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Travel Tips

4 Off the Beaten Path National Parks in Tanzania

When planning a trip to Tanzania, there are certain places which are high on everyone’s list to visit. Serengeti National park is by far the most famous, followed by the Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area, Mt. Kilimanjaro, and Tarangire National Park, but where should you go if you want to get away from the hoards of tourists on safari and experience the untouched natural beauty of Africa? Here’s a list of 4 off the beaten path National Parks in Tanzania which offer pure unspoiled nature, and a one-of-a-kind adventure for those drawn to the wild unknown.

Mahale Mountain National Park

Mahale Mountain National Park is home to a unique spectacle, Africa’s most studied populations of wild chimpanzees. But that doesn’t mean that Mahale Mountain is easy to get to. During the peak tourist season here (June to October) you can reach the park by road from Arusha which usually takes 2 – 3 days depending on the conditions of the road which vary from 4-wheel accessible to impassable during the rainy season. Alternatively, you can take the train which departs 2 – 3 times a week from Dar es Salaam and takes 2 or 3 days. You can also hire a private aircraft to take you from Arusha and arrive in a brisk 3 hours. Anyway you come though, the experience of being amongst the wild chimpanzees with views over the jungle to the Congo are worth it.

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Photo by Nils Rinaldi

Photo by Richard Toller
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Photo By Richard Toller

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Top 5 Tented Camps in the Masai Mara

Top 5 Tented Camps in the Masai Mara

The Masai Mara is one of Africa’s most spectacular places to visit, and a can’t miss location on any trip to East Africa. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your Masai Mara tented camp is not only top-notch, but fits your own personal travel style. Here are the top 5 tented camps in the Masai Mara, each with its own unique charm that will make you want to come back to visit year after year to try them all.

Kicheche Bush Camp

The Kicheche Bush Camp is a tented camp which will make you think you’ve stepped back into the era of exploration, when the vast plains of Africa were as mysterious and unknown as the depths of the ocean. Of course, you won’t be sacrificing any of the modern amenities either. You’ll be sleeping on a luxury tented bed, surrounded by the fresh African air, and wake up to a cup of dark roasted local coffee as you sit watching the sunrise over the savannah horizon. It doesn’t get much better than this.

bush camp twin bed Top 5 Tented Camps in the Masai Mara bush camp mess copy Top 5 Tented Camps in the Masai Mara

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Travel scams

By Emma Hill | 22 Nov 2012
Travel Scams
Depending on where you travel to, scamming can be fairly common, especially in big cities. Travellers can be easy targets, but if you know what to look for then this can be avoided.

Gold ring

I Personally experienced the common gold ring scam, in which someone claims to find a golden ring in front of you and makes a massive fuss. In our case the woman gave it to us then asked for money, snatching it back and running away when we said we didn’t have any. At the time we didn’t think anything of it, we just thought she was a bit odd. However two days later a father and son did the exact same thing—this time we completely ignored it. Although common, this scam may be performed slightly differently. If you see this, just ignore them and pretend not to notice.

Chinese tea ceremony

Another infamous scam is the Chinese tea scam. In this young Chinese girls, who pretend to be on holiday or students, approach unsuspecting (usually male) travellers and ask if they want to experience ‘real’ Chinese culture at a traditional Chinese tea ceremony. Obviously most people travelling would want to fully experience the culture, so they go for the tea only to find the bill ¥200 rather than ¥2. The travellers make a fuss but reluctantly pay up. Little do they know that these girls are hired by the tea shop in the first place.

Unlicensed taxis

If you’re flying to your destination, watch out for fake airport taxis. It happens all too commonly when people jump into a taxi that isn’t official and end up paying an extortionate amount. Usually this is because they’ve taken a scenic route which, although costly, is not the worst thing to happen. Alternatively, they can hold your luggage ‘hostage’ and make you pay a ransom to get it back. To avoid this make sure your taxi is licenced (licence and photo should be visible),try to get a fixed rate, and never pay before you get there.


Another taxi-related scam is when the taxi driver short changes you. This is usually performed by them hiding the money you just gave them and swapping it for a smaller note, then demanding more money.  This can also happen in smaller shops, restaurants, etc. To avoid this, clearly state what money you’re handing them and mentally prepare what change you’re expecting before the transaction.

