The Effect of COVID – 19 on African Tourism

By Dilyara Shantayeva – Art in Tanzania internship

Tourism is an important economic sector for Africa. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, Africa received 71.2 million international arrivals in 2019 amounting to about US$ 40 billion in revenue. This represents a 4 percent growth in arrivals over that of the previous year. Tourism has witnessed sustained growth on the continent as governments continued to pursue it as a viable economic option due to its contribution in terms of jobs, revenue, foreign exchange, and infrastructure.

Africa is increasingly becoming a preferred destination for many international tourists looking to enjoy its sunny beaches, ecotourism products, national parks and safaris and exotic culture and food. Unfortunately, the projected growth of between 3 to 5% in international arrivals for the continent cannot be realised: like every continent, Africa’s tourism industry is shattered, and the inflow of the tourist dollar has ceased due to the impact of COVID-19. The highly contagious spread of the coronavirus ultimately stopped most of the traveling to many touristic destinations is still causing many discrepancies these days as well. This article will overview the main effects of COVID – 19 on African tourism.

“We live in very challenging and uncharted waters at the moment,” says Nigel Vere Nicoll, President of the African Travel and Tourism Association (ATTA), an organization which he founded 25 years ago. ATTA has around 700 members in Sub-Saharan Africa, split relatively evenly between buyers – such as tour operators – and suppliers (hotels, lodges, and transportation companies). In the interview with the journalist from the Africa Outlook, he mentioned that one of the biggest problems currently facing the industry is confusion over cancelled bookings. Travellers who’ve already booked the tours and tickets and the situation have changed very rapidly, they have loads of questions concerning refunds, re-bookings, and other related issues.

He also mentioned the economic issues that Africa had encountered during the pandemics: “Take one small boutique lodge in Africa with, say, 10 rooms,” he says. “They would employ about 50 people, but their extended suppliers – so, the person who does the laundry, or brings in the eggs every day – probably equates to around 1,000 extra people. If that lodge packs up, then 1,000 people have no income.”

There are also other, less obvious effect: In Kenya, for example, many conservancies have been established on land belonging to the Masai Mara peoples. They remove their grazing cattle from the land and lease it to organisations building safari lodges that conserve it for wildlife, the revenue from tourists providing an income to the Masai people.

“That model works fine until there’s a nonessential travel warning, and then no money is coming in and they can’t pay the Masai,” Vere Nicoll adds. “One my closest friends has just been to see one of the chiefs and explained the situation, telling him ‘we’re going to go on paying you out of reserve funds, but we don’t know how long this is sustainable for.’

“If this goes on for a long time, all this work on conservancies will be put in jeopardy, because if the Masai don’t get revenue then their livelihood is at stake.”

So, what is the solution? How can the African tourism industry keep going?

Vere Nicoll believes the answer lies in domestic tourism. As there are such low levels of COVID-19 within many African countries now, travel is still possible.

“It’s not possible to cross borders within Africa, because they all have the same warning on, but it is possible to create domestic tourism,” he explains. “In fact, this is an amazing opportunity to create cashflow for survival with the local market. Kenya, for example, has a huge number of Europeans living within the country, who could become domestic tourists.”

Another saving grace is that it’s currently low season in East Africa, so tourism companies and hotels in that area anticipate having fewer customers this time of year. Some smaller safari lodges are even closed, ready to reopen for summer’s high season.

“What we are hoping is that tourism will recover in the English autumn, and they’ll have the chance to get some bookings in the late season, leading up until Christmas,” Vere Nicoll says. “If it lasts any longer, we’re in a totally different ball game.”

However, he concludes our conversation on a note of optimism. “The bottom line is that the tourism industry is very resilient. It always has been. We’ve been through many problems over the years, especially in eastern and southern Africa, and we’ve always come through in the end.

“I think the industry will come out of it much stronger. A lot of relationships will be built up. And I think that once the coronavirus goes, if it’s a short-term thing, then the industry will bounce back tremendously.”

