Traveling To Tanzania - 5 Things You Need To Know

Traveling To Tanzania - 5 Things You Need To Know

Traveling To Tanzania
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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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Your Wait time At Theme Parks Is Not Unfair, You're Just Impatient

Your perceived wait time is always going to be longer than your actual wait time if you can't take a minute to focus on something other than yourself.

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Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios "unboxed" on June 30, 2018. My friend and I decided to brave the crowds on opening day. We got to the park around 7 AM only to find out that the park opened around 6 AM. Upon some more scrolling through multiple Disney Annual Passholder Facebook groups, we discovered that people were waiting outside the park as early as 1 AM.

We knew we'd be waiting in line for the bulk of the Toy Story Land unboxing day. There were four main lines in the new land: the line to enter the land; the line for Slinky Dog Dash, the new roller coaster; the line for Alien Spinning Saucers, the easier of the new rides in the land; Toy Story Mania, the (now old news) arcade-type ride; and the new quick-service restaurant, Woody's Lunchbox (complete with grilled cheese and "grown-up drinks").

Because we were so early, we did not have to wait in line to get into the land. We decided to ride Alien Spinning Saucers first. The posted wait time was 150 minutes, but my friend timed the line and we only waited for 50 minutes. Next, we tried to find the line for Slinky Dog Dash. After receiving conflicting answers, the runaround, and even an, "I don't know, good luck," from multiple Cast Members, we exited the land to find the beginning of the Slinky line. We were then told that there was only one line to enter the park that eventually broke off into the Slinky line. We were not about to wait to get back into the area we just left, so we got a Fastpass for Toy Story Mania that we didn't plan on using in order to be let into the land sooner. We still had to wait for our time, so we decided to get the exclusive Little Green Man alien popcorn bin—this took an entire hour. We then used our Fastpass to enter the land, found the Slinky line, and proceeded to wait for two and a half hours only for the ride to shut down due to rain. But we've come this far and rain was not about to stop us. We waited an hour, still in line and under a covered area, for the rain to stop. Then, we waited another hour and a half to get on the ride from there once it reopened (mainly because they prioritized people who missed their Fastpass time due to the rain). After that, we used the mobile order feature on the My Disney Experience app to skip part of the line at Woody's Lunchbox.

Did you know that there is actually a psychological science to waiting? In the hospitality industry, this science is the difference between "perceived wait" and "actual wait." A perceived wait is how long you feel like you are waiting, while the actual wait is, of course, the real and factual time you wait. There are eight things that affect the perceived wait time: unoccupied time feels longer than occupied time, pre-process waits feel longer than in-process waits, anxiety makes waits feel longer, uncertain waits are longer than certain waits, unexplained waits are longer than explained waits, unfair waits are longer than equitable waits, people will wait longer for more valuable service and solo waiting feels longer than group waiting.

Our perceived wait time for Alien Spinning Saucers was short because we expected it to be longer. Our wait for the popcorn seemed longer because it was unoccupied and unexplained. Our wait for the rain to stop so the ride could reopen seemed shorter because it was explained. Our wait between the ride reopening and getting on the coaster seemed longer because it felt unfair for Disney to let so many Fastpass holders through while more people waited through the rain. Our entire wait for Slinky Dog Dash seemed longer because we were not told the wait time in the beginning. Our wait for our food after placing a mobile order seemed shorter because it was an in-process wait. We also didn't mind wait long wait times for any of these experiences because they were new and we placed more value on them than other rides or restaurants at Disney. The people who arrived at 1 AM just added five hours to their perceived wait

Some non-theme park examples of this science of waiting in the hospitality industry would be waiting at a restaurant, movie theater, hotel, performance or even grocery store. When I went to see "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," the power went out in the theater right as we arrived. Not only did we have to wait for it to come back and for them to reset the projectors, I had to wait in a bit of anxiety because the power outage spooked me. It was only a 30-minute wait but felt so much longer. At the quick-service restaurant where I work, we track the time from when the guest places their order to the time they receive their food. Guests in the drive-thru will complain about 10 or more minute waits, when our screens tell us they have only been waiting four or five minutes. Their actual wait was the four or five minutes that we track because this is when they first request our service, but their perceived wait begins the moment they pull into the parking lot and join the line because this is when they begin interacting with our business. While in line, they are experiencing pre-process wait times; after placing the order, they experience in-process wait times.

Establishments in the hospitality industry do what they can to cut down on guests' wait times. For example, theme parks offer services like Disney's Fastpass or Universal's Express pass in order to cut down the time waiting in lines so guests have more time to buy food and merchandise. Stores like Target or Wal-Mart offer self-checkout to give guests that in-process wait time. Movie theaters allow you to check in and get tickets on a mobile app and some quick-service restaurants let you place mobile or online orders. So why do people still get so bent out of shape about being forced to wait?

