Tanzania Safari Review May 24th, 2011 • by Karen Cleary Another group of happy guests reports back to the Boundless Journeys home office after their Tanzania Safari. “On Saturday morning we entered the Ngorongoro Crater and what a beautiful place it is. It is really too much to tell all we experienced, but suffice it to say the time we spent there were filled with awe and adventure. Elephants, wildebeest, lions, zebras, Thompson gazelles, bushbucks, Cape buffalo, hippos, baboons, rhinos, animals we can’t even remember along with more types of birds than we can name. It is a veritable Garden of Eden. By the time we left, we had seen the Big Five: Cape buffalo, lion, rhino, leopard, and elephant…and we saw them over and over to our great amazement and delight. Ngorongoro Crater We then headed for the Serengeti with two stops on the way. The first stop was at a Maasai village where we were welcomed with dancing and songs. They had us dance with them, which made them all laugh. We heard a little about the Maasai people and then were invited into a home. The Maasai are very tall people, but their homes are very small with extremely low roofs. Each home has two beds–one for adults and the other for children. You can’t stand up in the tiny homes with the roof about 4 feet high. Needless to say we kept bumping our heads. The homes have a space for a small wood fire. It was very smoky, but very interesting. The furniture was limited to one stump to sit on and a couple of plastic 5 gallon tubs which served the same purpose.Our next stop was at an archeological site of the famous Leakeys. There is a little museum there with interesting artifacts and an archeologist spoke to us about the history of the area. Both of us want to read more about the area and the Leakeys once we return home. Serengeti We entered the Serengeti to what our guide, Kelvin, called our “African massage”: pitted, rocky roads. You may have a mental picture of the rocks, but believe us, we mean ROCKS. It was great fun. How to tell you about the Serengeti? It is vast and has a beauty all its own. We came here to see the migration of the wildebeests and zebras, and we were not disappointed. At first there would be a few dozen stopping under trees or drinking where they could; then in the background the dust would rise and suddenly we would be surrounded by thousands of these animals–old, young, babies, and experienced adults–making their way across the Serengeti heading toward Kenya. This scene was replayed over and over again to the sounds of their hooves and calls to each other to reconnect their families. At times it was heart-pounding and always thrilling. We are so lucky to be on private safari with our own guide. More than once we were horrified to see every seat taken in a vehicle with people scrambling for their space to view the animals or take photos. All we could do was to think of how hot and sticky it must have been with all the people. The very worst thing we saw were trucks filled with people….maybe as many as 15-20 people crowded together. I hope they were all family, because they would have been after an 8 or 9 hour game drive together! We couldn’t have had a more perfect guide. Kelvin is from the Chagga tribe at the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro. He attended the University at Dar es Salaam for four years and studied Geographic Information Systems along with a study of wildlife management and biodiversity conservation. In case that isn’t enough, he was a research assistant for the African Wildlife Foundation, collecting scientific data on several species including monitoring the elephant migration in the Kitendeni corridor and studying the habits of primates in Lake Manyara National Park. If we had a question, he had an answer and always an interesting one. He is smart and well-educated, but he has a gentle manner and a great personality and is just genuinely nice. Now we are in hot, humid, and beautiful Zanzibar, the spice island. Yesterday we were out on a boat in the warm, turquoise Indian Ocean looking for dolphin, which we certainly found and followed. We were in a small boat run by three teenagers and our Zanzibar guide, Linus. We were the first out in the morning, and by the time the other small boats and tourists came out, we had long established ourselves as the favorite of the dolphins who continually circled our boat and dove under and around it. One little note on our hotel…UNBELIEVABLE. The beach is considered one of the most beautiful in the word according to Condé Nast. Our suite has a living room, sitting room, bar area, huge bedroom, walk-in closet, and gigantic bathroom (make a call to Zerorez to do the shower cleaning), and did we say it has its own private pool? This is in addition to the almost Olympic sized pool overlooking the white sand beach. Bill Clinton stayed here. More on our lodgings in another email and believe us they are fabulous. Over and over we said to each other that we could never explain the experience to family and friends, nor could pictures show what it is like to be here in Africa and to see such beauty. One has to see and experience it for oneself, and we hope you have that privilege. The real secret to a wonderful safari is working with a great travel company, having an outstanding guide, and a willingness to be flexible. Of course having a great traveling companion is at the heart of it.” About Boundless Journeys Boundless Journeys is an award-winning small group adventure tour operator. With a diverse collection of locally guided, small group itineraries and Private Collection trips around the world, Boundless Journeys offers “The World’s Great Adventures.” The adventure trips for 2-16 guests are active, ranging from leisurely cultural explorations and wildlife safaris to challenging trekking in remote regions ― with plenty of easy to moderate walking and sea kayaking in between.