The new business traveler: Rashad Frazier of Camp Yoshi on how to make the most of a reconnaissance trip to Tanzania

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Discussing a recent hybrid leisure trip to Tanzania, Rashad Frazier, co-founder of the travel agency Camp Yoshi, admits that combining work and leisure can be rewarding: “Sometimes I enjoy an experience that Camp Yoshi could offer in the future. When you have an affinity for travel, seeing new places, and experiencing the world, yes, it’s an easy decision to make.

Based in Portland, Oregon, Camp Yoshi creates and leads adventure travel where Black travelers and their allies can disconnect and reconnect with wilderness around the world. This requires careful checking of sites, routes, provisions, guides, etc., all of which make an all-inclusive trip memorable and worthwhile. Already aware of the overwhelming whiteness of adventure travel, Frazier was both inspired and challenged by a reconnaissance trip to Tanzania while exploring the possibility of including the destination in Camp Yoshi’s travel portfolio.

It’s hard not to feel a little jealous of Frazier’s swashbuckling time in Tanzania. There is levity, seriousness and warmth in his voice as he talks about what his adventure – filled with safari trips, lion sightings, village visits and stays in resort – meant to him as a black American visiting Africa. Frazier chatted with Conde Nast Traveler on the importance of ethical and respectful travel, the most interesting person he’s met, and why you should always bring Birkenstocks on a plane.

What was the destination?

Tanzania: Arusha, the Serengeti and the island of Zanzibar.

What was the purpose of the trip?

The trip was technically a scout trip for Camp Yoshi, but it was also for my wife’s 40th birthday. This incredible ten-day trip took place last summer.

Who were your traveling companions during these ten days? You mentioned your wife, who else?

I went with my wife, some of her best friends and their awesome husbands and partners. We had, like, a whole convoy of people.

How did you all get there?

Qatar Airways from Atlanta to Arusha, Tanzania via Doha. We were first class – epic. I always recommend first class for anything over six hours. I know it’s not cheap, but your body will feel much better. This reduces recovery time. I’m not a fan of “travel days”. Let’s say you have a four day trip. If you have one day of travel at each end, it’s only a two-day trip. Transit should be part of the adventure. It’s a little cheesy, but it’s not just about the destination. This is the whole experience.

Where did you stay ?

We spent our first night at Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge. One of Tanzania’s biggest exports is coffee, so we had this experience of making coffee – the beans were cooked in a pan to release the oils and ground using a pestle and a massive mortars – and we had fresh Tanzanian coffee with the local village chief and his family and discovered the area. The next day we stayed at the Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge where we saw all kinds of animals: lions, elephants, wildebeest and… what are those scary dogs? Hyenas! After that we spent three nights at the Lahia tent lodge, a black-owned property on the edge of the Serengeti National Park, then we spent four nights in Zanzibar, off the coast of Tanzania. We stayed at…well, I don’t want to give the hotel away because it’s our place. I don’t have to? Good.

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