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A safari holiday should be on everyone’s wish list of life’s greatest adventures. In Swahili, the melodious everyday language of East Africa, the word itself translates as “going on a journey”. In the age of Hemingway and Karen Blixen this meant going upcountry, setting off with a tent and a rifle into the back of beyond where the wild things are. Now the day of the hunter is done. Guns are out. Cameras are in and ecotourism is the buzzword in the bush, offering a gentler but no less thrilling introduction to the last place on earth where wildlife exists in its old abundance.
Safari or beach first?
We always recommend to start with safari and end with rest and relaxation on Pemba Island.

What is Arusha? Safari or beach first?
Tanzanias safari capital. Located at an altitude of 1500 m this laidback small town has 500 000 tourist pass through it every year. It is overlooked by a dormant volcano, has a vibrant nightlife and excellent restaurants. We highly recommend staying at least one night in Arusha. This gives you time to rest before heading out on your adventures and sort out any luggage issues.

What is the great migration?
The largest movement of animals in the world. The movement does a full circle in a year and moves in a clockwise direction following the rains. Each year 1.5 million wilderbeest and 300 000 zebra along with other antelopes gather their young and start their long trek from Tanzanian Serengeti to Masai mara national reserve. They go in search of food and water. Their journey goes in a clockwise direction and their distance of around 1800 miles. It’s a tough journey and every year an estimated 250 000 wilderbeers don’t make it.

What’s the difference between a Lodge and a Camp?
The camps and lodges where you stay are set in the heart of the action, and all have been chosen for their idyllic locations. If you are new to Africa, you may feel happier staying in a lodge, although you’ll be every bit as safe zipped up in a tent. Lodges are permanent structures, bush hotels if you like, complete with swimming pools and ingeniously fashioned out of local stone and timber under a thatched> But sleeping under canvas is the way to go if you want to enjoy the full-on safari experience. When it comes to tented camps, size matters. Large tented camps are more like canvas lodges. The smaller and more intimate the camp, the better the experience – and the more expensive it is likely to be. Your canvas room with a view could cost more than a suite in a five-star hotel.
Not that you’ll be exactly roughing it. Everything is provided, from en suite bathrooms to Persian rugs, even hot-water bottles for chilly nights. But the ultimate luxury comes from living closer to nature without compromising your safety.
How do I dress for a safari?
– Always put comfort and practicality ahead of style. Never wear white, and avoid bright colours. Instead, be a chameleon and blend into the landscape with animal-friendly greens and khakis. Never dress in camouflage clothing (associated with the military) or anything black or blue (both colours are known to attract tsetse flies).
– Go for lightweight cottons, long trousers and shirts with long sleeves to protect against thorns and insect bites. Eschew fancy stetsons with faux leopard-skin hatbands in favour of a simple baseball cap that keeps the sun out of your eyes and does not blow away in a strong wind.
– Wear sensible footwear with thorn-proof soles: desert boots, trainers or lightweight walking boots. Don’t forget your swimwear (many camps and lodges have pools). And remember, Africa can be cold. The Maasai Mara may be within 100 miles of the Equator but is more than 5,000ft above sea level. On dawn game drives you’ll be glad of a jacket and sweater, even gloves. Most camps and lodges have a shop where you can buy a cotton kikoi, an African sarong that can double as a scarf, sling or turban.
– Binoculars are a must. So is a camera. I always take P20 last-all-day sun cream, sunglasses and a head torch. Use a soft bag and travel light. Local flights in light aircraft often have a 15kg weight limit. Most camps and lodges offer same-day laundry (although washing ladies’ underwear is taboo).

How to be safe in the bush?
Follow these 10 rules and you’ll be safer in the bush than in any major city:

  1. Always listen to your guide.
  2. Zip up your tent and never take food into it.
  3. When out on a game drive remember that animals are used to vehicles; but don’t be noisy or make sudden movements.
  4. Stay inside the vehicle (ask your driver or guide if you need to make a “bush stop”).
  5. Don’t sit on the roof. It’s not cool – it’s stupid.
  6. Watch out for thorns and overhanging branches when driving.
  7. If you’re on foot, don’t run. Only prey animals run!
  8. Don’t mess with baboons.
  9. Obey the safety rules in your camp or lodge.
  10. Don’t walk around at night and make sure you are escorted back to your tent or room after dinner.

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