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Location: Dar es Salaam

Day 1 - 4 Jul 2020

Julius Nyerere International Airport

Dar es Salaam, Julius Nyerere International Airport

Content: Our first trip during the pandemic, something carefully and wonderfully planned by our favorite travel operators, Sikeleli Travel, was something we very much looked forward to! Airports were clean and bare, empty flights, and the locals welcomed us with happy tears in their eyes to see tourists again. We saw how much this pandemic has impacted this country, which relies heavily on tourism. It made our trip even more special in a way to feel like we were supporting others and the animals in the parks in some way as well. We flew from JFK, connected in Qatar, and landed in Dar es Salaam. At the time, no covid tests were required yet and all we needed was a passport and visa purchased on arrival. Note: You must have $100 bill per person for the visa, no smaller bills allowed. Also, all of our transportation was fully organized in advance.

Cape Town Fish Market Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salaam, Cape Town Fish Market Dar es Salaam
Dar es Salaam, Cape Town Fish Market Dar es Salaam
Dar es Salaam, Cape Town Fish Market Dar es Salaam
Dar es Salaam, Cape Town Fish Market Dar es Salaam

Content: The sights, smells, sounds—oh my! If there was one word to describe this melting pot of an eastern African city it would be, Hustle. Everyone in town seems to be outsides working their shops, purchasing, carrying, bargaining, cleaning, driving, you name it. We stopped at the fish market first to see hundreds of fisherman working hard bringing in boats of people and cargo and shipping them out—women carrying all sorts of large bowls on their heads and cooking on short stools in corners, men eager to show us their prizes and some even trying to be guided for a tip when we didn’t ask. Overall curiously and friendliness were the most interactions we encountered. It was just sensory overload after a longgg plane ride, and now in the heat in a different time zone trying to comprehend how covid didn’t exist here, and today people still insist that’s the case.

mama mumtaz mix

Dar es Salaam, mama mumtaz mix
Dar es Salaam, mama mumtaz mix

Content: We stopped for lunch at the famous Mama Mumtaz—just a little entrance off of a bustling ally in Dar es Salaam where she is cooking away the most delicious Urojo Soup! This is a must have. Also known as Zanzibar Mix, but this is by far the best version from ones you may find on the island of Zanzibar.

Makumbusho/ Village Museum

Dar es Salaam, Makumbusho/ Village Museum
Dar es Salaam, Makumbusho/ Village Museum
Dar es Salaam, Makumbusho/ Village Museum
Dar es Salaam, Makumbusho/ Village Museum
Dar es Salaam, Makumbusho/ Village Museum

Content: We really enjoyed this open air museum to learn about the different villages and tribes throughout Tanzania. Seeing the replica of the homes and how people live is very fascinating. We also stopped at a craft market to buy souvenirs before we went back to the airport to fly to Arusha for the evening.

Location: Meru

Day 1 - 4 Jul 2020

Arusha Serena Hotel, Resort & Spa

Meru, Arusha Serena Hotel, Resort & Spa
Meru, Arusha Serena Hotel, Resort & Spa
Meru, Arusha Serena Hotel, Resort & Spa
Meru, Arusha Serena Hotel, Resort & Spa

Content: We arrived at Mt. Kilimanjaro airport and drove 50 minutes to our lodging for the evening. We were picked up in a Safari vehicle and met our guide for the remainder of our mainland Tanzania time. We had a late delicious dinner and were overjoyed with such a spacious and comfortable room for the evening after such a long day(s) of traveling and exploring the city immediately when we landed earlier.

