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Glamping Around Tanzania As Seen Through Our iPhone

We’ve just returned from two weeks of glamping around Tanzania with SkySafari – The Ultimate African Adventure, and our minds are still reeling.

The verdict is in – SkySafari was one of our favorite trips we’ve ever been on and we’re so excited to tell you all about the amazing wildlife we saw more of and got closer to than we ever imagined and the awesome camps and lodges we called home during our journey.

We’ve got thousands of photos (most days we took anywhere from 600 – 1000 photos) and video to sort through. But one of the perks of going on a luxury safari is having electricity (even if it is solar powered) and wifi (seriously, the wifi was faster in the middle of the Serengeti than our Italian internet). Most days we got so close to the wildlife that Tim would have literally been shooting an eyeball with his “safari lens,” so I’d whip out my iPhone and snap away. Then at the end of the day while we sipped sundowners in the main lodge or tent, we’d Instagram to share it with our wonderful followers.

We’ll be telling you all about our safari that took us through Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, and Serengeti National Park. But as we still process it all and decide how to put such an amazing trip into words, take a look at our SkySafari as seen through our iPhones on Instagram.

With just one more sleep to go (yes, we totally count down to our trips), we shared the SkySafari route map showing exactly where we would be going on our two week trip. Our SkySafari Plus also included an extension of an additional two nights at Serengeti Pioneer Camp and two nights in Zanzibar.

A full 24 hours after we left Italia, we arrived just in time for a crazy storm with hail and big fat rain in Arusha. We lazily waited it out with room service in our gorgeous plantation suite at Arusha Coffee Lodge, located on one of the largest working coffee plantations in Tanzania.

The next morning the sun was shining brightly and we took a took of Burka Coffee Plantation. We learned all about coffee from the berry to how it makes it into your cup before enjoying a cuppa in the lovely garden.

That afternoon we boarded our SkySafari’s private Cessna Grand Caravan, an executive class plane with luxurious individual leather bucket seats that holds just nine passengers. Just before landing at Kuro Airstrip, we flew over herds of African elephants playing and drinking in the swamp.

Oh, and do you see that teeny, tiny green duffel our guide Elly is carrying from the Cessna? That was all of my luggage for two weeks in Tanzania. Tim’s camera bag was bigger… Yes, there will be a How to Pack for an African Safari post.

Landing in the middle of Tarangire National Park meant our first game drive started right then and there. We saw tons of elephants, giraffes, and monkeys that still make me laugh. This little guy is called a Blue Ball Monkey. Tim captured exactly why they are called Blue Ball Monkeys, so you’ll just have to stay tuned to find out more.

After an amazing first game drive, we arrived to Tarangire Treetops and were officially glamping in the African bush. Our home for two nights was this awesome tree-house in a thousand year old baobab tree. Easily one of the coolest and most unique places we’ve ever stayed. Stay tuned for a full look at Tarangire Treetops.

Our second day at Tarangire National Park was spent on game drives. We came across quite a lot of skulls and bones on the plains, the remnants of what cheetahs and lions leave behind. Our game drives were filled with tons of elephants moving in herds of up to 300 individuals, giraffes, Blue Ball monkeys, and baboons.

Our guide, Elly, was determined not to send us off to our next stop at Ngorongoro Crater without first finding the tree-climbing cats of the Tarangire. And he didn’t fail to deliver. Just before a bush picnic lunch on the way back to Kuro Airstrip, Elly found us a pride of lionesses lazing in the sun with their cubs. We got so close that I did snap this photo of them with my iPhone.

That evening, and on our 12th wedding anniversary, we arrived to the lovely Manor at Ngorongoro Crater after another private flight on our SkySafari Cessna Grand Caravan. Though February is the hottest month in Tanzania, the higher elevation of Ngorongoro meant nighttime was nice and cool. We had an actual working fireplace in our English-style cottage and enjoyed the roaring fire.

I’ve mentioned a few times now how blown away we were by how close we got to the wildlife. Tim’s selfie with this male lion should give you an idea of just how close the animals come. Not to worry, this lion and five of his friends had taken down a Cape buffalo. Just out of the shot, the other lions are feasting while this fella found a bit of shade from the vehicles.

