Tag Archives: africa safari

African Safari Review #travel

10635882_10202902160185556_8969120803906696545_n Jambo!

Well I just got back from an amazing journey of an African Safari in Tanzania. This was a guided safari through Gate1 Travel and met all my expectations. We started out with flights from Cleveland to Chicago on United. Then on a KLM flight from Chicago to Amsterdam to Kilimanjaro. KLM is super strict about the weight and size of your carry on item so be prepared when going with them. Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro, paperwork was need to confirm you were not infected with Ebola, just a couple of questions and no temperature was taken. JRO is a pretty small airport so there is no gangway and you take the steps down to the tarmac. Some passengers are then off to get visas. I was lucky enough to have completed mine in advance of the trip so was able to skip the line of people waiting for hours to get the visa before getting in line for passport control. The price was the same for the visa at the airport compared to the in advance so highly recommend that process.

The Gate1 representative, Ruwand, was right there to pick me up for the transfer with a good hand shake and a bright smile. I later found out that he would also be one of the drivers with us on the safari. After the hour drive to Arusha Hotel we were provided our keys and dinner on site. I had the opportunity to eat with Susie and Randy from New York and Lydia from Canada. I would meet the rest at the briefing in the morning. The room was comfortable with bottle water for brushing teeth and drinking provided all along the way. Word of warning, there are no clocks in Africa. The entire time I would look for one with none to be found. Also they work on AFT which I later learned meant Africa Flexible Time. Think “Island Time” and you’ll understand what I mean.


In the morning we met the rest of the group. The meeting included the head of the program, Edward, who reviewed what would see along the way, meeting the drivers: Ruwand and Edmond, and the rules with going on drives. Then we were off to the Ngorongoro Crater! We checked in to the Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge that was positioned right on the edge of the crater so that you can look down for the animals.


After lunch we headed out on our first game drive. This was it; this is what I came all the way here for. Everyone warned me that I may not see a thing due to the time of the year and to not get my hopes up. Well they were wrong! Here is what we saw in one drive: Giraffes, Water Buffalo, Zebra, Cranes, Ostriches, Warthogs, Wilder beast, Flamingos, Rhinos (even saw them charge towards a car), Hippos, Hyenas, Antelope, and Lions.  All that in less than 2 hours! Not all of the animals were by the road but the binoculars I brought were amazing and then even had some in the car for those that didn’t. Then we were back to the lodge. Keep in mind that they do turn off the generators at night to save power, so make sure that everything is charged and you have your phone to use as a flashlight to the bathroom in the middle of the night.


The next stop was where I wanted to be the whole time. I choose this tour due to the amount of time that was spent in the Serengeti National Park. With three days there we saw a ton of animals! Some of the new ones that we hadn’t seen in the crater were: Baboons, Camels, Gazelles, Jackal, Elephants, Leopard, Rabbis, Monkeys, Dik Dik, Heart Beast, Cheetah, Impala, Owls, and Water Buck. Mind you in one drive alone we saw 26 lions, 2 cheetahs and a leopard while enjoying dinner on the side of the road. We stayed at the Lemala Ewanjan and all I can say was it was out of this world. You would never think of this as a tented camp. They had hard wood floors in the tents, plush beds, laundry service, and soda/beer/wine included. The service was outstanding with personal care from your room attendant and a morning wake up with tea/coffee and cookies. The only thing I would hear from them when I had a request was hakuna matata! All I thought was Lion King and I was smiling like a fool.


What is a little adventurous with the camp is there was no fence and you are literally in the middle of the Serengeti so it should come as no surprise that there was a lion outside the camp walking around in the middle of the night. But do not worry. There was a Maasai warrior outside making sure everything was safe and secure. I also  went on a hot air balloon ride right at sun rise with Serengeti Balloon Safaris. You’re able to go where the trucks can not and see the animals a little bit closer. Even if you have a fear of heights the highest we went was tree height because any higher and you wouldn’t be able to see the game. After about an hour air born there is a “controlled crash landing” other than a couple of bumps which felt like you just went over speed bumps a little too fast we were off to breakfast. Here you have the opportunity to use the ‘Loo with a View’, a three sided tent where you can watch the game do by as you take care of business.


