“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”
FROM AFRICA: Many of you share my deep love of Africa. One visit usually results in a malady known well to all African visitors; for generations, it has afflicted British explorers, writers, doctors, hunters, and ordinary tourists. The disease is incurable. The characteristic symptom is a compulsion to return to the magnificent continent year after year. Tanzania hosts the great migration of the shy zebras and the curious looking wildebeests across the vast and endless plains of the Serengeti. There is no sight more awe inspiring than seeing thousands of animals crossing the Mara, 20 foot long crocodiles, jaws snapping, waiting for the slow or small to fall behind. Portable safari in luxurious tents can be combined with lodges making for an authentic African bush experience.
In Tanzania, one can travel a safari circuit to visit Grumeti River Camp, Klein’s Camp, Lake Maynara Tree Lodge and of course, the very over the top Ngorongoro Crater Lodge. If one visits Tanzania, one must visit the crater, and that means Crater Lodge is your only choice! It is spendy, but as they say: location is everything. Intimate lodge, lovely suites, all wildly ornate, a sensory overload; however, it is perched on the edge of the crater-prime viewing real estate! The animals don’t migrate from the floor of the caldera, so one can easily see the Big Five on a drive, including some of Tanzania’s last black rhinos.
Grumeti is a whimsical inspired camp, overlooking a bywater of the Grumeti River and situated in a remote valley in the western corridor of the Serengeti National Park, east of Lake Victoria. Grumeti is a very comfortable haven in which to experience the wild pulse of Africa.
A lovely couple, Alistair and Petro Kilpin, who share a love of African adventure and excel in safari hospitality, manage Klein’s Camp. Intimate accommodations, it features just 10 cottages of local rock and thatch with rich wooden floors and classic interiors. Klein’s Camp is situated deep in the heart of the game-rich northern Serengeti in Tanzania, off the beaten tourist track. Its 24,800-acre private wildlife concession is leased from their Maasai landlords and is allotted for the exclusive use of the camp’s 20 guests, offering you the ultimate personal Tanzanian safari.
Of course the Maasai children are the heart stealers; some cling to you, others back away shyly, but most are eager to see themselves on your digital camera. I always carry hundreds of balloons, pens and paper to share with these engaging children. I believe it is of paramount importance for my clients to meet the local villagers, to visit the schools, and the AIDS orphanages in Africa- we are neighbors living on this fragile planet. Experiencing layers of culture and understanding the distinctive social traditions adds significant value to your visit and your children will never forget their encounter.
My very favorite in this circuit is Lake Manyara Tree Lodge. Set in the heart of a mahogany forest, the soda lake teeming with thousands of flamingos and herds of elephants, it is the only lodge in the diverse Lake Manyara National Park in northern Tanzania. Ten luxurious stilted safari tree house suites, each tree house features large screen ‘windows’ inviting the lush forest inside, the animals peer at you through the sheer screen ‘windows’, including the rare tree-climbing lions known in this area. With 387 different bird species recorded here, Lake Manyara Tree Lodge offers abundant bird watching opportunities; guests can experience incredible night drives as well. Or just sit and chill beside the pool in the middle of the forest teeming with exotic jungle chirps and deep growls, a cacophony of wild sounds, which is exactly what I frequently do!
Elegant lodges and tents or portable safari- hundreds of lodging options, exotic, wild and untamed.
Africa is as boundless as my affection for it’s people, the endless vistas, and the wonderful wildlife.
A visit to Africa is always a life altering experience.