the rim to form a natural enclosure 2,285 metres high, is in itself mind boggling. It’s an amazing kaleidoscope into the formation of one of our planet’s most incredible wonders. This article will look at Ngorongoro as the best self-contained safari destination in the world; how it came into being and what you can expect to see.

The stalking ground of anywhere from twenty to thirty thousand wild animals, the Ngorongoro  has an ecological environment that includes grasslands, swamps, forests and central soda lake Makat – filled by Munge river – is an idyllic location for wildlife to drink, wallow, graze, hide or climb. The crater rim is over two thousand meters high and what makes it all the more majestic and imposing is it touches swathes of clouds for most days of the year.

Your choice of accommodation ranges from the luxurious top end hotel on the rim of the crater, like the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge; to the more crowded type of set up at the Ngorongoro Serena Lodge; to the best tented camp in the area – the Lemala Ngorongoro – much more atmospheric than the Serena. And there’s Gibbs Farm in an absolutely great setting and boasts a famous reputation to boot. Plantation Lodge, located in the highlands, is away from the action on the rim of the crater but offers superb value and atmosphere. At the top end of the scale is The Manor, a fairly new and extremely luxurious hotel whose staff -- as it happens, have a genuine passion for hospitality. All things considered, the Ngorongoro, has a breathtaking landscape, incredible game viewing opportunities and a history of its creation still as vivid as it may have been 3 million years ago -- after its dramatic irruption.

Summary: The wondrous mysteries of our beautiful planet and how some of the wonders of the world like the Ngorongoro came to being is fascinating. The Ngorongoro, formerly as high as the Kilimanjaro 3 million years ago, blew up to form the crater we know today, home to thousands of wild animals AND the endangered Black Rhino who continue to breed in the wild. With a rim that’s over 2,000 meters high and swathing the clouds most days of the year, it offers the animals a vast self-contained enclave with an ecological environment that includes grasslands, swamps, forests and a lake in which to drink, wallow, graze, hide or climb. There is limited accommodation to be found in the area. However, the choice of staying in a hotel, lodge, or tented camp to suit your budget is available to the holidaymaker. Just make sure you plan your Ngorongoro safari ahead of time. Your tour operator will be able to help you sort out your travel plans according to your budget and interest, so that you will get to experience the best this Garden of Eden has to offer.

About the Author: Anthony J. Namata is a creative travel writer who blogs at, and writes exclusively for tour operators on safari destination Tanzania. 

Olduvai Gorge: Experience the Cradle of Mankind

The Cradle of Mankind is an important prehistoric site in Tanzania’s Olduvai Gorge. If like me you’re intrigued by the story of the evolution of mankind, Olduvai Gorge, a designated World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1979 for its outstanding ecological and geological value, is the one place on earth steeped in layers of prehistoric finds dating as far back as 2.6 million years. A steep-sided ravine in the Great Rift Valley, the Olduvai Gorge stretches through eastern Africa and has been instrumental in furthering understanding of early human evolution. This article will look at the evolution of humankind and what you can expect to see in a touristic setting.

Wilhelm Kattwinkel, a German entomologist, whilst chasing a fancy butterfly in the green wilds of Tanganyika, tumbled off a rocky ledge and found himself in an anthropologist's dream world: an erosion-created rift with layer after layer of fossils, bones and ancient artifacts. The find was named Olduvai Gorge, derived from the Masaai word Oldupai, which is the local name of the wild sisal plant that grows in the area. The name Olduvai was ultimately adopted as the official name in 2005. Pioneered by Louis and Mary Leakey, excavation began in 1931 and continued into the 21st century.
As a tourist, you will be visiting a site that millions of years ago, was a large lake, the sides of which were covered with layers of volcanic ash. 500,000 years ago, seismic activity diverted a nearby stream which, over time, cut into the sediments to expose seven layers in the walls of the gorge.

These layers revealed tools from 2.6 million years ago; bones of primitive huminid forms (not of modern humans); evidence of elephant consumption, based on a nearly complete skeleton of extinct Elephas Recki on bed six along with stone tools such as choppers and flakes, and large numbers of smaller animals found with it clearly identify this particular area (FLK North) as an early butchering site. Beds three and four have produced Acheulean tools and fossil bones from over 600,000 years ago. The amount of history embedded in these layers of rock captures the imagination and provides a glimpse at the evolution of humankind. 

