Travel Blog Joao Cajuda

Safari in Tanzania

Safari in Tanzania

There’s few places on earth where you can come eye to eye with the greatest animals that walk our planet… one of this places, perhaps the best one is Tanzania. The country were blessed with some of the most beautiful landscapes on earth, the perfect beach of Zanzibar, the iconic Kilimanjaro and of course the wild savannas of Africa. For animal lovers like me, this is paradise! In this post I will describe my journey through some of the most beautiful National Parks including: Tarangire, Ngorongoro and Serengeti. I did all in 5 days and it was one of most incredible experiences I ever had!

HOW TO GO?

You can contact www.souloftanzania.com (the company who organized my Safari). They are based in Arusha, near Kilimanjaro and where almost every Safari tours start. The company were impeccable, they made personalized tours depending of what you what. The jeeps are great, very comfortable (probably the best ones I saw) with big windows, wi-fi, plugs to charge your camera, fridge with food and drinks, etc. Our guide Asseri was amazing, always very concerned to satisfy our needs, stoping every 100m for us to take photos, always making jokes and very cautious with the animals. Soul of Tanzania is a project dreamed by the minds and hearts of a Tanzanian and a Portuguese. Their goal is that all people should be able to experience the most incredible places in the world, being on luxurious or budget, the price must be fair. You need to fly to Dar Es Salaam, Kilimanjaro airport or Arusha airport, after that Soul Of Tanzania will organize your adventure, they also took care of my domestic flights. The best part is… If you contact Soul of Tanzania and tell them you are my follower they will give you a free night hotel in Arusha before starting the Safari!!! 🙂 Don’t waste this opportunity. travel blogger, safari, serengeti, tanzania, tarangire, ngorongoro, wildlife, lions

Beautiful Tanzania ❤️ by João CajudaFrom climbing the 5895m of Kilimanjaro, a safari in Serengeti, to the paradise beaches of Zanzibar. Africa is magical! Posted by João Cajuda on Friday, December 25, 2015

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João Cajuda - Safari Tanzania Tarangire Serengeti Ngorongoro www.joaocajuda.com

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WHEN TO GO?

I guess the answer is often complex. The main rainy season are in March, April and May. The humidity is high and daily temperatures reach the low-mid 30°s. Rain means life, life means more animals… however this is not a good option if you want to combine the safari with your beach holidays. Also, a lot of roads get impassable during this time too so certain safari routes may not be available. The long dry season lasts throughout June, July, August, September and October is when rainfall is unusual – expect clear sky and sunny weather – I heard is also a great time to visit the parks. I went in the beginning of November and December – the ‘short rains’. This is the best time to see the great migration. For me the weather was perfect, sunny, hot and I saw a lot of animals.January and February is Tanzania’s ‘short dry season’, before starting to rain again in earnest in March.

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WHERE TO STAY?

Tanzania is not the cheapest place when we talk about hotels, but we have to understand that you are in the middle of Africa, there’s nothing here besides wildlife, so building and managing an hotel is very expensive. SoulofTanzania.com will give you a lot of options. Hotel rooms need to be booked a few weeks in advance, especially during peak season. Rates start at 150€/night and go up from there.

FOUR SEASONS SERENGETI IMG_2912 2 One of the most beautiful infinity pools I ever been! FS Serengeti promise a luxurious respite during your African safari adventures.
SERENGETI PIONEER CAMP IMG_2869 One of the most luxurious tented camps in Africa. Beautiful tents with sweeping views overlooking Moru Kopjes, Lake Magadi and the endless plains.

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WHAT DO YOU NEED TO KNOW?

  • To be in a national park you need to pay a fee. Serengeti or Ngorongoro Crater can cost upwards of $60 per day (even if you stay all day in your hotel room).
  • Take medical precautions before you go – The most important health consideration in Southern Africa is malaria and it is strongly recommended that prophylactics (oral tablets) be taken as a preventative precaution. Also be aware of Tse-Tse flies, most of them are not dangerous (I was bitten by 4 and I am alive!)
  • Brig big lens for your camera. If you want to take great pictures you will need to invest in a bigger lens.
  • Beside the previous tip, do not spen your time taking a million pictures you will never see again, enjoy the moment, just seat, relax and observe animals.
  • Don’t forget, animals are not here to entertain yourself, they are living they own life, do not disturb them, they are wild and act just like wild animals.
  • You may not see The Big Five (I saw! :-P) – I know that this is a once-in-a-life-time experience but don’t worry, don’t stress yourself just because you havent seen a Rhyno. Enjoy all the animals, even the litle birds, there are beauty everywhere.

