It's that time of year when you when you want to get yourself or your loved one some thoughtful gifts. If you are going on a Safari or a Safari aficionado, here are some ideas that I can personally vouch for.
Seeking Information - my personal favorites:
- Beat About The Bush - This field guide tells you a story about the wildlife and birds. Things like 'do elephants have good memories?' to 'why do lions have manes?'. Fun Facts.
- Lion Share - David Bygott is one of the most recognized Safari guides. He and his wife wrote this book about the lion prides' saga in Serengeti giving them a human-like voice.
- The Birds of East Africa - give birds a chance. Once you start paying attention to birds, you will be hooked. Coo Coo.
My favorite hobby. I have moved on from being a hobbyist to amateur, ahem, and one of my favorite gifts to myself has been my camera.
If you or your partner are looking into buying a DSLR and are new to the camera game, I would recommend:
- a Canon T7i, a good starter DSLR camera.
- If you know you are going to use your camera often, get my current crop body Canon 70D or full body Canon 6D.
- Want the mother-load camera? Then go all out for the Canon 5DMarkIII.
And don't forget camera lens. There are so many options out there, but if you can get a zoom lens with at least 300 mm, you will be happy with your photographs. For my next Tanzania with Mefi Safari, I plan on getting the 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L lens.
If you want to do a good point and shoot, my client Natalie got the Canon Powershot. She had some great photographs and videos with this compact camera.
The other option is renting camera body and lens. Photo Rental Source is my go to place in Houston and they ship nationwide.
After a day or two on a game drive, everyone gets into the searching-mode for wildlife and birds with hawk-eyed Safari guides. A professional guide / guide trainer recommended these Vortex binoculars to me. The key to good binoculars he said, to simplify the complicated science behind the machine, is 10x42 and good prism glass.
Organizations we Trust:
These are my personal favorites because I can vouch that your gift will be put to good use. If you are going on Safari, we can arrange a visit or meeting. If you have been to these places or met our contacts on your Safari, hope you agree.
- David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust - they are amazing. From anti-poaching to caring for young elephants; you can donate or foster one or more elephants. My elephant is Ndoto.
- Carbon Tanzania - if you go on a Safari with us, you are already contributing to this great organization because all of our partners on the ground [a requirement for us to use them] offset carbon footprint with them. We can always do more.
- Rift Valley Children's Home - we stop every time we go to Ngorongoro and continue to be impressed with how happy, loved and smart the kids are here. Kudos to a great team lead by Mama India and Baba Peter.
- Honeyguide Foundation - we know Damian Bell and have seen him in action with ranger training. They protect the precious wildlife from human-wildlife conflict - a big issue - to poaching related matter. Wildlife is threatened from all sides - we must do all we can to help save so many species from extinction.
If you are into sustainable fashion, you will love that when you purchase items from these selected sellers, you are supporting females, like the Maasai ladies in the remote village of Mkuru in Northern Tanzania.
- My friend Tati who works with the Maasai ladies above sends beautiful jewelry to her Canadian business partner, Lotusland. I have a few of Tanzania Maasai Women Art pieces and always get complimented as they are so different. Want to buy the jewelry in Tanzania? Save your dollars and we will take you to Tati's store.
- Sidai Designs is another company helping the Maasai ladies. You can find their jewelry in beautiful Plantation Lodge, one of our favorite Safari Lodge.
Children's Book that my Kids love:
- Mama Panya's Pancake - we love this book, as you can see, about how sharing takes you much further in friendship. And it's the mother who learns this lesson from her warm son.
- Greedy Zebra - Mwenye Hadith, the author has so many great children's books but this one is my favorite. This solves the age old mystery of the zebra stripes.
- I am Jane Goodall - A true hero for all wildlife. She started research with chimps on Mahale Mountains and my November 2017 Tanzania with Mefi Safari takes me to her stomping grounds.
Enjoy your gifts or giving them. If you give to any of the organizations above, Asante Sana! Together, we take care of our wildlife, community and planet.