On Dec.19, 2018 my mom, dad and I went from Kenya, Africa to Tanzania, Africa. We went to Tanzania to go on safari for 8 days.
When we flew into Tanzania we arrived at Kilimanjaro airport. Our guide there drove us an hour to our hotel in Arusha called Four Points, Sheraton.
The Four Points, Sheraton hotel was very nice. When you walk in there is security (metal detectors like at the airport), we have not had that before. However, they just let us walk around them. There was a pool and a gym. There was also an included breakfast, lunch and dinner buffet. We had dinner and breakfast there.
The first lunch we had, was at a place called Themi Living Gardens. It was out doors (kind of like a picnic) surrounded by nature. The food was local Kenyan food. There where not many people but we were there after lunch time. The food was fine (my favorite food was the lentils). It felt like the kind of food you would have if a local invited you to their house. While we were on our way to this lunch spot we noticed that in the town there are people known as fly catchers. These people try to “be helpful” to get some money to go away. It is hard to just ignore them rather than being nice and saying hi. So tiring.
In the afternoon we visited the nearby Maasai Market. Here it was almost like everyone was a fly-catcher. Everyone wanted us to come in and see all the things that they “spent so much time on”. The funny thing was despite being a large market, many stands had the same stuff. Also, all the prices were very flexible.
For dinner we went to a restaurant called Spices and Herbs Ethiopian Restaurant. It was very nice. My dad had a traditional injare (a flat crepe like bread that you use to eat with your hands) and lentils. It was a relaxing and good place to try.
We had a slow morning and then got picked up by our driver. We headed to The Tanzanite Experience to learn about the history of the rare stone. They say that tanzanite is 1,000 more rare than diamonds and only found for one generation in Tanzania. The museum was fun. My favorite part was when we got to go in a cave exhibit to get a sense of what it was like to be a miner and see what they would see inside the mountains.
After the Tanzanite tour we headed towards Rivertrees, which is a lodge outside of Arusha. The lodge was very nice with monkeys (blue, black, and the long-haired black and white) swinging in the trees, a pool, and a delicious restaurant. You could also enjoy a walk thru their nature trails that passed aside a creek. In the restaurant they had a big wood burning pizza oven. Guess what I had for dinner? It was great. The ham and pineapple was fresh and tasty!
The next day we left for our 8 day safari. We met our safari driver, his name was Felix and I could tell he was going to be fun and funny. I was falling off my seat in anticipation!
On the drive to our next camp, we passed thru Tarangire National Park. This is where we saw our first wild animals. I saw giraffes, zebras, baboons, warthogs, impalas, gazels and dik diks (they were like fairy sized deer). We were so excited to see EVERYTHING! That night we arrived at Maramiboi Tented Camp. Here’s the link: http://twctanzania.com/en/accommodation/maramboi-tented-lodge/
It was awesome! The minute we arrived I could see wildlife everywhere Zebras, wildebeests, impalas, and warthogs. We were welcomed with fresh juices and homemade cookies. Our sleeping tent overlooked a private safari. That evening we went to their pool overlooking a beautiful sunset. During our pool time we also had a happy hour of drinks and snacks, which they have once a day.
After dinner, it is required that someone from their staff walks you back to the tent. Good thing! There were over 100 zebras and wildebeests all over the path to tour tent. When we got inside, you could hear them running right outside the windows and playing around.
The next morning we woke up early for a great day of safari.
On day 3 of our safari we toured Ngorongoro Conservation area. The next place that we stayed at was called Ngorongoro Farm Lodge. When we arrived we were welcomed with a variety of drinks and cookies. While my dad went on a coffee tour, my mom and I went to our cottage to get settled. While my dad was still on the tour, we went to the pool and had a relaxing swim all to ourselves.
That evening, right before dinner, we joined a dancing show that was run by the coffee tour guide – who was also the chief of the local tribe. He brought in several others from his tribe to perform local dancing, which we all participated in. It was a very good dance, but it was hard to follow along and we definitely were not masters!
The next morning (Christmas Eve) for safari we went to a new park inside the largest crater in the world. Here we saw even more animals, such as zebras, wildebeests, hyenas, buffalos, hippos, rhinos, and lions.
