There were ups and downs! Ups were the game, scenery and hospitality and help we got from all players. The downs were the loss of luggage and the storm that destroyed our camp.
At Kilimanjaro, our luggage was missing. The flight was by Precision Air and not Kenya Airways. The plane was full, so they loaded only the luggage for Rwanda and none for Kilimanjaro (according to the locals, Precision Air are always loosing luggage!). So some chaos, as 30 odd people had to fill in forms to get their luggage later. We were helped by Av Air representatives, who did their best. But with a connecting small aircraft flight, things were always going be problematic. Legendary Expeditions did their bit. They arranged for our guide for the next leg to come to the Swala camp with our luggage, rather than meet at the gate the next day as was the original plan. Thus we got our luggage a day earlier, than we might have. Great service!
The storm see on!
All good.Lovely people.
Spent only one night there. Not really able to comment.
With no luggage, Swala Camp organised for our clothes to be washed and dried, while we had a sleep!
Loved the Swala camp, great people, atmosphere, food and wine. 3 lots of lion and 2 of cheetah, one with 4 cubs. Spectacular numbers of elephants and other game. Good birdlife. Never seem so many banded mongooses! Persuaded our guide to have lunch under a tree (illegal for some reason) rather than go to the picnic site, which would have meant more driving. We did find the roads very bad and distances long. Thus for the next day we said we were happy to visit an area, even if no lion it meant not so much driving. Personnel service!
Greg was right, this is a special spot. What a lovely setting, food and wine. They took good care of us.
We again asked for less than a full day out. No problem! Started early, picnic breakfast and back in time for a late lunch. Did not miss anything! Ngorongoro crater, what a spectacular place!
Lake Manyara was also good. Different scenery and game.
Retired to our tent for a rest and unfortunately done some unpacking. Some rain and the wind picked up, we were just going to move some things that seemed to be getting wet, when chaos broke out. We tumbled with the tent of some 30m. Initially pinned down by some furniture, but got free from that and the Camp Team arrived to rescue us. Got into a vehicle, while the Team went to rescue the other couple. Mother and son. Mother our age. All survived with bruises and Angela a cut, not too serious. The Camp team got onto base to make plans, while we recovered our things all soaking wet. Lost hair brush and water bottles given by Swala and watch charger, but I have another, so nothing serious. We were then driven to the air strip and flown to Mwiba. Our feelings go out to the Camp Staff. The whole place was flattened, including their accommodation. They have a big job putting it all together again. I do not think we really showed our concern for them at the time. Just keen to get way safe. Please pass a message on.
Arrived at Mwiba, just in time before it got too dark to land. They had no guests and were not expecting any for a few days. But they pulled out all the stops and looked after us very well. At that stage, all we wanted to do was rest up, which we did next day, taking a game drive in the evening. Mwiba gave us a private dinner in the library, log fire, good dinner and wine. Lovely atmosphere.
Legendary Expeditions were really great! Natasha, an area Manager based in Arusha was setting up a new camp nearby, came over immediately and met us on arrival at Mwiba. Saw us a couple of times each day to bring us up to speed on what she was trying to organise for us to get back up to see the Migration. Eventually a day trip by air or overnight there. We all chose to overnight and stay at Nomad Lamai camp (Managed by her husband!).
Watched two spectacular crossings, so did not miss a high light of the trip, despite the storm. Our guide knew the behavior of the animals well, went to good spots and he delayed lunch because he felt they were going to cross, which they did without the hesitations of the first crossing.
Enjoyed Lamai Camp, not as luxuriously finished as the previous camps, but with all the same service, setting and atmosphere. We were offered group dinner or alone, we chose group and had a good meal with the Camp Manager and some other guests.
All comfortable. Worked well close to the airport, which we wanted. Had drinks and a good dinner over looking the game reserve.
We left the itinerary to Greg. His suggestions were great. We loved the whole holiday, in spite of the storm.
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