One Night Abroad in Tanzania, Africa: Serengeti Plains – Serengeti National Park
We’re going on an African Safari in the Serengeti! Actually, this is part of Smartling’s One Night Abroad Project. Smartling is a small company that was founded in 2009 and is currently headquartered in New York City. Smartling’s cloud-based software platform streamlines the process of creating and delivering multilingual content to customers anywhere in the world. Essentially, Smartling is a company that translates websites. I was asked to plan in detail the ideal night abroad. Such as, how I personally would assimilate myself into a foreign culture using language, food, and fashion! I’ll need to fit in well so I’ll have to learn the culture, dress “appropriately,” breakdown any language barriers, make travel plans and choose a cuisine among other things. By creating these types of scenarios, I believe, Smartling is able to stay in touch with the world’s forever changing communication and interpretation variables. Smartling is also able to better accommodate clients when developing and marketing software technologies. I’ve decided to take Smartling along with me on the ideal perfect “One Night Abroad” in Africa!
I think it’s best to put, at least, your ego aside when traveling abroad and show some respect for cultural tradition. In Tanzania, where the Serengeti Plains are located, there is a diverse cultural background. Luckily, English is one of the official languages spoken in Tanzania along with Swahili. Kiswahili or Swahili is the official language, while English is considered the official primary language of commerce, administration, and higher education. Arabic is also widely spoken. Especially in Zanzibar which is known for its beautiful beaches. I happen to speak, read and write a number of secondary languages, and Arabic happens to be one that I’ve dabbled in. Enough to get me by let’s say… Typically when traveling in Africa a native will be assigned as guide who will accompany you everywhere. So language doesn’t seem to pose much of a problem. It’s probably best to learn a few common phrases and words anyway. Or have some sort of access to a travel dictionary or phrase book. Keep in mind there are also many other local languages. Religions will be the next thing to take into consideration. On the mainland the population is 30% Christian, 35% Muslim and 35% have indigenous beliefs. Zanzibar is more than 99% Muslim in population. Tanzania’s population totals at around 39 million. The currency used there is called a Tanzanian Shilling. The conversion rate is 1.00 TZS = 0.000597729 USD or 1 USD = 1,673.00 TZS. Which if my math is correct then one shilling is equal to much much less than a penny. Sounds like a pretty economical trip if I do say so myself. Tanzania’s climate is tropical due to its location just south of the equator in East Africa bordering the Indian Ocean. There are two rainy seasons. The Masika has the heaviest rains that come during mid-March to May. The mvuli has a shorter period of rain from November to mid-January. Then there is the dry season. This is the best time to visit Africa for the trip that I’ve planned. Temperatures are cooler and last from May to October. Travelers find Tanzania to be one of the more popular destinations in East Africa. Of the many natural attractions there are the beaches of Zanzibar, Mount Kilimanjaro, the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater. Because of Tanzania’s poor infrastructure; physical geography, roadways, and general transportation systems, land travel takes a lot of time to get around in such a large country. Tanzanians have a reputation for being very friendly. Outside of petty theft violent crime is substantially rare. – http://goafrica.about.com/od/tanzania/a/tanzaniafacts.htm
I can’t imagine anything more beautiful than a hot air balloon ride at dawn over the Serengeti Plains. The Serengeti is a National Park which makes any night drives, walking safaris and off-roading strictly forbidden. A lot of time will be spent in a vehicle while in the Serengeti so a hot air balloon ride is a welcomed change of pace. – http://goafrica.about.com/od/tanzaniaparksandreserves/ig/Serengeti-National-Park/Hot-Air-Ballooning-in-the-Serengeti-.htm
When on safari in the Serengeti an open topped 4×4 Jeep is the best way to travel and also allows for maximum viewing pleasure. Choosing the right vehicle is important. Up to six hours a day can be spent traveling in a car. I definitely want to make sure it’s comfortable and that there is plenty of food and water packed. More than five or six passengers often makes the safari ride not as enjoyable as it could be. Room to comfortably stretch your arms and to stand up on the seats, and poke your head through the roof to truly enjoy all the wildlife is key. – http://goafrica.about.com/od/tanzaniaparksandreserves/ig/Serengeti-National-Park/Typical-Safari-Vehicle–Serengeti-.htm
I want to see the zebras which is why visiting in the dry season from May to October is the best time for the safari. In the Serengeti National Park is where the great annual migration of millions of wildebeest and zebra begins and ends. The zebra population is growing more each year. The start of the great annual migration happens in June. On the central Serengeti Plains there are thousands of zebra with their young. They spend their time grazing and resting their heads on the others backs. Absolutely breathtaking to imagine. It isn’t too uncommon to find a lion stalking a herd when on safari out in the wild. – http://goafrica.about.com/od/tanzaniaparksandreserves/ig/Serengeti-National-Park/Serengeti-Great-Migration–Zebra–Tanzania.htm
Within the Serengeti National Park there are designated camps for visitors to camp at overnight. I’m marveling at the thought of staying in a mobile tented camp on the banks of the Grumeti River at the Tanganyika Wilderness Camp. From the picture it looks really accommodating and upscale. Each tent even has a flushing toilet and warm shower. There is staff on duty to service you and fresh food. At night you can enjoy a nice camp fire. All of this under a bright starry sky right in the midst of the wildlife during the great annual migration. Hippos, hyenas and lions, “Oh my!” – http://goafrica.about.com/od/tanzaniaparksandreserves/ig/Serengeti-National-Park/Mobile-Tented-Camp–Serengeti-.htm
Now for the grand finale…..my wardrobe! A tropical climate in the dry season is perfect. With an average high around 80 degrees and a low of 60 degrees. Can’t beat that. A Diva is a diva is a diva. My style for my One Night Abroad is definitely from the runway to the wild. Here are some fun looks to play with.