Day 1 – 2: Legendary Lodge, Arusha
Day 2 – 6: Greystoke Mahale, Mahale National Park
Day 6 – 10: Sand Rivers Selous, Selous Game Reserve
Day 10 – 14: &Beyond Mnemba Island, Zanzibar
Arusha is located at the foothills of Mount Meru on the eastern side of the Great Rift Valley. This is the gateway to the northern safari circuit, with easy access to the Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Lake Manyara, Tarangire, Mount Kilimanjaro, and Mount Meru. Its elevation of 1,400 m (4,600 ft) keeps temperatures relatively cool despite proximity to the equator; temperatures generally range between 10 and 30 C (50 and 86F), with little humidity due to the altitude.
Arusha is serviced by two airports, Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) on the eastern side, and Arusha Airport, which primarily services domestic travel. The two airports are connected by the main road, which is notorious for traffic. There is some good shopping available, including the impressive Cultural Heritage, with curio shops, a jewellery boutique, a Tanzanite and precious stone counter, a bargain center, and an art gallery.
Legendary Lodge is located at the foothills of Mount Meru on the outskirts of Arusha. This is the gateway to the Northern Safari Circuit of Tanzania. A classic haven, the lodge boasts lush tropical gardens and is surrounded by a working coffee farm. The peaceful cottages are the perfect place to prepare for, or reflect on, your safari. The ten garden cottages each have private verandahs and stunning views of Mount Meru. The interiors have been designed with a unique blend of African style combined with Western comforts and old colonial luxury. Each ensuite cottage features comfortable split level living to include king size beds, lounge with fireplace, satellite TV, broadband connection, complimentary mini-bar, fruit basket and coffee and tea station. The bathrooms have a double basins, bathtubs, and rain showers.
The final hour of your journey to this remote and magical destination is by boat on a cobalt blue lake, stretching 500 miles north to south and a mile below. As the fishing villages thin out and mountains rise, you begin to sense how much you’ve left behind. Time slows down in the silence of no roads for a hundred miles. The beauty is irrepressible. The guides have seen hunting dog on these beaches, bushbuck, even the pennant-winged night-jar.
Life here is a hedonistic wilderness cocktail. In the forest, as well as a completely wild-living, but habituated group of chimpanzees, live nine other species of primate, leopards and a host of shy forest creatures. Around them, streams are strung with vines, ripening fruit and jasmine flowers. By the beaches, with tropical fish around them like butterflies, hippopotami bob in its clear waters.
Come on a legendary journey to meet the most privileged primates on the planet: the wild chimpanzees of Mahale and the trackers, guides and helpers who share their leafy Nirvana. In the forest’s dappled sunlight, chimpanzees romp and commune around Greystoke Mahale. At the lakeshore, on a white beach, Greystoke opens its shaggy arms, hewn from vintage dhows, proffering yet another level of pleasure to all intrepid guests. This famous lodge by a gin-clear lake lives and breathes chimpanzees. It offers a large central dining area, a communal dining table, a library, and an open air bar for guests to make use of.
Dhow Wood Banda
Greystoke Mahale has six thatched dhow wood bandas with en-suite bathrooms and an upstairs relaxation deck in each one. The bandas offer uninterrupted lake views. The bathrooms have a flush toilet, powerful shower, hot water on demand, and are partially open to forest.
The main quest is always on foot to a wild living group of chimpanzees, whose complex social and political maneuverings are played out within a few feet of the tour groups. On winding forest trails, guides show life beyond the chimpanzees; nine other species of primate alone, insects unseen elsewhere, a pharmacopeia of medicinal plants. The lake is also a phenomenal natural habitat to explore. Explore the lake by kayaking towards the Congo at sunrise, experience the unsurpassable feeling of diving off the dhow into its sunset waters, and watch hippos moonwalk through the depths.
Get the feel of a Lake Tanganyika village and see the work of the Nomad Trust, with a visit to Katumbi on the park boundary. You can call in at the primary school, where the Nomad Trust has built and furnished classrooms and installed solar power, and the community clinic, where vital healthcare from first aid to midwifery is provided.
Covering an area of more than 55,000 km2 (21,000 mi2), the Selous is the largest wilderness in all of Africa – over three times the size of Kruger National Park. Only a short 45 minute flight from Dar es Salaam, the Selous is easily accessible and has very good wildlife viewing, especially in the less humid dry season when the bush is not as thick and predators are more visible. All the Big Five are present, including a healthy population of hippopotamus and African hunting dog. The Selous is considered a connoisseur’s park and one of Africa’s largest undisturbed wildernesses.
Sand Rivers Selous is so much part of the Rufiji’s ebb and flow that it seems almost moored on the banks, with one side entirely open to the river. Views across its brown, swirling waters call to mind adventure movies from another time. Indeed, in the early days, the lodge pioneered legendary foot safaris, and life in and around the lodge is as action-packed and exciting as the fizzing natural world around it.
Some safaris can be predictable, even routine. Not these, not ever. Over the years in Nyerere, the camp’s location and diverse ecology give many ways to enjoy the bush. Lying on sandbars watching eagles, tracing sand rivers, holing up in tree-top hides, creeping up on grunting hippos. One of the safari holy grails is to see, and not be seen. The way to do this on foot is to stay hidden and walk into a good position; vegetation fringed rivers and floodplains are the perfect cover. Then emerge out into a clearing, a secret world. There’ll always be something surprising there.
Just a short flight from the Tanzania mainland lies the idyllic Indian Ocean archipelago of Zanzibar. Famous for intoxicating aromas of spices, beautiful white sand beaches, and warm turquoise waters, the heart of the island is undoubtedly Stone Town, a fascinating step back in time with narrow winding streets, Swahili traders and local fisherman, and the daily call to prayer in this predominantly muslim town.
A romantic hideaway, Mnemba Island is an exclusive paradise featuring twelve rustically chic beachside bandas, for just 24 guests, connected to the breathtaking Mnemba atoll. Discover sheer, unpretentious paradise on this exclusive island, where the simple pleasures become the most treasured of memories for many years to come. Relax and unwind on the stretch of beachfront, where simple yet luxurious bandas peep out onto unblemished sands from the dappled shade of the casuarina pine forest. Thatched dining and sitting or bar areas boast beautiful open views of the beach and spectacular vistas of Zanzibar beyond.
Barefoot serenity and romance is the allure of &Beyond Mnemba Island. Take the time to rejuvenate and heal in true African style. Just escaping to this haven is soul soothing – with the open style design, the natural world is integrated into the lodge. Creating a holistic connection, engage in a wide range of wellness and spiritually awakening activities that draw inspiration from the scenery of this unique island. Delight your taste buds in the simple and exuding essence of Zanzibar’s richness, history and soul through our organic and freshly-prepared food, inspired by barefoot beach simplicity like the island itself.
Grab a snorkel, mask and a set of fins and explore the kaleidoscopic coral reefs around &Beyond Mnemba Island. Take out a kayak or stand-up paddle board. Guests can set off on either a guided or a solo adventure in the tranquil waters surrounding the island. Other activities include: yoga, wellness treatments, sunset dhow cruises and green turtle nesting and hatching.
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