Latest safari and other news from Tanzania and Zanzibar.

"On A Lighter Note"

Important July dates in Zanzibar for your diary

Holy month of Ramadan
Ramadan ends with Eid el Fitri on the 17th or 18th July. During Ramadan, some shops and restaurants will close for parts of the day, particularly in Zanzibar.

The Zanzibar International Film Festival – July 18-26 2015
The historic Old Fort overlooking the stunning Indian Ocean is the setting on July 18th for the opening day of the Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) which showcases films, animation and documentaries from all over Africa and around the world. This year’s theme is “Seasons of Visions”. A range of film & musical offerings are shown all over Zanzibar’s historic Stone Town, the grand finale being an awards ceremony on the night of the 26th. If you happen to be in Zanzibar during this time, it is well worth a visit. Details can be obtained on transport and tickets from our very own Zanzibari boutique hotel in Nungwi. (

Mwaka Kogwa – July 18-22 2015 - as advertised on FEST300 (the definitive guide to the world’s best festivals)
Every year, Makunduchi, in the South part of Zanzibar is the largest venue for the annual four-day-long celebration, Mwaka Kogwa which usually takes place in the 3rd week of July. This year the festival opens on July 18th. The origins of the festival are Zoroastrian (a Persian religion older than Islam). It is a celebration of the Shirazi New Year and some of the events include the burning of a hut and mock fights. These fights are between men who defend themselves with banana stems (in place, thankfully, of the sticks that were traditionally used). The idea behind the banana flaying is to allow everyone to air their grievances and so clear the air as the new year rolls in. As the men fight, the women stroll through the fields singing songs about life and love. They dress in their best clothes and taunt the men after the fight is over. The festivities vary from village to village throughout Zanzibar but Makunduchi is where the biggest event take place. All are welcome (even tourists) for the festival because it is a local belief that anyone without a guest for this holiday faces unhappiness in the new year. If you are offered food, you should accept it because locals take offence if their hospitality is refused. If you find yourself in Zanzibar during this festival, it is well worth a visit. Transport can be arranged from our Zanzibari boutique hotel located in Nungwi. (

July 2015 - Conservation News

Tanzania's elephant catastrophe: 'We recalculated about 1,000 times because we didn't believe what we were seeing'

Tanzania has lost two-thirds of its once mighty elephant population in just four years, writes Aislinn Laing

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Is this finally the first real sign of the ending of the ivory trade?

China's recent promise to end the ivory trade in China has been strengthened by yet another ivory crush in Beijing demonstrating their resolve to end the ivory trade. As Iain Douglas-Hamilton recently stated “ The Chinese concept of ecological civilisation is becoming reality for elephants. New data suggests that the price of ivory in China may have already begun stagnating in 2014 amid the first significant reduction in the number of licensed ivory factories and retail outlets”. Ivory prices held stagnant in 2014 as opposed to the tripling of price between 2010-2013. Ivory carving and retail outlets have also decreased substantially since licensing was introduced. In February this year, the Chinese government made a 1 year ban on the import of ivory into China. In May this year, Zhao Shucong, minister of the State Forestry Administration, stated, ‘We will strictly control ivory processing and trade until the commercial processing and sale of ivory and its products are eventually halted’. This is long-awaited and very positive news.

PAMS Foundation ( latest: More arrests of poachers in South Tanzania

The RUVUMA Elephant Project in South Tanzania brought about the arrest a few weeks ago of a poacher with rifle and ammunition in a village close to the RUVUMA river which borders Mozambique. This followed another arrest of 2 poachers in the same area who were discovered with locally made weapons. Well done – keep up the good work !
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