If only for the thrill of walking along the footpaths of these immensely important discoveries, the Olduvai Gorge experience is likely to fulfill your desire to experience the historical evolution of man. There is a museum on site; lodges and camping sites in the vicinity; and organized tours of the area available to the tourist. Consult your tour operator to plan an unforgettable trip to the Olduvai Gorge and for detailed information on how to make the most of your safari. Tanzania’s northern circuit is usually quite busy, especially during high season, so it is always advisable to plan your trip considerably ahead of time. Reading about how we humans evolved from the history books is one thing, but actually setting foot on the grounds our forbears trod and through which they evolved to what we are today is quite another. A tour of the great Olduvai Gorge is the one place on earth where generations of our evolution is safely embedded.

About the Author: Anthony J. Namata is a creative travel writer who blogs at, and writes exclusively for tour operators on safari destination Tanzania.

The Beauty of an African Safari during Animal Migration

Predators and other mammals are territorial. They are resident game and wouldn’t go beyond their own ranges to follow the migration. It is the wildebeest, gazelle and zebra that migrate in search of fresh grazing. Let’s put it this way. When the food supply dries up, they move on to greener pastures… as the saying goes. Now then, how does this benefit YOU the safari holidaymaker? I can think of a couple of things. Action and more action! Not only do you get to see the migration of over a million animals, you also get to see some of them getting pounced on and chomped up by the predator. Sounds like a melodramatic third rate movie really, but this is for real. This article will offer tips on when and where to go on safari to catch the migration in two countries: Tanzania and Kenya.

The Maasai Mara in Kenya is usually busy when the migration heads back from Tanzania. You’ll witness large river crossings on the Grumeti and Mara Rivers as they head to the far north for fresh grazing and water round about August, September and October. Migration in Tanzania’s Serengeti, on the other hand, is active for 9 months. So plan on either Kenya or Tanzania, obviously, you couldn’t do both countries at the same time. But do bear in mind that during migration prices are considerably high and advance bookings are an absolute essential. If you’re unable to get space, you’d be better off postponing your safari. If you’re going to travel thousands of miles to see the migration, you might as well be there when there is a migration. That’s what I would do anyway. 

Resident game, however, is always there. If your main interest, therefore, is to see specific resident game like elephant, wild dog, leopard, lion, crocodile, hippo etc., destinations other than Mara and Serengeti could have a lot more to offer.

Crowd density can be quite high. Especially around the hotels and lodges, which are generally full regardless of where the migration is happening. When the migration is in full swing, everyone from the hotels and lodges heads to where the action is. There are ways around the crowd, however. Plan your trip with smaller outfits and have them plan your tours at more flexible times, like early in the morning before the hordes of tourists arrive. Have breakfast in the bush if you must, under a tree while the minibuses do their rounds. Armed with this information, consult your tour operator and have them work out an itinerary with flexibility in mind.

In Summary: If you want to see over a million animals migrate to greener pastures, migration season is where the action is at. It is an amazing spectacle to see, and all the more reason why you need to plan your trip way in advance. Also make note of the fact that during migration prices are at a premium rate. Hence, you will need to book in advance. And if you are unable to find placement during this period and your main interest is to see the migration, then it is recommended that you postpone your trip. If you’re going to travel thousands of miles to see the migration then I’m sure it’ll be worth the wait. Tanzania is busy 9 months of the year, whilst the Masaai Mara in Kenya is busy in August, September and October.

About the Author: Anthony J. Namata is a creative travel writer who blogs at, and writes exclusively for tour operators on safari destination Tanzania.

Overlooked Honeymoon Destinations

With the royal wedding just gone and many a celebrity wedding come and gone, the one phrase that has somewhat become a conversation piece with weddings of late is ‘safari honeymoon’. Somewhere down the line it always gets a mention. There’s something about the adventure and tranquility of the wilderness that conjures up images of a vacation nothing less than idyllic. In this article, we will explore the safari honeymoon in a tropical paradise setting ideal for celebrating newlyweds. 

