Safari Information

Elephant Day

August 12 - every year.

On this day, all of us who love elephants so much, come together and remind ourselves on why these animals are so precious to us and what we need to keep doing to safe guard their future. 

Serengeti Elephants Marching

Why Love Elephants?
Love them for their intelligence. Love them for the many emotions they display. Love them for their loyalty. Love them for the way they respect the dead. Love them for their grace. Love the little ones for their adorableness. Just love them.

Elephants are not just amazing to experience on Safari, they are incredibly important for our National Parks as a whole. From the water holes they create for other wildlife - especially important in the dry season, the seeds they transfer when they poo, the tree pruning they do along the way and much more. 

Baby Elephant Tanzania Safari

We need your help. Some trustworthy charities + organizations that do many great things for the African Elephant. Together, you and I can keep enjoying these amazing creatures on Safari.

David Sheldrick | WildAid | Elephantopia | Big Life Foundation | HoneyGuide Foundation

What is a Luxury Safari?

Luxury is relative to each one of us. 

Are you going to be happy with a perfectly good 5 gallon bucket private shower or do you need endless water and a bubble-bath tub? Can you handle a wilderness tent if it means enjoying a walking Safari away from the main camp? Just you and the open space.  
Or both as isn't travel the place to test our limits as well as indulge. 

We want to know more about your expectations on Safari. We have choices we can offer you on your Luxury Safari.

Luxury Safari in Serengeti

Whatever your travel style, 4 things you are guaranteed when enjoying a Luxury Safari with Journey To Africa.

1] PEACE OF MIND.
Our Safaris take care of you from arrival into any airport in Tanzania or Kenya to when we drop you off at the airport for your flight home. “Safaris are like grandmothers” – Susan Portnoy, a photographer mentioned. All the care with the warm and fuzzy.

You don't have to worry about opening your wallet when on Safari. All is taken care before you leave for your Safari. From your Safari vehicle with your expert guide, national park and conservation fees, meals, drinks which will be available in your vehicle, local flights, transfers mentioned, etc. You have to take care shopping and tips to the guide and crew. 

What we insist you must do is sit back and relax! You are on Safari.

Journey To Africa Safari Guide

2] EXPERIENCES AND GREAT MEMORIES.
Many studies 
show that happy people are those who have accumulated experiences and memories in their lives. We aim to enhance your happiness.
“Travel is my therapy.”

How do we plan on doing that?

  • Via our guides and their knowledge, warmth, patience and more. 
    To our first timer on Safari to our fifth timer client, our guides are our backbone. They help make great memories and experiences on your Safari. They are also our ambassadors. They will make you fall in love with being on Safari.
  • Attention to details as well as adding memories to your Safari.  
    We make sure all the dots and crosses are checked for your Safari. The adding memories part, we don’t want to give away too much but it’s the little things that make the big memories happen.
Breakfast on Journey To Africa Safari

3] RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME, RIGHT FIT.
We pay lots of attention to the lodge or tented camp we choose for you.
This is a big part of your Safari budget and the selection has to work for you.

Right Place and Right Time.
Crucial. We want you to maximize your wildlife viewing hence the lodges or tented camp has to be in the right place for the time of your travel. We will not go to a lodge or tented camp just because it is beautiful if it is not the right time to be in that area especially in Serengeti where you follow the Wildebeest and Zebra Migration. However, if going there is extremely important for you, we can make that happen or if you have extended time on Safari, sure. 

Right Fit.
We have a range of preferred lodges and tented camps, in different budgets, for us to recommend to you. Are you a family, multigenerational family, on honeymoon or anniversary, friend group, solo ... the lodge and tented camp will be suggested accordingly. The core values can not be compromised - food quality, room amenities, staff service, ambiance of the lodge, etc. Even if you are 'roughing it' with our wilderness camping, the core expectations have to be met for us to offer them to you.

lounge_view.jpg

4] LODGES WITH A SOUL.
Our criteria when choosing the lodges we recommend is that they have to have the 3 Cs. Conservation + Community + Carbon off-setting ethos.

Your dollars must help out in a lot of behind the scenes effort. The ability to assist the visiting country, it’s people and the precious wildlife. When picking the lodges or tented camps we recommend, this is a big priority. 

Family Safari

Whether it is wildlife conservation via Honeyguide Foundation with our ground partners or supporting a sustainable orphanage by building a fully equipped bakery like Rhotia Valley Tented Lodge or off setting carbon footprints like our walking Safari partners.

