June, Frank and Claire Ruaha and Selous June 2015

Safari in Ruaha

Safaris in Ruaha were fantastic. We spent 3 full days on safari and saw lots. Picnics were very good but the only disappointment was the lack of view from the picnic spot.

Safaris in Selous were also good although wildlife wasn’t as easy to find. Landscape wasn’t as interesting as Ruaha. The boat safari was very good and it was a nice change from the bumpy jeeps.

Dotto [our guide in Ruaha] was exceptional – very polite and friendly. He worked hard to find us the animals we wanted to see. We saw almost everything (except cheetahs) thanks to Dotto’s understanding of his environment.

Apollo [our guide in Selous] was again very friendly. His knowledge was exceptional and his English was better than some English people. He tried very hard to find the animals but with less luck.
Both guides could answer almost any question we asked.

We all preferred Ruaha as a place to stay but we were very lucky with the animals there so this might make us biased. However, we felt that the accommodation was more relaxed and informal at Ruaha which is more our style.

All in all we couldn’t fault the holiday. We may be back!

Accommodation Comments

Southern Sun Hotel

Ideal overnight hotel. Rooms were good, clean and comfortable. Breakfast was very good.

Ruaha River Lodge

Lodge was lovely. Banda’s were very comfortable with beautiful views. Fantastic to be able to get so close to some of the wildlife along the river. All staff were very friendly and accommodating and made us feel very welcome. Food was really good and coeliacs were catered for just as well as everybody else. It was a pleasure to spend time there. We wish we’d had longer there.

Selous Mtemere

Tents were great (except for the ants). Views were great of the sunsets but too far away from the wildlife. Service was excellent and staff were very attentive and friendly. Food was good but a lot was wasted as you couldn’t choose what you wanted as you could in Ruaha.

Liam and Rebecca Northern Tanzania February 2015

The honeymoon was truly spectacular – probably more so than we expected! It was like nothing we had ever experienced before and everyday on safari, in particular, took our breath away. I suppose that was helped by having great guides like Peter at Shumata and Mweta from Mount Kilimanjaro Safari Club. Highlights were giraffes at breakfast at Hatari, the sheer number of elephants in Tarangire, the drive down to Lake Ndutu through the herds and seeing a pride of lions take down a buffalo in Serengeti.

We felt very well looked after all holiday from Sabrina at Hatari, all the way through safari, on to Jelle at Zanzibar Palace, Mikael at Fumba and Graham and Candy at Saadani. We felt that everyone was really going the extra mile to make our stay genuinely memorable. There were many nice surprises throughout the trip. We were also aware of Christine’s presence from a distance! Not only keeping Jelle in touch about our flight delay from Arusha but also her good relationships probably helped us getting upgrades.

We both really liked Olduvai and the chance to have a morning walk in the gorge. We also had an afternoon activity of visiting a local boma – we didn’t like that so much. It was the only time all holiday where we felt like we were seen as walking cash dispensers. We can understand why the village put on a display for tourists as it does get money into the community but it did make us feel uncomfortable. Added to another unpleasant experience we had with a village trip we once had in The Gambia we have decided to avoid these sort of encounters in future. In comparison, while at Shumata we returned from a game drive and got to walk around the local market. We loved that because people ignored us.

The only tips for you to pass on to other clients is
a) to recommend that if people have a long nighttime connection at Doha they do consider booking a room in the airport hotel in advance. We did and although it was very expensive (£130) we both felt much better after grabbing 5 hours sleep in a very comfy bed and having a shower.
b) everywhere provides toiletries so there is little need to bring shower gel / shampoo / soap etc. This can make a difference when you are paranoid about weight restrictions for internal flights with Coastal! (In fact Coastal only weighed our hold luggage and did not seem concerned about the size of carry-on bags)

It was an amazing honeymoon. Thank you for all your suggestions and allowing us to tailor them as we wanted. In particular Tarangire was not somewhere we knew much about but which was one of our absolute highlights. All your behind-the-scenes work made it truly special for us.

Myrtle, Southern Tanzania and Zanzibar February 2015

Giraffe

The safari game drives and boat safaris were far beyond my expectations, including the wildlife, the birdlife and the environment. And let me mention the fact that we saw Wild dogs and the Leopard, how lucky was that.!!

Our two guides were wonderful, nothing was too much trouble for them. Their knowledge was wide and they answered all our questions and more. And they were so kind. Won’t forget them in a long time.

I can’t think of anything more you could have done that would have improved the whole experience.

The international plane journeys, the internal plane journeys the road connections all worked like clockwork. And for this I am extremely grateful.

Thank you for everything.

Accommodation Comments

Saadani Safari Lodge

Accommodation was excellent – everything we needed was supplied. Even a choice of in door or out door shower.

Location could not have been better – so beautiful, sand and sea.

Service was excellent, all lovely people, pleasant and very kind.

Cuisine could not have been better.

Selous Serena Tented Camp

Selous was just as good as Saadani except in a different setting, but also beautiful.

Accommodation was excellent, timings service and cuisine all excellent.

I found the portion sizes rather too large and so asked for half portions on some items. Quality of food was wonderful, flavoursome and fresh.

Zanzibar Serena Hotel

Accommodation excellent, location excellent, service and cuisine all excellent.

Johnny and Roz Northern Tanzania and Zanzibar February 2015

hippos

Just got round to putting our thoughts to paper. Hope you find them helpful. Many thanks to you all for organising such a wonderful holiday – so good we will have to do another one!!

We all had the most wonderful time and although there are a few suggestions in my comments, Go2Tanzania could not have organised this trip any better. Everything went like clockwork flights, taxis etc all on time and a great service.

Thanks to you all for your expertise. We all would have no hesitation in recommending you to anyone!

Accommodation Comments

Rivertrees

Ideal start to the holiday after a long overnight flight. Very accommodating. Good facilities. We were looked after very well.

Serian Kusini

Wonderful. An exceptional place to experience. Abundant game to see in such natural surroundings. We all thoroughly enjoyed every moment of being there. Surprisingly luxurious accommodation. Silver service in the bush!! Drivers, guides and camp staff excellent. Everyone made sure that we saw everything that could be seen. 4 nights right length of time – no longer!

Zanzibar Palace Hotel

We had the 2 best rooms in the hotel. So air conditioned and with windows closed at night surprisingly quiet. Situated right in the middle of the Old Town gave us a real insight into Stonetown life.

The Stonetown tour could have done with a refreshment break halfway, but very informative. Spice tour a little longwinded but the guide did have a severe limp so rather slow.

Hotel staff very helpful and attentive!

One problem with bedroom – no hot water in basins – supply of a jug would sort that.

Saadani

Wonderful location and a great place to finish the holiday. Again service excellent.

Graham and Candy very welcoming and nothing too much trouble. Very hot but with the wind blowing off the sea could keep cool in the shade by the pool. Accommodation first class overlooking the ocean. Right on the beach. Cuisine very good served at sensible times.

This is a place to relax and should be treated such. We slightly overdid the game drives – probably because you don’t want to miss anything!! But really after Serian everything can become rather “tame”.

River trip was different however and well worth doing but we should have not bothered with the earlish walk in the morning as tiring,hot and not much to see.

Marie Northern Tanzania February 2015

hyena

Now that I’m back (sadly!), I just wanted to drop you a line to thank you for organising a fabulous trip (especially on such short notice) — it was exactly the trip I wanted, and as you mentioned on the phone, what you arranged (as opposed to just signing up for a tour to see the different parks while staying in big lodges with lots of people) made a HUGE difference in what I experienced on the trip!

– I think you (through the Plantation Lodge) were responsible for my birthday cake and bubbly in the Crater, so thank you for that — I had a really great day in the Crater that day and won’t forget that birthday…

– The private game drives were fantastic, as I got to linger for more photos and see what I wanted — I got an unexpected 1 day and half of private game drives in the Serengeti and saw a lot in that time alone

– I really liked the Nomad concept

– The food throughout the whole trip was delicious

– I got some unexpected room upgrades (at Plantation Lodge and Zanzibar Palace), which were really nice surprises

– I liked Zanzibar Palace a lot — they were really helpful in helping me organise some excursions (for example, I decided last minute to visit Chumbe Island), the restaurant (as you noted) was very good, and Robert, the manager there, spoke highly of you

– I liked Kichanga, though perhaps not as much as some of the other places I stayed on the trip, but that’s only because the other places you selected were really great and probably more “me” than Kichanga was

In all, the trip exceeded expectations, and everything (transfers, etc) ran like clockwork, so thanks again!

