Elephants & Spice Trip Notes
Trip code: FHFZA
Trip length: 10 days
- Learn about elephant collaring & make new friends at Kerege orphanage
- Relax in exotic Stone Town on Zanzibar
- Safari Holidays for all the family
- Superb safari lodges
- Unwind in style in the beautiful bandas with a view
Big game, comfortable lodges and the true African bush - this trip gives you the best of all worlds. Heading inland brings you to the Mikumi National Park with fantastic opportunities for spotting elephant, buffalo and large herds of antelope. An overland trip then takes you straight into the African wilderness of the coastal Saadani National Park. A short walk one way brings you to the beach, head the other way and you are in the wilds. Together these two nature sanctuaries offer a unique opportunity to see a wide range of African game. If you want to stay a bit longer then the exotic spice island of Zanzibar is not to be missed. Stone Town is a colourful mix of Africa and Islam and the white sandy beaches, turquoise waters and coral reefs provide the perfect place to relax and unwind.
Arriving in Dar Es Salaam you transfer straight to your first night’s accommodation (approximately 1.5 hours). Your destination is Bagamoyo, a historical coastal town lying on the side of the Pacific ocean. You will get to visit the orphanage we support in Bagamoyo or just relax on the beach.
Travellers Lodge (AAA) - 1 night
Saadani National Park
This morning you will explore Bagamoyo historical town, where slaves were once brought from the interior to be shipped to Zanzibar. You cross the Wami River by canoe, before switching to game drive cars for the journey into Saadani National Park and your beach safari camp. The camp is on the edge of the park, to the north of Bagamoyo. Despite its proximity to Zanzibar (15 minutes flying time) and Dar es Salaam, Saadani has remained almost totally undeveloped for tourism.
Bordering the park, your fixed tents are beautifully situated on the beach, with a bar and restaurant. Nearby there's the small local village of Mkwaja as well as the historical ruins of an early mosque.
Saadani Fixed bandas (AAAA) - Beautiful thatched huts on stilts with en suite facilities - 4 nights (BD)
Saadani National Park - elephant & turtle project
The day begins with a briefing about the elephant and green turtle projects that you visit today. Kids will also have time for a quick Swahili lesson! During the day, each family will be responsible for collecting data on one of the project elephants, which can be collected in a questionnaire. Keep your eyes peeled, as there is also an animal footprint competition. Today you will also learn about the Green Turtle project in Madete Marine Park, another great conservation project. If you are visiting during the peak season period of July to September, there is a 50% chance of witnessing turtles hatching. If you do see this miracle, you may be required to help the turtles reach the sea., if the experts feel there is a real threat to their path. As this is a sensitive issue, it is closely monitored. If you do miss an actual hatching, you can still visit the breeding beach to see the nest and sign of turtle activity. (BLD)
Saadani National Park
This morning you head out by open-topped Land Rover (the all-purpose workhorse of these parts), to seek out a wider variety of game. Wildebeest, hartebeest, eland, reedbuck, warthog and zebra occur in great numbers alongside some of the largest herds of giraffe found in Africa. You might also see the elusive oryx, sable and kudu. This afternoon is your most relaxing safari outing is a boat safari on the Wami River, where the type of animals you can see differs greatly. You motor slowly up-river past a wonderful array of kingfishers, bee-eaters and other river birds, with hippopotamus and crocodile basking in the warm, shallow waters. Many primates are also visible - especially black and white colobus monkey. You can then anchor or simply drift down-river in silence for a while before returning by vehicle through the reserve to camp. (BLD)
NB: The day by day activities described for the Saadani National Park may vary due to weather conditions and also the location of wildlife in the park.
Saadani National Park
Today you have different activities available, you may choose to stay at the lodge and have a wander on the beach, or go on a walking safari which might reveal a stunning array of bird life. Some of the birds here include coucal, lovebird, rollers and sunbird, as well as offering close encounters with big game.
This afternoon there may be an opportunity to visit the nearby local school – Mkwaja Primary School. The teacher is used to your visits and an impromptu football match often takes place. It’s a great place to interact with the local villagers and to see their way of life. This would be the chance for families to get involved in role play theatre with lectures on the elephant project, about elephant/human conflicts to help rising awareness. (BLD)
Mikumi National Park
Today we drive to Mikumi National Park (approx. 360 km / 6 hours). Established in 1964, the park lies in a horseshoe of Mountains, which rise to 2,750m. A number of routes can be taken within the park. You visit the floodplains of the Mkata River where hippo, elephant, buffalo and other animals are often found. Mikumi takes its name from the local Kiswahili language for a type of palm tree found in the area. You can also keep a lookout for the distinctive sausage trees. There is much to keep both young and old alert today – from wallowing hippos to colourful birds.
