This year, we’re doing something completely different …

17 July 2017 | Bas and Esther

Hi Marjolijn and Marloes,

Finally, we’ve posted a report of our beautiful trip in 2017 on our website. Also, our travel report below.

Regards, Bas and Esther

On an adventure in Tanzania.
Because this was not a vacation but an adventure!

On July 18, 2017 we (as a family) went to Tanzania on vacation. Me (Esther) and my husband (Bas) together with my brother-in-law (René), sister-in-law (Daniëlle) and our two nieces (Lisa and Amber).
Bas and I travel a lot to America and always arrange everything myself … now there was nothing to arrange and I had to let go of everything, that is quite difficult in the beginning … sorry Marjolijn …, however everything was well organized!
We flew directly with KLM to Arusha in more than 8 hours. When we arrived here, we immediately had the first culture shock. We were neatly collected at the airport and brought to our hotel Rivertree’s inn. The road was dark and we were on the wrong side of it (to our feeling) and that takes some getting used to.
We were warmly welcomed with a drink and a freshening cloth. We were escorted to our rooms but were not allowed to carry the suitcases ourselves… We found that somewhat uncomfortable, but after the holiday progressed, it went better and better. Then a delicious drink around the campfire.
The next day we went on safari for the first time and we met our super cool guide Zeph. We were completely tense, what are we all going to see today. I had taken a booklet with me so that I could write down what and how much we had seen.
The weather was beautiful, sunny and 22 degrees, it won’t get better than that. First we saw, well then Zeph, a herd of elephants at the entrance. These were hidden in the bushes but somewhat cool. We didn’t want to leave, but Zeph promised us that we would see it much better, something we couldn’t imagine at the time. We saw something everywhere, and I couldn’t keep up with it in my booklet, so I only threw it aside half the day.
We really saw everything, including many baboons and Colobus monkeys.
Bas, Amber and I made a canoe trip and came at a safe distance past Hippos, the sound alone is very impressive.
At 6:15 pm, we arrived at the lodge and we sat down with a drink by the campfire, after which we had a delicious meal.

The food during our holiday was very tasty everywhere. We were quite worried about this and that’s why we had emptied the supermarket in the Netherlands in the cake and candy department. However, we have made little use of this, but we have let Zeph taste a lot and eventually give it everything. Zeph was crazy about our sweets and cookies except for the sour mats, he thought that was not a success!

Our second day in Arusha we split up. Daan, René and Lisa went on a city visit through Arusha. Bas, Amber and I went to the local market. We all had a great time. At first, we felt a little uncomfortable for us on the market. Amber and I really wanted to photograph people. Fortunately we also had a great  guide here and he arranged all this very well. It was very nice on the market and everyone wanted to be photographed spontaneously.
We spent the afternoon with the whole family by the pool, although it was a bit chilly and it took a while before the sun came out, but it was nice to relax. We also tried to photograph the many monkeys that roamed around here.
Here too, the day ended with good food and a campfire.

The next day we were picked up by Zeph and we drove to Tarangire NP. The only challenge that awaited us was getting the luggage in the jeep, and in such a way that we also fit into it. But for our Zeph, this was child’s play and everything fitted wonderfully into it!
We first drove a long way through Arusha city and then came more into nature. Many Maasai walked here, with beautiful red or blue rugs, they walked behind their cattle. The more cows you had, the richer you were. Maasai still live in self-made huts and we also came across these small villages a lot. They do, however, go along with the times because they do have a mobile phone.

In Tarangire NP, we stayed in the Tarangire safari lodge. Truly, a beautiful lodge with tents that have a bathroom and toilet. The view from the lodge and also from all tents is really beautiful! You look into the valley and see animals everywhere. The first night we first heard a lion for a long time and this one finally walked past the tent. Bas and Amber have seen his shadow. We were warmly welcomed, while enjoying a drink, by very friendly people.

Our safaris in Tarangire NP were great. Elephants next to the car with “little ones” as Zeph could pronounce it well. We had to be really quiet with the Elephants. We also saw 1 cheetah with three “little ones”. Beautiful birds, and also a group with three lions chilling in the tree. Giraffes, Zebras, Buffalo, Wildebeests…. I can still write 5 lines full of what we’ve all seen. We have also seen the beautiful sunset twice very beautiful, especially the first time with elephants walking through the setting sun, really to give you goosebumps. The last day just before we left the park we also saw a leopard, my personal favorite.

From Tarangire, we went to Lake Manyara NP. At the exit of Tarangire NP, Zeph walked around the car and saw a praying mantis. Super beautiful! And big … Zeph grabbed him with a branch from the car and showed him … .. After showing himself well, the praying mantis had enough and flew away, then a bird almost caught him … Fortunately it all went just fine.
On the way to Lake Manyara, we passed villages where many children were walking and who asked for pi-pi. Those are sweets … We had a lot of them and we asked Zeph if we could give them something. Zeph jumped out of the car and handed out something. He explained that you have to divide it among the children yourself because they don’t share with each other. He also told a lot about the lives of these people in Tanzania.

Lake Manyara NP is also a beautiful park, something you should definitely not miss. It’s very green here. Again many elephants and many baboons. Especially at the lake, but there were also a lot of birds. We mainly saw several other species of birds, mainly white pelicans, marabou and storks. At the lake, there was a picnic area where we had lunch and there was a long jetty over the water where we could walk. There were many more bird species here, including flamingos and white herons. There were also hippos here. We could now see them better than in our canoe, but now we were safely on the side.
We stayed here in a Wayo green camp, and I have to mention that we’re not all campers, so here we were in shock. We were told in advance what it would be like, but in real life it was a lot to take! Nevertheless, we were able to sit here again by the campfire and the drink was really nice and cold. I also want to say that the food was super well organized. In the evening the tables were set and lit with atmospheric lights, it looked great. The people who work there are also super friendly.

