Travelling through Tanzania with Lemala Safaris was the very best way to experience this wonderful and diverse country! The Serengeti is aptly named, as it means “endless plains” which we certainly felt. Miles and miles of vast tracks of land. I was able to experience top camps in wildlife rich areas and also get some excellent cultural experiences. It was everything and more that I could hope for. From Tarangire to Ngorongoro to Northern Serengeti – I got just a small taste of what Tanzania has to offer.
We had a great visit at a Samburu village outside Samburu National Park before continuing on a game drive. Liz and I were able to partake in a conversation with Joseph and Steven about their tribe – their struggles and their successes. We were welcomed in with the ladies to their dance and song and a visit in one of their huts to see how they live.
They have very little but are pretty happy people – water seemed to be their main concern. It is so hot and dry in Samburu – the river bed is dry right now, the rains should come soon but in the meantime, they rely on a water tank that was donated to them that they fill every couple of months for the whole village. As they say “water is life” … so Liz and I were able to do a little donation to pay for their next water tank to be filled and they were extremely grateful.
Check out Steven with the Buffalo horn that they use when they are calling the tribe in for a meeting or if there is a warning of some sort. They can hear it for up to 10 km!
We spent a morning in Ngorongoro Crater, the largest intact caldera in the world. Here you’ll find hippos taking mud baths, prides of lions lazing in the sun, and one of the highest density of hyenas in all of Africa’s parks.
After brunch on the crater floor we continued our game drive west to Ndutu, the southern area of the Serengeti Plains, translated as “endless plains” from the native Maasai language. Here special sightings are possible through off-road driving. I’ve seen almost everything except leopard and rhino 😊 there’s even a bit of the wildebeest migration going down into Ndutu.
We drove towards Tarangire National Park, stopping at an authentic Maasai Boma and having a ‘chat’ under a tree with the Local Chief. An authentic glimpse into the distinctive Maasai culture is a must whilst in Tanzania. Preservation of their proud traditions has set the Maasai apart from other indigenous groups, and embodies a side of Africa into which few outsiders get a glimpse.
We continued on to Lemala Mpingo Ridge which overlooks the valley and is five star luxury in a remote and pristine environment. Great wildlife, wonderful people and the Lemala camps are outstanding! Tarangire National Park really is elephant haven with a real abundance of ellies and wildlife.
Upon arrival in Tanzania Kathy stayed in the lovely Golf & Safari Retreat outside of Arusha, a villa with charm and a great place to get over the jetleg. Stay tuned to see where she stays, what she sees and who she meets on this exciting African adventure.
We are fortunate to be able to spend a few days at the beautiful Toka Leya Camp on the banks of the Zambezi River (Zambia) before the conference begins in Cape Town. We took a nice boat trip on the Zambezi and visited a village where Wilderness Safaris has done a lot of work with “The Children in the Wilderness” program. They have a school set up, education programs, as well as community programs that we were able to see. The children and the community are doing well with the water that’s now available and the education provided. They will soon be a self-sustaining community which will be wonderful.
We finished off the other day with some nice cheetah and lion sightings then carried on to Wilderness Safaris property, Rocktail Lodge. This is an adventure camp within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park in Kwa-Zulu Natal. A bit more rustic, this tented camp has beautiful views to the ocean, good snorkeling and great scuba diving. Being one of the top 15 dive locations in the world we were surprised that there was hardly anyone around! It’s a very isolated and special spot.
We carried on past sugar cane fields, cashew trees, and eucalyptus trees that are grown and harvested for paper. Now in Durban, our big Africa conference starts tomorrow!
We stayed at the beautiful Phinda Forest Lodge last night, check out that room! This morning’s game drive brought on a “crash” (or group) of White Rhino and now we’re off in search of an elusive cheetah! Check back for more soon…
We arrived in Phinda at the beautiful Mountain Lodge. We are in northern KwaZulu-Natal not far from the Indian Ocean coastline and the famous iSimangaliso/Greater St. Lucia Wetland Park. The lodge has a lovely view of the surrounding area, covered in trees and vegetation. Thanks to its coastal rainfall pattern, &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve enjoys a lush green environment that contains seven distinct ecosystems. The grounds here are full of warthog families, Nyala antelope, and water-bucks as well as monkeys looking to steal food and goodies left laying around!
The game drives have been good – beautiful weather and we have a fun and engaging guide. Today, we were fortunate to catch a baby giraffe a week or two old! We are still searching for the mama leopard with her 2 young cubs that has been seen in the area so will let you know what we find!
Tomorrow we move to the Phinda Forest Lodge which is about an hours drive. The forest lodge is one of the worlds first eco-designed luxury lodges with floor to ceiling windows surrounding the villas, giving you a breathtaking view of the beautiful sand forest and its own unique ecosystem!