Explorer ISSUE 2
Inflight magazine I www.auricair.com
Cool Safaris ABOVE THE SERENGETI Baobab
A guide to mountain hiking
Explorer Inflight magazine
Tarangire National Park
Miss the crowds – enjoy the wildlife
Hot air, cool drinks and treetop luxury
12 Clove growing in the Spice Islands
From Deepesh Gupta
14 Serengeti balloon safaris
No life of ease in scaling trees
Coolest safari in Africa is by balloon
18 Elephant gin
Now gin connoisseurs can benefit elephant charities
30 STAY: andBeyond Lake Manyara 32 EAT: Cape Town Fish Market 34 DRIVE: Lexus NX Crossover
20 Baobab tree
37 Auric Air route map
22 Buying property in Tanzania
40 Pilot’s eye view
So many reasons to love ‘superfood’ tree Put your money where your heart is
38 Travel information
24 Trekking in Tanzania
Climb every mountain or just enjoy the walk
What’s new, pussy cat?
Explorer Inflight magazine
Auric Air Services Ltd Mwanza Office PO Box 336, Mwanza Cell: +255 783 233 334; 255 736 200 849 Email: email@example.com Website: firstname.lastname@example.org Explorer is published on behalf of Auric Air Services by: Land & Marine Publications Ltd
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Sales Manager Catherine O’Callaghan Tel: +44 (0)1206 752902 Cell: +44 (0)7769 110343 (WhatsApp) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org No part of the contents of this magazine may be reproduced without prior written permission from the publishers. The publisher has made every effort to arrange copyright in accordance with existing legislation. All advertisements and non-commissioned text are taken in good faith. The opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the editor, or any other organisation associated with this publication
Hot air, cool drinks and treetop luxury BY GARY GIMSON, PUBLISHER
elcome to the second edition of ‘Explorer’, the quarterly in-flight magazine of Auric Air.
In this issue and for our cover story, we are up, up and over the Serengeti in a hot-air balloon and in awe of the early-morning views and the wildlife below. If you have never been, then save up your hard-earned shillings and book a balloon flight. You won’t be disappointed.
We take a look at Tanzania’s diverse property market, assess its performance and find out what’s worth buying and for how much. We include features on Elephant Gin, the elusive caracal (it’s no pussy cat), stubby baobab trees, and out along the Zanzibar archipelago we look at the sad decline in clove production and the fast and furious sport of kitesurfing. We dine out at Dar’s new Cape Town Fish Market (we can confirm that it’s up to the standard of those in southern Africa) and stay over at andBeyond’s fabulous Lake Manyara Tree Lodge.
IN THIS ISSUE:
Tarangire National Park Enjoy the scenery without the crowds
In this issue we test drive the great-looking new Lexus NX – a big step up in so many ways from its predecessor. We like it, but we still have some minor quibbles. I hope you enjoy reading this issue of ‘Explorer’. Please feel free to contact me at the e-mail address below with any comments.
Superfood tree The power of the Baobab fruit
Gary Gimson Publisher Land & Marine Publications Ltd Email: email@example.com
No liability can be accepted for any inaccuracies or omissions.
Buying property Has there ever been a better time to buy?
©2015 Land & Marine Publications Ltd ■
Welcome to the second issue of Explorer BY DEEPESH GUPTA, COMMERCIAL MANAGER, AURIC AIR
t gives me great pleasure to welcome passengers to the second issue of our regular in-flight magazine, ‘Explorer’.
In fact, we now fly to over 30 destinations across Tanzania and beyond, utilising our fleet of 11 Cessna Grand Caravans.
I hope that you find our magazine of interest and that it makes your flight with Auric Air more enjoyable.
I hope you enjoy your flight with Auric Air. If you have any comments to make about our in-flight magazine or our service, please write to me at the email address below.
Auric Air continues to develop as an airline as we buy additional aircraft, launch new routes and increase the frequencies of others.
Deepesh Gupta Commercial Manager Auric Air Services Ltd
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ■
News NEW AIRCRAFT JOINS FLEET Auric Air was proud to announce the acquisition of a new Cessna Grand Caravan EX in September. It is the 11th aircraft to join Auric’s fleet, with the 12th due to arrive in December. The Cessna Grand Caravan is well suited to destinations in Auric’s network, including bush airstrips. The aircraft can hold up to 13 passengers when operated with one pilot.
INSPIRING I CAPTIVATING I INFORMATIVE Multi-platform publishing and design services
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Three reasons to visit:
A paradise for birdwatchers, with large flocks of flamingos
Famous for its tree-climbing lions
Good range of accommodation options
Tarangire National Park
Miss the crowds â&#x20AC;&#x201C; enjoy the wildlife D
eriving its name from the river that runs through it, Tarangire National Park is spread over
2,850 sq km of grassland, flood plains and tall acacia woodland. This park has the greatest concentration of wildlife in Tanzania outside the Serengeti ecosystem, yet it is still relatively undiscovered and crowd-free in comparison with some other East African parks. Tarangire is a colourful experience for visitors. A place of lush greenery and burntcoloured earth, the park is also known for its majestic baobab trees, which dot the landscape, as well as for its large elephant population.
TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK
river and swamps, as well as flamingos and small animals such as the bat-eared
The Tarangire River is a reliable source of
fox, jackal, hyrax, varieties of mongoose,
water for wildlife throughout Tanzania. In
ground squirrel, porcupine and civet.
the dry season from June to October vast
The park is home to such rare species
herds of antelope, wildebeest, buffalo
as the greater kudu and fringed-eared
and zebra – as well as giraffe – migrate
oryx. It is also a magnet for birdwatchers,
to the park. In their turn, predators such
with over 550 recorded species including
as leopard, lion, wild dog, hyena and
the rare ashy starling.
cheetah are attracted by the quantity of prey. The dry season is when animals can be seen in greatest concentrations. However, many of them – including elephant, lion, cheetah, leopard, hyena, buffalo, giraffe, zebra, a wide range of antelope and warthog – stay in the park all year round. Pods of resident hippo can be seen in the
From June to October vast herds of antelope, wildebeest, buffalo and zebra – as well as giraffe – migrate to the park
The ashy starling is one of 550 recorded bird species
Explorer Inflight magazine
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TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK
point of view, this means animals get some
volcanic mountain ranges and unique land-
much-needed time away from human eyes
scape features. The Poachers Lookout Tree,
Some creatures are highly nervous of
and vehicles. There is plenty to see and do
an ancient baobab in the north of the park,
vehicles. Visitors can get a close-up look at
in the daytime and the park closes at 18.00.
has a small man-made entrance leading
these by going on walking safaris accompanied by armed rangers.