Kikoboga Bandas (CC) (Stone-built thatched lodges with en suite facilities) - 2 nights - Swimming Pool (BD)
Mikumi National Park
You’ll spend a full day in and around the park. It is home to elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard, giraffe, zebra and many types of antelope. You’ll drive to some different parts of the park, maybe seeing herds of elephant as you pass. (BD)
Fly to Zanzibar
Today you transfer back to Dar Es Salaam to depart for Zanzibar by light aircraft. You will disembark and transfer to your hotel on arrival (15 minutes). As a result of its trade in slaves and spices, Zanzibar was for many years the most important town on the East African coast. The Sultans of Oman, who introduced the clove tree to its fertile soil at the start of the last century, moved their court here from Muscat in the Gulf and ruled until independence in the early 1960s. As a major trading centre, the 'Spice Island' is also reputed to be the birthplace of Swahili, the simple lingua franca that developed to allow trade between people of different languages. In the heart of the original merchant city the baleful cry of the muezzin calling the faithful to prayer resonates though the narrow stone streets.
Dhow Palace Hotel (AAA) - 2 nights - Swimming Pool (B)
Today explore the atmospheric, faded splendour of Stone Town. As you wander through the narrow, whitewashed streets, watch out for the bustling old fish market, the vibrant colours of the stalls in the fruit market, and the evocative mix of veiled women and men in white pillar-box hats. (B)
The trip ends for Land Only clients, after breakfast at the hotel in Stone Town, Zanzibar. (B)
Please note that transfer to the airport and flight home or to Dar Es Salaam will need to be arranged separately, unless pre-booked with us.
About The Imaginative Traveller
Our aim has always been to provide exceptional travel experiences. We believe that adventure travel should be stimulating, and that it should give you an authentic experience of a place. We want our travellers to relish the amazing diversity of countries and cultures the world has to offer. Our focus is on innovation, not imitation.
Obsessed with quality
One of our strengths has been our obsession with quality. We've always believed that our commitment to you doesn't end as soon as you've paid for your holiday. On the contrary, it is just beginning. Whilst most operators simply get a local company to handle the day to day operation of their tours, we do it all ourselves. We have managers for each of our key destinations around the world and all our small groups are escorted by our own leaders. Our local teams include guides, drivers, administration staff and contacts in the local community who help us ensure that our adventures are active and involving.
For comparability, all prices in this dossier are quoted in one currency. We use the US Dollar since that is familiar to most. However, once on tour you will need to pay for all goods and services in the local currency. See your Country Dossier for details of exchange rates.
Trip gradesAfrican Safari
Beach / coastal
Grasslands / Savannah
Helping with local projects
Lodge based safaris
This trip is considered easy. Walks while on safari are all optional and easy. When travelling in Tanzania - as in much of Africa - rough roads and limited facilities may require adjusted levels of expectation. You will get a close encounter with elephants under great supervision and involved in school role play. Minimum age: 7 years.
Please note that the Zanzibar section is unaccompanied by a Group Leader although transfers are organised for you.
Transport - Light aircraft, 4WD, boat, minibus, on foot.
Accommodation - Comfortable Hotels (3nts), safari lodge (2nts), tented lodge (4nts).
Meals - 9 breakfasts, 2 lunches & 6 dinners.
Single room supplementA single supplement is available for this trip priced from 540 GBP. This does not guarantee a single room for all accommodation. please contact us to discuss this.
For your comfort we recommend you travel as light as possible; many airlines impose a maximum weight limit of 20kg – we advise you to take 10kg as you will be on the move a good deal! For domestic flights using light aircraft the usual weight limit is 15 kg.
One main piece (a soft bag or rucksack, not a hard suitcase).
A daypack (25-30 litres), large enough to carry what you need for the day including camera, water, etc.
Bring your most powerful binoculars, not only for seeing the animals but also useful to enjoy star gazing.
Bring an old pair of beach shoes to protect your feet from the perils of sea urchins exposed at low tide on Zanzibar.
In Zanzibar people may be upset by you taking their photo and children in particular will nearly always ask you for money in return. Always ask first to avoid awkward situations and please don’t encourage children to beg.
Learn some Swahili (Lonely Planet have a handy little guide to learning Swahili) which will add an extra dimension to your trip! There are also many good internet sites so you can learn some simple words before you travel. Your efforts are sure to be rewarded with a warm smile (no matter how wrong you sound!) – go on be brave!
Jambo – hello: is the first word you will learn, but very touristy so say instead Habari – How’s things?
Asante (sana) – thank you (very much)
Hakuna Matata – no problem
Simba – Lion
Wapi choo? – where are the toilets?
