Traveling To Tanzania - 5 Things You Need To Know

Traveling To Tanzania - 5 Things You Need To Know

Traveling To Tanzania

The East African country of Tanzania has a lot to offer to the holidaying visitor or the diehard wildlife enthusiast. Before you go however, do keep these points in mind.

  1. Think about why you want to go on a holiday- Tanzania is known for many things, but mostly for its wildlife. Tanzania safari tours don’t come cheap and you need to make a commitment of money and time, if you want to enjoy the experience in full. Go to Tanzania to experience animals up close and personal. They don’t talk about the Big 5 without meaning the BIG FIVE! A good safari will give you the chance to see and observe the lion, the Cape buffalo, the rhino, elephant and elusive leopard. Safaris can get bumpy and rough and you will have to deal with bugs and insects- you need to be okay with these things and not let anything come between you and your great holiday experience.
  2. Don’t look only at the five star experience- while some of the best luxury hotels are present in Tanzania, the whole point of the holiday is to get to the core of the country; its people and their culture. With more than 100 ethnic groups, each with its own practices, culture and cuisine, there’s so much to learn and see. Most tours come with opportunities for conversations and interactions. Make sure you don’t miss out on the chance. From the Chagga to the Maasai, every tribe has its own way of life. When you visit the Makonde, you’ll be mesmerized by their unique black wood carvings. The Haya tribe works with pottery and metal. Like we said, every tribe has its own tradition and you’ll do well to immerse yourself in this way of life. There is much learning to be had. Camp in tents in parks, live in lodges in villages and learn a way of life that’s colorful and vibrant.
  3. Animals are the easiest to spot when it is dry weather. Animals tend to group at watering holes and the foliage isn’t so thick that animals can hide. This is between June and September and constitutes the peak tourist season. Rates are high, national parks are also full. Between March and May, it’s low season for Tanzania. It rains quite a bit and roads are muddy and cannot be easily traversed. Not all hotels are open. Those that are offer discounts. The landscape is beautiful, lush and green. But movement is difficult.Between December and January too there are premium prices for tours and hotels. If you’re comfortable with crowds and desirous of seeing animals, then the high season is when you need to go. Watch out for deals and discounts and make the most of your trip.
  4. Exercise caution while travelling- Tanzania is a safe country, but like in any part of the world, there are unsavory elements everywhere. Be careful while traversing the country, travel in groups or with guides. Dress with caution too, and avoid public displays of affection. Do not carry too much money or valuables when you venture out. It is important to respect the culture and sentiments of the country you’re traveling to and these precautions will keep you comfortable.
  5. Carry your medicines- if you’re experiencing Tanzania weather and conditions for the first time, it can be overwhelming. The dust, heat, mosquitoes and noise can all add to your experience and to your stress levels too. Carry your medical kit to take care of any health issue you may have. Make sure you have medication for travel sickness, pain, stomach ailments and the like. Insect repellants are a good buy too.

Enjoy the Tanzanian experience.

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Step Outside Your Comfort Zone And Try New Things When Abroad

A large part of studying abroad is the choices you make on the trip, even if they seem unfamiliar.

I'm really not the person to talk about trying new things and definitely not someone who should tell you to do it. I hate trying out anything beyond my ordinary from food to regular activities. But the most important thing you need to do when studying abroad is trying new things. You're going to have the chance to be apart of things you've never heard of before. As long as it isn't too far past your comfort zone, you need to take risks when you visit different areas. This past summer I was magically able to push my fear of the unknown behind me and do all kinds of different things and it was the best decision I've ever made. These are the areas you should take risks in and also where you should place boundaries to help amp up your travel experiences.