The next stop was to Lake Manyara National Park, where we stayed at the Lemala Manyara. Now while it was the same company, the experience was slightly under what was expected. The food was amazing but the tents were leaking in the bathroom and the room attendant wasn’t as accommodating to the prior location. We were even told at the welcome meeting this would be the least favorite place. Another word of warning: Tsetse Fly. Yep, it’s a fly that when they bite it’s the worst experience ever. You will itch and itch and even a week later I am still itching. DEET will not stop these suckers either, even 100% DEET spray or shoes or jeans did not slow them down.  There really weren’t many new animals to see, just more in packs like lions, elephants, baboons, and flamingos.


The final stop was to Tarangire National Park, where the tsetse flies were still present. The Tarangire Sopa Lodge was another amazing place. The rooms were like little huts that the local people stay and provided a view of the park from the balcony from a small sitting area to enjoy coffee or tea. Lunch was served pool side and the only time we had that we can jump in for a little dip and lay out in the sun. In Tarangire we saw a python, mongoose, vultures, leopard tortuous, and a cheetah with her son. We later saw that it was a hunting lesson. I was able to get some amazing video of mother cheetah trying to take down a baby zebra with her son slowly trailing behind her. They were not successful and you could tell it was the sons fault with a little spat afterwards. The last dinner was amazing; since it was my birthday I received the local Happy Birthday song version and a cake to share with the group. We ended the day making sure everything was packed and ready to go for the 30 hours it would take to get home.


On the final day, the group met back up with Edward to discuss the trip in a debriefing and to provide the feedback in a welcoming environment. Our drivers were amazing, patient for answering our questions, some of the same ones 7 times in a row. They knew their animals and birds like the back of their hand and would give you the information on how to tell which was what. They would also stop and wait for you to be able to capture the picture you wanted, even if you needed 100 pictures of those cute little lion cubs playing with a stick. We couldn’t have asked for better people to have along with us. Then we were off to the airport where we could clearly see Mt. Kilimanjaro. She wasn’t shy for us and we were able to see the snow-capped peak with no issue.


Couple of Friendly Tips:

  • Never drink the water, ice or brush your teeth in the tap water. There was bottle water in every room in each hotel and water in the truck to drink when out on game drives.
  • Power tends to be turned off at night so be prepared with your phone or flashlight to find your way to the bathroom.
  • Tipping in the hotel is highly recommended and there is a tipping box in the lobby.
  • The JRO airport is not air conditioned and you’ll want to get your visa in advance to avoid the line with hundred others in the hot crowded small room.
  • No places were air conditioned for that matter.
  • Lunch and dinner are served pretty late. Lunch was normally around 2 pm and dinner was usually 7:30 pm or even 8:30 pm.
  • Tsetse flies love the color blue and black so avoid wearing those colors and cover up every inch of your skin.

For more information or to experience this trip yourself, please contact Traveline at 1-888-700-8747.



andBeyond Safari Offers

Reminder about our new Signature Offers – In addition to our existing Signature Offers, &Beyond has created the following new packages to offer even more value for our travel partners:

• Honeymoon special
• Fly me around Botswana
• Fly me around Tanzania


Helicopter on Us – Saving from USD 270 ppsSpend 4 nights or more at either Khwai River Lodge or Savute Elephant Lodge and include Eagle Island Campand receive a complimentary 35-minute helicopter excursion from Eagle Island Camp.

  • New bookings only
  • Valid for travel until 31 March 2013

City on Us – Saving from ZAR 1 495 pps

Spend 4 nights at either Eagle Island Camp, Khwai River Lodge or Savute Elephant Camp and receive a complimentary night at either Mount Nelson or the Westcliff (at the guest’s discretion).

  • New bookings only
  • Valid for travel from 01 November 2012 to 14 June 2013 and 16 October to 31 December 2013


Spend 6 nights at either Eagle Island Camp, Khwai River Lodge or Savute Elephant Camp and receive a complimentary night at either Mount Nelson or the Westcliff (at the guest’s discretion).

  • New bookings only
  • Valid for travel from 15 June – 15 October 2013
True East Africa Family SafariSpend 1 night at Legendary Lodge, 2 nights at &Beyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge, 3 nights at &Beyond Klein’s Camp, 2 nights at &Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge and a day room at The Arusha Hotel and the flights are on us.