In general, the tourism industry has been heavily impacted by the pandemic as people’s economic lives are halted and their freedom of movement curtailed. Chiefly among these impacts on African economies is the reduction in foreign income. With the closure of the world economy and the associated redundancy as well as closure of international borders, international tourist inflows into Africa have ceased.

The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) indicates that international tourist arrivals to Africa decreased by 35% between January to April 2020 as a result of the pandemic. Countries such as Gambia, South Africa, Egypt, Kenya, and a host of others that are heavily dependent on the expenditure of international tourists have witnessed dwindled injections of tourism-based foreign income. Equally, and associated with this, is the closure of tourism businesses. Tourism businesses are forced to close either because of internal measures to help stop the spread of the coronavirus or directly because of the absence of tourists.

Either way, the closure of tourism businesses such as hotels, attractions, travel and tour operations, food and beverage services, and other support businesses have resulted in massive job losses across the tourism industry in Africa. Both direct jobs that are primarily targeted at serving tourists and those in the value chain have all been impacted.

Ultimately, the closure of tourism businesses coupled with massive job losses have resulted in the reduction of corporate and individual income tax revenue to African governments and thereby affected their abilities to provide the required public services and infrastructure. Such tourism-dependent African economies are therefore compelled to increase their borrowing, thereby spiraling their debt burden and potentially perpetuating their poverty cycle. For instance, South Africa, a country with a significant tourism sector, for the first time in its history took a loan of US$ 4.3 billion from the IMF. Interestingly, this amount is less than its annual foreign income from the tourism industry.

Similarly, countries like Ghana that has tourism as its fourth foreign income earner, contributing more than over US$ 1 billion a year, have contracted a US$ 1 billion loan facility from the IMF. This has become an all too familiar story across the continent with many African countries with significant tourism industries losing out on tourist dollars.

While tourist dollars have stopped flowing to the continent, for the time being, there is hope, with the UNWTO indicating that confidence in recovery in Africa remains very strong compared to other world regions.

To achieve this, there is the need for the gradual easing of lockdown measures, including the opening of international borders, to allow the inflow of international tourists. Also, African governments should institute safety protocols to guarantee the safety of both tourists and employees at the ports of entry into individual countries, and at tourism facilities and attractions. And African governments through their national tourism organizations can begin to bundle their tourism products to reduce the cost of travel.

The bundling can be done to cut profit margins on individual tourism elements and therefore reduce the overall cost. This will also have the advantage of compelling tourists to visit many attractions and stay longer and thereby spend more at destinations. Tourism facilities can also offer discounts or complementary services to entice customers, especially domestic tourists at the initial stages of re-opening.

Further, there should be aggressive marketing of African destinations in international circles to re-assure Western and, to some extent, Chinese tourists about visiting Africa once more. Lastly, African governments can offer tax exemptions and holidays to tourism businesses to help them recover from the consequences of the pandemic. Such tax holidays and exemptions will help them grow back their earnings into their businesses to recover and grow in the short term.

Tarangire National Park

By Farzad Ghotaslou – Art in Tanzania internship

Tarangire National Park is a common safari destination for Art in Tanzania visitors. It is mostly combined with visits to Lake Manyara, Serengeti and N’gorongoro crater.

Ranking as the 6th largest National Park in Tanzania and covering an area of 2,600 square kilometers, The Tarangire National Park is most popular for its large elephant herds and mini-wildlife migration that takes place during the dry season which sees about 250,000 animals enter the park. Located slightly off the popular northern Tanzania Safari Circuit, the park lies between the meadows of Masai Steppe to the south east and the lakes of the Great Rift Valley to the north and west.

Within the northern part of Tarangire is the permanent River Tarangire also known as the lifeline of the park particularly in the dry season when most of the region is totally dry. This flows northwards until it exits the park in the northwestern corner to pour into Lake Burungi. There are several wide swamps which dry into green plains during the dry season in the south.

The name of the park originates from the Tarangire River that crosses the park. The Tarangire River is the primary source of fresh water for wild animals in the Tarangire Ecosystem during the annual dry season. The Tarangire Ecosystem is defined by the long-distance migration of wildebeest and zebras. During the dry season thousands of animals concentrate in Tarangire National Park from the surrounding wet-season dispersal and calving areas.