Location: Msasa Ranger Post

Day 2 - 5 Jul 2020

Lake Manyara National Park

Msasa Ranger Post, Lake Manyara National Park
Msasa Ranger Post, Lake Manyara National Park
Msasa Ranger Post, Lake Manyara National Park
Msasa Ranger Post, Lake Manyara National Park
Msasa Ranger Post, Lake Manyara National Park
Msasa Ranger Post, Lake Manyara National Park
Msasa Ranger Post, Lake Manyara National Park
Msasa Ranger Post, Lake Manyara National Park
Msasa Ranger Post, Lake Manyara National Park
Msasa Ranger Post, Lake Manyara National Park
Msasa Ranger Post, Lake Manyara National Park
Msasa Ranger Post, Lake Manyara National Park
Msasa Ranger Post, Lake Manyara National Park
Msasa Ranger Post, Lake Manyara National Park
Msasa Ranger Post, Lake Manyara National Park
Msasa Ranger Post, Lake Manyara National Park
Msasa Ranger Post, Lake Manyara National Park
Msasa Ranger Post, Lake Manyara National Park

Content: Our safari guide drove us about two hours to the amazing Lake Manyara National park! He stopped and popped the roof open so we could stand while driving and look out of the rooftop for animals. It didn’t take long to spot so many varieties of species, we took so many pictures. It had just rained a lot before we arrived, so most of the lake was unfortunately flooded and we had to take some different paths. Still spent about 3 hours here finding so many amazing animals.

Location: Northern Tanzania

Day 2 - 5 Jul 2020

Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge

Northern Tanzania, Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge

Content: We stopped for lunch at another Serena property that had amazing views of Tanzania. The staff was incredibly friendly and the food is very delicious!

Location: Ngorongoro Crater Conservancy

Day 2 - 5 Jul 2020

Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge

Ngorongoro Crater Conservancy, Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge
Ngorongoro Crater Conservancy, Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge
Ngorongoro Crater Conservancy, Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge

Content: Wow! On the way to this magnificent lodge we stopped for a viewpoint of our next destination—Ngorongoro Crater! At the lodge, hand washing stations were built, social distances stickers placed on the floors, hand sanitizer and masks everywhere by staff, and they even sanitized our bags and shoes. The views of the crater at the lodge are some of the best. It gets cold at night, and they light all the fireplaces while you can have dinner with the views. At night, the staff stopped by to give us hot water bottles to put under our sheets to keep us warm and cozy all night.

Location: Ngorongoro

Day 3 - 6 Jul 2020

Ngorongoro Crater

Ngorongoro, Ngorongoro Crater
Ngorongoro, Ngorongoro Crater
Ngorongoro, Ngorongoro Crater
Ngorongoro, Ngorongoro Crater
Ngorongoro, Ngorongoro Crater
Ngorongoro, Ngorongoro Crater
Ngorongoro, Ngorongoro Crater
Ngorongoro, Ngorongoro Crater
Ngorongoro, Ngorongoro Crater
Ngorongoro, Ngorongoro Crater
Ngorongoro, Ngorongoro Crater
Ngorongoro, Ngorongoro Crater
Ngorongoro, Ngorongoro Crater
Ngorongoro, Ngorongoro Crater
Ngorongoro, Ngorongoro Crater
Ngorongoro, Ngorongoro Crater
Ngorongoro, Ngorongoro Crater
Ngorongoro, Ngorongoro Crater
Ngorongoro, Ngorongoro Crater
Ngorongoro, Ngorongoro Crater

Content: After breakfast, we departed for a full Day Safari Tour on the crater floor of Ngorongoro with packed lunches; the Ngorongoro Crater is the world's largest intact caldera in an exceptional geographical position, forming a spectacular bowl of about 265 square kilometers with sides up to 600m deep, the stalking ground of around 20,000 to 30,000 wild animals at any one time. The crater floor consists of a number of ecological environments that include grassland, swamps, forests and Lake Makat, a central soda lake filled by the Munge River. All these various habitats attract various wildlife to drink, wallow, graze, hide or climb. Although animals are free to move in and out of this contained environment, the rich volcanic soil, lush forests and spring source lakes on the crater floor tend to incline both grazers and predators to remain here throughout the year. We saw all Big 5 today!!! Including the rare black rhino.

