Category Archives: homepage

Inspection Southern Tanzania

Southern Tanzania! A great destination for safaris. If you come to Tanzania for the first time, of course you have to see the Serengeti (in the north). It can easily be combined with the Ngorongoro Crater and the other parks like Tarangire, Arusha and Manyara. However, in the south of Tanzania, you can also find fantastic parks. The advantage there is that the parks are not that much busy. As we get more and more requests from customers for the south, we find it important that we know the area well including lodges. I had already been to the Selous but that was seven years ago. And Selous is not the only thing there is to see. We decided to go for an inspection Trip to the south. We flew to Dar es Salaam with Fastjet to visit a number of national parks and the Selous from there. Fastjet is a relatively new budget airline. Although it offers cheap flights, it is fine.

From Dar es Salaam, we first drove to Mikumi National Park. We stayed there in Mikumi Wildlife Camp. The camp is located near the entrance of the park. From both the accommodation, as from the dining terrace, you have a beautiful on the savannah of light of the plains of Mikumi. The name says it all, because the white light makes the image breathtaking. Even more because of the elephants and other wild animals coming to drink at the waterholes ahead of the terrace. The rooms of the camp fit well with the park, as they are decorated with lots of white and light wood tones. We did a game drive in the park of half a day in which we have seen a lot of wildlife such as elephants, giraffes, wildebeest, impala, hippos, crocodiles, numerous water birds and other wildlife with a background of light colored savannah surrounded by hills. We really enjoyed it and Mikumi is really worth visiting. Photos are available at: https://www.facebook.com/CaracalSafarisTanzania/photos/pcb.969082089775697/969070053110234/?type=1&theater

From Mikumi we made ​​a day trip to the Udzungwa Mountains. This is a national park which is very green and where several waterfalls can be visited. You can do treks ranging from several hours to several days. We opted for a trip of several hours as we were with our two-year-old daughter. She sat on the back with Bernard. We strolled through the green forest to Sanje Falls, a 170-meter high waterfall. We walked with a licensed guide who could tell us about the local plants. Although it was raining, it was a nice trip. The waterfalls are beautiful and you can swim underneath the falls. After this walk of several hours, we paid a visit to Hondo hondo camp. This camp is located in the greens and around the camp, many different species of monkeys are playing such as vervet monkeys, baboons and Colobus monkeys. The camp has budget bandas (nice bandas that really look like African huts) and more luxurious tents with a bathroom. Udzungwa is good to visit for a change of all game drives. It is green and very fresh. Photos at: https://www.facebook.com/CaracalSafarisTanzania/photos/pcb.969880959695810/969874176363155/?type=1&theater

After visiting these two national parks, it was time to go back to the Selous. I remember that I loved it in 2007, but still Serengeti remained my favorite because of the vast plains. That idea has somehow changed now. The Selous was again stunningly beautiful this time. The park has a huge variety of landscapes and wildlife concentration is very high. We have been there three days, and I really enjoyed everything. We have seen so much. The nature varies from swamps to lakes with palm trees, shrub savannah to rainforests and grass savannah to desert. You will find an abundance of giraffe, yellow baboons, crocodiles and impala. Furthermore, there are many elephants, hippos, wildebeest and zebras. We have also seen lions. Rare to be seen are the kudu and eland, but we have seen them. In addition to the game drives, we also did a boat safari on the Rufiji River (at sunset) and a walking safari in the morning. During the boat safari we especially enjoyed beautiful birds on the riverbanks and a beautiful sunset. During the walking safari, I especially learned about tracks and droppings of animals and of different trees that grow there. Besides the Serengeti, Selous is really a must-see in Tanzania. We stayed at Selous River Camp. A beautiful camp on the banks of the Rufiji River with mud huts (but luxurious). They also have tents for hire and you can camp itself. A very nice camp with owners who do everything to go to please your needs. Photos at: https://www.facebook.com/CaracalSafarisTanzania/photos/pcb.970697426280830/970693459614560/?type=1&theater

After these days in the wild, we finished at a beautiful location on the beach south of Dar es Salaam. We had two days at the Lighthouse Beach lodge. A beautiful lodge with various accommodations on the beautiful Kidagaa Beach. This is a nice end after a safari in Tanzania. Photos at: https://www.facebook.com/CaracalSafarisTanzania/photos/pcb.968695519814354/968694726481100/?type=1&theater

I am sad that this trip is already over. Although it was a busy trip with watching as many parks and lodges in a short time, it was great to finally see Southern Tanzania. I highly recommend it in combination with the north or by itself if you already have been in the north. Because I keep on saying, when you come to Tanzania for the first time, you cannot skip the Serengeti. But actually, the same applies to the Selous.