Helen and Jonathan Northern Tanzania & Zanzibar October 2014

Lion

We cannot speak too highly of Go2Tanzania and the personal level of service. Actually planning the holiday took an immense amount of time as we changed our minds a number of times and Christine patiently advised us afresh each time. We thought our safari was fantastic and a wonderful return to Tanzania.

Hatari, Maweninga and Gibbs Farm all went out of their way to ensure that our requirements were more than met with an eagerness that reflected their high opinion of Christine. Special mention must be made to Go2Tanzania for providing us with our truly wonderful safari guide Alphayo Leiyan, whose knowledge, friendliness, driving skills and animal spotting skills were outstanding and enriched our experience so much.

When Qatar Airways were late on our London-Doha flight so we missed our direct flight from Doha to Kilimanjaro, Christine arranged for us to be met at Dar and looked after while we waited for the next flight. She also ensured that we did not miss out on our safari by subtly changing the timetable of the first 2 days. We have no hesitation in wholeheartedly recommending Go2Tanzani for their exceptional advice and service during the planning stage and throughout our holiday. Thank you Christine!

Accommodation Questionnaires

Hatari Lodge

We arrived late for dinner, (instead of breakfast as planned) due to extreme delays with the journey from UK. Dinner is normally taken at a long communal table but the lodge kindly arranged a separate table for us as, after 30 hours of travelling, we were a little tired! On the second night they ensured that we were sitting with other English speakers and we had a great evening chatting with the different nationalities! Although there was a set menu, enormous detail had been paid to our pre-notified diet requirements. We were escorted to our well- equipped and spacious en suite lodge by a Masai to ensure there were no animals en route and the Masais kept watch all night as animals would roam freely though the lodge grounds. Although electricity goes off overnight, Hatari had kindly arranged battery power for a sleep apnoea machine. Malaria is not a problem here because of the altitude so no mosquito nets were needed. The highlight of Hatari was the sight of giraffes and other animals grazing very close by as we ate our excellent a la carte breakfast.

We spent a day going up Mt Meru to the caldera, stopping off as we drove part of the way up to view wildlife and waterfalls, driving through an arch formed by a massive fig tree, before walking up escorted by an armed guide to see buffaloes and baboons. We had our best packed lunch of our whole safari when the driver produced a tower of metal dishes, each containing different hot delicacies. The next morning’s drive showed us lakes pink-ringed by flamingoes feeding as well as local sites of historic interest.

Tarangire and the Maweninga Tented Camp

After lunch, we met our driver, Alphayo Leiyan, who was our private driver for the rest of our safari. He was well-educated and a pleasure to talk to, an excellent driver with a superb knowledge of the animals we wished to see, where best to find them, and the ability to make out well-camouflaged game at an unbelievable distance.

Tarangire has about 3,000 elephants and a mass of other game in a relatively compact area, which makes it ideal for those experiencing the African plains for the first time. Long herds of zebra and wildebeest move slowly across the savannah, largely ignoring the tourist jeeps but keeping a keen eye out for the predators. Lions lie lazily in the shade, too idle to move in the heat of the day, however close the jeeps come. We were extremely fortunate that Alphayo spotted high in the branches of trees both a sleeping leopard and a tree-climbing lion. We also saw a python and a monitor lizard, where he practically had to bring us into touching distance before we saw them, though he had picked them out from 100 yards away as well as cheetahs, ostriches, giraffes, springboks and other antelopes.

Maweninga Camp consisted of a number of spacious tents perched on an escarpment, looking across a lake to the towering side of the rift valley, with an amazing view, wonderful for both sunrise and sunset. The evening meal was excellent, and again due notice had been taken of dietary requirements, breakfast was passable but the packed lunch disappointing. Again we were kindly given the only tent with overnight power, although there were facilities for charging appliances at reception, and there was no need for a mosquito net round the bed. The Masai were very much in evidence throughout our stay as guards. The worst part of the camp was the late afternoon approach after a day’s safari, which suffered from the attention of tsetse flies which sting viciously though we were assured that there was no risk of sleeping sickness. However, the effect of the sting wears off very quickly and they are not around in the morning or evening so the meals could be eaten al fresco.

Gibbs Farm and the Ngorongoro Crater

Gibbs Farm is in the most wonderful setting right on the outside edge of the Ngorongoro Crater, nestled into the game reserve – a true paradise and well worth a day to itself, as well as being a good base for visiting the Crater. Our ‘Weaver’ cottage was luxurious, well-equipped and huge with indoor and outdoor showers and a massive stone bath. Most of the delicious food (all organic) came from the farm, including the coffee and there was a good selection of dishes for the four courses. As we were celebrating a birthday we spent a day there relaxing and exploring the farm including milking a cow, and had a wonderful birthday treat at dinner time with a dozen staff bearing a cake, stamping feet and singing Happy Birthday! A number of talks were on offer down by the fire pit, which was lit as one of the deterrents to elephants from the nearby crater entering and eating the produce in the extensive vegetable gardens! The “sundowner” included waiting silently to watch the shy bushbabies creep down to a feeding tray.

The Ngorongoro Crater was all it was supposed to be. If you have only one day to spend viewing game on your holiday, this is the place to go. We saw all the big 5 as well as many other animals here and a good selection of striking birds. Lunch was spent watching hippos in a lake. The view of the world’s largest caldera was spectacular as we descended from the rim.

After our safari, we spent a week in Zanzibar and the last night in Dar es Salaam

Zanzibar Palace Hotel, Stone Town

We spent a night here to look at Stone Town and indulge in retail therapy. The hotel is an old merchant house tucked amongst the back streets. Our room was good sized with a bath large enough for two, but a steep climb up the steps with no lift. Breakfast was adequate and the hotel service was excellent. The narrow streets were atmospheric but another time we would have preferred to stay at one of the hotels on the beach for a better view.

Next Paradise Hotel, Zanzibar

This hotel on the east side of the island is paradise indeed – relaxing, peaceful and beautiful- on a wonderful white sandy beach with palm trees. The terrace of our ground floor room was only a few feet from the Indian Ocean and there were two swimming pools. The food was excellent, based largely on fish, and one could ask for changes to the menu if advised by late afternoon. Our bed was decorated each day with towels and flower petals- it seemed a pity to spoil it by going to bed! It is not a hotel for those wanting some night life but great for somewhere to recharge one’s batteries after the excitement of a safari.

Southern Sun Hotel, Dar es Salaam

This is a business hotel in the heart of Dar es Salaam. It was comfortable and the staff readily changed our room when we pointed out that our non-smoking room smelled of smoke. We ate there for convenience and it was fine. The reason for our stay was a nostalgic visit to the city where Jonathan lived when young. He remembered learning to swim at Oyster Bay but sadly his memories of the white tropical beach were now somewhat tarnished by the debris littering the beach, visible at low tide. Go2Tanzania arranged a driver not just to collect and deliver us to the airport, but also to tour the neighbourhood looking for old haunts and we were delighted to visit two of the houses he used to live in. However the undoubted highlight was an unscheduled visit to his old primary school, where we were joyously welcomed by the teachers and pupils and had a photograph taken of him sitting in “his” old wooden desk, surrounded by ecstatically happy, smiling faces.

Our wonderful holiday was made possible through the amazing organisation of Christine and Fiona at Go2Tanzania, a company which we have no hesitation in recommending. We had severe problems with our outward journey but it was wonderful to have Christine at the end of the phone to provide much-needed assistance and to rearrange our early timetable. From that point on everything went to plan and we had an unforgettable holiday – thank you Go2Tanzania!

Eric and Sally Northern Tanzania October 2014

Elephant in Serengeti

First of all can we thank everyone at Go2Tanzania for organizing another absolutely fantastic holiday. The three camps we stayed at more than met our expectations and the other arrangements, transfers, flights and hotels were all excellent.

Accommodation Questionnaires

River Trees Country Inn

Very nice hotel, comfortable rooms and friendly staff. An extensive menu and well prepared food.

Nomad Chada Camp, Katavi

Fantastic. Accommodation, food, service all first class. Hard to be critical of anything.

Safaris very good. Lots of animals and birds.

On a booking point there were a number of optional extras that had to be booked in advance ( e. g. fly camping) that we weren’t aware of.

Nomad Greystoke Camp, Mahale

Another fantastic experience. Everything revolves around chimps and we were fortunate that we had two good days with them. Plus on our last day they were actually in the camp. Special mention of the guides who were excellent.