  • Saving from USD 1 327 pps
  • New bookings only
  • Valid for travel from 01 November 2012 to 31 December 2013Enquire
Deposit for Signature Offers decreased to only 20%Signature Offers deposit decreased

  • Signature Offers no longer require a 50% deposit
  • Deposit of 20% to be paid within 14 days of confirmation
  • Signature Offers can be booked at any time
  • Regrettably, Signature Offers are non-refundable


Worlds of Wonder – Stay 7 Pay 5Stay 4 Pay 3 at  &Beyond Phinda Forest or Mountain Lodge and Stay 3 Pay 2 at The Bay Hotel in Cape Town.

  • Saving from ZAR 6 900 pps
  • Valid for new bookings only
  • Valid for travel from 1 October to 13 December 2012 and 1 April to 12 December 2013
  • Offers is only valid when both properties are booked as a package

Pristine Wilderness and Atlantic Views – Stay 4 Pay 3

Spend 2 nights at Tintswalo Atlantic and 2 nights at Tintswalo Safari Lodge and receive a complimentary night at either Tintswalo Atlantic or Tintswalo Safari Lodge (at the guest’s discretion).

  • Saving from ZAR 3 900 pps
  • Valid for new bookings only
  • Valid for travel from 1 November 2012 to 31 October 2013

Unspoilt Edens and a Taste of Paradise – 2 nights free!!!

Stay 4 Pay 3 at &Beyond Phinda Vlei Lodge and Stay 3 Pay 2 at The Last Word Long Beach.

  • Saving from ZAR 9 445 pps
  • Offer valid for new bookings only
  • Valid for travel from 10 September to 20 December 2012

Value-adds at The Last Word Long Beach include:

  • FREE beverages, premium spirits, mini bar and wireless internet access
  • FREE upgrade of room type on arrival, if available
  • FREE pre-dinner snacks in the privacy of guests’ room or lounge area
  • FREE shuttle service within a 5km radius of the hotel
  • Wonderfully warm turndown with candles and little surprises

A Big Cat Safari EXTENDED – Stay 5 Pay 4

Spend 2 nights at &Beyond Ngala Tented Camp and 3 nights at &Beyond Phinda Vlei/Rock Lodge or
Spend 2 nights at &Beyond Ngala Safari Lodge and 3 nights at &Beyond Phinda Mountain/Forest Lodge or
Spend 2 nights at &Beyond Kirkman’s Kamp and 3 nights at &Beyond Phinda Mountain/Forest Lodge

  • Saving from ZAR 3 423 to ZAR 5 502 pp for 3 to 8 guests travelling
  • Offer valid for new bookings only
  • Seat on scheduled charter flight JNB to JNB
  • Valid for travel until 31 December 2013

Stay 12 Pay 8 Affordable Luxury Package

Stay 3 Pay 2 at Cape Royale Luxury Hotel and Spa, Stay 3 Pay 2 at Franschhoek Country House, Stay 3 Pay 2 at Cybele Forest Lodge and Stay 3 Pay 2 at Shumbalala Game Lodge

  • Saving ZAR 10 935 pps
  • The offer is only valid for certain room types
  • New bookings only
  • Free nights will only apply when combining the above properties in the same itinerary
  • Offer valid until 20 December 2012

City & Wilderness Escape – Stay 7 Pay 6 and fly for free

Spend 3 nights at the award-winning Cape Grace Hotel in Cape Town and travel on to Tswalu Kalahari for a 4-night African safari experience beyond all expectations.

  • Saving from ZAR 13 540 pps
  • New bookings only
  • Valid for travel until 19 December 2013 (excluding 22 December 2012 to 3 January 2013 and 4 to 8 February 2013)
  • Value adds:
    Complimentary transfers to and from Cape Town International Airport and the Execujet hangar
    Complimentary Malori sleep-out deck experience valued at ZAR 5 000
    Complimentary scheduled flights to and from Tswalu Kalahari

Lakeside Leisure and Desert Delights – Fantastic value adds

3 nights at Chitwa Chitwa and 3 nights at Tswalu The Motse

  • Saving from ZAR 6 500 pps
  • New bookings only
  • Value adds: signature massage and private deck dinner at both lodges; complimentary return airfares to and from Tswalu (from either Cape Town or Johannesburg)
  • Valid for travel until 20 December 2012

Leopard Spots and Rolling Waves – Fantastic value adds

3 nights at &Beyond Phinda Mountain Lodge and 4 nights at Fairmont Zimbali Resort

