I had an amazing experience in Tanzania with the locals and Hartebeest Safaris (my tour organizer). The whole trip was easy to organize, and everyone from the company, before and after our trip, was incredibly helpful and informative. I really had a great time – it was a great mix of local culture, history and wildlife, and back home, the memories are still very fresh even though it’s been over a month now. I would recommend this company to anyone – not only did I receive much more personalized service than I would have done with a big package tour, but the price was much better, and I had much more flexibility to see what I wanted to see!
I choose camping due to my limited budget but would have loved to experience the lodge thing as two other persons I met on this trip. The company supplied the tent, sleeping bags, sleeping mats, and I stayed in a number of different campsites as I travelled from park to park, some of which had hot water and electricity, and some of which were more basic – in particular the campsite I stayed at inside the Serengeti (Seronera Campsite). I just like everyone else was comfortable and warm at night, and there was plenty of room in the tents, both to sleep and to sit up in. Camping isn't for everyone, but this was definitely better than all the times I've done it in Belgium!
The food was great very delicious and balanced. Every day came with a different menu and something to smile about! The chef (Saiid) was very active and swift especially when it came to putting up the tents and dismantling it as well as serving the meal. He always served hot meals and enough of it. The driver (Willium) was calm, talked when he had something relevant to say especially when it had to do with the animals, faune et flore or when we ask numerous questions.
We together saw a lot of animals and I must say that seeing a Lion in a zoo is very much different than in their natural habitat. I could not imagine seeing Lions and elephants so close and nothing seemed to bother them! By the end of my trip I had almost got blasé about some of the animals I saw more frequently, especially zebras. I saw a whole host of birds and animals – lions, elephants, rhinos, leopards, cheetahs, hippos, giraffes, jackals, hyenas, buffalo (several different kinds), zebra, wildebeest, impala, dik-diks, ostriches, flamingos, wart hogs, monkeys and baboons, as well as numerous others whose names I don't remember. One of the most interesting parts was seeing a Lion asleep in the middle of the road, but as we approached, it noticed the car and moved slowly away like to say, sorry am on the way!! The driver guide was really helpful locating so many animals that we were looking for, and getting us into exactly the right position for that perfect photo. He had also brought binoculars; good thing he did as no one in the car brought one.
The overall trip was really great. The car and tents were all in good condition. For the 21st time in my life I can say that my money was well spent. Thanks to all the guys at Hartebeest for making my adventure a memorable one. Am so grateful to all the guys there who made my stay a great one and to Michael, for hosting me for a night.