It has always been my dream to visit Tanzania! Finally, and with a short notice, I left for a six-day adventure in Tanzania.
Our guide George drove us to Moivaro Lodge. What a pleasant surprise! Moivaro Lodge is surrounded by a big, lush garden and the nicely furnished bungalows have a little terrace and a big bathroom. The dinner was absolutely fabulous and I had my first Kilimanjaro beer together with my travel companion Debbie from our Jenman African Safaris’ Cape Town office.
The next day we made our way through a dry and open landscape to Lake Manyara National Park, which stretches along the base of the 600-metre high Rift Valley. The park covers an area of 330km² – and the lake itself is a whopping 220km²!
When entering the park, the smell of the lush rain forest is both overwhelming and refreshing. I saw hippos, wildebeest and flamingos on our first game drive. The scenery was stunning and Debbie and I really enjoyed the Tanzanian open-roof game viewing vehicles!
Our second night was spent at Eunoto, which is Tanzania’s only luxury Maasai Village. After a 40-minute drive through dusty and rough terrain, we were welcomed at the lodge with a wet facecloth to wipe the dust off and a cool drink. Our personal butler walked us to our spacious cottage at the foot of the Rift Valley. The dinner was excellent like we had experienced throughout Tanzania. I fell in love with their honey-cinnamon butter on freshly baked bread!
Our third day in Tanzania turned out to be a long day with a nice surprise towards the end. We drove through the world-renowned Serengeti National Park, through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The roads were long and rough. George said, “It’s the way I make the white people dance!” After 3.5 hours of driving I asked how long we still have to drive and I received the depressing answer that it would be another 3 hours!
But we were not sad for long, as we spotted our first lions at the Simba koppies. Then George drove us up close to hyenas and another male lion! Wow, we got great pictures and were happy. The next three hours passed quickly and finally, we arrived at our camp for the night, Mbalageti.
Mbalageti left us completely speechless! It’s pure luxury: tented chalets in the middle of the bush, a big king-size bed, a veranda overlooking the plains of the Serengeti, a spacious bathroom with a shower and bath! We spoiled ourselves with a bath and headed to our 4-course dinner! I felt like I was on my honeymoon.
Overall, what stood out was that the guest books at all the lodges showed that tourists have had exceptional game experiences in the Serengeti. Comments like, “we saw lions attacking buffalo” and “we saw a group of leopards” were plentiful – it sounded like something out of National Geographic.
The next day after a long drive we got to our accommodation at the crater rim, and the next morning we descended into one of the world’s greatest natural spectacles – the Ngorongoro crater.
For some reason Debbie decided on a 7:00 am departure with George. It was sunny but cold and in the end, it was worth getting out of bed. The sunrise and scenery were absolutely spectacular and after our 600 metre descent, we were spoiled with prides of lions, zebras, hyenas, and wildebeest so close to the car.
That evening we drove back to Arusha and stayed in Arusha Coffee Lodge. It’s a welcoming lodge in the coffee plantations just outside of Arusha: big bungalows, coffee and tea in our bungalow and a nice veranda to watch the sunset. Additionally, we swam in the pool, chilled at the bar and enjoyed our last Kilimanjaro beer.
The next morning I caught a glimpse of the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro before we boarded the plane, with the friendly Air Tanzania staff, to return to South Africa! Thank you George for a great trip! And “Jambo” to everyone wanting to travel to Tanzania!