Tanzania - View from the Inside

"Saadani was a real surprise, a deserted Indian Ocean beach from where we saw lions on a game drive!"

September 2014 • Jules Verne

Tanzania - View from the Inside

Saadani was a real surprise, a deserted Indian Ocean beach from where we saw lions on a game drive! We stayed at ‘Tent with a View’ in a tented chalet on the beach complete with stilts, hammock and sunbed – virtually nobody on the beach except our Masai guard, nobody to bother us! It's eco-friendly, so lights with solar-heated water but no air-con. We did a half day and a full day safari including a boat and picnic on the Wami river. It was still very green, so animals widespread but we saw a good variety. We met 4 lions from the ‘Airstrip’ Pride who acted out a little drama, the one male favoured one female and chased off another, whilst the fourth female slunk away. We stayed a night in the amazing ‘Roof of Saadani’ where they even served a full dinner as we overlooked the game reserve and enjoyed a ‘private’ sunset.

Sable Mountain Lodge in Selous was a more dedicated game lodge with its own waterhole a short walk away. We saw a lot more Game here than Saadani and the lake cruise was surreal, we saw about 50 crocs sliding into the lake as we sailed past, just like in the movies! The hippos just bobbed up and down. Our hard-working guide laid out a picnic lunch and even steered the boat. The elephant are shy here following mass poaching a couple of years ago but we spotted two herds as well as more lions, wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, buffalo and many birds. Our tented chalet had a fantastic view from the balcony, really an ‘out of Africa’ experience.

In Zanzibar, I enjoyed discovering Stone Town, it was actually easier to navigate than Marrakech with beautiful doors and alleyways. The meat and fish market was a bit overwhelming but the Palace Museum was fascinating, we discovered original portraits of Queen Elizabeth II and Emperor Franz Josef of Austria sent to the Sultan of Oman, whose capital this was. We stayed at Serena Inn, a restored building with great character and amazing sunsets, from where we walked along the waterfront and to the souks and market. The spice tour was fascinating and we relaxed at the quiet Zanzibari Hotel, watching the locals wading out at low tide, looked like a family outing!”