Fund raiser for Endamaghan School, Lake Eyasi, Tanzania – over £5,000 raised so far!

We visit this school regularly when spending time with the Hadza hunter-gatherers and Datoga people in the remote Lake Eyasi region of Northern Tanzania.  In many ways it’s a typical Tanzanian school, with great shortages of what we would consider essentials: imagine a school of over 900 pupils, of which over 200 are boarders, with only 17 staff including 11 tcachers.

We’re doing a fund-raiser to purchase items the school and next door clinic have told us they need the most, including sheets, pens, exercise books,  a laptop, photocopier and microscope, weighing scales and a delivery bed!

Please visit:

If you would like more information on this school and our efforts to help it, do please get In touch.

Malawi and Zambia:

We’ve just ( May 2019) returned from an agent’s trip to Malawi and Zambia.  Visiting 19 properties and many different areas this was a great way to see the progress being made in  both countries.  Standards in lodges and camps have greatly improved and restocking of many of Malawi’s parks now mean they offer a much better game viewing experience, whilst Zambia’s Luangwa Valley has long had an excellent reputation for great game viewing particularly renowned for its leopard sightings.

Our view: combine both countries to get a terrific safari experience as well as the delights of the lovely people of Malawi and the chance to swim and snorkel among the tropical fish of Lake Malawi and walk in the tea plantations. In terms of wildlife and scope of both animals and wilderness feel, Malawi doesn’t match either Tanzania or Botswana, but we had a ‘purple hour’ in Luangwa where we watched lion, wild dog and leopard at sunset, as well as seeing mouth-brooding cichlid fish in Lake Malawi and as a less expensive safari destination, a Zambia/Malawi combo has much going for it.

To see an example Zambia/Malawi itinerary click here: The Zambia and Malawi safari.

Tarangire – now a year round safari destination!

Tarangire National Park in northern Tanzania has always had a reputation as a dry season park, so during the June to October time, great herds of zebra and wildebeest are drawn to the Tarangire River and the swamps to the south, making for fabulous game viewing among the atmospheric and massive baobab trees.  But in the so-called ‘wet’ season from November to May, many of the grazers and many elephants disperse to the plains of the west, leaving behind long grass and, some would say, a host of annoying tsetse flies!

Nothing however stays the same and whilst I remember my first visit to Tarangire in December of 1986, spending 2 days and seeing just one elephant and not much else, each year since, I’ve been seeing a steady increase in wildlife at all times in Tarangire and now it truly is a year-round game viewing destination with elephants always to be seen and even in the Jan to March period the Silale Swamp offers some of the best elephant viewing on the continent.  Whether this is because of human pressure outside the park encouraging elephant to stay within the boundaries is yet to be determined but one result is that the increase in elephants helps keep the long grass down, which in turn helps in spotting cats.  Lion, leopard and cheetah which move very little and are always in the park are now easier to see and so in just one game drive in February of 2019, I watched 3 cheetah, 2 leopard walking along the swamp margin and 3 lion in a tree, along with many elephant and other game.  We also watched 3 male lion killing a buffalo calf that afternoon – not  a bad day for the supposedly low Tarangire season!

Journey Into Africa joins Friends of Serengeti!

The Serengeti is undoubtedly one of Africa’s most spectacular parks with phenomenal numbers of animals and a huge variety of habitats, including possibly 10% of the continent’s African lion population.  It is however under huge pressure from mounting human population and increasing tourism numbers which paradoxically, are crucial to its survival.  As a responsible safari operator, Journey Into Africa has joined the non-profit Friends of Serengeti organisation which works to help protect the Serengeti ecosystem for future generations and we will be encouraging our guests to make a small donation before they visit the magnificent Serengeti.