There are a few points that you may not be aware of in respect of the chimp watching;
-you can only spend an hour a day with them (this is monitored by park rangers). Our itinerary said that there was no restriction.
-Only a group of 6 can be with the chimps at any one time. As there were 10 staying at Greystokes, and there is another camp close by this can mean a lot of hanging around.
-perhaps you should remind clients that they need a long sleeve shirt and long trousers.

As far as the camp was concerned the accommodation was fantastic (very similar to Mafia last year). We felt the food and service, whilst excellent, were slightly below the standard of Katavi without being able to put on finger on why.

There is a pet pelican at the camp which I suspect you either love or hate; I hated it.

Whilst not on the itinerary Sally went to the local village with another guest (who had also done stuff a rucksack) and the manageress and had a really informative and entertaining afternoon.

Arusha Coffee Lodge

Very nice hotel, comfortable rooms and friendly staff; close to Arusha airport. We were full board (B & B in itinerary). In the restaurant it’s as cheap, or expensive, to drink beer as opposed to the bottled water.

Saadani Safari Lodge

Second time there and as good, if not better. Best food of the three camps. Accommodation and service outstanding. Good wildlife spotting with lots of lions, elephants and buffalo. The river trip is brilliant. Excellent bird spotting.
Our only concern is that Sanctuary will close it down if other people don’t start staying there. As last year for most of the time we were the only people there.

Jethro and Family Northern Tanzania October 2014

Leopard in Serengeti

I would say overall very satisfied with our trip.

The campsite staffs were brilliant with the organization of the campsite with food, hot water for shower, the toilets were cleaned, kept the fire going in the evening, etc…

The camp food was very good, especially the soups, there were so delicious.

Highly recommend this trip with the type of services and staffing we had.

On behalf of everyone in our trip we like to thank you for a very pleasant trip well done.

Accommodation Questionnaires

Moivaro Coffee Lodge

The accommodation, service and food were good. We only had a few hours here just to sleep and rest after long flights.

Tarangire River Camp

This site is in a great location overlooking the Tarangire River, many elephants looking for water in the dry river bed, plenty of birds around the hotel. The accommodation is comfortable, good bed, service is good and the food is of good standard.

I would recommend this accommodation.

Empakai Bivouac Camp

Great location and place for trekking, we had a lot of laughs with the team who managed our campsite. They came from Olduvai Camp so the service and food is of good standard.

We got used to the outside shower and bush toilet. It was not so bad after all.

The nights were cold, wished we had our warmer clothings. Camp bed was ok. We still managed to sleep.

I would recommend this trekking site.

Olduvai Tented Camp

The location is great with a 360 degree surround view of the area. Good accommodation, good bed, service is very good and the food is of high standard. This is one of my favourite places to stay.

I would recommend this accommodation.

Ronjo Tented Camp

You hear the animals at night. This is the place to be amongst the animals at night. Another great location, the accommodation is good, good bed, service is good and the food is of good standard.

I would recommend this accommodation.

Bashay Rift Lodge

This location is high up in the hills with a great view to the surrounding area and villages. We spend time cycling around the area visiting clay brick making area, local school, Lutheran church, brief visit to a local wedding, drove to Mosquito town – visit a local school run by volunteers of the banana plantation staff, local Masai market, a quick walk around the streets but was followed by lots of local people wanting to sell us their goods.

The accommodation is excellent and the staffs are very good and the food is of good standard.

I would highly recommend this place.

Zanzibar Seacliff Hotel and Spa

This is a place for those who want to rest after the Safari trip. We are certainly not one to rest and so we went to the town to spend our last days looking around Zanzibar.

The hotel is situated in a nice location and served a variety of food and drinks. The staffs are friendly and the accommodation is very good.

This is suitable for those who like all inclusive deal.

Guides and Service

We are very fortunate to have good guides during our trip. Godwin who drove us during our safari trip is very knowledgeable and had provided us a very good guide during this period. We recommend his service.

The same could be said about our Masai guide. The ranger was very quiet I think he does not speak very good English. But that did not stop us enjoying ourselves.

Anne-Lise & Gregoire Honeymoon October 2014

Elephants-in-Tarangire

Giraffe-at-watering-hole

Everything was very good and overall we were very happy with this trip. We would like to thank you very much for all the work you did for this trip. We really enjoyed the surprise you organised for Anne-Lise’s birthday.

Everything was very well organised and we did not have to wait at any time. All the people we met were very friendly and helpful.

Tanzania Safari Diary

Osupuko Tented Lodge

We had a very good impression of the Osupuko Lodge. The location was great as it was very close to the Tarangire park. The room was very spacious, well decorated and comfortable.

The view was stunning. People there were very welcoming and friendly. The food was good. We also enjoyed the wine that was given to us in the room.

We also appreciated that it was not too crowded as we were the only guests on the second night.

Bashay Rift Lodge

Very good accommodation too. The view from the room was truly amazing. We had room number 2 which was very spacious, quiet and comfortable.

The food was excellent and the service was nice. We enjoyed a dive in the swimming pool on the first night and the view from there was stunning.

It was also good that it was located between the Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro parks as it made the journeys shorter.

Lemala Tented Camp

We also enjoyed very much our stay there, maybe even more than at the other 2. It was amazing to be located within the park. The tent was very comfortable. We don’t think a tent can be much more comfortable than this.

The “talking shower” was surprising and it will be something funny to remember. The food was exceptionally good, we were amazed to find such good meals in such a remote place.

We were pleasantly surprised to find a bottle of Prosecco in the room when we arrived. We also enjoyed the cake and the celebration the staff did for Anne-Lise’s birthday.

It was a good thing to have drinks included and to be able to enjoy them around the bond fire that was set every day before dinner. It was also nice to have dinner at the same table as all the other guests.

Butiama Beach Lodge

Staying at the Butiama Beach Lodge was also a very good experience. The location was very nice with a beautiful beach and very convenient to see the whale sharks. We were lucky we were just there at the right season.

The lodge was very tastefully decorated and conveyed an impression of peace and relaxation which was just what we were looking for after a week of safari. The hotel staff were very nice, efficient and friendly. The room was beautiful and very comfortable.

We really enjoyed the fresh food coming directly from the fishermen’s catch of the day and the Italian twist to the menu coming from the manager. We enjoyed having a good cocktail and discussing at the bar before having dinner next to the beach.

The activities were very enjoyable and reasonably priced. We really liked diving with the whale sharks, it was very impressive. We also got to see humped back whales on the same day. The snorkelling in the marina and around the sand bank were also great, we saw a lot of colourful fishes and corals. The visit of Chole Island was not as pleasant as the other activities.

We were also offered a complimentary sunset cruise as we were on honeymoon. Enjoying the sunset in a sailing boat with a glass of Prosecco was a unique experience.

Guides

Both of the guides were very good. Our first guide, Mwetta, was very experienced and made many efforts to make sure we could see as many things as possible. He had many interesting stories to tell us too.

Our second guide, Baraka, was also very good and he taught us a lot of things about how the animals behaved. His driving skills were impressive and we had amazing views on the animals thanks to him.

Additional Comments

Everything was very well organised and we did not have to wait at any time. All the people we met were very friendly and helpful. The wildlife we saw was amazing. We really enjoyed every day of the safari.

We saw many animals in the Tarangire, they were all concentrated along the river as it was the dry season in the park. Anne-Lise was delighted to see so many elephants including younger ones.

We were also lucky enough to see leopards, cheetahs and lions during the day and a half we stayed in the park.

We saw slightly fewer animals in the Lake Manyara park but it was a good spot to see many monkeys.

The Ngorongoro caldera was an amazing place. The landscape was really beautiful and we saw many animals there including rhinos and lion cubs.

We were also lucky to see the great migration in the Serengeti. We also saw rhinos, lions, cheetahs, crocodiles and many others in this park.

The only thing that surprised us a bit was the small fee we had to pay at the mafia airport on the last day. We were a bit embarrassed as we did not have any dollars remaining but we were lucky that the pilot was English and took a british pound note and paid for us in Tanzanian money.

Kathy and Richard Northern Tanzania October 2014

Zebra Malanja Serengeti

Fiona, we had a wonderful time. Thank you very much to you and Christine for organising such a great trip. It all went very smoothly and the scenery and animals easily surpassed what we were hoping for.

Our feedback is below:

Lake Duluti Lodge

Accommodation, service and gardens were absolutely wonderful. We only ate breakfast there (having eaten lots on the aircraft!) but that was excellent.

Bashay Rift Lodge

The location is great, with wonderful views from our room across a valley over farmland to distant hills. The swimming pool was very pleasant. The lodge building was beautifully furnished, service was excellent and the breakfast and evening meal were good. The birdlife in the Lodge gardens was wonderful.

