From the spectacular annual migration of over a million wildebeest and zebra, to the wild chimpanzees of the Mahale Mountains, Tanzania provides a diverse and rich wildlife experience with world class luxury. Joanna, our Director of Member Services, recently returned from Tanzania with fresh impressions of some of the country’s most iconic lodges.
After my long journey, I spent the first night at the Legendary Lodge in Arusha, situated a 15 minute drive from Arusha Airport. Legendary Lodge is a small guesthouse set in lush green gardens on a working coffee plantation. On a clear day there are magnificent views of Mount Meru. It is the ideal place to overnight at the beginning or end of your safari.
The following morning I boarded a puddle jumper plane heading to The Sanctuary Swala Camp, where I spent 2 nights. This property lies in the shade of giant acacia trees, looking out onto the flat savannah of one of the most secluded parts of Tarangire National Park, known for its large herds of elephants roaming around – even right outside our tented room! We woke up very early each morning to have coffee and biscuits and then started the first game drive around 5:30 or 6am. Upon returning to the lodge, we spent the remaining part of the day relaxing, eating and reading until the second game drive at dusk. In the evenings beautiful, white table cloth barbecue dinners were set up in the bush.
My next stop was at one of Tanzania’s oldest guesthouses, Gibbs’s Farm. Located half way between Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro Crater, surrounded by tropical gardens, the views over the coffee-plantation are beautiful. Gibbs Farm is not a safari lodge but more of a relaxing and peaceful place to rejuvenate and therefore another great option for starting or ending an adventurous safari trip. The decor of the rooms is classic colonial. They offer delightful farm activities such as bread baking classes and milking the cows – kids love this place.
From there I traveled to the &Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge. The Ngorongoro Crater is one of the best places to witness the “Big Five”. This fertile valley is one the most beautiful natural wildlife safari destinations in the world, and has even been named one of Africa’s Seven Natural Wonders. It also has the densest known population of lions. Buffalo, elephants, leopards, and rhino can also be seen here, in addition to a host of other wildlife like the ostrich, zebra, cheetah, wildebeest, gazelle, and even hippos. The Lodge itself is gorgeous with breathtaking views of the crater.
The next stop for one night was at The Sanctuary Kichakani Serengeti Camp. Designed to pack up and move, this mobile property is a collection of 10 portable tents that follow the migrations of wildebeest and zebra across the plains of Tanzania. Accommodations are inspired by 19th-century expeditions to Africa and feature canvas tents, private wooden decks and traditional bucket showers – this is a more rustic stay and memorable experience with many exciting animal sightings.
The last three nights were at Singita Sasakwa Lodge located in the Grumeti Reserves in northern Tanzania. Sitting atop a hill, Singita Sasakwa Lodge is the pinnacle of safari luxury in the style of an English manor house. The service, food and attention to detail here are impeccable. Each of the 7 individual cottages is set in its own secluded garden and has a private infinity-edge pool with awe-inspiring views of the plain below. Singita’s conservation efforts are remarkable, running 12 environmentally sensitive properties dotted across Africa. Sustainable and eco-friendly tourism is tied into a model which combines hospitality with an amazing wilderness experience to support the conservation of natural ecosystems.
Singita Sasakwa Lodge | +255 28 262 2074
Legendary Lodge in Arusha | +255 754 097 072
&Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge | +27 11 809 4300
Gibbs’s Farm | +255 27 253 4040
The Sanctuary Swala Camp | +255 784 611 122