For Untamed Travelling, personal knowledge and experience are a must in order to properly advise clients. That’s why I’m traveling to northern Tanzania at the end of May, to experience the latest changes in person and see for myself the quality of the lodges we book a lot there.
At Kilimanjaro Airport Seleman, my guide for the next few days, picks me up and together we drive to the first overnight location. Along the way, we pass a local market and drive through authentic villages. I greatly enjoy the typical African atmosphere, of women carrying large buckets on their heads and Masai walking in traditional clothing. This is Africa!
CHEM CHEM, TARANGIRE
My first overnight stay is at the luxurious Chem Chem lodge, a beautiful small-scale tented camp in the game-rich Burunge/Tarangire. Already during the evening safari, something special happens. We see a pride of lions hanging in an acacia tree. We park under the tree they are hiding in. Suddenly, elephants arrive. A young cub hides in the bushes on the ground. The mother lion leaps down from the tree and dives into the bushes with her cub. Fortunately, conflict remains out of the question; the elephants have no notice and pass the pride of lions without noticing them.
While enjoying a gin & tonic in the jeep, I continue to observe the lions for a long time. I watch them slowly wake up and climb out of the tree one by one. An older cub has been too fanatical. He doesn’t know how to get down. The mother lion is patient, climbs towards him and leads the way down. Once back at the lodge, a culinary dinner with top wines follows and I hear a huge lion roar. Later, I fall asleep with the same roaring. Africa at its best.
THE HIGHLANDS, NGORONGORO
The next day is devoted to accommodation visits. It is always fun to visit a lodge yourself, see the rooms and sometimes stay for lunch to judge the quality of food and drink. I end the day with an overnight stay at Asilia’s beautiful lodge, The Highlands, on the edge of Ngorongoro Crater. It often gets cold this high up. After my dinner, the wood stove is burning in my room and I fall asleep with the silence around me.
I get up early to visit Ngorongoro Crater. A biosphere, Ngorongoro Crater has the highest concentration of wildlife in all of Africa. An absolute must-see during a Tanzania trip! The surroundings are mystical and breathtaking. First we drive through the fog (clouds) and then we descend, entering the crater area. Around the crater rim we see clouds hanging. This is so fairytale-like. We see a large pride of lions with older cubs being active. A magnificent lion lies between them like the king himself, a feast for the eyes and the camera! Elephants pass and I see a rhino. It remains special to meet this magnificent animal. We enjoy a bush lunch in the crater and visit some more lodges on the crater rim. Then we drive into Ndutu, part of the Ngorongoro conservation area. It lies on the edge of the southern Serengeti which means “endless plains. It is only the name that separates the two areas; the animals have no idea. Over the next few days, I visit some lodges and safari camps in the Serengeti. I enjoy beautiful views of endless plains, sometimes interspersed with forests and hills.
The Serengeti continues to fascinate, in part because of the large numbers of game found there. I visit Ndutu, Seronera and Grumeti. I stay in a so-called migration camp, a temporary camp set up to follow the great migration of wildebeest and zebra. There is a central lounge and dining tent and you will stay overnight in a luxury tent. When you want to shower, a bucket of hot water is filled at your direction under which you can rinse off. The camp is in a prime location with insane views of the plains and migration. It remains so unreally beautiful, to ride among thousands of wildebeest as far as the eye can see. Literally as if I drove live into an episode of National Geographic.
After my stay in the Serengeti, I fly back to Arusha, where I meet our local partners from many of the lodges we work with at Kilifair, a trade show for the travel industry.
NEW AND EXISTING LODGES
Travel in the African continent always makes me immensely happy. I am fortunate to have been able to make my hobby my job. Filled with a heart full of safari moments, I fly home again on the trusty blue KLM bird. I am back up to date with all the latest information on new lodges and the quality of the existing lodges we are working with.