Back from Kenya/Tanzania/Pemba

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Oct 16th, 2005, 02:12 PM
  #1
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Back from Kenya/Tanzania/Pemba

We returned back to the US very late Friday night from our 10th anniversary trip. Our trip was amazing & so much better than we imagined. We are smitten with Africa and are talking about a return trip in a couple of years. I am working on our trip report and photos and will post hopefully by the end of this week.

We traveled with Good Earth Tours (and their counterpart SafariLine in Kenya) and the trip went off very smoothly. Our guide in Tanzania, Raphael, was incredible - he had a wide knowledge of the animals, was a great spotter, was very personable and made our trip spectacular. If you are travelling with Good Earth, I would recommend him to the utmost degree. Our SafariLine guide was William, who also was a great spotter, was older and less talkative, but a great guide.

We stayed at Mara Serena, Arusha Coffee Lodge, Swala Camp, Ngorongoro Serena, and Fundu Lagoon. Our favorite places were Swala and Fundu. Swala was so unique and directly in the bush - very romantic and rustic at the same time. At Fundu, we were upgraded to the best room in the house - a huge room with a two-story lofted deck and a plunge pool. The food and service at Fundu were amazing and really good at Swala as well. We were also impressed with Arusha Coffee Lodge and would recommend it to anyone with an overnight in Arusha. The Serenas were nice, but larger. We really liked the location of the Mara Serena, and it didn't feel as large as the Serena at the Crater.

Weather was great throughout the trip, and we packed appropriately thanks to everything we read here on Fodor's. We were fine on clothes, money (we probably overtipped at places but were happy to do so), and toiletries/other items. Our luggage was weighed each time on the short flights, but our carry-ons were never weighed.

Trip report will be forthcoming!!
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Oct 16th, 2005, 02:21 PM
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Also - on the animals - we saw everything except only saw 1 leopard up in a tree (not a great view or photos). We saw elephants fighting, lions mating, an impala giving birth, a cheetah eating a baby gazelle, and many other animals and birds. More animals than we ever thought we'd see!
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Oct 16th, 2005, 02:44 PM
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Glad that you had such a good time--and looking forward to the full report.
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Oct 16th, 2005, 03:31 PM
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Looking forward to your trip report and pics!
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Oct 16th, 2005, 03:31 PM
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Welcome back!

I am so happy you settled on Swala, Arusha Coffee Lodge and Fundu! I remember all those itinerary planning threads earlier this year!

Eben
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Oct 17th, 2005, 02:41 AM
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Hi Lorib1,

Nice to hear you had a great time at Fundu!

Anxious to hear more of your trip, especially of Fundu!
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Oct 17th, 2005, 02:44 AM
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Thank you so much for your comment on Swala. I leave Saturday and will be at Swala for 2 nights next week. I haven't found many comments on the camp and yours certainly were reassuring. Thanks to everything on Fodor's I might be properly prepared!
Chris
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Oct 17th, 2005, 03:54 AM
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Welcome back, sounds like you had a great time. Look forward to the report.
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Oct 17th, 2005, 04:36 PM
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Summers - I am sure you will really enjoy your time at Swala. We felt it was such a "real" Africa experience with being in the bush. The animals are so close to you, but you are safe. The tents were much nicer than we expected, and the food & service were great as well. Reuben, the manager, is extremely friendly & personable.
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Oct 17th, 2005, 04:42 PM
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Wow, how did I miss this post?!

Welcome back!!! I can't wait to read about your trip in more detail, but for now, thank you so much for the heads up on all you saw and did.

And, yes, the talking of returning starts pretty soon, doesn't it? Happy 10th.
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Dec 30th, 2005, 10:18 PM
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lorib1,

I would sure love to hear about Swala when you get the chance.

Thanks.
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Dec 31st, 2005, 08:59 AM
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Rocco,
Here's lorib1's full report - http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34697880
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Dec 31st, 2005, 01:54 PM
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Patty,

Thanks!

Although I dish out plenty of advice, it is still awesome when I am able to get so much advice in return. Even after being on this forum for so many years now, every once in awhile, like right now, I am just amazed at what an incredible resource Fodors Africa forum is.
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