Our lodges also support a lot of families. A staff member in our lodge will take care of 4-6 + family members at home. Your Safari dollars will go a long way on your Safari in Tanzania.

Ask us for more details on each lodge and tented camp and which organization or charity each supports. 

We hope you will enjoy a Luxury Safari with Journey To Africa.

Food on Safari

One question that I often get from clients booking their Tanzanian Safari is, "What is the food going to be like on Safari"? Yummy! If you are staying in our preferred lodges and tented camps, I can confidently say ::

  • Fresh and Tasty. Our chefs will cook you some amazing meals with basic equipment. Think hot and fresh breads + beef and veggie barbeque using a coal grill + organic salad plucked from the garden right around the corner as in Plantation Lodge. They really want you to enjoy their culinary experience.
  • Well Prepared. Our well-trained camp chef and crew will come up with gourmet meals in the middle of the bush and they are prepared in high standards. The last thing anybody wants is a sick person on Safari. 

And... besides the food, think beautiful setting 

Pre-Breakfast.
On Safari you normally start off your day with a wake-up call. You can start really early should you have chosen to go on a sunrise morning game drive or morning Walking Safari. You sit on your lovely patio and have your cookie [biscuits as we say in Tanzania] and sip your hot cuppa tea or coffee listening to the sounds of the wild and watching the sun rise. 

A perfect start to your day on Safari!

Breakfast on Safari

Breakfast
A good breakfast to start off the day full of adventures. You are going to have an array of options. Cereals, variety of juices, eggs with warm bread sometimes cooked in the bush for a bush breakfast, bacon and potatoes and more.  Nothing like having the most important meal of the day with a great view as you see here from Sayari Camp in Northern Serengeti.

Snack.
When on your game drive, you need a snacks.
Game driving is tough! Our vehicles carry water, soft drinks, juice and snacks which you can enjoy during your game drive. In some areas, like what we are experienced in Northern Serengeti, you can stop, set a table and enjoy your snack with the animals close by.

Don’t worry. Our guides will choose an open area away from the thick bushes. 

campfire_on_Safari

Dinner time.
Magicial.
Soft flicker of the candles or lanterns invite you to your table. Here you will chill with a glass of wine or the drink of choice while chatting with other Safari goers or share a meal with the camp manager and share stories that go beyond the parks you are visiting.  Bush dinners are available for those who want a private dinner or just want to sit under the stars. Bon appetite!

And the wonderful cycle begins again for the rest of your Safari.

Doesn't that make you want to be on Safari snacking or having a delicious meal right now?
We can Make It Happen. Life worth Exploring. 

Your Safari Vehicle.

When on your Safari, you are going to enjoy game driving for at least 6-8 hours a day, sometimes more, sometimes less and you get to choose. You may start early around 6:00 a.m. and end as late at 6:30 to 7:00 p.m. when the parks close. You may even go out at night on your night game drives from certain lodges.

During this time, you learn to appreciate your work-horse of a vehicle. Your 4×4 vehicle expertly maneuvered by our experienced knowledgable guide/ friend is your safe house from the elements. 

Safari Vehicle

Your vehicle will pass through dusty and bumpy roads, narrow overflowing bridges, muddy and sticky mudd and more all the while you are enjoying your wildlife and magnificent scenery. Your vehicle will keep you dry from the rains, warm from the winds or shade you from the sun with our roof shade cover. Stand and enjoy the panoramic views. 

safari vehicle

Sometimes your vehicle, depending on the area of your Safari will be open vehicle. This usually happens when you fly into a location and do not have to transfer on the main roads. 

Regardless of what type of vehicle, your vehicle when on your Safari will have a cooler with water, soft drinks, plug to charge your spare camera batteries, bean bag, binoculars, lots of guide books, snacks – you do get hungry on Safari,  blankets to keep you warm from the wind, and raincoat. If you have any special requests, we can cater to that as well.

All in all, your vehicle with our professional guides will be ready to show you a great time on Safari with Journey To Africa.

Our Safari Guides.

One of the biggest reason we have many repeat clients and clients sending referrals is our guides. Our guides will always make your Safari special. They will help you fall in love with Tanzania and Kenya and get you hooked on being on Safari.

“We had a fantastic time. It all started with Ayoub. He was a fantastic guide. He was very articulate and spoke multiple languages. Kate Bartell had told me to request him. We got him by accident. He made the days truly memorable and outstanding. I made him an honorary Texan. If I ever do this again, I want him, and I would highly recommend him to your future clients.”
Carlos Mata – July 2011 and June 2013

Carlos went on Safari both times with Ayoub. He has made a friend in Ayoub for life.