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DAY 1 (Arusha – Tarangire National Park – Lake Eyasi)

Asseri, our guide picked us up at the hotel around 9AM, I had pain over all my body (remember? I just climbed kilimanjaro yesterday!). Besides that I was very excited, doing a Safari in Tanzania was one of my biggest dreams and I was about to do it! Tarangire National Park is the sixth largest national park in Tanzania after Ruaha, Serengeti, Mikumi, Katavi and Mkomazi. The national park is located in Manyara Region. The name of the park originates from the Tarangire river that crosses through the park, being the only source of water for wild animals during dry seasons. It lies a little distance to the south east of Lake Manyara and covers an area of approximately 2,850 square kilometers(1,100 square miles.) The landscape and vegetation is incredibly diverse with a mix that is not found anywhere else in the northern safari circuit. The hilly landscape is dotted with dense bush, high grasses and of course, the famous and beautiful Baobab trees. Baobabs trees reach heights of 5 to 30 m and have trunk diameters of 7 to 11 m. Of the nine species, six are native to Madagascar, two are native to mainland Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, and one is native to Australia. Tarangire is a beautiful park, we saw many elephants (there are up to 300 here), lions, zebras and a cheetah. Tarangire Is also home to more than 550 species, the park is a haven for bird enthusiasts who can expect so see dozens of species even in the dry season. After a quick but unforgettable first lunch in the middle of the savannah we got back on the road in direction to Lake Eyasi. The road is beautiful, you pass through a lot of street markets, villages and by the Lake Manyara, a shallow huge lake witch is home of a diverse set of landscapes and wildlife. We stopped in the viewpoint for an overlook of Lake Manyara National Park. Sun was going down when we arrived in Lake Eyasi (Kissima Ngeda Hotel – very good by the way!). Lake Eyasi is a seasonal shallow endorheic salt lake on the floor of the Great Rift Valley (southwest of the Ngorongoro Crater). The area is very peaceful, as you can see in the photos, the sunset here is beyond beautiful. travel blogger, safari, serengeti, tanzania, tarangire, ngorongoro, wildlife, lions, tours João Cajuda - Safari Tanzania Tarangire Serengeti Ngorongoro www.joaocajuda.com_115 João Cajuda - Safari Tanzania Tarangire Serengeti Ngorongoro www.joaocajuda.com_116

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João Cajuda - Safari Tanzania Tarangire Serengeti Ngorongoro www.joaocajuda.com_036

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DAY 2 (Lake Eyasi – Ngorongoro Crater)

We woke up very early to visit the Hadzabe tribe. The Hadzabe are an indigenous ethnic group living around Lake Eyasi. The Hadza live as hunter-gatherers, much as their ancestors have for tens of thousands of years. They are among the last hunter-gatherers in the world and we will be following them in their morning hunt! The Hadza village is located in the middle of nowhere. They live in small huts made with mud and tree branches. The only contact they have with the “outside world” is when some tourists visit their area. They are not closely related to any other people and they only speck Khoisan languages (which is really weird by the way lol). Before we went to hunt, the add the opportunity to the visit the cave where they spend mostly of the day doing bows and arrows, resting and smoking weed (and they smoke a lot!) They were very kind and taught us to do fire, very interesting. When the chief of the tribe was ready we left for the hunting. Usually they feed themselves while foraging, and also bring home some honey, fruit, or wild game when available. They use also dogs (a lot of them) to helped them in the hunting game. Unfortunately it started to rain so much that we had to protect ourself in an chicken coop for almost one hour. And the end of the visit we had the opportunity to use their bows and arrows… lol, I am such a mess, I would die with hunger if I had to hunt any animal with that. travel blogger, safari, serengeti, tanzania, tarangire, ngorongoro, wildlife, lions, tours João Cajuda - Safari Tanzania Tarangire Serengeti Ngorongoro www.joaocajuda.com_038