Location: Ngorongoro Crater Conservancy

Day 3 - 6 Jul 2020

Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge

Ngorongoro Crater Conservancy, Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge
Ngorongoro Crater Conservancy, Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge
Ngorongoro Crater Conservancy, Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge
Ngorongoro Crater Conservancy, Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge
Ngorongoro Crater Conservancy, Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge
Ngorongoro Crater Conservancy, Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge
Ngorongoro Crater Conservancy, Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge
Ngorongoro Crater Conservancy, Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge
Ngorongoro Crater Conservancy, Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge
Ngorongoro Crater Conservancy, Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge

Content: After nice hot showers, we were ready to enjoy the evening back at this lovely lodge. We had a drink at the bar before dinner and explored the rest of the hotel.

Location: Ngorongoro

Day 4 - 7 Jul 2020

Olduvai Gorge Museum

Ngorongoro, Olduvai Gorge Museum
Ngorongoro, Olduvai Gorge Museum
Ngorongoro, Olduvai Gorge Museum
Ngorongoro, Olduvai Gorge Museum
Ngorongoro, Olduvai Gorge Museum
Ngorongoro, Olduvai Gorge Museum
Ngorongoro, Olduvai Gorge Museum
Ngorongoro, Olduvai Gorge Museum
Ngorongoro, Olduvai Gorge Museum
Ngorongoro, Olduvai Gorge Museum
Ngorongoro, Olduvai Gorge Museum
Ngorongoro, Olduvai Gorge Museum
Ngorongoro, Olduvai Gorge Museum

Content: One of the coolest experiences was stopping to visit a Maasai warrior tribe in their village! They showed us how they make fire with donkey dung, the women build the homes out of cow urine and mud, the men take care of the cattle, and the men typically have on average 4 wives each. They welcomed us inside their warm cozy homes to show us how they share beds and slept around the one pot over the fire, and they danced and jumped to see who could jump the highest. The women sang and everyone joined one another for some fun. Also to mention, this area is where the oldest evidence was found of humans living.

Location: Serengeti

Day 4 - 7 Jul 2020

Serengeti

Serengeti, Serengeti
Serengeti, Serengeti
Serengeti, Serengeti
Serengeti, Serengeti
Serengeti, Serengeti
Serengeti, Serengeti
Serengeti, Serengeti
Serengeti, Serengeti
Serengeti, Serengeti
Serengeti, Serengeti
Serengeti, Serengeti
Serengeti, Serengeti
Serengeti, Serengeti
Serengeti, Serengeti
Serengeti, Serengeti
Serengeti, Serengeti
Serengeti, Serengeti
Serengeti, Serengeti
Serengeti, Serengeti
Serengeti, Serengeti
Serengeti, Serengeti
Serengeti, Serengeti

Content: We arrived at the Serengeti!! Such a cool drive going in, seeing many more animals and changes of landscapes. We decided to have an afternoon Safari first, as we spotted a Lion family that just finished dinner and we’re headed for a drink and early evening stroll. The male Lion followed not far behind, taking his time to catch up to the lionesses and kittens. Very cool start to our time in this national park!

Location: Mara Region

Day 4 - 7 Jul 2020

Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge

Mara Region, Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge
Mara Region, Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge
Mara Region, Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge

Content: Stunned by another great Serena property hotel! This one in the Serengeti also boasts bird’s eye views of the National park. It has its own pool, separate luxury ‘huts’, and we practically had the whole property to ourselves! At night, we do have to ask to be escorted back to our room as there are animals roaming around. We actually saw a Buffalo drinking water out of the pool at night on our way back and had to be guided around him lol

Location: Unknown

Day 5 - 8 Jul 2020

Serengeti National Park

Unknown, Serengeti National Park
Unknown, Serengeti National Park
Unknown, Serengeti National Park
Unknown, Serengeti National Park
Unknown, Serengeti National Park
Unknown, Serengeti National Park
Unknown, Serengeti National Park
Unknown, Serengeti National Park
Unknown, Serengeti National Park
Unknown, Serengeti National Park
Unknown, Serengeti National Park
Unknown, Serengeti National Park
Unknown, Serengeti National Park
Unknown, Serengeti National Park
Unknown, Serengeti National Park
Unknown, Serengeti National Park
Unknown, Serengeti National Park
Unknown, Serengeti National Park
Unknown, Serengeti National Park
Unknown, Serengeti National Park

Content: Bucket list item! Hot air balloon ride over the Serengeti for sun ride—better than having a drone, drifting slowly over all the animals below. We saw beautiful mountains and rivers winding below us, and then landed for some champagne. Afterwards, we were driven to an included breakfast in the middle of the Serengeti. It was magical! Company we used for hot air balloon was Miracle Experience.

