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Welcome to African Traits

African Traits ltd is a local licensed tour operator based in Arusha, Tanzania. With years of experience, African Traits truly provides quality customer service, as we personalize our services to make sure that all our customers enjoy every moment of their trip with us.

We offer different tour packages to suit the individual needs of our customers. Covering all of Tanzania’s desired destinations: such as Mount Kilimanjaro, wildlife safaris, Walking Safaris, beach holidays and cultural tours. Our packages can be tailored to meet dreams you haven’t even had yet, as we provide advice and discuss with you how to plan your Adventures with African Traits. Our teams of local professionals are passionate about their land and committed to providing you with the best services available, so that you can share the joys of this beautiful country and forever cherish these unforgettable experiences. Just contact us and we will plan everything for you.

Inside Afrika Safaris Ltd is a fully registered tour operator company in Tanzania specialized in adventure safaris and holidays. Our itineraries are designed to be flexible and suit all types of travelers’ budgets. We have a team of professionals to ensure sure that your safari is well planned  and implemented just from the start to the end.

The Superb Starling (Lamprotornis superbus) is a member of the starling  family of birds. It can commonly be found in East Africa includingEthiopia, Somalia,Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania Used to be known as Spreo superbus.

Behavior These are gregarious birds that gather in flocks that can become quite large after the breeding season, but they also stay in smaller flocks year-round. They are agile fliers and can swerve rapidly in maneuverable flocks. They feed on the ground, hopping and walking to probe for insects or other food sources. These are fearless birds that can become quite tame and accustomed to humans, and often visit picnic areas to beg for scraps.

Diet: The Superb Starling feeds mainly on insects caught on the ground such as beetles, flies, ants, termites, grasshoppers, mantids and caterpillars. They also consume berries and small fruits of several plant species, and nectar from Agave sisalana. The Superb Starling runs and hops on the ground, often in small groups of up to 12 or more birds.  

Warblers – Almost 10% of Tanzania’s bird species belong to this family of small inconspicuous LBJs (‘little brown jobs’). This includes the most confusing of African bird genera, Cisticola, as well as the boldly marked, long-tailed leaf gleaners of the genus Apalis, and the almost tailless crombecs of the genus Sylvietta.


The African warblers are insect eaters, and take a range of insect prey. The longbills and crombecs feed in the canopy and in bushes, either as singles or pairs and sometimes in small groups, whereas the other species are more terrestrial in their habits. Where two species co-occur, such as the Red-faced Crombec and the Long-billed Crombec over parts of their range,niche partitioning occurs, with one species feeding in the canopy and the other species feeding lower down in the bushes and trees. Some species of both crombec and longbill have been reported to join mixed species feeding flocks



Pelicans – The larder-billed great white pelican is a massive white bird with black underwings and a large yellow pouch. The smaller pink-backed pelican has a light grey back and dark flight feathers. Synchronised flotillas of either species might be seen bobbing on larger lakes, particularly Manyara, and around Rubondo Island.



Flamingos The algae-sifting greater and lesser flamingos rank among East Africa’s most popular avian attractions, with an estimated 5-6 million present birds present. They breed on the inaccessible north of Lake Natron, but large flocks are frequent in Manyara, Arusha NP and Ngorongoro Crater.


Herons & egrets – This conspicuous family of long-legged birds is represented by 20 species, including the familiar grey heron, the truly spectacular goliath heron and various white or black egrets. Most species are water dependent, with the Rufiji River in Selous being good for varied sightings. The black-blacked heron often forages in grassland and cultivation, while the ubiquitous cattle egret flocks around buffalo herds to catch disturbed insects.



Storks –Tanzania’s eight stork species include three migrants, notably the familiar Eurasian variety. Of the resident species, the ubiquitous marabou is a fabulously ugly omnivore with scabrous scalp, fleshy neck pouch and the demeanour of a Victorian undertaker. The Serengeti is a stronghold for the saddle-billed stork, a handsome pied giant with a red and yellow bill, while Selous and Ngorongoro are good for the yellow-billed stork, which resembles its Eurasian counterpart but has a yellow bill.


Ibises & spoonbills – Ibises are robust birds with decurved bills designed to probe soil for molluscs. Most visible and audible is the hadeda, whose onomatopoeic cackle is characteristic of suburban hotel gardens. Also common, the sacred ibis was revered in ancient Egypt, while the related African spoonbill wades through shallow water sweeping its unique spatulate bill from side to side.


Crowned crane – Associated with marsh and rank grassland, this astonishing bird has grey feathering capped by a bristly gold crown and red neck wattle. It is common in suitable habitats in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro; listen out for its booming nasal call.


