December 10th, 2013, by Anais Chavez
Accommodations were excellent!!! I LOVED the tented camps!! They all are nice with a flushable toilet, shower, and a comfortable bed. Some are what I would consider an “upscale tent.” The last one we stayed at “Kati Kati” – Tented Camp in the Serengeti was in the wilderness and some wildlife would visit the camp which made it even more adventuresome , however, they were very careful that we were never put at risk of harm. All the places we stayed had beautiful views, sometimes near a lake (Lake Manyara and Lake Eyasi). We took several nature walks on this trip with a local guide in a particular area who shared information about what certain plants and trees are used for.
Exploring the Ngorongoro Crater was beyond belief. Just as the Grand Canyon in the U.S. cannot be described in words, and pictures cannot do justice, the same with the crater. Ally shared a wealth of information about this “natural wonder of the world” too. The Olduvai Gorge (the “cradle of mankind)” was fascinating. And there’s nothing like a sunrise or sunset over the Serengeti plains.
There were numerous times on this trip that I was moved to tears. I experienced the trip of my lifetime because the combination of experiences were so varied. I loved not only learning about the different cultures, but also being able to participate in cultural activities. Ally even took us to one of their local Saturday markets so we could experience that. It was like a huge flea market here in the states with more people, meat being grilled, items for sale everywhere (anything and everything). I never felt unsafe in Tanzania. Ally was always protective of his group—looking out for us, making sure we were well taken care of. He would also give guidance in negotiating prices and where to get the best deals. He loves supporting the local people in their crafts. One of his favorite expressions as “L&D,” which is “Learn and Discover.” He made sure we had as many L&D experiences that we could have in 11 days. It will take me weeks to digest and process everything. It truly was a life altering experience for me. It’s the only trip I’ve been on that I was trying to figure out as I was flying home how I can get back within the next 3-4 years. And I will. A big piece of heart is there.