October 2012

Posts Tagged ‘ Ngorongoro

V. Kite, 2012, Australia

Hi Ed,

Will give some more specific feedback sometime later this week.

Game viewing was excellent…so much so that after the first 7 days Marg looked at me and said, “well, what else is there to see? What are we going to do for the next 3 weeks??”

As you would expect, we saw lions everywhere – as usual, lying around looking fat and doing nothing! I think we saw lions at every camp/lodge (except Mahale and Ras Kutani of course – he he!). The lions were so inactive we got excited when they even did so much as stand up. However, did catch lions mating at two places.

Plenty of leopard sightings (three separate sighting at Ruaha) and cheetahs (Ruaha and Tarangire) also. Saw wild dogs both days at Lake Manze. The chimps were amazing – if I were to tell you that we even got an extra chimp viewing session when they came into camp the morning we were leaving, you wouldn’t charge me extra would you??

In the Serengeti, we saw our first crossing 5 minutes after being picked up from the airstrip when we casually drove down to the river for a quick look – nobody else there either, as they were crossing north to south, so no one had been watching for them. Saw a huge crossing each day…got sick of all the death and destruction. The migration was in full swing in the area when we were there.

No rhino sightings unfortunately – never mind.


. food and various ‘experiences’ created by the Beho Beho team (lowlight – how much weight I put on).
. wild dogs (my favourites) at Lake Manze
. overall game viewing at Ruaha – definitely the best overall game viewing of the whole trip, aided by an excellent guide (Joffrey)
. Mahale and Lake Tanganyika – everything about it! – the camp, the chimps, the varied experiences and things to do, and above all the wonderful guides there
. Serengeti – the lodge (Lamai)…particularly the pool! Sighting of a male leopard right on dusk…then hearing another leopard call in the distance, and witnessing the male leopard cab reuniting with his mother
. Tarangire – night drive, and the wonderful relaxed atmosphere created by our favourite managers, Ken and Michelle (strangely enough, who happened to be fellow Aussies)
. Ngorongoro – such a wonderful surprise when Peter turned up on our first night there to be our butler at the Crater Lodge – he came back especially for the two days in the middle of his leave just for us; wine and cheese out on Marg’s deck overlooking the Crater is an experience I’ll never forget
. Ras Kutani – an absolutely perfect, relaxing way to end. So glad we went here rather than to Zanzibar
. made some great friends in our travels


V. Kite, 2012, Australia

G Reynolds

Greetings Julian The trip was excellent in every respect. As to Onsea. No real major complaints except the first night the dining and drinking area was just outside our windows which was noisy for some time, the return 2 nights we had no electric and had to be moved to another room which shared a common living room and kitchen with others. Despite that , we adapted and had a pleasant stay. What we liked about Rivertrees was the spaciousness of the grounds which gave a greater sense of privacy. Plantation Lodge was fantastic, with lots of attention to detail. You might tell clients beforehand that it is a long dirt road off the main road to ease any concerns since both Cindy and I and other clients were a bit concerned where we were going and if to the lodge. Sopa is very unique with great views. Food at both places was good .The view at Sopa of the Crater was spectacular. Norgorongro Crater was very dry and dusty with OK , but not great game viewing , likely due to conditions. Whereas, the Mara River area was fantastic. Alex Walker’s camp was everything you said it would be. Grass was green and lush , saw three crossings and lots of game. All in all , we were very satisfied and pleased. Glad to refer anyone. You planned a great trip. Thanks and hope to plan another one soon. Be Well, Do Good Work, and Stay in touch. Gene

K Hooker

Hi Julian,

Our trip was amazing!  You would have heard from me sooner, but we were hit by Hurricane Irene the day after we landed and haven’t had electricity for 6 days as a result.  We just got our electricity back last night.  Our return to Connecticut wasn’t much different from Africa!  Good thing we were already used to it!  We loved our trip.  Your advice and recommendations were so fantastic.  I cannot thank you enough!  I wouldn’t change a thing about it.  I can’t wait to plan our next one with you!

The accommodations at both of those places were fantastic.  Our rooms at Borana were above and beyond our expectations just given the size of the rooms, how nice the rooms and bathrooms were, the lovely fires that were lit in each of our rooms every night and then connecting our room with our daughters’ room was an outdoor living room area with a large comfortable couch, great chairs and a fire pit that they also lit for us every night.  The view from the living room and our rooms was the watering hole down below where baboons, elephants, giraffes and lions drank.  After dinner (which was always an incredible experience with superb hosting by Sam and Flick) we would then go to our own “living room” with my parents and daughters and play charades or just hang out.

There was a bar in the living room that was well stocked with things for everyone.  Borana was probably everyone’s favorite, which is saying a lot given that the other places were fantastic.  Ngare Serian was definitely a close second.  The tents and the dining tent were beautiful.  Adrian, Rogine, Joel and all of the others there were so great.  The best game viewing was clearly from Rekero, and their location probably can’t be beat.  All in all, if we were to go back again, we would probably repeat the whole experience just as it was laid out.

Oh, and another enormous highlight to our trip (actually there were quite a few – the Serian entertainment being way up there on that list too) was Giraffe Manor.  I know you thinks it’s a gimmick, but it was also probably one of our most favorite stops – especially for Anna and Lily (and my mom).  That was an absolute highlight and a good way to end the trip.  The Manor is stunning, the food was out of this world and I would call it a must stop if one is going through Kenya (especially with children.)  It probably meant more to me as well because I read the book “Raising Daisy Rothschild.”  It was really expensive, but totally worth it.  My mom wants to go back to Kenya just to go there.  We really loved it.

I’m trying to decide if our next safari will be in South Africa, Botswana or Tanzania……?

Best regards,

K Hooker 2011

T Chan

Hi Ted,

Regarding our visit, overall the entire trip was amazing and very memorable.

Faru Faru was absolutely amazing and words can’t even describe the experience we had.  The service, food, people, animals were all just amazing and beyond 5 stars.  Our guide Eugen, was amazing knowledgeable and nice.  We had even recommended him to our friends who are going again.  It is maybe nice to even spend a day or two at one of Singita’s other lodges if possible.

Plantation Lodge & the place we stayed at the first nice was very nice and good food.

Thank you for your help arranging our honeymoon! Hope this helps.


T Chan 2011

S Hearn


Herewith some comment on the places we stayed at:

  • Onsea House. Two really fun Belgiques run this extraordinary hotel with very high quality food. We eat and drank to a very high standard in fun surroundings. We will certainly go there again. It is handy for Kilimanjaro airport and Arusha airfield.
  • Ngorongoro Serena – a little tired but did the job. It is well positioned for a one or half day safari in the crater and you would not want more than that. Friendly and does the trick.
  • The Serengeti Serena – this is a gem tucked away in the middle of the Serengeti – that is far better that it would seem at the outset. High quality management and loyal staff make this place in our view. The food and accommodation is good without being exceptional but is great value. Well positioned for safari. We always go back to this Serena – and they know us and recognise us.
  • Ras Kutani – this is an exceptional venue on the coast. They should make it easier for guests to get there – but once you have arrived it is a superb place for quiet beach and lagoon time. Very good food, outstanding staff and certainly a place we will go back to. Our second son worked at Ras Kutani four years ago and little has changed; well run and high quality.

I hope this is helpful. We will be back! Regards to Marc.

Best wishes


S Hearn 2011


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