Ostrich – Hatching from an football-sized egg, the handsome male of the world’s largest bird is black and white, whereas the dowdy female is scruffy grey-brown. The domestic ostrich is a source of low-fat meat in South Africa, but isn’t farmed much in East Africa. A flightless resident of open savannah, it is common in the southeast Serengeti, but occurs in suitable habitats elsewhere in Tanzania.


Secretary bird – This name of this bizarre 1.5m tall grassland raptor could allude to its quill-like crest, but more likely derives from the Arabic saqr-et-tair (hunting bird). A terrestrial hunter, it feeds mainly on snakes, stamping them to death in a comical flailing dance. It roosts in trees, and will take off when disturbed, requiring a run up reminiscent of an aeroplane on a runway. It is widespread in Tanzania but particularly common in the southern Serengeti.


Kori bustard – The world’s heaviest flying bird, this sturdy grassland species has brown wings, speckled white belly, prominent backward crest, and a rather ponderous gait. A reluctant but strong flyer, it’s very common in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro but absent further south and west.


Ground hornbill – One of Tanzania’s most striking birds, this black turkey lookalike has white underwings, red wattled throat and eyes, and flamboyant fluttering eyelashes. Typically seen marching through light woodland in small parties, it has a heavy casqued bill, used to secure live prey ranging from small insects to large rodents.

Francolins – The African equivalent to pheasants and chickens, these plump game-birds are all but ubiquitous, and the dozen species recorded in Tanzania are as noisy as their domestic counterparts. Two species are endemic: the conspicuous grey-breasted francolin of the Serengeti and the Udzungwa forest partridge, first discovered in the eponymous mountains in 1991.




Guineafowl – The helmeted guineafowl is a widespread, common and somewhat panicky white-speckled grey bird with a blue head and ivory casque. The similar crested guineafowl is a localised forest resident with unruly black head feathers, while the stunning vulturine guinea-fowl, whose Tanzanian range is restricted to Mkomazi, has a cobalt chest covered in lacy black-and-white feathers.


Shopping refers to an activity that a customer browses the available goods or services presented by one or more retailers with the intent to purchase a suitable selection of them. In some contexts it may be considered a leisure activity as well as an economic one. Shop is a business which presents a selection of goods or services and offers to sell them to customers for money or other goods .

The shopping experience influenced by other shoppers. For example, research from a field experiment found that male and female shoppers who were accidentally touched from behind by other shoppers left a store earlier than people who had not been touched and evaluated brands more negatively, resulting in the Accidental Interpersonal Touch effect

AFRICAN consumers are underserved and overcharged, reckons Frank Braeken, Unilever’s boss in Africa. Until recently, South Africans who craved shampoo made specially for African hair, or cosmetics for black skin, had little choice besides costly American imports. Unilever spotted an opportunity: its Motions range of shampoos and conditioners is now a hit.

The Anglo-Dutch consumer-goods giant is making a big effort to tailor products for African customers: affordable food, water-thrifty washing powders and grooming products to fit local tastes. It is also helping other businesses. Last year Unilever opened the Motions Academy in Johannesburg. Each year it will train up to 5,000 hairdressers who want to open their own salons. It is also a laboratory to test products and to try out new business models. If it works, Unilever plans to replicate it elsewhere in Africa.

Africa already has a $1.8 trillion economy and is forecast to have a population of 1.3 billion by 2020. “Lion” economies such as Ghana and Rwanda have grown faster than South Korea, Taiwan and other East Asian “tiger” economies in five of the past seven years, albeit from a low base.

Unilever is not the only consumer-goods giant moving in. Africa accounts for only 3% of group sales of Nestlé, the world’s biggest food firm, but the Swiss behemoth is betting big there too: its African investments will total SFr1 billion ($1 billion) in 2011 and 2012 against a total capital expenditure of SFr4.8 billion last year. It has 29 factories on the continent and wants to build more. SABMiller, the world’s second-largest beermaker, is planning to invest up to $2.5 billion in Africa over the next five years to build and revamp breweries. In the year to March 2012, the continent (excluding South Africa) was SABMiller’s fastest-growing region, with volumes up by 13%

Africa’s attractions stem from its new middle class, loosely defined by the African Development Bank as anyone who spends between $2 and $20 a day in purchasing-power parity terms. The bank estimates that more than 34% of Africans (326m people) fit this description, up from 27% in 2000 (see chart). 

The challenge is to make stuff such consumers can afford, says Sullivan O’Carroll, the boss of Nestlé South Africa. Nestlé offers wares called “Popularly Positioned Products”. The name may not be snappy but the products are cheap and address common nutritional deficiencies. For instance, Nespray, an instant milk powder, contains calcium, zinc and iron—all essential for children. It is sold in a 250g pouch that costs only a few rand.

