Tanzanian tour guide ready for TIYOWritten by Brandi Barhite | Community Ombudsman | firstname.lastname@example.org
When members of the Toledo International Youth Orchestra (TIYO) arrive in Tanzania, tour guide David Kimea will be there to greet them.
The native will accompany the young musicians and their chaperones “to make sure everything runs smoothly,” he wrote in an e-mail to the Toledo Free Press.
Kimea started IYLA Tours & Safaris in Tanga one and half years ago and has served 100 clients, “as the financial times in the world has not been too good,” he stated.
Before opening his own company, he worked with his uncles in Arusha for about 10 years. There, he arranged similar tours; safari tours and Kilimanjaro climbing for small and large groups, he said.
Kimea plans to take TIYO through several cities, including Dar es Salaam, Bagamoyo, Stone Town in Zanzibar, Jambiani in Zanzibar, Tanga and Arusha.
The group will also pass by Moshi, “and if they are lucky and the sky is clear, they will see Kilimanjaro,” he said.
“It is a lot of places, and the distances between them are huge, so it will be a very packed eight days,” he said in his e-mail. “If it was up to me, I would do this schedule over a longer period of time, maybe two weeks or three weeks.”
TIYO leaves for Tanga, Tanzania, on June 28, but won’t arrive in Africa until June 30 because of the time difference and a layover in London.
The main objective of the trip is to perform for the natives and give musical lessons to the children. TIYO already raised money to have a music classroom built at Toledo Secondary School in Tanga, which is Toledo’s sister city.
Kimea said he put up the travel schedule together with the help of John Henry Fullen of Toledo Sister Cities International, as well as Rachel Dove, an UT graduate who has lived in Tanzania for the past year. They arranged meetings with the schools and officials in Tanga, Bagamoyo, Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam.
From a tourist’s point of view, Kimea said the safari to Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara, as well as the dolphin tour will be highlights of the trip. On the safari, TIYO will see “the big five,” if they are lucky, which are lions, buffalos, rhinos, leopards and elephants, he said. Those on the trip will sleep in a camp area while on safari, and cooks will prepare dinner on an open fire in the camp area.
The Ngorongoro Crater is home to a massive amount of animals in a relatively small area, which used to be a volcanic crater several hundred years ago, but today is one of the most beautiful, green areas in the country, Kimea said.
One of the biggest fears for travelers is being robbed.
“Many tourists are very scared of that when travelling to an African country and it is understandable as it is a poor country,” he said. “I calm them down by saying that they should leave valuables at the hotel and only walk around with a small amount of cash and not flash their money around. Also, that they should be careful showing off their fancy mobiles and cameras in crowded places.”
For the most part, a trip to Tanzania is affordable if tourists are used to backpacking and staying in low-budget hotels, Kimea said. The price goes up as tourists ask for diving excursions and luxury tours.
Kimea said not many residents make their living through tourism in Tanga, unlike Arusha, which is close to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, and in Moshi, where tourists can climb Kilimanjaro.
“The tourism in Tanga is currently developing, but it has not reached the level of tourism that you may find in other places in Tanzania,” he said. “In a few years, I think Tanga will have a greater position in the tourism sector than today, as many hotels are being built, a new harbor is planned, tourism networks are being sat up and people are starting to hear more about Tanga and the underestimated places and untouched nature you find in this region.”
For more information, visit www.ilyatours.com.