Imagine a candlelit dinner for two on a riverbank at sunset; or rose petals leading from the game-drive vehicle to your room on your return from a private bush dinner. Add to that the sounds and scents of the wilderness and the starlit African sky, and you have a recipe for romance that brings you not only closer to nature, but also has a way of bringing newlyweds closer to one-another.
After weeks of wedding planning and perhaps a long-haul flight, the last thing you want to do is get up at 5am to go on a game drive. It would be so much more relaxing to take a couple of days off on the beach, or at a lodge that isn’t a safari destination, to get over the jetlag and the exhaustion brought on by the wedding. This is where you get to unwind for a few days before moving on to a busier schedule with touring. Your choice of accommodation henceforth could range from the lodges, to the tented camps and hotels. It would be ideal, however, to find accommodation that caters for small groups of people, say up to 20 people at a time. And then of course, when planning your trip, let your tour operator know what you want to see. Be specific…so they can tailor something suitable to your needs and budget. It is your honeymoon after all. Get the best you can out of it!

Tanzania has the best of both worlds. You’ll get the beach, sun and sand all you want, and a trip into the wilderness in the northern or southern circuit of this beautiful country. In the north you’ll get to enjoy game viewing around the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, home to the Serengeti, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater, Olduvai Gorge and Tarangire national parks.

Tanzania’s southern circuit’s Selous is Africa's largest unexploited game reserve. And then there’s Ruaha National Park whose Elephant sanctuary is the largest in Tanzania. If you want to view wildlife off the beaten path, ask your tour operator to give you the lowdown on Tanzania’s southern circuit and what it has to offer the honeymooner in search of a quiet yet exciting location to relax and unwind.

In Summary: A safari honeymoon has had its share of mentions in recent years, what with the royal wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton, and discussions and rumors of similar bent that have surfaced with a host of other celebrities, the idea of a honeymoon in the wilderness is getting all the more appealing to many. That said, to arrange a memorable safari honeymoon requires good planning. Great and diverse safari holiday destinations abound, but what makes all the difference is when you plan according to your needs. You may come up with your own ideas, it’s up to you, or perhaps work with what’s already available, but whatever you do, make sure you get a couple of days rest before you move on to a more hectic schedule. After the wedding, the last thing you want to experience is a fast paced vacation from the outset, without giving yourselves time to catch your breath. At the end of your tour, it is recommended that you take another couple of days off to recover before heading home.  Tanzania offers the best of both worlds. The sea, sun and exotic world famous game reserves in both the north and south of the country.  So if you want a memorable safari honeymoon, consider Tanzania for sun, sea, beach and the wilderness.

About the Author: Anthony J. Namata is a creative travel writer who blogs at, and writes exclusively for tour operators on safari destination Tanzania.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Top 3 Reasons Why Lions Climb Trees In Manyara National Park

I wonder whether—you, like many safari enthusiasts—are fascinated with the prospect of seeing tree-climbing lions in Lake Manyara; for which the Manyara national park on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania has become all the rage. It would seem rather peculiar when people want to see lions in trees and Leopards on the ground. Paradoxically, some seem to think it is a marketing ploy invented by Tanzanian tour operators to generate interest in this particular safari destination. Well, there is divided opinion right across the board, and that’s why this article will look at the top 3 possible reasons why lions would climb trees in the first place. So let’s take a closer look at the lion in their natural habitat, so we can begin to figure out why you’ll find them languishing lazily on top of a tree.

First, Manyara isn’t the only place you’ll find these beautiful animals in trees. However, it is more likely that on a very hot day, they would seek refuge in trees… just to catch a bit of breeze and, ubiquitously, some much-needed shade. I must hand it to them though, they are pretty smart. That being said, I have seen lions in trees in many other parks, so it isn’t synonymous only with Manyara and Ishasha. The other two most plausible reasons why you’ll spot tree-climbing lions in Lake Manyara is what I want to discuss next.

Possibly, the second reason why lions in Manyara and Ishasha climb trees more often is because these parts sometimes do get very wet. And lions tend to dislike walking on wet ground. So when there are very heavy rains and the lakes are flooding, it is quite probable that they will want to climb trees to keep their feet dry. And the third reason why lions would climb trees would be to get away from the awfully bothersome flies. You only need to see the volume of flies that surround these animals at times, to empathize with them.