Safari Offers:

Still some terrific deals for 2020:

  • Fancy Christmas on safari?  Low season in Botswana, even with a Xmas surcharge, means fantastic quality camps for around half the high season price and by flying between the camps this is an easy, very comfortable way to enjoy a fabulous, memorable Christmas.
  • Selous Discovery Package: 4 nights in the Selous Game Reserve, Southern Tanzania, the largest in Africa, staying at a luxury camp including all meals, drinks and activities for $2,296 per person sharing including flights Dar/Selous/Dar and easily combed with a few nights on Zanzibar.
  • Kwando Camps in Botswana ( some of our favourite camps!) are offering mid season rates in the high season month of October for 2019 – peak season for game viewing in Botswana.
  • Stay 6 nights pay for 5 at certain Asilia properties in Tanzania in 2020.
  • Fancy horseback riding on safari?  But maybe your partner does not?  RAW ( Ride and Walk – and game drive!) offer the perfect solution with options for fantastic riding in Northern Botswana but also game drive and walking options for those who do not ride.
  • Low season Botswana: Travel between December and March 2019/20 and 2020/2021 and pay just $520 per person per night sharing at some terrific high quality luxury camps,  some of which are over $1300 per night during the high season.
  • Finally, if you have the ultimate flexibility to travel at short notice, we can now offer some fantastic rates if you can enquire and travel within 30 days. Subject to availability, a camp costing $1,340 per person per night can be yours for $485 at high season, peak viewing times.

Please note, all deals are subject to availability and most of the ‘free night’ offerings will still be subject to government park fees.  Get in touch for full details.

Rwanda and gorilla permit increase:

Rwanda has suddenly, and with immediate effect from 6th May 2017, doubled the cost of their gorilla permits from US$750 to an eye-watering $1,500 per permit per day.  Given we recommend two gorilla treks if you can, for a couple that would be $6,000 in gorilla permits alone!

There are some variations that are still being fully understood, for instance including 3 extra days at one of Rwanda’s other parks such as Nyungwe Forest or Akagera, would give a 30% discount off the gorilla permits, but there is no doubt this is a truly staggering increase!

Rwanda would argue that this is more money going towards gorilla conservation, but Uganda has already seen the opportunity and has confirmed it will be maintaining its permits at $600 each for at least 12 months.  Ground operators are already looking at the implication of the Rwandan increase with options to cross the border from Rwanda to Uganda and take advantage of the lower permit fees there.

2019 update – Uganda permits to increase to $700 from 2020.

If you’ve ever wanted to see the gorillas, do contact us now – the cost is only going one way!

Journey Into Africa joins the Travel Trust Association

Journey Into Africa is now a member of the Travel Trust Association, membership number Q4764.  This gives even greater financial protection to our clients as all monies paid to Journey Into Africa are now held in Trustees accounts.  Contact us for further details.

Safari boom time?

Both East and Southern Africa seem to be experiencing a surge in interest for safaris.   We’re already having to alter dates and itineraries for potential groups looking at being on safari in late 2020 due to unavailability of camps, so if you’re considering a safari in the next couple of years do please get on touch soon.  The earlier you plan, the more likely you are to get exactly what you want.

The Great Migration Update – November 2019

Good rains ( some places too much rain!) in East Africa in November 2019 lured the great herds of wildebeest and zebra back onto the short grass plains of the southern Serengeti in good time and they are now, in December, exactly where they would choose to be, feeding on the succulent short grass and preparing for their young.  Zebra have a peak foaling around December, while wildebeest have a synchronised calving with around 300,000 calves born in a 4 week period in February/early March.  This is highly unusual in the tropics and possibly has been developed as an anti-predator device but has given us one of the great wildlife sights!

Below is the 2017 migration update and comparing it to 2018 there seems to be many similarities!  The big herds swung south on their cue of rains on the southern plains which came a little early in the central Serengeti and many wildebeest were back in Central Serengeti in September 2017.  Things then got slightly ‘messy’ as the expected rain in November and December barely arrived; the big herds split and some moved back north, some disappeared into the woodlands of the south and west.  Right now, in early February some rain in January has brought the herds back onto the plains, where they choose to be.  Let’s hope so: February is calving time and without the rain both the calves and their mothers will suffer, with ongoing effects on the predators and their young.

May 2018 update:  February was dry, the herds dispersed, the dust rose and then at the beginning of March it rained, virtually every day through March which made for some interesting conditions on the plains and a couple of hours spent digging 4×4’s out, but the rain was mainly at night or an hour’s thunderstorm and then the dust settled, the flowers came out, the grass grew, the wildebeest returned to the plains in their 100’s of 1000’s and everyone was happy!  We watched a female cheetah with five sub adult cubs hunting successfully on the plains, lion cubs on kopjes and a fascinating interaction between 3 endangered wild dogs and a lioness.  Possibly one of the most memorable sights was a huge pride of 20 lion walking right towards us across the Ngorongoro Crater in perfect early morning light – unforgettable!