However, the room itself was slightly scruffy and had no drawers or wardrobe; and the black floor marked our feet/socks. The one packed lunch from this lodge was a bit disappointing.

We were provided with a full three course lunch just before we left for Manyara airfield but due to the timings this was at 11:30. Having had a substantial breakfast only a couple of hours before – something much lighter would have been better.

Nomad Serengeti Safari Camp

Everything about the camp was wonderful – the service, friendly staff, food, accommodation (including bucket shower) and especially of course the location (listening to lions roaring in the night and having zebras and wildebeest right outside the door). Sitting round the camp fire and eating at one table with the other guests added to the fun.

One thing that’s worth noting and warning your other clients about is that it can get really cold in the evenings when eating in the main tent and although we’d taken light fleeces, this was not really enough. The hot water bottles in the bed and warm duvet were very welcome.

Kia Lodge

We were only there for a few hours and did not eat there – but it was very comfortable and the staff helpful. The swimming pool was pleasant and we managed to get a glimpse of the top of Kilimanjaro just before we left for the airport.

MKSC Guide

The guide was waiting for us at the airport and was always on time. The park entrances were handled efficiently.

Lake Manyara was a good introduction to our safari as we saw a good variety of animals and birds in a short space of time. It was a very scenic place and it was interesting being alongside the Rift Valley escarpment.

The Ngorongoro Crater was also very beautiful and interesting. We saw a great many animals and birds here.

The drives to each park were also interesting, seeing a glimpse of the Tanzanian way of life, with our guide telling us about the Maasai people.

The lunch arrangement on the first day wasn’t great. The guide collected it from a shop in the centre of Arusha, supplied in cardboard boxes. After several hours in a hot vehicle we didn’t judge it safe to eat apart from the fruit and cake. This was puzzling as the vehicle was equipped with a fridge.

Nomad Guide

The guide was waiting for us at the airfield and instead of just taking us to the camp he took us on an excellent game drive, which was a lovely introduction to the Serengeti.

The Serengeti was amazing! So many animals and wonderful landscape as far as the eye could see. We were also lucky to see the Wildebeest migration and some river crossings.

The picnic lunches provided by Nomad were delicious (and provided in a cool bag!). The guide produced a table, chairs, cutlery, etc. and there was even wine if we wanted it.

Overall Comments

The transfer from Arusha airport to Kia Lodge was not as we had been told and was a bit confusing. Instead of being taken directly to Kia Lodge, we were taken to Shanga, which is a workshop/shop for disabled people and restaurant, close to Arusha airport.

It turned out well as the tour was interesting, we bought something from the shop and the lunch was good – but it would have been good to know we were doing this beforehand! We were also a bit puzzled that the plane that we flew on from Kogatende to Arusha was actually continuing to Kilimanjaro, which would have avoided the lengthy road transfer.

While looking at the Nomad brochure in the camp we noticed that they offer Chimpanzee watching at Greystoke Mahale. We might have been interested in this if we’d known about it.

The comment about Mahale wasn’t meant at all as a criticism but rather a constructive comment. I hadn’t mentioned chimpanzees as I hadn’t realised it was even a possibility in Tanzania and other people are probably just as ill informed as me!

We had a wonderful time and everything went very smoothly, thank you.

Leslie and Christine Northern Tanzania and Saadani March 2014

commentCover

Having expert knowledge of the area from someone like Christine was invaluable and the final itinerary was a good balance between different areas and distances to be covered.

Some of the people we came across at the various lodges seemed to be on very tight schedules and long distance transits which cannot have been very enjoyable for them.

Holiday Safari Diary

Day 1: Mount Meru

We were met by a friendly smiling Christopher – our guide for the safari part of our trip. He took us to Mount Meru Game Lodge where we received a warm welcome. We had dinner provided, they had kept a full buffet available for us but most of the food was luke warm so we were a little wary as we were warned in advance to only eat food which was piping hot.

By the time we were ready for bed we found there was no longer any running water (hot or cold). I ventured to find someone but the place was quiet so made do until morning. The following morning we are offered the use of the neighbouring room which did have water.

The Lodge is generally in need of some TLC. Wi-Fi was not working and beds were quite hard.

Day 2: Tarangire NP & Maweninga Tented Campe

Good omelette for breakfast. Had time to take a short walk around the grounds.

Breakfast At Mount Meru

Departed Mount Meru. The road to Tarangire took us through Arusha which was quite an experience. The road was generally good as it was tarmaced but at various points it was being repaired which meant being diverted over very rough roads.

Arriving at Tarangire gates allowed a comfort break and washrooms were of a reasonable standard.

Christopher then took us for a game drive through the park. Allowed us to see thousands of elephants, but also many other animals (giraffe, buffalo, warthogs, ostriches, water buck, impala, dik dik, mongooses) and many birds.

Elephant Tarangire National Park

Christopher had organised a picnic lunch which we took under a nice shady tree. Not his original choice because that was blocked by a group of elephants enjoying the shade and they were not for moving!

In afternoon went to a swamp area which was very peaceful and did not see another vehicle for some time. Stop at picnic site for rest room was an idyllic area with elephants going through the swampy area and plenty of birds.

First experience of tsetse flies which can bite through socks and clothing and are not deterred by repellent or treated clothing!

We arrived at the camp and received a good welcome which was proving to be the norm throughout our trip.

We had drinks watching the sunset over Lakes Manyara and Burungi – very pleasant.

Day 3: Tarangire NP & Maweninga Tented Camp

Set off after breakfast. We saw a lot more wildlife including monkeys at comfort stop.

Lilac-Breasted Roller Bird Tarangire National Park

Instead of picnic lunch as we expected Christopher had arranged for us to have an excellent buffet lunch at Tarangire Safari Lodge.

Afternoon interrupted by a rain shower and had to close roof. Wildlife was a little more spread out in the afternoon in the areas we went to. We had more tsetse flies to contend with.

Back a little earlier so had a little relax on our veranda overlooking Lake Burungi.

Day 4: Lake Manyara & Gibbs Farm

Set off after collecting picnic lunch.

Stayed in Tarangire NP a little longer than anticipated to see more wildlife including spending some time watching a pack of wild dogs resting near a river. Apparently this is not a common sight in the park.

Wild Dog Tarangire National Park

We then drove to Lake Manyara. Saw our first real largish herds of zebra and wildebeest (nothing like we would see later in Serengeti) plus small number of elephants, buffalo and giraffe. Saw lots of monkeys and baboons and many birds.

Had picnic lunch near lake but water was down so flamingos only seen in the distance.

After further time in Lake Manyara we drove to Gibbs Farm. We were shown to Weavers Cottage which must be one of the best on the Farm. Our living room (in a large cottage) and veranda overlooked a pool with nesting weaver birds.

 Veranda Gibbs Farm

Karen the artist in residence and a friend of Christine MacDougall introduced herself at dinner but would meet up with her several times during our stay and we did buy some prints and cards from her.

Day 5: Gibbs Farm

Good breakfast with proper poached eggs. Gibbs Farm coffee! We spent the morning exploring farm, taking in views and birds.

Good time with Karen who also had a local student with her using paper rather than canvas. Eventually chose some items to take home.

Had an excellent buffet lunch with plenty of good food to choose from. No good for our waistlines!

Spent afternoon relaxing reading and taking in nice surroundings and afternoon coffee. Gibbs Farm was a good place to relax and get jobs like laundry done.

Day 6: Ngorongoro Crater & Olduvai Tented Camp

Set off at 8.30 to get to crater. Stopped at a view point overlooking crater and what a sight!

Ngorongoro Crater Viewpoint

From the rim it did not look like there were many animals in the crater but on descending we saw many almost everywhere we went. There was plenty to see including buffalos, lions, hyenas, baboons, zebras, wildebeest, elephants, rhinos, jackals (including one killing and taking a stork) and a serval cat which even Christopher was pleased to see plus many birds.

Picnic lunch was at a nice spot near a pool with hippos and a tree which was the subject of one of Karen’s pictures we purchased.

Then a long drive over rough roads – the tarmac having run out – to Olduvai and the tented camp.

We arrived in time to take a walk to nearby rocks to watch the sunset – accompanied by a Masai warrior with a spear – just in case.

Masaai Enjoying Sundowner At Olduvai Tented Camp

Day 7: Olduvai Cross Country Drive & Olduvai Tented Camp

The toilet and washing facilities were outside the main living tent, still sheltered but relatively colder than the living part of the tent.