The road to Ngorongoro Crater, which is the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera, is like a big bowl where the scenes of Disney’s The Lion King came alive. We were there just in time for the Great Migration to move to the short grass plains of the crater. Though absolutely worth it, the roads down into Ngorongoro Crater are rough. Arriving back to The Manor after a full 10 hour game drive, this bubble bath awaiting us was heaven in a tub.

Our last morning at The Manor, we had the option of a game drive at Lake Manyara or to relax. A full week into our trip, we opted to sleep in a little and relax. The Manor has a gorgeous pool, horseback riding from their own on-grounds stables, a spa, and even things like croquet on the lawn. We enjoyed lunch on the lawn overlooking the coffee plantation. It was a perfect little break.

After another flight to Lobo Airstrip in the Serengeti and a short game drive, we arrived to Serengeti Migration Camp located right in Serengeti National Park just in time for sundowners. Literally steps away more than 70 hippos were grunting away in the Grumeti River.

We spent two nights at Serengeti Mirgration Camp before moving to south to Serengeti Pioneer Camp. Not far from our tent, which was on the edge of the forest, an elephant had died and lions, jackals, and hyenas were having a feast. Lions near the camp were a common sight and we went to bed to the sound of lions calling.

Each night at Serengeti Pioneer Camp, we had a good ‘ol fashioned bonfire. Camp managers Tom and Allison had heard it was our wedding anniversary a few days before and surprised us with a bottle of South African sparkling wine. There’s nothing quite like sipping wine by the campfire while baboons, hyrax, and hyenas make the sounds of the Serengeti.

I couldn’t have been more sad to leave. The Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, and Tarangire surpassed our expectations and our time there had felt like a dream. These Instagrams are just a tiny sampling of an absolutely amazing two weeks with SkySafari and we can’t wait to show you more of just how amazing Tanzania is.

Win your own SkySafari! Want to glamp around Tanzania in style just like us? Enter to win an all-inclusive 8-day SkySafari by Elewana by entering here.

Disclosure: Our trip to Tanzania was hosted by SkySafari by Elewana in order for us to bring you this story. As always, all opinions are entirely our own.

Jennifer Dombrowski

Jennifer Dombrowski is a location independent globe trotter who is based in Prata di Pordenone, Italy. She works as a social media and communications strategist and is an award-winning travel writer. She is also a travel correspondent on Traveling on the American Forces Radio Network. Jdomb's Travels was named one of the top travel blogs to watch by the Huffington Post and has been featured by top publications such as CNN, Buzzfeed , and The Telegraph. Her iPhoneograpy has also been featured on publications such as USA Today and Travel + Leisure. Google+

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61 comments

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  1. jenny@atasteoftravel

    What an amazing trip you had. There’s nothing quite like seeing the animals in their natural habitat. I could drive around for days in the jeep just looking at them! Looking forward to more stories and photos from Tanzania.

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Dombrowski Reply:

    It really is so amazing to see the animals just doing their natural thing. Even after 10 days of game drives, we still weren’t tired of seeing the animals. We’re already plotting our return to more parts of wild Africa!

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  2. Michael

    How could anyone not like that? Your photos really showcase it well. Good luck to the winner.

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Dombrowski Reply:

    Thanks Michael! This was such a fantastic and well-organized way to go on safari to multiple parks in Tanzania. We can’t recommend SkySafari highly enough.

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  3. marlene

    beautiful pictures I am sure that is a once in a lifetime adventure. good luck to the winner

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Dombrowski Reply:

    I think going on safari probably is a once in a lifetime holiday and having such a seamlessly well organized way to visit multiple parks and reserves in Tanzania makes planning a trip like this a piece of cake. SkySafari takes care of every detail.

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  4. June

    Wow, amazing pictures! What an adventure! I just love Africa…

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Dombrowski Reply:

    We can understand why June! We’re in love and Tanzania was our first visit to Africa. We hope to see more!

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    June Reply:

    Make sure you don’t miss South Africa. One of my favorite countries :-)

    [Reply]

  5. Heather

    What a fabulous way to celebrate your anniversary! When I go on safari, it will be the glamping life for me too! :-)

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Dombrowski Reply:

    I was beyond impressed with all of the camps and lodges. We’ll have posts coming up on the individual camps and lodges, but we had electricity at all but the last one and hot water with our own private en-suite bathroom at all of them. Some of these camps are so remote they only get supplies once every 14 days and the chefs were each able to create a variety of delicious dishes for the menus. And while many other tour groups we saw about and about where eating cold sandwiches from brown bag lunches, our picnic lunches were things like chicken or even hot soup.

