Peter’s African Safari Travel Diary

As usual we started our game drive early in the morning after having a restful night at the Rufiji River Camp. Our goal today was to drive up besides the Rufiji river bed and see what animals we would be able to photograph and film. Pretty soon we could see several groups of giraffes in the morning sunlight grazing down at the river.


We all were immediately busy to catch these wonderful moments with our cameras and soon forgot about time, this is something very usual when you are on safari and have a sighting on a beautiful place.



While driving further down to the river we came through pretty dense forests and there were again elephants looking for fresh green. Especially one young male gave a nice performance for us, not only eating but already trying to impress us with some attacking games.


We soon reached the river where lot of palm trees and very juicy grassland gave home to a number of animals, especially a blue heron was hunting in the wet grounds and showing us some nice poses.



A breakfast is always welcome after these exciting sightings and Nelson our guide had prepared a delicious table for us. I love drinking my coffee out in the wild!


Quick forward to some other parts of the game park we were lucky to see giraffes again as well as many zebras and even a leopard but she was too far away to get a decent picture from her.


Before returning to the lodge we found a group of lions resting in the shade, yes it already had become pretty hot around 10:00am.


At noon we had to leave this beautiful place and head to Arusha via Dar Es Salam. The flight to Dar Es Salam was pretty much packed this time and we arrived after a short flight.


This airport is an interesting place to watch natives and we got the chance to do that over the next 2 hours or so because our connection flight to Arusha would not leave before 4:30pm. The native people are all very nice and friendly and in general good looking.


After we were up in the air again the sun went down pretty fast and we arrived at Arusha airport after 6:00pm in almost darkness.


A driver was already waiting for us and brought us to the nearby Coffee Lodge, which is indeed right in a coffee plantation. What a beautiful place and what kind welcome we received there! We immediately went to our rooms and got ready for dinner, where we would meet this evening with local ground handlers of Roho Ya Chui safari tours to enjoy the deilicous food of the lodge’s restaurant.


After a nice dinner that was served in the perfect setting of this lodge and a lot of exciting conversations we went back to our rooms to prepare for the next day adventures. Being well prepared needs to become a no brainer when you have to be ready for shooting the next morning – all batteries charged, all equipment cleaned and hopefully all photos and videos taken during the day stored and backed up – well at least one tries the best.

Peter Tomsu for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

Peter’s African Safari Travel Diary

We were starting this adventure through National Parks in Tanzania and Kenia from Zanzibar, where we had the privilege to stay in a stunning place called Next Paradise that turned out to be a real secret marvel at the Indian Ocean. This hotel is lead by Stuart and his wife. Stuart is an interesting, friendly and very much caring guy actually from Italy and living here in Zanzibar for many years now.



We, these were my friends Ute Sonnenberg from Roho Ya Chui ( South Africa and Joel Lipton from LA and me from Austria. We all had arrived the evening before and now had far too soon to leave already for our African Safari sight inspection tour over the next few days, but at least  we got to see a wonderful sunrise when first looking out of our rooms this morning.



Our destination for this day was the wonderful Ruaha National Park in Tanzania that we could access by small airplanes typically of the type Cessna Caravan via Dar Es Salam. On our second flight the captain was Peter Fox himself, one of the directors of the local airline as well as the lodge where we would stay. We arrived at noon at the local air strip in Ruaha, where our guide Alex was already waiting for us. Our goal was to stay as long as possible in the bush and arrive at the Ruaha River Lodge as late as possible, in order to give us maximum time for doing our photography and cinematography. Now it was a big advantage to travel in a small group where all members had essentially the same interests. We started to shoot ourselves warm with some nice baobab trees that can be found especially in these areas of Africa.



While driving deeper into the bush towards the Ruaha river, there was no shortage of all different kind of animals, giraffes, elephants, antelopes, zebras, and of course birds, well you could ask which birds, but as I am no bird specialist yet I’d rather like not to specify them the wrong way. We made a stop near by the river for lunch and  from there it was nice to watch the animals grazing in the dried parts of the riverbed.



Our first lion of this trip was a lioness obviously enjoying the shadow nearby the river. We did not expect the lioness lying around almost unprotected and easily watchable and she was not scared at all that we took pictures and videos of her as we got close to almost 10 meters, well an experienced guide can make this possible!



A herd of elephants was scanning the riverbed for greens and it is always amazing to watch these animals walking together and doing their thing as a group. They usually keep their babies in the middle of the group for protection, but there in the wide and quiet riverbed they all felt so safe that they obviously loosened this rule a lot. We followed this group when they came out of the riverbed to find food somewhere else while moving in the beautiful Ruaha sunset. It was time for us to drive to the lodge, where we had dinner and went to bed tired but happy after that first day of our adventure. Tomorrow would be another interesting day starting early.


Peter Tomsu for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

Giraffes 101

giraffes in okavango delta

One of the most charming and impressive animals to come across on a safari is the giraffe. With their impossibly long legs, sweet faces, and unique patterns of spots, giraffe sightings make your African adventure all the more magical.

