I’m more than delighted to share a recent trip to Tanzania, taken by Vanessa and Ingrid Quiroga, two sisters from Mexico. Both are as keen as I am to demonstrate that despite the difficulties, and depending on country of origin, it is indeed – as said in my last post – perfectly possible to travel in these times.
Before going into any details, a big thank you to Vanessa and Ingrid. As much as we explain why, how, and what we do when it comes to planning and executing trips that are at the best of times logistically complicated, there’s nothing quite like hearing it from those that have as recently as last month experienced journeying into the likes of the Serengeti or Katavi or Mahale.
Briefly, then. Vanessa and Ingrid travelled to Tanzania at the beginning of last month, arriving at Kilimanjaro Airport, sailed with the help of VIP airport assistance through arrivals and various protocol, after which they were met by their driver. They spent two days at Legendary Lodge, recouping, finding their feet, and exploring Mt Meru, before flying to northern Serengeti, where they stayed for three nights at Lamai and enjoyed their first taste of the savannah.
From here they would fly first to western Tanzania, first to Chada Katavi Camp and then to Greystoke Mahale, for a total of seven nights. Already an extraordinary experience, they would then go onto Little Chem Chem in Tarangire National Park and Faru Faru in the Grumeti Reserves, another six nights bookended by stays at the aforementioned Legendary Lodge. They flew home late June, having had a trip that ‘was basically a dream come true.’
You will forgive me the long list of camps and lodges. I mention them all for three fine reasons. One, as means of illustrating the complexity of an itinerary that involved plane, boat, and automobile. Two, in homage to everyone on the ground who so brilliantly hosted Vanessa and Ingrid. I have fair idea of how difficult the last year and a half has been and am extremely grateful for the extraordinary professionalism with which every aspect of the trip was handled. And three, because every single one of these accommodations is something special, as anyone who has visited them will no doubt attest.
Now, that’s more than enough from me. After every trip, we ask our guests for feedback, so that we may better plan the next trip. Here is Vanessa and Ingrid’s, in their own words:
‘It will be difficult to come up with ideas on how to improve because the trip was basically a dream come true. Everything happened seamlessly with such perfect logistics, such a fantastic choice of places, kind attention, lovely people, and expert guides, that we cannot imagine a better experience for our memorable sisters’ trip.
‘To name some highlights: Mahale was the most magical, and we learned so much from the chimps. The most adventurous was Katavi, where we had so much action all the time. In Chem Chem we felt so immersed in the safari game, the people, the Maasai culture, that we convinced ourselves we would come back for sure. Lamai and Grumeti were perfect to start and finish our safari experience.
We feel so lucky for being one of the first visitors in Tanzania after Covid… in Katavi we were actually the first ones! Many times we felt like the animals and the places were just for us. I am so happy that we did the trip at this time.’
So, there you go. Once again, thank you Vanessa and Ingrid, as much for throwing your hat in the ring with us as for sharing the results of having done so. To everyone else itching to experience something like it, do give me call. I’d love to help, and if I can’t, then I almost certainly know someone who can. I very much look forward to hearing from you.
All images courtesy Vanessa and Ingrid Quiroga. If their trip has piqued your interest, please get in touch with Will Jones, Angela Sacha or Hannah Rayner.