Guests can experience local tribal culture
into the hollow interior where, in days gone
by going on day trips to Maasai and
by, poachers would hide from patrolling
Barabaig villages where they get an insight
wardens. Disused termite mounds, created
there is nothing to beat a balloon safari – a
into the way communities live and work.
from the bright red earth, make interesting
magical experience now possible since
The ancient rock paintings in the vicinity of
column statues, while sausage trees serve as
flights began by Adventures Aloft. These
Kolo are also worth a visit.
lounging places for tree-climbing pythons.
Night drives and bush dinners are not
In addition to the wildlife, visitors can enjoy
Tarangire can be reached in about two
permitted at Tarangire. From a conservation
the delightful scenery, with distant views of
hours from Arusha along a well-surfaced
For a ‘zoomed-out’ view across the park,
extra activities, combined with traditional game drives, provide guests with a wellrounded safari experience.
road, or via a 20-minute flight to the local airstrip. Although Tarangire is readily accessible all year round, 4x4 vehicles are necessary in the rainy season, while regular cars can be used during the rest of the year.
An abundance of animals, without the crowds
Clove growing in the Spice Islands is sadly in decline
No life of ease in scaling trees T
hey were not called the
try as a combination of factors has
Spice Islands for nothing.
significantly reduced the islands’
The Zanzibar archipelago,
commercial output of cloves and
and in particular Pemba, was once
other exotic spices such as black
the world’s leading producer of
pepper, cardamom, cinnamon,
cloves. Sadly, this is no longer so.
ginger, nutmeg, turmeric and vanilla.
Until comparatively recently,
of cloves, the archipelago now
archipelago’s economy, providing
accounts for less than five percent
small farmers with a regular annual
of global output. Annual produc-
witnessing the inexorable decline of a oncethriving local indus-
tion is way behind Indonesia (which accounts for over 70 per cent of global output) and to a lesser extent Madagascar. There is also thought to be a global overcapacity in clove production.
Dar es Salaam
Once the world’s leading producer
cloves were the mainstay of the
income”. Today, however, we are
The archipelago was once the world’s top clove producer
But for some, there is little change and the annual clove harvest comes and goes as it did in years gone by. For those unfamiliar with the harvest, this takes place between September and November each year when the archipelago has its short rainy season. Clove trees can grow up to 15 metres in height and the cloves need to be picked by hand. For this reason, the clove growers need to be skilful climbers – a skill that is dying out among the islanders. These trees take at least five years to mature, so the payback period for farmers is comparatively long. and these days as old trees die off they are not being replaced.
Market In Tanzania, the price of cloves is set by the Zanzibar State Trading Corporation – a public-sector monopoly
The clove growers need to be skilful climbers – a skill that is dying out among the islanders
dating from the 1960s – and there is in effect no free market. Farmers argue that the ZSTC only gives farmers about half the world market price for their output. On the other hand, the corporation claims that it offers a fixed and steady price that farmers can be sure of receiving each year. Moreover, since 2011 the ZSTC has been implementing a 10-year clove development strategy designed to revitalise the archipelago’s clove sector and improve its marketing and trading activities.
Freestylerob | Wikimedia Commons | PD
But is the ZSTC swimming against the tide here? With much more money to be had working in the tourism sector, clove farmers could enjoy an easier life than shinning up trees for a living.
Cloves, spice and all things nice
SERENGETI BALLOON SAFARIS
Coolest safari in Africa is by balloon U
p, up and away. Yes, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s flying high with Serengeti hot air balloon specialist Adventures Aloft.
Already well established in Tarangire National Park and
across the border in the Masai Mara National Reserve, the company is now a big player in the Serengeti. Run by Tinu Mhajan, who also heads up the Mada Hotels group, Adventures Aloft has added capacity to the Serengeti, which has long lagged behind the Mara in the availability of balloon flights. These flights provide an unforgettable extra dimension to any game-viewing UP IN THE AIR
See the beautiful Serengeti from a different angle
SERENGETI BALLOON SAFARIS
Adventures Aloft’s two Serengeti
new area for us, we had to undertake
follow herds of wildebeest and zebra
bases are located in the Togoro
several test flights to see which flight
for almost the whole year.
plains. One is sited between Mbuzi
path would allow for a scenic and
Mawe Serena Camp and Lobo
safe flight. As there is a limited road
of the most beautiful areas of the
Wildlife Lodge, just east of Four
network, a major challenge is to see
Serengeti and flights here over the
Seasons Safari Lodge; the other is in
how passengers can be retrieved
kopjes and the Mara River make it
Kogatende, on the Mara River, in the
quickly; and with the help of the
one of the best balloon flights in the
north of the reserve.
park authorities we were able to find
world,” says Tinu.
Of course, every new service has to start from somewhere. Back in
areas with suitable tracks to be able to follow a balloon.”
“In my opinion, Kogatende is one
Experience the great migration from the air
It’s fair to say that ballooning does not come cheap. Expect to pay US$
2013, Adventures Aloft launched its
So how does ballooning in the
first flight from Togoro with just two
Serengeti compare with, say, Taran-
fare-paying passengers. But numbers
gire or the Mara? Again, Tinu explains
value for money, many believe no
quickly picked up.
the difference: “Clearly, the landscape
game park visit is complete without
of the Serengeti is different from
an up-at-dawn balloon ride.
