My last safari experience in Tanzania was 10 years ago, when I was that bit younger and a bit more gung ho! We stayed in dome tents in sleeping bags in public campsites, and loved the experience of hearing zebra munching grass outside as we slept (or at least tried to!).
This time I was doing it a bit differently, I was going ‘posh’ as I explained it to my friends! Although I had researched where I would be staying, I was eager to see just how different my first experience would be.
My first stop was on arrival in Tanzania was Tarangire National Park. I would be staying at Kirurumu Tarangire Lodge, just a 20 minute drive from the main entrance to the park. After an afternoon game drive, we pulled up at the entrance to the lodge and I was met by friendly, smiling staff and maasai holding a much needed umbrella!
I was escorted down the path by a maasai to my ‘tent’. Situated on a raised platform, with my own verandah overlooking a small section of the national park that backs on to the camp. I entered my large room through glass sliding tours to find 2 large four poster beds – just for me. At the back of the tent was the ensuite bathroom with proper flush toilet, a 2 sink vanity unit and a hot shower. After a quick power nap, I woke to find it was dark, and time to head to the main restaurant for dinner. I followed the instructions I had been given and sprayed my tent with the mosquito spray provided before I left.
After my last safari, when I struggled to find my way in the dark with a small torch, this was quite a different experience. As soon as the nearby Maasai guards heard the latch go on the door to my tent, they were waiting by the steps with lanterns to guide me along the torch lit path to the large welcoming restaurant. After a delicious dinner, they were waiting to walk me back to my tent. No more stumbling in the dark for me, the lights were switched on and the mosquito nets on the bed had been arranged.
My first night on ‘posh’ safari in Tanzania had been a revelation. I still felt that I was very much in the heart of the bush (and actually did hear zebra outside again while I slept!), but the added luxury and security made it a truly special experience. I couldn’t wait to see what the rest of the trip would bring!