Breakfast is a cold buffet – no hot food and again a self-select picnic lunch.

7 am start to get in what Christopher hoped we would see.

Soon came across a family of 5 cheetahs (mum plus 4 cubs). This was magical and we followed them for some time from a respectful distance.

We saw plenty of wildebeest and zebra migrating, plus giraffe, jackals, hyenas. Came across two cheetahs with a kill and spent a while watching them.

Saw a pride of lions at the water. Watched them moving from the water into shade.

Christopher took us past flamingos at Lake Ndutu to a picnic spot amongst some trees.

Then Christopher took us to the museum at Olduvai Gorge. This was interesting but a little expensive for what were really two rooms of exhibits and explanations and a short briefing talk.

We got back to camp for a good shower to wash off all the dust from the day’s drive and a short climb on the central rock in the camp to watch the sunset from there.

Good dinner.

Day 8: Serengeti & Soroi Lodge

Early breakfast, self-select picnic and set off at 7.15.

We saw plenty of Grant and Thomson gazelles on way. We experienced a large herd of wildebeest crossing road migrating into Serengeti. We saw a cheetah and some hyenas. We stopped at entrance gate to Serengeti at Naabi Hill for comfort break and a walk up the hill to look at superb views over the Serengeti.

Then we continued with game drive through Serengeti. Saw wildebeest and other antelope migrating. We watched some Hyenas at a den. We found numbers of lions on rocks including a young simba!

Young Lion Serengeti

A group of 4 lion brothers near a river. Christopher thought they were from outside the Serengeti as they were very wary of the vehicle. Saw two groups of lions in trees.

Then saw three female lions at some water. Christopher spotted a leopard coming down a tree but when got near we only caught glimpses of it walking through the grass. Eventually moved on and Christopher spotted another one in a tree and got some good views.

Lunch at a picnic site with a refreshment van there- the first we have seen on our trip. We used the washroom facilities to wash some of dust off.

Then on to Soroi Lodge – part through a great deal of tsetse flies forcing us to close roof.

Another good welcome at the lodge – I think they were surprised by how dusty we were!

We were issued with solar powered torch and a whistle. Arranged to be picked up for dinner at 7.30 – apparently a Masai warrior will come in a golf buggy for us.

We were shown to a lovely lodge with great views.

It was a bit of a trek over a rough track and then wooden steps to get there.

Had a short relax and I had an outside shower (not overlooked by anyone) and Christine had a bath with lovely views.

We were picked up on time for dinner. Good food. Wi- fi was not very good at restaurant .Taken back to our lodge by golf cart.

Day 9: Serengeti Game Drive & Soroi Lodge

We watched elephants down below whilst having breakfast. Good selection of warm and cold food with an egg chef to cook your eggs as required.

Off again for another good day’s wildlife spotting. Saw plenty of Elephants, ostrich, buffalos, giraffe, many zebras and wildebeest. We were taken to a small lake with some hippos and quite a few birds including a small flock of flamingos. Christopher managed to locate a family of three surrounded by lots of zebra. The people in the vehicle next to us were looking in opposite direction until Christopher took pity on them and pointed out the leopards to them!

Christopher (with a machete!) took me up some rocks ( Masai steps?) with proper made steps to have good views and Christopher showed me how the Masai communicated using the rocks which acted like bells when struck with smaller rocks. He did tell me afterwards that he did come across a pride of lions there on a previous visit!

We then had a picnic lunch among some shady trees near a crossing of a river watching hundreds of thousands of zebra and smaller number of wildebeest coming over the plains to the water and then passing either side of us. We spent some time taking in the sights and sounds.

Zebra Serengeti

Reluctantly moved but Christopher managed to find another leopard for us before returning back to Soroi.

Again we had a nice meal. The Masai dropped us off at top of steps back to our lodge and when opening the door found there was no power in the lodge although outside lights were still on! Problem was communicating the issue to anyone – so after a while decided whistle was only way. A Masai came quite soon so the system does work. He got assistance and power came back on but only for a short while – did whistle again and power restored again but only lasted a short while. Looking outside it looked like the power cut was more extensive as the outside lights had gone out as well. Decided to call it a day and made use of our head torches to get ready for bed and prepare for following day.

Day 10: Drive To See Hippos & Soroi Lodge

Power back on about 5.30am.

No management at breakfast so could not mention problem. We assume they did know about the problems because we were later told that our laundry bill was complimentary.

Christophe took us to the Retina hippo pool where we saw in excess of 100 hippos in one spot including one walking across track in front of us. I managed to spot a monitor lizard but not a croc (although Christopher said there was one!) We spent just short of an hour there and well worth the long transit to get there even with the heat.

Hippo Serengeti

Then back to Soroi for a hot lunch – made a pleasant change from a picnic.

Chance for a group photo:

Lesley and Christine with Christopher Their Driver And Guide

Spent afternoon relaxing – used Wi-fi in reception which was much better than restaurant.

Last dinner at Soroi under the stars – despite power problem we had a good time.

Day 11: Fly To Saadani & Saadani Safari Lodge

We departed after a relatively leisurely breakfast and drove to Seronera airstrip – stopping briefly at Serengeti visitor centre. This gave us a last chance to see more wildlife on way.

Coastal Aviation plane was on time. Christopher loaded our luggage and we said our goodbyes. This was the end of a very good safari and the start of our trip to the coast. On we went to Arusha via Ndutu and Lake Manyara.

Arriving at Saadani pleasantly surprised to see a vehicle waiting for us with a small welcoming party with towels, drinks and a fruit skewer. It was only a short drive to lodge from airstrip.

We were shown to a very nice lodge overlooking the beach and Indian Ocean.

Evening meal was a fixed menu with main course being a seafood platter of locally caught produce. Not Christine’s ideal choice but I really enjoyed it.

We had a real storm overnight very wet and windy. Water came through the gauze windows. The canvas blinds are on outside of windows and given how wet it was we decided to ride it out and left the blinds as they were.

Day 12: Saadani & Saadani Safari Lodge

Early morning start for a game drive – just a quick coffee and biscuit – before setting off at 6am. We saw giraffes, water buck and Lichtenstein Hartebeest

Back to Lodge with rain showers for a full English breakfast. We spent the rest of morning relaxing walking the beach and reading etc.

We had a very pleasant lunch – fish and chips – red snapper.

We spent the afternoon relaxing and a further walk into the Indian Ocean. Evening meal slightly spoilt by number of bugs (apparently harmless) in dining room brought out by change in weather and white table cloths).

Again we were escorted back to lodge. Laundry not yet returned although we were told it was a “same day service”.

Day 13: Saadani & Saadani Safari Lodge

More rain during early morning .We were informed at breakfast that the river safari scheduled for morning would be delayed until after lunch. Back to Lodge to find laundry had been returned.

We had a lazy morning. After lunch we started out on the drive to the river. Went a few km and just past Saadani village the way was blocked by three lorries.

Managed to get past the first one but the other two were alongside each other totally blocking the way. Informed that they were now waiting for road to dry out so they could attempt moving the vehicles. We also did not know what lay ahead and we would have to come back same way even if we could bypass the blockage by going “cross country”. We decided the best and safest course of action was to abort the trip and return to the Lodge. Disappointing but experience was a part of our adventure.

Back at the Lodge we relaxed some more and had more walks on beach.

Day 14: Fly To Dar Es Salaam & Then Home

We were informed at breakfast that the flight had been brought forward two hours. On leaving the Lodge we are informed we would now be going to FQ Airport Hotel because of logistical problems in getting to and from the Slipway Hotel to the airport because of Friday traffic. It could take 3 hours!

Journey to the hotel was an eye opener! Once off the main road we went down a pot holed track over some railway tracks through a local market. The hotel appeared to be in the middle of a downcast area.

There was no real welcome from reception staff – a total contrast from the rest of our Tanzanian experience. We went to room which was very stark. We eventually managed to get got air-conditioning on. Plus pints about hotel were air conditioning and Wi-Fi but very little else going for it.

We got picked up as arranged to go to airport.

Unfortunately there is not much available at airport. Most souvenir shops had the same items at the same price but managed to buy a few items but not much for young children.

Anyway flight departed slightly early and journey home was quite long but uneventful. Dar es Salaam was certainly the low point of the trip.

Overall this had been a great adventure for us and exceeded our expectations of what we expected to see. We had gone with the hope of seeing some wildlife but know that it can depend on luck as well as a good guide as to what you may see. I think we had a good mix of both.

