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Trip Report: Tanzania, Gombe, Zanzibar.

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We journeyed to Tanzania from Australia in Sept/Oct 06. We had our trip organised by Access2Tanzania and we could not recommend them highly enough. I posted my itinerary in a previous thread.

The highlight of our trip was Gombe Stream. Access2Tanzania organised us to travel to Kigoma and be met by ChimpanzeeSafaris. From Kigoma we were ferried by boat to Gombe Stream. We stayed for only 2 nights and were blown away by everything we experienced. Treking the chimps was challenging but not impossible (I am 40 and only mildly athletic). When we finally caught up with the Chimps the setting was surreal. We sat in dense, green jungle by a babbling brook and marvelled at a family group of around 60 Chimps. We spent nearly 2 hours with the group which included the infamous "Froddo". I recommend this experience to anyone, a lifetime highlight. The accomodation was excellant, the staff incredibly attentive and location very peaceful. There may be travel warnings about this area of the world but we did not see anything that made us feel uncomfortable (perhaps we were just lucky). We saw very few other tourists in the park (perhaps 3) and there was no other tourists at our luxury camping site. This is a shame as the staff deserve more tourists to spoil. I have never had better service anywhere else in the world.

We also visited the following game parks Serengeti, Crater, Selous, and Tarangire. Our Driver (Masai) was excellant and he guided us expertly to see everything the parks had to offer. We saw the Big 5 including the Leopard, Masai spoke excellant English and was very informative. Our meals whilst camping were expertly prepared by Edkar and we certainly didn't go hungry. Selous was a disappointment (the game was very sparse and vegetation dense) but our disappointment was partly due to the very tiring trip to get their. It was however a trip through rural Tanzania which was interesting, just very long. We travelled for 11-12 hours from Udzungwa to Selous on dirt roads through many, many small villages. All of the other parks were great and the animals - simply amazing.

We also visited the Hadzabe tribe on the way to the Serengeti from Arusha which was very interesting. The road to get to visit them was beyond tough but a very engaging experience. The tribe communicate with a "click" language and do not live in huts - they live in the open and sleep on the ground. They danced and sang for us and also showed us how to light a fire with sticks and how to shoot their bow and arrows. A little touristy but worth the effort.

The final highlight of our trip was Zanzibar. The accomodation organised for us at the Dhow Palace and Pongwe Beach was sublime and an excellant rest from our camping. Zanzibar was steeped in history and very relaxing. A must do.

We had the perfect trip - no one got sick, we saw all of the amazing animals we hoped to see, saw some of the rural areas of Tanzania and were thoroughly spoilt along the way.

If you can - GO TO GOMBE. ITS AMZAING

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