Sometimes words don’t really do a place justice, and Tanzania was is just one of those places. I tried to find the right words in a piece for the Sunday Times’ travel supplement [the article is only available to subscribers at this stage]. So I figured it would be best to let the pictures tell the story…
This little dude was happy to play and pose for us.
Of all the animals I’ve ever encountered, the Tsetse Fly is the worst. I hate this thing so much — especially the bastard that bit my testicle.
There’s a reason the Baobab is one of Africa’s iconic images — in Tarangire giant trees are commonplace.
First rest stop, Oliver’s Camp in Tarangire National Park.
Old school luxury, in a tent.
Like I said: luxury. And in my case, a view across the valley.
Why did the elephant cross the road? It forgot its trunk. Sorry… couldn’t help myself.
Game viewing at its absolute best.
Tarangire is home to 4500 elephant — and it felt like we saw every single one.
This guy was one of my favourites of the whole trip. He was just so cute.
After a spot of lunch, we popped out for a 3-hour sunset walk. Our guide, Kheto, described walking through the Tanzanian bush as “something spiritual”. And he was so right.
I’ve seen wide open spaces before…but nothing like this.
One of the highlights of my life. As we walked we came across a massive herd, just 120m away from us. To watch them for as long as we did, with nothing in between us but some grassland, was phenomenal.
After Tarangire we did Gibb’s Farm, a working coffee plantation. High up in the mountains, it was vastly different to the bush we had experienced. But it was simply lovely. I bought coffee from there that I drink regularly, and it brings back some amazing memories.
Sunrise at Gibb’s.
After an all-too-brief stopover at Gibb’s, we made our way towards the Serengeti National Park. En route our driver and guide, Ayoob, told us to close our eyes. When we stopped and we opened them again, this is what we were treated to: the Ngorongoro Crater. It is spectacular.
Obligatory Crater pic. No…I didn’t cause the crater by stepping down too hard.
About to tick an item off the bucket list: heading into the Serengeti for the first time.
Obligatory Serengeti National Park selfie.
Along the way we encountered this guy. And he was beautiful.
I think jackals are my spirit animal.
A little spot of lunch.
Of all the places we stayed, this was my favourite. “Roughing it” at Namiri Plains. It was perfect.
Namiri means “Place of the Big Cats” in Swahili. How fitting. We saw dozens of lion and loads of cheetah.
This mom and cub were my favourite. The little guy wanted to play, his mom just wanted to bath him.
Set up for drinks around the camp fire. While we sat there, a pride of lion hung around nearby. A colleague from the Saturday Star, Brendan Seery, had a unique experience [link at the end of this gallery]
My tent at sunrise. I’m not sure I’ve ever been more content.
Told you jackals were my spirit animal. This was right outside my door.
On our way out of the Serengeti, Ayoob took us to the Hippo Pool. I really didn’t expect much. What I saw was spectacular.
Not sure which looks more fierce…
Breakfast at Sayari, the most upmarket of the Asilia resorts in Tanzania. Frequented by Leo di Caprio, and now me.
This was awesome for me: standing in Kenya, thus going into (even for a few brief seconds) a country that I’ve always dreamed of going to.
Fresh from a wathog kill, a scene typical of the Serengeti.
The mighty Mara River, made famous by the Discovery Channel footage during the migration.
Our taxi from Sayari to Arusha, where we would spend our last night in Tanzania.
I was woken up from my very unpretty slumber as we flew over the Oldoinyo Le Ngai Volcano. What a stunning sight.
Ayoob took a while finding this guy, but it was so worth it. Our first and only leopard spot of the trip.
Namiri Plains, one of my favourite places ever.
A very not kak sunset, and a great way to end a walk through the bush.
Just chillin’, you know.
These little ones were too young to eat meat, but their mom was getting them ready and training them already.
Massive termite mound in Tarangire.
Told you the little one was cute.
Isn’t she beautiful?
The Serengeti really is quite big…
A couple of hyena getting what little water they can from a watering hole.
We weren’t even close to being in the migration season, but still had hundreds of wildebeest run past us, in single file through the Serengeti. It was remarkable.
It just so happens that buffalo are my favourite animals, and there were loads of them at the Lake Manyara National Park. Lake Manyara is famous for its tree-climbing lions, but unfortunately didn’t get to see any of those. We did this park on the way to Gibb’s Farm, an absolute gem.
Damn! I look good when I sleep.
A few of the people I traveled with wrote some awesome stuff about the trip, and they’re very worth checking out:
Awesome travel blogger and writer Kate Els (IndiKate)
The Saturday Star’s Brendan Seery
Marie Claire photographer Jana Heyns
I was invited on the trip by Asilia Africa, through the Sunday Times newspaper. Flights were covered by Fastjet.