It covers an area of approximately 2,850 square kilometers (1,100 square miles.) The landscape is composed of granitic ridges, river valley, and swamps. Vegetation is a mix of Acacia woodland, Combretum woodland, seasonally flooded grassland, and baobab trees.

The Park is famous for its high density of elephants and baobab trees. Visitors to the park in the June to November dry season can expect to see large herds of thousands of zebras, wildebeest, and cape buffalo. Other common resident animals include waterbuck, giraffe, dik dik, impala, eland, Grant’s gazelle, vervet monkey, banded mongoose, and olive baboon. Predators in Tarangire include lion, leopard, cheetah, caracal, honey badger, and African wild dog.

The oldest known elephant to give birth to twins is found in Tarangire. A recent birth of elephant twins in the Tarangire National Park of Tanzania is a great example of how the birth of these two healthy and thriving twins can beat the odds.

Home to more than 550 bird species, the park is a haven for bird enthusiasts. The Park is also famous for the termite mounds that dot the landscape. Those that have been abandoned are often home to dwarf mongoose. In 2015, a giraffe that is white due to leucism was spotted in the park. Wildlife research is focused on African bush elephant and Masai giraffe. Since 2005, the protected area is considered a Lion Conservation Unit.

Every year during the dry season from June to November Tarangire hosts a wildlife migration which is not as dramatic as the Wildebeest Migration in the Serengeti, but receives a somewhat large number of animals. As most of this part of the country is dry, the Tarangire River remains the only source of water and consequently attracts large numbers of wildebeests, elephants, gazelles, zebras and hartebeest, buffaloes plus various predators like lions that come to drink and graze around the riverbanks. during the rain months of November to May, the zebras as well as large herds of wildebeests move into the north-western direction towards the Rift Valley floor amongst the large numbers of animals that spread across the large open areas of the Masai Steppe and dispersing all the way to Lake Manyara.

Because Tarangire is manly a seasonal national park, its wildlife differs depending on the season and also considering that It is part of a bigger ecosystem. As earlier mentioned, the dry season is the best time to visit Tarangire and you will be able to encounter various animals. This Park is home to one of the largest elephant populations in Africa with several herds of up to 300 members per herd. In addition, there are large numbers of impalas, elands, buffaloes, giraffes, Bohor reedbuck, Coke’s hartebeest, Thompson’s gazelle, the greater and lesser kudu and on rare occasions, the unusual gerenuk and fringe –eared Oryx are also seen.

A few black rhinos are also thought to be still present in this park. You will obviously see big numbers of elephants gather here as well as the wildebeests and zebras. Among the other common animals in the Tarangire are the leopards, lions, hyenas, and cheetah that seem to be popular within the southern open areas. The wild dogs are only seen occasionally

The birds within the Tarangire are also quite many, there are over 545 species that have been identified here. The stunning yellow collared lovebirds and the shy starlings are in plenty here in addition to other species.

During the dry months the concentration of animals around the Tarangire river is almost as diverse and reliable as in the Ngorongoro Crater. However, the ecosystem here is balanced by a localized migration pattern that is followed by the majority of game that resides in and around the park. As a result, Tarangire is superb in season but questionable the rest of the year. Elephants are the main attraction, with up to 3,000 in the park during the peak months. Peak season also sees good numbers of wildebeest and zebra as well as giraffe, buffalo, Thompson’s gazelle, greater and lesser kudu,

eland, leopard and cheetah. The real prizes in the park are dwarf mongoose, oryx and generuk – but viewings are very rare.

Herds of up to 300 elephants scratch the dry riverbed for underground streams, while migratory wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala, gazelle, hartebeest and eland crowd the shrinking lagoons. It’s the greatest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti ecosystem – a smorgasbord for predators – and the one place in Tanzania where dry- country antelope such as the stately fringe-eared oryx and peculiar long-necked gerenuk are regularly observed.