And to conclude this article, I felt it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t touch on the spectacular birdlife in Manyara, because that alone justifies a visit to the park. The topic of birds deserves an article dedicated specifically to it, but since we’re talking about Lake Manyara National Park, if you love birds, you’ll be delighted to know that there are over 300 bird species in this area alone, including Eurasian migrant birds, acacia associated birds, raptors, and 3 endangered Tanzanian species. Lake Manyara National Park and Lake Natron also offer great opportunities to watch Flamingo gathering in flocks of tens of thousands to even several hundred thousand on the shores of the lake. Lake Natron is the breeding ground for flamingoes, whilst Lake Manyara in Tanzania is their feeding ground.

Thus, tree-climbing lions in Lake Manyara are not the only attraction. You’ll find some breathtaking views of birds in trees and in picturesque splendor all over the shores of the lake too.

About the Author: Anthony J. Namata is a creative travel writer who blogs at, and writes exclusively for tour operators on safari destination Tanzania. For more information on booking a visit to the Manyara National Park in Tanzania, visit:

Monday, October 9, 2017

Discover the Amazing Advantages of Going on a Luxurious Mobile Tented Safari

What I particularly like about mobile tented camps is that they are seasonal and can be removed during the rainy season or relocated to where the game is. Permanent structures in the bush have their advantages but a tented camp kind of brings you closer to nature. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to view game on foot and horseback from around your camp site? This article will discuss the numerous options and advantages of going on a tented safari in the African bush.

A tented safari doesn’t mean you have to resort to propping up your own tent in the wilderness and cook for yourself; it can be a lot more exciting than that...a lot more luxurious in fact, IF you let the professionals take care of the mundane chores whilst you sit back and enjoy the wilderness, wildlife, and the night sky as you camp around a fire grilling some delicious game meat. I’m going to assume that you want a break, right? Now let’s take a look at what you can expect to experience.

Mobile tented safaris allow you to immerse yourself in the wild, away from other tourists, away from the bright lights (typical with lodges) that deny you views of the African night sky. Not to mention, the annoying sound of generators that – in addition to providing power, pollute and sour the atmosphere. Permanent camps serve their purpose, but a mobile tent is by far more liberating in that, you can follow the game; you can find idyllic locations you may want to spend time in and camp there; it opens up a world of opportunities for an exhilarating African safari adventure. All laced with the amenities of large walk-in tents with comfortable beds, a tent to dine in, and a crew of people to take care of your 3 course dinners; serving your cold drinks; ensuring you get a hot shower and that you are comfortable. With a mobile safari camp not only do you enjoy privacy, you have the flexibility to plan the route you take, and perhaps most importantly, seeing the wildlife on your own terms. It also allows you to plan and schedule your own game drives with your guide. When you choose to leave camp, be it at dawn and returning by dusk, or you decide to stay in bed and then have a lazy breakfast and watch what happens from camp, is entirely up to you.

In summary: Safari camps in permanent structures are great and serve their purpose, but if you’d like to get closer to the wilderness and away from the roaring generators and the bright lights that deny you the sounds and scents of the wilderness and a clear view of the African night sky, consider a mobile camping safari. Having to prop up your own tent and to take care of all the mundane, yet essential, chores to keep you fed, bathed and tracking down where the action is can be a deterrent, agreed, but it doesn’t have to be that way. The tented safari experience has moved on to cater to the more discerning clientele who want to experience a bit of rough and still enjoy a bit of luxury. So the next time you’re considering an Africa safari, ask your tour operator to provide you with further information on mobile camping safaris.

About the Author: Anthony J. Namata is a creative travel writer who blogs at, and writes exclusively for tour operators on safari destination Tanzania.

How to Plan a Safari Holiday around the East African Safari Rally

When I was a little boy growing up in East Africa, I used to follow the East African Safari Rally with a lot of interest and enthusiasm. I remember back then I wouldn’t miss it for the world! Now if you’re a rally enthusiast and want to enjoy the best of both worlds—an exciting safari rally and a fabulous safari holiday—organizers of the Kenya Airways East African Safari Classic Rally have unveiled their night stops schedule for this year’s competition that will run from November 18 to 29. This article will explore the safari holiday options along the safari rally route winding through the game parks and tourist resorts in both Kenya and Tanzania. So, if like me, you are a safari rally enthusiast, this article can help you get started with planning your trip.