March 2017:  I’ve just returned from two fantastic safaris in Tanzania.  This has to be one of the best times in Tanzania: herds spread out over the short grass plains, calves everywhere and plenty of predators especially hyena and lion whilst this is a terrific time for watching cheetah, particularly in the Serengeti, when many females have young and are having to work hard to feed their youngsters – chances of seeing hunting cheetah are excellent.

The herds as always attracted attention from the predators and one safari group in February saw 12 different cheetah on one day – the Serengeti is truly the best place in the world for seeing and watching wild cheetah!

Serengeti Walking Safaris

Botswana safaris can be organised at any time for as few as two people and the small size of the camps and that most visitors fly by light aircraft between the camps, makes independent bespoke safaris in Botswana often no more expensive than as a group.

One of my recent safaris was experiencing a walking safari in the wilderness zone of the Serengeti.  If you like the idea of getting out of your 4×4 vehicle and exploring areas on foot that almost nobody visits, this safari is for you.  Smaller, more basic camps but a real feel for wilderness and in conjunction with more regular game viewing, some would argue this safari gives the best of all worlds.  If you’ve heard that the Serengeti is getting too busy, we spent four days in the wilderness zone and saw not one other person, vehicle or road!  Fantastic!

Serengeti Walking Safari under Tanzania’s Itineraries on this website.

A Tanzanian Safari in verse – Out of Africa

A journey into Africa, with lifelong friends we love so dear.
I must admit that now I’ve been, there is nothing much to fear.
A trip of a lifetime yes it was, it far exceeded what I wished.
I urge you all to make the trek, add it to your bucket list.

To Tanzania we flew, a far off land unpaved to traffic.
A safari trip just like you read about, in National Geographic.
Tented camps may not sound like much, but we really did enjoy it.
With comfy beds, a talking shower, and they even had a toilet.

Our guide Firoz an extraordinary man, he knew all the flora and the fauna.
Where is our camp I asked this man, “Why it’s just around the corner.”
There are no signs to tell you where you are or where you should be going.
“Trust your guide” he says, it’s all mapped in his head, it takes a lot of years of knowing

Steve Kessinger, Tanzania, September 2013.
For the full version of Steve’s great poem, click on the Blog link on the menu

Late deals/low season safaris in Botswana!

January to end March is low season in Botswana so if you fancy some winter sun and wildlife, you can stay in a camp that costs over $1000 per person per night for just over $400!  Same camp, same service, same activities.  Some game has dispersed but the territorial animals including the predators remain and using a guide and tracker system increases your chances of excellent game viewing at a beautiful time of the year when all is green, there are plenty of young around, the light is a photographer’s dream and the birdwatching is at its best.

Botswana safaris can be organised at any time for as few as two people and the small size of the camps and that most visitors fly by light aircraft between the camps, makes independent bespoke safaris in Botswana often no more expensive than as a group.

Ugandan gorilla permits

Uganda has recently introduced reduced gorilla tracking permits for low season months; the regular cost of US$600 per person permit has been reduced to $300. Whilst in Rwanda in a rare incidence, mountain gorilla twins have recently been born.

Elephant and rhino poaching

There has been an increase in both elephant and rhino poaching in many parts of Africa, from Chad to South Africa, as rising prices in the illicit trade has encouraged poachers to return. On the other hand, in some parks such as Kafue National Park in Zambia, more elephants have been seen in recent months than for decades.

Serengeti Highway

Serengeti Highway to be reassessed. The Tanzanian Government has agreed to relook at the proposed highway which would have cut a road 53 kms straight through some of the most unspoilt areas of the northern Serengeti National Park. The proposal has created uproar in conservation circles and potentially would have a massive impact on the greatest wildlife migration of earth where nearly 2 million wildebeest, zebra, gazelle and other antelope move in search of water and grazing. The Tanzanian Government has stated any road would now be unpaved in the park, and even more significantly, have agreed to look again at a southern route, outside of the Serengeti. The debate and discussions continue.

All safaris arranged by Journey Into Africa are
protected under the Travel Trust Association scheme, membership number Q4764.