The first thing we need to talk about is the food. If you are going to a country to learn a language or never plan on picking up some new words, picking items on the menu can be terrifying. You don't really know what your meal will be and often waiters will just pick out what they want to share with you. I only had one English menu the whole month I was gone and no experience reading Arabic or French. It was either french fries or big surprise till I got the hang of the language. Letting people surprise me with food (assuming it wouldn't bug my food allergy) made this trip absolutely amazing. Whether it was vendors giving my strange fruit or a meal where the sides are cooked in the same pot as the main dish, not a day goes by that I don't miss tajine or couscous because of biting into new experiences.

When it comes to food, I say I do eat what people in that region recommend, it is probably amazing. If you don't like it, at least you were able to partake in a part of a different traditional life. Also, consider the region you're in when ordering. Shrimp Alfredo will be amazing on the coast where the shrimp was caught that day. But if you eat it in the desert you might get sick.

The next key area of trying new things when studying abroad is the individual adventures and activities you'll be offered. Cooking classes and mountain hikes are easy to say yes to. Communal bathhouses or spending the night in the desert? A little bit scarier. You have to find out how far past your comfort zone you can go without ruining experiences for yourself. Instead of saying no to something you normally wouldn't do, set boundaries for when you want to take a break or even stop the activity. Communal bathhouses can be very fun and relaxing, but you can make it more familiar by wearing a swimsuit or washing yourself.

Often the people who are guiding you through these experiences have alternate ways of doing them. You don't have to say no to something like surfing, say you need help and most likely someone will take the time to ensure you have fun. My lack of swimming skills pushed me away from the idea of surfing, but the instructors spent 30 minutes showing me how to swim out of waves and it turned into a trip highlight. Basically, you don't have to miss out on something you really want to do. And if you absolutely do not want to try something new, that is totally okay.

Now the most important thing to do when preparing for all these new things is research where you are traveling to. Going to certain places might not be the right experience for you. If you don't like so many new things, traveling to a country that is the total opposite of where you live probably isn't a good idea. Before you apply for a program make sure you are going to feel comfortable during the time you're there. I wanted to feel like I was in a different place and have every moment different from my home life, so I chose a program in the Middle East and North African region.

If you are wanting your experience to match up to what you're familer with but still have a great experience, then look for programs that have points of familiarity so you don't constantly feel like you're doing something new. Studying abroad can be the most incredible experience is you're able to do it. You're going to have to try new things and take risks, get a good idea of those before you leave.

Cover Image Credit: pixabay

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6 Common Misconceptions People Have About Africa

For the record, English is taught in schools, and it is the official language in most African countries.

First of all, I have to say if you have never been to Africa, you are missing out.

There is a reason why most people believe it is the birthplace of humanity. Everything is distinct from the people to the culture, to the food even the sun seems to shine differently there. Funny thing is a lot of these amazing things are not being shown out there so people develop this preconceived ideas. Here are 10 misconceptions people have about Africa.

1. Africa is a country

Africa is a continent made up of 54 countries and a good number of us from the motherland have not been to all so telling someone from say Nigeria that you just came back from Africa is just so generic, frankly, you did not land on the entire continent

2. We do not speak/understand the English Language

This one deserves a mention because almost every Africa in the diaspora can relate to this. People think it is alright to compliment us on how good our English is, for the record, it is not it's just rude. English is taught in schools and it is the official language in most African countries.

3. There are no actual infrastructures and modern technologies

someone once asked me if we had roads in my home country (Nigeria), Becky if you are reading this we actually do and so does the 53 other countries in the continent, just google it.

4. Africa needs saving

The media has showcased Africa as a continent in need of a savior. No, we are not all starving, we live in regular houses. Africa does not have a monopoly on poverty just like no continent is rich all around.There is a whole different side of Africa you never get to see and should.

5. Africa is just a hot desert

This is another common misconception, Africa might be home to the Sahara desert but there are other parts of the continent that are home to vegetations. The fact is two third of the continent is covered with vegetation

6. Wild animals just roam the streets

Africa might be home to some of the world's famous animals but you will never see them on the streets. They are kept in zoos or wildlife reserves. So, no, You won't pass a giraffe on the way to the mall.

Cover Image Credit: flickr

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