Colin & Mel – Tanzania (August 2014)

Our holiday to East Africa was perfect in every way. We can’t thank you enough for the excellent organisation; for listening carefully and thoughtfully to what we wanted and for having the depth of knowledge to be able to suggest what turned out to be the perfect itinerary for us!  The Hemingway in Nairobi was a wonderfully luxurious hotel and a great way to start our adventure. It was wonderful to visit the nearby Elephant orphanage and we returned on our way back home to have a more intimate, evening visit with the elephant we decided to adopt.

As we left Kenya and took the short flight to Tanzania to start our safari ‘proper’, we were delighted to be greeted by our friendly safari ranger on the landing strip. He then proceeded to do a ‘mini safari’ on our way to the camp, where we were amazed to encounter our first giraffe, zebra and gazelles to name but a few. We were able to drive up close and get out of the jeep to take photos – amazing! As we arrived at Shu’mata camp in West Kilimanjaro we realised we were in for a special treat. The manager, Colleen, accompanied by her two very special dogs, was warm and welcoming and the staff smiled constantly. The food was incredible, as was having early morning tea delivered to your room each morning by a Masaai. On the third day, as we hadn’t seen elephants, Colleen and a Masaai tracker joined us. Sure enough…we tracked a bull elephant, who led us to a beautiful marsh, where a whole herd of elephants were bathing and playing alongside zebra, giraffe, ostrich, warthog and a whole host of birds. Incredible! The second part of our safari adventure took us to the absolutely stunning Klein’s camp in northern Serengeti. Here we were ‘greeted’ by 2 buffalo in the garden outside our door. Our room was beyond luxurious and the camp, which sits on the hillside, has the most incredible views, especially from the huge fold back windows in the bar. The early morning safari’s were a special occasion…sitting in the middle of the plains surrounded by wildebeest, eating a cooked breakfast freshly prepared by the ranger, watching the sunrise is a truly unforgettable experience.

The next part of our adventure took us to the eco island of Chumbe, just off the coast of Zanzibar. Again, another interesting and unique experience. The daily snorkelling trip revealed the most diverse and healthy coral we had ever seen. The hermit crabs were thriving, as were the endangered, nocturnal coconut crabs. Again, the food was amazing.  Our little individual eco hut was cosy and had great views from the bedroom. We then travelled the short boat ride across the water to the main island of Zanzibar, where we stayed in the opulent ‘Residence‘. Our enormous room came complete with private pool and bicycles! We had 4 days of total relaxation!

Our final part of the adventure took us back to Nairobi, where we stayed in what has to be the best hotel in the world…well, certainly if you’re a giraffe lover…Giraffe Manor! We arrived late in the evening and were delighted by a private candlelit dinner in the  wood panelled dining room. We were then showed to our beautiful room on the first floor. I was surprised to see a bowl of giraffe food on the shelf next to the set of drawers, until the manager told us that there was a possibility that the giraffes may come early in the morning to the bedroom window…well, they did! Feeding a giraffe at 6 am was beyond all of our dreams and expectations. We then went into the courtyard to feed them and finally we also fed them as they popped their heads through the breakfast room window! The perfect end to the perfect holiday!

Jules, thank you so much for giving us the experience and adventure of a lifetime. We will remember it always!