Thank you to our preferred partner Joe Schlipman of Sanctuary Retreats for sharing his “insider look” into the world of Tanzania!
An African safari is usually a bucket list item or a once in a lifetime trip. And the Serengeti National Park seems to be one of the most likely places they always will mention when asked where they want to visit (at least for a first timer like myself!).
I came to learn that this large park is considered as one of the best places for a safari due to the annual Wildebeest Migration which usually happens every Spring at our Sanctuary Kusini.
This is where I chose to start my trip as it is a permanent camp in the Southern end of the Serengeti and every year wildebeest congregate on the camp's "doorstep". It is a perfect spot within 10 minutes of an airstrip and the welcome we received was truly first class! Just off the airstrip we had drinks and snacks to welcome us from our long journey. We chose to have the snacks and go directly onto safari while they took our bags back to camp and placed in our room. So nice!
One thing that I also learned very quickly is that the animals are not trained to be in one spot on cue! Due to the severe drought that was occurring this Spring, I missed the Migration as the herd had moved to the Western side of the Serengeti much earlier than expected. However, I must say, I think I had much more of an “adventure” than what I anticipated because of this drought. There was much more trekking across large open areas where we got to see predators (who do not move with the migrations) hungry for food and usually
on the hunt!
We then moved to Ngorongoro Crater Camp where we were more one with nature and true safari camping. This was on the edge of the crater with easy access in the morning. The game and wildlife was abundant but I missed that thrill of the hunt that I mentioned earlier in Serengeti as the game viewing seemed too easy and even the animals were not afraid of the vehicles which had to stay on the designated roads. It is a very beautiful destination and loads of guaranteed wildlife viewing but not my favorite spot as it seemed too easy.
I then moved over to Tarangire National Park and Sanctuary Swala which has a constant presence of elephants around camp due to our own watering hole which we fill daily during certain times of the year. During the dry season (usually the Fall but in my case also in March) the elephant sightings in camp are unbelievable, and we had a twenty-four hour presence of the elephants as well as other animals in camp.
The waterhole draws them from far and wide. There was an average of 15 plus on each day (all at one time!) and like a constant rotation where a couple herds would leave and another few would enter. They move all around camp, between the tents, try and drink out of the pool which we don't allow or compete with each other for dominance over the water. It was so peaceful just hanging around camp or even on my own deck of my room enjoying the views.
The combination of the three camps that I enjoyed were perfect. I would highly recommend 2-3 nights at Kusini, 1-2 nights at Ngorongoro and 3 nights at Swala! Make sure to put Tanzania on one of your bucket lists! Contact your Admiral Travel advisor to learn more and book your next adventure with Sanctuary Retreats: 941-951-1801.