Out of gas

A common New York trick is the out of gas scam. For this, someone, usually with children, will tell you a sob story and ask for cash for gas to get to a funeral or wedding or suchlike. In this situation just say no, but if you do feel guilty you could always tell them you will if they walk to the gas station with you. The likelihood is this will make them scram anyway.

Jet skis

Asia’s jet ski scam is well known. People hire jet skis only to be later fined for apparent damages which they haven’t caused. Keep an eye on the organisers and see if they are trying to pull this scam on customers before you jump right in, and check the skis in advance.
Of course, all this doesn’t mean you trust no-one while away. Use your judgement and just remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is!

wonders of nature throughout Kenya

wonders of nature throughout Kenya

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Kenya is one of the first countries that come to mind when people think of Africa. Mount Kenya is the tallest mountain in Kenya and the second tallest mountain in all of Africa behind Mount Kilimanjaro. Mount Kenya is one of the candidates for the 7 Natural Wonders of Africa and is included in the Seven Natural Wonders of Kenya. The Masai Mara features part of the wildebeest migration and is also home to The Big 5.
Visitors are greeted by wildlife as the flyintothecapitol city of Nairobi. A national park borders the city and airport delivering wildlife immediately to those just arriving. Kenya has many other wonderful national parks and encounters with nature. What are the best seven natural wonders of Kenya?

What are the 7 Natural Wonders of Kenya?

What wonders of nature throughout Kenya do you recommend? Kenya features Mount Kenya, the Masai Mara and so much more. Mountains, waterfalls, national parks, nature reserves and more – what are your nominations for the 7 wonders of nature for Kenya?
Now, you can share your opinion and help determine the 7 Natural Wonders of Kenya. Voting is free and only takes a few minutes.


1. Email your vote or nominations to
2. Place Kenya in the SUBJECT field of the email address:
3. Please record up to 7 votes ranking for #1 (best) down to #7 (you can vote for as few as 1, but no more than 7)

Notable Natural Wonders of Kenya

Check back here to see what nominations have been made. You will also find pictures and captions talking about the wonders of nature from Kenya.

African and Kenya Resources

African resources for conservation, tourism, safaris, wildlife and more are located on the African Resources page of the Seven Natural Wonders site. Kenya Resources will be located there too. You will find access to UNESCO and other professional resources along with leading tour guides, travel programs, and more.

The 6 Best Nature Walks through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

When you hear the word Ngorongoro, what is the next word that comes to your mind? Crater, perhaps? Yes, indeed the Ngorongoro Crater is rightly renowned for its outstanding natural beauty and abundance of wildlife. However, there is a lot more to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area than just the Crater, and many visitors leave the area without having had the opportunity to see more of what is on offer. The surrounding highlands include seven extinct volcanoes full of outstanding beauty and spectacular scenery. The best way to appreciate these attractions is by walking. Even a short walk of only an hour or two can be very rewarding and there are also many opportunities for longer hikes. After spending days sitting in a vehicle, some visitors do say that they would like to stretch their legs.

Crater Rim Walk 

Drive to the starting point on the Crater rim about 5 km from the Rhino Lodge. The walk is along the western rim of the crater past the Oloirobi viewpoint. There are patches of forest at the beginning, which later opens up to thickets and grasslands. You’ll have beautiful views down into the crater on your right, and eventually you’ll come upon a view over the Olduvai Gorge, the Serengeti and the Gol mountains to your left. This is an easy-paced walk with no arduous climbs, just a few short gradients. It’s about 2 hours long, and can be done at any time of day. A good time would be either early morning before your game drive departs, or late afternoon after a day out on safari.

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Walking the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater.

Eyasi Viewpoint

Drive to the starting point on the road to Endulen. This open grassland gives beautiful views of Mount Oldeani to the left, and Makarot to the right. You will see several Maasai villages dotted around the valley, and you may well encounter men herding their cattle and goats. You’ll climb gently upwards for about 45 minutes along the shoulder of Mount Oldeani, eventually reaching a spectacular viewpoint where the land falls away to Lake Eyasi, the western wall of the Rift Valley, and the Serengeti plains. This walk can also be done at any time of the day, and takes about 2 hours.

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The land falls away down to the water of Lake Eyasi

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