J Marshall Review

Ras Kutani

After a very long trip from the Midwest USA, we were tired but excited to finally be at our first destination.  We were greeted by friendly staff who knew exactly what we would feel like (tired) and you could tell the resort was set up to help us recover from the long trip.

This was our honeymoon, but we had no idea the degree that this resort would go to to make our first stay special.  The first night they had a special lagoon-side dinner set up complete with candle-lit walkway to the dock.

Even better was that my wife thought I had something to do with setting up our special meal, of course I couldn’t take the credit.  We had our own server, champagne and a special evening that we thoroughly enjoyed.  The only thing we didn’t anticipate was that we were up in the middle of the night due to the time change.  The suite we had, which was one of higher units with a view, was well worth the extra expense with our own plunge pool and a view unmatched by any of the other units.  To give you an idea of the degree of service, the staff just happened to find out during our stay that both my wife and I were having our birthdays one day a part.  Unprovoked, that evening a cake with candles along with staff to sing happy birthday were at our table side.  We had fun checking out the nature trail, did a tour into the local village (well worth the trip) and in general enjoyed getting acclimated to the time change and ready for our safari.  Everyone was friendly and don’t forget to make a donation to the school in the local village which was part of the village tour.

 

Kwihala Tented Camp

This was our first safari and of course “camping” trip as a married couple.

The pictures on the website did not do justice as portraying how luxurious the accommodations really were and the uniqueness of the camp site in relation to the reserve.  The caption for our picture of our tent was “roughing it, not really” as the staff ratio was about three people for every guest for that particular stay.  The bucket shower might test your limits as to how fast you can bath each evening, but it was a funny story we enjoy telling people when they ask about our trip.  We could hear the lions roar every night and the sounds alone are something you never forget.  Our days of safari were worth every minute, with a knowledgeable guide who was also enjoyable to spend many hours with.  As our guide shared, you never know if you will see something special or if you will time things and not see much.  Of course we saw several amazing wildlife and took pictures we will never forget.  We both uploaded our pictures from the safari to an electronic picture frame in our offices and probably look at them weekly, even two years later.  The meals, fireside some nights, along with the entire package were definitely worth the long trip to get to the camp.  This part of Tanzania had an entirely different flavor from Selous where we did our other three-day safari.  Both were unique in their own way.  If your bride, much like mine, is not a big camping type of person the time frame for the tented camp of three days is perfect in our opinion.

 

Beho Beho

It is hard to explain to someone who hasn’t been on a safari as to how nice the accommodations and service are when you go on a trip like this, especially when you live in the Midwest USA where most have and never will even visit Africa.  Beho Beho has to be one of the most luxurious and unique places we will ever stay.  The layout of the resort, the staff and the people we met that were also guests were enjoyable and each day had a unique set of events that made it special.  Our guide, Onesma, was fun to hang out with and we recommend the half-day hike if you have the athletic ability to walk ten miles or more.  You get an entirely different perspective hiking versus riding in a vehicle all day.  For the days we spent in our range rover, we viewed a leopard, several lions and came up on an impala that had just given birth.  One day when we visited where the crocodiles were they even had a nice breakfast set up right by the lake.  We were impressed with the creativity and the little things this resort did to make us feel special and our room was one of the neatest set-ups for a resort we could ever imagine.  The other thing we didn’t expect but was very helpful was that our guide was also the equivalent of a professional photographer.  He knew how to use our camera better than we did, so we got several amazing pictures that we turned into a slide show we posted on snapfish for our friends to see.  Our plan someday is to re-visit this camp and bring our children as we think the educational value alone for them would be worth the trip.  Our perspective on the world and the “animal kingdom” is forever changed after our honeymoon to Africa, but the Beho Beho resort was definitely our most enjoyable spot during our trip which was an already high benchmark to beat.

 

Ras Nungwi

We kept a few postcards that we got at this resort and use them as bookmarks for the current book we are usually reading.  They are just a few pictures of this resort, but every time I open my book I have a positive memory of our time at Ras Nungwi.  This was after a week of safari, so we were ready to relax and do our “beach time” for part of our honeymoon.  We went scuba diving, took a few trips into the local town and in general enjoyed hanging out and enjoying the clear waters and friendly staff/service.  If you are a scuba diver, we felt very comfortable with the guides located at the resort for our diving excursion and the only thing we would say is don’t forget bottled water (we did).  Last but not least, the resort set up a special beach side meal for us one evening which was yet another thing my wife thought I planned but didn’t!  We would recommend coupling this stop with a safari if you can make it work, it complimented the safari portion of our tour well.

 

J Marshall 2011

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