We’ve just returned from two weeks of glamping around Tanzania with SkySafari – The Ultimate African Adventure, and our minds are still reeling.
The verdict is in – SkySafari was one of our favorite trips we’ve ever been on and we’re so excited to tell you all about the amazing wildlife we saw more of and got closer to than we ever imagined and the awesome camps and lodges we called home during our journey.
We’ve got thousands of photos (most days we took anywhere from 600 – 1000 photos) and video to sort through. But one of the perks of going on a luxury safari is having electricity (even if it is solar powered) and wifi (seriously, the wifi was faster in the middle of the Serengeti than our Italian internet). Most days we got so close to the wildlife that Tim would have literally been shooting an eyeball with his “safari lens,” so I’d whip out my iPhone and snap away. Then at the end of the day while we sipped sundowners in the main lodge or tent, we’d Instagram to share it with our wonderful followers.
We’ll be telling you all about our safari that took us through Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, and Serengeti National Park. But as we still process it all and decide how to put such an amazing trip into words, take a look at our SkySafari as seen through our iPhones on Instagram.
With just one more sleep to go (yes, we totally count down to our trips), we shared the SkySafari route map showing exactly where we would be going on our two week trip. Our SkySafari Plus also included an extension of an additional two nights at Serengeti Pioneer Camp and two nights in Zanzibar.
A full 24 hours after we left Italia, we arrived just in time for a crazy storm with hail and big fat rain in Arusha. We lazily waited it out with room service in our gorgeous plantation suite at Arusha Coffee Lodge, located on one of the largest working coffee plantations in Tanzania.
The next morning the sun was shining brightly and we took a took of Burka Coffee Plantation. We learned all about coffee from the berry to how it makes it into your cup before enjoying a cuppa in the lovely garden.
That afternoon we boarded our SkySafari’s private Cessna Grand Caravan, an executive class plane with luxurious individual leather bucket seats that holds just nine passengers. Just before landing at Kuro Airstrip, we flew over herds of African elephants playing and drinking in the swamp.
Oh, and do you see that teeny, tiny green duffel our guide Elly is carrying from the Cessna? That was all of my luggage for two weeks in Tanzania. Tim’s camera bag was bigger… Yes, there will be a How to Pack for an African Safari post.
Landing in the middle of Tarangire National Park meant our first game drive started right then and there. We saw tons of elephants, giraffes, and monkeys that still make me laugh. This little guy is called a Blue Ball Monkey. Tim captured exactly why they are called Blue Ball Monkeys, so you’ll just have to stay tuned to find out more.
After an amazing first game drive, we arrived to Tarangire Treetops and were officially glamping in the African bush. Our home for two nights was this awesome tree-house in a thousand year old baobab tree. Easily one of the coolest and most unique places we’ve ever stayed. Stay tuned for a full look at Tarangire Treetops.
Our second day at Tarangire National Park was spent on game drives. We came across quite a lot of skulls and bones on the plains, the remnants of what cheetahs and lions leave behind. Our game drives were filled with tons of elephants moving in herds of up to 300 individuals, giraffes, Blue Ball monkeys, and baboons.
Our guide, Elly, was determined not to send us off to our next stop at Ngorongoro Crater without first finding the tree-climbing cats of the Tarangire. And he didn’t fail to deliver. Just before a bush picnic lunch on the way back to Kuro Airstrip, Elly found us a pride of lionesses lazing in the sun with their cubs. We got so close that I did snap this photo of them with my iPhone.
That evening, and on our 12th wedding anniversary, we arrived to the lovely Manor at Ngorongoro Crater after another private flight on our SkySafari Cessna Grand Caravan. Though February is the hottest month in Tanzania, the higher elevation of Ngorongoro meant nighttime was nice and cool. We had an actual working fireplace in our English-style cottage and enjoyed the roaring fire.
I’ve mentioned a few times now how blown away we were by how close we got to the wildlife. Tim’s selfie with this male lion should give you an idea of just how close the animals come. Not to worry, this lion and five of his friends had taken down a Cape buffalo. Just out of the shot, the other lions are feasting while this fella found a bit of shade from the vehicles.
The road to Ngorongoro Crater, which is the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera, is like a big bowl where the scenes of Disney’s The Lion King came alive. We were there just in time for the Great Migration to move to the short grass plains of the crater. Though absolutely worth it, the roads down into Ngorongoro Crater are rough. Arriving back to The Manor after a full 10 hour game drive, this bubble bath awaiting us was heaven in a tub.
Our last morning at The Manor, we had the option of a game drive at Lake Manyara or to relax. A full week into our trip, we opted to sleep in a little and relax. The Manor has a gorgeous pool, horseback riding from their own on-grounds stables, a spa, and even things like croquet on the lawn. We enjoyed lunch on the lawn overlooking the coffee plantation. It was a perfect little break.
After another flight to Lobo Airstrip in the Serengeti and a short game drive, we arrived to Serengeti Migration Camp located right in Serengeti National Park just in time for sundowners. Literally steps away more than 70 hippos were grunting away in the Grumeti River.
We spent two nights at Serengeti Mirgration Camp before moving to south to Serengeti Pioneer Camp. Not far from our tent, which was on the edge of the forest, an elephant had died and lions, jackals, and hyenas were having a feast. Lions near the camp were a common sight and we went to bed to the sound of lions calling.
Each night at Serengeti Pioneer Camp, we had a good ‘ol fashioned bonfire. Camp managers Tom and Allison had heard it was our wedding anniversary a few days before and surprised us with a bottle of South African sparkling wine. There’s nothing quite like sipping wine by the campfire while baboons, hyrax, and hyenas make the sounds of the Serengeti.
I couldn’t have been more sad to leave. The Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, and Tarangire surpassed our expectations and our time there had felt like a dream. These Instagrams are just a tiny sampling of an absolutely amazing two weeks with SkySafari and we can’t wait to show you more of just how amazing Tanzania is.
Our trip to Tanzania was hosted by SkySafari by Elewana in order for us to bring you this story. However, Luxe Adventure Traveler maintains full editorial control of the content published on this site. As always, all thoughts, opinions, and enthusiasm for travel are entirely our own.