Location:

Day 5 - 8 Jul 2020

Serengeti National Park

, Serengeti National Park
, Serengeti National Park
, Serengeti National Park
, Serengeti National Park
, Serengeti National Park
, Serengeti National Park
, Serengeti National Park
, Serengeti National Park
, Serengeti National Park
, Serengeti National Park
, Serengeti National Park
, Serengeti National Park
, Serengeti National Park
, Serengeti National Park
, Serengeti National Park
, Serengeti National Park
, Serengeti National Park
, Serengeti National Park
, Serengeti National Park
, Serengeti National Park
, Serengeti National Park
, Serengeti National Park
, Serengeti National Park
, Serengeti National Park
, Serengeti National Park
, Serengeti National Park
, Serengeti National Park
, Serengeti National Park
, Serengeti National Park
, Serengeti National Park
, Serengeti National Park
, Serengeti National Park
, Serengeti National Park

Content: After the hot air balloon ride and breakfast, we went out for a full day Safari again to see the Great Migration. More than two million wildebeest, Thompson’s gazelle and zebra gather during the migration, attracting a great deal of attention from their predators such as lion, hyena, cheetah and leopard.

Location: Mara Region

Day 5 - 8 Jul 2020

Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge

Mara Region, Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge
Mara Region, Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge
Mara Region, Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge
Mara Region, Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge

Content: Back to the camp for the evening for a good three course dinner.

Location: Zanzibar

Day 6 - 9 Jul 2020

Zanzibar Serena Hotel

Zanzibar, Zanzibar Serena Hotel
Zanzibar, Zanzibar Serena Hotel
Zanzibar, Zanzibar Serena Hotel

Content: We flew from the tiny Serengeti airport to Arusha, and from Arusha to Zanzibar!! Looking forward to exploring this spice isle and relaxing. We checked into…yes! another Serena property. This room had views of the ocean, and the manager even hooked us up with a bottle of wine and welcome drinks—such a nice touch.

Emerson on Hurumzi

Zanzibar, Emerson on Hurumzi
Zanzibar, Emerson on Hurumzi
Zanzibar, Emerson on Hurumzi
Zanzibar, Emerson on Hurumzi
Zanzibar, Emerson on Hurumzi
Zanzibar, Emerson on Hurumzi
Zanzibar, Emerson on Hurumzi
Zanzibar, Emerson on Hurumzi
Zanzibar, Emerson on Hurumzi
Zanzibar, Emerson on Hurumzi

Content: We reserved this restaurant in advance to get these amazing rooftop views! You take your shoes off and sit at low tables amongst cushions and colorful decorations. We watched the sun set as we ordered foods we’ve never tried before. Our taste buds were absolutely delighted. Highly highly recommend this place!!

Location: Zanzibar

Day 7 - 10 Jul 2020

Zanzibar Serena Hotel

Zanzibar, Zanzibar Serena Hotel
Zanzibar, Zanzibar Serena Hotel
Zanzibar, Zanzibar Serena Hotel
Zanzibar, Zanzibar Serena Hotel

Content: We had a great breakfast at the hotel, right next to the ocean to watch fish men go to and from on their boats. The coffee in general in Tanzania is some of the best we’ve had around the world!

Stone Town

Zanzibar, Stone Town
Zanzibar, Stone Town
Zanzibar, Stone Town
Zanzibar, Stone Town
Zanzibar, Stone Town
Zanzibar, Stone Town
Zanzibar, Stone Town
Zanzibar, Stone Town
Zanzibar, Stone Town
Zanzibar, Stone Town
Zanzibar, Stone Town
Zanzibar, Stone Town
Zanzibar, Stone Town
Zanzibar, Stone Town
Zanzibar, Stone Town
Zanzibar, Stone Town
Zanzibar, Stone Town

Content: The exotic and mysterious Stone town! Where sultans from Oman used to rule and trade was some of the most frequent here in the world. We wandered the twisting alleys touring the unique architecture and learning about the history and how both Christians and Muslims live in complete harmony here. We also stopped to buy some local candy, ubuyu, sugar coated Boabob seeds. We stopped by the old house of Freddie Mercury as well!

