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Tanga-Nyika Tales: Adventure from the Bush to the Coast

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Duration: 14 Days & 13 Nights

Dates: 5 – 18 December 2016, 13 – 26 February 2017
Group Size: Min 2 / Max 14 

Overview

A combination of walking and game-driving safaris, a careful blend of national parks, culture and un-spoilt wilderness areas, giving a first time visitor a ‘Taste of the North’. Spend your nights under the stars in a mix of lodges, permanent camps and tented camps. 

Experience your own private camp in the heart of the Serengeti plains and wake up to the soft sound of Maasai cow bells as a new day begins over The Great Rift Valley. 

This trip has been exclusively designed for Gaia Conscious Travel to give you a uniquely conscious Experience of the country from bush to beach. Attention has been paid to every detail. You will enjoy adventure as well as high-end accommodation, a thrilling combination that will make your trip to Tanzania one of the most memorable.

The Operator

Both directors (Tanzanian and British born) share between them more than 20 years’ experience working with indigenous peoples in Tanzania, 10 of which were in the not-for profit sector. Our company was born out of a desire to educate travelers in an authentic, un-staged, community lead way about indigenous people in Tanzania, their cultures, way of life and their struggles through cultural ecotourism.

Our overall attitude to tourism in focused on personal growth and discovery (for visitors but also for the communities we connect with during our travels) and the intrinsic value of indigenous knowledge and wisdom; seeing the world through another’s perspective (taking a walk in each other’s shoes) but with minimal impact (both environmental and social) so all you leave behind are footprints in the earth. 

We are passionate about supporting indigenous peoples preserve their indigenous knowledge and cultural identities for future generations but also about promoting community- lead sustainable development. We are equally passionate about educating travelers through intimate and authentic exchanges that allow for a genuine, human interaction and knowledge sharing.  We believe cultural tourism can be an important means to achieve this goal.

Our company’s policies are based on a foundation of personal and academic research into the impact of ecotourism on indigenous peoples so we are well aware of the potential pitfalls as well as benefits and this is something which informs all of our product development.

We are also environmentally conscious individuals, who are actively engaged in reducing our footprint and impact, not just for the company but at home, whether through investment in state of the art water filters in order to cut down on plastic bottle use; buying locally wherever possible; or simply encouraging travelers to get out of the car and take-part in walking safaris or spend a few days with a local community doing a walking based cultural program.   

A central part of our company ethos is profit sharing with the communities we work with. 

An average 10% of the net profit from our programs goes towards community projects aimed at tackling issues highlighted by the communities as important. We also encourage projects which utilise indigenous knowledge and skills and environmentally based projects such as forest management.

Giving Tanzanians job opportunities is a priority for us, therefore all of our employees are local Tanzanians. Our company is nothing without the people we work with and employ. In recognition of this fact many of our employees are on full-contracts and paid on a salary basis (instead of per day) to ensure job security, with social security benefits and emergency air rescue insurance on top as a minimum. We also offer additional training in various areas including first aid, English “top-ups” to name a couple and opportunities for career growth.     

We are continually looking for new ways to reduce our environmental footprint and impact. So far we have implemented the use of state of the art water filters to reduce our plastic bottle consumption (so water is filtered directly from sources in the bush, however it is not yet possible for us to rely 100% on filtered water alone). Also many of our packages include community programs which are almost exclusively done on foot so reducing our carbon foot print. We also support a forest management project in one of the communities we work with. Roughly 80% of our equipment is locally produced and we endeavour to buy locally wherever possible. Whilst in the bush we have strict “leave no trace” policies. All of our camps are currently 100% mobile, meaning that in between groups camp sites have a chance to recover. We currently depend on a mixture of sustainable charcoal, gas and locally collected dead/sustainable sources of wood.

Our long term environmental goals include switching to sustainable fuel sources for our vehicles and switching to sustainable power sources in the office. Our mid-term goals include switching to 90% sustainable/renewable fuel sources in our camps. 

How guests are prepared

All guests receive Pre-departure Travel Notes containing general information about Tanzania, it’s history, climate and environment, cultural awareness and Swahili language guide. On arriving in Tanzania guests receive a thirty minute orientation that goes into more detail about the specific communities that might be visited as well as the “dominant” Swahili culture, cultural norms, what behaviour is and isn’t appropriate in each setting and what to expect in general.

Guests are encouraged to learn the traditional Swahili greetings, which are also covered during the orientation.

