We did a 5-day, trip to Lake Manyara, Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater with Hartebeest Safaris.
We had no doubt that entire experience would have been amazing, but was it made even better by Hartebeest Safaris. We spoke to quite a few other people that we met along the way about other companies, and were glad we had made the choice we did.
Since it was our first experience, we actually booked a private tour. Our primary goal was to take pictures, so we wanted to move at our own pace and to have lots of room to move around the vehicle.
Our guide was friendly and seemed to know and get along well with all of the other drivers. He was especially good at spotting wildlife way off in the distances while driving at fast speeds, and really knew a lot about birds - which is great since at times that was all that was around and we enjoyed taking photos of them. He went out of his way sometimes to get the attention of the animals if they were hiding (like the lions on top of the rocks) and really started to work to allow us to get good angles for our photos. He could have been a little more open with information, instead of having to always be prodded with questions, but I suppose he thought we wanted to be left alone more or less (by contrast, I'm told that some guides are just constantly explaining things, from the natural surrounding to culture, which we would have preferred), but he was very knowledgable when asked about things.
Each morning we would drop off our cook at the next location, and the food was great. He accommodated our vegetarian diet very well (no meat, but seafood except vegetables and some other stuffs), and offered lots of variety!
The tent was a really nice, new and large canvas tent. The cook always set up the tent and break it down right on time with the assistance of the driver sometimes
On a side note, Ngorongoro is amazing and by far the best in terms of density and variety of wildlife! Be sure to get out there absolutely first thing in the morning, as we were able to, to get the best lighting and for the fog if taking photos.
Overall, I would definitely recommend Hartebeest Safaris for a safari in Tanzania, and I would definitely use them again if I ever get a chance to return! Asante to the entire.
PS As regards to the pictures, we'll find time to upload the too many shots :).
It was the trip of a lifetime, hope we're able to return someday!
Our initial dream was very broad; just an African Adventure!! We began our planning by reading through a lot of forums to plan our trip, which was an excellent starting point for us in narrowing our search to Tanzania and to which parks we wanted to visit there. We followed that up with lots of emails to tour operators in Tanzania, including Ostrich Holiday and Travel Ltd whose name was one of many found on a google search.
After receiving proposed itineraries and quotes from several companies we decided to narrow our focus to Ostrich Holiday and travel ltd, based on a number of factors, including their attentiveness and responsiveness to our questions (particularly compared to responses from other tour operators), their informative website, and "the good feel" we had about them through the back and forth emails. We contacted at least a dozen former clients whose names they provided as references; we heard back from all of them, and without exception they were very positive about their safari experiences with Ostrich holiday and travels ltd
We booked a ten day safari for April 25 2013 with an itinerary that included Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro and Serengeti, followed by several days on Zanzibar.
As others have said, it is a leap of faith wiring a chunk of money off to people that you have not met in Africa, but we are pleased beyond words that we chose to make our travel arrangements with a Tanzanian based tour operator, even if it excluded the comfort level that comes by paying with a credit card. Everything worked out perfectly.
Perhaps the greatest determining factor in a safari is the guide. We all know that we will need a guide who will be very knowledgeable about the wildlife, that he should be an excellent spotter, a safe driver, professional, courteous, etc. Mr Willia was all that and more! He was everything that we had hoped for in a skilled and professional guide, but we were delighted that he also became our friend!
Mr Willia was very responsive to our interests and desires. Our itinerary included some opportunities for cultural visits and when we expressed a desire to avoid any staged cultural shows, preferring only authentic cultural interactions, Willia had the ability to open doors to interact with local tribal people beyond our wildest dreams. We will never forget the humbling experience of being invited into a Masai home.
Our itinerary twice included some hiking, accompanied by armed rangers at Olmoti Crater and on the rim of Ngorongoro Crater. We enjoyed both hikes, not only because we like to be active, but because of the opportunity to interact with the rangers and to meet local people along the way.
We were thrilled with the wildlife. We have incredible memories of elephants, and giraffes, and gazelles and zebras and lions and "wildebeest and every other kind of beast" etched into our memories. We saw only two cheetahs, and had just one good leopard sighting,but had a very closer look at a black rhino. But no disappointments!!! We feel only privileged to have seen and experienced all that we did.
Thank you the entire staff at Ostrich Holiday and Travel Ltd. Bigs thaks especially to Willia.
I unreservedly recommend this company and would absolutely trust another safari with them if I ever am privileged to return to Tanzania.