    It just happened this project coincided with our anniversary, but what a great way to spend it!

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  6. Bram

    This is great! I would love to go on a safari. And thanks again for the card, guys! :-D That was so cool!

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Dombrowski Reply:

    Glad you enjoyed the postcard Bram! I hope you make it on safari soon. It was absolutely incredible.

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  7. Jaryd

    Great shots guys, this place looks stunning

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    Jennifer Dombrowski Reply:

    Thanks Jaryd! Our SkySafari around Tanzania surpassed our expectations in every way.

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  8. Val-This Way To Paradise

    Wow! This place looks like an absolute haven…I can’t imagine seeing lions in the wild…

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Dombrowski Reply:

    Giraffes and elephants ended up being our favorite animals to watch. The cats were cool to see, but they don’t honestly do a whole lot since they do sleep about 20 hours each day. But just seeing all the animals being animals in the wild was beyond incredible. We’re both just dying to see more of wild Africa now!

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  9. Devlin @ Marginal Boundaries

    I’d like to stay in that coffee lodge for a good week and be a lazy bum, better if they have no internet so I can really get away. =P

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Dombrowski Reply:

    Even though all the lodges and camps did have internet, it was only available in the main area. So you can definitely get away and disconnect if you want to. It was a really nice place to relax after a full 24 hours of traveling to Tanzania and to rejuvenate before our safari officially started.

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  10. Kimberly

    What a fabulous experience! I think it sounds like you had a pretty wonderful 12th year anniversary. Looking forward to reading more!

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Dombrowski Reply:

    It was definitely an amazing trip Kimberly! Seeing all the animals in the wild just being animals was beyond incredible.

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  11. Christa Thompson

    WOW! LIKE DROOLAGE!!!! I have been dying to go to Africa. I always thought it would be so sweet to do a “Lion King Trail” piece. How amazing. I love the pictures and the way you laid it all out. Totally awesome. I am going to be hitting you up for that contact for sure xx

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Dombrowski Reply:

    You can definitely see where Disney got their inspiration for the Lion King. There are rock outcroppings in the Sergenti called the Simba Rocks because lions make them their home. We saw lion cubs on some of the rocks. It totally reminded me of the Lion King!

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    Christa Thompson Reply:

    I am all over this.

    [Reply]

  12. Cheryl Howard

    Happy anniversary! Such lovely photos. Looks like you guys had a great time. :)

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Dombrowski Reply:

    Thank you Cheryl! This was such an incredible trip and perfectly timed to give us an awesome way to spend our anniversary.

    [Reply]

  13. Bob R

    Looks beautiful and an excellent trip. I know you were hosted, but what does a trip like this generally cost?

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Dombrowski Reply:

    Hi Bob! That all-inclusive 8-day classic SkySafari is $6,539 + $395 park and crater fees per person in high season. You can find the full price list on SkySafari.com

    [Reply]

  14. Hannah

    wowwwww! I’ve been looking into Luxury safaris- would love to go with my mom one day- this one looks incredible! Also not going to lie, that monkey makes my day.

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Dombrowski Reply:

    What a fun trip to plan to take with your mom! My dad would absolutely love to go on a trip like this. He once upon a time worked for the Pennsylvania Game Commission and just loves wildlife.

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  15. noelmorata

    That looks like an absolute treat, i would love to do that someday…how nice to safari like this!

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Dombrowski Reply:

    We just loved how every little detail was taken care of and we could really enjoy the game viewing.

    [Reply]

  16. Stacey

    You did get close to them! Just look at that male Lion! He’s licking his lips looking at you! ;)

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Dombrowski Reply:

    Haha Stacey! Luckily he was just licking his chops after feasting on his kill just out of this shot.

    [Reply]

  17. Marysia @ My Travel Affairs

    It looks like an amazing adventure! I love safaris! So want to go to Tanzania!

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Dombrowski Reply:

    We are just dying to get back and see more of Africa now!

    [Reply]

  18. antonette

    Great post, however I’d be dissapointed to have wifi while glamping. I know we’re all glued to our iPhones but I’m always keen to get away from social media for a while when traveling and fully enjoy the surroundings without beeps and buzzing… The lion picture is really cool!

