A five star experience doesn’t just happen at five star locations. The extent to which an excellent guide enhances a trip goes beyond finding and identifying animals. A professional guide knows how to give each opportunity and experience that little twist to make it the best, which is also why leading safaris are planned by the guides themselves.
KIDS ON SAFARI
Going on safari with children can be one of the most rewarding experiences in their lives, especially with the right guide. Children usually have a great interest in how things work and are often curious and adventurous. Ethan is able to bring information down to a level they understand and make sure there are plenty of opportunities for children to actively have fun and explore safely. With experience training guides, a college degree in outdoor activity development, and a love for having fun himself, Ethan can turn the safari into an exciting learning experience for children.
Most of the locations Ethan takes people to are areas where walking safaris are possible. Ethan believes that to experience the essence of Africa, you must be on foot, in silence — tracking game, crossing rolling hills, and exploring. Most of the more comfortable and exclusive camps offer shorter walking safaris that are limited to 2–6hrs, depending on their location. Alternatively, multiple day walking safaris are possible in almost all the National Parks including Serengeti, Tarangire, Ruaha and Katavi National Parks, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and all of the Game Reserves in Tanzania. In northern Kenya, camel safaris are also a fantastic option. The longer walks involve more planning but are an unbeatable experience.
Fly camping, often combined with walks, brings a new dimension to safari. No experience compares to sleeping under the stars and listening to lions roar, hyena whoop, and the stillness of the night. Ethan often recommends at least one night in a fly camp.
Cultural experiences are often a highlight of a safari, yet if not done well can be extremely detrimental to the local culture and economy. Having grown up in Tanzania, Ethan cringes at some of the so-called "genuine and authentic experiences" sold to tourists. Genuine experiences come spontaneously by creating the right environment for exchange rather than observation, especially in conjunction with philanthropy.
By making time within or adding a few days to a safari to get off-the beaten track, you can get into the heart of Hadza hunting and gathering grounds or off into peripheral areas of the Serengeti ecosystem to spend time with the Maasai.
The most memorable cultural experiences happen when the observer-subject barriers are broken. Participation in small projects can be an extremely rewarding and enjoyable experience. Follow this link to read about how a morning in a village can help a whole community.
THE OCEAN AND ISLANDS
Tanzania would merely be Tanganyika if it were not for its union with Zanzibar and the islands off its coast. Easily accessible, the islands offer every level of comfort and the full array of marine activities — merely relaxing on the beach can round off a wonderful safari on the mainland. Ethan’s preference is for the less commercialized Pangani coast, and Mafia Island, especially between November and March when the Whale sharks make their annual appearance just off Mafia’s north shore.
MAMMAL SAFARIS OR OTHER SPECIAL INTEREST SAFARIS
It’s easy to offer a safari to see the normal charismatic wildlife- buffalo, lions, zebra, giraffe, elephant etc. but finding more elusive mammals- aardvarks, aardwolves, striped hyenas etc. can be more challenging and involve applying more care in planning a safari. Ethan’s knowledge, enthusiasm, and contacts within the industry allow for creating more focused itineraries that require that little extra thought in planning, skill in executing, and perseverance.