Holiday review by Jude Hart
Name: Jude Hart
Date of trip: 14/08/2019
Number of people: 2
1. Meeting lots of Tanzanian people, they are so lovely and how alike we all are. And how they like a joke - I was known as Bibi at Mara R Post and among some of the other guides too. 2. The Mara crossings, especially the challenge for wildebeest when a crocodile was cruising among them. We were sad when a youngster disappeared. 3. Also the urge of the wildebeest and zebra to cross for better grass and the anticipation by us and the hesitation by them whether they would brave the river crossing. Watching those that had already crossed moving towards the river in preparation to greet the others. 4. The lion stalking, chasing and finally killing a wildebeest. A member of the herd then came and stood close to the dead animal and the lion. 5. Sighting the leopard that walked past our vehicle at the roadside early one morning in Ngorongoro Park. 6. Vultures circling and massing to feed on carcasses 7. Being chased by a buffalo - we had faith in Big, our guide to escape! It was so exciting and taught us that wild animals can be really dangerous. 8. A huge herd of elephant feeding, taking their time to cross the road with the male standing on a hill overseeing ready to protect his family 9. Watching young male gazelles being kicked out of the herd and later seeing an excluded group grazing far away 10. Seeing a jackal resting on the road in the crater and another carrying some food 11. Watching a Servil pouncing on its prey 12. Giraffe sheltering from the heat of the day 13 Hippo lumbering into the river 14. The Mara river itself
It was a wonderful holiday for me, especially as I was taking two grandchildren along so they could experience and learn about the wonders of Tanzania too. Although I have been on safari in Kenya, staying for a little longer this time made it more relaxing. We saw a huge range of animals, big and small and it was an unforgettable experience especially the issue of survival, the daily quest for food and animal behaviour My father and the mum of one of my grandsons had lived in Tanzania so the visit was of a personal nature too.
Chris was so helpful and quick to respond to my many questions. It was important for me that she knows the country and could advise on itinerary, visiting a school, the food etc. She was invaluable pre- and post- holiday. Chris also responded to my question about which Lodge to stay in for 3 nights and so rightly chose Mara RPI. have two more grandchildren to take on safari in around 7 years time (or more probably send their parents) and of course will use Tribes.
We had three guides in all. Isaya guided us from the moment we stepped onto Tanzanian soil, and at Manyara and Ngorongoro. His experience helped us see a rhino, plus a leopard that walked so close to our vehicle that the boys captured it on video. Sopa Lodge hadn't paid their dues and so we were held 'hostage 'at the Park Gate for a while. His excellent driving skills ensured we made it to the airstrip just in time and it was very sad to say goodbye to him. Big collected us at Fort Ikoma and was great fun. We escaped a buffalo charge, watched a lion stalk and then kill a wildebeest, Big led a walk through the park to breakfast at the river and was highly knowledgeable about eg termites as well as the big animals. One of the boys thought that was the highlight of the day. Godfrey guided us in Mara and explained how guides read the signs of migration crossings - we saw four crossings. He found a sleeping leopard, a family of lions sleeping off their dinner, and one protecting her meal from vultures.
All three were all highly professional, knowledgeable and ensured that we had time to watch the animals with no pressure to move on. We asked all three guides lots of questions and they all answered them with patience and so we increased our knowledge. We were so fortunate to have each vehicle to ourselves - it would have been difficult for the boys and me to have others with them when we were standing up and watching animals.
We had hope that Isaya would collect us from internal flight to Arusha but he had other work to do. That was sad. However another Godfrey drove us to KIA Lodge. We didn't want an Arusha tour.
Social & Environmental Responsibility:
a) Developing/continuing the travel business as part of the Tanzanian economy
b) Tribes planting trees to offset carbon footprint
c) Our meeting pupils at Rebanda school. We loved this and I think it was a good experience for the pupils who may not have met any white people. They wanted to touch the boys hair and our skin. Some of the pupils spoke in English to us which gave a practical reason for their learning English. We had brought pencils, pens and paper and also put dollars in the tip box. Big had been a teacher in the past so was able to organise the pupils and coordinate the activities.
The places you stayed
Our first taste of accommodation. The boys loved the bathrobes and sleeping under a mosquito net. Lush vegetation and lots of monkeys. Breakfast was good - lovely crepes made to order and lots of fruit.
Chose this due to having a pool, which the boys used. The food was excellent and due to it being buffet style, it suited all of us and we thanked the manager . They hadn't put an extra bed in the room so the first night the two boys shared a double bed which was difficult for one of them as he nearly fell out due to other stretching out. Very large place, so might not stay there again. Towels were small. It was their first experience of having guards at night which impressed the boys. Wifi good.