Getting operations off the ground
499 per person per flight plus a $50 conservancy fee. But in terms of
– both literally and metaphori-
Tarangire. It has more open areas
cally – was not without its share of
than Tarangire and the landscape has
the first in the Serengeti. Another
Adventure Aloft’s operation is not
challenges. “You need about nine
more shrubs as opposed to baobab
operator flies in the western and
months to a year if you’re starting
trees. Tarangire is also famous for its
central areas. The Adventures Aloft
from scratch,” explains Tinu. “And it
huge elephant population, while the
takes six months from order to deliv-
Serengeti has plenty of plains game
ery of the balloon, and there is quite
and, of course, the migration.
bases are in the north central area and north (near the
a bit involved in actually setting up the bases.” Aside from creating the physi-
Mara River). So the two
cal base and operation, Tinu’s chief
The Serengeti and Mara share many
concern is always safety: “You need
similarities as they are part of the
to choose an area which allows nice
same ecosystem, but the Serengeti
landing spots; and as the Serengeti
covers a much larger area. Whereas
the migration in the Mara is basically for just four months in the year, clients in the Serengeti can
areas and do not compete directly. Between them, they appear to have the Serengeti well and truly covered.
The big breakfast Those who fly with Adventures Aloft get to enjoy the company’s legendary post-flight breakfasts. In comparison with some operators outside of Tanzania, which provide some rather unappetisinglooking cheese and then ply their passengers with lashings of cheap sparkling wine, Adventures Aloft serves a delicious hot breakfast cooked on site. I’m not sure if it’s the crisp dawn Serengeti air or getting up at 5.30 am and quickly downing a cup of coffee and a biscuit before departure, but I can honestly say that bacon and eggs has never smelled this good. Not only is a balloon safari the true adventure of a lifetime, but the Adventures Aloft bush breakfast is really something else.
treated – and that is definitely the right word here – to the heartiest of early morning feasts. But first, guests are offered Buck’s Fizz or refreshing orange juice as everyone excitedly relives the morning’s flight. Meanwhile, chefs busy themselves with the bacon and eggs and a host of other goodies in the specially adapted catering truck.
After landing, a secluded and picturesque spot is chosen by the crew as the breakfast site. Following the pick-up by the support crew, balloon safari guests are
Guests are then invited to help themselves to the breakfast buffet and to sit down at a carefully arranged long table. Fuelled by several glasses of Buck’s Fizz, the conservation flows as easily as the breakfast is devoured. It’s one of the world’s truly awesome experiences. And the balloon flight isn’t bad either.
Booking Guests can book with Adventures Aloft through their tour operator, on line at Mada Hotels, or directly from their camp or lodge in the Serengeti. www.madahotels.com ■
Now gin connoisseurs can benefit elephant charities
hat’s one small sip for a man…
t sounds an improbable combina-
London, Hamburg and Africa? Well, the
buchu was used to perfume the bodies of
tion – elephants and gin, that is – but
brand’s founding trio, Robin Gerlach,
the Cape’s indigenous people such as the
the two have joined forces to create
Tessa Wienker and Henry Palmer, are
Khoikhoi (not a lot of people know that).
a fragrant and irresistible new tipple.
passionate about the continent and share
upmarket and exquisitely packaged brand
wildlife poaching and the resulting drop
that brings together a genuine concern
in elephant numbers in countries like
The ingredients also include baobab –
for animal conversation and the deep
Tanzania, where the elephant population
“that superfruit of the savanna” – as well
mysteries of the spirit-maker’s craft.
is believed to have fallen by 60 per cent in
as African wormwood, which introduces a
just five years.
sharp floral note, and lion’s tail, some-
So this is Elephant Gin, a decidedly
Judged by the branding and packaging, Elephant Gin will, for many, conjure
a very real concern about the impact of
As a result, the makers of Elephant Gin
times known as wild dagga. Then there
up sepia-tinted images of a bygone era:
are donating 15 per cent of any profits
are classic botanicals such as juniper,
oak-panelled gentlemen’s clubs, shady
to two conservation-focused charities:
cassia bark and sweet orange peel, plus
verandas overlooking manicured lawns,
the Big Life Foundation and Space for
locally sourced spring water, fresh apples
men in starched collars and the first drink
Elephants (see panel stories).
and other select ingredients designed
of the day served by a faithful bearer as the sun goes below the yardarm. Yet Elephant Gin is no homage to an
Enough of the conservation, and now to
to enhance the purity and smoothness
the technical stuff. The gin is 45 per cent
of the gin’s finish. Are you getting the
alcohol by volume (ABV) and contains
aroma? There are no artificial flavourings
earlier time. It is very much contemporary,
no fewer than 14 botanicals, including a
in the post-distillation process.
but also quirky – a true London dry gin
warmth-giving ginger and a little-known
in style, but perversely distilled in, would
herb called buchu, grown in the West-
first yields a subtle juniper aroma with an
you believe, Hamburg.
ern Cape. Buchu gives the gin a sweet,
undertone of mountain pine and other
blackcurrant-like taste. In days gone by,
herbaceous notes. The taste is complex
So what’s the connection between
The end result is a distinct nose that
ANTI-POACHING MISSION Big Life Foundation is an anti-poaching organisation that employs over 300 rangers, with about 30 outposts and 15 vehicles, to protect two million acres of wilderness in the Amboseli ecosystem straddling southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. Through its innovative conservation strategies, the foundation addresses the greatest threats while also looking to the economic interests of the Maasai people in ways that improve the quality of life for the whole community.
but strikingly smooth, encompassing floral, fruity and spicy flavours which can
MIGRATORY ROUTES RESTORED
be enjoyed both straight and in a cocktail; or, of course, in traditional colonial style
Space for Elephants Foundation is focused on restoring the old migratory routes lost when many game reserves were fenced in, isolating elephants in ‘pockets’, breaking up extended herds and hampering biodiversity. The aim of Space for Elephants is to give freedom for a hundred thousand elephants to range freely across Africa, using centuries-old trails that were once a lifeline.
with a splash of tonic. Elephant Gin is produced using a traditional copper still. Refined in small batches of just 800 bottles, the gin is tasted regularly as it comes off the still to ensure that any impurities in the heads and tails are removed. The whole process gives the gin its purity, complexity and smoothness. Each batch is named after a great elephant (yes, they do have names) of the past or present. This gives an even more personal touch than the batch numbers normally associated with hand-crafted spirits. At around US$ 50 a bottle this spirit does not come cheap. But for those who appre-
ciate the finer things in life while wishing to make a positive contribution to wildlife conversation, it is money well spent.
