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Swala Safaris

We had an amazing 6 day safari with Swala Safaris in the first week of Nov. 2015. I'm way overdue writing this review.

Swala were perfect, everything was exactly as planned, Rose was prompt, courteous and accurate in the arrangements. We'd requested Felix as our guide and he was fantastic, very knowledgeable capable and did everything he could to make our trip the best it could be.

Our itinerary was:
Tarangire - 1 night - Tarangire Safari Lodge
Crater - I night - Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge
Seronera - 2 nights - Tortillis Camp
Lobo - 2 nights - Chaka Camp
We departed Tanzania by flying from Kogatende airstrip near Lobo to Zanzibar

We were met at the Arusha airport by both Rose and Felix, they gave us the paperwork and we dropped Rose at a nearby bus stop savings us the time of driving into Arusha and off we went towards Tarangire. A great example of small details that saved us time and gave us the most safari time.

We're pretty active and started early and went until near dusk each day. I did an enormous amount of research on this site and elsewhere and appreciated the advice and information I received. It is very hard to narrow in to what you want to do and then a bit nerve wracking to send deposits etc. My advice is do your homework and then take the plunge. I would not change our itinerary at all, some said it was a lot to pack in, but we really felt we got a great sense of the Serengeti. If wenhad more time I would add a day in each of Tarangire and Seronara area. With hindsight I probably would choose a lodge in Seronera rather than a tented camp but keep the tented camp in Lobo.

We found the crater amazing and absolutely worth seeing for a day. We were very fortunate in that it was not very crowded as the election that was going on at the time was scaring some tourists away.

The time of year we went in is on the cusp of the rainy season and we did see a bit of rain here and there which didn't change our plans or cause us issue. In fact, the temperature was beautiful midday as well. One day around 4 a fairly strong storm came and it rained hard for an hour or 2 - Felix saw it coming and got us back to camp in time. Others staying at our tented camp weren't so lucky and were stuck.

Every day was fantastic and each location was excellent. The migration had largely arrived into the central Serengeti by the time we arrived although the tail end of it was still crossing the Mara in Lobo and we caught a spectacular crossing one day.

I can't say enough good about Swala and if we were fortunate enough to go back to Tanzania I would absolutely choose them again and hopefully be able to work with Rose and have Felix as our guide again. Outstanding genuine people. I like how all of the details are managed directly by them and not lost in communication in a bigger or US based tour operator.

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