During the rainy season, the seasonal visitors scatter over a 20,000 sq km (12,500 sq miles) range until they exhaust the green plains, and the river calls once more. But

Tarangire’s mobs of elephant are easily encountered, wet or dry. The swamps-tinged green year-round, are the focus for 550 bird varieties, the most breeding species in one habitat anywhere in the world.

On drier ground you find the Kori bustard, the heaviest flying bird; the stocking-thighed ostrich, the world’s largest bird; and small parties of ground hornbills blustering like turkeys.

More ardent bird-lovers might keep an eye open for screeching flocks of the dazzlingly colourful yellow-collared lovebird, and the somewhat drabber rufous-tailed weaver and ashy starling – all endemic to the dry savannah of north-central Tanzania.

Disused termite mounds are often frequented by colonies of the endearing dwarf mongoose, and pairs of red-and-yellow barbet, which draw attention to themselves by their loud, clockwork-like duetting.

The permanent Tarangire River is the most dominant feature here and it’s after this river that the park was named. there are a number of large swamps that feed off some of its tributaries however, these are usually dry for most of the year but get very impassable during the rains .The Tarangire park is usually very dry, in fact drier than the Serengeti, however its vegetation is much more green especially with lots of elephant grass, vast areas with mixed acacia woodlands and some of the wonderful ribbons of the aquatic forest not to forget the giant baobab tree that can live up to 600 years storing between 300 and 900 liters of water.

Located slightly off the main safari route, Tarangire National Park is a lovely, quiet park in Northern Tanzania. It is most famous for its elephant migration, birding and authentic safari atmosphere. Most travelers to the region either miss out Tarangire altogether or venture into the park for a matter of hours – leaving swathes of Tarangire virtually untouched!

Tarangire safaris are the main activity, however, staying outside the park makes walking and night safari a possibility. There are no boat safaris on the rivers here, but Oliver’s Camp offers adventurous fly camping trips and very good walking safaris. Both Oliver’s Camp and Swala have recently started night safaris within the park itself. Ask us for more information as the regulations here seem to change every year!

During your Safari in Tarangire, you are highly recommended to stay for a couple of days especially in the south of the park which offers a less crowded safari experience and gives you the opportunity to enjoy an authentic African feel of the Tanzania’s countryside.

Art in Tanzania safaris – Selous game reserve. Tansanian safari ohjelmat

Tarangire is the surprise package on the Northern circuit. Often overshadowed by the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire has huge concentrations of animals in the peak months and a fraction of the visitor numbers of any of the other Northern parks. From July through to October safaris here are superb, and the atmosphere and habitats are completely different from other parks. Tarangire is surprisingly large, giving visitors the quietest game viewing environment of all the parks in the region. The South of Tarangire is especially quiet, and lodges such as Swala and Oliver’s Camp are the perfect place to explore this remote area, and to really get away from any other travellers. Overall, a superb little park that offers great value compared to its neighbours and a seriously good option for getting away from it all.

The game viewing from July through to October is exceptional but for the remainder of the year most of the game migrates out of the park, onto the floor of the Rift Valley and to the grazing grounds of the Masai steppe. As a result, we would advise visitors not to expect high concentrations of game in the off-season months but would still recommend travelling here to those who want to avoid the crowds.

The best time to visit Tarangire is probably in the dry season from June – October, where the game viewing is at its best. Tsatse flies tend to be bad from December to March so although this is a good time to go to the Serengeti for the wildebeest calving, Tarangire is best avoided at this time.

Reference:

  1. “Tanzania National parks Corporate Information”. Tanzania Parks..
  2. “Trunk Twins : Elephant Twins Born in Tarangire | Asilia Africa”.
  3. Hale, T. (2016). “Incredibly Rare White Giraffe Spotted In Tanzania”. Retrieved 2016-01-27.
  4. IUCN Cat Specialist Group (2006). Conservation Strategy for the Lion Panthera leo in Eastern and Southern Africa. Pretoria, South Africa: IUCN.
  5. Wilkipedia
  6. https://www.tanzaniatourism.go.tz
  7. Trip Advisor

Take a walk in Stone Town

We follow our tour guide, Elvis, through a maze of narrow alleyways of small businesses, hotels and residential spaces with locals, tourists (and vespas!) in what used to be the capital of Zanzibar. You’ll see how these African streets embrace cultures from the Arabs, Indians and Europeans through design. It is no surprise that Stone Town is an UNESCO World Heritage site. The buildings, made from Zanzibar’s coral stone, are ornately decorated with beautiful carved timber doors. You’ll find two styles of doors, Arab (square tops) and Indian (arched tops), both a symbol of protection and security but also a door into Zanzibar’s history.