The overall organisation was excellent – picked up and met on time and welcomed at every location except airport hotel.

Christopher was an excellent guide – even though he kept saying he was “lost” which we usually had some comment in return as part of the humorous exchanges – and the vehicle although not the most modern was adequate and robust for the rough terrain. The inbuilt fridge for the water and the picnics was very useful.

The lodgings in the main were very good and were as we expected of each of them from the initial work of Christine and subsequent searches on the web. As indicated above small problems with electricity and water in some places.

Food was generally quite good and tasty although sometimes not to our personal taste. Portions were usually generous so we did put on some weight despite sweating quite a bit.

Airport hotel was not the best but with very little choice in the vicinity and as airport had limited facilities it was the better option.

I also think an alternative to Mount Meru Lodge should be considered but it was only for one night so if water had worked our opinion may have been different.

Everywhere we went, other than the airport hotel, everyone was so friendly and cheerful.

Overall it was a wonderful adventure with plenty of memories to last us forever.

David and Christine Northern Tanzania and Zanzibar March 2014

Bashay Rift Lodge

Northern Tanzania and Zanzibar

Everything worked seamlessly despite concerns about baggage going astray in transits, which never happened. It was good in all locations to be able to choose the contents of our packed lunch.

The companies used locally were excellent and very professional. We were particularly impressed by the Serengeti Balloon Company. It seemed expensive when we booked but on reflection it was well worth it (we were toasted by everyone after we landed) and we loved the champagne breakfast.

It was a long drive on the first day from Kilimanjaro airport but it was a very poor road in some parts. I can see why some people take the opportunity for some inter-park flights; however, that would have meant changing guides/drivers. We saw all the animals we wanted to see and the numbers of elephants were really surprising. We were privileged to see leopards in trees and a pack of rare African Wild Dogs.

Looking back we think it probably wasn’t worth going to Lake Manyara Park compared to the rest.

Sam, our first driver, was excellent, gentle, helpful and knowledgeable and we seemed to ‘click’. We stayed out all day with him which was fine and we don’t think it made a lot of difference compared to early morning drives and then back to camp.

We may have missed actual ‘kills’ but we still saw a cheetah stalking and chasing prey plus lions/leopards enjoying the meal they had caught earlier.

Ernest, who was with us at Dunia was also good and had a better knowledge of birds than Sam plus had guides we could use to identify birds/animals.

To be honest we weren’t that fussed about Zanzibar itself, particularly Stone Town, although the different culture was interesting and we had no complaints about Seacliff. We also really enjoyed the experience at Mtoni Palace concert and dinner.

The only thing which slightly marred our departure was the sudden imposition of the exit tax of $48 pp which could only be accepted in $ and no debit/credit card facilities. It caught a lot of people out (and a lot were unhappy, especially families. I didn’t have enough $ so had to find a cash machine that would accept my card and then change the Tshillings for $. I think it might be helpful for you to highlight this for future travellers as this is now in force. (I can understand why quite a lot of people we talked to on the mainland would be happy to revert to Tanganyika.

All in all a holiday of a lifetime with great memories. Many thanks to all at Go2Tanzania for arranging everything so well.

Accommodation Questionnaires

Maweninga Tented Camp

Amazing location perched on the kopje. We really liked the pit fire and views across to the lakes.

Food service and accommodation were good, also the packed lunch.

It was a bit unusual to be greeted by whacks all over from fly swats to get rid of the tsetse flies we had brought in, but that was all part of the fun!

Bashay Rift Lodge

Lovely lodge and facilities with that view across the Crater.

I can see the benefit of staying more than one night to enjoy all that was on offer but we have to confess it was a bit like a normal holiday in a hotel with excursions. That was not what we wanted so although no problem with Bashay we preferred the tents.

This was the only place that seemed unwilling to vary the menu for me.

Olduvai Tented Camp

This felt quite remote, especially looking back from a vantage point (where we watched the sunset). As such it was really good and gave alternatives for my diet. Probably not quite so clean as the other 2 camps.

Enjoyed the presence of Maasai and the sunset walk. Also the local Maasai village (not cheap and, I suspect, enjoyed tourists!) but we didn’t mind for the experience.

Dunia Camp

Our absolute favourite in everyway. Five star treatment despite the logistics. Impressed with the same day laundry service!

The chef was outstanding in his cuisine (we visited his ‘kitchen’).

We loved our anniversary surprise, the dancing and wonderful iced Anniversary cake!

We felt very close to ‘Africa’ and would have happily stayed longer.

Zanzibar Seacliff Resort and Spa

Lovely resort, great outlook. Everything planned went very smoothly and we appreciated the flowers and champagne for our anniversary plus the ‘intimate’ meal!

Occasionally room service a bit confused, some days more towels needed, others too many! All the staff were very friendly and it was good to see managers/chefs doing walkabouts and happy to chat and make sure everything was OK.

They didn’t seem able to cater for sugar free diets (no artificial sweeteners) but the buffet was very varied and enough choice to get round any difficulties.

Phil and Bev Northern Tanzania and Zanzibar – May 2014

Malawi River

Bev and I would like to thank you for a wonderful safari and beach holiday.

Everything about it was a truly wonderful experience and your planning and organisation went like clockwork. Funds permitting we are determined to go back sometime in the future.

Many, many thanks and best regards.

Phil and Bev

Accommodation Questionnaires

River Trees Country Lodge

Accommodation – lovely
Location – lovely, ideal distance from Kilimanjaro, lovely fire
Service – very friendly staff
Cuisine – good, excellent packed lunch
Overall – 9/10

Quickly got used to Africa with lizard in room.

Ngorongoro Farm House

Accommodation – lovely
Location – beautiful, lovely gardens
Service – very friendly staff, good Masai dancing
Cuisine – good and good choice
Overall – 9/10

Improvement: use covers as at Pongwe to stop birds on breakfast cereal, choice for packed lunch a little limited especially compared to River Trees

Olduvai Tented Camp

Accommodation – amazingly lovely
Location – truly amazing – loved it
Service – very friendly staff, excellent Masai walk
Cuisine – good – excellent considering where you are
Overall – 9/10

Ronjo Tented Camp

Accommodation – basic but very comfortable, shower was great
Location – wonderful – lion kill only 500yards from camp
Service – very friendly staff, “Luxrie” a Masai guard was excellent
Cuisine – good for the location
Overall – 9/10

Improvement: Africa again but mice running around at night in the tent needs addressing – they chewed through our toothpaste tube, shampoo bottle, boxes, socks. Holes in tent base and Velcro must be secure.

Ngorongoro Serena

Accommodation – brilliant –the view from the balcony is stunning
Location – how can it be better ?
Service – excellent but much more corporate than other lodges
Cuisine – super
Overall – Maybe pricey but 10/10

Bashay Rift Lodge

Accommodation – Excellent – room 2
Location – beautiful, lovely gardens, school visit was a wonderful, humbling experience
Service – very friendly staff
Cuisine – excellent – just too much…
Overall – 9/10

Improvement: we were originally checked into room 10 with no balcony or view. This was ridiculous when there were only 4-6 people in the whole place. When asked why we were moved to room 2.

Pongwe Beach Lodge

Many thanks for the champagne on arrival!

Accommodation – Absolutely beautiful
Location – Absolutely beautiful, lovely gardens, perfect beach & sea
Service – excellent service, very friendly staff, Jumah the driver and the quality of the vehicle, 2 boatmen Ali and Mohammed, cleaning women and ALL restaurant staff were great
Cuisine – Really good with excellent choice. Breakfasts were also excellent and lunch time snacks excellent
Overall – 10/10

Improvements: these are MINOR and here for info only:
• The site is so perfect that any unnatural stuff should be picked up and binned eg; varnish brush in rear garden next to where they’d beautifully refurbished the rear steps.
• A little untidy next to the room with a builder’s bucket of rubble.
• At low tide we collected 4 glass bottles and bits of broken glass on a walk.
• The scruffiness of the spice farm on Stonetown trip was unexpected although very interesting.

Safari service, timings, guide, wildlife, birdlife, environment and anything you would care to mention:

Safari was amazing. Timings were good.

Dennis Mduma our driver was excellent. We haven’t a single thing to say against him. He was outstanding; friendly, polite, knowledgeable, punctual and enthusiastic. Him taking care of all the paper work was a relief.

Wildlife spotting was fantastic. Vehicle was great. Migration had moved onto Western corridor and Gremeti so will have to do again.

Any other comments you would like to make: could we have done anything different to make your holiday better?

No. It went like clockwork and your organisation was spot-on.
A big thank you for a wonderful experience.

