After many months of safari-deprived longing, Daisy was finally able to go on my much anticipated Tanzanian trip after being postponed twice since 2020 due to the Covid pandemic. Here are her impressions.
” Excitement was high and with my negative PCR test in hand, I arrived at Kilimanjaro Airport, where we got screened and went through immigration and passport control. I had a warm welcome from my driver guide who was waiting, with a bottle of cold water for me, ready to take me to Rivertrees Country Inn for our overnight stay.
The next morning, along with the other select travel advisors in our group, we made our way to Tarangire National Park in our closed-sided safari vehicle, a custom-designed Landcruiser. Once we entered the vast endlessness of this renowned eco-reserve, we were stunned by all the baobab trees and large herds of elephants.
We went for a site inspection at Lemala Mpingo Ridge with its amazing vistas of endless plains, before heading to Asilia’s Oliver’s Camp, where we were happily welcomed with refreshing pomegranate juice while listening to the Tarangire Lion Research Initiative representative teaching us about the complex intricacies of keeping the lion prides safe.
LEMALA MPINGO RIDGE
ASILIA’S OLIVER’S CAMP
TARANGIRE LION RESEARCH INITIATIVE
The Tarangire Lion Project works to monitor long-term lion populations, mitigate human-carnivore conflict and educate communities to drive awareness around lion and wildlife conservation. Asilia works with TLP to support new field equipment like GPS collaring and staff operations and training.
After a good night’s rest, we headed out on an early morning game drive with a delicious bush breakfast, before continuing our game drive and then on to do a site inspection at Sanctuary Retreats’ Swala Camp.
SANCTUARY SWALA CAMP
The next morning we ventured on towards Karatu for a site inspection at Marera Mountain View Lodge before heading on to Gibb’s Farm for a site inspection and sumptuous lunch.
Refueled, we continued towards The Highlands in the Ngorongoro Crater region, passing many local Maasai villages and making a stop at one of the traditional Maasai bomas, where we were introduced to the culture and traditions of these beautiful semi-nomadic, pastoral people.
MAASAI VILLAGE VISIT
We had an exhilarating early morning start with a dramatic descent into the Ngorongoro Crater and game-driving on the crater floor, viewing lions, zebras, wildebeest, hippos, flamingos, and a thrilling variety of birdlife. In the afternoon we had a very rewarding walk up the Olmoti Crater where we had endless views across the Highlands and cascading waterfall.
NGORONGORO CRATER GAME DRIVE
The next morning, we said our goodbyes and made our way around the crater rim for a site inspection at andBeyond’s Ngorongoro Crater Lodge and Nomad’s Entamanu Ngorongoro Camp, before leaving the highlands of Ngorongoro and continuing on a game drive through the famous plains of the Serengeti towards the Ubuntu Migration Camp in the Southern Serengeti.
&BEYOND’S NGORONGORO CRATER LODGE
NOMAD’S ENTAMANU NGORONGORO CAMP
UBUNTU MIGRATION CAMP
After a brisk breakfast in the camp, we waved goodbye and continued across the Serengeti towards Elewana Pioneer Camp for a site inspection before ending up at the all-female Dunia Camp for lunch and learning about their Twende Porini program where they involve children from local communities so they can experience what a safari is all about and the importance of tourism.
From here, were continued eastwards towards Namiri Plains where we stayed for the night.
ELEWANA PIONEER CAMP
The next morning, we made our way to the airstrip for our shared light-aircraft flight to the Northern Serengeti, where we were met by a camp vehicle that took us on a phenomenal game drive to Sayari Camp for our two-night stay.
We woke up in the quintessential safari way, with a steaming hot beverage and biscuits which were brought to our rooms, before heading out for a morning game drive and a delicious bush breakfast picnic. We did site inspections at Kaskaz Mara Camp and Lamai Serengeti before continuing with our game drives.
KASKAZ MARA CAMP
We departed the Northern Serengeti for Zanzibar via Arusha on our shared light-aircraft flight. At Zanzibar Airport, we were met by our friendly driver, who took us to the Covid testing station where we had our PCR Covid tests done, before continuing to the north-western part of the island, where Matemwe Lodge, Beach House, and Retreat are situated. That evening, we enjoyed an intimate private beach dinner, with tables and lanterns magically dotting the beach.
Our last full day was packed with activities, starting with snorkeling with dolphins and on the coral reef, followed by lunch, a reef walk, and afternoon sailing on a local dhow! The day was ended with a seafood barbeque on the beach.
Before hopping on our return flight the next morning, our driver and knowledgeable guide picked us up for our morning tour of Stone Town. Visiting Stone Town, with its fascinating buildings full of history and ancient stories was an absolute highlight! We visited the grand old Cathedral, legendary Slave Markets, the colorful fruit and vegetable market, the Old Arabic Fort, the Sultan’s Palace, Tip Tip’s House, and of course, the famously beautiful Zanzibar doors in the small narrow streets – and definitely not forgetting to walk reverently past the apartment where Freddie Mercury grew up.
Tanzania is an incredible destination and I’m so pleased that I had the opportunity to refresh and deepen my knowledge of this unique region, the lodges, camps, and the amazing people. The spectacular game viewing and once-in-a-lifetime experiences were the cherries on top! “