Dear Dashir Friends

Well, well, well. Here we are, a long ways from my last blog. My apologies for being quiet since then. I’ll spare you the excuses, so without further ado, here we go! 🙂

Distancing during our morning staff meetings.

At Dashir, we are doing very well. We are incredibly happy that COVID-19 has had little effect in Africa so far, as compared to many other countries. Hard to know why, but suffice to say we are ever so grateful. So far, there are no known cases in our Dashir staff families of 45 employees and casual workers, and also none in our Kikwe village community. The city of Arusha was hit hard for a few weeks and now it has died down completely (we have our Arusha people who can provide us with accurate inside information). We are continuing to provide half work and salary for our 30 employees for as long as we are able. Our workers are learning to practice distancing, hand washing, and sanitizing procedures.

Screening for all at the Dashir gate

Of course tourism has been virtually non-existent in Tanzania for the past two months, having a drastic effect on the economy in our Arusha area, which is largely dependent on tourism. We do not expect any business or worker subsidies from the government. On June 1st, most of the safari hotels and lodges opened up in Tanzania, under strict health protocols. Our international airport opened on May 18th, with no quarantine if guests pass screening. Qatar, Ethiopian, and Turkish are some airlines which have started regular flights each week to Tanzania. Several hundred tourists are on safari already and more are coming. As some quip, “distancing is easy in the expansive Serengeti plains”!

At Dashir, we will open July 1st for guests who are able to come; those who would be the “early safari adopters” during COVID-19. We believe that Dashir and safari can be done in a very safe fashion, with much of the experience being outdoors, even at meal times. Drivers will have regular testing, while lodges and vehicles will be continuously and thoroughly sanitized.

One thing I have done almost every day in the past two months is a post to our Facebook page, featuring current safari videos and life at Dashir. Have a look to see what’s been happening.  

We are excited to have started a new chat session series – candid, fun, informative, and uncut – with the four of us who toured Canada last year: Darryl, Shirley, Simon, and Jeremiah. The episodes will air each week on Facebook and YouTube. Check out the pilot episode we shot in one take with no prep at the end of May.

The Dashir 4 Pilot Banter Session – Coffee Culture and Starbucks

Ok, that it’s for now. Glad to finally get back on track with a regular blog. We are currently working on some exciting initiatives to benefit our staff and community, and will inform you about those soon. In addition, we are offering a nice discount on future safaris for those who are interested and able. More details on that also coming soon on Facebook and our Website.

In the meantime, stay well, enjoy the outdoors, and feel free to drop us a note any time.

Have a nice day.


Darryl, for Shirley and our Dashir Family


What an amazing adventure we had in Canada this year! And getting all four of us there was an epic journey in and of itself.

The 4 musketeers getting ready to leave Tanzania.
Hamilton – day after arriving in Canada – cold!!!

Visa Scare

Shirley and I decided to bring along two of our superb drivers, to help spice up the information sessions, and for them to enjoy Canada and culture with our family and friends. Simon and Jeremiah were so excited, but there were big gut checks when it took a whopping 5 months to get Jeremiah’s passport, leaving only 4 weeks to apply for the two visitor visas. So, with our hearts in our throats, Shirley made a quick trip to Dar es Salaam with the guys. Somehow we got the visas in 2 weeks! Oh joy unspeakable (especially since we had already advertised with them and purchased their air tickets).

Outside CN Tower Toronto
Coquihalla Snowball Fight. Check out Shirley’s footware!

Canada Tour

We spent 6 weeks trotting across Canada in April and May – well, mostly flying (5 times) and a fair bit of driving – visiting 9 major city centres to promote Dashir Lodge & Safaris: Oakville, Ottawa, Langley, Kelowna, Calgary, Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton, and Winnipeg. A special thanks to the kind folks (and hotels) who provided a bed and breakfast, and cheered us on as we moved about.

Travel, Cold, and Capuccinos

Simon and Jeremiah were taken with the breadth and width of Canada, the nice cars, the ease of business transactions and transportation (e.g. renting a car at the airport and driving away within 15 minutes), and the cold! – a few snowy days, a snowball fight, and snowman building. Alas, if only they had come in January. Starbucks was a frequent stop – cappuccino and lemon loaf, especially for Jeremiah and Shirley (the spenders!).

Homelessness and Winnipeg Harvest

Often asked, “What surprises you about Canada?” S & J often mentioned the hardships people talked about in the work force, and the homeless people they encountered in a few cities. They never thought people could be without a home in a prosperous country like Canada. CEO Keren Taylor-Hughes took us on an inspiring tour of Winnipeg Harvest – a wonderful, volunteer food bank that helps many communities and families. As former Winnipeggers, we are delighted and excited to donate a safari trip for four at their 2019 Empty Bowl Celebrity Auction fundraiser in October. Check it out!

Info Sessions

We had a great time at our 10 info sessions – invigorating and exhausting all at the same time! Of special note, were happy “reunions” with 190, yes, 190!, former guests (out of 144 safaris provided till then). They came out to say hi, catch up, and relive their Tanzanian adventure. In total, we met with 751 friendly folks (almost half from our hometown of Winnipeg). For us four, it was so heart-warming and encouraging see and feel the support and friendship in our growing Dashir community. Asante sana! Thank you very much!

Radio Interviews

We did three radio interviews: Toronto, Edmonton, and Winnipeg. The guys were pretty nervous but still did a great job. It did help that Jeremiah was a radio personality in his former life in Tanzania – Brother Jerry! Listen to two of the radio interviews below.

Global News Toronto – Alan Carter
CHED Edmonton J’lyn Nye. Interview starts after 1 minute of news.

Promotional Videos

We are developing several videos to provide an insight into a “trip-of-a-lifetime” with Dashir in Tanzania. Thanks to Lisa and her team at BRD Agency in Winnipeg for their great work in helping us get the word out, and working on the videos and other productions. Check out our info session montage.


Besides the info sessions, we enjoyed time as sightseers: Niagara Falls and a vineyard, CN Tower and Ripley’s Aquarium (and then getting stuck in traffic before a Leaf’s playoff game), Ottawa Parliament and Rideau Canal, Stanley Park Seawall, West Edmonton Mall ice skating and bowling, Winnipeg polar bears and bison, walleye fishing, and more. …. Special thanks to the kind folks who facilitated outings for us.

A special highlight for Simon and Jeremiah, was an Easter visit to a larger church in Ontario, with full worship band, drama, and inspiring teaching. They thought it was quite funny that each of the 3 morning services was timed to the minute with a clock on the balcony facing the stage; quite different from the lengthier services they are used to in Tanzania. Other highlights included shopping and driving a John Deere tractor.

Family and Friends

Finally, we spent rich moments enjoying a meal and conversation with family and friends. Simon and Jeremiah were treated royally to many Canadian delicacies such as barbeque salmon, roast pork ribs, borscht, perogies (not a hit :)) and farmer sausage, pan-fried walleye, and of course bread with almost every meal! We even hit some junk food joints. McDonald’s in Hamilton was a hit – ordering on a touch screen and then having the meal brought to our table!

So how shall we top this next year? Hmm…. not sure. We might need a rest! One thing is for sure – we love to connect with people in person and then host them with the beauty and wonder of our beloved Tanzania.

If you or others you know are interested in a dream African vacation on a personal level, we still have space this year 2019. Next year 2020 is filling up fast, especially February, but there is still space available in January and March, as well as June to December (closed April 1 to June 9).

Have a great day! And drop us an email to say hi, or if you’d like to talk about planning a safari adventure of a lifetime.

Darryl and Shirley, Simon and Jeremiah, and our Dashir Family.