Amazing, Incredible, Life Changing, Awesome, Beautiful, Beyond our wildest expectations! From the first phone call with our contact, to our finalized itinerary, I can honestly say, that we spent ~8 hours on the phone discussing what we wanted to see, our contact's recommendations, my feedback, his experience and expertise, and our final decision. I felt positive in our choices, and I was right! I'm sure we were, lucky and blessed to have experienced: no flight delays, no lost luggage. Every connection was timed perfectly. Every pick up, tour, guide, arrival, departure was like clock work! Not only were our accommodations exactly as pictured and described, they were better. I guess being in the moment is always better than the expectation. I must have said many times over during our trip, how grateful I was for my 5 senses. Every one was in a heightened state, and appreciated, beyond compare. I believe the time spent at each locale was ideal. Recovery from jet lag at Rivertrees was wonderful. Dreamlike, memorable and flat out wonderful. We made a friend who worked there, who taught me my first words in Swahili, told us stories, and made us feel truly special. The number of nights in Tarangire was made perfect by our guide. His love for his country, and the experiences we were having were made even better by his enthusiasm. We were truly spoiled at Kichuguu. The staff, accommodations, and experience were other worldly. My husband and I kept looking at each other with awe, surprise, and the genuine feeling that we were the luckiest people on earth! Onto Ngorongoro and Lemala Camp. Our initial guide continued to be our driver and guide. 5 days/nights with person that you trust with your life and life experiences creates a bond, that we will always treasure. While it was amazing, completely different in atmosphere, terrain, and altitude! Two nights was just right. A full day in the crater was enough. As I write this, the only drawback to a shorter stay was not forming a closer relationship with the staff. At Kichuguu, and later at Kaskaz, we developed relationships with staff. This is not to belittle the staff here, but just to point out the longer the stay, the more special relationships become. The drive in and out was an experience on its own! While it was sad to say good bye to our guide, we were excited for the Serengetti! And we were not disappointed. While we did not form a personal relationship with our new driver and guide, we respected his knowledge, expertise, personality, humor, and quest to make sure our every wish came true. And boy did it. The staff, especially another new friend, went above and beyond to make our stay remarkable. 4 nights here was wonderful. Met new, and fun friends from the states. Everything that you here about sitting around the campfire, talking, laughing, reliving the days adventures happened here. The staff and their singing, and joy made overnight a party. An unforgettable experience. Our contact's followup and follow through continue to impress me, and make me confident that I will recommend this company to any and all who ask.
As you can tell, we had the most wonderful trip! So as I read through my journal, and relive my joy, I will try to hit on the highlights. (all quotes are from my afore mentioned journal) Spending sometime in Arusha, when you 'only' have a 10 day safari, was amazing. We were able to enjoy the drive from Rivertrees into Arusha and witness the sights of a community in Tanzania, were greatly appreciated. Driving past small villages, seeing the real life were a sight to behold. Onto Tarangire and Kichuguu: I quote "After an amazing drive, Mike and I are relaxing. 'Our' living room overlooks Acacia Woodlands. A panoramic vista that belies the anticipation of a dream come true". Our guide was so patient as we sighted our first zebra! It became a joke! "STOP ! There's a Zebra!!" Yes, we saw more than one! And lest I forget, having coffee delivered to our tent every morning was a special treat, that I continue to miss today!! Our favorites: The African massages while on a Safari have the best views of any I've ever received! Quite simply the drives. The swamp, and watching all the species come for a drink. The ability to have elephants so close you can hear the crunching of the grass. The herds of elephants was emotional. Absolutely incredible. Seeing a lion kill a wildebeest, that just got too close. Having a driver who goes beyond to make sure that you see, experience and love everything about a place that he loves and is passionate. The patience to find our first Cheetah. And we were never disappointed. A magical place that was exceptional. A beautiful, memorable drive to Ngorongoro. Flamingos, lions mating, and appreciation for the vastness of a great country. Being able to witness the Masai and their daily work, as well as having a few on staff was wonderful. And lastly, the Serengetti. 4 amazing days. We saw it all. River Crossings, baby lion cubs (our driver went above and beyond to take me there. At one point, my husband said, you shouldn't have asked him to do this. But he drove on, and we came upon 4 cubs with their Mother. another truly emotional, incredible sight. As we returned to camp, I apologized to our driver for asking him to drive us so far. He said "If you are happy, then I am happy". His genuine desire to give me/us our trip of a lifetime will never be forgotten.) Black Rhino as well as the other 'Big Five". We also saw an amazing sunset. Our driver told us to make a wish. I wished to never forget a moment. My husband wished for another week! Oh my gosh, let me know if you want more?
We agreed, we should have taken photography lessons. And if we could have, we would have enjoyed a time to hike around Kilimanjaro. The day hike for me. Mike wanted to accomplish the entire mountain! A few more days exploring local villages, and a trip to Zanzibar! However, this trip wasn't buy 10 get 10 free! However, with our budget, our expectations, our reality... This truly was a completely wonderful, amazing, above and beyond our wildest dreams trip. If I may quote my journal, one last time, "Last full day Safari. How can I be sad? I have been so lucky. This has been beyond any and all expectations. Superlatives Extraordinaire!!!!!
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