The people we work with on your tour

For each tour there is a field crew consisting of a driver guide/vehicle. Our tours are nothing without the people we work with. In recognition of this fact our employees are fairly paid (above the government minimum for the industry) 

Where possible we try to use hand-picked hotels and lodges which have a good reputation among lodge workers, engage in corporate social responsibility.

How the tour creates additional employment and income for 3rd parties

There is also the opportunity for guests to purchase traditional jewellery and other items directly from artists and craftsmen along the way. We also make us of locally run hotels and lodges where possible.

How we reduce our footprint on your tour

Guests spend as much time on foot as possible. Our itineraries are planned to provide ample time between destinations to avoid rushing around, thus using less fuel.

All our guests are briefed on how to keep their environmental impact to a minimum from encouraging the use of biodegradable toiletries to how to dispose of trash appropriately.

We hand select lodges that follow best practice for environmental conservation and sustainability and prefer to use these whenever possible.

Mission of Parks visited 

Ngorongoro Conservation Area is an “experiment” in the co-habitation of people and wildlife whereby Maasai people are able to live their traditional lifestyle alongside native wildlife but other forms of human activity (farming/hunting etc) are prohibited. In the National Parks no human activity is allowed other than around camps.  All of the parks and conservation areas visited have strict leave no trace policies and policies regarding the removal of flora and fauna. We apply the same principles in the natural areas visited outside of the parks. 

Slowing down and letting go

The relatively slow pace of the tour means less rushing around and a greater chance to relax and let go the stresses and strains of modern living. Since everything is taken care of from transport to food to accommodation guests will have very little to think about and can focus entirely on themselves and their experience.

All accommodation is lodge based so guests get to enjoy relative comfort on their tour as well as optional luxury experiences such as a massage or spa treatment. We also prefer to choose smaller lodges with fewer guests for an intimate experience.

Time on the beach at the end of the tour, in a quiet and relatively unspoilt location is the ultimate means to relaxation!

Reconnecting with yourself and your environment

On the whole this experience will be incredibly sensual, with new and exotic smells, sights and sounds. Tanzania is without doubt one of the most beautiful, diverse, exciting but also humbling places to visit on Earth. It will certainly take your breath away! 

Personal Growth

The terrains covered can be rough, the roads poor, dusty and bumpy; the climate, hot and dry. Conditions such as these can be personally challenging but at the same time very exciting! Guests will get to experience some of the most incredible wildlife and scenery in the world.   



Associated Project
Adopt a Sea Turtle

We will give you the option to donate to this project on your final invoice.

SEA SENSE

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Sea Sense is a Non Government Organisation (NGO) that works closely with coastal communities in Tanzania to conserve and protect endangered marine species including sea turtles, dugongs, whales, dolphins and whale sharks. These species, together with their habitats face a very uncertain future, mostly as a result of human activities in the coastal zone. Their continued survival is implicitly linked with the protection of the wider coastal and marine ecosystem and the wellbeing of coastal peoples.

Sea Sense has a ‘grass-roots’ approach to conservation and has recruited and trained a network of over 60 Conservation Officers who act as ‘ambassadors for conservation’ in their village and serve as a vital link between Sea Sense and the wider community.

Through training, education and employment Sea Sense is changing attitudes towards conservation. Many coastal communities are participating in marine conservation initiatives and becoming aware of the need to conserve Tanzania’s rich natural heritage for future generations.

ADOPT YOUR VERY OWN SEA TURTLE NEST!

You can help Sea Sense to protect marine life in Tanzania by adopting your very own sea turtle nest. For only US$50 you will receive an adoption pack containing a personalised adoption certificate, fun and interesting sea turtle facts, a sea turtle poster, photos of hatchlings, kids puzzles and a bookmark.  Contact the Sea Sense office to adopt your turtle nest today!

The money raised by the adoption programme is used by Sea Sense to fund further sea turtle conservation work and support community development projects in villages near to sea turtle nesting beaches. So, by adopting a sea turtle you are helping to protect Tanzania’s endangered marine life and improving the lives of coastal communities too!

If you prefer to donate lesser amounts, from US$ 10 and more, we will make a cash donation to this partner on your behalf.


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Itinerary

Day 1 (Arrival):

  • You will be met at Kilimanjaro airport by your driver who will transfer you to your hotel (Karama Lodge). 
  • Orientation with either Chaca or Lauren.

Day 2

  • At 8:30 a.m. meet with your driver guide, passing by town for last minute shopping for essentials and an opportunity to visit a cash point.
  • Depart for Tarangire National Park for a full game drive and picnic/”on the bonnet” lunch.
  • Spend the night at Tarangire Safari Lodge.

