Tanzania Safari

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Jul 6th, 2005, 08:36 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2005
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Tanzania Safari

Have just returned from a great safari in Lake Manyara, Serengeti and Ngorongoro - we missed the migration but still had a wonderful time.

Stayed at Lake Manyara Hotel - most rooms have fabulous views of the lake and the public rooms are excellent. Bathroom was very old and walls were thin - next door's alarm woke me up one morning!!

National Park is small and wooded and saw lots of elephants, plus of course loads of birds by the lake, as well as zebra, wildebeest and giraffe.

Went on to the Serengeti which was a magical place - as soon as we got into the park we saw a pride of lions stalking a warthog, they completely ignored the buses lined up next to them. Next day we saw leopard, cheetah, elephant, buffalo but unfortunately the area where the rhino are situated is presently closed off. Had another close encounter with a group of lions, some of them lay down next to the buses to get in the shade, before walking off - again completely ignoring us.

Stayed at the Seronera Wildlife Lodge which is a great place, with hyrax, mongoose and monkeys running around everywhere. A hippo came up during the night to feed right next to the hotel. One of our group was woken up by a baboon in their room in the morning, as they had forgotten to lock the patio door.

Moved on to the Ngorongoro Crater, which had loads of wildlfe but also large numbers of buses, so at times it was very congested. Again we had lions right next to the road but there were so many buses around that they moved off quite quickly. The park will have to limit the numbers of vehicles going in to the crater soon, otherwise it will just be too busy to see anything properly, as well as causing environmental damage. Thousands of flamingoes by the lake.

Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge has superb views across the crater - we were lucky to have one nice clear morning so saw the sunrise over the crater, but most of the time it's misty in the mornings. The lodge, for some reason, will not change travellers cheques (both the other lodges we stayed in did without any problem)and the staff seemed quite reluctant to let you sign items to your room, preferring to receive the cash directly themselves. However, the lodge will accept travellers cheques in payment of your account, and do give change in shillings. The rooms were basic with old bathrooms (but clean).

The road from the Serengeti to Ngorongoro is unmade, very bumpy and dusty, and takes several hours - not a nice experience!

Please remember to take pens, clothing, shampoo and toiletries with you to hand out to hotel staff and children by the roadside - they are very poor and appear to have nothing. We in the west are so lucky.

Went on to Kenya afterwards, and they seem just as destitute - staying in a luxury beach resort pricked my conscience when just outside were families living on $2 a day with no running water or electric.

Tanzania is a wonderful country to visit, the people are lovely, and we will defintely return in a year or two.
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