Thought I would send you a short note to both thank you and all those involved for our splendid trip to Tanzania. All the service providers were both on time and expecting us which meant we had a worry free trip and all without exception were both courteous and pleased to help with any queries.
The camp at Selous run by Shaun and Millie, top class hosts, was comfortable, with decent food and first rate guiding. It offered a range of safari options, full and half days and of course the boat trip.
Ruaha was a similarly comfortable camp. Whilst animals were around the camp the main focus of the safaris were in the National Park which in reality meant we were travelling over an hour to reach the park. This in turn meant that the preferred drive option was an all day safari. Three days of this is both rewarding and tiring, something which perhaps less fit clients would find difficult to cope with.
We moved onto Tarangire. We stayed at the excellent Maramboi camp. In retrospect we found the location and the fact we had a driver/ guide rather than a guide meant we sub optimised our visit to the park. The 40 minute journey to and from the park , plus the interminable wait for park entry documentation to be completed each day was frustrating. In retrospect we would have preferred the option to stay within the park using local guides. Our driver, personable and helpful was not however someone who found the unusual or knew the park in the detail we enjoyed at other parks. The result was three long days which did not provide the highlights and interest we were hoping for. We treated ourselves to lunch at Tarangire Safari Lodge to enjoy their amazing view and would be interested to know how much extra it would have cost to stay inside the park?
Plantation Hotel was lovely and provided the base for our visit to the Ngorongoro caldera. The route taken to get there from Maramboi via Manyara Park meant a long day, which I have to say was not worth the detour. This was due to the fact that we had seen the lake from our camp and had a walking safari down to the lake shore.
Again we had a long journey from the hotel to the crater. The park entry was again a long winded process - over 30 minutes- and given we were up at 5 am and still not in the caldera at 7.30am I do wonder whether a more local camp was an option.
Finally the camp at Sayari was a true treat and we were very lucky to get the upgrade. The place was first class and the guiding remarkable. The area you chose for us was very special and we were able to see two river crossing as well as enjoying more lions, leopards , antelope etc than we could have hoped for, plus other far rarer animals which even the guide got excited about.
Finally on the transfer in Kenya we had to pay $20 each for a tourist transit visa, just thought I would let you know because I did not think a visa was required.
Overall a really memorable holiday we both enjoyed. The organisation was first class. My comments above are simply to reflect our thoughts and options which we would like to have considered in retrospect and are not criticisms.
Thank you for your efforts on our behalf
David and Linda