Enjoy a complex taste with a smooth, spicy flavour
IT’S IN THE NAME Each bottle of gin is named after a great elephant
15 per cent of all profits are donated to charity
A classic bottle with a contemporary taste
So many reasons to love ‘superfood’ tree BY KIRSTEN ALEXANDER
ailed by many in the West as a brand-new ‘superfood’, full of benefits and
flying off the shelves of health shops, the baobab fruit is nothing new to Africans. Two of the nine species of baobab trees (Adansonia) on which the fruit grows are native to mainland Africa. As well as being a distinctive feature of the African landscape, the baobab has become a part of people’s daily life, with its fruit being used for everything from beer making in Tanzania to stirring into porridge in Zimbabwe. The baobab is iconic. Even if you had never heard its name, you will have seen pictures of this strange tree, with its root-like branches starting far off the ground above a long and exceptionally thick trunk. Legend has it that the tree was plucked from the ground by the gods and turned upside down as a punishment for its arrogance. Whether you believe the legend or not, the baobab has a well deserved reputation not just for its appearance but also for its fruit.
to introduce into a variety of drinks
The term ‘superfood’ is often used
it with water to making baobab
to describe a ‘multi-benefit’ product
pancakes with baobab jam, it is
that is supposed to do all kinds
extremely versatile and easy to add
of positive things, from lowering
into daily routines.
and dishes. From simply mixing
cholesterol to giving you an energy
The taste is unique. It can best be
boost. The baobab fruit is more
described as a combination of pear,
than worthy of ‘superfood’ status,
citrus and vanilla, which might not
however, and its benefits including:
be to everyone’s taste. Pop a spoonful in a smoothie, however, and you
• More Vitamin C than an orange
won’t even know it’s there!
• High levels of antioxidants
Many companies are catching
• Twice as much calcium as in milk
onto the baobab’s superpowers and
• High in potassium and phosphorus
online and in health food shops
it is becoming more readily available
– important for nerve functions and
formation of bones respectively.
The baobab fruit is shaped a bit like
How to eat baobab
a coconut, with a slightly velvety texture. Once the exterior has been
By its nature, the fruit doesn’t need
cracked, the inside resembles a
much preparation to make it ready to
powdery white pulp. This is the
eat. But in its natural state it may not
source of all the vitamins and
taste that good. Baobab is usually
sold as a powder, making it very easy
in Europe and the United States. Large numbers of people are now recognising the health benefits of the baobab fruit. Perhaps the biggest benefit of all, however, is the positive effect of this ‘baobab boom’ on local POWER POWDER An excellent source of vitamins and goodness
communities in Africa. Families and communities can derive a regular source of income by harvesting and selling the fruit. Many of the Western companies selling baobab powder are dedicated to giving back to those
who give to them. BAOBAB
Velvety, versatile and packed full of vitamins
Camu Camu Powder
Goji Berries ■
Buying property in Tanzania
Put your money where your heart is BY GARY GIMSON
eal estate agents will always tell you there has never been a better time
to buy – regardless of whether the market is going up, down or sideways. In the case of Tanzania, however, this old agents’ maxim may actually be true. The Tanzania property market more or less falls into three key areas: Dar es Salaam and the surrounding suburbs (especially along the coast), Zanzibar and Arusha. Mbezi Beach is a popular spot and the place to bag an oceanfront property; but, as elsewhere, you should expect to pay a premium for an uninterrupted sea view.
Indian Ocean For expatriate buyers, Oyster Bay and, a bit further up the Bagamoyo Road, the Mbezi Beach areas of Dar are popular. Set alongside the Indian Ocean and close to the centre of town without actually being part of it, these two are Dar’s swankiest addresses. So what might US$ 750,000 buy? I noticed this property for sale. A spacious multi-bedroom property consisting of two houses (the main
An affordable retreat for golf enthusiasts
house has three bedrooms with
2008 and I wondered how it would
plating retirement to take a look at
en-suite bathrooms) and a rather
this truly delightful development.
nice swimming pool. It probably
I have not been disappointed. A
Elsewhere in the area, this particu-
needs a lick of paint to brighten up
truly lovely golf course has been
lar property in Moshono caught my
the place, but otherwise it seems
created in a delightful setting with
eye, for an asking price of just US$
good to go.
a series of spacious and well built
300,000. This is a lovely family home
houses dotting the fairways, all at
set in a delightful garden. It has four
and who love golf – although it’s
For those who seek a rural idyll
very affordable prices. In fact, where
bedrooms and three bathrooms on a
not essential – there is only one
else in the world can you buy a four-
1,500 square metre plot. Meanwhile,
bedroom house on a golf course for
US$ 450,000 would buy you this
only US$ 275,000? At Kiligolf, you can.
five-bedroom house, fully furnished,
I strongly recommend those contem-
with a large swimming pool, at
place to buy, and that’s Kiligolf in Arusha. I have followed this project closely since its inception back in
A good time to invest in Tanzanian property
Mateves, near Braeburn School and the University of St Joseph.
Where else in the world can you buy a four-bedroom house on a golf course for only US$ 275,000?
So if you have the money and want to invest in Tanzania, there has never been a better time – or so the real estate agents keep telling us. ■
Image courtesy of www.kiligolf.com
AND IN ZANZIBAR… There are plenty of vacant plots for sale in Zanzibar and the price of these naturally varies. Move a comparatively short distance away from the beach and land prices fall dramatically. So if you want to save money and don’t want to dip your toes in the ocean each morning, this can be a smart move. Chidy Darweish of Zanzibar Archipelago Properties told Explorer: “There
are definitely good beachfront plots still available. The prices are based on size, beach quality and location. On Unguja they range from $150,000 or so for a smaller plot, maybe one hectare, to over $1 million for bigger plots in well known tourist locations. On Pemba I have several beachfront properties for sale for around $100,000 or under. The highest priced ones are between $400,000 and $500,000.”