Designing products that appeal to locals is only part of the challenge. Even in South Africa, which has the best infrastructure, consumers may be eager but hard to reach. Nestlé delivers directly to spaza shops (informal convenience stores), that make up about 30% of the national retail market. Many of these are in remote areas and owners often cannot afford delivery vans. Nestlé has set up 18 distribution centres that deliver to spazas. It charges them the same prices as bigger outlets.

Security is a problem too. Just as Nestlé’s milk powder is fortified with iron, so its distribution centres are fortified with steel. The boss of the one in Soweto (a formerly black-only township that is now part of Johannesburg), has been tied up and held at gunpoint by burglars and threatened several times. Delivery vehicles that collect the spaza owners’ payments, called “cash vans”, used to be adorned with branding. That was like sticking on a sign saying “rob me.” Today they are nondescript white cars.

Soweto’s spazas range from a hole in the wall on a dust road in a squatters’ camp to a proper mini-market with a bright-green façade. Many of the owners are canny in dealing with customers. But for the supplier, working with them is tricky. Few have much working capital—5,000 rand (about $600) is typical. Many have no ambition to grow. Some are hard to find. Nestlé views microdistribution as a marketing expenditure: its staff can talk spaza owners into trying new products and check that its wares are prominently displayed. The goal is to make what it calls “microdistribution” break even.

South Africa’s roads and railways are much better than the rest of Africa’s. Danone, a French food firm, delivers its yogurts and other delectables twice a week to 8,500 outlets in South Africa. “We cannot do this in Angola, Nigeria or Gambia,” says Mario Reis, its local boss. He adds that in most of the rest of the continent, firms need to dig their own wells and generate their own electricity. In Dar es Salaam in Tanzania electricity is on only for two unpredictable hours a day.

South Africa is a good base from which to penetrate the rest of the continent, but it is a mistake to assume that what works south of the Limpopo will also work north of it. More than two-fifths of all Africans still subsist on $1.25 a day. “Brands matter less than price in most of Africa,” says Simon Crutchley, the boss of AVI, a big South African consumer-goods firm with businesses across Africa. Many Africans are too poor to be brand aware, he says. They have not grown up bombarded with advertising and barely recognise even famous brands. But this is changing quickly, thanks to television and mobile phones.

Corruption is a huge headache. At the border of Tanzania and Kenya lorries are kept waiting for a week or more if the right palms are not greased. Companies shifting perishable goods risk losing the lot if they refuse to pay up.

Ports are a problem, too. Durban, in South Africa, is perhaps the most efficient: containers whizz through in a few days. In other ports, the process can drag on for weeks. The longer the delay, the greater the pressure to pay bribes, moans a long-suffering company boss. He adds that Dar es Salaam, the main port of Tanzania, could double its capacity by bringing its management up to Durban’s standards.

Gareth Ackerman, the boss of Pick ’n’ Pay, a large supermarket chain based in Cape Town, says that his company’s strategy is “African creep”—conquering new markets one at a time, moving steadily northward. “We need the supply chain,” he explains.

No longer the shopless continent

Unilever’s push into Africa is a return to familiar territory. The firm made a fifth of its profits in Africa until the 1970s, when it shifted its attentions to Asia. Now it is back, employing 30,000 people on the continent and shifting soap, soup and so on worth €3 billion ($3.7 billion)—out of total worldwide sales of €46 billion. It is already Africa’s biggest supplier of consumer goods, and aims to double sales in the next five years by beefing up investment and bringing in more of its brands.

In spite of the risks, businessfolk are upbeat. A couple of decades ago, most African governments made life very hard for business. Now policies are more market-friendly, albeit with frequent relapses: Zambia, for example, recently banned the use of American dollars in local transactions—a needless extra hassle for firms operating there.

Still, the corridor chatter at sub-Saharan conferences these days is cheerful. Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum, says that cynicism about Africa has turned to optimism. “We have a sense that things are really getting better,” says Mr Braeken. Africa is not only about mining and oil any more. But, he says, the continent still needs to overcome what George Bush, in another context, called “the soft bigotry of low expectations”.



Brooding and primeval, the forests of Udzungwa seem positively enchanted: a verdant refuge of sunshine-dappled glades enclosed by 30-metre (100 foot) high trees, their buttresses layered with fungi, lichens, mosses and ferns.

Udzungwa is the largest and most biodiverse of a chain of a dozen large forest-swathed mountains that rise majestically from the flat coastal scrub of eastern Tanzania. Known collectively as the Eastern Arc Mountains, this archipelago of isolated massifs has also been dubbed the African Galapagos for its treasure-trove of endemic plants and animals, most familiarly the delicate African violet.