And to really get you learning try pointing to things and say ….
Unasemaje ….. kwa Kiswahili….? How do you say.…. in Swahili?
SOME INTERESTING READING:
The Shadow of the Sun: My African Life - Ryszard Kapuscinski
Birds of East Africa (Photographic Guides) - D. Richards
Livingstone's Tribe: A Journey from Zanzibar to the Cape- Stephen Taylor
Zanzibar - Giles Foden
Your Child’s Health Abroad - Matthew Ellis and Jane Wilson-Howarth, (Bradt publications).
Travel with Children – Maureen Wheeler (Lonely Planet)
FOR YOUNGER READERS:
We all went on safari: a counting journey through Tanzania by Laurie Krebs
Jambo means hello: Swahili Alphabet book by Muriel L Feelings
Local Costs - Tanzania
Approximate costs are given for guidance only, and may vary widely according to location and type of establishment.
Coffee/tea USD 5.00
Soft drink USD 2.00
Bottle of water (1 litre) USD 1.50
Medium beer USD 3.00
Bottle of wine USD 20-40.00
Lunch snack USD 5-10.00
3-course dinner* USD 15-25
* in a reasonable mid-range restaurant
In Tanzania and Zanzibar, there are two (2) departure taxes. Domestic flights: 8,000 Tsh (or $8) and International flights: $40. Part of this tax ($30) should be included in your flight cost. When returning to your own country, you will be charged $10 as an exit tax. The customs sign asks for dollars, so it's probably safer to keep $10 in cash for when you leave.
Visas & Permits - Tanzania
Holders of UK & IRL passports do require a visa. Passports must be valid for at least six months after the end date of the trip. Nationals of all other countries should contact their local embassy or consulate. Visas for Tanzania are available on arrival for some nationalities, but we strongly recommend that you get your visa before travelling, as delays of 1 ½ - 2 hours can occur when getting the visa on arrival at Dar Es Salaam airport. Information can also be found on www.travcour.com.
This information is given in good faith, but may be subject to change without warning. Please note that, where appropriate, obtaining a valid visa is ultimately your responsibility. Please consult a visa agency or the consular authorities 4-6 weeks before departure for the most up-to-date information.
Vaccinations - Tanzania
The following are recommended:
- Hepatitis A
- Yellow Fever (compulsory if arriving from an infected area, not required for mainland Tanzania and for travelling from mainland to Zanzibar as per recent regulations provided by Kenya Airlines, see description below:
TANZANIA YELLOW FEVER VACCINATION CERTIFICATES
We personaly recommend you to get your Yellow Fever Certificate anyway, to be on the safe side, as it is valid for 10 years and you might be delayed in an endemic country for more than 12h if your flight get delayed and then you will need to provide it.
Kenya Airways has received the following communication from the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Tanzania regarding requirement of Yellow Fever Certificate. The directive stipulates the following:
1. All passengers arriving from Non Endemic Yellow Fever zone(s) will not be required to show a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate on their arrival to Tanzania.
2. All passengers en route to Tanzania, who have passed through an Endemic Yellow Fever zone(s) BUT did not leave that country's airport, will be treated as above (1) above.
3. All passengers en route to Tanzania, who have passed through an Endemic Yellow Fever zone(s) and have left the airport of that endemic country, will be required to show yellow fever certificates on their arrival in Tanzania. Otherwise they will require a vaccination at the entry point of arrival in Tanzania (vaccination fee USD 50.00).
4. All passengers from Endemic Yellow Fever zone(s) will be treated as those in (3) above
5. All passengers from the Tanzania mainland to Zanzibar will not be required to show their yellow fever vaccination certificate as Zanzibar is inside the United Republic of Tanzania.
Note: The same regulations now apply to those flying directly to Zanzibar.
Please be aware that we had reports of Arusha airport abusive practices and if you get asked for your Yellow Fever Certificate and you don't have it, argue that you were only transiting in Kenya or Ethiopia and did not leave the airport and therefore aren't entitled to provide such certificate and will NOT purchase it at the airport.
For detailed information and advice concerniing vaccinations go to: www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk. Vaccination requirements change periodically so we advise that you check with your nearest specialist travel clinic 4-6 weeks before departure to get up-to-date information. A specialist travel clinic should also be able to advise regarding any special vaccination requirements for your children.
International rules for carrying medicines vary. Some countries do not allow certain medicines to be imported, or require official documents, such as a doctor’s letter, to prove drugs have been prescribed by a doctor and obtained legally. It is sensible to contact the relevant embassy or high commission of your destination to check what their drug transportation rules are before you travel.The itinerary and supplementary information has been compiled with care and provided in good faith. However it may be subject to change, and does not form part of a contract between the client and The Imaginative Traveller.