Arab and Indian merchants, through the spice and slave trade, constructed Stone Town in the 19th century. Before then the Portuguese came and built a fort to protect their settlements in the 16th century. During the tour you will see the slave chambers in the former slave market site – now a museum recording the slave trade with a poignant sculpture outside the building by the artist Clara Sornos titled ‘memory of the slave’.

The old fort is now a centre for arts and culture showcasing events and performances. Look for the post on the International Film Festival. Near the fort you’ll pass Forodhani Gardens, which holds an evening food market all year round – here you should try the Zanzibar pizza and see it made right in front of you. You will also pass the House of Wonders – wonders because it was the first building in Africa to have an elevator! It is now closed due to building repair. The building used to be taller but it got destroyed in the world’s shortest war that lasted less than an hour, between two brothers…you might want to ask your tour guide about that one.

Along the tour you’ll see local markets selling all sorts including fruits, vegetables, spices. Look for the post on the spice tour.

One little known fact of Zanzibar is that it’s the birthplace of Freddie Mercury; you can look for Mercury House to find out more.

The narrow streets of Stone Town fall dark come nightfall, so walk in groups if you decide to stay out late. Be carful and vigilant, it is a very busy environment, especially around sunset, if you are female, you may attract unwanted attention.

Stone Town is the perfect place to buy gifts for family and friends, eat lunch – try 6 degrees for a seaview (a sit down restaurant at tourist prices with one hour free wifi) or Lukmaans near the former slave market (a budget buffet at local prices) and ask for Salim for a great service. If you want to see the sun set go grab a juice at Sunset bar, be sure to go a little early before the best seats are taken, or go to the Floating Restaurant and watch it from the pier.

Safari!

One thing I had to do during my time in Tanzania was go on a Safari. I wanted to see with my own eyes what I’d seen on television and in books so many times before. I had booked a three day trip that would show me a local Maasai village, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Lake Manyara.

My trip started with a four hour car ride from the volunteer house to the Maasai village. Here I met some of the local people, saw their homes, learned about their way of life and how they’re adapting to modern times. We met people from all over the village, from the chief with thirty wives to all the children, many of whom were working with the goats and cows. It was amazing to see such a different way of life with my own eyes, a personal highlight for me was seeing some Baobab trees with their vast water storing trunks swelling to hold enough water to get through the dry season.

From the village we continued in the car for a short while until we reached the camp site, our base for the next two nights. At the camp site we were provided with brilliant food, a swimming pool and hot showers, making it the perfect place for us to recover from the days of game driving.

The next morning saw a relatively early start as we set off to reach the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. This was the place I was most excited to see on my trip as it is somewhere I studied extensively at school back in the UK. Having read about the area before visiting I had high expectations, these were instantly met as soon as we entered the large crater. The animals were everywhere meaning that my guide Ben was constantly having to stop the car to let me observe and take photos of my stunning surroundings. By the time we stopped for lunch I’d already seen four of the most famous animals in the park, the buffalo, lion, rhino and elephant. From the lunch spot we drove back through the conservation area, getting up close and personal with more animals until we reached the view point on the crater rim. Here we could see the entire crater in all its glory, it was certainly worth all the driving!

On the way home we stopped off at some local shops, this allowed me to see regional products and even meet the people who were making them, see their tools and the processes that all the crafted items go through.

The final day started with a very short drive to the Lake Manyara national park. Here I was hoping to see giraffes and some elephants. Once again I wasn’t disappointed, soon after entering the park we saw two male elephants fighting in the forest. Just around the corner from them we were greeted by a herd of giraffes and shortly after that we saw a family of elephants, including a young calf walking through the forest. Along with these animal sightings we were treated to striking views of the lake and saw many of the local water birds. After this it was back to the campsite for our final hot lunch, and then the drive back to Moshi.

