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Trip Report Trip Report form 12-22 to 1-5 trip

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We have just returned from a wonderful trip to Tanzania and wanted to provide a report for those going soon. We booked with Nomad Tanzania and had a very knowledgeable guide, Emmanuel Njawa. We spent the first two nights at Rivertrees Inn outside of Arusha. We took the KLM flight from Amsterdam to Arusha that arrives late at night and wanted to recover for a day before starting our trip. Martina (Rivertrees owner) has a wonderful property with great food, hospitality, and a pool right on the Usa River betwen the Kilimanjaro airprt and Arusha. We had breakfast every morning looking out on Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru.
We then went to Lake Manyara for two nights and stayed at the Lake Manyara Tree Lodge. Have never stayed anyplace so nice but it was great!! They have 10 lodges with a maximum of 20 guests. Lake Manyara was a great place to see elephants, buffs, giraffe, impala, gazelle, baboons (lots), warthogs (one with a den on the path to our lodge), gazelle, birds, zebs, etc. We did not see many big predators.
Next we spent one night at the Crater. We were supposed to spend two nights at the Ngorongoro Serena Lodge but they overbooked and would not honor our booking from March. Nomad Tanzania and Bushtracks (booking agent in USA I used) both said they have had problems with Serena doing this in the past couple months. BEWARE!! We stayed one night at the Plantation Lodge outside of the Crater and had a nice stay but far from the Crater. The Crater was an interesting experience in that you see lots of animals but as posted previously but it is crowded. When our booking was messed up, I took previous posters suggestions and we spent one night in the Crater area and then spent an extra night in mobile tented camp in the Sernegiti Ndutu area. That was a good decision.
We then drove to the Ndutu area of the Serengiti and spent 4 nights in a shared moblie tented camp. GREAT!! It is very dry as the area has not received the short rains and they did not receive good long rains this year. Many of the waterholes were almost dried up and the animals will probably have to move back to central Serengeti if it does not rain. However, we had a great time. Lots of animals!! Zebs had babies from November, lots of giraffes with babies, elephants (though we saw more in Lake Manyara and Northern Serengeti), lions with kills, 16 Cheetah (one was a Mom hunting with her three "teenager kids"), hynena, jackals, gazelle, eland, some buffs, impala, foxes, warthogs, wildebeest, wildebeest, and-did I mention- more wildebeest!! They had not dropped calves yet although we did see one calf- Wildie Mom must have gotten mixed up on the birthing cycle!! We also had more good bird sightings. Great experience to see and hear the migration!!
Next we spent three nights in the northern Serengeti and another shared mobile tented camp. GREAT also!! It was not crowded and we saw many predators and other animals. We saw more lions and it was more relaxed as we were only vehicle watching them. Lots of elephants, giraffe,impala, bushbucks, gazelle, buffs, etc. We flew back to Arusha from Klein's Camp airstrip and then had a day room at Rivertrees Inn before boarding the flight back home. That long flight back has to be the worst part of thr trip!! UGH!!
We did do a more luxury version of a safari than my previous trip to Kenya 10 years ago. (This was due to my husband's health.) However, we had a great time and if you are interested in a higher end trip I would highly rec. this company. Hope this info helps anyone planning a trip. Great country and great safari.

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