 

Marion

Lodging with local people

The coming week a group of our customers, after their safari, will be staying at a guesthouse in a local people’s home in a village on the lower slopes of Kilimanjaro . The village is called Mdawi and is situated about 12 km from Moshi . The guesthouse has been built with donor funds from the Children of Kilimanjaro Foundation ( www.childrenofkilimanjaro.nl ) on the grounds of one of the pastors in the village, Pastor Lekey . There are two bedrooms , a living room and a bathroom with toilet and hot shower . If you are staying in the guesthouse, you can see how the Chagga (the largest tribe in the Kilimanjaro Region ) are living. In the village, you can see that especially the older residents still live in mud huts and live subsistently from their own shamba ( plot of land ) where they grow maize and bananas . The green of the banana trees and other vegetation forms a nice contrast with the red soil of the roads and open spaces . Also, there are beautiful views from the village on Mount Kilimanjaro, the Masai steppe down and on Moshi . The inhabitants of Mdawi will receive you with open arms .

The first time I came in Tanzania in 2006, I spent the first two weeks in Mdawi . Living there made a huge impression on me . The hospitality of the people, the nature, local food , many children , going to church on Sunday and of course poverty . And yet everyone has a big smile on his face . I then volunteered in the village in one of the projects of the Children of Kilimanjaro Foundation. Since that time, I have been involved in Mdawi and every time I go there it feels like coming home. In the village there are many projects, especially for the children to improve their lives. Several donors from different countries have contributed to that . There is a dispensary, a tailoring school , a staff house for the doctor, a nursery school , several other schools and assistance to the local churches. Pastor Lekey has played a major role in all these projects .

Last week was one of the projects I ‘ve worked closed after several years. It was a special event. Water was a problem since many years in Mdawi . There was a water pipe built by the government, but not everyone had water, especially in the lower areas of the village . Since 2008, people have worked to improve the system and since the end of 2013 , finally everyone has water . This is made ​​possible by the Foundation for Children of Kilimanjaro and the Protestant Churches of Renkum / Heelsum . They donated money to improve the water system. On their behalf, I attended a ceremony of thanks with my mother. There were many speeches by the village leaders , the pastors of the churches , water users, women and the local water committee . Donors were thanked through us. There was also a lot of singing . It was very special and especially nice to see how happy the villagers were that there was water now . The water project is fully supported by the people , and they have made it possible with each other that everyone has water now . A great achievement .

I really like to bring to our customers to Mdawi. A stay at the guesthouse with Pastor Lekey is an experience in itself where you can enjoy local culture mixed with nature . Karibu sana ( welcome )!

Something more about us

Recently, we have added a blog to our website. Here we are able to write a bit more extensively about our experience in Tanzania besides the short messages and pictures on facebook and twitter. We will write about safaris and other trips specifically, but also about other experiences, events, living in Tanzania and any other news that may be interesting to you.

We have recently moved to another house close to Moshi town with a magnificent view on Mount Kilimanjaro. Well, we have to look a bit around the pillars of our veranda, but Kilimanjaro looks great from our place. We have lived in Moshi now since three years. Before that, Bernard has Always lived at the foot of Mount Meru, the little brother of Mount Kilimanjaro. Another great mountain to climb. I lived and worked in Netherlands before coming to Moshi. As I found a job in Moshi as post doc researcher, we decided to live in Moshi. That was a good choice. Every day, I walk to the small bus, the daladala, that brings me to my work, I am privileged to enjoy the great view of Mount Kilimanjaro. It is great to interchange my work as a researcher with creating great (safari) trips in Tanzania. As I said, here we will keep you updated about our work and life in Tanzania. We hope you may enjoy reading our stories and that they will inspire you to come and see the beauties of Tanzania.

Marion

Kilimanjaro