The rally kicks off from the Sarova Whitesands Hotel in Mombasa, Kenya. Mombasa, an island separated from the mainland by two creeks, Port Reitz in the south and Tudor Creek in the north, is a coastal town steeped in history and the center of coastal tourism with some of the most fabulous beaches and marine life on the East African coast. If a holiday on the beach is what you desire, Mombasa would be an ideal place to enjoy your vacation and watch the rally start early on the morning of November 20. On that very day, the rally will finish deep inside Amboseli National Park at the Kilima Safari Camp…clearly, another location you may want to be at when rally drivers arrive. You can’t be at both places on the same day without having to join the race, so you’re going to have to choose: either you camp out in the Amboseli National Park to see them arrive and then enjoy a spot of game viewing when they’ve departed; OR see them as they take off in Mombasa. I like to see the cars in a more roughened-up state, in which case I would go for the latter.

On the second day the rally heads to Tanzania where the roads on this event are the toughest, and breaks at the Mount Meru Hotel in Arusha where the crew will spend November 21st and 22nd and then rally under the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro before re-entering Kenya. Your choice of safari holiday therefore, spans two East African countries from the Kenyan coast to the game reserves in both countries.

Arusha, a city in northern Tanzania, is surrounded by some of the most famous landscapes and national parks in Africa. Situated below Mount Meru the city has its own National Park on Mount Meru and is close to the famous Serengeti national park, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, Olduvai Gorge, Tarangire National Park, and Mount Kilimanjaro. When it comes to what to do and where to go, you will be spoilt for choice. My advice is you consult a tour operator on available options according to your budget and interests, and then please don’t forget to make your reservations early.
In Summary: With the Kenya Airways East African Safari Classic Rally dates and routing now out, there’s no better time than now to plan a safari holiday that’ll see you soak up the Mombasa sun; swim and snorkel in the Indian ocean; and view game in some of the most exotic locations in both Kenya and Tanzania. If you love fast cars AND the safari rally, this is the time to plan a safari holiday of a lifetime. Just make sure you consult a tour operator on all available options, and try to stay updated on the safari event so you can plan your trip around it. 

About the Author: Anthony J. Namata is a creative travel writer who blogs at, and writes exclusively for tour operators on safari destination Tanzania.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Want Identity Theft Examples? 10 Unbelievable Identity Theft Cases

One thing is for sure. You never think it can happen to you. But when you read this countdown to the most incredible identity theft cases recorded, chances are you’ll think again because these identity theft examples will astound you.

A fraudster named Gerald Barnbaum lost his pharmacist license after committing Medicaid fraud. He got his credentials after stealing the identity of Dr. Gerald Barnes and went on to practice medicine under his name. A type 1 diabetic died under his care. And what’s even more astonishing is that “Dr. Barnes” even worked as a staff physician for a center that gave exams to FBI agents. He is currently serving hard time.

A man named Mark Tufano got his little joy ride by impersonating famed actors like Gary Oldman. In this identity theft example Tufano sent a video of himself as Gary Oldman portraying Andy Kaufman. And what’s even more surprising is that it actually fooled the man who wanted Oldman to portray Kaufman in Man On The Moon. The real Gary Oldman caught wind of the scam and got it busted.

Drug smuggler Marcelo Nascimento da Rocha impersonated Henrique Constantino, the brother of the CEO of Gol Airlines. He enjoyed the jet-set high life but then he got busted after sleeping with a woman who actually knew the real Constantino. Talk about identity theft examples, I think this one is hard to beat. Not sure? Let's read on.

Keep an eye on your wallet! The likes of Andrea Harris-Frazier had better not get their hands on YOUR wallet. When Margot Somerville lost her wallet on a trolley, two years later she was arrested. Andrea Harris-Frazier had defrauded several banks—using Somerville’s identity—out of tens of thousands of dollars. The real crook was caught.

Watch out for the innocent looking roommate

Brittany Ossenfort got a new roommate, Michelle, who got a haircut just like Ossenfort’s. One day Ossenfort received a call at her office from the cops asking her to bail herself out of jail. As it happens, “Michelle” had been hooking on the streets, literally posing as Ossenfort and was caught. What’s even more shocking is that it turns out “Michelle” was really Richard Lester Phillips, living as a woman.

