Explore Tailormade's Africa Regional Specialist Anneli Rudiger reports on her fact-finding trip to Tanzania:
"Jambo! So my trip got off to a fairly good start in my opinion... Half-empty flight on Ethiopian Airlines - not great for them but I got to spread out and have a slight snooze! Though the plane was slightly dated and in need of a bit of a makeover, I couldn't fault the service or indeed the food – pretty tasty as airline food goes and there was plenty of it!
After a good night's sleep in our hotel in Arusha it was time to go exploring. What a crazy colourful and bustling town Arusha is! Vibrant and full of crazy life – people setting up markets, big piles of shoes for sale on canvas spreads, and not to mention the motorbike ”taxis”- more often than not with two passengers and/or a goat! Wonderful madness.
Driving up towards Lake Manyara was mostly through Masai farmland, maize growing in abundance and cows and goats everywhere. The town of Mto wa Mbu is a great little tourist spot – shopping and bike rides, or simply just to have a walk around and see what's going on.
We arrived at Lake Manyara National Park in time for a quick game drive. While we didn’t have much time and it wasn’t really the right time of day, we still managed to see huge herds of buffalo, wildebeest and zebra, as well as some hefty hippos and a whole lot of pelicans – noisy birds, who knew!? Baboons were also around en masse, including what our guide, Cha Cha, believed to be a barely two day old baby. Cute much?! They care not for cars though, so if they’re sitting in the middle of the road, grooming or doing whatever else baboons do… well best you find a way around.
Escarpment Luxury Lodge is a very welcome end to the day for some quality downtime. Beer first, sunset and spectacular views of the Lake after. This is my Africa…
A lie in this morning...7am that is – Cha Cha was generous! Then we set off to check out a few places around the Karatu area before heading up to the Ngorongoro National Park. More cultural farmlands and busy markets, shack shops along the way. Even three dedicated to Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and good ol’ Obama himself!
There are stray dogs everywhere, and of course the obligatory cows, goats and sheep that graze next to or on the road! I'm not loving the way some of the animals are treated, but I guess it's typically African...
The countryside is lush and green, with huge fig and avocado trees everywhere. Even the quintessentially African white thorn acacia trees are bottle green. Very different from their southern African cousins...loving it! Dense forests dotting the edge of the Ngorongoro Crater, covered (today) in thick grey clouds – you’d think we’re in the Congo, or Uganda or something?!
After a lovely lunch at The Manor, we headed over to Karatu Simba. This calls for some downtime, until part two at least! Tomorrow morning early (no more generosity from Cha Cha) we head to the Crater for what can only be some further spectacular game viewing. Very much looking forward to seeing one of the icons of this part of the world...
Ahsante Sana, Kwaheri"
By Anneli Rudiger
Find out more about our Tailormade trips to Tanzania.