If you are looking for a honeymoon you will never forget and have memories that will be engraved in your mind for a lifetime look no further than East Africa. With the exhilaration experience, of without a doubt, the best safari spots in the world combined with the splendour and beauty of the beaches and resorts in Zanzibar – A honeymoon in Tanzania will be a trip you never forget. Although I wasn’t on a honeymoon, I was with my wife and we both thought this would be brilliant place to go for one and so I thought I would write a blog that briefly described our experience whilst we were there.
Day One – Arriving in Arusha
I arrived in Arusha (Tanzania) to be picked up by our Safari guide, Mrindiko. From the outset he exuded a friendless that put us at ease and made us feel really comfortable. We made our way to Lake Manyara where we settled into our lodge and after freshening up made our way to our first game drive. As our modified Toyota Landcruiser built specifically for the uneven terrain made its way into the park I had no idea of what to expect. This was my first safari! The roads were bumpy and Mrindiko hilariously described this as a “free African massage” but in actuality the seats were so padded it was not that uncomfortable! The anticipation grew as we wondered what would be the 1st animal we saw and then before our eyes was an elegantly poised giraffe which stood graciously grazing at the leaves of yellow bark acacia tree.
Amazing. From this point onwards as we made our way around the park to see more and more majestic animals – Zebras, gazelles, monkeys and many more. This was almost a taster of what was what to come as we made our way to the Serengeti to find the “Big 5” (lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and buffalos) and witness the “Great Migration” of the wildebeest. The journey to the Serengeti took half a day, passing the infamous Ngorongoro crater along the way. This crater is the largest caldera (collapsed volcano) in the world and has a really high density of animals at the base.At this point we were just passing by the top rim and were due to go down into the crater on the way back from the Serengeti. However, we did stop for the views and they were absolutely spectacular. Words cannot describe the beauty. A 10-minute stop turned into a hour, before Mrindiko dragged us back into the vehicle to carry on the journey towards and into the Serengeti. After a long journey we had finally reached the vast savannah of the Serengeti. It was was scattered with low-lying vegetation and animals grazing as they basked in the sun. The first of the “cats” that we saw were two Cheetahs and it was exciting. We had a high vantage point and so could see their heads amongst the tall grass, as they lay stealthily low, whilst scoping two stray zebra for an evening meal. The anticipation was immense and the adrenaline was flowing but fortunately for the zebras they also caught sight of the cheetah and quickly scurried away before the cheetah could pounce!
The Luxurious Tent
After a tiring day, Mrindiko took us to our accommodation – The Kubu Kubu tents. After arriving, “tents” is not how I would describe these. The rooms were large, decorated beyond what you would expect in a western hotel and had a beautiful bathroom but most importantly the views were incredible!
As the tents were on a hill slope, the views of the Savannah were vast – we could not feel more detached from our lives back at home in busy London. After a lovely nights rest, we woke up spritely for a full days game drive in the Serengeti. Amazing!
Day 2 – Safari
The Serengeti is absolutely massive and Mrindiko drove us around in search of the “Big Five” for the next day and a half. With the use of his incredible eyesight and powerful binoculars we were able to find, chase down and get really close to some absolutely stunning animals. Words cannot describe or do this experience justice and so here are some pictures that we took, which to be fair can’t either!
Lions, Leopards, Elephants and the magnificent Wildebeest migration were all ticked off the list (multiple times!). Seeing thousands of animals stampeding across a river was something I will never forget! It was time to make our way back to Ngorongoro crater.
The Serena Lodge
After another long journey we arrive at our lodge in the evening, ready for some delicious food and a night of peaceful rest. The Serena Lodge did not fail to deliver this and as with the Kubu Kubu tents – the views were nothing short of immense!
Day 3 – Safari
Mrindiko had requested an early start so that we could catch beautiful sunrise as we made our way down into the crater for our last full day of game drive. There was one animal that we were yet to see – the infamous Rhino. Now, these are rare and quite shy – overall hard to find! Mrindiko would drive, stop and gaze in to the distance with his binocular vision. Every time we would pull out the actual binoculars, we got excited. This normally meant he had seen something that we were looking for. But for whatever reason it just was not happening. His frustration was clearly visible as he searched tirelessly and then again he stopped, gazed, pulled out the binoculars….then these four blissful words came out of his mouth…”s*** there’s two rhinos!”.He had seen 2 rhinos in the distance and all honesty I couldn’t even see 2 dots of grey where he was pointing to but before I knew it, he put his foot on the gas and we rapidly made our way in the direction of these rhinos. There they were! Two graceful rhinos peacefully chomping away at the vegetation. Amazing. To think these magnificent creatures could be on the verge of extinction was sad but thankfully things are improving and their numbers are increasing. Mrindiko’s job was done – he had shown us all of the animals, given us a great adventure and memories that would last a life time.
Day 4 – To Zanzibar for some R&R!
The next day he dropped us to the airport and after an emotional farewell, we boarded our plane for our onwards journey to Zanzibar. This is a relatively small, long and narrow island off the east coast of Tanzania. Our hotel was on the northern tip in a place called Nungwi, which is known for some beautiful beaches and to be honest it did not disappoint.
It had the whitest sands and clearest water – just as you would imagine on the front cover of the holiday brochure. The hotel itself, Hideaway at Nungwi, had a lovely infinity pool from which you could see the beautiful ocean and very comfortable and luxurious rooms. It was the perfect place to come and relax after the intense, adventure filled safari experience. To top it all off – the food was magnificent and the chefs were happy to accommodate any customised request. My wife is a vegetarian who does not eat eggs and we are both foodies. Bad food and poor choice would detract away from a holiday experience but in both the Safari accommodation and the Hideaway at Nungwi, the options were plentiful and absolutely scrumptious!
So this was our trip….in a nutshell! With the excitement of the safari and the relaxation of Zanzibar I could not recommend it more for a honeymoon – a perfect way to start married life!
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