Iconic routes: from Stone Town to the Serengeti, discovering the vastness of Tanzania

Wildebeest rush on the dry grassy plains of the west side of the Ngorongoro highlands

Alamy

It’s a beautifully clear day and the alkaline lake at the bottom of Empakaai crater is dotted with pink with flamingos. The climb is steep and my pace is slow, but Peter and our armed ranger accompanying him Alais talk about Maasai life and point out pretty poisonous berries, shy blue monkeys, and the strangler fig trees that the Maasai revere. By the time we are halfway, the cows have taken our place by the lake. Hiking the crater is not the choice of a regular safari, but it does give a good sense of the scenery and, along with visiting Peter’s village of the perfectly grilled acacia and cob huts of the Maasai, the luck to see an ancient tribe navigating coexistence with the fauna.

I imagined the long drive back to the airport would be dark, but Festo understood my love for music. He plays his latest favorite tracks on my final drive through the stunning scenery, translating the lyrics into Swahili and talking about the spread of the South African Amapiano musical movement across the continent. I had this rare trip where the best-prepared plans turned out better than expected, where each day was so healthy and flowing that I feel like I have fully experienced each of them, and memories so alive that I will return in dreams.

The strong points

Day 3: After months of confinement, a hammock and pool day in my chalet facing the ocean in Lodge Matemwe was a completely restorative immersion in nature.

Day 4: The journey is as rewarding as the destination when you take charter flights from Zanzibar to the Serengeti over ancient and immensely diverse landscapes, across ocean, lakes, mountains and savannah.

Day 6: Breakfast with the lions (and no one else) in the Serengeti – the kind of impromptu safari experience that’s partly a gift from the bush, partly the skill of a knowledgeable guide. And witness the first hundreds of the great migration!

Day 8: Shaken and stirred by the reverberating explosions of a herd of furious elephants as the only humans at the scene of Ngorongoro Crater, it still gives me goosebumps!

What made the difference

Susan guided me throughout the trip in her pre-departure briefings. Travel specialist in Africa, born in South Africa and having often traveled solo, Susan was able to anticipate my needs as the first visitor to the continent. She gave me details on everything from filling out COVID-19 formalities and taking antimalarial medication, to carrying soft-sided luggage for charter flights, to dressing in neutral tones on a safari and to getting one last COVID-19 test in the Serengeti within the time of my flight. In addition, all tickets and travel information were on the TravKey app, which I was able to access without a phone signal. All I had to do was introduce myself.

Seductive africa offers a 9 night trip to Tanzania, with three nights each in Zanzibar, Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater from $ 8,900 per person, with half board in Zanzibar and, on safari, full board, safaris and guided hikes, park and entrance fees, and airport transfers. The safari route alone costs around $ 7,900 per person. Alluring Africa is an award-winning team of Africa travel experts specializing in highly personalized and responsible safaris. It was established in 2012 by Sunit Sanghrajka, whose family started one of the first photo safari companies in Kenya. All announcements presented on Condé Nast Traveler are independently selected by our editors. If you book something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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