ENCINITAS, CALIF. - Innovative travel company Global Basecamps is introducing a portfolio of customizable Tanzanian safaris that add the opportunity to experience tribal village culture to the traditional "Big Five" African safari.
These uniquely crafted, private journeys offer independent travelers both the Tanzanian wildlife experience as well as a deeper understanding of the country's tribal culture as they travel from village to village.
"Our clients, like most people planning an African safari, want to see the lions, elephants, leopards and other big game animals," says Michael D'Amico, Global Basecamps co-founder. "But what we were hearing was a desire to get out of the jeep and off the beaten path to connect with the people as well. We developed a portfolio of customizable itineraries that provide this unique, richer experience. By having our team as a virtual 'basecamp', our clients can relax and extend their sense of adventure."
All of the customizable itineraries provide an in-depth view of the natural history of Tanzania as well as a uniquely human cultural focus. The country unfurls through the safari's highlights: a game drive around Lake Manyara National Park, famed for its tree-climbing lions; a visit with the Hadzabe and Datoga tribes; a traditional early morning hunt with the Hadzabe people, followed by a walking safari through farms and villages on the rift valley escarpment – a cultural window into local music, wood-fired brick making, village markets and local cuisine.
The must-see national parks are the centerpieces, from the open grasslands in Lake Manyara, famed for its wildebeests, zebra, impala, giraffe, buffalo and flamingos onward to Serengeti National Park - home to a host of Africa's large mammals, including lions, cheetah and leopards. After a visit to the Caldera of Ngorongora and its black rhino, the safari continues its magic, with a venture into the Maasai Heartlands and a village called Esilalei or Toothbrush Tree. Here, visitors are welcomed by village elders and the dancing and singing of morani warriors, bringing the safari to a memorable conclusion. Unique accommodations en-route range from rondaval cottages to camping and lodges.
"The accommodations for these journeys are key to the uniqueness of the experience. The lodges are just one example. Other nights may include one at the Ahadi Lodge in the midst of Arusha National Park, Nasikia Camp in Serengeti National Park and a night at the Maramboi Tented Camp in the Esilalei village," adds D'Amico.
"Our objective is to bring another layer of the African safari experience to the independent traveler, from its geography and ecosystem to its people and culture. From morani warrior dancing to visits to an elementary school we support in Iikurot Village and sleeping to the calls of hyenas, we have woven together a unique Tanzanian tapestry."
Customizable safaris are offered in a range of prices depending on the level of accommodations, meals and level of service. All include transfers, guides, vehicles and national park fees and support local community projects in areas visited.