TREKKING IN TANZANIA
Climb every mountain or just enjoy the walk As the land of Mount Kilimanjaro, it comes as no surprise that Tanzania is a popular destination for those who want a spectacular hiking experience. Apart from the ‘iconic’ mountain, Tanzania offers an abundance of hiking trails catering for everyone from the novice to the pro. Here is Explorer’s guide to the best hiking venues in Tanzania.
Caption text in here caption here three lines if possible
Pugu Hills Forest Reserve
Difficulty rating: air. There are various paths throughout
The Usambara Mountains in north-eastern
Forest Reserve is perfect for those want-
the reserve. Highlights including a cave
Tanzania are part of the Eastern Arc chain
ing to escape the busy city for some fresh
sacred to the Zaramo people, popula-
and a popular place for hiking. The West
tions of bats that fly out of their caves at
Usambara Mountains form the larger of
sunset, and a colourful local cattle market.
the two areas while the East Usambara
There is a choice of trails up to 18 km in
Mountains are smaller and close to the
length to suit any ability, so it’s perfect for
coast. The mountains are dotted with
beginners, but also interesting for more
small villages where accommodation can
experienced ramblers. Local guides can
be found, so visitors can trek in this area
be requested, but they are not absolutely
without having to rough it in a tent. The
necessary. A highlight of this reserve is its
mountains offer a diverse range of scenery
fine selection of birds, animals and plants.
that includes lush hills, dense forests and
Hikers must get permission from the
glimmering waterfalls. There are several
Ministry of Tourism before commencing
bird species endemic to Usambara, includ-
ing the eagle-owl, akalat and weaver.
Pharaoh han | Wikimedia Commons | CC-BY-SA-3.0
Close to Dar es Salaam, the Pugu Hills
WHAT TO PACK
Wear cotton shirts and hiking shorts or lightweight trousers (not jeans, which are heavy and don’t dry easily).
Wear waterproof hiking boots with ankle support and bring two pairs. You may need to put on extra socks.
For mountain hiking it is recommended to take thermal underwear and a rain jacket. Also a heavyduty warm jacket as temperatures on the peaks reach well below zero.
A hat should be worn at all times, even if the sky is overcast. For summit day take gloves and a fleece hat that covers your ears.
Layering is the best way to cope with warm-to-cold conditions when trekking. Details about layering can be found on travel company websites.
TREKKING IN TANZANIA
Mount Meru Difficulty rating:
If you’re not quite ready for Kilimanjaro, or
to hike at night to reach the summit, which
you want a slightly different but equally
can be quite challenging; but the views at
awesome hike in Tanzania, then Mount
the end of it are deemed worth the effort.
Meru is a good choice. The second-highest mountain in the country, Mount Meru is often disregarded because of its proxim-
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
ity to Kilimanjaro, but it’s still a great place
either through a company or individually,
to hike, with wonderful views over Arusha National Park. Treks are varied and can be spread out over three or more days, depending on your personal preference. Visitors can choose to organise their climb but every climber or group must be accompanied by a ranger-porter. Most visitors opt
This Unesco World Heritage site is an exceptional example of preserved nature. It Ngorongoro Crater. This conservation
area offers exceptional walks, trails and
covers a vast area that includes the famous
hikes as well as an impressive variety of wildlife. Suitable even for novice wanderers, the Ngorongoro area offers everything
Leaving the best and most famous until
for the faint-hearted. Having said that,
from a modest two-hour walk to more
last, Mount Kilimanjaro is no doubt synony-
you don’t need to be a top athlete to
challenging climbs that can take up a full
mous with hiking in Tanzania. The highest
complete the trek. As long as you are
day. The area is home to various large and
mountain in Africa at an impressive 5,895
fit, healthy and determined, you should
sometimes dangerous animals, so walkers
metres, Mount Kilimanjaro is every keen
be able to conquer Kilimanjaro. Trekkers
must be accompanied by an armed ranger
hiker’s dream destination. Seven official
must be accompanied by a guide, but
form the Ngorongoro Conservation Area
routes cover the mountain, with treks last-
can choose a path suited to their ability
ing from five to 10 days, so this trek is not
The highest point on Mount Klilimanjaro is Uhuru peak
What’s new, pussy cat?
Thanks to its graceful looks and elegant bearing the African caracal has become a popular – albeit expensive – pet in some Western households. In truth, however, this fine animal belongs in the wild, where its speed and swift reactions can be used as nature intended.
CARACAL CATS newly acquired pets. But the jury is out on whether caracals are indeed suitable pets. “There’s still too much of the wild in them for caracals to be a domestic cat,” said one US-based expert. “Caracals need outdoor enclosures and safe spaces in which to play. I think anyone would fall in love with this gorgeous cat, but they are best left to roam free on the African plains.” One problem with domestic caracals is that they tend to be ‘food aggressive’. Owners may be tempted to overfeed them, leading to obesity and the loss of those super-sleek looks. It’s advisable to feed a pet caracal in a quiet place and, if it cohabits with other felines, to separate them at feeding time.
Territory Like servals and other wild feline species, both male and female caracals use ‘scent marking’ to define their territory. Caracals also have a
tendency to void on fluffy surfaces f I had to choose my favourite
such as down quilts, pillows and
African big cat, it wouldn’t be
clothing left on the floor.
a lion, a leopard or even the
Caracals purr, but very softly. A
sleek lines of a cheetah. My choice
contented caracal emits a bird-like
of feline is smaller, rarer and alto-
trill that conveys a happy greeting.
gether more handsome, I think.
