Editorial & Fact-checking policy
Why do we write?
At Altezza Travel, our commitment to Tanzania goes beyond our role as a tour operator. With over a decade of living and working in this country, we have uncovered many amazing stories, facts, and legends. Many people sharing our interest in this country may find them interesting.
Our articles primarily explore the wonders of Mount Kilimanjaro, the diversity of safari parks, and the variety of plants and animals. We also provide insights into various other locales that travelers may have an interest in, such as Lake Victoria or Rubondo Island. The bulk of our website is dedicated to these topics.
We also noticed that Tanzania's rich history often lies buried in old printed books, academic texts, or within the realm of oral tradition. Fascinating tales, like those of Mangi Meli, the Chagga king who resisted colonial occupation, Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, a notable WWI German officer, or Richard Reusch, a pioneer of Kilimanjaro expeditions, should be shared widely in simple, accessible English. We sift through those old texts, distilling the essence and presenting it in an engaging, reader-friendly format.
As a company based in Kilimanjaro, we can also verify and update the wealth of information found online. We aim to dispel common myths and provide accurate, firsthand insights.
Take, for example, the story of Yohana Lauwo, who is often celebrated as Hans Meyer's guide on the first recorded ascent to Uhuru Peak on Kilimanjaro. It's a commonly held belief that Lauwo, only 18 at the time, not only guided Meyer but had also climbed the mountain 9 times prior to him.
You'll find memorial plaques honoring Lauwo in Tanzania, and he himself shared this tale until he passed away in 1996, purportedly at 125 years old. However, Meyer's own account from the 1890 book contradicts this. He mentioned just one helper, a 28-year-old named Amani Mwini from Pangani, not a local from Kilimanjaro. Meyer also writes that Amani didn’t go with him and Ludwig Purtscheller to the very top, and stopped at 5,150 metres.
There are witness accounts suggesting that Yohana Lauwo was born years after Meyer's expedition, casting further doubt on the truthfulness of his claims. These accounts propose that Lauwo might have fabricated the story in pursuit of fame. This adds another layer to the mystery and underscores the importance of cross-examining historical narratives. Together with Meyer’s words, their accounts cast significant doubt on the claims made about Lauwo and challenge the story that has become accepted as fact.
Finally, we strive to document the stories of Kilimanjaro and Tanzania that might escape the mainstream media's attention due to their perceived insignificance or the challenges posed by our country's remote locations. We try to ensure that these important events are documented and accessible to everyone online. We write to fill the gaps, to preserve the moments that matter, and to share the richness of Tanzanian culture and nature with the world.
What do we write about?
We write about wildlife, mountaineering, Tanzanian history, geography, community, and the life of Tanzania at large. While we steer clear of contemporary politics and religion, we may occasionally discuss these topics in historical or social contexts.
When it comes to picking topics for our articles, we trust our writers to choose for themselves. They usually pick subjects that aren't well-covered online or haven't been covered at all. We aim to select topics that will grab the attention of the average reader, someone who might be curious about Tanzania as part of their travels or just in general.
We always back up our articles with solid research, so you can trust them for your studies or academic projects. If you need more details or proof, just get in touch with us.
Altezza Travel is not a media company; we don't write for profit. Our goal is to share the stories of Tanzania and Kilimanjaro that captivate us and that we believe are worth telling. That said, there may be tales we haven't shared, not because they lack value, but simply because we haven't had the opportunity or they didn't quite resonate with us.
Who are our writers?
Our articles come from our in-house team of writers who are all based in Tanzania. Their full-time job is to research and write engaging and interesting articles about the country.
Every now and then, our experts from other departments also contribute. For example, Dmitry, who heads our climbing team, knows a lot about Kilimanjaro and shares updates from his talks with the National Park rangers and mountain guides. Alex, the person who started our company, loves birding and sometimes writes about birdlife.
If you are interested in writing for Altezza, please contact us at email@example.com
Sometimes, even after thorough research, we encounter topics that require specialized knowledge. When this happens, we turn to respected authorities with degrees in relevant fields to review our content. This extra step ensures our assumptions and conclusions are sound. Any material reviewed by an expert is clearly marked as such on our website, reflecting our commitment to credibility.
Accuracy of our information
At Altezza Travel, our top priority is the accuracy and relevance of the information we provide. We strive to ensure that every piece of content is correct, precise, and up-to-date.
Here's how we guarantee the reliability of our information:
First-Hand Experience: We write about what we've directly observed or encountered in Tanzania.
Witness Accounts: We listen to and document the stories of Tanzanian locals, clearly noting who has provided the information. While we attempt to cross-check these stories, there are times, especially with older residents, when verification isn't possible. When that happens, we're transparent about it on our website.
Official Sources: We use information from the Tanzanian Ministry of Tourism and other government agencies, which includes their online publications, printed materials, and conversations with officials. Even then, we do our best to double-check it to avoid mistakes.
Printed Publications: Our research includes books and journals, particularly when addressing Tanzania's colonial history or the early years of post-independence. Many of these valuable resources are not yet digitized. We cite these printed materials in our articles and again try to find several points of evidence when presenting something. For example, we source some old newspapers from www.newspapers.com and even buy old German books and publications on eBay.
Online Sources: For digital content, we turn to established and reputable organizations and news websites such as National Geographic, Encyclopedia Britannica, the History Channel, and similar. We trust their information and provide proper attribution to these sources.
We steer clear of clickbait titles and similar tactics. You won't find misleading headlines, sensationalism, or exaggerated claims in our articles. Our focus is on providing straightforward, informative content that respects our readers' time and intelligence.
Use of images
The majority of the images featured in our publications are owned by Altezza Travel. These are authentic photographs taken either by our team members, professional photographers commissioned by us, or bloggers who visit Tanzania on promotional tours funded by our company. In all these cases, Altezza Travel retains the rights to use these images.
On occasion, we may use stock photos to complement our articles—this typically happens when we require specific imagery that we don't have in our archive, such as certain plant species found on Kilimanjaro. We ensure these images are appropriately licensed and used within the terms set by the stock pictures service providers.
We do our best to give credit to the authors of photographs, but it's not always possible. If you saw your photo on our website and would like us to include credits or remove the image, please contact us.
Expressing opinions with integrity
In our articles, we occasionally share opinions. When we do, our commitment to ethical standards is unwavering. Our viewpoints are not influenced by race, religion, political beliefs, gender, or any other personal characteristic. Instead, they are based solely on the actions of organizations or individuals and our understanding of those actions.
We believe in fairness and balance. Before publishing any opinion, we reach out to the concerned party for their perspective. We hold off on publication until we receive a response or until a reasonable amount of time has passed without one. This ensures that our opinions are informed and that we give due consideration to all sides of the story.
If you see a mistake
We work hard to ensure our information is accurate, but there's always a chance that mistakes can slip through. If you spot any inaccuracies, outdated details, or think there's more to add, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Reader feedback is vital for us to improve. Needless to say, your input will be recognized and included on our site after verification.