Olly's Tanzania Trip Report

Oliver Greenfield

25 Apr 2017

Tarangire national park

Working in travel definitely has its perks and being given the opportunity to go on a last minute trip to Tanzania is definitely one of them. I had previously been to Tanzania around 10 years ago and was thrilled about the prospect of returning. 

After an overnight in Arusha, very welcome after the overnight flight, we were off to Tarangire National Park. Tarangire is well known for its large numbers of elephants and even out of season we saw a lot of them! The other animal the park is known for during the rains is the Tsetse fly and we definitely got well acquainted with them! 

The park itself is stunning with an area of rolling hills dotted with Baobab trees, followed by a huge swamp that was a lush green colour due to the rains. During the dry season this swamp is a huge attraction to the herds of elephants and general game and this then attracts the predators.

I was staying at Little Oliver’s Camp where you can enjoy a walking safari with expert guides. During the walk we were lucky enough to encounter a bull elephant about 150 – 200 metres away who is completely unaware of our presence.

Ngorongoro conservation area

From Tarangire we made our way up into the Ngorongoro highlands with a stop at Gibbs Farm in Karatu for a delicious lunch. Gibbs Farm is still a working farm and offers guests the opportunity to get involved with all aspects of farm life. The rooms are beautifully decorated and I would have loved to have stayed longer to enjoy it fully.

From Karatu our destination was The Highlands Camp, which I was very excited to see. The camp opened last year and is a very unique looking camp with its dome pods spread across the hillside. The camp itself is located about an hour from the Ngorongoro Crater rim, the drive is fascinating as you pass through traditional Masai villages. After a long day’s drive the hot cocktails and whisky bar was a welcome sight as was the wood burning stove keeping the room toasty at night. 

We couldn’t pass through this area without descending down into the Ngorongoro crater itself, so inbetween site inspections we spent a couple of hours driving from one side to the other and were astounded by the density of wildlife around. Wherever we looked there were animals! 

After the drive in the crater we went hike to the Olmoti Crater, this is one of the activities that The Highlands offers as a change from being in your safari vehicle. The hike is well worth it, expect to be a little out of breath due to the altitude, as you are rewarded with some stunning views of the crater and the surrounding area.

Serengeti national park

From the highlands we made our way to the plains of the Serengeti and were welcomed at the gate by the migratory herds of wildebeest, I don’t think I have ever seen so many animals in one place. 

It was like a carpet of wildebeest surrounding us, interspersed with Zebra and a few hyena looking for an easy meal. 

After a good nights sleep and a beautiful breakfast overlooking the plains from Dunia Camp we set off to explore more of this central region of the park. We were lucky enough to spot a large male leopard that was stalking along a stream and spent a good hour with him as he leapt back and forth across the banks of the stream. With big smiles on our faces we continued our drive towards Namiri Plains Camp in the east of the park. Namiri Plains is located in one of the best areas for seeing big cats and we were not disappointed as we hadn’t even gone 500 metres from camp before we saw lions, who were later to walk past camp as we finished dinner.

The final stop was the Northern Serengeti and I have to say probably my favourite place of the trip (closely followed by the Highlands). We stayed at Sayari Camp which is perfectly set to access the Mara river with not even a 15 minute drive to a crossing point. This area of the Serengeti offered the most diverse scenery from the rocky kopjes, to the wildlife filled open rolling plains of the Lamai Wedge. The Lamai Wedge is a wildlife garden of Eden, and even out of season was full of general game and we were treated to a great sighting of a large pride of lions and as it was the low season we didn’t see another vehicle for the whole drive, bliss!

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