Meet Moshe Poyastro, an Israeli traveller who can’t get enough of Tanzania

Moshe with a Maasai woman. PHOTO | COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • Moshe Poyastro, from Tel Aviv, Israel, is a savvy traveller who has been to Tanzania numerous times and now acts as an adviser to aspiring Israeli travellers who seek to know about Tanzania, its attractions and history

Every once in a while, we all yearn for moments of indulgence, where we can cast aside the morning alarm, kick back, and simply bask under the sun on a tranquil beach, free from worldly concern.

The need for humans to get away from their daily hustle and bustle is what has created the billion-dollar tourism industry, and Tanzania earns a sizable share.

As the country is ambitious to attract five million tourists by 2025, the expansion of the tourism sector brings its own woes.

Moshe Poyastro, from Tel Aviv, Israel, is a savvy traveller who has been to Tanzania numerous times.

Of what attracted him to Tanzania, he says; “The abundant wildlife and game reserves in Tanzania are famous all over the world.”

The breathtaking spectacle of the wildebeest and other herbivore migration, the uniqueness of Serengeti National Park, and the white sands of Zanzibar island have attracted hundreds of Israelis to Tanzania, with chartered flights straight from Israel to Zanzibar and Kilimanjaro international airport.

Moshe, a frequent traveller and photographer, has travelled extensively in Africa.

On numerous occasions, he has travelled to Ethiopia, South Africa, and Tanzania.

With his experience and acquired knowledge, he also serves as a lecturer to aspiring Israeli travellers who seek to know about Tanzania, its attractions, history and much more.

He is well knowledgeable about Zanzibar, and he tells them enough to get excited to take a flight to the island. He also promotes the coffee tourism that is now blooming in Arusha.

Serengeti was propelled into popularity among Israelis by a famous Israeli journalist who visited to witness the great migration more than 15 years ago.

He documented every step and made a series of television shows about his travels.

The show grabbed the attention of the people and ever since, the number of Israelis travelling to Tanzania has surged, and for a while now, there have been direct flights from Israel to Zanzibar.

The same can’t be said about mainland Tanzania. Moshe has seen the inconvenience of travelling from Israel to Kilimanjaro airport.

He has to fly to Addis Ababa and then take a connecting flight to the Tanzanian mainland, which proves to be more expensive and longer.

The expenses don’t ease either when a tourist gets to the national parks and Moshe wishes that the prices of getting into national parks, known as ‘gate fees’ be lowered to attract more tourists and increase the feasibility of attaining the vision of five million tourists by 2025.

Of the high fees, Moshe says, “Some tourists who are eager to visit Tanzania tend to change minds due to the high fees.”

Moshe’s expedition to Tanzania spans far and wide; he has visited Tarangire, Serengeti, Lake Manyara national parks and the Ngorongoro.

He even stayed with the Hadzabe community, the tribe that still lives the ingenious way of life, the true remaining hunters and gatherers.

The Hadzabe people have emerged as the highlight of many tourists’ visits to Tanzania.

Their authentic lifestyle has intrigued and fascinated many people, who find it delightful to just take a picture with them.

Tanzania’s attraction seems endless, and the more people travel the country, the more they discover its hidden beauty.

Just a few years ago, this community was not widely known, but now, tour operators make it a must-see part of the package for tourists going to the northern circuit.

As more tour operators establish their businesses to accommodate the growing number of tourists, unfortunately, some tourists fall victim to shady companies offering unrealistically low prices.

These tempting offers often attract cost-conscious travellers, leading to inevitable disappointments.

The dishonest tour operators would end up not getting into Serengeti to avoid paying the gate fees and the visitor ends up just on the outskirts of the national park and not having the whole experience.

Moshe urges the tourists to take caution.

“If the deal or the price is too good to be true, that is a red flag.”

Before embarking on your safari or choosing the tour operator, Moshe advises the traveller to check the reviews on TripAdvisor, an online platform that provides reviews about hotels, tours, flights, and all other information on hospitality providers.

On this platform, it's easy to see what past clients say about the tour company; hence, it will give you a picture of who you can choose.

“You have to be smart when reading reviews; some reviews are also paid, so make sure you read many reviews to be sure they're authentic,” he says.

Moshe says that sometimes cheap is expensive.

The lower rates will come with old, worn-out trucks that will break down throughout the safari, and the accommodation will be unpleasant.

This could turn a supposedly enjoyable adventure into a nightmare.

Moshe advises a traveller to not only communicate with the tour operator by email but to go a step further and call them, or even video call them, to hear them.

“Before I choose the tour operator, I always call them, so I can hear their confidence and their knowledge of where I want to travel,” he mentions.

As an avid traveler who has witnessed the predicaments tourists face on vacation, Moshe partnered with a young Tanzanian tour guide to set up their tour company.

Their aim is to cater to Israeli travelers and others who wish to visit Tanzania and enjoy a hassle-free vacation.