Lara Love and David Jackson were a California couple who one day began tapping into a neighbor’s wireless Internet router. This led to them raiding the neighbors’ personal data. By the time this pair were busted, thirty victims had been affected.

Frederic Bourdin liked to impersonate missing children, including Nicholas Barclay, a missing teen. And he practically fooled the teen’s family, despite Bourdin looking nothing like Barclay (including different hair and eye color—amazing, isn’t it?). More stunning is that the family was fooled for nearly a year until fingerprints proved his real identity. He’s been in and out of jail since.

Ferdinand Demara was a daring serial imposter who used medical books to fudge his way through surgeries he performed onboard a ship during the Korean War… by impersonating Dr. Joseph Cyr. Prior to this caper, he had faked his own death and even went AWOL under a friend’s name when in the Army. Some of these identity theft examples are so elaborate, they'd spice up the plot to a bestselling novel any day of the week.

According to authorities, busboy Abraham Abdallah pulled off a massive identity theft and ripped off some of the richest people in America, including Steven Spielberg. Armed with basic information about the wealthiest people in the U.S. from Forbes Magazine, Abdallah allegedly used computers in Brooklyn libraries to get detailed confidential information about 200 of those listed. Then, posing as his victims, he tried get money from their brokerage or investment bank accounts. Read the full report on this stunning scam here.

Phillip Cummings, a fat cat who worked for a software company, sold customers’ credit card reports to a Nigerian ID theft ring for $30 each—30,000 times. That’s an unbelievable $900,000 in illegal earnings. You wanted identity theft examples? Well there you have it!

Seriously?! Really, get identity theft protection!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Serengeti through the Lens of Academy Award Winning Cinematography

The feature film Serengeti Shall Not Die, released June 25, 1959, was written, produced, directed and narrated by German producer Bernhard Grzimek. It won an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Award for Best Documentary Feature - 1959. When I was still a kid growing up in Dar es salaam -- many years after its release -- I remember seeing this movie with my parents at the Drive In Cinema. I will remember that experience for the rest of my life. It was amazing. This article, through the lens of award winning cinematography, will discuss the Serengeti; how its beauty has inspired the movie industry; and how you too can experience its incredibly vast treeless plains -- 30,000 square kilometers of it!

The Lion King, a 1994 animated feature film from Walt Disney and its subsequent theatrical production, were inspired by the Serengeti.  The Lion King, a musical, garnered two Academy Awards and the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture. Elton John composed the songs and Tim Rice was lyricist with an original score by Hans Zimmer. This movie grossed over eight hundred million dollars worldwide and until 2003, it was the most successful animated feature film. To date, it remains the sixth highest grossing animated film and the highest grossing hand-drawn animated feature film. Disney didn’t stop there. They later produced a sequel, The Lion King II and Simba's Pride (1998); and a prequel/parallel, The Lion King 1½ (2004).

The fact that the movie’s inspiration came from the Serengeti speaks volumes. And to think that its ecosystem, wildlife and national park have not only inspired the movie industry, they’ve inspired, bedazzled and attracted many a tourist from all over the world, says a lot about this wondrous safari destination. Serengeti has well and truly earned its rightful place as one of the ten natural travel wonders of the world. It offers seemingly endless plains; the world famous circular migration of over two million mammal across Tanzania and Kenya; and a guaranteed front row view of an action packed tapestry of diverse habitats ranging from riverine forests, swamps, kopjes, grasslands and woodlands; and not to mention Wildebeests, gazelles, zebras, buffalos, giraffe, lion, leopard and cheetah to name but a few. To borrow the title of the movie that brought Serengeti to the world, I say, Serengeti shall not die!

In Summary: A Hollywood movie studio, inspired by the Serengeti, brought us blockbuster animated movie The Lion King. The movie grossed in excess of eight hundred million dollars around the world. A German producer, back in 1959, brought Serengeti Shall Not Die to cinemagoers around the world and won an Academy Award for best feature film that year. Tanzania’s Serengeti, to have attracted the attention of movie producers, and to have been appreciated and embraced by people around the world says a lot about what it (Serengeti) has to offer the world in terms of its ecosystem, wildlife and national park. To plan a trip to the Serengeti to see for yourself where the inspiration for all these incredibly successful movies came from, consult your tour operator and please do make sure that you book your safari holiday early.