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travel blogger, safari, serengeti, tanzania, tarangire, ngorongoro, wildlife, lions, tours João Cajuda - Safari Tanzania Tarangire Serengeti Ngorongoro www.joaocajuda.com_050 João Cajuda - Safari Tanzania Tarangire Serengeti Ngorongoro www.joaocajuda.com_051 João Cajuda - Safari Tanzania Tarangire Serengeti Ngorongoro www.joaocajuda.com_052travel blogger, safari, serengeti, tanzania, tarangire, ngorongoro, wildlife, lions, tours On the way back to the hotel we also visited a Maasai tribe, famous for living near many game parks and because of their distinctive customs and dress. The Tanzanian and Kenyan governments have instituted programs to encourage the Maasai to abandon their traditional semi-nomadic lifestyle, but the people have continued their age-old customs. Head shaving is common in almost every tribe. Their clothes varies by age, sex and locations, but all clothes are multicolored with african designs. The names of the clothing are known as the Matavuvale. Maasai are also famous because of their music and dance moves. The music consists of rhythms provided by a chorus of vocalists singing harmonies while a song leader sings the melody. Their dance is basically jumping as high as you can, you probably saw many pictures like this one right? Now you know, they are the Maasai people and you can find them in Tanzania and Kenya. travel blogger, safari, serengeti, tanzania, tarangire, ngorongoro, wildlife, lions, tours João Cajuda - Safari Tanzania Tarangire Serengeti Ngorongoro www.joaocajuda.com_055 João Cajuda - Safari Tanzania Tarangire Serengeti Ngorongoro www.joaocajuda.com_054 João Cajuda - Safari Tanzania Tarangire Serengeti Ngorongoro www.joaocajuda.com_056

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João Cajuda - Safari Tanzania Tarangire Serengeti Ngorongoro www.joaocajuda.com_060

travel blogger, safari, serengeti, tanzania, tarangire, ngorongoro, wildlife, lions, tours João Cajuda - Safari Tanzania Tarangire Serengeti Ngorongoro www.joaocajuda.com_057 João Cajuda - Safari Tanzania Tarangire Serengeti Ngorongoro www.joaocajuda.com_061 travel blogger, safari, serengeti, tanzania, tarangire, ngorongoro, wildlife, lions, tours After grabbing our luggage from the hotel we went to Ngorongoro Crater. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is an UNESCO World Heritage Site located 180 km from Arusha. Ngorongoro means Gift of Life, is thought to have formed about 2.5 million years ago from a large active volcano whose cone collapsed inward after a major eruption, leaving the present vast, unbroken caldera as its chief remnant… Considered one of the seven natural wonders of Africa, this huge crater with 19 km diameter and 8,292 square kilometers is home to thousand of specie. Approximately 25,000 large animals live here, black rhinoceros, African buffalo, hippopotamus, Grant’s zebra, Thomson’s gazelles, crocodiles, Impala, Leopard, lions, etc. After arriving at our hotel, Sopa Lodge Ngorongoro Crater we went to the garden area to have a drink and enjoy the stunning views during the sunset. travel blogger, safari, serengeti, tanzania, tarangire, ngorongoro, wildlife, lions, tours João Cajuda - Safari Tanzania Tarangire Serengeti Ngorongoro www.joaocajuda.com_068

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João Cajuda - Safari Tanzania Tarangire Serengeti Ngorongoro www.joaocajuda.com_066

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DAY 3 (Ngorongoro Crater – Serengeti)

Today we went to visit the crater… we didn’t saw so many animals as I except, probably because is the beginning of the rainy season and the animals are still migrating to here. Anyway, this place is beautiful… we saw some lions eating and we got real close, the lion even came near us to rest in our car’s shadow. We stopped for lunch near a lake full of hippopotamus… People get full by the disney movies and they forget that is the most dangerous animal in Africa (at least I heard it!)… I saw many tourist near them taking selfies, how crazy? After lunch we got back in the road towards Serengeti National park when in the middle of nothing we had a flat tire. Great! I love this shit, I really do! We got out the jeep to help Asseri and some Massai people that came from nowhere. Everything was fine, we manage to pee near the lions, smoke a cigarette and play with the little goats. travel blogger, safari, serengeti, tanzania, tarangire, ngorongoro, wildlife, lions, tours João Cajuda - Safari Tanzania Tarangire Serengeti Ngorongoro www.joaocajuda.com_064