Market Street

Zanzibar, Market Street
Zanzibar, Market Street
Zanzibar, Market Street
Zanzibar, Market Street
Zanzibar, Market Street

Content: One of the stops on our half day city tour was at the local market. Many vibrant colors, lots of locals quickly going about—we recommend you walk with a purpose and pay attention so you don’t get in the way! Lots of fresh fruits and the meat section is one you must have a strong stomach for.

Old Slave Market/Anglican Cathedral

Zanzibar, Old Slave Market/Anglican Cathedral
Zanzibar, Old Slave Market/Anglican Cathedral
Zanzibar, Old Slave Market/Anglican Cathedral
Zanzibar, Old Slave Market/Anglican Cathedral
Zanzibar, Old Slave Market/Anglican Cathedral
Zanzibar, Old Slave Market/Anglican Cathedral
Zanzibar, Old Slave Market/Anglican Cathedral
Zanzibar, Old Slave Market/Anglican Cathedral
Zanzibar, Old Slave Market/Anglican Cathedral

Content: This cathedral and old slave market/museum is definitely worth stopping for. There is a cross inside the cathedral that is made from the same wood from the tree where Dr. Livingston was buried under. The museum is heavy but enlightening—to see how many different variations of slavery there was back then and still existing today is mind blowing. It’s sad and incomprehensible at the same time.

Old Fort and Cultural Center

Zanzibar, Old Fort and Cultural Center
Zanzibar, Old Fort and Cultural Center

Content: The Arab fort is a good thing to see along the way walking by—it is a historic landmark for Zanzibar. However, there is not much to see other than taking a couple pictures.

Kidichi Spice Farms

Zanzibar, Kidichi Spice Farms
Zanzibar, Kidichi Spice Farms
Zanzibar, Kidichi Spice Farms
Zanzibar, Kidichi Spice Farms
Zanzibar, Kidichi Spice Farms
Zanzibar, Kidichi Spice Farms
Zanzibar, Kidichi Spice Farms
Zanzibar, Kidichi Spice Farms
Zanzibar, Kidichi Spice Farms

Content: We loved visiting this farm! We were so full after sampling 25+ different items straight from the trees. Tropical fruits, medical plants and fruit species like the cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla, lipstick tree, lemon grass tea, nut meg, ginger roots, tangerine trees, mangosteen, fruits like the jack fruits, mangos, coconuts [Zanzibar coca cola]. It is not just seeing but also Scrutching, grinding, snuffing, sampling and testing the Spices, fruits and the medical plants. We purchased some little spice souvenirs to take back home with us to cook with.

Location: Zanzibar City

Day 7 - 10 Jul 2020

Forodhani Gardens

Zanzibar City, Forodhani Gardens
Zanzibar City, Forodhani Gardens
Zanzibar City, Forodhani Gardens
Zanzibar City, Forodhani Gardens
Zanzibar City, Forodhani Gardens

Content: We walked a few minutes from our hotel to enjoy a light dinner/evening snack. This park lights up at night with so many vendors that come out. We decided to try the famous Zanzibar pizza—both a savory one with veggies and meat and a sweet one with Nutella and bananas. We loved the sweet one the most! The other skewered items about we were warned in advance to not eat them as they aren’t the most fresh.

Location: Zanzibar

Day 8 - 11 Jul 2020

Zanzibar Serena Hotel

Zanzibar, Zanzibar Serena Hotel
Zanzibar, Zanzibar Serena Hotel
Zanzibar, Zanzibar Serena Hotel
Zanzibar, Zanzibar Serena Hotel
Zanzibar, Zanzibar Serena Hotel

Content: We had to say bye to our lovely hotel to spend the rest of our time in Zanzibar on the other side of the island for some beach time! Along the way driving, we saw some red colobus monkeys hanging out the in trees alongside the road.