Kathy and Jamie Tanzania & Zanzibar August 2014

Elephants in Tarangire

Thanks to you all for putting our trip together. I certainly have further plans for Tanzania and Zanzibar. Jamie and I love it.

Our Comments

Hatari Lodge

Excellent. We had a great room and location of the lodge is very good in terms of access to Mount Meru and the park. Hotel staff went over and above to ensure we were well looked after, especially when we couldn’t get into Shumata Camp. With 7 days there, we felt really at home. They ensured we got on our Kilimanjaro for All day trip and arranged for us to spend another day locally, visiting a Masai village and doing whatever we wanted with the guide. We enjoyed the family style eating arrangement in the evening. Their style of food is 3 courses for lunch and 3 courses for dinner (no choice), ‘Masterchef’ style, with great emphasis on presentation. I admit I would prefer a bit more flexibility eg meat or fish served on the plate and sides served separately on the table so you could help yourself. Also, buffet style for lunch would be better. However, that is my preference. Picnics way surpassed expectations! Regarding transport, they often used open sided vehicles and it was rather cold when we were there. They did provide Masai blankets/ponchos in the vehicles, but it did get cold. So worth warning travellers it can be colder than you would imagine, even when wearing long sleeves, a fleece and a poncho!

Shumata Tented Camp

Didn’t get there due to a poaching/corruption incident which meant the rangers wouldn’t allow anyone through the gates. Heard great things about it! Bitterly disappointed after 2 goes at the gate. 3rd attempt, we didn’t even set off as a phone call showed the problem wasn’t resolved.

Fumba Beach Lodge

Fumba had excellent food and service was friendly. It also had interesting bar and seating areas dotted around the place. I only chose Fumba as it was convenient for Safari Blue. Otherwise, there would be no reason for me to choose it above other places on Zanzibar. Its location is a bit isolated and there isn’t much to do around there. Even if you want just beach, there are better places.

Chumbe Island Lodge

Off the scale in terms of how great it was. Really wanted more time and would love to return for 5 nights. Food was exceptional and varied. Accommodation was fun; it had everything you needed, was very well designed and gave a real sense of Robinson Crusoe adventure. Great to have zero environmental impact. Service was outstanding. Location outstanding. Activities outstanding – brilliant snorkelling, nature walks and the intertidal walk round the island was amazing with great rock-pooling. There’s a very good selection of books in the reception area and they put information on their Chumbe design project in the accommodation. It’s a place where you are at home with the natural environment and can completely relax. Chumbe liaison girl arranged for transport to take us to Dhow Palace as our vehicle didn’t turn up (Chumbe paid). Jamie later took a phone call in our Dhow Palace room and they said the transport arrived but we weren’t there. It did take a fair time for our luggage to be walked off the boat and to the shore, but the driver could easily have found out what was going on. They should be aware that it can take a good half hour to unload passengers and baggage (and for passengers to make themselves decent after wading through the water), given the boat can’t get to the shore. Another time, it’s easy to fix transport via the Chumbe liaison person based at the Ruins. Oh and Chumbe say they give discounts to returning visitors!

Dhow Palace Hotel Stone Town

Great service from reception staff. They sorted out our minibus transfer to Jambiani on arrival ($10 each for a shared tourist minibus leaving at 08.30) and arranged someone to take us over to Prison Island. Great breakfast. Breakfast was served down by the pool and not up on the roof terrace. Room was large, but there were bad smells from the plumbing in the bathroom. It wasn’t worth asking to change rooms for just 2 nights, though I’m sure they would have accommodated our request as they were very helpful.

Blue Oyster Hotel

Really lives up to its high scores on Trip Advisor – would strongly recommend it. We had a large room (probably the largest as it had an extra bed). Service was outstanding, as was the food. Also, they have a strong ethos of working with the local community. I was a bit worried at first as Jambiani stretches for miles along the coast and doesn’t have lots of beach bars and restaurants nearby, as in Nungwi. So you’re rather stuck in the evening. There were just 2 or 3 places within easy walking distance and you couldn’t really get to those at night. However, the quality of the food at Blue Oyster was such that you wouldn’t want to go anywhere else, in any case. You could easily arrange trips from the hotel and they only charged $50 for our transfer to the airport on departure. It’s not a high end luxury place, but the sea-front setting, quality of food and outstanding service make it a great place to stay if you want to see Jambiani.

All guides were fantastic, with great command of English. We got to know the Hatari guides particularly well (we were there a long time) and learned a lot from them. Chumbe guides were fun and informataive. We saw everything we wanted apart from Amboseli elephants (didn’t get to Shumata) and dolphins on Safari Blue (we were in the 10-15% who didn’t see them on the trip), but that was beyond anyone’s immediate control.

Standards in the places we stayed in were very high in both Tanzania and Zanzibar and all food was excellent. Your arrangements worked very well – all transfers went smoothly (except to Dhow Palace and that wasn’t an issue).

Another outstanding holiday. Thanks to you all for putting it together. I certainly have further plans for Tanzania/Zanzibar. Jamie and I love it. The warmth of the people is over-whelming and by staying in smaller, more personal places, you get to mix with other travellers.

Lynne and David Tanzania September 2014

Serengeti lion and lioness

Just want to say a massive thank you to Christine for our amazing safari

The places we visited were fantastic and we had a truly special time. We would definitely recommend Go2Tanzania for anyone planning to go on safari.

Here's a quick rundown of our trip:

Tarangire Safari Lodge

Highlights here included loads of elephants, watching 2 groups come together at a watering hole including babies rolling in the mud, zebra, giraffes, buffalo, leopard, cheetahs and a lion. Also had an afternoon of rain (in the dry season!) but then that’s because we were there! Amazing view from the terrace with sundowners and nibbles. Great food and friendly staff. Stunning scenery – it’s just how we imagined the African landscape to look with acacia and baobob trees.

Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge

Travelled via Lake Manyara where there were baboons galore! Also hippos, lots of bird life, blue monkeys. Yes it’s a large hotel but really handy for entry into the crater and nice to have a proper bathroom with a door for a change! Saw a lioness with a cub after only 20 minutes, also later the same day a male and female lion really quite close to the road. Saw 2 black rhino albeit at a distance, also the usual elephants, zebra, antelopes etc. Zebra and antelopes were starting to get run-of-the-mill by this point! We knew it would be colder here but one particular morning it really was quite chilly for a good 3 hours but then it’s amazing how quickly it heats up.

Then it was time to say our goodbyes to our guide Rodgers who was brilliant. He had driven us around for 4 days making sure we had the best possible experience and it took me by surprise how sad we were to say goodbye to him.

Ubuntu Tented Camp Serengeti

We then flew to Ubuntu Camp in north Serengeti for 2 nights. We were supposed to fly to Kogatende but the airstrip had been washed away the previous day by the nearby river which burst it’s banks. We therefore landed at Lamai which was much further away and in the building storm got transferred between guides, travelling at break neck speed through the Serengeti, eventually arriving in the dark and torrential rain. It was certainly an adventure! Here we shared a guide with an American couple who we now class as our friends and spent a really fun day waiting for the wildebeest to cross the Mara river. We didn’t take lunch with us as hadn’t expected to be out all day but we felt certain the wildebeest would cross and didn’t want to risk missing it. A sister camp to Ubuntu met up with us and let us share their lunch. Another highlight was bartering for drinks with other safari-goers! After a 10 hour wait the wildebeest finally crossed the river and despite a crocodile giving it a good go all crossed safely! It was truly awesome. The food at Ubuntu was incredible, proper restaurant quality and the staff were so friendly. In hindsight I wish we had booked for 3 nights.

The safari had to end at some point and we felt so lucky to have seen all that we did. We managed to squeeze in a really close up cheetah on the way to the airstrip as well as a rescue mission to help another vehicle out of a steep ditch!

We flew onto Zanzibar for a week where we stayed at Breezes Beach Club and Spa. Time for some well deserved R&R. The hotel was lovely, people friendly and we had a beautiful room overlooking the beach. We may have missed somewhere in the literature that Gents have to wear long trousers for dinner so bear that in mind anyone who may be going there!

We booked our trip 18 months in advance and it was well worth the wait! Feel free to share this on Facebook – I couldn’t work out how to do it!

Anthea and Paul Northern Tanzania September – October 2014

Serian Serengeti North, Tanzania, Wildebeest Migration

Serengeti, best in the world, saw black Rhino and Wilderbeest migration crossing, extraordinary. Vehicles very good.