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travel blogger, safari, serengeti, tanzania, tarangire, ngorongoro, wildlife, lions, tours João Cajuda - Safari Tanzania Tarangire Serengeti Ngorongoro www.joaocajuda.com_076 travel blogger, safari, serengeti, tanzania, tarangire, ngorongoro, wildlife, lions, tours Finally we arrived in Serengeti main gate (Serengeti means in Maasai “extended place”), after Asseri filled the papers we entered the park. I only have one word… WOW,WOW,WOW! I never so many animals together, this is insane, there were thousand of Zebras, Wildebeests, Giraffes, Lions, Impalas all running… I got chills over my body during one hour. This is it, this is the best show in the planet… it’s so magical that is really hard to express by words. “There is something about safari life that makes you forget all your sorrows, and feel as if you had drunk a bottle of champagne – bubbling all over with heartfelt gratitude”… This is life! After discharge the battery of my phone and camera with hundreds of pictures and video we went back to the hotel. During the next two days I will be collaborating with Serengeti Pioneer Camp, one of the most luxury tented camps in Africa. (my experience there will be online soon). travel blogger, safari, serengeti, tanzania, tarangire, ngorongoro, wildlife, lions, tours João Cajuda - Safari Tanzania Tarangire Serengeti Ngorongoro www.joaocajuda.com_085 João Cajuda - Safari Tanzania Tarangire Serengeti Ngorongoro www.joaocajuda.com_086

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DAY 4 (Serengeti)

We woke up around 4AM, during the night you must walk around the camp only when accompanied by guards (Maasai men with a huge sword in case any animal goes in from of you)… yeh, it’s a bit scary walking in the dark when you know you are surround by lions and other wild animals, but you get used to it. The reason why we woke up so early is because today we are going to the a balloon Safari during the sunrise. As expected is an unforgettable experience. I never flew before a balloon so I didn’t know what to expect… is going too high? Too Fast? After we got into the balloon I completely forgot about those things, I was surrendered by the beauty of Serengeti… is so big, there are so many animals till you lose the sight in the endless plains. It is really magical and I totally recommend for those who have some extra money to spend (www.balloonsafaris.com) After the ballon we went to have breakfast in a beautiful decorated table set under a tree. Except delicious food and a lot of champagne. Did you know that the first successful ballooning was in 1783 by Mr. Montgolfiere? In that time balloons landing in peasants’ farm fields were usually attacked by farmers with stones and pitchforks since they were obviously fire-breathing monsters. For this reason the King of France (a balloon enthusiastic) ordered that every aeronauts should that a bottle of champagne with the royal stamp to offer to the farmers. Thats why today you drink champagne after ballooning. travel blogger, safari, serengeti, tanzania, tarangire, ngorongoro, wildlife, lions, tours João Cajuda - Safari Tanzania Tarangire Serengeti Ngorongoro www.joaocajuda.com_099 João Cajuda - Safari Tanzania Tarangire Serengeti Ngorongoro www.joaocajuda.com_106

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DAY 5 & 6 (Serengeti)

The last 2 days in the park I was collaborating with Four Seasons Serengeti (my experience at FSSerengeti will be online soon) before heading to Zanzibar island. From FS to the Seronera airstrip is about one hour (is like an one hour extra of game-drive!). The Seronera airstrip is located in the heart of Serengeti, is very small as you can see in the photos. We get out of the jeep and personally took our bags to the airplane, no X-ray, no police, nothing. The only thing there was our airplane and the captain. Since we were the only 2 passengers, she asked us if we could fly right away (one hour before the schedule). I was like? WFT? Does this works like this? lol… But ok… we were ready to take off. IMG_2864_Fotor This was the last opportunity to see the endless plains of Serengeti, in my opinion the best-known wildlife sanctuary in the world, unequalled for its natural beauty and scientific value. With more than two million wildebeest, half a million gazelle’s and zebra, 3000 lions and many elephants and other species… Serengeti it has the greatest concentration of plains game in Africa. and for this reason is my favorite comparing to Tarangire and Ngorongoro. I truly hope that Tanzanian government do their best to conserve this unique heritage for all mankind. Sounds of Africa. Another video, this time whitout music. More images from “A day in the Serengeti” with the best symphony, the nature!

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