*As seen in The Logbook
Jolita Safaris offers tourists the opportunity to explore the real Tanzania. We spoke with founder Leonard George who explains that the main priority of their business has always been about involving clients in the experience that is Tanzania. And in doing so, delivering a safari worth more than what the client paid.
“Tanzania is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, brimming with things to see and do,” he says, “Our passion is to share it with our clients in a real and transparent fashion.”
Leonard has been in the industry for long enough to know that the smallest details make the greatest impact in a safari. As such, client safety is paramount, and the flawless operations of the tours is how they present themselves. This includes making the entire trip as convenient as possible.
“Our drivers pick up our clients at the airport and deliver them to the hotel,” he says, “Then, when it is time for the safari they are collected and afterwards returned back.”
Various kinds of accommodations are available depending on the safari package chosen, these can include everything from safari tents to lodges. The location and style of the accommodation forms a big part of the safari experience. Leonard explains this is why it needs to be discussed with clients ahead of time.
“It is essential that a client knows where they will be laying their heads,” he says, “Safaris are exhilarating and exhausting and everyone wants to know where they will be sleeping after. Some clients love camping and others prefer the home comfort of a deep mattress and a hot shower, it is all down to their individual tastes and needs.”
Tanzania has many tour options for a guest to choose from and Leonard prides his business’s approach to customising the trips of their clients to generate the perfect wildlife experience.
“All tours are customised to our client’s wishes,” he explains, “Our country offers so much in terms of culture, scenery, wildlife, vegetation, aquatic life, beaches, islands and more that if you don’t shape it around a client’s wishes you could end up missing that perfect trip.”
Individuality is important with safaris says Leonard. It isn’t enough to just offer a template, package trip and hope for the best, you have to fashion them around what the client is looking to experience. For some it’s seeing the vast plains of the Serengeti, wanting to smell the dust on the wind and see the wildlife of Africa, for others it’s seeing the majestic blue waters in Zanzibar and swimming in the Indian Ocean.
“Each member of our team is a specialist in his or her field,” he says, “Together, we make sure that clients get the most out of the journey, we will try our very best to give you an unforgettable experience from the moment you arrive up to the end of your safari.”
Some examples of the destinations of their safaris include the likes of Serengeti National Park which is located in the north of the country. Another example is Zanzibar Archipelago.
Joined with the Maasai Mara in Kenya this is the only conservation area in Africa where you can see the Great annual Migration. Here, clients are usually overwhelmed by the never ending ocean of grass; Leonard explains that trees in this region mostly grow around the huge granite formations called kopjes. These kopjes are home to the athletic yet lazy rock hyraxes as well as reptiles like the colourful agama lizards and snakes. These rocks are also the perfect resting place for lions, leopards and cheetahs although they never lie together.
“All of the kopjes are named,” he reveals, “The most commonly-known ones are Simba, Gol, Research and Moru kopjes.”
Leonard goes on to explain that the Serengeti isn’t all like this. For example, the Seronera Valley is the heart of the park and the vegetation there changes do acacia dotted plains, where lions and leopards are often spotted. The banks of the Seronera River are lined with lush palm trees, sausage trees and towering yellow fever acacias. The area around the river is abuzz with different bird species and large flocks of black headed herons, marabou storks and various birds of prey. The Retima Hippo Pool can also be found here, lying about in the mud.
Further towards the Western Corridor, the vegetation changes again and the area predominantly consists of swampy, wooded savannah land, famous for the black cotton soil which is impassable in the rainy season. Feeding into it, the Grumeti River is famous for its huge crocodiles who enjoy basking in the sun and the rare patas monkeys.
“The Serengeti is home to one of nature’s greatest and largest animal migrations. More than 1.5 million white bearded wildebeest and 250,000 zebras take part in the 1000 km journey in search of greener pastures,” Leonard describes, “During their trek towards the rich grazing grounds they must overcome the most dangerous obstacle on the journey, the Mara River, famous for its huge prehistoric reptiles, the crocodiles.”
Apart from the annual migration the Serengeti is also home to the “big five” which consists of the lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino and leopard and it is claimed that the Serengeti has the highest population of lions anywhere in Africa. Leopards are frequently spotted relaxing while large herds of elephants and buffaloes graze on the savannah.
Zanzibar holds an almost legendary status among travellers as an exotic island paradise blessed with palm-fringed shores, timeless fishing villages and lush spice plantations. Although a mere stone’s throw from the mainland, Zanzibar has an identity all of its own, shaped by a turbulent history which abounds with a colourful cast of characters, from slave traders and sultans to pirates and princesses. Located in the Indian Ocean just 25-50kms from Tanzania mainland, the beaches on the island are said to be the best in Africa, it is indeed the ultimate Indian Ocean experience.
“Whether you are an adventurer, thrill seeker or simply keen on relaxation, Zanzibar has it all,” Leonard tells us, “Jozani forest is great for exploring. You may also enjoy day trips to surrounding sandbanks and islands, cultural tours, spice tours, whale and dolphin watching and as many water based activities as you can think of.”
He goes on to explain that Stone town, the heart of the island, was an important slave port during the infamous slave trade. A number of influences have merged together over the centuries to create a kaleidoscopic culture which you are sure to encounter on the island. To this day Arabic, Indian, German and British influences can be seen all around the island, specifically in Stone town. Small narrow streets, Swahili architecture and Arabic style buildings characterise this small island. Zanzibar is rich in historical significance and diversity.
There are flights directly into Zanzibar, however, if you are feeling adventurous you may take a ferry from Dar es Salaam. As the weather is always favourable due to Zanzibar’s proximity to the equator, Zanzibar is an all-year destination, but visitors are advised to bring clothes for hot weather as well as long trousers and long sleeved shirts for the evenings as it may get slightly chilly. Due to the large majority of Muslims and the Swahili culture in Zanzibar all visitors are requested to dress decently out of respect for the local people.
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
Travellers need to be aware of what medications and inoculations are required before travelling and if possible, consult their GP for all the necessary shots.
“Preparation is so important to be able to properly enjoy your safari,” Leonard reminds us, “If in doubt though, feel free to discuss with us before you arrive.”
PRICE: Prices and Recommended tours on Website
TELEPHONE NUMBER: +255 787 904233 | +255 0787699477