I would strongly encourage anybody visiting Tanzania to visit some of the safari spots and really appreciate the animals in their natural habitats. A special thanks to my driver and guide Ben, without his experienced eye I wouldn’t have even spotted half of the animals I managed see!

Kilimanjaro climb!

One of the biggest draws to Tanzania was the opportunity to climb Africa’s highest mountain, Mt. Kilimanjaro!

On the 23rd of July my six day adventure along the Machame route began. The three of us started on a fairly easy trail through the picturesque rainforest for about 4.5hours until we reached the first camp. Here we were met by our porters and chef who had already set up the tents and prepared a hot meal for us. This quickly became the routine for us over the next three days as we climbed up the mountain passing steep rocky ascents and alpine deserts along the way. Throughout the hike we were treated to fantastic views including the arrow glacier and lava tower, plenty of great food and brilliant service from all of the climb team.

Eventually we made it to the Barafu camp which stands at 4673m, this would act as our base camp for the summit attempt later that night. Then at about 11pm we set off into the dark towards the peak with only our head torches lighting the path in front of us. The steepness, dark and cold made this by far the most difficult part of the climb. It seemed to take forever but we finally reached Stella point, from here we knew that there was only an hour of relatively easy climbing to go. Sure enough, just under an hour later we made it to the summit and all of our hard work was rewarded as we watched the sunrise above the mountain. For a short while we weren’t tired or cold, just elated at what we had achieved.

However, reality soon kicked in and so after about 10 minutes at the top we started to make our way back down. The loose gravel surface made the first part of the descent very tough, but we stuck at it and finally made it back to base where we could truly reflect on what we’d just achieved. Then after a short period of rest we went down for another two hours where we made camp for the final time. Here we had a brilliant view of the summit which really put what we had achieved into perspective.

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After our final night on the mountain the only thing left was an easy descent through the rainforest. Here we saw various species of monkey who distracted us from our tired legs and made the last few hours that little bit easier.

When we finally made it to the bottom all three of us were given our golden certificates for making it all the way to the Uhuru peak at 5895m above sea level, the feeling of achievement I had at that moment is one that’ll I’ll never forget. I cannot recommend climbing Kilimanjaro enough to anyone, if you think you’re up to the challenge then give it ago, it might be one of the best things you ever do!

The climb itself would not have been possible without the help of our expert guides, cook and porters, what they all did for us throughout the climb was honestly amazing. From carrying incredible amounts of kit all the way up to the mountain, preparing us fantastic food and putting up with our complaining all the way up, I cannot praise them enough!

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Matt Jones

Weekend Safari trip organized by Art in Tanzania

Going on safari in Tanzania if you visit Africa is almost as compulsory required as a trip to Zanzibar. So a group of three already well settled in interns decided to go on a weekend safari provided by the organization. The preparation and arrangement of the trip was well organized. One week before we were registered by a Team leader for the journey. The payment was due to three days before we were leaving on Friday. The short briefing two day before we left hold by our actual safari guide was pretty informative and helpful in terms of what to pack or activity related questions. On Friday after the breakfast we left in our safari jeep to our first stop our accommodation for the first night. On the way to the place we passed the park entrance next to several animals and hers of impalas, monkeys, giraffes and elephants. After the first night we started early at half past seven to our game drive at the Mikumi National Park where we had the chance to spot buffaloes, zebras, hippos and a variety of many more species. In the evening we drove to the second station in the rainforest, to the Udzungwa Mountains National Park. At this park we had the chance to see numerous primates and a big amount of other plants and animals during our hike to the waterfalls as the park has also been dubbed the African Galapagos for its vast variety of endemic species. In the afternoon we went on the way back to Madale at Wazo hill. Summing up for all of us it was a quite pleasant weekend trip organized and conducted by Art in Tanzania.

