My childhood dream has come true!

12 September 2022 | Lineke & Ton

Safari North Tanzania and Zanzibar

What a wonderful journey we have had, which started with Marjolijn, when she set out a wonderful journey for us.
Monday September 12, 2022 it was finally time, after being postponed twice. It was a little stressful at Schiphol, but after four hours of waiting and walking we could still get on the plane.

Our first address was the Ngare Sero Mountain Lodge in Arusha, where we received the most friendly welcome. At 22.30 we are served a delicious dinner. We stay here for two nights and have breakfast with monkeys in the trees in a beautiful garden. Here we relax for the rest of the day after our flight.

On Wednesday our 10-day safari starts. At 8.30 am our guide for the next 10 days, John, comes to pick us up. We drive through villages towards Tarangire, where we immediately fall short with the busy traffic and the markets along the way. Then we arrive at Tarangire National Park. Soon we see the first elephants, zebras and impalas. Later we see giraffes, wildebeest and as a highlight there is a leopard sleeping in a tree.
We sleep two nights in Tarangire Safari Lodge and have a beautiful view of the dry river with elephants, zebras and many more animals.

On the way to Lake Manyara we first look at the river in the morning and are welcomed by a group of 12 lions. Our day couldn’t start better. Splendid !!!
Lake Manyara National Park is a completely different park than Tarangire National Park, with many more trees and is also greener. On one side you see the mountains and the other side the lake, where we immediately see hippos and around us many monkeys and elephants. We pass a sulfur spring.
When we arrive at the Green Camp Lake Manyara, we are welcomed with open arms. We ask if we can take a shower, and the buckets of lukewarm water are immediately brought to us. How nice is that, showering in the open air. The toilet is also there. We had a delicious meal by the campfire and enjoyed the starry sky. What an experience to sleep in a tent in the middle of the wilderness where at night the elephants walk around the tent and where you hear the lions and hyenas roar. But nowhere did we feel that it was not safe.
The next day we took a nice morning walk and a night safari in this park. We get a lot of respect for our guide John; how much does he know to tell us. Whether it’s about the fauna, flora or the starry sky, he really knows everything.

Our journey continues to the Ngorongoro Highlands. Rhothia Valley Tent Lodge is our place to sleep for the next two nights. We are told on arrival that we are 700 meters high here and that the nights are very cold. So in the evening a pitcher is put in our bed. Delicious! Again a completely different environment here. Water comes from the mountains, which in turn gives a very green landscape. The streets and land here is further covered with red soil from the volcano.
The next morning we set off very early towards the Ngorongoro Crater. We see many animals here again: jackals, lions, buffalo, gazelles, etc. etc. We have breakfast at the picnic spot where the lions are about 25 meters away. We also see the rhinoceros for a moment, but it is difficult to get a picture of it. Now we have seen the big five! Another great day.
Ton says several times during the safari: “My childhood dream has really come true!”

Then we go back to the Middle Serengeti. It will be a three hour journey. Gosh, we are shaken up during this car ride. Can’t believe this is the main road. Public transport, trucks, everything has to pass here. Here too we see groups of elephants, zebras, giraffes, hippos, crocodiles, and we have spotted a few lions. We see very large groups of wildebeest, also buffalo and the rare Caracal. John has only seen this animal for the second time this season.
We will stay the next night in Nyikani Camp Central Serengeti. Here too we are escorted to and from our tent when it is dark.

The next morning we go on an early safari to Northern Serengeti. Along the way we see lions with their cubs, jackals, a number of eland antelope, elephants, zebras, hippos and culminating in mating lions! Near the last sleeping place of our safari we still see buffalo and elephants. John sees a large group of lions and cubs nearby, who are keeping a close eye on the buffalo. The buffaloes themselves don’t see the lions… but they’re fine. In this area we sleep in Green Camp Kogatende, with wonderful people with passion, who take good care of us at this unique location. We are here for the wildebeest migration at the Mara River. What a beautiful view you have here. We also fully enjoy all the animals and the many beautiful birds that we see here. We are also lucky to experience a wildebeest crossing.

On our last day we will go on a hot air balloon ride. John brings us. We leave at a quarter to four in the pitch dark. John knows how to drive us flawlessly through the wilderness to the place where we take off with the hot air balloon. During the balloon flight over the Serengeti we see so many animals and we enjoy the beautiful sunrise. After the champagne breakfast John comes to collect us and we can continue our safari. The other guests first have to go to the airport where their guide is. We are still fully enjoying this last safari day. In the evening it turns out that we are the only guests in the camp. This last evening we have dinner with John and look back on a wonderful safari. The next morning we say goodbye to the crew as friends and we drive to the airport for our domestic flight to Zanzibar. But of course not without saying goodbye to this friendly, caring joker. John has really become a friend these days.

Arriving in Zanzibar at Fumba Beach Lodge we enjoy the last days of our journey in the sun, on a beach bed and delicious meals. The penultimate day we go to Stone Town for a guided tour. A transition to this busy city, but very nice to see.
The next day we really have to go home, but first we go out in Stone Town ourselves.
Then we go to the airport at the end of the afternoon on our way to the cold Netherlands. But with a very satisfied feeling about this trip, which we will look back on with great pleasure for a long time to come. Luckily we took a lot of pictures.

Once again Explore Tanzania, it was a fantastic trip!

Ton and Lineke Rehwinkel

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