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Legendary Coffee Lodge
Arusha is a great place to unwind after many hours of travel. I always make sure to have lots of coffee, as it is all grown locally and is delicious when it’s freshly roasted. The high altitude and cool air also makes it perfect Coffee drinking weather.
This time in Arusha, we did something I haven’t done before: we spent a full day at the Cultural Heritage Centre. We were treated like royalty by the owner Saif and his family, I don’t think I have ever eaten so many, or such delicious Samosas in my life.
There is actually so much to do at the cultural centre, the curio shop is unlike any other, it has everything you could ever need and it is all well made and good quality, not the junk you see elsewhere. A good amount of our time was spent in the art gallery, it has been nicknamed the “Guggenheim” of Africa and showcases some brilliant African artists. It also has the largest collection of African art and antiquities anywhere in the world.
Saif is also the largest Tanzanite dealer and we all managed to find great deals on the beautiful blue Tanzanite stones.
The view at Singita Sasakwa is incredible. You can pretty much view the entire Grumeti Reserve and there is always something happening down below. Its set high up on the top of a large rocky hill. The rooms at Singita are incredible in their detail and luxury. But the luxury is actually only secondary to the incredible land Singita actively protects. The area was previously a hunting area and heavily poached, each year I visit I notice a difference in the quantity and quality of animals returning the area.
The guests stayed in the owners house/villa, its huge and potentially haunted with hairdryers turning on at random times by themselves?? We had some incredible sightings, even though we had just missed the Wildebeest migration coming through the area. So of the standout sightings were when we found some young lions who had been separated from their pride for a few days, they were hungry and tried their best (which wasn’t very good) at hunting everything they could see. Which was great for us.
We also had a very interesting first morning watching a few young hyenas and about one hundred vultures finish off an entire Zebra carcass in just a few minutes. We saw several cheetah and one rainy afternoon, we watched a young female cheetah hunting, with several unsuccessful hunts. Even though we missed the Wildeesbest, the Zebra herds were arriving in huge numbers into the area every day and there is always lots of other game present all year round.
Staying at Singita Grumeti is always a privilege as there are very few places left in East Africa, where vehicles at sightings are limited and you get a feeling of having the place to yourself.
Asilia Sayari Camp
We were very fortunate to have a huge crossing happen on our first afternoon, one of the best I had ever seen.
Day 2 and 3 had lots of potential to see crossings, but the attempts by the Wildebeest were interrupted by really bad guiding and guest ethics time and time again.
We did however have fantastic other sightings, including one of the best sightings I’ve ever had, when we watched a female leopard moving her cub from one rocky area to another. The camp was a hive of activity with lions and hyenas through the camp most nights.The Wildebeest herds weren’t yet in full force yet, due to the very late start they had this year, they had good rains in the south and so the grass was lush and green for a lot longer than usual. I caught sight of the mega herd as I was flying out of the Serengeti, a few days later they arrived in full force, so often in Africa, timing is everything and this time we were just a bit unlucky.
Pafuri, Kruger National Park, Londolozi, Cape Town, Franschoek, Okavango Delta
“Just over a week into my safari and I wonder how I’ve changed, if at all. Certainly the experiences I’ve had and things I’ve seen have shaped me in someway. But then, as if by some ancient, unspeakable memory, I remember… it’s in my blood.”