I had an amazing experience in Tanzania Hartebeest Safaris. The whole trip was easy to organize, and everyone from the company, before and after our trip, was incredibly helpful and informative. I really had a great time – it was a great mix of local culture, history and wildlife, and back home, the memories are still very fresh even though it’s been over a month now. I would recommend this company to anyone – not only did I receive much more personalized service than I would have done with a big package tour, but the price was much better, and I had much more flexibility to see what I wanted to see!
I choose camping due to my limited budget but would have loved to experience the lodge thing as two other persons I met on this trip. The company supplied the tent, sleeping bags, sleeping mats, and I stayed in a number of different campsites as I travelled from park to park, some of which had hot water and electricity, and some of which were more basic – in particular the campsite I stayed at inside the Serengeti (Seronera Campsite). I just like everyone else was comfortable and warm at night, and there was plenty of room in the tents, both to sleep and to sit up in. Camping isn't for everyone, but this was definitely better than all the times I've done it in Belgium!
The food was great very delicious and balanced. Every day came with a different menu and something to smile about! The chef (Saiid) was very active and swift especially when it came to putting up the tents and dismantling it as well as serving the meal. He always served hot meals and enough of it. The driver (Willium) was calm, talked when he had something relevant to say especially when it had to do with the animals, faune et flore or when we ask numerous questions.
We together saw a lot of animals and I must say that seeing a Lion in a zoo is very much different than in their natural habitat. I could not imagine seeing Lions and elephants so close and nothing seemed to bother them! By the end of my trip I had almost got blasé about some of the animals I saw more frequently, especially zebras. I saw a whole host of birds and animals – lions, elephants, rhinos, leopards, cheetahs, hippos, giraffes, jackals, hyenas, buffalo (several different kinds), zebra, wildebeest, impala, dik-diks, ostriches, flamingos, wart hogs, monkeys and baboons, as well as numerous others whose names I don't remember. One of the most interesting parts was seeing a Lion asleep in the middle of the road, but as we approached, it noticed the car and moved slowly away like to say, sorry am on the way!! The driver guide was really helpful locating so many animals that we were looking for, and getting us into exactly the right position for that perfect photo. He had also brought binoculars; good thing he did as no one in the car brought one.
The overall trip was really great. The car and tents were all in good condition. For the 21st time in my life I can say that my money was well spent. Thanks to all the guys at Hartebeest for making my adventure a memorable one. Keep it up.
Tanzania that has plenty of game parks and conservation areas over 25% of its landmass, If you have enough time and your budget allow you, try to do safari whether in Serengeti, Ngorongoro and the rest
Tour operators like
-Shrike safaris, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org +255756243686
I write this review as regards to the experience my friends and I had with Meru Mountain Treks and Safaris ltd which is located in Arusha, kaloleni street precisely. We decided to share our experience because we noticed that small companies in Tanzania are all left in the dark despite the incredible services they render to travelers and we're very happy to have experienced that!!
After all the struggles & heat stress from one travel agency to another in search of a good tour operator with affordable rates, we were able to come across Meru mountain treks and safaris ( thanks to flycatchers) that offered us the best price. We were a little bit sceptical from the onset, but only God knows why. The decision to go with them wasn't that easy, but our budget and desire to see so much promted us to finally give them the benefit of doubt which in the nutshell was more than what we expected.
We drove from Arusha to Tarangire (approximately 2hrs), had lunch in the park (where a monkey stold my friend, Finn's cake, very funny), after which we did the afternoon game drive (pictured elephants, lions, leopards, zebras, giraffes, a lot of them). Spent the night at Even Nature. The following day, we left Tarangire to Serengeti ( grrr, 3&1/2hrs) & drove through Ngorongoro conservation area. Did another Game drive in Serengeti in the afternoon followed by another full day game drive in Serengeti, (saw leopards, jackals, gazelles, zebras, etc), Serengeti(early morning game drive) then drove to Ngorongoro crater. On the 5th day, we did the Ngorongoro crater tour (amazing view) and early the next morning, another crater tour and later departed for Arusha (arrived at 6:00pm). A tiring trip, but worth
Our driver guide (Richie) was amazing, chef Salim, great guy. Always smiling while cooking. All in all, the services where really wonderful. I wouldn't say a 100% but I will rate it 86.5%. The tents were ok, a little old, sleeping bags were clean, matress in good condition. So I think it was a great trip after all.
A conservation area since 1959, this area covers around 8,300 square kms including the highlands, Olduvai gorge and the crater itself.
Views from the crater rim are spectacular, the light and colours of the vast plain then become real when you descend to the bottom and see the amazing numbers and variety of wildlife it contains.
The crater lake, Lake Magadi (soda lake) is also home to large numbers of pink flamingos. The crater floor measures some 265 sq kms and is home to the Black Rhinoceros, along with lion, elephant, birdlife, buffalo and scores of zebra and wildebeest.