Amazing Facts About Giraffes

Giraffes eat leaves, particularly of the acacia tree. Because they are so tall, they don’t need to compete with smaller animals—they just eat off the highest branches.  Acacia trees have thorns that prevent most animals from consuming them, but giraffes’ 45 cm long tongues have adapted to be able to handle them.

Giraffes are large animals that may eat up to 75 pounds of food a day to maintain their energy levels. And because they only chow down on a few leaves with each bite, they spend most of their days eating— literally! They require some of the least amount of sleep out of any mammal, and spend only 10 minutes to two hours snoozing each day!

Drinking from watering holes requires bending down in an awkward and vulnerable position for, making it easier for predators to attack them. Luckily, giraffes receive most of their hydration from the juicy acacia leaves they spend all day nibbling on.

Giraffes are the tallest mammals on earth, at 18 feet tall! Just their necks alone are 600 pounds in weight and six feet in height. Even baby giraffes are born six feet tall. When they are birthed, the mother is standing up and the calf drops about six feet to the ground. But don’t worry, the babies are fine from the fall. They can actually stand within just a half hour after being born, and run alongside their family after only ten hours.

Where to See Giraffes and Your Unique African Safari Package

Kruger National Park—South Africa: The open woodlands of Kruger, paired with the highly skilled safari guides, increase your odds of spotting a giraffe in the park. Private reserves bordering the area mean you will be completely immersed in nature, making it even more likely you’ll come across a variety of wildlife. Our 10 day Kruger Victoria Falls and Okavango African safari package makes for the perfect trip, especially if you’re eager to see a six foot neck!

Selous Game Reserve—Tanzania: The shores near the Rufiji River in the Selous Game Reserve are often referred to as “Giraffe Park” because there are so many giraffes in the area. Visit between June and October to see herds of giraffe moving along the riverbanks as well at plenty of other exotic wildlife. Our Grand Tour of Tanzania package includes three days in Selous, which is right next to Rufiji River Camp.

Etosha National Park—Namibia: Namibia’s bleak landscape is actually a positive feature when it comes to spotting giraffes. Because of its flat plains and minimal amounts of water, you can usually count on finding a cluster of wildlife at the few watering holes.

Etosha has tons of acacia trees in large open spaces, meaning giraffes are as visible as it gets. Take a look at our Best of Namibia African safari package for a two-night stay at Andersson’s Camp just south of Etosha in the Ongava Game Reserve. A floodlit waterhole at the camp means you can spot wildlife all day and night. For more information on our safari adventures, contact us at Roho Ya Chui today!

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

An Encounter with Giraffes


giraffes after rain

Are you hoping to travel to Africa to go on an African safari vacation in the near future? If so, you are probably very excited about the multitude of animals that you will have the opportunity to see. While many are impressed with the lions, tigers, bears and water buffalo that call the area home, others are hoping to be inspired by the creativity of nature.

One of the most amazing animals that can be found in Africa is the giraffe. This model of physiological ingenuity has amazed both spectators and scientists alike. There is no experience that comes close to matching the wonder that is brought by going on an African safari vacation. Your encounter with giraffes will certainly be an unforgettable moment. Here is a bit of information on this magnificent creature.

Tallest Land Animal on Earth

Most people know that you will be looking up when you get close to a giraffe, but understanding that they are tell does not quite prepare you for the reality of your meeting. Giraffes are the tallest land animals that are currently walking the planet. They see above the trees and make for great reporters. These animals could easily look into a second story window while standing flat footed.

Giraffes are characterized by having a small hump that is located on their back. They are splendidly colored in a way that is very similar to that of a leopard. The brilliant shades of orange and browns makes them easier to spot on the horizon.

No, It Is Not Tired

Giraffes appear to move slowly, taking their time to get from place to place over the vast landscapes of South Africa. You might wonder if the animal was tired after seeing it move in that fashion, but giraffes actually need very little sleep. Five to 30 minutes is all that this creature needs to thrive without being too tired. Even on very little sleep, the giraffe is still capable of watching for and running from terrible predators.

Their Diet

Keeping that giant-sized body up to weight requires the giraffe to intake huge quantities of food throughout the day — 75 pounds of food, to be exact. They eat mostly the leaves of trees, and since they do not get many leaves in one bite, giraffes spend most of their day munching away so that they can keep up their weight. Their favorite food is the leaves of the acacia tree.

Expect Noise

Contrary to popular belief, giraffes do make a bit of noise, though they are not loud. They focus their vocal energy on grunting, moos, roars, grunts, hisses and snorts. This is a way of communication that helps the giraffe to warn others before they become the next meal for a while.

Going on an African safari vacation and seeing so many amazing animals is a trip that you will never forget. Your encounter with a giraffe is sure to be amazing. If you would like more information, visit our African safari tours page or contact a representative with Rohoyachui today.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa