Monday, April 22, 2013

Top 10 reasons to visit Tanzania.

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This largest country in Eastern Africa has natural attractions that every rival country envy. After scooping three top accolades at Seven Natural Wonders of Africa what else is to be said about this paradise. From the largest to the smallest national park in Africa both are found in the remoteness of the country. Despite having 15 national park excluding game reserves, you are guarantee to meet massive animals eye -to- eye if you come in season. Dar es salaam makes the country be known Africa's Dubai due to its commercial activities and modernness, still culture is one key element that lure tourists from around the world.

While other African countries suffocates their tourists by congesting them into one or two water bodies. Tanzania offers a vast range more than any other African country. You can choose to canoe or other water related activities in any of these; Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika, Lake Nyasa and the Indian Ocean to mention a few. There is room for everyone and a choice to do it around town or in the wilderness. In Momella Lake, the giraffe can be clearly seen from a very close range, giving you a taste of the true nature of Africa. In Lake Manyara and the Momella lakes the Flamingos flock in great number and can be seen on mass from great distances, and Lake Duluti has a particularly wide range of many different beautiful bird species. 

Canoeing at Lake Momella.

Ranging from uberstylish chalets primed for a Vogue photo shoot to more rustic bamboo and thatch affairs, bushcamps tend to be remotely situated and intimate, with no more than half a dozen rooms. Sitting down to a candlelit dinner of expertly prepared haute cuisine and a couple of drinks is simply awesome.  The evening is spent around the campfire listening to the sound of the African night - the distant roar of Lion and the doleful, whooping, "laugh" of the Hyena nearby is an unforgettable experience.

The Great Wildebeest Migration (Serengeti)
Topping the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa nothing compares to the live watch of the great migrations. The best time to see the migration is usually between June and August when the wildebeest congregate and prepare to cross the Grumeti River. However the route and timing of the migration is unpredictable so visitors must plan carefully to be assured of seeing the spectacle. During the early wet season (December to April) the animals are found on the short grass plains around Lake Ndutu, the Moru Kopjes, the Gol Mountains and Seronera in the south of the park.

A vital Culture and Traditions
Tanzanian's Social fabric charm is the prime attraction for cultural and eco-tourism. The folklore, the traditional "ngomas" and the dancing styles vary from one tribe to another. When dancing, the Makonde vibrate their bottoms in "Sindimba" frenzy and the "Zaramo" bounce the undulating "Mdundiko" procession. The Maasai in their leaping dance going simultaneously with rhythmic chant of their deep voices which can scare even a he lion! The use of live snakes by the "Sukuma" such as embracing huge pythons and struggling with during the "Bugobogobo" dance turn such occasions into unforgettable scenes to a visitor. Each of the 120 tribes has its ngoma and dancing all of which styles are quite fascinating and sometimes sexy.

A traditional dance in Tanzania.

Tanzania's annual events range from traditional festivals that celebrate local culture and arts to sporting competitions combining physical challenges with breathtaking and exotic scenery. Other festivities include those which commemorate political events in Tanzania.
On Zanzibar, many of the celebrations and things to do are of a religious nature, and Muslim holidays are always cause for much merriment. Particularly popular here is Mwaka Kogwa and the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF), both of which are staged in July, and the musical extravaganza in February that is the Sauti za Busara.

Remains of the colonial.
Being the home of the earliest man the Australopithecines, discovered at  Laetoli near Olduvai Gorge in northern Tanzania, by archaeologist Mary Leakey in 1978. Tanzania is still the home of colonial remains in various spots like the Bagamoyo slave market ruins which is the UNESCO World Heritage, the ancient colonial buildings in the capital city of Dar es salaam to mention a few.

St. Joseph Church in the center of Dar es salaam

 Urban Vibes
Tanzania’s capital of Dar es salaam deserves to be more than simply a pit stop or way station between interior regions – its modernity and cosmopolitan mix of people offer a window to understanding the country as a whole. The city’s young and stylish hit the happening restaurants and clubs, many of which are in and around city center and Arcades Shopping Center or shopping mall. While admittedly overwhelming to the senses, the city’s outdoor markets are worth experiencing to see how ordinary Dar es salaam indigenous  or famously known Wabongo  do their everyday shopping. 