Location: Dar es Salaam

Day 8 - 11 Jul 2020

White Sands Resort & Conference Centre

Dar es Salaam, White Sands Resort & Conference Centre
Dar es Salaam, White Sands Resort & Conference Centre
Dar es Salaam, White Sands Resort & Conference Centre

Content: Hands down one of the best places we’ve ever stayed at! Plus, they upgraded us since there were not many tourists there. We had a spicy passion fruit margarita and a lobster dinner to kick off things right. Breakfast and dinners were included for us. The water and white beaches are just stunning.

Location: Dar es Salaam

Day 9 - 12 Jul 2020

White Sands Resort & Conference Centre

Dar es Salaam, White Sands Resort & Conference Centre
Dar es Salaam, White Sands Resort & Conference Centre
Dar es Salaam, White Sands Resort & Conference Centre
Dar es Salaam, White Sands Resort & Conference Centre
Dar es Salaam, White Sands Resort & Conference Centre
Dar es Salaam, White Sands Resort & Conference Centre
Dar es Salaam, White Sands Resort & Conference Centre
Dar es Salaam, White Sands Resort & Conference Centre

Content: We finally took a whole day to just relax! Our own little cabanas, hammocks, pool, and even butler came with our room! We requested a custom pizza for lunch with garlic, onion, tomato, and shrimp every single day we were there it was so good.

Location: Dar es Salaam

Day 10 - 13 Jul 2020

White Sands Resort & Conference Centre

Dar es Salaam, White Sands Resort & Conference Centre
Dar es Salaam, White Sands Resort & Conference Centre

Content: Today we decided to get a nice relaxing massage in our room. Then, we had a snorkeling trip booked on the way to our early dinner we made a reservation for. The water was a bit choppy, so unfortunately a lot of debris was kicked up under water and we couldn’t see much or swim easily. We decided to cut our snorkeling short and continue onwards for food!

Location: Michamvi

Day 10 - 13 Jul 2020

The Rock Restaurant Zanzibar

Michamvi, The Rock Restaurant Zanzibar
Michamvi, The Rock Restaurant Zanzibar
Michamvi, The Rock Restaurant Zanzibar
Michamvi, The Rock Restaurant Zanzibar
Michamvi, The Rock Restaurant Zanzibar
Michamvi, The Rock Restaurant Zanzibar
Michamvi, The Rock Restaurant Zanzibar

Content: Fantastic restaurant over the water with an Italian and Zanzibar twist! Depending on the time of day, the water can be low enough for you to walk to or if the water is higher, there’s a boat that will take you from the shore to the steps—the tide changes are that drastic! We loved every dish—gnocchi with vanilla bean and prawns was super unique and tasty!

Location: Dar es Salaam

Day 10 - 13 Jul 2020

White Sands Resort & Conference Centre

Dar es Salaam, White Sands Resort & Conference Centre
Dar es Salaam, White Sands Resort & Conference Centre
Dar es Salaam, White Sands Resort & Conference Centre
Dar es Salaam, White Sands Resort & Conference Centre

Content: Back at our villa, we decided to relax in our outdoor shower and tub and go up to the rooftop of the main pavilion for a romantic dinner under the stars.

Location: Dar es Salaam

Day 11 - 14 Jul 2020

White Sands Resort & Conference Centre

Dar es Salaam, White Sands Resort & Conference Centre
Dar es Salaam, White Sands Resort & Conference Centre
Dar es Salaam, White Sands Resort & Conference Centre
Dar es Salaam, White Sands Resort & Conference Centre

Content: Our last day in paradise! We kayaked, rented complimentary bikes, and relaxed a bit more at the beach. Everything was perfect and we are so sad to leave!

Location: Dar es Salaam

Day 12 - 15 Jul 2020

Julius Nyerere International Airport

Dar es Salaam, Julius Nyerere International Airport

Content: It was time to go—we flew back to mainland Tanzania and then boarded our international flight back to the US.