Strangely enough, caracals respond
The caracal may lack the distinc-
eagerly to a human imitation of this
tive markings of a cheetah, the regal
presence of a lion or the solitary
Caracals are more predatory than
hunting skills of a leopard. Yet this mid-sized cat has sublime grace and power as well as the fluffiest of
the similar-sized serval. And they and the serval. Adult males can weigh up to 20
have evolved to hunt larger prey HANDSOME
Graceful, powerful and smaller than most other big cats
such as dik-dik and other small ante-
tufted ears. With those distinctive
kg, so this is no domestic pussy cat.
‘Mr Spock’ ears, the caracal (mean-
Yet caracals, like cheetahs, can be
ing ‘black ear’ in Turkish) is not unlike
semi-domesticated. They will not kill
these skills to hunt birds – and it is
a lynx or bobcat to look at and has
or seriously harm people, although
here, in addition to its fondness for
been nicknamed the desert lynx. But
they can be dangerous to small chil-
dik-dik, that the caracal has created a
it belongs to a different branch of the
dren. In the United States, caracals
niche for itself in the food chain.
cat family and is more closely related
fetch US$ 2,500 or more and you can
genetically to the African golden cat
find specialist breeder websites with
expert Chris McBride, owner of
(found in Central and West Africa)
images of proud owners with their
McBrides’ Camp in Zambia’s Kafue
lope. Caracals are excellent jumpers and have swift reactions. They use
This niche is important. Big cat
not likely on average to meet the others. Different cats have different niches.” It’s the same with their quarry, says Chris: “With a bit of a head start, most antelope can outrun a lion or a leopard. Cheetah can outrun their prey, but only in fairly short bursts. WILD CATS
Jury is out on whether caracals make suitable pets
At the same time, most antelope cannot run fast for long and have little stamina. Wild dogs exploit this lack of staying power by running them down in relays. So this is their niche. “To understand why caracal are successful in some locations and serval in others, we just have to find out the niches of the two cats and
What is the niche of the caracal and what characteristics enable it to live in any one location? the characteristics that enable them to fill those niches. It could be that here in Kafue the serval comes out top, for whatever reason, and maybe National Park and author of three
Maybe serval occupy a niche here [in
books on lions, told ‘Explorer’: “All
Kafue] that in their absence caracal
animals and plants have a niche or
could – or something like that. So we
cat behaviourists is not quite sure,
place in the ecosystem within which
need to ask, what is the niche for the
then what hope is there for the rest
they live, and have characteristics
caracal and what the niche for the
which enable them and not anything
serval? Have the latter outcompeted
else to live there – although there
the former here, or has something
its own in Africa and perhaps we
can be an overlap.”
else outcompeted them, or is it
should just be thankful for that –
even if some misguided people want
hunters and cannot operate in bush
Noting the almost total absence
which is too dense as they cannot
of caracal in Kafue and the park’s
see one another. Leopards hunt
comparatively large serval popula-
in thicker bush as they are mostly
tion, Chris asks: “What is the niche of
solitary. Both are mainly noctur-
the caracal and what characteristics
nal, probably due to temperature,
enable it to live in any one location?
whereas cheetah are diurnal, so are
“For example, lion are co-operative
the answer is climate.” If one of the world’s leading big
But at least the caracal is holding
this cat as a pet.
A tough-looking cat with a soft and contented purr
STAY: LAKE MANYARA A luxury treehouse to satisfy your inner child and delight your grown-up tastes
A high point of anyone’s holiday… BY KIRSTEN ALEXANDER
Manyara Tree Lodge. As the only permanent lodge in the park, it carries a social
responsibility to minimise the impact it has hile it may seem that some
on its surroundings. The 10 tree houses are
safari parks are overrun with
built from local timber and makuti palm,
permanent lodges, camps,
which is not only kind to the environment
and even hotels, Lake Manyara National
but offers a charming rustic feel with a
Park in north-eastern Tanzania has only
splash of romance. This is not just a place
one – but that one is something quite
for honeymoon couples, however. Children
are welcome at the lodge, which has triple
With 10 luxury treehouse suites suspended on stilts above the mahogany
rooms suitable for under-16s with childminding services also available.
forest floor, andBeyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge offers a level of luxury and exclusiveness that other lodges across the continent
can only dream about. It has all the ameni-
Apart from the delightful accom-
ties of the best retreat ever, without making
modation and intimate ambience,
guests feel isolated from the world – unless
one of the highlights of staying
they want to, of course.
at andBeyond Lake Manyara Tree
The andBeyond group is a key player in
Lodge is the exceptional wildlife
You may be lucky enough to receive a personal visit from one of the park’s inquisitive creatures
luxury safari accommodation, with lodgings
and birdlife. An estimated 600
in some of the best landscapes of eastern
species of birds have their home in
and southern Africa: Masai Mara National
the surrounding area, which also features a
Reserve (andBeyond Kichwa Tembo Tented
soda lake with beautiful pink flamingos.
Camp), Okavango Delta (andBeyond
Most owners of safari lodges will tell you
Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge), Zanzibar
they have access to some of the best wild-
(andBeyond Mnemba Island) and a total
life in the region, but how many can claim
of 11 beautiful sites across South Africa. In
to have tree-climbing lions? We’re guessing
addition, andBeyond offer bespoke tours in
none, except this one. The lions of Lake
India, Butan and Sri Lanka with Nepal, Chile
Manyara have developed the unusual habit
and Argentina becoming the latest coun-
of climbing trees to escape the insects on
tries to feature in their impressive portfolio.
the ground. This unusual and endearing
The company is ever mindful of environ-
activity is a highlight of their visit for many
mental conservation, and all its sites are
guests staying at the lodge.
designed to create a partnership between luxury and environmental responsibility. This is especially true of andBeyond Lake
Getting up close to Africa’s magnificent wildlife doesn’t always require a game drive, however, because, thanks to the
STAY: LAKE MANYARA open-plan design of the lodge, you may be lucky enough to receive a personal visit from one of the parkâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inquisitive creatures, including vervet monkeys. The lodge is unfenced, allowing animals to roam freely around the site, so guests can enjoy the ultimate wildlife viewing experience. Dining at andBeyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge takes place in an open-air boma that is as welcoming a setting for a hearty bush breakfast as it is for a moonlit Images courtesy of andBeyond
dinner for two. The interactive kitchen allows guests to watch the skilled chefs preparing the delicious meals.