Mountain Kilimanjaro (The Roof of Africa)
Above the gently rolling hills and plateau of northern Tanzania rise the snowy peaks of Mt Kilimanjaro, its slope and glaciers shimmering above the clouds. Kilimanjaro is located near the town of Moshi and is a protected area, carefully regulated for climbers to enjoy without leaving a trace of their presence. The mountain’s ecosystems are as strikingly beautiful as they are varied and diverse. Climbing Mt Kilimanjaro is the highlight of many visitors’ experience in Tanzania. Hiking on the ‘rooftop’ of Africa is the adventure of a life time, and anyone from seasoned trekker to a reasonably fit first-time enthusiast can scale the snowy peak. Despite Mount Kilimanjaro there are other mountains in Tanzania worthy knowing about. 

Walking Safaris
Tanzania offers an adventure to explore the most spectacular wilderness and cultural tour and safari on foot. Having 15 national parks means more intimacy, closer look and feel of Africa's wilderness. A legacy of Tanzania’s pioneering conservationists, ambling through lush grass or dusty sandbanks on the trail of a herd of elephants is a thrilling experience. And even if you don’t see the animals themselves, the guides or rifle-carrying scouts will explain how much is revealed by the animal scat and paw prints. TV detectives have nothing on these guys.

Tourist in close contact with elephants in a walking Safari
The dazzling archipelago in the Indian Ocean is one of the most popular places to visit in Tanzania. Zanzibar’s sparkling white beaches, crystal clear water, and great variety of things to do make it a must for anyone visiting Tanzania. While there, you can snorkel or scuba dive, go on a spice plantation tour, visit Stone Town, swim with the dolphins, or just lie on the beach and soak up the sun.

Note: Tanzania has lot of world heritage sites, and we have been depending on tourism for foreign exchange. We want to keep on gaining and benefit from these natural resources for today and the future ahead. After saying so I argue to be a responsible tourist so that we can enjoy the natural wonders by conserving them and passing them on to the next generations. Thank you for your understanding.

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

How talent is much needed by Tanzania Tourist Board for Tourism Posters Competition.

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The United Nation World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has announced a Tourism posters competition in which every member country including Tanzania is invited to submit one sole poster designed to promote tourism of each particular country in electronic format. A panel of judges who will be appointed by the UNWTO will select 7 best posters that will appear on UNWTO website for two years until the next edition in 2015.

 In this regard, Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) wishes to invite talented individuals to design posters for the said purpose having an impressive creativity, beauty, and high level of graphic design and communication which will be seen to depict what Tanzania has to offer as a unique tourist destination. Posters should be submitted to TTB in a file no larger than 5 MB by April 30th, 2013 via the following email address: A prize will be given to the best artist whose poster will be chosen as the first winner.

For more information please contact:

The Managing Director,
IPS Building 3rd floor,
Samora Avenue/Azikiwe Street,
P.O. Box 2485 Dar-es-salaam, Tanzania
Tel: 255-22-2111244/5

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

10 ways to remember and honor legendary Bi. Kidude.

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Youthful Bi. Kidude

Bi Kidude in the making.

Yalaiti Leo na Kesho peponi. (Today and tomorrow in heaven)

Fatuma Binti Baraka, Bi Kidude
You have come of age and died
But I'll mourn you forever
What a lose of a legendary?

I mourn as I sing,
Mohogo wajamg'ombe
You had a melodious voice
Never will I forget

Zanzibar ooh Zanzibar
The land of your ancestors
Dhows brought in Taarab
You adopted and made it big

Since teenhood to old days
You kept up with music
All shortcoming and circumstances
couldn't ground you down

You are as Thatcher in music
Perhaps why you two are gone
Your were a power house
No doubt you'll be missed

Unyago needs a leader
And you were of such
Who will teach our girls?
Kopa and Bi Chau are crying

Tobacco has lost a market
Youngsters lost a featuring
Taarab will miss you crazily
Sauti za busara cries like a river

Tanzania can't forget your music
Your contribution in GDP
You played a role in tourism
We will always appreciate.