The next morning we left Lake Manyara NP and we were planning a visit to a village. When leaving the park, Zeph was busy looking outside and looking for traces … He kept looking and suddenly BINGO! Two lions in the middle of the road, beautiful! It was a big family because first came cup 1, then number 2, followed by cub 3. A little further ahead, two females were also chilling. It was a fact that we had to pass, we could not drive otherwise. Zeph started the car and he carefully passed it. The male did not feel like it and started to roar … .. Then through the throats along the female. Eventually the whole thing got up and stepped aside. At that moment a large man emerged from the bushes, there were now 9 lions walking around the car.

In the village, we were kindly welcomed by our guide. We’ve been through the whole village where many bananas are grown and where they make beautiful paintings and cut everything out of wood. You could also buy souvenirs here and we also bought some things. What I couldn’t understand was another Dutch family bargaining so much that it was embarrassing. Here too, we walked the market and we ended with a delicious lunch.
We were picked up again by Zeph and brought to Rhotia valley tented lodge. This was again a beautiful lodge in a beautiful setting. Part of the turnover goes to the orphanage where they have about 30 children, who they take care of there and train them to give them a good future. The atmosphere here was also great and the food again very tasty. Lovely in the evening to a warm bed with a jug in bed to keep you warm.

The next morning, at 4:30 am, we went on our way to the Ngorongoro crater. Zeph wanted to be ahead of the crowds and he succeeded, we were the first to drive into the park and as the seventh we drove into the crater! I cannot describe how beautiful the park is. So many animals … There was also a group of 5 lions gnawing their catches. Hyenas and jackals walked around it, waiting for them to steal something. There is also a hippopool in this park, well and there were really many in it. All of them are pooping and lying together, BAH, dirty animals. This safari has completed the big five for us. Here we have spotted rhino, very far away but we did see it.

Our last NP was the Serengeti. It was a bumpy road with an African Massage as Zeph explained it. In Tarangire, we saw a lot of predators on the first day. Also, two cheetas were enjoying themselves at their gazelle. Very small lion cubs, and also a number of Hyenas. Here too a leopard, but it was concealed in the bushes. And so many other animals.

Our first night we slept in the wonderful Serena lodge, what a beautiful hotel. Much more commercial than the other hotels, but there was really nothing wrong with that. Animals walked everywhere on the site. The buffalo and zebras walked right past the tables where we were eating. A man with a gun brought us to our room after dinner and told us that they had just seen a leopard on the property!
The next morning we left this beautiful lodge with pain in our hearts…. Really in pain, also because we knew that we were sleeping in a Wayo green camp for the last two nights of our safari, and as mentioned before, camping was not our strongest side…. The road there was beautiful again, now also for the first time seen crocodiles. In the afternoon we didn’t come across that much anymore and we all collapsed a bit. Zeph was aware of this and let us out of the car in a safe place and took some crazy photos with us … by the way, also one very nice photo.

When we arrived at the green camp, we were looked after super well and we thought it was okay to spend the last two nights here. We met a lot of people we had met before and there was plenty of chatter during the campfire and under the delicious food.
Tomorrow was our last safari day and we actually wanted to try and see the migration. Then hundreds of wildebeest cross the river and this seems to be very spectacular.
However, that night everything went wrong with my sister-in-law. She became ill and started vomiting. The people at the Green camp took good care of her and really cleaned and washed everything.
Bas and I took care of the children that day. Zeph brought us to the place of migration and there was the waiting … waiting … waiting! Zeph received a call that the crossing had started at a different location. We could drive there, but probably by the time we got there we were too late and we would miss this. So wait again …. wait …. wait. Time for lunch. We got out of the car and were bored a bit and suddenly Zeph became fanatic … Get in the car …in the car … hurry. The door was closed and full gas to the river…. Yes, there were really hundreds if not thousands of wildebeest! We had mixed feelings because so many could not come out of the water and eventually drowned. But what an impressive experience to experience.

After this it was relaxing time! Fortunately, Daan has recovered, because today we are flying to Zanzibar. That also means that we have to say goodbye to Zeph! Even on the way to the airport we’ve seen a lot. A hyena burrow with 4 youngsters … You really can’t believe that. The airport is a piece of open space where all planes land on a strip of grass … Every time Zeph went to ask whether it was our plane that landed. In the end, ours was there. You load suitcases yourself and then find a place for yourself. We gave Zeph a big hug and thanked him for everything!

Also on Zanzibar we were well taken care of and we stayed at the Fumba Beach Lodge. In the evening, they had a mango board at the bar on which the bushbabys approached super funny animals. Also a beautiful little paradise. We went snorkeling for a day with lunch on a deserted bounty island. We had a wonderful meal at the rock, it was really beautiful here. We had also booked an excursion with a canoe through the mangroves here would be a lot of birds. This was a bit disappointing, the man who had to sail our boats did not show up and we had to wait half an hour in an unstable boat. We have also seen 15 birds, we laughed terribly, but we’ll skip this one next time. At the last minute we also decided to go to Stone town and this was really very nice, super cozy town.

After that it’s really time to go home. Everything was perfectly arranged for this too!

Marjolijn and Marloes, you couldn’t have organized a better trip for us, thank you very much for everything.

Would you like to make such an amazing trip too?

Then view the example tours that are fully customizable or
contact us directly for a customized trip!

example trips