Habitat Twice-daily game drives are included in the rates, but guests can also choose to go on night drives and truly catch a glimpse of the animals in their natural habitat. In the daytime, there are Maasai cultural visits, offering a chance to explore the local communities, as well as cycle rides by Lake Manyara. The lodge itself has a swimming pool, a safari shop, a massage sala and exercise equipment if required. All in all, andBeyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge is a haven for safari lovers, offering unique opportunities in a superb national park. The andBeyond name certainly lives up to its excellent reputation for providing responsible yet intimate and classic accommodation throughout Africa.
INFORMATION For more information about andBeyond and a full list of the accommodation and tours that they offer, head to their website: www.andbeyond.com â&#x2013;
EAT: CAPE TOWN FISH MARKET
FRESH AS CAN BE
Restaurant images courtesy of Cape Town Fish Market
Cape Town Fish Market specialises in seafood and sushi
EAT: CAPE TOWN FISH MARKET
An ocean voyage for the taste buds BY SAKINA NANABHAI
“Our suppliers make sure to send us the
African and Continental flavours, so every
freshest catch of the day that we use to
bite was full of delicious surprises.
prepare an array of seafood meals.” ith its upmarket location in
Describing the wide range of food varie-
No sooner had we indulged ourselves with this generous serving of top quality
Msasani Bay, overlooking
ties on offer, he said: “We cook a number
seafood than Riziki came along to get our
the deep-blue ocean, Cape
of dishes, from seafood to sushi to poultry
reviews and to announce that the desserts
Town Fish Market is perfectly placed
and meat. Our menu is pretty extensive,
were on their way. In a few minutes, we
to fulfil its claim to serve the best and
to make sure there is something for every
were presented with a chocolate volcano
freshest of the catch.
visitor that comes to dine, but our speciality
cake and a dense chocolate brownie, both
is seafood and sushi. We even offer mussels
served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
July 2012 and is now one of the top five
Cape Town Fish Market opened in
and fresh salmon in our menus, imported
I told Riziki: “Sorry, Chef, we might not be
restaurants in Dar es Salaam for dining and
all the way from South Africa
socialising according to TripAdvisor, and
– something you would not
recently earned the travel website’s prestig-
find anywhere else in the
ious award for Service in Excellence.
‘Quality is our utmost priority. Our suppliers make sure to send us the freshest catch of the day ‘
As its name suggests, Cape Town Fish
Speaking about the
Market brings South African seafood cuisine
restaurant’s popularity on
right to the heart of Dar es Salaam. As a
TripAdvisor and the recent
haven for some of the best seafood you can
award, Riziki said: “This award
eat, Dar was an ideal choice of location for
only came to us because of
the first and only franchise of the restaurant
our dedication and the team’s
outside South Africa.
persistent efforts to provide the best
able to complete this.” He smiled: “Don’t
and most authentic seafood to its diners.
worry – just take a bite.” Both desserts were,
down with sous-chef Riziki Maisala to hear a
We had to face a lot of challenges in the
to say the least, delicious and we actually
little about its history and about what goes
beginning, from the frequent power cuts
did finish them.
on in the kitchen.
to the suppliers letting us down at the last
On our visit to the restaurant, we sat
“Quality is our utmost priority,” said Riziki.
We thanked Riziki and the restaurant
minute. Yet we managed to secure our
management for the delicious meal and
position thanks to the ‘can do’ attitude
received the friendly reply: “Karibu tena”
of our team and the motivation from our
(“You are welcome again”).
team heads.” After our chat, Riziki headed for the kitchen and it was time to taste the restaurant’s specialities. As the chef had promised, our meal was served in just 10 minutes. It turned out to be a huge platter displaying the restaurant’s best seafood varieties, including mussels, grilled prawns, baby squid in robata sauce, deep-fried calamari strips and two fish fillets with a side order of French fries and fresh salad. It was probably the first time I had sat down to eat so much seafood in one go – and I couldn’t wait to dig in. The food was cooked to perfection and seasoned with a unique blend of South
OUR VERDICT Atmosphere: Service: Food: Cape Town Fish Market 180 Msasani Bay Msasani Peninsula Dar es Salaam Reservations: +255 758 555 366 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.ctfm.co.tz ■
DRIVE: LEXUS NX CROSSOVER
A fine-looking beast but
still no raging bull BY GARY GIMSON
have never been overly
This was especially true of Lexus’
impressed with Lexus’ limited
unloved RX, its previous stab at creat-
efforts in the 4x4 sector – or,
ing a 4x4. Far from beautiful, oddly
until recently, with its overall
misshapen and generally useless in
range of high-end cars.
terms of serious bundu bashing, this
I can see that parent Toyota
was an SUV for softies – incapable of
wants to mix it with Europe’s luxury
tackling anything more daring than
marques and needs a distinct brand
the daily school run.
such as Lexus in order to do so. But
Let’s face it, not every 4x4 buyer wants to participate in the Rhino Charge
So meet the new Lexus NX Crosso-
edgier customer. And using will.i.am to promote the car is no doubt part
Toyota never seemed to get it quite
ver, a car that dispels much (but not
right with Lexus; offering extremely
all) of Lexus’ ‘softy’ image. Not before
worthy, well built and reliable
time, here is a car with a much more
Lexus has got this model exactly
machines that were as dreary as a
aggressive-looking profile; one that
right. And is the car up to the rough
grey July morning in Nairobi.
will finally appeal to a younger and
and tumble of East Africa, both in
of this process. Yet doubts remain as to whether
DRIVE: LEXUS NX CROSSOVER
and out of town? I suspect not. There
version, which comes with 18-inch
is still a hint that this is a car for urban
alloy rims (as does the Luxury
cruisers – confirmed, perhaps, by
model) and mixes a feeling of high
the entry-level 2x4 NX versions for
performance with exquisite levels of
those who don’t want venture too far
luxury and refinement. I have to say
beyond the city limits.