Day 3:

  • Depart for Lake Manyara National Park at 8:00 a.m. 
  • Spend the morning on a walking safari of the surrounding area and escarpment overlooking the lake. 
  • Afternoon game-drive of park. 
  • Spend the night at Olea Africana Lodge.  

Day 4

  • After an early breakfast head to the Serengeti via Ngorongoro Conservation Area, stopping for majestic views of the crater before continuing the journey on towards Serengeti.
  • Make a brief stop at Oldupai Gorge to view and take part in a short lecture about this fascinating archaeological site.
  • Stop for lunch at the Serengeti gate before continuing with an en-route game drive to the lodge.
  • Arrive at Kati Kati tented lodge for dinner and overnight.

Day 5:

  • After breakfast begin your full day game drive.
  • Stop for either a picnic OR “on-the bonnet” lunch, depending on where the animals are – we’ll leave this up to the driver to decide unless you would prefer lunch at a park picnic site, please let him know.
  • Continue with game drive.
  • Return to camp.

Day 6:

  • After breakfast enjoy your second full day of game driving in the Serengeti with lunch box.

Day 7:

  • Wake early for breakfast and begin en route game drive back towards Ngorongoro Conservation area. 
  • Continue on to the crater, heading down for a full game drive of the area stopping for a picnic lunch at one of the crater’s small lakes.
  • Head out of the conservation area back to Karatu for a night at Gibbs Farm Lodge.

Day 8:

  • Spend the whole day enjoying the grounds at Gibbs Farm lodge, learning about its’ history as an old colonial farm and then “game lodge”, take a tour of the lodges coffee plantation and vegetable garden, visit the elephant salt lick caves  or book a massage (not included in overall price). Enjoy a hearty lunch and continue with activities.
  • Depart for Arusha at approximately 3 p.m.
  • Spend the night in Arusha at Karama Lodge.

Day 9

  • Early morning transfer by road across Tanzania’s Northern region and its’ Eastern coast through diverse and dynamic terrains to Pangani for beach time and relaxation (6 hours approx.). Travelling by road is a great way to see Tanzania’s spectacular scenery. However if you’ve had your fill of driving there is the option to fly as an additional extra. 
  • Stop on the way for picnic lunch.
  • Arrive at Pangani town, take the ferry to the other side of the bay and head towards Ushongo village. 

Day 10-12

  • Spend the next few days relaxing on the beach or doing various activities (not included) such as snorkelling, diving, visiting marine reserves, cultural activities or just relaxing on the beach. [Room upgrades available but with limited capacity]

Day 13:

  • Transfer to Arusha.
  • Overnight at Karama Lodge.

Day 14:

  • Flight home.

Included in your package

  • All park fees and camp fees
  • B2B Mobile Fly-camping & Permanent Tented Camp / Lodge accommodation
  • 3 meals a day on F/B as stipulated
  • bottled drinking water; x1.5 liters a day per person
  • 4×4 vehicle plus driver guide, safari chef and camp assistant
  • AMREF Emergency Evacuation Cover x 14 days
  • All transfers and activities as stipulated.

Excluded from your package

  • Tips (suggested amounts, see Guidelines for tipping on Travel Info tab)
  • Drinks apart from 1,5 liter mineral water per day
  • Visa and airport departure tax
  • Items of personal nature and not mentioned in the above itinerary

  • International flights and internal flights

  • Medical/travel insurance (must be obtained by client as a condition of booking)

  • Activities at Gibbs Farm Lodge and on the beach in Pangani (booked through lodge on arrival)

  • Alcoholic beverages or soft drinks


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Prices

Our rates are fixed in USD. Other currencies are subject to change, depending on the rate of exchange.

Standard price per person sharing: $4899

Single Supplement: $1644

Travel Info

Accommodation and Meals

Fully inclusive of all accommodation and meals.

Vehicle and Camp Set-Up

ImageOur fleet of 4 x 4 safari vehicles is made up of well maintained Land-Rover TDI’s and Toyota Land-Cruisers, specially adapted for use on safari. Both types of vehicles have proven themselves worthy on the unpredictable Tanzanian roads (and often, what passes for roads) and offer un-obstructed views for all passengers.

Our safari vehicles come in different sizes; the standard Land-Rover and Land-Cruisers offer comfortable space to up to 5  people and our extended Land-Cruisers seat up to 7. Because of these maximum numbers per vehicle, every single occupant is assured of his or her own window-seat, easy access to the opened roof for game viewing and ample leg-room during the drives to and from.        

