How do you sum up what makes a trip of a lifetime? With the dream team consisting of Elias Mungure and Laurian Basso from Safaris Africa United, thats how!
My husband and I were so excited to be traveling together with the rest of my family of 9 to Tanzania for a highly anticipated three week trip. My parents had been lucky to have traveled to the area before and were most fortunate to have Elias as a guide back then. They became friends and kept in touch over the years. Together with Cornelius Lyamuya at Safaris Africa United they planned a most spectacular trip for our family.
For our first safari day we went to Tarangire National Park. After spending the night in Karatu, we then continued through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area up to the western part of central Serengeti. For the next three nights we stayed at Pamoja Luxury Camp from where we did game drives all day. After Serengeti, we spent another night in Karatu to visit the Ngorongoro Crater for a day. On the way back to Arusha, we stayed one night at Ngare Lodge in Mto wa Mbu to do a village tour and also visit a Masaai village outside Mto wa Mbu.
I feel like a trip like this could go in many different directions, and perhaps the most important thing that you can’t always control is how knowledgeable and attentive your guides are, and on this trip we very much had the dream team.
Both Elias and Laurian are extremely knowledgeable, not only about every single possible animal (that their trained eyes can seemingly spot miles away) but also about all the flora and landscape, the culture and history of the region and how everything is connected. They’re both excellent drivers, speak perfect English and are so well adept, multifaceted and knowledgeable that we joked they would also even pilot our plane home.
Apart from all their deep knowledge they are also extremely kind, courteous, friendly, funny and super attentive. To be able to be that to 9 people, in a family consisting of three generations and have every single person walk away being deeply satisfied about their experience surely is no small feat. This was not just a vacation, it was truly a life changing experience and it was that because of the endless efforts that our trusted guides put in. Elias and Laurian we cannot thank you enough for giving us this most precious gift.
We saw it all, the Big Five (Black Rhino included), a close up hunt from three beautiful lionesses just before the sun was setting which was pure magic, overall no less that 50 lions, cheetah, leopard, serval, so many elephants (we even had elephants walk straight by our tent one night in our camp), giraffes, zebras, water buffalo, hippos, crocodiles, antelopes, mongoose, ostriches, monkeys, baboons, flamingos, cranes, eagles, a wildebeest migration, impala, hyenas, warthog, secretary bird…..the list goes on and on.
We also saw vast endless landscapes with so many beautiful trees, views that took your breath away, both in scale and beauty. We had excellent local Tanzanian food, danced and laughed together with the Masaai. Overall, we had so many amazing moments on this trip that it’s hard to summarize.
I will forever cherish our safari and never forget what a privilege it was to get to experience it all. Not only seeing and learning about the many different animals, but also experiencing the wonderful spirit and kindness of the Tanzanian people. Its humbling to be reminded that we are all very much connected to each other and to our planet despite our many cultural differences. It was wonderful to see that “circle of life” in it's true form up close and personal, and experience that connection between the people, the land, the animals and the flora and fauna.
Honestly, all I can really say is 'don’t hesitate, just go'! And, really look no further than Safaris Africa United. They are the absolute best at what they do and I really can’t recommend them highly enough.
Asante Sana, Elias & Laurian, you truly are the dream team, and we can’t wait to see you again!
All our very best,
Lisa Sundin & Simon Dunsdon