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.