Because realistically, on the gravel and bush-roads you’ll encounter on safari punctures happen, and from time to time mechanical problems occur, all vehicles are equipped with spare tires and all the tools needed to get you back on track in the shortest possible time.

Besides being experienced drivers, our driver/guides are trained to perform small repairs and in the rare case that outside help is needed, we’ll send a replacement vehicle straight away so your safari can continue without any problems.

All vehicles are fitted for safari with:

  • a full-size pop-up roof, or game viewing hatches with shade-cloth,
  • VHF-radio call for communication in the parks,
  • 2 x 220 Volt A/C outlets (UK, 3-pin type) to charge your equipment whilst on the move,
  • 2 spare tires, a bottle-jack and hi-lift (or Simba)-jack,
  • emergency tool kit, tow-rope and jump-leads,
  • a (removable) fridge, and
  • first aid kit.

Our spacious tents can comfortably fit 2 people with room to stand up or 3 people snugly. Tents are typically a mixture of apex roofed canvas (pictured) or polyester domed tents. Each has their own positive aspects.

Both styles of tent come with thick (8cm) foam mattresses, blankets and sheets (no wriggling around in sleeping bags!) and pillows.

The classic safari style canvas tents have built in mosquito meshing on the doors (front and back) so you can zip your tent up but still have good ventilation and there is also an additional flap that can be pulled across for added privacy. At the front there is a sheltered "veranda" for keeping footwear outside.

For small groups (4-6 or less) the mobile canvased shower and toilet cubicles can be connected to your tent as an ensuite. Alternatively they can be set at a distance from your tent.

Our polyester tents have ventilated roof openings with wind breakers covering the top. These are much more light-weight than our locally made canvas tents so we often include these for larger groups (10-15 +).

Important Information

Visa

All non East African nationals require a visa to enter Tanzania. Please visit the Tanzanian embassy in your home country for information about the types and cost of Visas. Access to information about the types of visas/permits that are available varies from embassy to embassy across the world. If you are travelling for less than three months a standard tourist visa is all you will need. Again please leave enough time as the application process can sometimes take over a week. Alternatively, if flying directly to Tanzania a visa can be purchased at the airport on arrival – but be prepared to wait in line!

Insurance: 

It is a condition of booking with Gaia Conscious Travel that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on travel, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit, which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for domestic travel.

Vaccinations

Visitors to Tanzania are required by law to have had a yellow fever vaccination and bring with them a valid yellow fever certificate if they are travelling from or through a country with a risk of yellow fever transmission. Please refer to your own governments guidelines on travel to Tanzania.

Please visit your doctor for advice on which other vaccinations are required and remember some vaccinations need to be administered several weeks before travel so ensure you leave plenty of time. 

Malaria 

Tanzania is in a malaria risk zone, so please use an appropriate prophylactic (preventative) malaria medication.
Read more about malaria here.

Travellers D&V

Unfortunately nearly all first-time visitors to East Africa come down with some sort of stomach ailment during their stay the severity of which can vary from a couple of bouts of diarrhoea to full-blown gastroenteritis. This is perfectly normal since your body is reacting to unfamiliar bacteria present in the environment. Your body will then build immunity to such bacteria much as it does in your home country. If it doesn’t clear up on its own (which it usually does in about 2 to 3 days) then local hospitals are very experienced at dealing with stomach bugs. We advise that you carry with you some anti-diarrhoea medication (Loperamide) and a few packets of re-hydration salts.

Water

Tap water in Tanzania is of dubious quality and is not suitable for drinking or brushing teeth. Water from certain areas (particularly in the North) also has a very high fluoride content. Use bottled water (available even in remote areas) or pre-boiled/filtered water, even for brushing teeth, to avoid stomach complaints. Water provided by Nyayo will be a mixture of bottles and/or filtered water.

Age restriction 

Experience not suitable for children under 3. Children under 18 should be accompanied by an adult.

Preparing for your Experience

Camping Equipment

Please note that unless otherwise stated all camping equipment, including tents, thick foam mattresses, pillows, blankets, sheets, portable camping toilet and shower, are provided as part of your tour

Luggage

  • Frameless backpack and cover (easier if camping although not essential)
  • Day sack
  • Luggage locks – These are not only a good way to ensure the security of your belongings during transit but are also an effective deterrent for pick-pockets when walking around town.
We advise people to try to pack light to help us cut down on weight during long journeys. 
We also encourage you to choose environmentally friendly/biodegradable products wherever possible.

