Ngorongoro Crater views, Tanzania

Africa Wildlife And Beach Honeymoon

Natural World Safaris

James & Sophie Craven

16 Jun 2016

Africa wildlife and beach honeymoon – an NWS client review

NWS clients James and Sophie recount their Africa wildlife and beach honeymoon in Tanzania and Zanzibar…

Breakfast sharing the shade of a tree with a lioness, a picnic with the contestants of Miss Tanzania and an outdoor shower room beside a munching herd of elephants. Only a trio of the most incredible experiences we had on our honeymoon in Tanzania and Zanzibar. 
My husband was determined to keep our honeymoon destination a secret and revealed our final itinerary as we were sitting in the departure lounge at Heathrow. I had a fair idea it would involve an African safari but that is as far as my knowledge went. I can safely say our trip exceeded all our expectations and I was blown away by the seamless organisation that went into co-ordinating our trip. 

Tanzania and Zanzibar Honeymoon Blog

A magic Harry Potter ‘Knight Bus’ was awaiting us at every turn to whisk us off to our next encounter and we seemed to hop from one deserted airfield to another as if it was no different than catching the tube. The cliff edge which we soared off at the end of the runway from the airfield near the Ngorongoro crater was electrifying and the views from the aeroplane were phenomenal and gave you a proper perspective of the vast plains of Africa.  

Our 10 day safari took us to Tarangire National Park staying in Oliver’s Camp, Lake Manyara and the Ngorongoro Crater staying at Plantation Lodge and the Northern Serengeti staying in Ubuntu Camp. This was finished off by a blissful week in Zanzibar.

Tanzania and Zanzibar Honeymoon Blog
Tanzania and Zanzibar Honeymoon Blog

The combination of camps and lodges allowed us to spot everything we had longed to see and more. We were given a checklist by our amazingly knowledgeable Asilia guides and managed to tick off much of the list as we went along (we were also tested at the end of each day on not only the animals we had seen but also the vegetation that sustains them!). At Oliver’s camp we had our own guide who stayed with us through until we left the Ngorongoro Crater which was a real luxury, at Ubuntu camp we were due to share a car with other camp guests but we were lucky enough to yet again have our own guide so we were truly spoilt. The cars provided for the game drives were enormous, hugely comfortable and had plenty of sun roofs to open and spot out of (or in my case just gawp in amazement!). They also came with a ‘mini’ fridge and even power sockets!

Tanzania and Zanzibar Honeymoon Blog
Tanzania and Zanzibar Honeymoon Blog

Both Oliver’s and Ubuntu took ‘camping’ to another stratosphere and both had the most incredible positions within the parks. Waking up looking at the sunrise with a mug of hot chocolate and a biscuit bought to your tent was something I could get seriously used to (and that was just the start of it!). The food we feasted upon everywhere we stayed was utterly delicious and by the end of the holiday we were both seriously struggling trying to do up the buttons on our trousers! All the staff could not have been more friendly and welcoming. At night, as we gathered round the camp fire with all the other guests and our sundowners we were made to feel part of their home. As it was our honeymoon we were also lucky enough to be given a private dinner at Oliver’s and Ubuntu which are treasured memories. The perfect way to end the day was crawling into bed listening to the sounds of the night which lulled you to sleep and with a tingle of excitement you might hear a lion roar and rush out in the morning to look for any tracks. 

It goes without saying that the animals were the real highlight. Tree lounging lions, rock dwelling lion cubs, slinking leopards and elegant cheetahs. Wallowing hippos, eerily motionless crocodiles, baby warthogs and wild dog pups. The list is endless. 

Tanzania and Zanzibar Honeymoon Blog
Tanzania and Zanzibar Honeymoon Blog

Our guides had the amazing knack of always being in the right place at the right time. Despite not seeing an actual kill there was plenty other extraordinary sights. We were privileged enough to see two rhinos fighting whilst the baby rhino looked on and were also in the Northern Serengeti at the time of the wildebeest migration and the thrill of watching the river crossings was phenomenal (it is also amazing how phenomenally stupid wildebeest can be!). Despite seeing giraffes fighting, I am still longing to see a giraffe drinking, so hard to please…. We will have to return another year to catch the elusive act!

From a practical point of view there is no Wi-Fi or network coverage at the camps (bliss) but they do have charging stations in the main tent for camera equipment etc. You are provided with washing powder for your underwear but the rest of your washing is done for you and magically appears on your bed at the end of the day looking pristine. A radio is provided in your tent, this was usually to alert reception if there were animals in camp blocking the way to the main tent. We never required the radio (except when my husband wanted to check that a giant spider in our shower was safe to hang out with (I had merrily just ignored the poor thing). Naturally it was totally harmless and provided much amusement for all in the camp!).

Tanzania and Zanzibar Honeymoon Blog

A huge thank you to Arabella for organising our holiday, it was truly sensational and we are already planning our next wildlife extravaganza with NWS!

Don’t forget: Binoculars. A couple we met in one of the camps had decided not to bring their binoculars to cut down on baggage weight for the internal flights – they regretted their decision bitterly!

Most useful item:
Day bag. Super useful to put all important paraphernalia required for each game drive. (Camera, binoculars, sun cream, an extra layer). 

Favourite animal: Warthog!

Top spot: Watching two cheetah feasting on their fresh kill. There was no one else around and they were only 15m away from the track so we really did have ringside seats.


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