The Lion King: you’ve seen the movie, now enjoy the reality!

Majestic Male Lion In The Serengeti - Lion King

Lucky enough to have seen the exciting, 2019 remake of ‘The Lion King’ movie, released in July 2019? Then maybe it’s time for some real-life adventure. If so, Easy Travel can turn your movie dreams into reality. We can’t promise that your safari will be exactly the same as the Lion King story, but we can promise you adventure!

Turning your celluloid dream into real life

Truth, they say, can be stranger than fiction. Take a safari with Easy Travel in Tanzania, and you may well come to believe in that old saying. The 2019 remake of the Lion King movie is not in cartoon format, but even with the move away from animation, it can’t come close to reality. And reality is what you’ll witness while out on a safari in the Serengeti. Easy Travel can bring that to you, up close and personal. Our safari does not follow one single plotline, but each hour will deliver a highlight, some drama, a story with a happy – or tragic – ending.

Like a good plot, every day has a dramatic beginning

Your day may start with a spectacular sunrise, a natural beauty that in itself no movie can truly replicate. On safari, that sunrise is magical, different every day, casting its light on the wildlife wonders for which this National Park is justifiably famous. ‘Everything the light touches is our kingdom,’ they say in the movie script. As the sun pops up above the horizon, the Serengeti will quickly become your kingdom, too. Set out to discover the thousands of occupants of this magical land. With your camera or phone at the ready, you will truly be the king – or queen – of all you survey.

Serengeti, a place fit for a King…or Queen

The King of the Serengeti, of course, is the lion – ‘Simba’ in the movie. Your Easy Travel driver-guides are experts in knowing His Majesty’s habits and the favourite places to find these majestic felines. But in reality, the male lion (Scar) is often seen alone, a solitary figure, while it is the lioness who keeps company with her cubs and other lionesses (in the movie, Nala and Sarabi). It is a lioness who heads up the pride, so maybe these ‘Queens’ are really the ones calling the shots?

Closeup of a Male Lion in The Serengeti on Safari In Tanzania

To be, or not to be: life and death on the endless plains

Unlike in The Lion King movie, the real-life animals of the Serengeti don’t actually talk. Well, they certainly don’t talk to us mere human visitors. But they have sophisticated communication between themselves, very necessary when danger can lurk in every bush or behind every clump of grassland. Warning sounds are issued, when a predator stalks nearby. Dramatic scenes play out every day, as hunter and hunted seek to outmanoeuvre each other in an endless game of life and death. Did you know that the Lion King storyline was based on none other than the drama of Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’?

…and every movie has an ending, happy or sad

Our real-life story, as our safari proceeds, might contain a number of happy or sad endings: maybeyou will see a joyful scene of lion cubs (like the young Simba and Nala) playing together. Maybe, however, your day will be more poignant as you witness a kill. A lion may hunt down a gazelle; or a powerful crocodile might clamp its mighty jaws around a wildebeest as it attempts a river crossing in migration season. In truth, unlike the movie, there is no script here, no-one can tell you exactly what you might see each day. We can only assure you your time will be packed with highlights. And some ‘lowlights.’ Maybe you’ll laugh… or cry. And remember to consider that, even if you witness a kill, this is all part of the finely-balanced pattern of Mother Nature that keeps things as they are.

…and not all the characters are as bad as they seem!

In the Lion King 2019 movie,  the hyenas (Shenzi, Azizi and Kamari) are portrayed as ruthless and vicious, and should you see real ones hunting as a pack, you will certainly believe this. But consider the positives: primarily scavengers, they help clean up the plains. They pick clean the bones of corpses even if diseased, helping to prevent such diseases spreading. In the delicate eco-system, every creature has a part to play – however ugly and evil they might appear!  So next time you see the movie, remember there’s a positive side to Scar’s wicked-looking assistants!

And there are other characters, too. In the space of a few days, you will get close to warthogs, though thankfully not close enough to see…sorry smell (!) whether they suffer from the same flatulence as Pumbaa, who features in the Lion King 2019 movie. Other ‘stars’ who liven up the movie, such as the mandrill (in the movie, Rafiki), meerkats (such as Timon) and hornbills (like Zazu), are also likely sightings as you stride Serengeti, the stage of some of Tanzania’s great natural dramas.

And the curtain comes down…

A mesmerising Serengeti sunset will bring the curtain down daily on your real-life drama. After seeing, hearing, smelling the endless wildlife of our Serengeti, a mere movie – however good – may never seem the same again.

See our website for details of all our Easy Travel safaris, including  opportunities to witness The Great Migration, surely one of the greatest sights on planet Earth. And there’s more: perhaps you would like to design your own safari, with one of our Tailor-made tours?  

