From the Mountain to the Bush
What a change from our dusty tents on Kilimanjaro to the luxury safari accommodations put together by Mountain Vision Expeditions. Five of us from the 18-person expedition chose to do a 6-day safari through the Tanzanian animal parks. We started in the Tarangerie area where we saw a ton of elephants along with zebra, wildebeast and giraffe. This first park we went to was full of the infamous “tree of life” baobab tree which are each a magnificent sight. (Our group had a fun debate on which tree was better – the baobab or flat top acacia tree. Your thoughts?). It was a crazy start to our safari to arrive at the Tarangerie Treetops Lodge and see that Jeff and I had our own treehouse. For our hot water, they lit a fire outside our place so we can have a hot shower. They hosted a wonderful dinner that was equipped with a performance by a local Masai tribe. The food was amazing, and it was one of the nicest places we’ve ever stayed.
We spent the next day travelling to the Ngorongoro crater where we visited a Masai village and then checked into the Soap Lodge. Did I mention that at each place we had to get escorts to/from our rooms? Yeah. Elephants or lions or hyenas just randomly show up as these places are located right in their homes! In the crater, we staked out a pride of lions and watched them across a big field. They disappeared under a hill so we drove around to see if we could see them on the other side. Suddenly we see the lions climb hill and walk straight toward and then right by our Land cruiser!! It was like the paparazzi. Shutters were flashing from all the vehicles as the passed in arms length. They proceeded to cross the road like we weren’t even there.
We saw a cheetah and a black rhinoceros as well as hippos, gazelle, impala, ostrich and many more zebra and wildebeast. What an amazing place. Onto the Serengeti.
There, we stayed in luxury tented camps that provided 5 star accommodations and food in the middle of all the action. Our favorite place was Alex Walker’s Serian camp in the Serengeti Mara. Alex and his wife Billie were impeccable hosts that had their own game drivers that were successful in getting us to see the Great Migration. What a sight! We timed it just right and got to see thousands of wildebeast crossing the Mara River. We saw 2 get eaten by crocodiles before our very eyes. Sad, but I guess it’s the circle of life. One of the wildebeasts actually made it across and then went back to try and find its baby. It got snapped going back.
We just flew a small commuter plane from Serengeti back to Arusha and will be taking an evening flight back to Dallas visa vie Amsterdam. What a trip of a lifetime. We plan to bring our children back with us to show them the amazing landscapes and also introduce them to our new friends in Tanzania. We highly recommend Tanzania as your next trip of a lifetime. You can experience the thrill of a tall mountain or do it in style by opting for a luxury safari with amazing people and food. We enjoyed it all very much. Africa now has a piece of our hearts forever.