Safari News Tanzanian Culture

Tanzania Culture

Tanzania, famous for its amazingly diverse wildlife, has just as much right to be proud of its human cultural heritage. As the infrastructure of the country develops so the scope increases for interacting with people from different tribes in an authentic, mutually beneficial manner.

The intriguing blend of Arabic and African cultures that has become the melting pot of Zanzibar is world famous; however there are many secrets to be discovered inland.

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Tanzania Safari News

Safari News

The rains have held everyone in suspense once again but have started to fall now.  Elephants that looked like bags of bones have started to fill out, hydro- electricitiy is less rationed as the dams fill up and crops just planted are reaching the level of the aforementioned elephants eye ( whether he should be in the crop at all and what to do about it is another story- next newsleteter maybe).

The wildlebeest at last have direction (or at least a pattern to their directionless milling around) and the migration cycle has something to drive it, fresh grass up ahead.  The paradox of the East African landscape is that the prevailing wind hasnt changed since the volcanoes erupted. This means the fertile ash plains are in the same position as the rain shadows thus the need for migration between less fertile rainy areas and more fertile but potentiall drier areas.  Has this paradox shaped mankinds's wanderlust as he followed the herds across the plains?  Which reminds me the famous Laetoli footprints - fossilised mudprints of early hominds going for a stroll are now open to see again - a rare opportunuity that hasnt been allowed for many years.

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Rwanda Safari News

Rwanda Safari News

Rwanda is a small compact country slap bang in the middle of Africa, one of the last to get real contact with the outside world, surrounded by other remote tribal regions. Its surprising that it is as developed and forward thinking as it is. Moving on from the genocide of twenty years ago- it hasn’t swept it under the carpet. The Museum is a sensitive reminder of what happened and there is a renewed sense of hope and rebuilding. One Saturday a month is given over to memorial and people help clean up their city. The result is a clean city!

Less tangible effects of this positivity is that the tourism business runs relatively smoothly, the mountain gorillas are kept fairly well protected and foreign investment is returning.

Not only financial investment but investment of time and in people. An example of this is The Tour de Rwanda bike race which is fast becoming one of the most prominent in Africa, (the event attracts riders and sponsors from all over Africa, Europe and the U.S; and the Tour de Rwanda book can be found in most UK high streets now). It also produces Rwandan athletes who then grace the European circuit and act as inspiration to cyclist in neighbouring countries.

A trip to Rwanda often consists of a few days in the rain forest to see the gorillas and a couple of days to see some cultural events. As such it works best as an extension to a Tanzanian or even a Kenya safari.

Uranium Mining Threat in Tanzania’s Selous Reserve

Tanzania’s conservation

As globalisation and demand for resources increases, so countries and multi-national companies are drawn more tightly together in their trade.

Uranium mining in the fringes of the Selous Game Reserve has conservationists worried.

The Selous- in southern Tanzania- at 19,300 square miles is the largest reserve in Africa and a last bastion of many endangered flagship species. Having just heard that the only known location of black rhino in the Selous at the moment is right near the mine, it is extremely worrying.

It is unfeasible to expect a poor nation not to utilise its natural resources ( the estimated value of Selous uranium is 2.2 billion US$) and arguments that the $3 million expected annual revenue can help fund conservation efforts in the reserve are hard to refute. However the money needs to be properly accounted for and the environmental assessment needs to be carried out accurately and then adhered to. Unfortunately the controls and checks to make sure it is a positive venture are just not in place at the moment.

To achieve this, partner companies need to work closely with their host countries in a transparent business setting before the amount of dollars to be made takes over the argument and becomes the only voice at the table. Additionally the only other voice cant be the voice of conservationists saying that it should never happen – as this is unrealistic

On the global scale again, renewable energy sources like Uranium are more ecologically friendly than fossil fuels so the solution cant be to just ignore the renewable resources available in wilderness areas.

South Africa

South Africa has implemented new rules about visiting the country with children.

Seen by some as a negative move, it is designed to make the illegal trafficking of children more difficult- which can only be a good thing.

As well as a passport and visa, parents need to carry the “full version” of the child’s birth certificate in English ( or a legally approved translation).

What makes it more tricky is for single parents ( or those traveling as a single parent) is that they need a recent, legally approved agreement from the other parent or a death certificate, a court order giving full parental responsibility to the traveling parent.

Under 18’s traveling on their own or with other adults need similar legal agreements as well as details on where they will be staying once in South Africa.

South Africa has taken a bold move against illegal child traffiking and should be applauded for doing so but lets hope that the legislation can be streamlined so that the tourism economy doesn’t suffer too much.

This is a complicated and changing situation so for people traveling to South Africa with us- we will give you some advice but you will also need to consult the South African embassy and your international flight provider.

A Clients Perspective

Zambia Safari

Colin and Sylvia go to to Vic Falls and at aged 76 choose to do the most adventurous activities on offer ( almost).  Here’s what they say
“So how do you like this pic of the two of us at Victoria Falls!  We are the pair on the right, so not too late at 76 to have a thrill of a lifetime only four feet from the brink.  Excitement was heightened by the roar of the water, which the photo can’t convey.  A helicopter trip over the Falls next day gave a magnificent panoramic idea of the whole amazing area.
We were staying at the Zambesi Sun Hotel, just five minutes walk from the Falls on the Zambia side, followed by a couple of weeks in Tanzania near Arusha. From there we went on safari to Tarangire for a couple of nights, where elephants strolled right up to the buildings. We also saw a little of the chaotic life of a modern African town, where traffic jams were second to none.”

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