Our trip to Africa went beyond our expectations, particularly the time spent in Tanzania on private safari. Our safari guide was exceptional and we were stunned from the first day by how many different animals we saw, and how close we came to them in the safari vehicle. We saw many more lions than we expected including a lion pride with a beautiful male lion, two lionesses and three cubs peacefully lounging together in the shade of a small tree. The lodging suggested and arranged by our specialist was five star at Tarangire Tree Tops, Lake Masek Tented Camp and Soroi Serengeti Lodge, and the food delicious. After our six day safari we said our goodbyes to our now dear friend and flew by small plane from the Serengeti to Victoria Falls. The Sunset Cruise on the top deck was a wonderful experience with more animal sightings. We had a private tour of Victoria Falls and a magical afternoon at the Elephant Encounter in Victoria Falls National Park. On the water safari in the delta of Botswana we were blessed to see a mother Hippo and her baby resting in the river off the side of the boat and later more than two hundred elephants come down from the trees to the river bank to drink. It was an amazing sight! Africa is unlike anywhere else in the world that we have visited and the country and its people are already calling us back. I would not hesitate to use this specialist again for our next trip to Africa!
By far, the most memorable parts of our trip were on the private safari! As mentioned above, the animal sightings were beyond anything we expected. Coming upon the lion pride was totally unexpected and delightful. Watching and following two cheetahs as they worked together to track a group of gazelles was breathtaking. Seeing over a hundred zebra walking in single file as they moved toward an area where it had rained was a spectacular site. Finding elephant families everywhere we went including a mother elephant with her two month old baby . The Crater in Ngorongoro National Park with it's great herds of wildebeest and a lioness and her older cub by the side of the road feasting on a zebra they had brought down were amazing sights. Stopping for lunch in our vehicle by the river and seeing a large group of baboons come and climb the tree right in front of us to feast on the tree's fruit. Then a herd of impala showing up to eat the fruit skins that the baboons dropped to the ground, followed by a bull elephant chasing a female elephant right by our vehicle and into the river. It was like being in the middle of a Disney movie, but it was all real and happening right in front of us. Truly spectacular experiences we will never forget in the middle of the bush in Africa's National Parks!
I would not change anything about the safari. I would, however, not stay at resort Victoria Falls again as the rooms need updating and we were very unhappy with the meal service which gave precedence to the 200 plus people attending a Pharmaceutical convention. The excursions in Victoria Falls were excellent and would not change those. I would spend two nights (rather than just one) at our hotel in Johannesburg, a delightful boutique hotel with excellent service and food, before our return flight home.
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