The best visiting time is December to July. While there are lots of lodges rimming the crater, these tend to be expensive, we stayed in the nearby town of Kiratu which has a range of accommodation options to choose from.
This island paradise has a rich history and was an important trading port (ivory, spices and slaves) over many centuries. It is predominately Islamic based but you can find many places to relax overlooking a great beach, beer in hand.
Access to the Island is an easy 20min flight from Dar Es Salaam or about 1 and half hours in a fast ferry. Take a slow ferry at your peril.
The main town - Stonetown, is UNESCO recognised place; its a fascinating series of narrow alleyways, bustling bazaars, mosques and grand Arab houses with very elaborate brass-studded, carved, wooden doors. You can spend many idle hours and days just wandering through the fascinating labyrinth of narrow streets and alleyways, however make your way to the local beach, from here you can catch a Dhow to Prison Island or Turtle Island for snorkelling or just sail away into the sunset. There are any number of cafes and restaurants to get some great local food and drinks.
Outside of Stonetown, there are more than 25 fantastic beaches in Zanzibar, and some are so peaceful and remote that the only noise breaking the silence is likely to be the ocean.
Some of the popular ones at the Northern end include Nungwi, which is approached by a road lined by banana palms, mangroves and coconut trees. This is the dhow building capital of Zanzibar island, so it is a good place to see traditional craftsmen at work. Its also party central, so head a little southwest to Kendwa which is much quieter. We stayed at the flash and expensive La Gemma Del Est resort between Kendwa and Nungwi which was brilliant.
On the west coast of Zanzibar, Mangapwani beach is worth a visit, and to the east are the beaches of Matemwe, Pwani Mchangani, Kiwengwa, Uroa, Bwejuu and Jambiani, all with stretches of beautiful white sand.
Local transport can take you to all these places easily from Stonetown and you can get taxis as well.
The bumpy and very dusty 4WD road into the Serengeti Park from Ngorongoro gave a sense of the remoteness and wildness of this vast place. Serengeti means "endless plains" and the protected park area (since 1951) covers a huge 14,800 square kilometres.
It probably takes about 4 hours of 4WD driving from Arusha to the Serengeti, around 6 hours all up by the time you get parks permits etc.
It is home to a very large number of animals and plenty of big cats, we were lucky and got 3 separate leopard sighting along with numerous lion and cheetah viewings. The park has a great variety of environments, wide grass plains, acacia tree lined savannah, wooded hill area, rivers and outcrops of huge granite - the Kopjes so synonymous with the Serengeti.
Although many say the best animal viewing time is early morning and evening, while true, we found plenty to see during the day as well.
We stayed at the Kati Kati camp; setup in the Seronera area in the middle of the park, its a great feeling to be camping and listening to the sounds of the animals, the roar of one lion was quite close one night however!. After a big day of game viewing, the open camp fires and having a few beers and nice meal cooked for you is a great way to relax.
We had a private Safari company (Flash Safaris) take us, and the company and driver were great, the drivers from various companies all chat to each other in the parks and you get a good steer (and info over RT at times) where the big cats are hiding, so don't expect to be alone in the park. The private Safari gave us the greatest flexibility to set our own pace and agenda in the park.
When people ask me what was most impressive in Zanzibar my mind goes first to its amazing beaches with the soul relaxing colors. I have seen thousands of beaches in my life. I have swum in gorgeous sea water and this is one of the top ones.
Off course it is not what I have in mind as a perfect destination because it is the kind of touristic hotels and the type of deluxe tourism which I would not choose.
But being at the cheapest hotel, Jumbo brothers, at the end of the beach, mass tourism did not annoy me. And I also had the chance to meet simple travelers in this hotel who had the same attitude on traveling . We had long, enjoyable discussions during breakfast. Sometimes we would stay at the breakfast table more than 4 hours!!!
Stunning beach, white extremely clean sand, traditional boats floating on the unbelievable beautiful turquoise water, nice walks along the beach, pleasant boat trips for snorkeling, excellent food in the picturesque beach restaurants watching unforgettable sunsets, good hotels for the short-term tourists, locals in their colorful clothes, a serene atmosphere and a lot of smiles. Unforgettable!!!
More Photos of Nunguy in my Travelogue "Nunguy"
The simple village life of Jambiani with the wooden houses, the exquisite palm fringed beach and the traditional fishing boats on the wonderful turquoise sea water gives a dreamy picture of past unspoilt earth paradises.