Clothing

Temperatures in Tanzania can vary tremendously depending on time of day or night and the season. Therefore it is useful to prepare yourself for hot, cold and wet weather. It is better to pack lots of light-weight clothing that can be layered instead of bringing lots of bulky clothes.

Budgeting for your Experience

Foreign Exchange

The main currency of Tanzania is the Tanzanian Shilling (often abbreviated to Tzs or Tsh). Although U.S Dollars are also accepted in many hotels and are the only accepted form of payment at National Parks for foreign visitors on a tourist visa Shillings are the main form of currency for buying goods from markets, local shops, restaurants and bars. Shillings can be obtained from ATMs, which are available in most major towns and cities or can be exchanged at the numerous bureaux de changes in Arusha. Please bear in mind that if you plan to bring U.S. $ from home then bills of series 2003 or less are not accepted. Many of the more upmarket hotels and lodges will accept cards directly.  We recommend you purchase a money belt to keep your cash on you.

Tipping

Tipping is the norm in Tanzania for crew members. We recommend $10 per group, per day for each member of the team (only days they work on your safari). The field team is made up of at least a driver guide but may also include a local guide and cook if camping. For groups over two we operate a tipping kitty that you can start before your tour commences. The tipping kitty enables your group to pool its money and decide at the end of the tour if you would like to contribute extra to each member of your field team. You may decide that one member of your team has provided particularly good service for example so you may decide to give over the recommended minimum to this person. 


Destination Info - Tanzania

Tanzania is an East African country known for its vast wilderness area. It's population of 43.6 million is made up of approximately 125 different ethnic groups. Due to its fertile lands, rich resources, abundant wildlife and geological and archaeological history, Tanzania has been much coveted by Western societies. Because of this Tanzania has seen streams of travellers, traders and researchers throughout its diverse history.

Tanzania was a major port of trade, particularly on the coast and Zanzibar (nicknamed the Spice Islands) between countries from the East and has been greatly influenced by a number of cultures including Arabic, European and more recently Indian cultures. It has been called the “cradle of mankind” by archaeologists and anthropologists and is home of the first Hominids to be discovered in Africa by Mary and Louis Leaky in 1959 at Oldupai Gorge as well as countless other fossils and the famous Laetoli footprints.

Tanzania’s geography, climate and environment vary greatly from region to region. From the tropical mountainous regions of Kilimanjaro and much of Manyara as well as the Arumeru and Arusha districts of Arusha region, to the semi desert region of Dodoma, Tanzania represents a wide range of different environments. The geography of Tanzania is particularly spectacular. The coast of Tanzania with its tropical palms, dazzlingly white sandy beaches and blue-green seas is among the most beautiful areas of Tanzania. The view over the rim of Ngorongoro crater to the crater floor below is especially breathtaking as is your first glimpse of elusive Mount Kilimanjaro, which still inspires awe in those who have lived beneath it for much of their lives.

Kilimanjaro

Tanzania is also world renowned for its great lakes, the biggest being Lake Victoria (Lake Nyanza) in the North, home of countless ethnic groups; the Sukuma, Nyamwezi and Kurya to name a few, followed by Lake Tanganyika to the West. Other smaller but equally spectacular lakes include Lake Rukwa to the south and Lakes Eyasi, Manyara and Natron to the north.
Many of these regions and geographic locations are divided into a number of national parks such as, the Serengeti, Transpire, Manyara and Arusha, conservation areas, reserves and game controlled areas.

Due to the high cultural diversity of Tanzania it is difficult (as in many parts of the world) to generalise Tanzanian people and their culture. Visitors often comment on the warmth and friendliness of Tanzanian people and their ability to greet you with a smile regardless of the hardships they may be facing. Being forced to generalise then it is fair to say that Tanzania is a conservative country where modesty, hospitality and generosity are highly valued and important.


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Welcome to Gaia Conscious Travel!

Many people worldwide are mindful of how their lifestyle affects our planet Gaia, the communities that live on her and off her resources. They also are more aware of how their choices affect their own body, mind, soul and spirit.

Welcome to our online travel agency, where like-minded people can discuss and source their ideal conscious travel experiences! Together, on our blog and social media, we will discuss how to reduce the negative effects of travel on our human and natural environments and also how travel can help us grow. We will put all our efforts together to leave a positive footprint behind us and within us.