Overall, this trip blew our minds! We had high expectations going into this trip and couldn't have had any idea just how far surpassed they would be. Our safari travel planner was more than we could have ever asked for as well. Not only was she constantly available for questions and additional information, but it really helped being able to book our travel through someone here in the US and someone who has first hand knowledge of what she is sending her clients into. From start to finish, we cannot say enough of our travel planner. To begin with, she provided us with Laminated booklets that laid out everyday itinerary, a suggested packing list, a tipping list (so key to know what to tip literally everyone you meet along the way), fun little games and some swahili words it would be nice to know in our everyday interactions. She also sent us amazing luggage tags which are sooo cute! During our trip, it was clear all day everyday that our travel planner really listened to me when I described what I wanted for this trip. Not only was the trip within our budget, but the places we stayed were gorgeous and she somehow managed to fit into the price a private safari guide for my husband and I the whole time which was so key to making this more personal to my husband and I for our honeymoon. Finally, because the travel planner used all one company in Tanzania for each of our accommodations, that company decided to thank us by setting up a private champagne dinner for us one night! I don't say this as a guarantee it will happen for others as well, but rather to showcase the contacts and quality of companies in Tanzania that this travel planner is utilizing and has aligned herself with. From the moment my husband and I landed, we knew everything was taken care of so I was truly able to relax every minute of everyday going forward which is not easy for me!
Most enjoyable was that it was a private tour so it was always my husband and I and our driver and that was it unless at our lodging for the night. This made it feel even more special and tailor made to us. And our guide was the sweetest man ever! So incredibly knowledgeable about everything from the area, the local tribes, the parks, the animals, down to even the botany! My husband's favorite spot was Ngorongoro National Park. He had such blast in there with the over 30,000 animals. It was also the first time we really were able to male lions, hyenas, hippos and so much more. Just so much to see everywhere you looked! My favorite however was probably sleeping in the Serengeti in the tented camps. To wake up in the morning, zip open your tent to wildebeast and zebras everywhere is something I couldn't even dream of. To just know you're in among the thick of it all was amazing. And the serengeti never disappointed in the animal department. Days of 30 or more lions etc. But who can limit to just that! While in the Serengeti, one of the most incredible things I could imagine seeing was the Great Migration. Words will never do it justice. Some people can go during the migration and never see a crossing. We saw 4 in a day! And each one we were able to get closer and closer simply because our guide had instincts like crazy! Have I mentioned yet also that the food was wonderful? We were worried about what to expect and it was awesome. Even in the camps where I thought it would be harder for obvious reasons, but we're talking full meals of food we would eat on a regular basis everyday. Packing lunches or heading back to camp for a hot lunch - it was up to us and how we felt everyday. Literally if you wanted just about anything, all you had to do was ask!
If we could take the trip again, we would probably skip Lake Manyara National Park. There we didn't really see much more than the birds and monkeys in the park. The hippos were too far away to really see and the flamingos were on the exact opposite side of the park as us so it would've taken forever to get over to them to see. This is probably the only we would really change though. Every place we stayed at, the trip itinerary, and the route we took, it was all perfect. My husband and I just felt that the Lake Manyara national park would be the only we wouldn't mind missing next time to spend an extra day somewhere else.
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