the interiors of other variants in the
On the other hand, I love the look of the NX (and, let’s face it, not every 4x4 buyer wants to participate in
range are not quite so exciting or immediately compelling. In terms of engines, there are two
the Rhino Charge). And I appreciate
from which to choose: hybrid and
its comfort and build quality, even
petrol. For the time being, I suspect
if the cabin space is a bit cramped. I
that East African buyers will be wary
especially like the impressively well
of the NX 300h hybrid, which uses
equipped interior of the F Sport
Lexus’ proven 2.5 litre Atkinson›
DRIVE: LEXUS NX CROSSOVER cycle engine, generator, motor and
cally controlled S-CVT/multi-drive
battery. Special features include
sprung-weight damping control to
Overall this is a well equipped and
increase ride comfort and handling
visually appealing car and one that
stability by reducing the amount of
will attract interest. It’s not cheap
pitching on uneven road surfaces.
(especially the F Sport) and SUV buyers have plenty of other options.
Integrated A new six-speed automatic transmis-
But at least it’s a step in the right direction for Lexus. Popular in the United States, the
sion has been adopted to match
Lexus brand has failed to make a big
the new engine. It features new
impact in Europe and there it must
torque-demand control logic, which
compete head-on with German auto
calculates required engine torque
makers Mercedes, BMW and Audi,
to maximise the exhilaration of
and with Land Rover in the SUV
quick acceleration response and fuel
efficiency. In terms of the petrol option, the
The Lexus NX makes a good impression with great features
So when it finally arrives in East Africa, it will be interesting to see if
Lexus Valvematic system provides
this new Lexus NX is any more
high torque through an expanded
popular than its RX predecessor.
valve opening angle and VVT operation range in a 2.0 litre naturally aspirated engine. This is linked to a newly developed and electroni■
AURIC AIR ROUTE MAP
Buboka Masai Mara
TA N Z A N I A
DAR ES SALAAM
Ruaha Iringa Sumbawanga
VISA INFORMATION Most people will require a visa to enter Tanzania. Usually a tourist visa is issued, unless you are travelling on business, in which case you require a different visa. Any traveller into Tanzania who is from a non-Commonwealth country – unless there is an agreement between the traveller’s country and Tanzania, in which case the visa is waived – will require a valid visa to gain entry. Citizens from the following Commonwealth countries will, however, require a visa to enter Tanzania: United Kingdom, Canada, Nigeria, India, Pakistan, New Zealand and Australia. Tanzania visas can be obtained from the following: › Entry points into the United Republic of
Tanzania such as Dar es Salaam International Airport and Zanzibar Airport.
› The office of the Director of Immigration
Services, Dar es Salaam, and the office of the Principal Immigration Officer, Zanzibar.
› Tanzania High Commissions or embassies
KENYAN VISAS All visitors entering Kenya – except those who are citizens of Ethiopia, San Marino, Turkey and Uruguay – require a visa. From September 1st 2015, all visas must be purchased online in advance of travel to Kenya from evisa.go.ke/evisa. E-visas are valid for 90 days. A single entry visa costs US$ 51, which includes a US$ 1 service charge.
BAGGAGE Every passenger travelling with Auric Air gets a free baggage allowance as follows: › Adults and children: Checked
baggage of 15 kg, hand baggage of 5 kg
› Infants: Combined checked
CHILDREN Children are welcome on board Auric Air after their 11th birthday. Unfortunately, before this age, we cannot accept unaccompanied minors. Infants under the age of two weeks will also not be accepted for travel.
baggage and hand baggage of 3 kg.
Excess baggage will be charged per kilogram. Owing to the size and weight restrictions of the aircraft, we cannot guarantee to transport excess baggage on the same flight. Because of the nature of the aircraft, your baggage must consist of small, soft bags. Metal suitcases with sharp, pointed edges are prohibited.
AURIC AIR CONTACT DETAILS
ANIMALS Animals and pets may travel on our aircraft, subject to criteria such as size and quantity. For more information, please contact our call centre on +255 783 233334. Auric Air’s Call Centre is open 09:00 to 13:00 and 14:00 to 17:00 daily.
TRAVEL TIPS To ensure you have the smoothest possible flight, here are some of our top tips for a top trip. Make sure you arrive in good time, as the check-in desks close 20 minutes before the scheduled departure time. Passengers arriving after this time may not be accepted for travel, and liable for a no-show fee. Auric Air does not provide alcohol on its aircraft, and passengers are not allowed to bring their own – or any food items – on board. Please bear this in mind before boarding. All flights are also non-smoking. Electronic equipment is allowed on board, including mobile telephones, laptops, radios, CD players and handheld games consoles, however for safety reasons, the use of these items may be limited, or forbidden during flying.
Auric Air Services Ltd PO Box 336, Mwanza Cell: +255 783 233 334; 255 736 200 849 Email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
DAR ES SALAAM OFFICE
Auric Air Services Ltd T-14, First Floor, Haidery Plaza Upanga/Kisutu Street, Dar es Salaam Tel: (Dar Airport) +255 (0)688 937 165 Tel: (Town Office) +255 (0)688 937 166 Email: email@example.com
GET CONNECTED You can keep in contact with Auric across social media at: www.facebook.com/auricair www.instagram.com/auricair www.twitter.com/auricair
Auric Air Services Ltd TFA Arusha Shopping Centre (Nakumatt) Opp. Kilombero Market Office No 19, West Wing, Arusha Cell: +255 (0)688 723 274 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
MORE INFORMATION Head to www.auricair.com/ General/terms for more information on travelling with Auric Air. ■
PILOT’S EYE VIEW BEAUTIFUL SERENGETI View over Serengeti National Park
Arusha Buboka Dar es Salaam Dodoma Iringa Kahama Katavi Kigoma Lake Manyara Mahale Morogoro Mpanda Mwanza Ruaha Rubondo Serengeti Shinyanga Songea Sumbawanga Tabora Tanga
+255 783 233334 www.auricair.com
Pemba Mafia Zanzibar
KENYA Masai Mara