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Trip report: Tanzania

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So here comes my first trip report on this board ;)

I've been on safari in Tanzania in november/december 2005. Some of the pictures are viewable here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/97227495@N00/sets/1627852/

I spent 10 days in Arusha which was great. I was surprised by the friendlyness of all the people and I loved experiencing the 'real african life'.
In those 10 days I went several times to Kigongoni lodge (http://www.kigongoni.net/) and did a wonderfull nature walk with them and canoed on Duluti with Green Footprint Adventures(www.greenfootprint.co.tz).
This canoe trip was wonderfull and we spotted a lot of birds.
We also went one day to Arusha National Park with Green Footprint, sort of a warming up for the real deal later on ;)
I must say I like Arusha National Park very much, especially the canoeing was great on Small Momella Lake. The downside of this park to my opinion is that it feels somehow a bit like a zoo. But it was sure a great day.

We then left for our 9 day safari, again with Green Footprint Adventures.
I was with my girlfriend and her mother and brother. With the four of us we had our own guide and very nice safari vehicle, so we had a nice comfortable and luxurous safari.
First day we drove from Arusha to Tarangire.
We did some nice gamedriving there and I really loved the park, the views etc. We stayed at Tarangire Safari Lodge which has a beautifull view. We got up early the next morning to be able to see the sunrise .. one of the best moments of the safari, seeing the sun rise and the animals coming to the water ..
The next day we did a morning gamedrive and drove to Lake Manyara. There we stayed at Serena.
In Lake Manyara we did a gamedrive (spotted a leapord!) and afterwards we had a wonderfull bush diner in the park. This was truly amazing and a realy great experience. After the bush diner we did a night drive. Being the only vehicle in the park at night gives you a very special feeling. Riding there under the stars and seeing the porcupines and bush babies was unforgetable.
The next day we drove in the direction of Ngorongoro Crater. We stopped at a small town called Karatu where we stayed at the 'Plantation Lodge'. http://www.africanencounters.com/Tanzania/plantation_lodge.htm
There we had a great relaxing time. The next day we went to the NgoroNgoro Crater.
Dispite all the wonderfull stories and experiences of others, I wasn't that impressed with the Crater. Perhaps we were just a bit unlucky that day with the animals.
After another night at the plantation lodge we went to the Ndutu area. On our way to the camp (Olakira http://www.safari.go2africa.com/accomm-tempg2a/ServiceID~4114/frompage~serengeti) we did some game driving and actually saw a striped Hyena!
The next day we went to Serengeti National Park. This was a really nice and lucky day;
On the Kopjes we saw two amazing lions, and we actually got to see them mate from a distance of a few meters.. I will never forget the ROARRRR of the male lion.. amazing..
right after this, we spotted a cheetah with 4 litle cubs from a near distance.
To close the day in the park we also saw two rhino's standing in the shade.
At the end of the day we headed to our last camp. This was an amazing drive (of road) of a few hours into nowhere..(well, actually it was the Gol Mountains ;) )
We had some difficulty finding the camp (no signs, no road..just massai) but at the end we did find it. This was the most amazing place I had been uptill that moment; Sayari camp is a mobile camp that moves back and forth between 2 places.
The whole area was dry and brown at the time we were there. Not many animals at that time, which was fine by me. We did some amazing walks and actually swam in a spring 3 hours from the camp. Found some nice fossiles and just experienced nature. Nothing there but masai and the quitness. This was truly the perfect ending of a perfect safari.

Thank you Green Footprint for the experience of a lifetime :)

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