Thoroughly enjoyed the five day safari I did with Tanzania Experience. Though I booked the trip via African Budget Safaris, the actual tour operator was Tanzania Experience. Our vehicle was great, our tour guide was awesome, and the accommodation and food were superb and even better than I was expecting. Saw the “big five” animals, although the elusive rhino was difficult to find and when we finally did see it at the bottom of the Ngorongoro Crater it was from a far distance…I could just make out the silhouette of the rhino by staring hard into my binoculars.
Highlights of the trip…
Hippos. What funny looking creatures. Quite deadly apparently…though when you see them, it’s hard to imagine how they can be so deadly. One of my new faves. Their rolly polly bodies, sitting in shit festered waters, and their tendency to wag their tails and start fighting with each other was quite an amusing sight. We stood in our Land Cruisers, with the top raised, calmly observing these wild animals on quite a few occasions.
The beautiful and unique lodges & tented camps that we stayed in. The first night, we stayed at the Lake Burunge Tented Camp. Wow. What a set-up. Large, multi-roomed “tents” with sinks, flushing toilers, showers, set-up on a beautiful site overlooking the lakeshore. This was definitely a place to come as a couple. I wished Alison could have at least have been there with me, but instead I had the huge tent-room to myself. The sounds of the animals outside throughout the night kept me up a lot, but it was nice to wake up and hear and see the little mini deer-like Digdigs scuttling around outside.
The Serengeti. A huge swathe of land, mostly flat. We spent two days game driving through the Serengeti and the landscape and scenery are etched in my mind forever. Because it’s so flat, we could see way far ahead…and the entire horizon was dotted with thousands of zebra, gazelles, and wildebeest. It’s a different world and I was in awe of this planet, and so grateful that we can still come and see and appreciate animals in their habitats.
At night, making our way to the Kati Kati tented camp, we relied on our guide’s incredible navigation skills to find our way back. Winding slowly through the dusky bushes, turning corners to find ourselves looking at giraffes and even a few elands (shy creatures), being watched from above by eagles perched on the tops of the trees. His internal GPS was spot on and we managed to pull up to the camp site. Manned by some employees and a few Maasai, the campsite was comfortable, though not permanent and luxurious like the one at Lake Burunge. My tent had two beds, a sink, and a little shower that required water to be manually carried by the workers and loaded to the tank.
The Maasai people of the region. A nomadic group, widely spread across this region, they’re polygamists, live in little hut villages built by their women, and live off a diet of raw meat, milk, and blood all from cattle. We learned that the Maasai tradition involves both male AND female circumcision. Yikes. We visited a Maasai village and for a small fee, they gave us a tour of the village, involved us in a traditional dance, and let us use their traditional toilet!