Gibbs Farm – crater visit excellent, saw loads of animals and birds.

Saadani Safari Lodge – animals more difficult to find as terrain & bush quite dense but patience yielded a lot of giraffe, elephants, buffalo.

Nomad Safari Camp – Philip our guide excellent, very knowledgeable, courteous and fun
Gibbs Farm – Entertaining, good knowledge freelance guide Malicki
Saadani Safari Lodge– Jacob, very knowledgeable but didn’t always volunteer his knowledge, slightly difficult to understand his English, however he was charming and we were very happy with all our game and river drives with him. Excellent knowledge of birds as well.

Everything organised brilliantly, only small comment, it would have been helpful to have details of change of flight at Arusha/timing en route to Saadani. Our transfer at Gibbs Farm to alternative lodge went very smoothly.

We understood that Christine was in touch at each location to check our well being and we considered this quite outstanding customer care. We would be happy to recommend you to anyone who is considering a safari to Tanzania.

Accommodation Questionnaires

Nomad Safari Camp

Accommodation was outstanding for a tent in a moving camp. Location beautiful. Animals all around us. Timings very well managed by Joseph. Game drives excellent. In camp food very good, even baked gluten free food for Paul. Only criticism was their packed lunches which were quite sparse. All staff friendly and helpful, especially when unwell for a short time.
Loved the hot water bottles in our bed at night!

Gibbs Farm, Karatu

Accommodation superb, very comfortable, open fire lit in evening. Only criticism was lack of hot water, showers at peak time. Location, beautiful gardens, wonderful organic veg, meat and eggs. All brilliantly managed by Gerd & Ann Marie. Herman & Esta on reception excellent. All staff very helpful and friendly. Managed gluten free diet very well.

Saadani Safari Lodge

Upgraded to Siri Suite made the holiday very special. Wonderful Banda, very self contained. Location totally unique. Graeme & Candy outstanding hosts. Treated us as if we were personal guests. Excursions were exceptionally good, the island and River trips both fantastic. Couldn’t manage gluten free but quality and selection of food outstanding.

Christine and Michael Ruaha & Selous October 2014

Giraffe Ruaha

Ruaha and Selous were two very different kinds of experiences and made an ideal contrast to each other. Both were thoroughly enjoyable in different ways and provided many lasting memories.

A truly wonderful experience!

Holiday Safari Diary

Southern Sun

Our transfers to and from the Southern Sun were prompt and efficient, and explanations were given regarding both the journey and the hotel.( Courier and driver Winnie and Peter).

A good choice of accommodation after a long flight. Room was clean and comfortable enabling us to have a good night’s sleep, and we felt suitably refreshed for the start of our safari the next day. Breakfast was excellent with plenty of choice, and the staff were courteous at all times. Hotel gardens were well kept and we managed to spend a short time looking at the birds at the front of the hotel.

Ruaha River Lodge

The Banda (nº14) was in an excellent location near to the new riverside dining area. (Having only been open for 1 week) Room was clean and comfortable. The balcony enabled us to experience the most amazing sunrises with the sun rising in the ‘V’ of the two mountains opposite. (Wow!) Mosquito nets and insect repellent were provided.

Meals were very good with plenty of choice (even when the elephants knocked down the wall and stole the breakfast fruit one night). The early morning complimentary tea and coffee delivered to the banda was a bonus. Service by the staff was excellent and Management (Karen and Meta) took a keen interest by finding time to speak to everyone each mealtime. The food provided when we had early starts or a full day out was also very good.

We asked if it was possible to experience a ‘sundowner’ (this had not been done before). Management went for a trial run down by the ‘hippo’ pool one evening and arranged for us to experience this the following evening. They also provided us with a complimentary bottle of ‘bubbly’ and nibbles.

Each evening a camp fire was lit by the river, allowing for pre-dinner drinks and Karen was always there to greet everyone and was able to tell some interesting stories .

Rufiji River Lodge

The Banda (Family 3) was well situated and very private. It was in an ideal location and not far from either the dining or reception areas. The plunge pool was a great addition which meant we did not need to use the main pool. The room was spacious and clean. A turndown service was provided each night when the mosquito nets were closed and the insect repellent sprayed whilst we were having evening meal.

Quality of food can only be described as excellent, and this also includes food taken with us for early and full days safaris – almost too much of it! The waiters were very friendly, and efficient and were always willing to converse. (The more you conversed with them the happier they seemed to be. One even sang a song in Swahili to us! Angela (the manager) was pleased to see this and later told us that two of them had only been working there about a month.

Each evening before dinner were able to sit round a camp fire for pre-dinner drinks and had the opportunity to speak to other guests.

This Lodge is in an ideal location to watch the sun set across the river.

Additional Comments

Ruaha

With having the VIP safari, our guide was completely flexible regarding timings and was always prompt. We experienced an early morning, an all day, a morning/evening split safari and a sundowner.. The animals were plentiful and not nervous of vehicles. We saw every kind of wildlife we had hoped for including 3 leopards, 3 cheetahs and numerous lions, including 2 cubs. We also saw some young male lions which had taken down a young elephant. Elephants, giraffes and hippos were always around and we also came across a huge herd of buffalo which stampeded across the road in front of us with dust flying everywhere.

Wildlife around the camp was exciting with elephants passing by our banda one night, a hippo running through camp one morning and lots of other animals coming to the river during the day.

Selous

Again, the VIP safari gave us complete flexibility and the guide was very helpful. Animals were more difficult to find here, and a lot more nervous of vehicles.

We saw a lot of lions , giraffes, hippos, crocodiles and antelopes. We only saw one herd of 5 elephants close up , but what an experience. One of them did a mock charge towards the vehicle 3 times which was good to watch although a little frightening. We found a hyena with a pup peeping out of the tree trunk (the first time the guide had seen the pup although he suspected there would be either one of two).

Bird life was prolific with some amazing sightings of the colours of some of the birds. The boat safari provided a variation to the land safaris and was very relaxing. We almost had an extra passenger in the boat when a huge crocodile leaped off the banking into the river. We watched the ‘White-Fronted Bee-Eaters’ getting ready for roosting on the river bank which was very interesting. The sunset was great from river level.

Additional Comments

Ruaha (Josephat)

His command of English and knowledge were excellent and he knew just where to go to provide the best chance of seeing the animals. Whenever we went out, he stopped every couple of hours for drinks/comfort breaks and always at a scenic place or picnic site. His experience was invaluable and he provided a first class service

Selous (Guide Hassani and driver Saverine)

The guide’s knowledge was excellent, (he had been trained by Josephat and said that he still contacts him if there is something he does not know) particularly his ability to identify the many species of bird. He regularly produced a book to show us what we had just seen. His communication skills and command of English were very good. The driver was very skilled, and with the ability to go off road in Selous, he drove in places which almost seemed impossible. The only minor point he could have improved on was – sometimes he tried to get a bit too near the animals and by the time the vehicle had stopped the opportunity to get a photograph had passed.

Pauline and John Ruaha and Selous October 2014

Zebra Selous

We had a fantastic time and really enjoyed our holiday in Ruaha and Selous.

Holiday Safari Diary

Southern Sun

Arrived at hotel on time, we were greeted with a complimentary drink and pleasant and helpful staff, check in fast and rooms ready. Rooms clean and quiet, slept well. In morning went down for breakfast, again greeted by pleasant smiling staff, food was very good, no complaints there. All in all enjoyed our stay all be it one night

Ruaha River Lodge

Accommodation was nice, clean but noisy at night with animal noises and tramping past side of lodge, but that’s part of the adventure. Location was amazing with the view of sunrise and river in front. Service was very good, staff very friendly and helpful. Cuisine was different to what we were use to but very enjoyable. Really enjoyed our stay here.

Rufiji River Lodge

Accommodation certainly different but was clean and well laid out, again a little noisy with animal noises and animals tramping past lodge. Location was good . Service was very good with very friendly staff and very helpful. Cuisine was very good and really enjoyable.

Additional Comments

The plane from Dar was on time and a smooth flight, we arrived at our first lodge on time. The flight from Ruaha was also good arrived at Rufiji slightly late but not a problem but the flight from Rufiji was late arriving then had to go to Zanzibar before arriving at Dar. We had to wait around airport for several hours before we could check in. We should have gone to a day room but with the flight from Rufiji being so late we did not have time to go there.

The safaris were enjoyable, guides were very knowledgeable ,there English was very good, they stopped whenever they were asked to and always could answer any question they were asked about animals ,birds, insects , plants and were very pleasant and driving was very good. They would talk about their families and passionate about their country