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Tips for Planning the Perfect African Safari

Featured on bucket lists everywhere and featuring in dreams of seasoned travelers the world over, an African safari is widely regarded as a once-in-a-lifetime kind of adventure. And with good cause—few other experiences offer the life-changing encounters and the perspective-shifting moments that define an incredible safari.  It’s not too surprising, then, that they can be […]

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The Complete African Safari Vacation Packing List & Guide

You’ve dreamed of going on safari for the longest time and now it’s all in motion: you’re finally heading to the savannahs of the Serengeti, the sprawling crater floor of Ngorongoro, and the verdant jungles of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Your sights are set and your flights are booked—now, what in the world do you pack […]

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Travel Dreams Aloft: Serengeti National Park Hot Air Balloon Safaris

Picture this: Dawn is seconds away from breaking across the acacia-strung savannahs of East Africa, and the twilight air breezing at your back is grippingly chilled and pristinely fresh. The morning grass is sprinkled with dew drops—or at least that’s what you remember seeing just minutes ago, as the drooped blades slowly shrunk from your […]

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African Safari Etiquette: 8 Tips for How to Behave on Safari

One of the things we love most about going on safari is the chance to spend our days and nights in a different world—a rugged realm free of modern intrusions, each moment threaded with a closer connection to nature. It’s wild out here, but like the jungle has its law and the road its rules, […]

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Best List of Gifts to Bring on African Safari

Whenever we’re visiting a friend for dinner, or being invited into an acquaintance’s home for the first time, we always like to show up with a little something special in tow – gifts to bring on African safari for the locals, youth, and even your safari travel guide. On their jaunts through East Africa, many […]

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Who are the Big Five Safari Animals? Spotting Africa’s Most-wanted

Out here in the savannahs of East Africa, the trip planners at Penwell have seen myriad clever lists declared, enticing safari-goers to search every corner of the continent in the name of crossing creatures off their checklists. The “shy five,” the “Samburu special five,” the “impossible five,” and even the “ugly five” have been used […]

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Inside East Africa’s Private Safari Camps and Lodges

When it comes to East Africa, savvy safari-goers know that choosing the right camp is crucial to crafting a perfectly customized and private safari travel story. Gone are the days when private safari camps and lodges were simply a place for weary travelers to rest their heads between game drives. Honestly, when we first started […]

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Private Fly Camping in the Bush (Tanzania Safari)

Just about every private African Safari comes with the opportunity to get away from it all—to connect with nature and get immersed in a wilder world. But when it comes down to it, nothing quite compares to the pure, exhilarating experience of fly camping. At an overnight camp set up exclusively for you, you’ll enjoy […]

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Unnatural Selection: Why Tuskless Elephants Are on the Rise

Next time you’re out on safari with us, pay close attention to the elephants. See anything unusual? Depending on where we’re touring, you might notice that one of the more identifying features of African elephants—their tusks—are suddenly in short supply. Lately, tuskless elephants are more common than they are rare. Spotting a grown elephant without […]

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The Maasai Tribe: An Introduction to East Africa’s Timeless Nomads

From the swaying grasslands of the Serengeti to the heights of mighty Kilimanjaro and the vast plains of Tsavo, the lands along the Kenya-Tanzania border – including the Maasai Mara National Reserve – have seen millions of safari-goers in recent decades. But to the pastoralist Maasai people, this part of the Great Rift Valley has […]

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The Complete Luxury Safari Guide: Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

Here at Penwell, we’ve jeeped through the sprawling plains of Maasai Mara National Reserve more times than we can count on both hands—and we’ve gotta keep those hands on the wheel! There’s so much to see and do in this little slice of Kenya; whenever we’re out in the Mara, we know we’ve got friends […]

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Cable Car Plans Hang in the Air on Mount Kilimanjaro

Have you dreamed of completing the bucket-list challenge of a trek to the “roof of Africa?” This challenge may no longer be a feat. In the near future, travelers may be able to take a cable car to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania according to Reuters and other local sources who are familiar […]

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8 Reasons to Experience the Great Wildebeest Migration Safari

If you have only one chance in your lifetime to visit Africa, you must experience the great migration safari across Kenya and Tanzania. If you have already been to Africa but have not yet witnessed this awesome event, come again so you can see it with your own eyes. Watching a massive number of wildebeests […]

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Ngorongoro Safari: The Crown Jewel of Tanzania Safari

“You’ve Been to Tanzania?! Did you go experience Ngorongoro safari?” A traveler to Tanzania is guaranteed to get this question from any fellow visitor—or from anyone eagerly anticipating a journey there. Your inquirer’s success in smoothly pronouncing “Ngorongoro” will indicate whether or not they’ve seen this wonder firsthand; what looks like a mouthful on the […]

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Rubondo Island Safari: The Chimpanzee Habituation Project

Tucked away along the southwestern shore of Lake Victoria, tiny Rubondo island offers altruistic tourists a unique opportunity to contribute to both the scientific and safari communities: a symbiotic chimpanzee trek where your own positive presence is the best gift you can give. Here, amongst 240 square kilometers of volcanic hills and forested slopes, you’re […]

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5 Must-see Parks and Reserves while on Tanzania Safari

Considering a custom safari to Tanzania? We can’t recommend the place enough. The rough-and-tumble little brother to Kenya’s classic safari experience, Tanzania’s got everything from volcanos to villages and rhinos to rift valleys, plus an unbelievable cast of critters in every location. With 16 national parks and over a third of the countryside under conservation, […]

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Best Times of the Year to Experience the Great Wildebeest Migration Safari (Tanzania & Kenya)

If it’s happening on safari in Tanzania or Kenya, you know it’s going to take a lot of superlatives to describe it—and the Great Migration safari is certainly no exception. The greatest show on Earth, the planet’s largest movement of mammals on hoof, and a constant must-see for safari veterans and newcomers alike, the never-ending […]

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Rare African Safari Animal Sightings in Kenya & Tanzania

Everyone dreams of coming back from Africa with a head full of tales about the amazing, and hopefully rare African safari animals, they saw out on safari. Sighting the “big five”—lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and Cape buffalo—is the classic achievement, of course. If you should meet our ancient primate cousins in the jungles of western […]

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Best Alcoholic African Safari Sundowner Drinks

A day on safari can go a lot of different directions. You might set out on walkabout tours at dawn, followed by misty treks through verdant jungles and dusty game drives in the afternoon. There are villages to visit and people to meet, animals to see and unforgettable sights to take in—and, of course, some […]

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Meet Your Planners

Who’s calling the shots here? Meet your private safari travel planner. We here at Penwell like to think of our team as an extended family—guides, planners, us, you. But the “I” in the team, the great woman standing behind every great plan—that’s Kathy Harvey, African Safari planner and Penwell African Safaris founder. Animal rights advocate […]