A Walking Safari in Lake Manyara

Herd Of Elephants spotted on a walking Safari in Lake Manyara, Tanzania

Closer to Mother Nature

“I can smell elephant” says our guide in hushed tones.

Elephant? As a complete novice at taking a walking safari, I can only smell my own fear. The three of us have been on foot in the forests of Lake Manyara for about twenty minutes, tiptoeing in single file, motioning to each other with hand signals, whispering when words are required. I am spellbound: although this “elephant smell” is the morning’s first sign of large mammals, we have already discovered incredible facts about creatures so small that you would be completely unaware of their existence from the confines of a Land Cruiser. That is the joy of a walking safari.

All Creatures Great…and Small

Even a tiny, seemingly insignificant hole in the ground can reveal extraordinary secrets. I had never even heard of the antlion, a member of the so-called ‘Small Five’, each of which shares part of its name with the ‘Big Five’. We are standing over a little crater in the sand, no more than five centimetres in diameter and dug by the ant-lion. Like its feline namesake, this cunning creature uses ambush as its chosen hunting method. To demonstrate, our guide stoops down, finds an unfortunate ant and pops it in the crater. Furiously, the insect tries to scramble up the wall of the mini-crater, but the sandy surface offers it no help. Within a few seconds, up pops the antlion from below and the ant becomes lunch. Fresh, fast food, though looking around us at the hundreds of craters, there is plenty of competition from the neighbours.

The Beautiful Birdlife of Lake Manyara on a Walking safari

From lonely hunter to insect factory: the termite mound

While the antlion lurks in solitary style beneath the surface, the giant termite mound in front of us reveals a different, communal way of living. This strange mud-like construction has taken months to build and provides living-space to the genet, mongoose, civet cat and snakes, as well as thousands of termites – queen, king, soldiers and workers. (One creature who is definitely not welcome here is the aardvark, the termite’s biggest predator.) The mound’s careful construction gives it a constant temperature and can last for up to fifty years.

A pile of poo

What can you learn from a pile of animal dung? We are now poised over a huge pile of dik-dik poo, and I am wondering how a such a small, fragile little creature can have excreted so much at once. But our guide explains that the dik-dik will actually have only three or four places in his whole territory where he and his family will defecate, rather than just doing it in any old random location. Fresh poo is dropped on top of old poo, so any would-be predator struggles to pick up any clues as to the dik-dik’s most recent location. A clever strategy: “Being small in the bush you have to be smart to survive” our guide advises.

The smell of the elephant

As we reach a dried-out river bed, this is the moment that our guide catches a whiff of pachyderm. I stick my nose in the air, but my senses are amateur, and I smell nothing.

Sure enough though, a few moments later, a rustle of foliage will alert us to the presence of a small herd of elephant, and a low bellow of warning sends us into a cautious, slow-paced retreat. An elephant will always give you warning – and it’s one you need to obey! We even get a glimpse of some flapping, giant ears as we back off. Magical.

A giant’s grave

And then, there’s a tinge of sadness as we stumble upon a skeleton of a giraffe. Picked clean  – no doubt in accordance with the natural hierarchy – it has clearly been dead for some while. Only bones remain, as following the lion’s share – no other beast would have brought down a mammal of this size – the vultures and hyenas will also have had their fill. Our guide bends down to show us the teeth and explains how the giraffe is a “browser” in the way it eats. From the skull, he shows us the cranial bump and then the horn free of tuft which shows that this was a male; from the size of the foot, he concludes that this was indeed a big creature, even by giraffe standards.

Journey’s end

When we reach the end of our fascinating walk, down by Lake Manyara, a solitary yellow-billed stork stands guard over the shallow waters. A small squadron of the lake’s famous flamingos take off in formation, their slender frames making them look like mere pencil drawings as they stretch out in flight to their full, elegant length.

We wait on our vehicle to pick us up. All our safaris have been amazing, but our walking safari in Lake Manyara National Park will live long in the memory as a being a true highlight.   

Bottom Line?

At around 650 square kilometres, Lake Manyara is the third smallest national park in Tanzania. And only some of it is actually land, as the shallow waters of the lake occupy a large proportion of its space. Although small, the diverse environments ensure a good variety of wildlife and a great collection of bird species. The grassy floodplains are a favourite location, either permanent or seasonal, for large mammals such as buffalo, giraffe, hippo or maybe a troop of playful olive baboons. Don’t forget the hippo pool and keep an eye open for lion, cheetah and leopard too. The crowned eagle and African hawk-eagle are often seen looking for prey, and the lake is of course home to those wonderful flamingos.  

Getting You There?

At only around two hours’ drive west from Arusha, this small but magnificent park is incorporated into many of Easy Travel’s itineraries, or can be otherwise included in a custom-made safari. Just contact us and our exceptional customer service staff will help you organise a safari to meet your individual wishes and provide you with memories to last a lifetime. A walking safari is highly recommended!

11 Reasons Why Easy Travel is the Ultimate Safari Operator in Tanzania

Wildlife Skulls In The Serengeti - Tanzania

Traveling half-way across the world to Africa for a safari holiday of a lifetime is a big decision. We know. And whilst sitting in the office, or at home in the UK, US or where in the world you may be reading this from, it’s very tricky to pick one safari operator.

So, if you are wondering ‘Why Easy Travel?’ you’ve landed on the right blog post. We have compiled a list of 10 reasons, that should take you no longer than 3 minutes to read, about why Easy Travel is different to any other tour operator in Tanzania.

Ready? Let’s go!

1 – Trip Advisor’s Hall of Fame

For the past five years, Easy Travel has received TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence, placing us in their exclusive Hall of Fame. This comes after 1000+ positive reviews shared by the people we care about most: our clients!

Trip Advisor Hall Of Fame

2 – 30+ Years of Experience

Since 1987, Easy Travel has been offering world-class safari tours in Tanzania. That’s over three decades of accumulated knowledge and on-the-ground experience, financial stability, attention to detail, exceptional care and thousands of satisfied customers.

30 Years Of Safari Excellence In Tanzania

3 – Tailor-Made Tours

Easy Travel staff loves to craft customized itineraries for our clients. Obsessed with elephants? We know where to go. Sunrise hot air balloon ride over the Serengeti? No problem. Want to spend 7 days climbing Mount Kilimanjaro? Sure thing. Whatever your style — basic, comfort, comfort plus, luxury — we’ve got you covered.

A Romantic Getaway With Our Tailor Made Tours

4 – Our guides are beyond brilliant

Our friendly, passionate guides are experts at a wide variety of skills: Tanzania’s cultural and natural history, language skills, and first aid training. Easy Travel Guides are multilingual – speaking Swahili, English and either German, Spanish, French or Italian. Our guides truly go the extra mile to ensure each client always feels fully supported.

Our Amazing Guides In Tanzania

5 – KPAP Certified

For over three decades, Easy Travel been organizing treks to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, and we are a proud member of an elite group of KPAP-certified Kilimanjaro operators. As a KPAP-certified operator, we are dedicated to treating each and every porter with the uncompromising dignity they deserve.

KPAP Certified Porters With Easy Travel

6 – Best Safari Vehicles Fleet in Arusha

Easy Travel has an impressive fleet of 50 safari vehicles – with all the extra bells and whistles to navigate Tanzania. Our vehicles are sort of like SUVs on steroids! They are fully customized Land Cruisers complete with a pop-up roof, seven individual bucket seats, multiple device plugins, and its own cooler.

A Shot Of Easy Travels Off Road Safari Vehicle

7 – Easy Travel Has The Best In-House Auto Shop in Arusha

Because we take such great pride in our fleet, we’ve invested in our own full-service auto repair shop, to ensure that every SUV is 100% ready when the rubber meets the dirt. Only a handful of tour operators share this level of commitment. With veteran mechanics managing state-of the-art machinery, everything is completed in-house: the painting, welding, tailoring, electrical work. We even have our own fuel pump! Learn more about our Auto Shop.

Our Mechanics Working Hard On Our Fleet

8 – We Never Subcontract Safari Vehicles

East Africa is notorious for unrelenting roadways that challenge even the toughest vehicles. Because you will be spending considerable amounts of time inside your vehicle, one of the most important considerations for lasting comfort on safari is reliable, safe vehicles. For this reason, unlike many inbound tour operators in Tanzania, Easy Travel never subcontract any of their safari vehicles. After each safari, every vehicle receives a comprehensive service to ensure the vehicle is in excellent condition before it starts any trip.

Our Easy Travel Vehicles On Safari In Tanzania

9 – Top-Rated tour operator on TripAdvisor

On Tripadvisor, 96% of our 1,374 reviews gave us a five-star rating, making Easy Travel the highest rated tour operating company in the region.

Top Tour Operators In Tanzania

10 – Female Empowerment

Female empowerment is a central pillar of our success! 50% of our employees are female. This has without a doubt, made us a stronger, more resilient and happier team.

Female Empowerment At Easy Travel

11 – Environmental stewardship

Being part of the tourism industry, our existence depends on a thriving natural environment. Our mission is to ensure we play a leading role as environmental stewards. During our recent World Environment Day clean-up the team collected a staggering amount of 74,631 plastic bags and 16,206 plastic bottles! Read more about our clean-up efforts:

World Environment Day

World Earth Day

Environmental Stewardship

 


Getting You There?

To learn more about Easy Travel’s top-rated Tanzanian tours and their high bar of excellence, start by reviewing Safari packages, Mount Kilimanjaro Treks, or Spice Island getaways. Get started here.

Why Elephant Trunks Have 40,000 Muscles (And Other Amazing Facts for World Elephant Day)

Young Elephant In The Serengeti

From a distance, you’re the first to spot a string of dots moving slowly along the Serengeti horizon. From the comfort of your safari vehicle these animals appear small, almost like ants, as they march single-file.

“Let’s go get a closer look,” says your guide. Yes, you think. Yes, please.

The speed picks up. Dust spirals behind your vehicle. Each member of your small group holds onto their hats as the Land Cruiser draws near, closer, so close now that those horizon dots grow feet and legs, big legs, legs the size of trees. And above those legs flap huge ears, wailing trunks, and leather skin.

Closer you drive until you’re twenty feet from these beasts, animals about as far from ants as you could ever imagine. You’ve spotted a herd of thirty African bush elephants. The herd is spread out, and your guide explains they are all headed towards the river for a drink.

“They can drink up to fifty gallons a day,” your guide explains. “About the amount of a typical bathtub!”

This flotilla of land mammals — the largest on the planet — slides steadily along the savannah, and you drive along next to them for the next hour, speechless, in awe. Sure, this landscape is vast, but this elephant sighting just made it larger-than-life.

Herd Of Elephants Spotted On A Safari In Tanzania

Introducing the African Bush Elephant

A safari just isn’t complete without an intimate encounter with an African bush elephant. These Cadillacs of the Serengeti are just too iconic, and too powerful to avoid.

As one of the “Big 5“, you will most certainly encounter your fair share of elephants in Tanzania, so why not arrive with a few important elephant facts?

  • Species Name: Loxidonta africana. There are three recognized species of elephants — the African Bush, African Forest, and Asian. You will likely only see the African bush elephants on safari.
  • Average lifespan: 60-70 years. Elephants have no natural predators, other than humans. Some experts say that teeth health actually determine an elephants lifespan! (Source)
  • Size: 8-12 feet. Some adults can reach up to 24 feet in length, too!
  • Range: African bush elephants are located only in Central and South Africa.
  • Estimated Population: Roughly 415,000 African elephants. Before the 20th century there were an estimated 3-5 million.

A Lone Elephant Walking Through The Serengeti

Elephants by the Numbers: Five Need-to-Know Statistics about the African Bush Elephant.

24,000 Pounds. This is the weight of the largest known elephant ever recorded (11,000 kg), discovered in Angola. The average adult elephant you will see on an Easy Travel safari will be around 13,000 pounds (5,900 kg) for males and 6,600 pounds (3,000 kg) for females.

300 Pounds. Large bodies mean large appetites, and the African bush elephant is constantly having to shove grasses, roots, and bark into its mouth to fend off hunger. These guys are known to eat upwards of 300-350 pounds of food per day!

40,000 Muscles. Each trunk of an average elephant carries 40,000 muscles in their trunk. Crazy, right? Unlike popular belief, these trunks are not used for drinking but, rather, to flip water into their mouths, almost like a spoon. Here are some other amazing things for which elephants use their trunks.

50 Years. Adult elephants will mate up until they are aged 50, and females will typically give birth every 5 years. Sometimes the births can take days, and baby elephants, as you might have guessed, are large upon arrival. Can you imagine giving birth to a baby that weighs 300 pounds? (Source)

8/12. Mark your calendars, because August 12 is World Elephant Day, a day dedicated to “bring attention to the urgent plight of the Asian and African elephants” worldwide. Started in 2011, this day is now officially recognized by over 65 wildlife organizations, many countries, and popular celebrities. Easy Travel supports World Elephant Day, along with many social and environmental initiatives. Learn more and follow their important work here.

Two Young Elephants Playing With Their Trunks On Safari In Tanzania

 

Top 3 Easy Travel Destinations to Spot Elephants? Tarangire National Park, the Serengeti, and Ngorongoro Crater

Bottom Line?

We love elephants. So much. To be fair, there are dozens more fascinating elephant behaviors to learn about — Herds are led by a matriarch! Elephants grieve and weep, and feel joy! — but know this: any Easy Travel tour will guarantee you a close-up experience with these incredible African bush elephants, found nowhere else on Earth. Our experienced guides have decades of experience and can share loads of elephant information with you, too.

 


Getting You There?

Contact us today and let’s get you started on designing an experience of a lifetime. Our Easy Travel staff can customize trips for you to elephant-dense corners of Tanzania.

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