Type of Safari: We are a couple from Germany aged about 50 years and booked a private safari with Njofu Expeditions in budget lodges for one week to Tarangire, Manyara, Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Arusha National parks in early November 2019. Contrary to other businesses, the quote also included a bush walk in one of the National Parks with a local ranger, a visit of the historical Olduvai gorge and museum, as well as a cultural visit at a local farm area and market while a visit in a Masai village could be arranged for additional costs. Although we did make safaris in six different African countries before, this was our first safari in Tanzania.
Booking Process: We got a quote with a reasonable price compared with other businesses. Before booking all questions were thoroughly answered in short time and some suggested amendments were made for our personal taste without any problems. We did need to pay 30 % of the price in US-$ at the time of booking, while the balance was paid upon arrival. Though some e-mails were lost and never reached them or us after booking, finally everything worked out very reliable as agreed upon. After the safari, we did stay one week in Zanzibar, which we did book with a local German company, since that was cheaper to separate.
Lodges: We did stay in a night in Bougainvillea Lodge and Country Lodge respectively and two nights in Serengeti Heritage Luxury Tented Camp (a fully furnished tent with en suite shower and toilet), all of which were of good quality and friendly service. The night of arrival, we did stay in Arusha Outpost Lodge, a historical building with average quality. The best lodge however proved to be Olea Africana Lodge, where we were greeted by some dancing Masai and given a personal attendant. After returning from dinner, we found the fireplace in our bungalow already lit. Breakfast was served directly next to the pool in the open over viewing the landscape. Dinner was good and providing a variety of choices in all lodges and a bit more simple in the tent camp in Serengeti (where everything has to be imported a real long way), but lunch bags provided by the lodges were about the same simple food every day. All lodges did have a swimming pool which we could still enjoy in November.
Guide: The guide and driver, Moses Anderson, did have a lot of experience, spoke perfect English and average German. He waited for us in time at the airport and was flexible enough to incorporate some personal wishes into the agenda, while sometimes a little distracted by his many communications with his office, since he is the head of Njofu Expeditions. He has a lot of knowledge in how to find animals and also could show us the different types of trees and birds, which we saw in his guide book. Additionally, he knew where to find very clean toilets on the route and adapted the number of visits in souvenir shops to our wishes. Enough drinking water was provided for free.
Sightings: Since the great migration had just reached southern Serengeti, we did literally see tens of thousands of wildebeests and thousands of zebras. We saw more than a hundred hippos in just one place, altogether more than 40 lions, 22 hyenas and alone in Serengeti 14 cheetahs, a couple of which while hunting. Some elephants and lions came less than a meter to the car. Also, we did see lions, ostriches and baboons while mating. The only rhino seen in Ngorongoro was very far, as was the leopard also. And upon returning to the airport, for a short time Mt. Kilimanjaro became visible, since the clouds lifted.