In April two years ago Pierre and I went on a amazing trip in Tanzania.
We started with 5 days in Zanzibar, in a lovely boutique hotel. We relaxed by the pool, went on a few dives and snorkeled in a sea full of colorful starfishes. We also went on a sunset cruise which was so pretty. I would highly recommend our hotel, the infinity pool was beautiful and the service was great.
The only negatives would be that the beach is crowded with people trying to sell you things but when you tell them nicely that you’re not interested, they don’t bother you. The breakfast was also pretty basic but I’m biased with all the hotels that I stay in 😉 Most people start with the safari and end in Zanzibar which is probably better as safaris are surprisingly tiring !
After Zanzibar, we flew to Arusha with Coastal Aviation. Arusha is the starting point of most safaris and it’s basically a dirt strip ! The flight is amazing (but not if you’re afraid of flying !), we saw Mt Kilimandjaro and I was seated at the front, next to the pilot, which was great being an aviation geek 😉
From Arusha our jeep came to pick us up. Our driver was really amazing and knew so much about all the animals. On the first day we drove to Lake Manyara, where we saw so many giraffes, zebras and monkeys.
That evening we stayed at the beautiful Bougainvillea Safari Lodge. We were basically the only guests and everyone was so nice. We had a huge room with a baldaquin bed, super romantic.
The next day we woke up super early to drive to Ngorongoro Crater. This place is unreal, it’s an old volcano crater that is like Noah’s Ark with approximately 25 000 animals. We drove around the whole day and we saw lions (mating aha, fun to watch !), elephants, rhinos, so many zebras, wildebeest, buffalos, gazelles,… We were there during the rain season and we were so lucky with the weather as it didn’t rain once ! There were generally no other jeeps with us which was awesome. Because it was spring, there were baby animals everywhere ! We stopped for lunch next to a pond where we saw hippos.
At night we stayed in the Ngorongoro Rhino Lodge which used to be the house of the first conservator of Ngorongoro crater. While it’s not a 5 star-hotel, we really enjoyed our experience there. It’s located on top of the crater, so it gets cold at night and they have a fireplace in each room, which they will prepare for you during dinner. That made it very romantic even though the room is pretty basic. The animals come very close to the rooms at night and there were a few buffalos in front of our window when we came back from dinner ! Priceless.
On the third day we visited the Masaai cultural village. It was part of the package and they said it was amazing but I was sceptic. Honestly, I wouldn’t recommend it, it’s way too tourist-oriented and I would have preferred to spend one more day in the Ngorongoro Crater. We went to a Masaai village, they danced for us and then offered us to buy some of their handicraft. They were super friendly but the whole thing made me uncomfortable.
We drove back to Arusha and spent the night at The African tulip as there were no evening flights back to Dar Es Salaam. The hotel was beautiful and we relaxed by the pool, it was a great way to end our trip ! They even upgraded us to a suite 🙂
A safari (even a short one like this one) is really an experience of a lifetime and we are dreaming to do it again once our kids will be older. Although we’ll probably try a camping safari then !
Our safari was organized by Ecoculture tours which I highly recommend, everything was included : parks visits and fees, accommodations and all meals. The flights were not included though.
Have you ever been on a safari ?