It’s time to follow the trade winds and make tracks to the spice island of Zanzibar. And yes, that is as exotic as it sounds.
It was a cool morning in Tanzania, and my husband and I rose a little earlier than most to sneak into the sheltered kitchen and grab coffee before the breakfast rush. The tents were beginning to stir, but we had a few minutes alone to enjoy the first of the sun’s rays, the squawking of unnamed birds, and to stares of the giraffes nearby.
There are many organisations around the world doing good things. And the Village Education Project Kilimanjaro is one of those organisations.
In Africa, most action takes place on the streets and roadsides – people hawking their wares, kids running to and from school, friends chatting. There’s always movement and there’s always food.
From sloths hanging out, to whales breathtakingly breeching and lions stalking their prey – when we asked you about your best experiences with animals when travelling, we were inundated with more than 2700 special moments.
Selecting just a small handful to share for you was one tough task, but here are 15 of the most fabulous animal encounters from travellers…
Could 2014 be your year to get really high? We mean a 5,895 metre kind of high…to the roof top of Africa! And why might you do it? For the personal challenge of pushing yourself beyond your usual limits? To get more girls into school? Because it’s there?
Well the answer for Intrepid employees Amy Bolger and Ronnie Albanis and two groups of Intrepid travellers who recently conquered Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, was all of the above! And what an experience it was! They tell us more about the whys, the highs and the preparation needed to get there:
Almost everyone who has done a tour of East Africa will tell you it’s fantastic. It’s renowned for being wild, authentic, spectacular and rugged, but Intrepid’s Skye Gainey wondered if it would live up to her high expectations when she finally had the chance to travel to Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania…
“Let me start with the game viewing. Never would I imagine seeing so many animals in such a short period of time. In Rwanda we hiked deep into the forest to spend time with a Gorilla family – a silverback, mature males and females, juveniles and babies! Watching these primates interact with each other and recognise us as friendly visitors truly makes you believe in evolution.
You’ll often see travellers armed with their list of must sees, must eats and must do’s, but at the top of Laura Harman’s list is simply meeting local people. Laura believes thats learning about the local culture and experiencing everyday activities is the best way to turn your average trip into an amazing adventure…
“Tanzania is one of my most memorable travel experiences to date. I opted for a volunteer work term in Arusha, the hub of safari travel. I was able to travel to the Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro National Park and even down to Zanzibar, all spectacular memories. However, when I think of the actual country, I think back to the people I met and my interactions with them. One of the simplest experiences that I enjoyed frequently was taking the local transport (the dala dala) to the Maasai Craft Market with the other volunteers.
Meet Prisca Laurence, beekeeper officer and chilli fence monitor in Minungo, Tanzania. Prisca is working with World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA), an Intrepid Foundation partner, on an ingenious and sustainable project to help local people safeguard their livelihoods, whilst protecting elephants.
In Tanzania, with people encroaching on lands once inhabited only by animals, conflict has arisen due to elephants raiding farms to pillage tasty crops. One large elephant is capable of quickly destroying a whole field, so villagers have been forced to take drastic action, including setting painful snares and in the worst case scenario, hunting and killing rogue elephants. And that is where Prisca comes into the picture, when it was discovered that these giant creatures, with their long and sensitive noses, despise chilli and bees!