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Serengeti safari

Thursday, June 1, 2006

In 1964 Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form the nation of Tanzania, resulting in the largest of the East African countries. It has three regions of spectacular landscapes — islands and coastal plains to the east, a saucer-shaped inland plateau and highlands. The Great Rift Valley that runs from the north-east of Africa through central Tanzania contributes to the beauty.

Tanzania has the snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro, pristine sandy beaches and the largest concentration of wild animals in many national parks and game reserves.

Dar es Salaam is Tanzania's commercial capital and major sea port, also serving its landlocked neighbours Malawi, Zambia, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda.

The 30,000 square kilometre Serengeti National Park stretches across two East African countries. Twenty percent of it is in Kenya and the rest is in Tanzania. Of all the world's wildlife parks, Serengeti is the best known and the one where you are most likely to spot the animals you most want to see. Not surprisingly, almost 100,000 tourists visit the park each year and the only shooting done is with a camera.

Serengeti has two million wildebeest, half a million Thomson's gazelle and a quarter of a million zebra. Their migration is something to behold. Millions of them flow south from the northern hills during the short rains of October and November, then swirl west and north after the longer April, May and June rains. The ancient instinct to move is so strong that no drought, gorge or crocodile-infested river holds them back.

All up, around 30 species of large herbivores and 500 species of birds thrive in the most complex and least disturbed ecosystem on earth.

A stunning way to take it all in is with Serengeti Balloon Safaris. After a pre-dawn Landrover pick-up, you drive to the launch site at Maasai Kopjes for a briefing and to watch the balloon inflation. Then you rise as the sun does and let the winds take you where they want.

Sometimes you are at treetop flight, sometimes at 300 metres — wherever you are, for an hour you will silently float over some of the world's most remarkable animals, going about their morning activities.

Traditional champagne is served after landing and breakfast is served at tables set with linen cloths, china and silver. All very Out Of Africa.

After that you board a 4WD and your guide takes you up close to the animals in their own environment. Operators work together and they let one another know where there is a pride of lions, a family of leopards, flock of ostriches, elephants, giraffes, hippos, impala or graceful gazelle.


Tanzania in eastern Africa


Kumuka Worldwide has 13-day tours from Nairobi, including game drives in the Serengeti, for $1785 per person twin share.

South African Airways has return flights to Nairobi, valid until November 30, 2006. Taxes are included.

Fares from;
  • Perth, $2956
  • Melbourne,
  • Sydney, $3196
  • Brisbane, $3196
  • Adelaide, $3196
  • Darwin, $3506

Please note that the prices listed are valid at the time of filming.

For further information

Kumuka Worldwide
Level 4, 46-48 York Street
Sydney 2000
Ph: 1300 667 277 (02) 9279 0491
Fax: 02 9247 6266

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