We crossed the border into Tanzania during an all-day drive in the truck. We stopped in town for supplies and visited a very touristy museum / tanzanite seller / art gallery place. We stayed at a campsite called Snake Park that has about 20 different snakes in captivity to see including many cobras, pythons and black mamba. A cool bar too where Danielle discovered a hidden talent – darts!
Serengeti National Park
The Serengeti National Park is probably Africa’s most famous national park / game reserve. We travelled there by 4WD stopping to take in view points along the way as we climbed in altitude, arriving in the afternoon to do a 3 hour game drive. The animals definitely came out as the sun lowered in the sky. The highlights were a leopard in a tree (even though it was too far away to get a good photo) and elephants that walked right past our 4WD.
That night we camped out in the open in the middle of the park where we were advised not to venture out of our tent s in the dark – due to the roaming lions and wildlife that had been known to wonder the campsite on many occasions! We could her all the sounds of the animals; including what Ian thinks was a baboon in the middle of the night that stole our tent bag! (Luckily we found it in the morning, albeit with a big hole in it and teeth marks!)
The next morning we were up to see the sunrise on our next game drive. More amazing animals!!
After the game driving in the Serengeti, we drove up to the rim of the collapsed Ngorongoro Crater. It was a cold night up there – the coldest by far where an early night was the only way to escape to the temperatures.
Up early again, and a cold start as we drove down into the crater. A very surreal place – driving around in the collapsed volcano that is home to such a huge variety of wildlife – it will be something to always remember. The highlight was definitely catching sight of the last moments of a lion killing a zebra, a male lion walking right past the 4wd and also the range of creatures there including animals we had not yet seen such as jackals and hyenas up close.
That night we spent another night at the Snake Park campsite near Arusha before heading on to Dar Es Alam on the coast.
After a few big days on the road, including one 15 hour driving day(!) we couldn’t wait for the beach life – AND we had an actual bed to sleep in after 3 weeks in a tent!
95% of the population in Zanzibar are Muslim so we all had to adhere strictly to the dress code. It was also Ramadam.
On our first afternoon in Zanzibar we went on a spice tour followed by a curry lunch in a local house.
Near the northern tip of Zanzibar Island, Nungwi Beach is stunning, and one of a few beaches on the island where you can swim at all tides. We spent the days exploring the beach, its restaurants, and chilling out. On our first night we unwound with beers and a BBQ on the beach, accompanied by an acrobatics show and a camp fire. Ian went for 2 dives out to Memba Island, an atoll about 5kms off the main island. The fish life and coral were amazing. On the way out the crew spotted dolphins so we all jumped over board to swim with them – they were on the move so it was hard to keep up. During the dive Ian also saw a huge turtle resting on the coral.
We decided to have an evening just the two of us without the rest of the group and chose a restaurant overlooking the water. With our daily budget in mind we opted for just two mains to share and no drink. Once we had ordered the owner of the restaurant came to speak with us for a couple of minutes, and shortly after this our waiter bought to our table the soup of the day and a glass of red wine each – on the house!! Awesome!!
We had a full day in Stone Town. Ian stayed in town and went on a walking tour with a local guy he met the night before at the night market. The old town is a maze of alleyways lined with houses, mosques, souvenir shops, and guest houses. The town has an amazing history so there was plenty to take in such as the slave markets, the baths, etc.
Danielle went on a snorkelling trip which included the chance to swim with dolphins, they were too fast to keep up with in the water! But watching them swim and play in the wild from the boat was fantastic.
We hit the road again, stopping one night on the way to Malawi.
See Next: Malawi