Safari in Tanzania: 2-10. November 2022

We arrived by air from Amsterdam, and stayed overnight near Kilimanjaro Airport. Next day we drove to Lake Manyara for an afternoon game drive. After checking into our lodge we had an evening game drive in the park.  The following morning we left for the north-western corridor in the Serengeti National Park, crossing the Ngorongoro highlands. Before the rainy season it was very dry with very dusty roads in worse condition than in 2006. After 3 days with game drives in Serengeti on terrible roads we drove south to Ngorongoro for a game drive and pic-nic lunch before continuing to Karatu for the last two nights. I skipped the tuk-tuk tour in Karatu, preferring to stay at the pool enjoying the sun before returning to Norway. On the way to the Kilimanjaro airport we stopped at IsoItok Camp Manyara to visit a Maasai settlement and have lunch. Thereafter we headed for the airport for our return flight to Norway.
View my videos day-by-day (below), or the full movie HERE

Day 1: Oslo to Tanzania via Amsterdam

Very early start from home for a 6 AM departure from Oslo to Schiphol airport, Amsterdam.  After a few hours in transit we departed at about 2:30 PM with another KLM flight towards Tanzania. This was a day-flight, and I was able to follow a Nile crossing in Egypt. We landed at the Kilimanjaro airport at about 9 PM – after darkness. Minibuses drove our group of 21 to the KIA Kilimanjaro Airport Lodge on the other side of the runway for an overnight stay. After leaving our luggage in our bungalows we had a late buffet dinner. It was good to be back in Africa with mild weather and all the night sounds. I had a good night’s sleep under a mosquito net.

Day 2 (a): Kilimanjaro Airport to Lake Manyara

After a good breakfast we started our tour with the Remote Safari Company in 3 safari-type Landcruisers from our KIA Kilimanjaro Airport Lodge. It was overcast, but it cleared after a few hours and got very warm. We drove north through Arusha towards the Lake Manyara National Park. The roads were good, with not too much traffic. First stop was at some shops with a nearby restaurant with ‘wash room’, to meet our local tour representative, before we continued to Lake Manyara. 

The small rainy season had not started yet, so it was very dry. In 2006 it had rained on our way to Lake Manyara and the landscape was very green.   

Day 2 (b): Game Drives in Lake Manyara National Park

After driving from Kilimanjaro Airport we started directly on a game drive in the Lake Manyara National Park. We watched some animals before heading for the pic-nic area. 

After lunch we continued the game drive for a few hours. Thereafter we drove to our lodge on the top of the Rift Valley escarpment. After following a bad dirt road for 15 minutes we did not expect to find a 4-5 star lodge – the Lake Manyara Kilimamoja Lodge.  We each got our own fantastic bungalow, which we unfortunately did not have much time to enjoy, because after dinner some of us joined an evening game drive in the park.

Day 3 (a): Driving from Lake Manyara to Serengeti Gate

After leaving early from our Lake Manyara Kilimamoja Lodge, we had a stop at a curio shop. Then we continued north to the Ngorongoro Highlands. From the main gate the roads were very dusty and bumpy. Because the rainy season had not started yet we were soon covered with dust. After a quick stop at a Ngorongoro panoramic viewpoint we continued down to the plain on the north side. We started seeing animals on the crater rim, and they increased in numbers as we came closer to Serengeti. After a ‘wash room’ stop at the junction to the Oldupai Gorge we continued over the flat plain to the gate at the border between Ngorongoro  conservation area and Serengeti. Just after passing the gate we came across our first lions at the roadside. We continued to the Naabi Hill – the Serengeti main gate with a pic-nic area.

Day 3 (b): Serengeti Gate to Camp

After a pic-nic lunch at Naabi, we continued to the central area of the Serengeti National Park. We saw more and more animals, and the grass was greener because of a few rain showers. We met the first gnu/wildebeest herds on their southwards migration, and we stopped here and there to take photos and video og animals. Early afternoon we continued up the park’s north-west corridor. We even had a short much needed rain shower. It was getting late, and we reached our Mbalageti Safari Luxury Camp after darkness. There was separate roofed ‘tented chalet’ with a nice bathroom waiting for each of us. After a shower we walked down to the restaurant building. Because of wild animals we had to be picked up and followed in case of wild animals.

Day 4: Serengeti Game Drive 1

About half our group had started very early for ballooning, and us ‘late risers’ had a quiet breakfast on the terrace overlooking the plain with gnus trekking. We started with game drive to the Grumeti airstrip, where we met the rest of the group. After more game driving we returned to the airstrip for a pic-nic lunch from our own pre-ordered lunch boxes. We continued our game drive in the afternoon on our way back to our Mbalageti Safari Luxury Camp. We arrived back in good time before darkness. Some of us had a dip in the pool before afternoon drinks on the terrace. In the evening we had another tasty dinner. 

Day 5: Serengeti Game Drive 2

After a good breakfast in our Mbalageti Safari Luxury Camp we started our second full-day game drive. Stopping here and there to take pictures and video of animals. We headed for the central area of the park, about 2 hours drive, where we stopped several places along the Seronera river. After a pic-nic lunch at the park’s visitor center we drove quite far out on the savannah to look for leopards. We were lucky to spot cheetahs and got really close. Further out we saw a leopard in a tree, but unfortunately it was too far away to take good photos. We continued our game drive and came across large herds on their trek. In the early afternoon we headed back to our camp. Some of us had afternoon drinks on the terrace. This last evening in the camp we had a very tasty dinner, and enjoyed the night with hyenas howling in the area.

Day 6: Serengeti to Karatu via Ngorongoro

Last morning in Serengeti before driving all the way to Karatu with a game grive and pic-nic in the Ngorongoro crater. It was very dry and dusty before the rainy season. A little disappointing after my visit there in 2006 when it was very green (and wet) everywhere . Less animals to see, and more tourists. A new road and information/toilet center close to the pic-nic area. 
After a last game drive we headed back up to the the crater rim, and followed the dusty main road down though the park gate – e asphalt road again after four days with bad dusty roads. Arriving in Karatu we checked in at our next lodge – the Farm of Dreams Lodge

Day 7: Karatu – the ‘Farm of Dreams Lodge’ and show

Instead of joining our group for a tour of the town I chose to take the day off and enjoy the sun and the pool at the lodge. At 6 pm we watched the local dance and acrobat show in the bar area before going to dinner. - Impressive!

Day 8: Maasai settlement and departure to Norway

After a good breakfast in our Karatu lodge we drove south past Lake Manyara. I took only still photos along the road (see Flickr photos below). We took off from the highway and followed dirt road a short distance up in the hillside. A few hundred meters after passing a Maasai Boma we parked outside the Isoitok Camp Manyara. We were welcomed by a local guide who gave us an introduction to the camp and the Maasais’ ways of living. Thereafter we visited the nearby small school, and walked a few minutes down to the Maasai Boma. Here we met the Maasais, and were allowed to see and hear about their living. We returned to the camp and were served an excellent bush-lunch. After lunch we continued to the Kilimanjaro airport for our return flight to Norway. 
10. November – day 9: 6 hours transit in Amsterdam.

November 2022 – Some photos from the Tanzania Safari

Click on the photo to open Flickr, then press the <slide show> button in the upper right-hand corner (the small “TV” symbol).