The experiences from the arrival in Savuti to the return flight to the Netherlands are indescribable. But I’m going to try anyway…
After a fascinating flight over the bush where we saw huge families of elephants, buffalo and hippos, we arrived at Savuti Camp. As soon as we wanted to walk to our cabin, we were warmly welcomed by a large elephant with flapping ears and raised trunk. The next day, on the way to the toilet room, a whole family of elephants was grazing right by the gangplanks. Later a short coffee break outside the car during the river safari where hippos were wading when suddenly an antelope in full swing came towards us, chased by a wild dog. With a sharp turn to avoid one of our traveling companions, they narrowly passed.
Then we saw a family of 25 wild dogs, busy preparing their breakfast. The ranger explained how intelligently the whole family worked together and tried with scouts to select and hunt game for the pack. Where we were in the middle… Then a leopard eating its lunch in a tree and a hyena waiting motionless underneath, hoping some food would fall down. This all happened just three meters away from the car! You could hear the leopard gnawing and lashing its breakfast. Moments later we witnessed two lions making love 10 meters away, followed by two male lions meandering past the car at 50 centimeters. This was ‘just’ the beginning of a series of experiences as the ranger tried to tell everything about the trees and animals.
The food was very good and the level of hospitality was high. The atmosphere between employees and guests was good. The tents were very comfortable and offered expansive views over the river. We ate together at one table as usual during safaris.
From Botswana to Zambia we had to cross the impressive Zambezi. The organization thought the ordinary large ferry was far too dangerous; they had their own ferry service. Unfortunately the ferryman turned out to have a siesta and we had to wait 1 hour on the bank. This is Africa…
Dan Toka Leya, chosen because it is not far from the waterfall but without the crowds of waterfall visitors: beautifully situated right on the Zambezi, very welcoming and very comfortable and luxurious. Here we saw crocodiles, hippos and antelopes close to the raised platforms. The safaris from Toko Leya were less than the previous ones.
The trip over the Zambezi consisted largely of hard racing over the swirling water. With a glass and some snacks we enjoyed the sunset over the Zambezi on the shore. The waterfall was a fantastic, breathtaking and sometimes very wet spectacle. During a safari by car along the river we experienced something very special again: the gigantic hippo that we observed did not appreciate our presence. Suddenly he came full speed through the water towards us with his mouth wide open. His mouth was no more than six feet from me! Fortunately the sidewalk turned out to be a bit too steep and high for him and the car quickly took off…
The ROVOS train was gigantic luxury, moreover we received a cabin upgrade because the train was not fully booked. The meals were exquisite and the fine wines and liqueurs a delight. Together with the overall care it was a fantastic experience! Just not worth repeating because we hardly slept. Then two nights are already too many. Apart from the breathtaking view, there was little to do. An excursion to a farm with explanation followed by a very mediocre safari.
The African Rock Hotel turned out to be an oasis with very warm people. The small scale gave a very intimate character to this beautiful family hotel.
Then Tanzania: Tarangiri Safari Lodge was very good, especially the sleeping tent was a great experience. Lying on a good mattress, listening to the nightlife through the screens and watching the night light of the jungle when we were awake for a while and the early sky lighting, we would not have wanted to miss that! Food and hospitality were fine. In the evening we could enjoy the great view with the setting sun. And the same was true for Ndutu, although we were homesick for the tent.
When we came to the endless plains of the Serengeti, it revealed itself as an indescribable wonder. Even the movies we’ve seen beforehand can’t give that overwhelming and breathtaking feeling. How insignificant do you feel there. You are absorbed in a wave of emotion… Especially when you are standing between the gigantic herds of wildebeest and zebras that suddenly start running and then run like a ribbon of many kilometers across the plains. And not one, but many other ribbons came and went. In between, of course, the lions (5 lions were sunbathing on large boulders, spying for prey), leopards and a cheetah (with two newborns) etc. etc. What a joy to be there. Impressive herds of elephants, giraffes and buffalo. But the impressive scavengers were also a spectacle.
The Serengeti Serena Lodge was very luxurious and again with great views. Then along the crater to lunch at Serena Ngorongoro Lodge. Lunch here was superb and what a fantastic view! A very pleasant surprise was the upgrade to the Kitela Lodge, by far the most luxurious lodge of the trip. Coffee beans from the bushes and vegetables that came fresh from our own garden, an oasis after very hard game drives.
The very hectic driving in Tanzania was unpleasant but inevitable in order to be able to bridge the long distances. We are glad we were there at this time because nature was green and we were already standing with several cars at the same time at something special. That will be different in high season. For us one night stay and half a day in the Ngorongoro Crater would have been enough.
Untamed has translated our wishes fantastically into an unforgettable trip. Your commitment to creating a travel program and then the flexibility to shift the travel dates is unforgettable. Awesome! Tastes like much more; this kind of travel is addictive!
Once again, many thanks on behalf of the travel group to the authors of the travel plan and the organization thereof.