Merel as co-pilot

18 July 2023 | Natasja, Daan, Remco & Merel

We (friends Natasja, Daan, Remco and Merel) went on a two-week self-drive holiday with Explore Tanzania on July 18.

Upon arrival at the airport, we immediately found out how well it was arranged. The taxi was ready to take us to the first place to sleep. Paul and Erica’s lodge was really beautiful! And what fantastic people! We were immediately thrilled seeing the tough landrover that would be our ‘home’ for the next almost two weeks! The Arusha National Park was first on the agenda and what an experience that was. Every animal we encountered was watched with so much attention. All four of us were overwhelmed by the beauty of the country.

The first big part that we had to drive ourselves was to the Tarangire National Park. And that was also our first night in the tents on the car. Bit cold, and slept badly because of all the new impressions and sounds. But this definitely didn’t spoil the fun for the next day. And not the other days either, in all the parks we’ve been we’ve been amazed again. After Tarangire we went to Lake Manyara, then over the Ngorongoro Crater to the Serengeti. Finally we ended up in Selous / Nyerere National Park, where we flew from the Serengeti for a few days by plane.
Each park had its own charm; vast plains, waters and beautiful forests. Very special how you find yourself in a different landscape every few kilometers.

All sleeping places were also well arranged. We slept in camps with hardly any running water or a shower, but also in camping spots with a swimming pool and a restaurant.

All parks were a fantastic experience. It was very cool to be able to do all this by car ourselves. No guide, so choose each route yourself and drive. Driving yourself was a very special experience on all those bumpy roads of Tanzania. But that also allowed us to keep to the tip ‘Pole Pole’ [take it easy] .. Especially when the car stopped working .. and there you are in the middle of the Ngorongoro crater …. But thanks to the helpful people in Tanzania After two jump starts we came back to our sleeping place.

The flight to the south was also well arranged. We made three stopovers, so at the end of the flight there were only four of us and the pilot left on the plane. Merel was allowed to be the co-pilot on this last flight!

Once in Selous / Nyerere National Park, both the game drive and the boat safari were fantastic again. And very special was our walking tour with the ‘bushman’. What a wonderful trip and experiences we had!

The following special moments will never be forgotten:

  • Stop to spot elephants at 30 meters. So fascinated watching that we were shocked seeing one in the rear view mirror standing next to your car!
  • Having to stop in the middle of the road because a beautiful lion is crossing. Or in reverse to give way to an elephant.
  • The moment we saw the leopard, and all we could do was stare at the beautiful animal. The feeling that we were allowed to experience this. Very special.
  • Tasting local banana beer and wine in Mto wa Mbu. And the hospitality of the people. What a very nice people they are!
  • Every animal you see for the first time! With every time the reaction OMG! How beautiful!
  • Sleeping in the flycamp! A tent all mesh on the edge of the river full of hippos and crocodiles.
  • Seeing a Caracal. Apparently a very hard to spot feline.
  • And of course 100 more things … We really had a wonderful trip!

It was all very well arranged.
Explore Tanzania has made our dream a reality.
Thank you very much, Explore Tanzania you are the best!

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