Safari Guide

“Our guide, Luke, in Kenya was very good.  Our guide, Elissa was outstanding.  We enjoyed the company of both men and they made us very comfortable during our safari excursions.  Elissa was always on time and always explained things to us in detail.  We also felt very safe with him.  He also has a great sense of humor.”
– Gayle Thomas – July 2013

Gayle is mother to Alisa Thomas who has been on 5 Safari with Journey To Africa. She and her mother had a mother + daughter Safari to Southern Africa in 2008 and went back to Tanzania + Kenya in July 2013. 

Tanzania Safari Guide

Our guides have to work hard to keep working as guides. During off-season, they have to go through intense training not only in wildlife and plant knowledge but human phycology, astronomy, vehicle maintenance, first-aid, and much more. Trained by renowned guides Richard Knocker, Ethan Kinsey and our friend Paul Oliver.

Asante Sana [thank you] to all our guides for working hard and making our clients want to come back on Safari with you. 

Life worth Exploring!
Capture memories on your Journey To Africa Safari. We are a click away.

Why Serengeti still takes my breath away

Every time I head to Serengeti, my heart skips a beat.  Serengeti, here I come … again and again.

Why does Serengeti still takes my breath away?
My current top 8 reasons why I could go back to Serengeti National Park in Tanzania in a heartbeat.

One.
The Great Wildebeest and Zebra Migration.
Oh yes!  Being surrounded by hundreds and thousands of animals is unexplainable unless you have been there to witness it first hand. There is no exact timetable on these matters.  We strive to have you stay as close to their migratory pattern as possible. Nature you know, gloriously unpredictable. 

The longer we sat watching them march in, the larger the herds grew. What an experience!

The longer we sat watching them march in, the larger the herds grew. What an experience!

The morning sun spraying gold over Serengeti. Here is a small herd having just crossed the river.

The morning sun spraying gold over Serengeti. Here is a small herd having just crossed the river.

Two.
Cats and cats. 
Oh these beautiful animals. Serengeti is home to a large concentrations of lions, cheetahs and leopards. In Northern Serengeti, I was lucky to see group of about 20+ lions ranging from couple of month olds to their mamas having a go at a freshly hunted wildebeest. ‘Food’ aka the migration was coming in. What an experience! Reuben, my guide and I did not want to leave. He had promised me a sundowner near the table hills but we opted to stay back. How can you blame me.

Look at those eyes. In the valley, about 20+ lion family enjoying a recent wildebeest kill. Some cubs were just a few months old. What a splendid sighting!

We spent a while enjoying the interactions of this beautiful family in the Northern Serengeti valley.

We spent a while enjoying the interactions of this beautiful family in the Northern Serengeti valley.

Some having a go at dinner while others needed a stretch or rub after some grub.

Some having a go at dinner while others needed a stretch or rub after some grub.

Central Serengeti is known as cat central. And it did not disappoint. We got to enjoy a few sighting away from the crowds that Central Serengeti attracts. Trust your guide and head the other direction.

Look at that wee one following her mama through the tall grass.

Look at that wee one following her mama through the tall grass.

Rains were about to come when in Central Serengeti and my guide Makubi and I were trying to get to our Safari Lodge. Well, this stunning leopard appeared and getting wet was an understandable option. We got to hang out for a bit and stare.

A stunning leopard spotted resting on a branch.

A stunning leopard spotted resting on a branch.

Three.
Elephants.
I love elephants! They are just beautiful and so precious and threatened. Large herds were right next to the road. Elephant mama and babies – lots of them. Please stay safe! I am coming back to see you grow.

Elephant mama warning us. We hear you mama. We will not harm you and your babies.

Elephant mama warning us. We hear you mama. We will not harm you and your babies.

Little one marching on. Look at that little trunk.

Little one marching on. Look at that little trunk.

Four.
Impalas, why of course.
On this Safari, thanks to Makubi and my private Serengeti walking guide Richard,  I got to know more about these beautiful yet polygamous animals.

Did you know a male impala has a harem of female impalas? Yup, one male can have up to 20 ladies at his back and call. Then there are the bachelor herds who are always ready to spring into action should a window open.  As per Makubi, it is similar to the Maasai and Kuro tribe members who live on the boundaries of Serengeti. Ummmh!

