Holiday review by Sheila
Date of trip: 09/10/2015
Number of people: 2
We loved having the time to really stop and watch, not just 'tick the box' and rush on. Over the days we developed an understanding of the wildlife and the environment. This was largely made possible by the knowledge and experience of our guide. We loved the welcome we were given by almost every one we met. At most of the lodges we were made to feel like guests, but in a relaxed and easy way - almost like house guests. I celebrated my birthday on Zanzibar, and the staff at Matemwe Beach really went the extra mile; laying out a table on the beach side just for us, finishing the meal with a cake accompanied by everyone singing a (presumably) Tanzanian version of 'Happy Birthday' - even the cooks were there, banging pots and pans! Brilliant.
Everything we'd hoped for and then some. Everything ran like clockwork; the people we met were friendly, professional, on-the-ball. We're glad we went for the grand sweep across N Tanzania - the variety of habitats and wildlife made it all the more interesting.
Can't fault Tribes. Sinead patiently rejigged the itineraries until we were happy with the overall package. Everything ran like clockwork when we were in Africa. We really didn't need fleeces, but otherwise the pre-departure info was good.
Japhet, our guide/driver was a gem. His ability to spot wildlife and identify it was astonishing. Good, safe driver, and he clearly cared about the wildlife. We also enjoyed his company in the evenings and found him very open about life in Tanzania.
Social & Environmental Responsibility:
Travelling round on a trip like this, it's very hard to know how much benefit you're bringing to the country itself; who owns the local travel agencies and lodges, for example? However, my impression was that there was a strong local flavour to them. Our safari driver/guide clearly had a responsible attitude towards the wildlife we encountered.
The places you stayed
The staff were friendly, we enjoyed our stay but didn't feel it was quite up to the standard of the other lodges we visited.
The room was amazing and the setting and gardens were superb.There was an extensive choice of food at dinner time, all on a serve yourself basis so we could try as many different dishes as we fancied. There was a fire pit outside on the terrace for a last drink before bed. The only disappointment was the background muzak playing at dinner time! Thank goodness we had some African music at breakfast time.
Serengeti National Park
A fantastic setting, right in the Serengeti with wildlife all around. The staff were really friendly and welcoming - probably the best we encountered on the trip. The camp fire was a great place to sit for a sundowner before dinner. The food was delicious. We loved the bucket showers! We only had one night here and wished it was longer. Falling asleep while listening to zebra munching grass the other side of the canvas is a wonderful experience.
Serengeti National Park
The tent was very comfortable and the bucket shower very efficient. In the morning, a jug of hot water was brought with the cry of 'Jambo, jambo' and a comment on the wild animals passing by. We could see elephant, giraffe or zebra before we even got out of bed! Lovely lounge tents and eating tents too, with staff that made sure we were well looked after.
Impressive renovated buildings in Stone Town, but hasn't lost its sense of heritage. Funky location for a swimming pool in the courtyard of one 'wing'. Well located, and a nice retreat when the hurly-burly of the town gets too much. Helpful staff.