Review by: Leah Lavigueure

Overall Impressions

We absolutely loved this trip. The lodges were all fantastic and well located and our guide with Predators Safari Club always made us feel safe, cared-for and welcome. The experience of being on safari with so few other travelers was a once in a lifetime experience.

Countries Visited

Tanzania

I've been to Tanzania twice before and this was my bucket list trip to bring my children there with me. I love Tanzania and I would have to say that it has certainly improved since the last time I visited 20 years ago. It is cleaner and there are all-around better facilities and more readily available fresh foods. Watching the great migration across the Mara River, with so few others, truly was a once in a lifetime experience that I'll forever treasure.

Accommodation Visited

Gran Melia Arusha

This is a wonderful property close to the airport. The rooms were spectacularly clean and the on-site restaurants delicious. The room service meals were a bit unorganized but I suspect that was due to low occupancy rates. We had a great time wandering the property and strolling through the gardens and farming area.

Maramboi Tented Camp

This lodge won us over through the extra friendly staff and the beautiful location on the shores of Lake Manyara. The tents were a bit dark and on the basic side, but the multitude of animals running through the property, the huge smiles of the staff members, the gigantic pool and lounging area, and the super fresh food all well outweighed slightly drab tents!

Exploreans Ngorongoro Lodge

This is definitely a luxury lodge, no doubt about it. We had two rooms for the four of us and the rooms, actually small houses, are so huge that we could have easily just stayed all together in one. This lodge had the best food of anywhere we ate and the best variety of options for our kids who still have very basic food preferences. The box lunches at this lodge were also far superior to anywhere else we stayed. The rooms are simply beautiful with fireplaces, huge bathrooms, a sitting area, and a huge patio overlooking the outer flanks of Ngorongoro.

Kubu Kubu Tented Camp

This was a fun lodge to stay at in the Serengeti. There were plenty of animals roaming the grounds and the huge pool overlooking the Serengeti was beautiful. The tents were clean and well situated and had the best-ever outdoor showers! The box lunch options and snack food options at Kubu Kubu got a little tiring though and need to be mixed up a bit for folks staying more than a night or two.

Mara Mara Tented Lodge

Unfortunately this lodge must have let-up on their pest control during COVID as it was the first lodge where we experienced a problem with spiders. We had to leave the lodge early as we didn't find it to be a desirable lodge to stay at with the pest problems. With the way the tents are designed, the bathroom layout allows all critters to enter the room and we dealt with too many spiders in the room and bathroom and bats in the bathroom. If you're a light sleeper, the constant wildebeest noise outside gets old after a night or two! It is awesome to hear during the night, but I wouldn't recommend staying for more than one or two nights. The food here was also the low-light of our entire tour.

The Sands Zanzibar

This resort was so beautiful. White sand beaches, beautiful villas with private pools and the hugest of all pools. I'm only subtracting a star because for being in Zanzibar, they did not do a good job preparing and providing fresh seafood. We had half-board here and we were so looking forward to simple-fresh seafood and this lodge did not provide that at all.

Staff Review

Donna was super and I would book with her again tomorrow! The communication before, during and after the trip was superb and there was a lot of it planning a 17-night safari with children during a global pandemic. Donna made us feel very assured of our plans while being very honest with any and all situations and potential concerns. When we had to leave Mara Mara early, Donna was right there on the phone and e-mail to help us on a Saturday night. Our revised itinerary worked so much better than the original itinerary for us and it got us out of the spider lodge! I can't wait to book again with Mahlatini!