Udzungwa alone among the ancient ranges of the Eastern Arc has been accorded national park status. It is also unique within Tanzania in that its closed-canopy forest spans altitudes of 250 metres (820 feet) to above 2,000 metres (6,560 ft) without interruption.

Not a conventional game viewing destination, Udzungwa is a magnet for hikers. An excellent network of forest trails includes the popular half-day ramble to Sanje Waterfall, which plunges 170 metres (550 feet) through a misty spray into the forested valley below.

The more challenging two-night Mwanihana Trail leads to the high plateau, with its panoramic views over surrounding sugar plantations, before ascending to Mwanihana peak, the second-highest point in the range.

Ornithologists are attracted to Udzungwa for an avian wealth embracing more than 400 species, from the lovely and readily-located green-headed oriole to more than a dozen secretive Eastern Arc endemics.

Four bird species are peculiar to Udzungwa, including a forest partridge first discovered in 1991 and more closely related to an Asian genus than to any other African fowl.

Of six primate species recorded, the Iringa red colobus and Sanje Crested Mangabey both occur nowhere else in the world – the latter, remarkably, remained undetected by biologists prior to 1979.

Undoubtedly, this great forest has yet to reveal all its treasures: ongoing scientific exploration will surely add to its diverse catalogue of endemics.

About Udzungwa Mountains National Park
Size: 1,990 sq km (770 sq miles).
Location: Five hours (350 km/215 miles) from Dar es Salaam; 65 kms (40 miles) southwest of Mikumi.

Getting there
Drive from Dar es Salaam or Mikumi National Park.

What to do
From a two-hour hike to the waterfall to camping safaris.
Combine with nearby Mikumi or en route to Ruaha.

When to go
Possible year round although slippery in the rains.
The dry season is June-October before the short rains but be prepared for rain anytime.

Camping inside the park.
Bring all food and supplies.
Two modest but comfortable lodges with en-suite rooms within 1km of the park entrance.

Swirls of opaque mist hide the advancing dawn. The first shafts of sun colour the fluffy grass heads rippling across the plain in a russet halo. A herd of zebras, confident in their camouflage at this predatory hour, pose like ballerinas, heads aligned and stripes merging in flowing motion.

Mikumi National Park abuts the northern border of Africa‘s biggest game reserve – the Selous – and is transected by the surfaced road between Dar es Salaam and Iringa. It is thus the most accessible part of a 75,000 square kilometre (47,000 square mile) tract of wilderness that stretches east almost as far as the Indian Ocean.

The open horizons and abundant wildlife of the Mkata Floodplain, the popular centrepiece of Mikumi, draw frequent comparisons to the more famous Serengeti Plains.

Lions survey their grassy kingdom – and the zebra, wildebeest, impala and buffalo herds that migrate across it – from the flattened tops of termite mounds, or sometimes, during the rains, from perches high in the trees. Giraffes forage in the isolated acacia stands that fringe the Mkata River, islets of shade favoured also by Mikumi’s elephants.

Criss-crossed by a good circuit of game-viewing roads, the Mkata Floodplain is perhaps the most reliable place in Tanzania for sightings of the powerful eland, the world’s largest antelope. The equally impressive greater kudu and sable antelope haunt the miombo-covered foothills of the mountains that rise from the park’s borders.

More than 400 bird species have been recorded, with such colourful common residents as the lilac-breasted roller, yellow-throated longclaw and bateleur eagle joined by a host of European migrants during the rainy season. Hippos are the star attraction of the pair of pools situated 5km north of the main entrance gate, supported by an ever-changing cast of waterbirds.

About Mikumi National Park
Size: 3,230 sq km (1,250 sq miles), the fourth-largest park in Tanzania, and part of a much larger ecosystem centred on the uniquely vast Selous Game Reserve.
Location: 283 km (175 miles) west of Dar es Salaam, north of Selous, and en route to Ruaha, Udzungwa and (for the intrepid) Katavi. .

How to get there
A good surfaced road connects Mikumi to Dar es Salaam via Morogoro, a roughly 4 hour drive.
Also road connections to Udzungwa, Ruaha and (dry season only) Selous.
Charter flight from Dar es Salaam, Arusha or Selous. Local buses run from Dar to park HQ where game drives can be arranged.

What to do
Game drives and guided walks. Visit nearby Udzungwa or travel on to Selous or Ruaha.

When to go
Accessible year round.

Two lodges, three luxury tented camps, three campsites.
Guest houses in Mikumi town on the park border. One lodge is proposed at Mahondo and one permanent tented camp at Lumaaga