We were lucky enough to go to Tanzania August/September 2016. 2016 was a great year for holidays for me. I was incredibly lucky. First it was my first ever ski trip in February, climbing Ben Nevis in March, European road trip in June followed by a week in the Dominican Republic, Tanzania and Zanzibar in August/September and finished off with a few days in Iceland in October. Wow, I really am lucky.

Sunday 28th August 2016

Tanzania was a family adventure consisting of mum, Steve (bro), Claire (bro’s girlfriend) and Nathan. It’s amazing that holidays can be sorted through a whatsapp group these days, I mean however did we manage it before? Carrier pigeons? Email? Or just good old fashion face to face conversation? Still, we managed to get all the details sorted between us all and money transferred and then it was booked. We used a company called ‘Tanzania Adventure,’ which sorted everything out for us, all we had to do was book the international flights.

We flew out on 28th August with Turkish Airlines from Heathrow. We went up in convoy with Nathan and I in his car (him driving of course) and mum, Steve and Claire in Claire’s car, parked them both and headed to check in and drop our big bags off. We had to get soft sided cases for the safari jeep, which we all needed to invest in so my bro found us some 30 litre antler ones which were awesome. Once we were checked in and had our boarding passes, it was straight through hand luggage checks to find breakfast. Eventually we boarded the first leg of our flight landing in Istanbul for a couple of hours before finally landing at Kilimanjaro airport in Tanzania. Turkish airlines were very good.

We were met at the airport by the representative of Tanzania Adventure and were taken to Kibo Palace Hotel where we would stay overnight and have breakfast.

Monday 29th August

Ibra, Ben and Ahsman picked us up at 9am and we were set to go on our first adventure. First stop was the beautiful Tarangire National Park, spanning 2600 square kilometres between the Masai Steppe and the Great Rift Valley. It was amazing.File189File192File193File194As we pulled into the entrance and parked up we could visit the toilets and look around. There was even a little souvenir shack-style building selling handmade trinkets. It was a beautiful place. It is Tanzania’s fifth largest national park and consists of a lot, and I mean a lot, of elephants.File198Within the park are huge majestic baobab trees. The legend says that the baobab once angered God so much that it was ripped from the ground and planted upside down and they’re known to live for hundreds or thousands of years.File273File277File278File200File203File208We were so close to the animals. It was incredible. They just went about their business without a care in the world as we were there gawking at them invading their home. File201File276File289File204File340File346Within the first few hours we had been lucky enough to see monkeys, wildebeest, zebras, elephants and lions! It was honestly magical and this was only the beginning! Ibra (the best guide EVER!!!) would give us all sorts of information about the animals and the park. For example, there is only one permanent source of water in the park, the Tarangire River and there can be up to 6000 elephants in the park.File205File312File313File323File339We stopped for lunch after a few hours at a beautiful overlook. Words can’t describe the feeling of being so close to these amazing animals. Lunch consisted of chicken, papaya, juice, pancake and marble cake, but sadly there was no veggie option for mum. Ibra being the most AMAZING guide, spoke to the cook (Ben) and we had no food issues going forward. Everything was prepared for us by Ben and his staff, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Ibra was our guide through the parks and Ashman would assist with pitching our tents and making our beds for the night. All we had to bring with us was a sleeping bag (hence the 30 litre bags).File209File211File213File215Satisfied we were full and had admired the view and avoided monkey attacks, we got back in the truck and continued our way through the park. There is so much diverse wildlife here that the views never, ever got boring. Nor did it get boring if we saw the same animal as they’d be in a slightly different environment, or they’d look different or be behaving differently.File216File217File218We got to see giraffes eating from the tree above! We got to our campsite in the park to find that our tents had already been put up with our beds inside all ready for us. We had some time to chill and reflect on the day before dinner.File219Nathan and I were on one side, Steve and Claire the other and mum in the middle. Dinner was served but not before popcorn! It was amazing what Ben and co were able to serve us in the middle of a park!File220File221File222File224Dinner consisted of zucchini soup to start followed by avocado salad, vegetables, chips and papaya to finish. It was delicious. I have never eaten so healthy on a holiday! At the campsite there were showers (cold), toilets a sink and strangely, a bar?!?!

After an epic first day, we played some card games and then retired to our tents ready for another day of exploration tomorrow…

Until next time…