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From tree to mug: the complete coffee experience

From tree to mug: the complete coffee experience

On a road trip in Tanzania, Phil Clisby turned off the main drag between Arusha and Moshi and headed into the foothills of Kilimanjaro to check out a family-run coffee farm… It was to be one of the highlights of his journey Turning off the main road we head up a windy incline into the foothills of Kilimanjaro towards Kahawa Shamba, a family run coffee farm (literally meaning ‘coffee farm’ in Swahili). We bump along a narrow track to...

Tanzania unwrapped

Tanzania unwrapped

An insider’s overview from the experts at Steppes Travel Why visit? A land of grassy plains, rift-formed lakes and pinnacle-like volcanoes, Tanzania’s exciting landscape is carpeted with wildlife to match. The Serengeti — with its iconic migration — and the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater capture most attention. But Tanzania’s appeal extends far beyond these, with baobab-strewn Tarangire, wild Selous and remote Katavi as different as they are beautiful. Highlights Mahale and Katavi This area of Tanzania is wild and exhilarating,...

What it’s really like visiting chimpanzees

What it’s really like visiting chimpanzees

For many wildlife lovers, seeing wild chimpanzees is a dream. But what is the experience actually like? Kush Patel describes his visit to Mahale, in southern Tanzania. As I flipped through an article on human evolution, I wondered what Homo erectus would think about modern man. Apart from our obvious achievements (skyscrapers, medicine, moon landing), I was curious about our fundamental characteristics as a species: society, emotions, cognition and language. I peered to my left as the Cessna banked,...

The Kilwa chronicles

The Kilwa chronicles

Intrepid travellers with an interest in African history, grab your maps: Nicky Dunnington-Jefferson is about to introduce you to the joy of Kilwa. On the southern reaches of Tanzania’s Swahili Coast, 300km south of Dar es Salaam and far from the famous national parks, Zanzibar and Kilimanjaro, that attract tourists from across the globe, lie the settlements of Kilwa: Kilwa Masoko (the modern town) and the historically fascinating ruins at Kilwa Kisiwani, Kilwa Kivinje and Songo Mnara. Kilwa Kisiwani’s...

Busy bees

Busy bees

Wild Survivors, a small Suffolk-based charity, is making a big difference to elephant welfare and communities in Tanzania with a simple and ecologically conscious method, says David Fettes In Tanzania, over the past five years, more than 65,000 elephants have been slaughtered for their tusks or by exhausted farmers protecting their crops from being raided. At this erosion rate, the elephant may soon be an endangered species in Tanzania, and more widely in Africa. Registered charity Wild Survivors is...

Untold riches

Untold riches

Wandering through traditional village food markets has long been a pastime of travellers. However, few ever leave with anything more than photographs and vibrant memories. Realising he’d be in Arusha for a while, Matthew Covarr decided to make Kilomero market the place for his regular grocery shop. Did he get his just desserts? (All images by Matthew Covarr) "How much is it for a mango?” I ask calmly. “Aah… Mzungu. These are very fresh for you. As first customer...

Enchanted forests

Enchanted forests

Tanzania’s wildlife reserves are usually synonymous with sun-baked acacia-studded plains. But it’s possible to combine the savannah with a refreshing visit to the jungle-cloaked Udzungwa Mountains National Park. Here’s our guide to this remote region. By Lizzie Williams We’d already skirted the rain-shadowed north-western side of the Udzungwas along the Great Ruaha River gorge coming up the Tanzam Highway from Ruaha National Park. The deliciously moist and brilliantly green tree canopy had looked cool and inviting, especially after our...

Serengeti vs Kruger

Serengeti vs Kruger

Africa’s most iconic safari destination? It’s a tough call, but the Serengeti and Kruger National Parks can both stake a strong claim to the title. Here, Philip Briggs pits the two safari heavyweights against each other. The Serengeti, dominating the wild northwest of Tanzania, lies at the core of a vast migratory ecosystem that incorporates the adjacent Ngorongoro Conservation Area and cross-border Masai Mara Reserve to cover an area comparable to Belgium or Switzerland. South Africa’s similarly extensive Kruger,...

Maasai life on the African Rift Valley

Maasai life on the African Rift Valley

Christopher Koski explores the history and culture of East Africa’s Maasai tribe, travelling to rural outposts in Tanzania with a group of nurses While East Africa is home to hundreds of tribes, it is the Maasai who have acquired international recognition. With only a bit of textbook knowledge of the group, I was eager to learn more and it was through a chance invitation to visit a remote village in Tanzania that I first encountered its members. There, I...

A rough diamond

A rough diamond

The remote Ruaha National Park, in central Tanzania, offers an outstanding opportunity to see carnivores, in a beautiful and diverse landscape of grasslands, mountains, rivers and swamps. Geoffrey Dean explores this vast wilderness. Picture credit to Foxes Safari Camps The pride was in no hurry as its eight members padded along the dirt track near the Great Ruaha River one late afternoon in March. The lush grass, several metres high after the rainy season, was glistening from a shower,...

Villas in Zanzibar

Villas in Zanzibar

Planning to take your family to Zanzibar? Jenni Saunders goes in search of the island’s best homes from home  "Jambo!" call the women wading in the shallows in their wind-twisted, colourful kangas, resembling bright sweets in a turquoise bowl. This is Zanzibar, where the colours and contrasts are as startling as the island’s textures and tastes. Silk, sand and warm breezes mingle with lime, coconut, passionfruit and cloves.   Travelling with our two young boys, we didn’t want to...

Paradise found

The smell of the rain

The Zanzibar Archipelago is a glorious land of Eden-like beaches and sparkling warm waters, with a fascinating Arabic-Swahili culture. Geoffrey Dean reveals the best places to scuba dive, fish and, of course, sleep in the Spice Islands When Jonathan and Bronwyn Earl first flew up from South Africa to Pemba for a holiday in 2008, they thought it would be a one-off visit. But so taken were they with the island that they have been coming back not just...

Conquering Kilimanjaro

Climbing Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

What greater adventure can there be than to summit the continent’s highest peak? David Bristow reveals everything you need to know about planning this epic climb. Photographs by Laura Griffith-Jones At 5895 metres (or 19,341ft) high, Kilimanjaro — or kilima-njaro (meaning ‘mountain’ of ‘whiteness’) — is famously the highest peak in Africa and the world’s tallest freestanding mountain. As a result, it is also one of the most climbed, and you can expect to see troops of other trekkers...

Tanzania: Remote rewards

Tanzania: Remote rewards

For Anthea Rowan a visit to Katavi National Park is a weekend getaway. For you, it may be a journey you never forget. If you live, as I do, in the wild, wild, way-out-west of Tanzania, Katavi is a relative spit away. ‘Relative’ being the key word here. In my case this is still a bone shaking, bladder-agitating, nine-hour drive on dust through miombo woodland so thick that the tsetse flies can barely get through it without having their...

Essential Tanzania

Essential Tanzania

Tanzania undoubtably offers the most diverse attractions on the continent. It has more World Heritage Sites than any other, a vast coastline, the highest peak, the deepest lake, sweeping savannahs and forested mountains. And it is vast. So if you’re planning a visit, you have a lot to consider. Serengeti National Park The Serengeti National Park forms the core of the 30,000-square-kilometre Serengeti-Ngorongoro-Mara ecosystem. As such it plays the major role in the world’s most famous mammalian migration, which...

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