Coming home from such an adventurous trip led to questions.
Many of you have been asking who organized my trip and how my schedule looked like. Some of you asked about safety, outfits and some of you asked about how it was to be a solo traveler. I will write another article about those things in my upcoming "Safari Travel Tips to Keep in Mind".
Planning your first safari trip to Africa can seem overwhelming. Especially when you have thousands of camps, lodges and even villas to choose from. I was happy that I found LEMALA. They customised a trip according to what I wanted and took care of all the planning for me. They helped me organize the perfect travel experience in Tanzania.
The Serengeti National Park is known for its iconic wilderness safari destination and home to the Great Wildebeest Migration. There's no wonder why people don't forget their first encounter with Serengeti. LEMALA presents a collection of safari tented camps and lodges in this area as well as in Ngorongoro Conservation area. I was fortunate to get a few nights sponsored at some of their beautiful properties.
Where to start is probably one of your questions. Staying in different lodges is always a fun experience. This how my schedule looked like:
I flew to Arusha after a few days on Zanzibar island and kick started my safari adventure at Lemala Kili Vilas. The Domestic Airport is only a 45 minute drive away. I was picked up by my guide, Jonathan. He speaks fluently English and has a lot of knowledge when it comes to wilderness.
Lemala Kili Vilas is set on acres of green bushes and trees surrounded by wild animals and offers its guests a place of privacy and relaxation. Going straight on a safari adventure can sometimes be overwhelming to some people, so starting your trip with a night or two in Arusha might not be a bad idea. I was quite overwhelmed by my surroundings and I have never felt so connected with a place before. That's probably why I consider moving to Tanzania, but that is another story to tell.
The Villa has four bedrooms, a dining room and a living room with an open fire decorated in safari style. It features a private chef service. Choose the dishes you like and they will take care of everything for you from start to finish. It has a swimming pool and grounds where you can make a fireplace in the evening. Perfect for solo travelers, friends traveling in groups, couples and families.
After a few days in Kili Vilas I was ready for the adventure of my life. My next stop was the Serengeti. I was picked up by Jonathan in the morning. I flew with Coastal Aviation from Kilimanjaro to Kogatende airstrip. It took about 2 hours as we had to do a pit stop in Seronera.
We flew over Ngorongoro crater, saw many Masasai villages and herds of wildebeest and other animals. The view from above was spectacular, I was overwhelmed with new impressions, thoughts and feelings.
We arrived safely in the bushy Kogatende airstrip. As soon as I stepped my foot on the ground I was ready to get my hands dirty.
I was warmly welcomed by my guide, Peter. He had setup a table with snacks in the shade of the trees in the parking lot while waiting for my arrival. Having a light picnic with running monkeys in background was unusual but definitely something I could get used to.
Lemala Kuria Hills is located 45 minutes from the airstrip. It rather felt like 10 minutes as I was so distracted by all these beautiful animals. Set in an undisturbed wild natural area, Lemala Kuria Hills offers its guests a home away from home atmosphere and a deep sense of tranquility and peace.
The whole camp site runs on a solar electricity with a back-up generator and features 15 tented suites with sliding glass doors to balcony. All suites have plunge pools. There's also an infinity pool on site. The main areas have a combined lounge and bar with inside and outside dining facilities. Perfect for solo travelers, friends traveling in groups, couples and families with children. Lemala offer Lemala Cubs for children to keep them well entertained while their parents relax.
Game drives are one of the most popular
ways to see wildlife on a Safari.
Morning Game drive usually starts around 6 am and lasts to noon. You will find the Serengeti National Park at its most active. This is also when you'll experience a cooler side of Africa, so you better wrap yourself up in blankets. As the sun rises it will get warmer so don't forget to bring sunscreen to avoid sunburn. A private safari breakfast a few hours into the game drive with wild animals in the background is mandatory.
Evening game drives starts around 4:30 pm and lasts a few hours. Driving at night in the Serengeti is not allowed.
After a few days in Kuria Hills it was time to fly to Seronera and experience the real bush life in a fancy tent. I was picked up by my guide, Barnabas. We went on an afternoon game drive before he drove me to the camp site.
Lemala Ewanjan is about 30 minutes away from Seronera airstrip. The whole camp site runs on a solar electricity with a back-up generator and has 12 tents with queen size beds. If you are traveling in a group or with children, triples are available on request. This place is perfect for solo travelers, friends traveling in groups, couples and families with children. Lemala Ewanjan also offer Lemala Cubs, just like Kuria Hills. These activities may include identifying animals, listening to stories told by a Maasai or roasting marshmallows over the campfire before bedtime.