We stopped for a picnic lunch at the reserve. When we got there, we saw several monkeys under a tree watching us. We started eating our boxed lunch, when a monkey suddenly attacked my dads lunch box and stole his samosa and banana! What a naughty monkey! He was probably happy with his achievements. Not only did he get a good snack, but he also got attention. Next thing we knew, we were moving to the caged lunch area so no monkey’s could get us!
When we got back from a long day of safari. We had dinner and went to bed. In our lodge my mom surprised me with our stockings. I was so happy that she brought them. We put them next to the fireplace with a card that I picked up from the airport and some American Christmas cookies that we also put out. That night I wished that Santa would still come under such short notice.
The next morning I awoke with excitement to see if santa had come. He had come! I was relived.
That day for safari we went back to the crater (the biggest dry crater in the world) again and saw more awesome animals. At noon we went to where one of the tribes lived (called Maasai Tribe). They preformed a dance for us – it was a traditional ‘jumping dance’. Then our guide showed us their market, then their houses and last their school/kindergarten. The market was quit expensive so that effected what we bought. We still got a few things because we liked it and most of all we knew that it was helping.
The next day we left for the Serengeti safari park and we stayed at Camp Kati Kati. The park was great in my top 2 out of four. I loved the variety of animal, but I recommend that you don’t go here first because it does not have the first safari felling. Camp Kati Kati was nice but a lot like camping.
The camps were ‘mobile’ camps that could be taken down and moved around throughout the year. It was great to be inside the park. Since we were inside the Serengeti, there were lots of animals closely watching you (like hyenas and cape buffalos). One night a hyena attacked our tent and chewed a bit of a fabric washer that was on the porch. There where no stories of anyone getting hurt, which helped us relax. Also that night our guide said he heard some animals fighting.
There where quit a few bugs at dinner one night and they where everywhere. But the second night was much better, with much less bugs. It was actually really nice to have a good meal in the middle of such a remote and beautiful place.
Something we noticed during the whole safari is that there are small flies, called Tsa tsa flys that are like mosquitoes but don’t itch and only come out in the rain. These flies got to be very annoying at times.
On the last day (the day we left for the airport) we saw something amazing. It was a fight between about 30 cape buffalo and pride of 20 lions. The lions where ahead for a while, bringing buffalos towards them. Just when I thought that the lions had definitely won, the buffalos charged back and won this battle with no deaths. As the loins stalked the buffalos, they were walking right next to us, like within 1 meter of our truck!
From the middle of the Serengeti we took a flight in a very small plane back to Arusha. We stayed in Arusha for our last 2 days. During the flight we got a gorgeous view of mount Kilimanjaro.
We arrived at a wonderful lodge called Mount Meru Game Lodge and Sanctuary. At the lodge they had a (cold) pool, a space for rescued animals and a nature walk that you could take around their lodge. Here they also had a few walks that you can take with a guide. We went on one that was a city walk. We learnt some stuff, but not much special. Our guide was the mayor the village and shared the information that was needed, but not too much. Over all this tour was fine and a good way to spend time. It was pretty eye-opening to see local life.
At the lodge the have a wonderful restaurant. At the restaurant they have a wood burning pizza oven, which convinced us to get 2 pizzas (they where scrumptious). For a drink I got a passion fruit mojito, also delicious! It had chunks of passion fruit seeds. For the rest of the stay I always ordered their passion fruit mojitos. The rooms/mini houses where well sized with 3 beds and a bathroom.
From there we left, and went back to Amsterdam.
Over all the safari These are the animals that we saw:
- Golden jackal
- Vervet monkey Turtle baby
- Water buck
- Colobus monkey
- Grand gazelle
- Lions, babies, males and females
- Olive baboon
- Secretary bird
- Dung beetle eating elephant poop
- Ground horn bill bird
- Dwarf mongoose
- Banded mongoose
- Slender mongoose
- Blue monkey
- Cape buffalo
- Tse-tse fly – wish we hadn’t seen these
- Jumping spider
- Egyptian mongoose
- Heart beast
- Serval cat
- Silver back jackal