Responsible Travel - Travellers' Guidelines
At Imaginative Traveller we love helping our clients experience the beauty and cultures of the destinations we visit. However, hand in hand with this we have always been aware that we have a responsibility to minimise any negative impacts that tourism can bring.
Responsible Travel is twofold. It’s about taking people to the places they want to go in a safe and responsible manner but also about respecting and maintaining the natural and often delicate balance of the destination. Economic gain from tourism is often fundamental to a country, but should never be at the expense of its culture or the environment.
- It is our aim to provide journeys that have minimal negative and maximum positive impact on the places we visit.
- We do not believe that, as visitors, we should impose our own cultures on others; rather that we should experience foreign cultures and appreciate them for what they are.
- Whilst it is our aim to show destinations and cultures in a positive light, we do not believe in papering over the cracks or shielding visitors from the realities of life. This does not mean, however, that we condone or endorse certain situations or regimes that may be in place.
Our guidelines are meant not as rigid instructions but rather as suggestions to make our holidays more enjoyable – for everybody. As cultural and environmental sensitivities vary from country to country more specific guidelines can be found in our individual country and trip dossiers.
Before you depart try to spend some time familiarising yourself with the destination you will be travelling to – their culture and customs. The country dossiers on our website offer detailed information about all the regions we visit. They also include some useful phrases in the local language for you to use on your trip! A few words of the local language can open up many more opportunities for you to interact with the people you will meet.
Although it is tempting to give out pens, sweets and money to people begging, and particularly tempting to give to children, we feel that this encourages a begging mentality and has a long-term negative impact on communities. If someone begging earns more than someone in the same community who works this can discourage local employment. If children regularly bring home money it may discourage their parents from sending them to school. It is of course your own personal choice but you could consider giving to registered charities or contributing to our Responsible Travel fund instead. Money donated through our fund to our worldwide projects is matched pound for pound by Imaginative Traveller and used to help local grassroots projects.
Always ask permission to photograph local people and respect their decision if they would prefer not to have their picture taken.
Respect local dress codes, especially at religious sites. Our tour leaders are always on hand to give you advice about this.
In many of the countries we visit you might see examples of animal cruelty (for example dancing bears, performing monkeys and snake charmers). Please do not take photographs of this or offer money as it encourages the activity.
Respect the environment you are in. It sounds obvious but do not throw litter, take it with you or use rubbish bins! You may see locals throwing rubbish on the street but do not follow their example!
When shopping in countries where haggling is the norm – enjoy it and only pay what you feel is a fair price for the goods you are purchasing. However, remember that the shopkeeper does have to make a living so do stop once you have reached a price you are happy with. Bargaining should be fun but always remember that a small amount can mean much more to the vendor than to you.
Endeavor to take home souvenirs made locally; the money you spend can be very important to the local communities. However, do use your common sense and don’t buy anything that you think might be made out of endangered animals or plants.
To help keep as much money as possible in the host country - try to eat in locally owned restaurants and order local drinks and produce rather than international brands.
In hotels do be conscious of how much water you are using. Many of the areas we visit regularly have shortages; try not to have hour long showers! Don’t leave lights, air conditioners or fans on when you leave the room – you wouldn’t at home!
Respect the environment you are in, especially when in national parks or reserves. Pay attention to rules about keeping on paths, keeping a distance from animals and not removing any of the natural habitat.
Relax and immerse yourself in the differences of the culture you are in – you’ll be back home in the familiar soon enough (and wishing you were still on holiday!). These cultural differences are part of what makes your experience special.
If you would like to offset the carbon dioxide that will be produced on your flights you can do this on our website (on our Responsible travel page). We work with climatecare, who will reduce the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide that you produce in another part of the World through their emission reduction projects. These projects are low carbon efficient technologies in developing countries and not only serve to reduce emissions but also help to spread the adoption of low carbon technologies and improve the quality of life for local communities. Details of climatecare’s projects can be found on their website.
If you would like to contribute to our Worldwide projects, helping communities all over the World, you can also do this on our website or with a sales consultant. Please refer to our responsible travel page on the website for details of our current projects. Any donation you make will be matched £ for £ by Imaginative Traveller (up to a maximum of £1000).
Have a great trip!
Please do let us know if you have any comments about responsible travel at email@example.comThe Imaginative Traveller & The Adventure Company. This trip is operated by our partner company, The Adventure Company. They have more than 10 years experience in adventure travel and they share our ethos for offering unique holiday adventures. As this is a codeshared departure you can expect there to be both Imaginative Traveller and Adventure Company travellers on your trip.