Wow. That's just for starters. I just returned from Africa with my partner and two of our close friends. We had a 2 week trip to Tanzania and Zanzibar booked through this African safari tour operator. It included a day hike on Mt. Kilimanjaro, 7 days of safari, and 3 days at a resort in Zanzibar.
Just as we prepared to leave San Francisco, our flight was delayed, and we had to rebook arrangements, and arrived in Arusha 36 hours later than planned. That did not phase our travel company. I sent them an email on Saturday AM with our new flight plans, a representative of was waiting for us as we landed at 3:30AM, and the adventure continued.
Our travel company was able to shuffle our schedule to allow us to fit in our hike on Mt. Kilimanjaro at the end of the safari portion of our trip, and give up one day in Zanzibar.
All of the accommodations were first class. We stayed at the Arusha Hotel for just a few hours when we landed, and found it to be a charming colonial style hotel that we wished we could have enjoyed more.
Our driver/guide, Joseph, was with us 7 days. He was very good at negotiating the rough roads on safari, and we were able to see most of what we wanted over the trip.
We stayed one night at Kirururu Lodge overlooking Lake Manyara. Be sure to have a drink at the bar - the view down to the lake is breath-taking.
The two nights at Tloma Lodge were also very nice. The rooms were large and well-appointed, and the meals were wonderful. It was relaxing to hang around the lobby in the afternoon talking to other travelers, comparing sights on our safari outings. A special thanks to Martha for her outstanding service. She was the best.
In the Serengeti, we stayed two nights each in two tent camps. One in the central part (Kati Kati), and one farther north along the Mara River (Mara Under Canvas Camp). The Mara camp was very deluxe. Our tent must have been over 600 square feet, and had plumbed cold water.
The whole trip exceeded our expectations. Our agent at this travel company was so helpful at every phase of planning and during the trip when our plans changed at the last minute. Our tour guides were also there every step of the way in Tanzania. We were never at a loss as to where to go or when, as they had us totally covered.
Until you see the vastness of the Serengeti you can't really imagine the adventure that awaits. As we drove up to our first tented camp (Kati Kati), there was a giraffe right in front of the parking area just casually munching on an acacia tree. Lions lolling in the grass not even 10 meters from our vehicle and totally ignoring our presence.
And the wildebeests! Near the Mara River, our driver took us into the midst of two lines of wildebeests that were converging. Each line stretched back over a mile long, and when they converged in front of us, they stopped moving, and congregated by the thousands right there. It was incredible.
We did a day hike (5 miles up) on Mt. Kilimanjaro. Took about 5 hours on the hill. A great experience.
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