A female group with babies.

A female group with babies.

Privacy please! Here is a male impala getting ready to mount on the female. The mating ritual lasted for about 20 minutes before she would let him on.

Privacy please! Here is a male impala getting ready to mount on the female. The mating ritual lasted for about 20 minutes before she would let him on.

Five.
Birds.
My friend and elite guide Paul Oliver is a birder. I know many birders. He has been trying to get me into birding.

So now, I chose to look up and am so impressed with the many colors that are presented to me. Lovely magpies shreks, common but colorful lilac breasted roller and Egyptian geese.  There is always room to grow the bird list. I am hooked.

The beautiful watercolor like Lilac breasted roller

The beautiful watercolor like Lilac breasted roller

Magpie shrek. Mama bird with the white feather just handed over a worm to the baby Magpie. It was a fun exchange to witness.

Magpie shrek. Mama bird with the white feather just handed over a worm to the baby Magpie. It was a fun exchange to witness.

Six.
An array of eco-system.
Serengeti has so much to offer. My time in Northern Serengeti and Central Serengeti gave me a glimpse of hills, valleys, rivers, endless plains, long grass, short grass, stunning kopjes, bushy terrain, woodlands and more.

When game driving or heading back to your Safari Lodge, you can stare at the landscape and not tire of what you have in front of you. The sunrise that starts to peek behind the acacia tree and the sunset that makes for the magic golden hour are pure bliss. Serenity in Serengeti.

The table hill of Northern Serengeti. So many other hill dotted in the North.

The table hill of Northern Serengeti. So many other hill dotted in the North.

The open plains of Central Serengeti heading towards Dunia Camp near the Moru Kopjes

The open plains of Central Serengeti heading towards Dunia Camp near the Moru Kopjes

Seven.
Great Safari Lodges here to unwind end of the day.  
At the end of the day, the campfire or lounge area is where you get to relax with your drink and get to know other guests. This is when the stories start. Who got to see what, were and do you have pictures to share? You get to sharing things like where are you from, why Tanzania, where are you going next, etc.  I usually get the envious, how many time have you been on Safari?. Plenty but many more to come.

Just a good way to end a day on Safari.

The stunning view of Serengeti from Lamai Serengeti.

The stunning view of Serengeti from Lamai Serengeti.

Eight.
Private Serengeti!
What a thrilling experience this was for me. No vehicles, seeing animals on foot, adrenaline pumping moments and you being able to hear your breath as you try to be still when a buffalo is 30 ft away from you. I would jump at a chance to be out there again. I ended my day sitting with a cold Kilimanjaro beer on a kopje, watching one of the most memorable sunsets in Serengeti.

Golden Hour! Roaring fire, cold beer, stunning sunset while sitting on top of a kopje in Serengeti. Happiness.

Golden Hour! Roaring fire, cold beer, stunning sunset while sitting on top of a kopje in Serengeti. Happiness.

Serengeti never fails to take your breath away.  An adventure awaits all day, any time, all year-round.
Karibu [welcome] Serengeti! 

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”
– Marcel Proust

Let us get you to amazing Serengeti. You can make your own list. 

What age is right for a Family Safari?

What is the right age to take your child[ren] on a Safari? I get that question from my past clients, who now have families of their own and want to share that experience, to potential clients. I have had clients as young as 3 years of age to a 16-year-old who climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro to the summit. Realistically however, I would say over 8+ years of age.

Some luxury tented lodges like Olakira Camp do not allow children under the age of 6 years – can be dangerous as there is walking in the dark and sometimes depending on the child, not fair to the other guests who are there for peace and quiet.

Around the ages of 8 +, you will have a budding Safari goer.

– They will be interested in participating in the Safari planning which is a great way for them to get excited.
– They can sit through the long international flights and airport plus vehicle transfers.
– They will appreciate the fun stuff, get excited about seeing the many animals in the beautiful national parks and more.
– They will remember the interaction along the way. Some families incorporate more cultural stops on their Safari – a great way for children to experience another culture and come back hopefully with an appreciation of how other’s live.
– They will just appreciate the whole adventure.

One of my favorite feedback came from a then 14-year-old - hi Alex - who said popcorn was his favorite 'dessert' and at Oliver’s Camp in Tarangire, he had popcorn by the fire. He was really excited. Now that is a memory worth sharing.

Children on Safari

These two, they are just lucky kids of mine. They accompanied me on my Safari to Tanzania.
And they remember.