 

Volunteering for the ’International Day of the African Child’ event

 

At Thursday the 16thJune a bus full of volunteers headed out at five o’clock in the morning to do some volunteering work for the International Day of the African Child at ’The Jakaya M. Kikwete Youth Park’. This is one of the biggest youth parks in Dar Es Salaam opened in October 2015 by the president of the United Republic of Tanzania. Which is compared to other sport venues quite developed as they had artificial football fields for example which is not that common for Tanzanian standards.

The event was apparently created for children which means a lot of colours, laughter and fun. But these colorful balloons weren’t blowing up them self from alone. Decorating was one of our tasks at the event next to judging and conducting of the reading and drawing challenges, taking pictures and collecting video footage, face painting, acting as a mascot or participating at one of the numerous sport challenges like football games or basketball matches. Supporting all these activities, helping to arrange the challenges and cleaning up is concluding our day at the event quite well.

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But next to the hard work (for some it was a tough day especially for our athletes and our mascot volunteers) there was a lot of joy for everyone as the kids who were participating organized several performances from traditional Tanzanian dances to singing performances. Also reputable sponsors like unicef or the Tanzanian government by itself were providing us for all these efforts with a lunch break and refreshing drinks. Next to the events it also had several stalls about nutrition elucidation or little healthy checks as well as technology companies presenting their electronic devices.

All in all, this day was quite a diversification as it was a pretty long and exhausting day for everyone who participated comparable to working at an exhibition day.Even more thankful was everyone for the already prepared food of mama Neema in the evening at home.

For more Information, you can have a look at the Wikipedia entry.

If you want to see more pictures of that day visit the Facebook page of Atte Leskinen Photography

 

EVOLVET project

Participation of Art in Tanzania at the first transnational training for facilitators of EVOLVET

Art in Tanzania is always showing efforts of creating new collaborations with other organizations, whether local or international. This month from June 19th to June 25th the first transnational training for facilitators of EVOLVET which stands for European Volunteer Coordinators Vocation Education and Training is taking place in Vienna, Austria. Art in Tanzania is now part of the EVOLVET project which is co‐funded by the European Commission through IMG_20160520_092342771_HDRthe Erasmus+ programme. Kari Kohonen, the head of Art in Tanzania, is participating at the first training in Vienna. EVOLVET is a two-year long partnership of the Erasmus+ programme that was organized by CONGDCA. This is an organization from Spain and is additionally supported by several institutions, namely LVIA from Italy (www.lvia.it), Fund for Intercultural Education from Poland (www.miedzykulturowa.org.pl), Pista Mágica – Associação from Portugal (www.pista‐magica.pt) , Platforma dobrovolnickych centier a organizacii from Slovakia (www.dobrovolnickecentra.sk), Südwind Agentur from Austria (www.suedwind‐agentur.at) and of course Art in Tanzania Ry. Art in Tanzania was founded in Finland, but is mainly active in Tanzania. The emphasis of this training will be on the first meeting, which will involve exchanges of different experiences and will elaborate on materials prepared during previous months. As one of the main aims will be on the process of the implementation of the next phases of this project. This is made possible through the staff conducting workshops that mix formal and non-formal methodologies as a method of bringing together different perspectives and creating interesting discussions and exchanges between the numerous organizations.

If you want to support the project, feel free to leave a like:

EVOLVET on Facebook

For more information about the project check out the website:

Official website of the EVOLVET project

sepievolveteramus plus

 

Immerse yourself in the African wildlife

This 2-day trip has taken us to two of the most famous safari destinations in Tanzania: The Tarangire National Park and The Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Both of them are not too far from Moshi which is at the northeast of Tanzania and is located at the foot of Mt Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. The first safari day was dedicated to Tarangire, the sixth largest national park in Tanzania after Ruaha, Serengeti, Mikumi, Katavi and Mkomazi.

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The Tarangire River!!

Departing at 7am from the Moshi volunteer house, we arrived Tarangire at around 11am. Right at the entrance of the park, we already spot the Vervet Monkeys jumping around the trees. They seemed not so afraid of human, which made it a great chance to get close to them and take pictures. But please do remember not to feed them as the disruption of their diets might result in illness, and close the doors and windows of your safari car or they might jump in.

