TANZANIA: AN AFRICAN ODYSSEY

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On July 20th, I started my day like every other day, at home, having a coffee and browsing through my emails. That day, I spotted one that stood out with a a title that read Partnership with Soul of Tanzania. Obviously, my curiosity was aroused and as I kept reading, it turned out that Soul of Tanzania, a leading Safari operator based in Portugal was offering inviting both Ghassan and I to experience and share an exclusive safari experience in the wilderness of Eastern Africa. Needless to say that we were so excited that we immediately thought to ourselves no way we were going to miss that.

The last time I traveled to Africa (and by that I mean sub-Saharan Africa) was in 2015. If you’ve been following my adventures for a long time then you might remember that I flew there with Carolina Herrera for a different kind of experience. After several chats with the Soul of Tanzania team, we finally set the dates and got ready for what was one of the most memorable travel experiences I’ve ever had the chance to live.

November 6th, 2019 – we’re at the airport in Madrid, getting ready on one of the most extraordinary experiences of my life. Our itinerary is quite long and looked like that: Madrid – Amsterdam – Nairobi – Kilimanjaro – Arusha (that last part was done by car). All in all, almost a full day of traveling but then we were there. One of the things that struck me the most was the landing at Kilimanjaro airport. You could see the famous peak covered by its eternal snow and the contrast with the ambient heat that is characteristic of that part of the world made the view even more surreal.

First stop: ARUSHA (November 7 – 9)
Arusha is a city of North – Western Tanzania and is not far from the Kenyan border. There we stayed at ONSEA HOUSE which is a colonial type of hotel. The place is a great transition between a long trip and the start of the safari. Once there, Ghassan and I took some time to relax and charge up our batteries. Also, if you have time to spare, I would also recommend taking a few hours to visit the ARUSHA COFFEE LODGE, a colonial era plantation founded by the Germans that has been operational for the longest time. We were so lucky that we got to be there to witness the coffee arbusts in full bloom (something that only happens for 2 weeks)


arusha
arusha
arusha

Second stop: TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK (November 9 – 11)
On the morning of the 9th, we set up to start the safari. The first park on our itinerary was TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK. We went on a full day of game drive and making a stop for a picnic prepared by our guide Huruma (who is also a fantastic and fun person to spend time with). During our time in Tarangire, we saw countless amounts of wild animals ranging from elephants to zebras.

While in Tarangire, we stayed at the KICHUGUU TENTED CAMP (Kichuguu stands for termite and is part of Chaka Camps), a perfect luxury escape in the middle of the wild. I could hear the animals at night from my tent. The whole experience was surreal, sleeping in super comfy tented suites and eating delicious food. On our second day, we made our way out of Tarangire and ended up at ESCARPMENT LUXURY LODGE. This place is an actual brick and mortar hotel hanging on top of a cliff with wonderful views of Lake Manyara. Don’t miss hanging out at their breathtaking infinity pool to watch the sunset and enjoy a drink or two admiring the changing colours of the sky.

tarangire
tarangire
tarangire
tarangire
tarangire

tarangire
tarangire
tarangire
tarangire

Third stop: NGORONGORO NATIONAL PARK (November 11 – 12)

The Ngorongoro National Park is actually a huge extinct volcano. Down in the crater are swamps, rivers which are the home to thousands of wild animals. There, you’ll find rhinos, lions, wild beasts, zebras, elephants, hippos and every possible kind of wild bird possible.

The entrance to the park is spectacular, don’t miss stopping by an observatory to admire the impressive view of the crater before going down for a full day of game drive. After that, we made our way to our lodgings at the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge which is a property by AndBeyond. The property is simply breathtaking and the service, food and premises all impeccable. That night we celebrated Ghassan turning 35 and were treated to a delicious cake with a side of Swahili songs. The whole show was really moving and Ghass was truly moved and happy (which was the most important thing).

ngoro
ngoro
ngoro
ngoro
ngoro
ngoro
ngoro
ngoro

Fourth stop: SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK (November 12 – 14)

That time of the year, the Serengeti was not as full of animals (although it was) as many of them make their way to greener pastures. Still, the Serengeti National Park is one of the largest and as such you’ll see quite a bit there. One of the things that stuck with me was at the end of the itinerary when we stopped at the hippo pools. It was quite impressive as there were tens (if not hundreds?) of hippos stuck tightly together in a huge pond.

Also, I highly recommend the hot air balloon ride. You’ll get an incredible perspective of the savannah and memories for a lifetime. This is an activity for early risers, so be prepared for a short night of sleep but that will be compensated by the unbelievable views followed by an English breakfast in the wild.

SERENGETI CAMARA-38 copia
serengeti
SERENGETI CAMARA-18
SERENGETI CAMARA-10 copia
serengeti
serengeti

Fifth stop: ZANZIBAR (November 14 – 18)

To wrap up our trip, we went for a change of scenery. We switched our safari clothes for swimsuits and flipflops as we headed to the island of Zanzibar. There, we stayed at the lush oasis that is the BARAZA RESORT & SPA. To say the least, I was really happy to go there as one week of short nights followed by endless and bumpy dirt trails can be a bit tiring. If you have the time and opportunity, I would highly recommend finishing your itinerary in this paradise. The beaches are wonderful, the sea as clear as could be.

zanzibar -3
zanzibar
znzibar zanzibar


zanzibar -1
zanzibar

I hope you liked my little guide to Tanzania and hope that you find some use to it. It is highly recommended to go through operators to organize the full itinerary. My experience with Soul of Tanzania was wonderful and should I ever go back to Tanzania, I’ll make sure to go through them. Also, should you be interested in that, they are presently making special offers to my followers. So if you reach out to book, make sure to mention that and enjoy special promotions by mentioning that you would like to take advantage of the offer on display on Alexandra Pereira’s profile.

I’m sure you have some questions about the whole experience so shoot away. I’m more than happy to be answering.

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