We went to Tanzania for a 8 day safari (Nov 27th tot Dec 4th 2012) with Eastco and really had a fantastic time, everything was well organised but also the itinerary felt as not too rushy but still seeing so much. So here is our experience:
We had booked a 8 day safari, a domestic flight to Zanzibar and first night stay on Zanzibar with Eastco (other 5 days in Zanzibar we booked ourselves). The first contact to have the trip adjusted to our wishes really went smooth and quick. After some suggestions we booked our trip. Besides some minor changes for our domestic flight everything was very much ok and no problems at all during our safari.
Upon arrival we were welcomed by our driver, stayed in the Ilboro lodge in Arusha, a very nice place to stay for our first night as we really could use a good night sleep after a long trip to get to Tanzania. The day after we started our safari very early in the morning to fly to Serenora in the middle of the Serengeti, perfect to start the safari! It saved us many hours of driving back the same route. The first 3 nights we stayed in a fully equiped tented camp. To sleep in the Serengeti so close to the wildlife really was an amazing experience! Going to bed with hyena sounds at the background. :-)
Our staff made sure that we had all the comfort for a great stay: warm water in the shower bag, in the washing bag in the morning, tea and coffee at any moment in between to relax at the veranda of our tent. These things really made the difference. The afternoon breaks (to hot to drive between 1 and 3 pm) really were pleasant in these settings. The breakfast, lunch and diner in the dining tent was perfect (at any time of our safari I had delicious vegetarian meals as I requested).
We saw so many game during our first day, we were wondering what else we could see more the next days. But every day there were new situations and viewings that made our day perfect (a leopard in a tree, a lion family of 7 cubs playing around,..)!
Next stop was the Ngorongoro krater. It did not feel as much 'into the wild' as the Serengeti but the views from our lodge were gorgeous. 1 night here seemed enough (compared to 3 days in serengeti you really need!)
Lake Manyara NP was very interesting: different vegetation, different animals, temperatures were also higher... After a drive (approx. 2,5h) in the hot sun, we were glad to arrive at the tented camp of Old Tukai. The Manyara lake was dry, no water, no flamingoes, but the surroundings were overwhelming, so peaceful! The next day we truely had a great walk with 2 very nice Masai guides. Amazing to see and learn about tracks, fruits, seeds, wildlife,.. We had breakfast and dinner in the nice dining lodge, and food also was very good.
Our trip continued to Tarangire NP. Elephants, elephants, everywhere we looked we saw elephants! To see them in such great numbers is something completely different than the small families we already had seen. The Boundary Hill Lodge was superb, what a view! And so lucky to be here when feeling sick for a day, with such a view, easy to forget :-) The bath tub on the balcony was also a very relaxing experience. We enjoyed the night game and the visit to a little Masai boma and ended our safari with a very good feeling, this was a great safari!
We saw the big five and so many more... We did almost see no other tourists but so many wildlife, great landscapes, local people and villages, a truely unforgetable experience!
Everything was well organised, we felt safe with our driver (Ezekial) who never took stupid risks, knew a lot about the game and vegetation and was also very friendly and helpfull. So that is why we would recommend Eastco for a safari and would advice this itinerary to see so much, but never have the feeling too rush it.