About the Author: Anthony J. Namata is a travel writer and Internet marketing consultant to travel & tour operators. To book a safari in Tanzania, contact Arusha based tour operator Abrojaley Africa.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Walking Safaris in the Footsteps Of Famous Explorers

Designated a UNESCO World heritage Site in 1982, the Selous game reserve in Tanzania has a very diverse wildlife and virtually undisturbed nature. Named after Englishman Sir Frederick Selous, the reserve is one of the largest faunal reserves of the world. 

So picture this: A walking safari in a reserve area that spans 54,600 km² (21,081 square miles) and has a history of famous explorers, hunters and conservationists dating as far back as 1879. Wouldn’t that be extraordinary? Well, this article will aim to shed some light on some of the best walking safari opportunities Tanzania has to offer.

Sir Frederick Selous died at Beho Beho, a territory in the Selous, in 1917 while fighting against the Germans during World War I. Keith Johnston, a Scottish explorer, died in Beho Beho in 1879 leading a RSGS expedition to the Great Lakes of Africa with Joseph Thomson. Walking can be great fun, and when you know you’re stepping into an African wilderness steeped in history, even more so. 

A walking safari in this part of the world is the perfect escape from the modern world -- with its vehicles for transportation -- to the old way of getting around, as did the explorers, on foot.  Imagine reliving the experiences of some of the world’s greatest explorers. I’m sure you will agree, just the thought of it is so tempting. Walking gets you closer to nature, in fact. You’ll get to see places you wouldn’t see from a vehicle; watch animals at close range without them even being aware of your presence. And by night you’ll take refuge in a fly-camp; enjoy hot bucket showers; and hot homemade meals around a camp fire. The adventure can be thrilling. 

And don’t you worry about the mosquitoes, sleeping units are equipped with mosquito nets; and for your walkabouts, there’s always the repellent creams and sprays to help keep them at bay. The best time to go on a walking safari in the Selous is from June to October. The rest of the year is unbearably hot and uncomfortable to walk.

In Summary: There are more ways than one to enjoy a safari in Tanzania. Walking is one full-of-adventure way of taking in the deepest African wilderness, where vehicles have absolutely no access, and natural habitat is so close you can touch it. Unlike the minibus tours that are, sadly, commonplace in the tourist circuit, walking safaris do away with the vehicles to take you deeper into the wilderness.

In Tanzania’s southern circuit Selous, where great explorers, hunters and conservationists set foot as far back as 1879 before us, is undoubtedly an idyllic location to experience Africa in its most natural. Travel to the Selous begins in Dar es salaam and heads south. You’ll have the option to fly there in light aircraft, or travel by road or by train.

For more information on what’s on offer and where to stay en-route to your walking expedition when you get there, make sure you consult your tour operator and make advance bookings as early as possible, bearing in mind that the best time to go on a walking safari in the Selous is from June to October. The rest of the year is unbearably hot and uncomfortable to walk.

To book a walking safari in Tanzania, contact Arusha based tour operator Abrojaley Africa

Anthony J. Namata
Creative Travel Writer

Billboard Producers Jittery Over Cher's Possible Trump Bashing During Awards Speech

Cher absolutely reviles Donald Trump and simply can't resist going after him Meryl Streep-style, at least that's the worry of Billboard producers who worry her acceptance speech could turn tawdry with the use of profane language to vent her anger and contempt for the President of the United States.

Production sources told TMZ ... they're dealing with what they believe is the inevitable -- Cher hates Donald Trump with a passion and will go on the attack Sunday night when she receives the Icon Award.

Here's the dilemma ... producers at Dick Clark Productions don't want to cut Cher's mic, because it will look like censorship and possibly even a pro-Trump move. It could also piss off the anti-Trump audience.

The flip side ... if Cher unleashes her considerable vocabulary of forbidden words, ABC could be in hot water with the FCC and then take it out on DCP.

Cher -- who is set to perform at her first award show in 15 years -- has been vocally against Trump, and has called him an obnoxious asshole and  a "f***ing" idiot. She also said, "He wants the adulation. He doesn't give a s**t about the work."

Source: TMZ