October - A Luxury Safari
Tanzania has some impressive luxury on offer these days but when choosing such a view of the safari experience you do run the risk of missing out on touching the wild!
My advice when asked about the luxury safari option is always the same- start with a couple of lodges and then try camping at the end. Our camps today are extremely none threatening and some offer flush toilets, fine service and very often much better food than the lodges. Please do not visit Africa on safari and miss out on staying a few nights in a tent.
For this October, end of dry season safari, we started and finished at my favourite lodge near Arusha, namely Ngare Sero Mountain Lodge. So few lodges or camps are owner run these days and that ‘home stay’ feel is still evident at this lodge that helped start my Tanzanian career as a safari operator and guide back in 1986. As I sat on the verandah sipping a beer 21 years flashed past and very fond memories of those years on safari came flooding back. I sincerely thank Ngare Sero for staying the way it was.
A female bushbuck in Arusha National Park
A forest road in Arusha NP
Arusha National Park
Detail of forest floor in Arusha NP
The Arusha National Park's Fig tree arch
We visited Arusha National Park- a real gem-and then stayed two nights at the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, and to finish we flew up to the Northern Serengeti for 5 nights at Sayari Camp. And guess what? Everyone loved the Sayari camping experience! For first timers that are concerned about the comfort levels this type of safari is a great introduction to Tanzania’s safari world. And of course being with a good guide always helps! Don’t be put off the safari experience by thinking it is too uncomfortable for you or that the food will be dangerous, Tanzania can truly claim to have accommodations to suit all types of guests! I still think that the Crater Lodge is silly but hey-everyone enjoys it! My guests considered the food at Sayari to be the best on the whole trip so come on Crater Lodge - rise to the challenge!
Crater Lodge is strange indeed
Tree Camp entrance at Crater Lodge
The Crater Lodge Tree Camp interior
Crater Hyena on kill
Sayari was superb and the wildlife viewing outstanding with Wildebeest crossing the Mara River, wonderful big cat viewing, and even a little rain to keep the dust down and the big herds close by.
Big Eland males near Sayari
A Mara River Crossing starts
Mara Cheetahs a plenty
Mara giraffe males fight
Mara Tawny Eagle
The Mara area is teeming with Impala
As we flew back from the Northern Serengeti to Arusha for our last night at Ngare Sero, Oldonyo Lengai was sending up volcanic ash plumes twenty thousand feet in to the air over The Ngorongoro Highlands - our pilot tilted our plane for a better view whist keeping a safe distance of 10 miles. Smiles a plenty as we touched down at the improved Arusha airstrip where my land rover awaited us- a great safari and I even found time to finish reading the last Harry Potter book! Rain is in the air and the African bush awaits this gift of life’s renewal.