On Toy Story Land unboxing day, I witnessed a woman make a small scene about being forced to wait to exit the new land. Cast Members were regulating the flow of traffic in and out of the land due to the large crowd and the line that was in place to enter the land. Those exiting the land needed to wait while those entering moved forward from the line. Looking from the outside of the situation as I was, this all makes sense. However, the woman I saw may have felt that her wait was unfair or unexplained. She switched between her hands on her hips and her arms crossed, communicated with her body language that she was not happy. Her face was in a nasty scowl at those entering the land and the Cast Members in the area. She kept shaking her head at those in her group and when allowed to proceed out of the land, I could tell she was making snide comments about the wait.

At work, we sometimes run a double drive-thru in which team members with iPads will take orders outside and a sequencer will direct cars so that they stay in the correct order moving toward the window. In my experience as the sequencer, I will inform the drivers which car to follow, they will acknowledge me and then still proceed to dart in front of other cars just so they make it to the window maybe a whole minute sooner. Not only is this rude, but it puts this car and the cars around them at risk of receiving the wrong food because they are now out of order. We catch these instances more often than not, but it still adds stress and makes the other guests upset. Perhaps these guests feel like their wait is also unfair or unexplained, but if they look at the situation from the outside or from the restaurant's perspective, they would understand why they need to follow the blue Toyota.

The truth of the matter is that your perceived wait time is always going to be longer than your actual wait time if you can't take a minute to focus on something other than yourself. We all want instant gratification, I get it. But in reality, we have to wait for some things. It takes time to prepare a meal. It takes time to experience a ride at a theme park that everyone else wants to go on. It takes time to ring up groceries. It takes patience to live in this world.

So next time you find yourself waiting, take a minute to remember the difference between perceived and actual wait times. Think about the eight aspects of waiting that affect your perceived wait. Do what you can to realize why you are waiting or keep yourself occupied in this wait. Don't be impatient. That's no way to live your life.

Cover Image Credit:

Aranxa Esteve

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Service Trips Hurt Way More Often Then They Help, So Check Yourself

When I decided to go on the trip, I wanted to reduce the harm being done using my US-given gifts. But the closer I look, the harder it is to truly help anyone even with these gifts.
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As I prepare for my trip to Uganda, I’ve come to realize how easy it is for help to turn into harm. For example, when seeing children who are selling me something, I might want to give them money to help them out. However, that child might have stolen the thing they are selling which isn’t a good long-term behavior.

Or worse, it encourages them to continue in this sort of business instead of going to school. In the end, getting an education is the best long-term benefit a child can receive. Another thing I might want to do is to give a small gift to some rural children. However, this can encourage them to expect handouts and beg. It is astounding to see how such good intentioned acts can become harmful.

Initially, when I decided I wanted to go on the trip, I wanted to reduce the harm being done to the people I met using the gifts I was given by virtue of being born in the US. However, the closer I look, the harder it is to truly help anyone even with these gifts. Even in Uganda which is relatively stable and developing, the president, Yoweri Museveni, has become more like a dictator and is doing terrible things like sentencing homosexuals to life in prison or censoring media. Nevertheless, it would be considered a paradise by anyone in neighboring South Sudan which has been racked with civil war since 2013.

Faced with such odds, the small things seem to be the only things I can do. Having a conversation, opening the door, and saying a thank you are tiny but manageable things I can do. Plus, all great things begin with a small step. Such is the story of Maggy Barankitse. Born in Burundi, just south of Rwanda, Maggy grew up to be a school teacher.

She would go on to become secretary for the bishop. The Burundi civil war commenced in 1993 between the Tutsi and Hutu. It would result in 200,000 Burundians dead and 600,000 orphaned. Early during the war, Maggy was working at the bishop’s house with her seven adopted children. On October 24, 1993, Tutsi assailants attacked the bishop’s house.

They tied Maggy, who was Tutsi herself, to a chair and murdered 72 people in front of her before burning the whole place down. She eventually got free and saved 25 children in addition to her seven adopted children. They moved to a social worker’s house and lived there. Year after year, more orphans flocked there which led to Maison Shalom, an organization giving a home to thousands of children affected by the civil war.

Such an amazing mission began with a relatively big first step of saving 25 kids. But, that began with her being an ordinary secretary for the bishop. Her incredible story gives me hope for the potential good that can come out of incredible evil. My hope is to help others from harm in the best way that I can. I am glad I get to be one tiny part of a force for good.

Cover Image Credit: Bill Wegener

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