  • Saving from ZAR 1 200 pps
  • New bookings only
  • Value adds:
    Special offer includes 10% discount at &Beyond Phinda Mountain Lodge
    Additional Stay 7 Pay 6 value add in the high season.
  • Valid for travel until 30 November 2012


Four for Three from Orient Express Safaris – Saving from USD 648 ppsStay 4 pay 3 at Eagle Island CampKhwai River Lodge or Savute Elephant Camp 

  • New bookings only made before 1 December 2012
  • Valid for travel from 1 November 2012 to 31 March 2013

Waterways to Waterfalls

Spend 2 nights at &Beyond Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge, 3 nights at &Beyond Xaranna Okavango Delta Camp/ &Beyond Xudum Okavango Delta Lodge and 2 nights at The Stanley and Livingstone

  • Saving from USD 669 pps
  • New bookings only
  • Valid for travel until 31 December 2012

Leopards and Dhow Sails

Spend 4 nights at &Beyond Kirkman’s Kamp and 5 nights Benguerra Island

  • Saving from USD 1 184 pps
  • New bookings only
  • Valid for travel until 18 December 2012Enquire
&Beyond Kichwa Tembo Masai Mara Tented Camp – Stay 3 Pay 2Stay 3 and Pay 2 at &Beyond Kichwa Tembo Masai Mara Tented Camp

  • Saving from USD 215
  • New bookings only – no conversion of existing bookings
  • Valid for travel from 21 October to 20 December 2012
  • Combine this with complimentary night drives and walking safaris to create the ideal Masai Mara experience for less

Honeymooners’ offer – Complimentary nights and value adds

Stay 7, pay 5 at The Palms

  • Saving from USD 988
  • New bookings only
  • Valid for travel from 1 November to 19 December 2012
  • Value adds:
    • Complimentary aromasoul massage
    • One free half-hour yoga session per person
    • 10% discount voucher on PADI diving courses and a gift

True Wilderness to True Luxury – Stay 6 Pay 4

Spend 1 night at Legendary Coffee Lodge, 2 nights at Four Seasons Safari Lodge, 2 nights at Singita Explore Tented Mobile Camp, 2 nights at  &Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, and 4 nights at &Beyond Mnemba Island Lodge and get 2 nights free at the &Beyondlodges.

  • Saving from USD 2 730
  • New bookings only
  • Valid for travel from 1 January to 7 April 2013 and 1 November to 15 December 2013

Beach & Safari – Free nights and value adds

Stay 4 pay 3 at Amara and stay 7 pay 5 at Fundu Lagoon

  • Saving from USD 1 440
  • New bookings only
  • Value adds:
    Complimentary his and hers massage at Fundu Lagoon
    Complimentary his and hers massage at Amara
  • Valid for travel until 20 March 2013

Safari Camps and Serene Beaches

Spend 1 night at Southern Sun Mayfair, stay 3 pay 2 at &Beyond Kichwa Tembo Masai Mara Tented Camp and 4 nights at Tijara Beach

  • Saving from USD 215
  • Stay 3 pay 2 at &Beyond Kichwa Tembo
  • New bookings only
  • Valid for travel until 16 December 2012 (excluding 15 July – 20 October high season)

Grassy Plains and Coral Reefs

Spend 1 night at Arusha Coffee Lodge, 2 nights at Tarangire Tree Tops, 3 nights at &Beyond Serengeti Under Canvas and 4 nights at Kilindi

  • Saving from USD 893 pps
  • New bookings only
  • Valid for travel until 15 December 2012

Safari to Seashore

3 nights at Lamai Camp, 2 nights at &Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge and stay 4 pay 3 at &Beyond Mnemba Island Lodge

  • Saving from USD 267 pps
  • New bookings only
  • Valid for travel until 19 December 2012Enquire
India – Stay 5 Pay 4Stay 5, pay 4 on a tiger safari with &Beyond

  • Saving from INR 23 000
  • New bookings only
  • Valid from 16 October 2012 to 31 December 2013

More India for less – Now extended

Stay 6 Pay 5
Stay 6, pay 5 with &Beyond.

Stay 8 Pay 6
Stay 8, pay 6 at any of our &Beyond lodges.

  • Saving from INR 23 000
  • New bookings only
  • Valid from 16 October 2012 to 31 December 2013

For more information or to book,

click here to contact Traveline

or call us at 1-888-700-TRIP.