I walked along the main road, took beautiful photos and stopped to talk to the local people who were very nice and open-hearted, ready to come in touch with the outside world. I even spent a lot of time talking to children in Swahili who to my surprise were very polite and helpful. They seemed happy to live in their lovely village but complained about the lack of opportunities in education and work in this remote land.
The resorts are all on the wave and are built in a rustic style which doesn't spoil the exotic image. They all have a relaxing atmosphere and many offer several activities that make your holiday a beautiful experience.
In low tide locals walk around on the soft sand looking for seaweeds or for any sea creatures they can find, which can be used as a trading object.
Kendwa is a village with a perfect beach, to the northwest of the island.
You can reach it on foot along the beach from Nunguy, by public bus or you can stay in one of the expensive resorts that line the stunning beach.
If you decide to go on foot from Nunguy, try to go in low tide or keep your valuables in a plastic bag. It is an amazing walk!!!
Diving and snorkelling are very enjoyable in these gorgeous waters.
You can very easily book on the spot. Don't book anything before you arrive because you can arrange much better and convenient deals while you are here.
They usually take divers to nearby heavenly remote islands!!!
But still, I am mentioning some of the many diving centers on the island.
One ocean Diving Center - Padi
Contact Gary for more information
tel: 255 242238374 / mob: 255 784750161
North Coast Snorkeling Shop – Nunguy
Located between Z Hotel and Mangi Restaurant
Ask for Captain Supa
I went Snorkeling with them. Very satisfying. The lunch was excellent.
East Africa Diving
Delene Kurz – Michael Kurz
PO.Box 2750- Nunguy,
Zanzibar'sTel: 255 777416425 / 255 777 420588
Indian Ocean Diving
A very reliable diving center in Zanzibar
PO.Box 1754, zanzibar
tel 255 773235030 /255 242233039
Diving Ocean New Project – Nunguy
This center is a branch of a chain
Zanzibar: 255 777 470282 / 255 772071825
Italy: tel: +39 3356658745 / +393336329003
Contact: Pierpaolo Campanini-manager director
Egypt : +20 12 7484335
Very picturesque, winding, narrow streets, full of life, interesting wooden doors, a mixture of Arabic and European architecture, many little shops selling local craft, and spices, and more luxurious gallery type shops owned by European residents with excellent pieces of antiques and charming samples of local craft.
Local life is getting on and children fest the narrow streets, either playing or just wandering around in small happy groups.
Nice breezes blowing on the sandy beach in the evening. There is a cafe with nice smoothies and coffee and good restaurants.
Food is very delicious and can satisfy every taste as the local cuisine has a lot of western influence.
There are some historical buildings , remains of the historical past of the island, like the Museum and the Old Dispensary building. photo
History, culture, great food, excellent upmarket hotels, comfortable budget guest houses, interesting local life, spice tours, excellent beaches with superb turquoise waters, relaxing beach hotels, and friendly people.
The “Spice Island” as it is commonly called is full of surprises. You can find them in the winding narrow streets, in the small craft shops, in the wonderful wooden doors of the old sometimes dilapidated mansions of Zanzibar town.
You can choose the fishing villages where locals go on with their daily fishing life, with the exquisite sand beaches, the superb turquoise waters fringed by the slim tall palm trees. You can take a spice tour to smell the enchanting spice odors, and have a drink on the lovely hotels on the sea side villages watching the sunset.
The best beaches I visited were those in Nunguy and Kendwa, which are very touristic. And that in palm treed Jambiani, an unspoilt village on the east side.
The more I stayed in Pangani the more I was fascinated by its hidden charm. Built on the mouth of Pangani river, this small village has only been left with dilapidated remains of its old glory, when it was a main port of the east African coast and an important trade center of ivory and slaves. Now it is a pleasant, quiet and picturesque village, with friendly inhabitants and pristine beaches.
There are still some doors and houses from the colonial era as well as some touches of Arabic influence.
I liked it because the people have a warm and friendly attitude and the beaches are untouched and beautiful. However don't leave anything unattended on the beach as the local children that come daily to play on the beach will “keep” it as a ...souvenir....!
The tide comes in and out though so swimming is possible only at certain times a day.
The road from Tanga to Pangani is really bumpy and dusty. 2 hours! There are vans doing the trip at any time during the day but it is better to ride a public bus because it's less bumpy and dusty. Ushongo is an area about 20 klm south with a small village an excellent beach and nice resorts, which don't look too touristy.
I preferred to stay close to Pangani village at Seaside Community Center Hotel because I prefer places with local color to touristic resorts.
Chumbe Island, Tanzania
Good for: Business
Typical very nice Serena lodge: Good food, included in the price Stunning grounds and views All...more
Typical very nice Serena lodge: Good food, included in the price Stunning grounds and views of...more
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