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Dombrowski Reply:

    The wifi is very limited. It’s only available in the main tent or lodge back at camp. And since you really can’t do much but sit back and relax since things that might eat you could be lurking around, having the internet to check in and see what’s going on in the world was nice.

    [Reply]

  19. tammyonthemove

    Oh wow, this looks absolutely stunning. Take me there now!

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Dombrowski Reply:

    It was our first trip to Africa and on safari, but I definitely think we did it right the first time!

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  20. Mary Calculated Traveller

    What an amazing adventure. I’m not sure if could sleep a wink with hearing the noises of the jungle all night! This is definitely on my bucket list – Lack of sleep and ALL!

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Dombrowski Reply:

    I think it just takes a few days to get used to the sounds of the African bush. We didn’t sleep very well the first two night at Tarangire Treetops just because we wondered what every little noise was. But after that, we slept really well even knowing all the things lurking in the dark. All of the camps have staff that patrol regularly at night and safety was never once a concern.

    [Reply]

  21. Angela Travels

    Sounds like a great trip. I just started following you on Instagram, so I can check out all your wonderful pictures of your trip and future trips. Africa has been on my list for too long, and I really need to check it off!

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Dombrowski Reply:

    This was our first trip to Africa. We loved it so much we’re dying to go back and see more!

    [Reply]

  22. Sam @Travelling King

    this trip sounds wonderful!
    I have missed sleeping under the stars with the sounds of wild animals and roaring lions in the background + armed guards around us to keep up from being eaten haha!
    Have often though about going back to Africa, will has made its on my to do list! What an amazing experience!

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Dombrowski Reply:

    I totally get why you want to go back Sam! We already want to go back for more!

    [Reply]

  23. Freya

    That looks so amazing, wow. Gorgeous photos as well. I’m thinking about going to Tanzania in September to climb Kilimanjaro, maybe I will combine it with this. Looks like a great idea after a climb

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Dombrowski Reply:

    Wow, can’t wait to hear about your climb Freya! I was just saying to Tim that we should go back to climb Kilimanjaro.

    [Reply]

  24. SJ @ Chasing the Donkey

    Ohh by golly, you got so close. VERY CLOSE, hubby is busting to do this. I wanna wait until we can take out little boy when he is old enough to understand. And I think we’ll go glamping as you guys did – it looks right up my alley.

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Dombrowski Reply:

    I was amazed at how close we got to the animals and that they didn’t seem bothered by us at all. It was so incredible to see them just doing their thing in the wild.

    [Reply]

  25. PurpleTravelKate

    This sounds fantastic and your pictures really capture something of the atmosphere.

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Dombrowski Reply:

    Thanks Kate! It’s always so hard to capture the atmosphere in photos. We just absolutely loved this safari.

    [Reply]

  26. Lori

    Great post and photos – loved the photo with the monkey and the one with lions:) You had yet another amazing experience!

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Dombrowski Reply:

    I couldn’t believe how close we got to lions on a number of occasions!

    [Reply]

  27. Christy

    Wow. This looks SO fun! Great shots.

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Dombrowski Reply:

    Thanks Christy! Have you been on a safari yet?

    [Reply]

    Christy Reply:

    Nope. Sad face. :(

    [Reply]

  28. Keryn from Walking On Travels

    Ok, so I didn’t expect to get hungry reading this post, but now I totally am. Note to self- avoid Jennifer’s site whenever you haven’t eaten in a while! This trip looks incredible and that selfie with the lion is pretty out of this world! Can’t wait to see what you do next!

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Dombrowski Reply:

    Haha Keryn! We were seriously impressed with the food offerings considering most of the camps were very remote and only received supplies every 14 days. The chefs were both creative and talented to keep meals so delicious and varied.

    [Reply]

  29. Rachel

    Wow, how very swanky!
    I spent a few weeks in Tanzania in 2011, as I hiked Kilimanjaro, and ever since I’ve been dying to go back – the people, the countryside and the wildlife are too lovely to resist. I also think Tanzanian cooks are some of the very best – on Kilimanjaro we had limited supplies too, but our cooks were creative, passionate and managed to deliver some delicious meals.

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Dombrowski Reply:

    We too are dying to go back! Hopefully the next time we’ll be climbing Kilimanjaro. Who did you go with? Sounds like a superb experience!

    [Reply]

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