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The male Vervet Monkey, with the special blue scrotum as the signature.

And then, the real game started!! Because it was the beginning of rain season at the time we went, we saw very rich vegetation in the area with lots of its signature baobab trees. At the lunch site, we also got a chance to overlook the Tarangire River which is running through the park and is always doing its job to nourish the habitat. Although dry season (from June to October) is always advised as the best time for game watching and the abundant vegetation this time makes it less suitable for spotting wildlife, still, we were able to see lots of animals, including lions, elephants, giraffes, ostrich, hyena and some other small animals.

Our safari guide Godlove was doing a great job spotting animals even from far away, and all the guides were communicating among each other to share the locations of the animals. One impressive moment in Tarangire was when we saw a bunch of elephants walking pass us. They were so gentle and so close to us, and some of them even stopped at a pond in front of us for a mud shower. Throughout the whole trip here, we have seen at least four groups of elephants, no wonder Tarangire is also called the ‘home to elephants’. The number of elephants in the park can even go up to 3,000 during peak season!

After spending a night at the hostel in Karatu, we continued our adventure next day to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA). NCA is a conservation site and is named after Ngorongoro crater, a large volcanic caldera within the area. The area is with multiple land uses with wildlife coexisting with Massai pastoralists practicing traditional livestock grazing and was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979 with both its natural and cultural values.

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Overlooking the Ngorongoro Crater

Ngorongoro gives a completely different feeling compared with Tarangire while the open view of the savanna allowed us to spot animals easily and get extremely close to them: lions, elephants, zebras, wildebeests, gazelles, buffaloes, flamingos, warthogs, hyenas…you name it. We even spotted black rhinos which are very rare with no more than 30 in the area. Apart from the dense animal population, the landscape of Ngorongoro is also stunning with short grass plains, highland catchment forest, high open moorlands and savanna woodland. We also saw the Massai people grazing their livestock not far from where the animals are, even lions! It was amazing to see how the area harmonizes natural wildlife and human habitation.

This 2 day safari trip gave us a glimpse at the African wildlife, it was a shame that we could not see all the big five this time, but then we will have another reason to come back again, right?

Free day trips in Dar es Salaam

During weekends and free days you can do some exploring and check out the surroundings. Here is two possible options.

Mbudya Island

The first option is Mbudya Island. First you have to get to the White Sand hotel and from there you can get a boat. Return ticket costs Tsh 10000 and Island fee is Tsh 20000.kala

The Island itself is nearly a paradise. White sand and warm turquoise water. You can pay for the sundeck, but I did not even consider this, because for me the whole point going to the beach is to get your tan on the sandy surface. You can also do some nice snorkeling in the clear waters.

Food on the Island is great. You can get a good size plate of fish or calamari and chips for Tsh 15000. Soda will cost Tsh 2000 and beer Tsh 4000.  If you leave after the tide has started to go out, prepare to walk in water and mud as the boat is not able to come to the shore. 

 

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Bagamoyo

The other option is to go to Bagamoyo.  To get there from Madale, you have to go to Tegeta first and take a local bus. This daladala will cost Tsh 2000. Drive takes usually about 45 minutes, but can last hour and half if the traffic is bad.

Bagamoyo is an old town, where slave trade was taking place. In the 18th century and 19th century Arab slave traders took huge numbers of slaves from Tanzania to European colonies in the Indian Ocean. Mainland Tanzania was under German rule from 1890 till the First World War. Then Tanzania was handed over to British rule. You can still see old ruins from German and British colonial periods.

There is also an art market where you can buy ebony sculptures, paintings, jewelry etc. Many people also visit the crocodile farm to see baby crocodiles and other reptiles.635731577187389894

In national holidays it will be packed with local people. Food wise there is lot of fish food available.

If you are planning to go to Bagamoyo you should reserve the whole day just in case.  Visiting museums and ruins in Bagamoyo will require you to pay entrance fees and hire a tourist guide. You can make these trips independently, but Art in Tanzania can also arrange hassle-free trips for you with a car and a driver.

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Tia Maria