The world wants a monument
Generations will see you in museums
You are a story to be told always
Can't help but accept your lose

Farewell Bi Kidude,
farewell legendary
farewell iron lady
farewell Binti Baraka

The 10 stanzas are the ten ways to remember and honor legendary Bi. Kidude. I dare say it is a tragedy and a lose to Tanzania and the world at large for the lost of our dear legendary of Taarab music. As Thatcher goes to ground so as Bi  Kidude. Your music lead to increase of tourists in Tanzania, who came to see you performing in various occasions like Sauti Za Busara Festival. We are forever greatful to her contribution of Taarab music. R.I.P

Fatuma binti Baraka (aka Bi Kidude) was a Zanzibari Taarab singer. She is considered the undisputed queen of Taarab and Unyago music and is also a protégé of Siti binti Saad. Bi Kidude was born in the village of Mfagimaringo, she was the daughter of a coconut seller in colonial Zanzibar. Bi Kidude's exact date of birth is unknown, much of her life story is uncorroborated, giving her an almost mythical status.
In 2005 Bi Kidude received the prestigious WOMEX award for her outstanding contribution to music and culture in Zanzibar. She died on 17th April 2013. read more about Bi Kidude

Pay your respect to the late Bi Kidude by adding on stanzas or choosing what you think was the best stanta from the poem via comment box. Do you think she deserves a place in the National Museum? If so please be kind to argue with us also via comment box.

Please read a poem on Ruaha National Park here: The Great Ruaha River, what will become of you? 

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Monday, April 15, 2013

14 best camps & lodges to stay in to see the great migrations in Serengeti.

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Most of times it is very frustrating when on travel and when it comes to the lodging issue. Here those who have travel agencies enjoy the minimum frustration, but when you don't have one you are screwed big time. In Tanzania for instance you are planning to see the world wonder of the greatest wildebeest migrations, you real need to know and mix the appropriate time and the perfect lodge or else you won't enjoy to the maximum. 

For any one interested to catch up with the wildlife life drama of a life time in the Serengeti plains, must have read great articles out there like this one when is the best time to see the great migration? By now you got the information and your aided with your travel agency  but your travel agency might not tell you where is the perfect camp in Serengeti to match up your safari schedule.

For you to catch up the best with the annual circular event of the great migration, you need to know the time you will be visiting and the events that unfold with it. Apart from that where to camp in that exactly month your visiting so that you will be able to see every thing you desired in the first place.

I compiled this information to inform you where exactly to camp, in the particular month your visiting. These camps and lodges are the frequently recommended by Safari experts. I have based on Tanzania since the migration is best watched on this side compared with Kenya. Most of these lodges and camps are award winning, and we have them in these list. In no particular order here are the best camps and lodges to catch up with the great migrations.

Olakira Camp vs Ndutu Safari Lodge
January and February, following the rains, the migration moves onto the Serengeti plains in the south, where the newborns graze along with the herds. This is also the time for the predators to fatten up. With thousands of young, it’s easy pickings for cheetahs and lions, and the hyenas make the most of this abundance of food by picking up what remains of the cats’ kills, as well as picking off their own fresh meals. At this time of year, being located in the Ndutu area will give you the best access to the migration.

Serena Safari Lodge vs Serengeti Under Canvas Camp
April is when the heavy rains set in and the migration begins moving through the Central Serengeti and towards the Western Serengeti, where the long grasses are new and the food is good. This is a beautiful time to travel: flowers cover the Central Serengeti and there are very few people around. However, it being the rainy season, you need to be prepared. Also, the roads get muddy, and therefore access to some of them may be limited. During this time, staying in the Ndutu or Seronera areas will put you in the right place for the migration.

