Luxury African Safaris – Tanzania – Africa’s Most Popular Safari Destination
There’s nothing that quite describes the feeling you get when waking up to the sound of an elephant herd marching through the wide open grasslands of Tanzania. Home to the violet gem, Tanzanite, this country is like a deep crack in the crust of Africa which has spawned lush, serene highlands enmeshed with velvety lakes and majestic volcanoes.
To be honest, I’m not exactly a safari-type of traveler who can set up tent just about anywhere. To me, comfort comes first and I’d choose a luxury hotel over a bush camp any day, but there was just something about the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge that really intrigued me. It’s true what they say, it really is without a shadow of a doubt the most architecturally impressive safari lodge in Africa.
The Crater Lodge has a rich, antediluvian aura about it and each thatch suite is reminiscent of an era that once was, with tall handcrafted antiques, grand chandeliers and adorned African treasures.
Standing in my lodge bedroom I can see the Crater below in all its splendour through floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Fortunately for me, I do not have a fear of heights, which would’ve been a real problem, since the lodge is situated on the edge of the Ngorongoro Crater. After a satisfying cup of Rooibos tea I call upon my personal butler to draw my bath as I pack my things and start preparing for the ultimate luxury safari in Tanzania.
Afternoons are spent on scenic game drives on closed 4X4s with a very knowledgeable tour guide, might I add. Throughout our drive across the valley to the lake below, and on the floor of the world’s largest crater, I kept asking our guide all sorts of questions only to find myself totally engrossed in his fascinating responses.
I would not have minded spending the entire week of my safari at the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge. With fine wine, scrumptious gourmet cuisine and a personal butler beckoning at my every call, I was living the life of a king. But we had to keep on track with our itinerary.
A full day was spent at the Serengeti National Park, exploring this large park with morning and afternoon safari drives. The Serengeti National Park is joined to the Masai Mara Park Reserve, which I later learned was named after the Masai tribal inhabitants of the area and the Mara River which divides it.
After much exploring and loading my camera’s memory stick full of unbelievable sights, we spent the night at one of the luxurious safari lodges close by. And at that moment, in the middle of the African Savannah with cheetahs lurking in the distance, an overwhelming rush of contentment filled my body. Being in the presence of Africa’s spectacular wilderness has that effect on you.
The perfect ending
There is no better way to end off a luxury African safari than a weekend at the beautiful, serene Zanzibar Island. The moment we arrived I kicked off my shoes and dived straight into the crystal clear water which gently sweeps the golden, sandy beaches. A sparkling coral reef lines Zanzibar’s ocean, mimicking a kaleidoscope of colours at the bottom of the sea bed.
I spent quite some time lazing in my deck chair, sipping martinis and being waited on beside the resort pool. Fresh, ocean cuisine was served at meal times followed by a trip to the renowned Stone Town, the old cultural city of Zanzibar. Browsing the winding streets of bustling bazaars and regal Arab houses I experienced Zanzibar’s enriched cultural and historical beauty.
I must admit, leaving the island almost had me in tears thinking that I’d now have to return to my average life in the city. These last few days on my African safari have shown me a new level of luxury, a luxury fit for a king.