Although I have had the opportunity to visit southern Africa on many occasions over the past 18 years, somehow I had never traveled to Tanzania, so it was with great excitement that I set off on the long journey from Fort Lauderdale to Arusha.
I had a comfortable sleep at Arusha Coffee Lodge and set off with my drive/guide, Seif, the next morning to Tarangire National Park. Seif was a fabulous guide. His knowledge of animal behavior opened my eyes to see beyond t he obvious, and he often re -positioned our vehicle for better photo shots. As we drove out of Arusha Seif explained the different tribes and their lifestyles, the cultivation and farming and how the development of tourism was having a beneficial impact on the local communities. The scenery was stunning, and we saw lots of elephant on the way to Tarangire Treetops – 20 tree rooms (1mile from end to end) each with views over the park. Wooden spiral stairs and hatch lead onto a platform access to your room. We took a sundowner drive to a hill with great views and enjoyed a display of Maasai dancing, followed by a night drive back to camp.
From Lake Manyara we continued to the Ngorongoro Crater stopping at Mto Wa Mbu Village on the way. I popped in to see Gibb’s Farm – lovely!
The drive up to the crater rim takes about 30 minutes from the entrance gate, and then the view below is stunning! I stayed at Crater Lodge – Wow! Chandeliers, butlers, views! The rooms are huge, with sitting area and fireplace, king -bed, huge bathroom with claw -foot bath and separate shower. Dinner was beautifully presented, and very tasty!
In the morning we headed down into the Crater for some great game viewing!
After lunch, our journey continued into the Serengeti, and a drive down ‘˜lion alley’ which lived up to its name. The next four days were spent visiting several lodges in the Serengeti, and seeing some fabulous animals as well! My night at the AAC shared semi permanent Camp on the edge of the Orangi River was a delightful experience, especially sharing game viewing stories with the other guests and guides.
Tanzania was everything I expected and much more. The people are so friendly, accommodating and very happy! Although some roads are quite torturous, overall they were better than I expected. The tarred road from Lake Manyara to Ngorongor o is terrific and road improvements are being continuously made.
All the tented camps were great, and the general standard of food was very good, with the highlight being dinner at Migration Camp. Every visitor I met and chatted with (some first time others many time visitors) had only positive comments to make about the level of service, accommodation and game viewing.