Tanzania Journals

Safari in Northern Tanzania

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A February 2009 trip to Tanzania by TravelingD

Lake Ndutu Flamingos Photo, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania More Photos
Quote: A safari to Northern Tanzania can include the highest mountain in Africa, Ngorongoro and other volcanic craters, the Great Rift Valley, the vast Serengeti plains, soda lakes covered with flamingos, hundreds of different bird species, and, of course, all the animals. It can truly be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Rivertrees Country Inn

Hotel | "What's in Those River Trees Anyway?"

Rivertrees Country Inn Photo, Arusha, Tanzania
Quote:
RiverTrees Country Inn is located in the town of Usa River between Kilimanjaro airport and Arusha. It is a good place to stay for visits to Arusha National Park, the town of Arusha, Mt. Meru and for tours of nearby villages.What we will always remember about our stay is the gardens, the monkeys we saw in the trees in the morning, and the two biggest owls (giant Verreaux Eagle Owls) we have ever seen or ever expect to see.The staff, especially in the restaurant, were always friendly and helpful and they served the best desserts we had on our safari. The owner and staff also went out of their way to arrange a special visit to a local church service for us. Our only slight complaint ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 30, 2009

Rivertrees Country Inn
P.O.Box 235
Arusha
+255 741-339873

Mzee Loti's Home Photo, Arusha, Tanzania
Quote:
Ng'iresi is one of several villages in the general Arusha area that offer tourists the possibility of experiencing something of local life beyond the usual safari attractions. It's a good option, since most visitors are unlikely to just drive into a local village, start walking around, and really experience daily life. In Ng'iresi, people expect and welcome tourists, and generally go about their normal activities. So don't expect any staged Maasai warrior dances.The reason village residents welcome tourists is that part of the tour fees go towards supporting their primary school. The head of the village, Mzee Loti, will tell you this story as you are offered tea and coffee in his home....Read More

Arusha National Park

Attraction | "A Wonderful Park That's Often Neglected"

Arusha National Park Photo, Arusha, Tanzania
Quote:
Arusha National Park is too often missed by tourists eager to get out of Arusha and on to some of the bigger name parks, like Lake Manyara, Tarangire, Ngorongoro and the Serengeti. We can compare Arusha NP to three of the others just mentioned and are glad we did not miss it. It's worth an extra night in Arusha and will only take a half-day for a complete tour.The unique and interesting colobus monkeys and blue monkeys are two animals we saw only in Arusha. We also saw more flamingos and from a much closer distance than anywhere else on our trip. Another close-up experience we had involved two grey-crowned cranes and their recently hatched offspring. Yes, we saw flamingos and cranes elsewhe...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 27, 2009

Arusha National Park

Arusha, Tanzania

Plantation Lodge & Safaris Limited

Hotel | "Our Favorite 2009 Safari Lodge"

Plantation Lodge & Safaris Limited Photo, Karatu, Tanzania
Quote:
Plantation Lodge is located in the hills near Karatu, Tanzania and may be used as a place from which to visit Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara National Park. Karatu itself offers a number of roadside souvenir shops, banks, and a supermarket.The lodge is composed of separate cottages spread through a beautiful landscape of expanses of green grass, flowers, plants and various trees. It provides an outdoor pool, a very good restaurant, internet service and an interesting bar with a view into the underground wine cellar.What sets Plantation Lodge apart is the combination of friendliness and efficiency with which it is run. The staff from the owner, Renate, down to the leaf raker out in th...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 4, 2009

Plantation Lodge & Safaris Limited
P.O.Box 34
Karatu
+255 27 253 43 64

Ngorongoro Crater

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Attraction | "A Crater-Full of Wildlife"

Ngorongoro Crater Photo, Tanzania, Africa
Quote:
Ngorongoro Crater is classified as a World Heritage Site and appears on top 10 lists of the world's greatest natural wonders. But it's often number 10. It's probably not as impressive as the Grand Canyon, which I have not seen. It's not even as scenic as Bryce Canyon, which I have seen. But Bryce Canyon doesn't have lions, zebras, wildebeests, elephants and hyenas roaming around it either. Consequently, the Crater is both an interesting geological formation measuring about 8 miles in diameter and a unique wildlife habitat. There are two entrance roads into the Crater. One is at the Sopa Lodge; the other one that most people use has an iron gate across it topped by on old water buffa...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 6, 2009

Ngorongoro Crater
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Tanzania

Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge

Hotel | "Luxury Hotel with Spectacular View"

Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge Photo, Arusha, Tanzania
Quote:
Made out of tens of thousands of river rocks and natural wood, the Ngorongoro Serena seems to fit well into its location on the rim of Ngorongoro Crater. At the same time, its general luxuriness, including wonderful restaurant with a diverse menu and sumptuous buffets, and well-stocked gift shop, make it seem somewhat out-of-place with its surrounding land and people. Its a contradiction one may feel during a safari in Tanzania in general, but seems more evident at the Serena.So, it you want to be pampered and stay at a luxury hotel, this is the place for you. If you want to feel a bit more part of the local scene, while still having more than adequate accommodations, you would do well to try...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 2, 2009

Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge
CRATER RIM NGORONGORO
Tanzania, Africa
574159

The Serengeti: No Man's Land

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Story/Tip

A Line of Galloping Wildebeests Photo, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Quote:
On the morning of February 20th, we left Ngorongoro Crater and, after a visit to Oldupai Gorge, headed towards the Serengeti Plains. Halfway to our destination, a half-mile thundering line of galloping wildebeests crossed the road in front of us.We had chosen to stay in the area near the southeastern border of Serengeti National Park in the hopes of experiencing the Great Migration of some two million wildebeests, zebras, and gazelles. In fact, if you go to the website of the lodge at which we stayed you'll see its February newsletter talks of safari vehicles "surrounded as far as the eye can see with wildebeests". Perhaps the herds took a few days' vacation at the time of our stay....Read More

Ndutu Safari Lodge

Hotel | "A Real Wildlife Lodge"

Amethyst Sunbird Photo, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Quote:
If you want to stay in a safari lodge in the southeastern area of the Serengeti Plain during the time of the Great Migration in February, then you have a choice: Ndutu Safari Lodge. It's your only choice. Another option is one of the tented camps that follow the migration. This option may provide a unique experience -- and may also be more expensive than the lodge. For our family, the lodge could more easily accommodate three people in one room.Ndutu provides basic, clean accommodations in a rather remote and desolate location. Under the circumstances, it's unreasonable to expect anything more at a reasonable price. What you do get is the standard Tanzanian friendly service, a nice ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 27, 2009

Ndutu Safari Lodge

Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
(255) 2725-08930

African Tulip (The)

Hotel | "A New, Modern Hotel - 2009"

African Tulip (The) Photo, Arusha, Tanzania
Quote:
We stayed at The African Tulip only for a day-room on the last day of our safari before heading in the evening to Kilimanjaro Airport. It was a perfect place to relax after our safari journey. This is what would probably be called a boutique hotel - not very large and no more than 30 rooms - but very luxurious and modern. It was the first place in Tanzania we had a phone, an air conditioner, and a high-def television (or any TV) in our room. As was the case everywhere, the staff were helpful and friendly.The African Tulip is located outside the center of Arusha, but within walking distance if you so choose. Although there was a restaurant on the premises, we decided to wal...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 16, 2009

African Tulip (The)
44/1 Serengeti Road
Arusha
+255 (27) 2543004

Impala Hotel

Restaurant | "Fine Indian Cuisine"

Quote:
At the beginning of our Tanzanian safari, we were at the tour company offices in Arusha when another tourist said, "Hey, if you need a place to eat, try the Indian restaurant at the Impala Hotel." At the end of our trip, we did just that for a late lunch. It was our best meal of the trip - although that opinion may be colored by the fact that all the lodges served pretty much the same standard fare and the Impala supplied something definitely different. The hotel also has several other restaurants - Chinese, Italian and Continental, I believe. I can only vouch for the Indian one.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 4, 2009

Impala Hotel
Moshi/Old Moshi Rd.
Arusha
+255-27-254 3082

Planning Your Safari: FAQs and Opinions

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Story/Tip

Lodge Staff with Obama Buttons Photo, Arusha, Tanzania
Quote:
The following are questions my wife and I wrestled with while planning our safari to Tanzania or that were asked upon our return. I will not be telling you to take your camera, binoculars, insect repellent and sunscreen. If you need that level of advice, you may want to skip the safari.1. How do I pick a tour operator? Should I take a group tour? This is your most important decision. Pick the wrong tour operator and you could end up bumping around in an old minibus, staying in poor hotels, and not seeing everything you should.Go online to get an idea of what's available, but don’t make your decision based on which website is the nicest. Use a travel agent experienced in ...Read More