Grumeti River Camp vs Kirawira Tented Camp
Arriving at the Western Corridor around June, the millions of grazers are forced to cross the Grumeti River. There is usually an unpredictable waiting period of one to two weeks as the animals prepare for the life-threatening crossing.
Ironically, it is usually the first animals that attempt to cross that are taken by the Grumeti crocodiles. The resident crocodiles feast as the long train of wildlife tries to cross unscathed.

Faru Faru River Lodge vs Sasakwa lodge
July is one of the most exciting months of the great migration as the herds move further into the Northern Serengeti and toward the Mara River. From here attention shifts north as the migration enters the private Grumeti Reserve, with a small portion splitting off and heading northeast, to the Lobo area.

Sayari Camp vs Lemala Luxury Camp
The best time to see the Serengeti migration is usually in this June to August period. In August the migration reaches the far northern area (ikorongo controlled). There are a few excellent camps in this area from which you can witness this natural phenomenon

Serengeti Migration Camp vs Suyan Camp
As the short rains begin in November, the migration moves quickly south towards the Loliondo area of the Serengeti. The Loliondo area is part of the much larger Serengeti ecosystem, and is on land owned by the Maasai. The area offers a great mix of resident game, and is excellent walking country, with dramatic scenery of open plains, rock kopjes, and woodlands.

Kusini or Southern Camp vs Ndutu Safari Lodges
As December nears, the migration settles on the short grass plains in the Southern Serengeti. At this time of year, the migration tends to stay around the Seronera and Ndutu area as Seronera provides a constant source of water for the herds. During December you have the privilege of seeing thousands of wildebeest and zebra gathering on the southern plains as the migration gets underway. This is great time to see a huge variety of game as the big cats follow the feast.

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Saturday, April 6, 2013

Ngorongoro Marathon and the fight against Malaria in Tanzania.

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After a big win during the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa where Tanzania top the accolades by having three natural attraction topping the list, Ngorongoro keeps the beat on. The three natural attractions included the incredible Serengeti migrations, Mountain Kilimanjaro and Ngorongoro Crater. The naming was earlier this year and you can read more here Seven Natural Wonders of Africa.

Ngorongoro celebrated earlier today the winning in style by running the Ngorongoro Marathon for a good cause of fighting against Malaria in the country. Isn't it cool? The Marathon took place in Karatu Arusha and it included various entourages and famous people from different categories, such as musicians and others. Some of big names in Tanzania that participated include: the best male artist of the year 2012, the one and only Barnabas the beauty queen of 2000 and the President of Tanzania Women Achievement Awards (TWAA) Miss Irene Kiwia to name a few. There were more than 250 athletes who participated the race. Am quoting from the Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism, his excellence Honorable Lazaro Nyarandu that the officials of Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) didn't participate. The quotation is via his twitter handle. I think they didn't think out of the box what impact it would have brought by participating in the race. I dare say it is a shame to let go of such an opportunity as this one, for I hope there were both indigenous and guest who could love to here something about Ngorongoro. Well I hope they have learnt their lesson and I hope next time all will be well.

Ngorongoro Marathon Participants.

From Left Mr. Kijoko the Karatu DC with honorable Lazaro Nyarandu.

The oldest participant

Spectators watching at Barnabas at the finishing line. 

His excellence Honorable Nyarandu covered the Marathon live via his twitter handle. I liked his strategy and his execution of the event I give him a round of applause for without his efforts I could probably not be able to learn what was happening and far worse not post this important Marathon.

The winners are:
Dickson Marwa from Kilimanjaro 1st place for males.

Jackie Sakara from Singida 1st place women
Zakia Mrisho from Singida 2nd place women

Zara tours was never left behind they grabbed and sized the opportunity very well. Thank you all participants, sponsors and everybody else who made this happen successfully and special thanks to social media especially twitter for streaming live the events. You made it possible even for my readers to have a glimpse of what was happening today in Karatu. All photos a courtesy of Honarable Lazaro Nyarandu.

The International day of Malaria is on 24th of this month, what are you planning to do to fight against this killer disease?

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