I think we all agree that this trip to Tanzania was the most incredible we have ever taken. We did a five day safari and then spent five days on the beach in Zanzibar (seriously, don't book a safari without also tacking on Zanzibar). We were greeted at the Arusha airport by our treat of a guide, Godbless, who took us straightaway to Lake Manyara (well, after a stop at the market to stock up on Snickers bars).
If you are going to go to Lake Manyara, do it first. We were losing it over spotting monkeys and giraffes and elephants and over being in Tanzania in general. I think we sat on that road for an hour to get a shot of the elephant crossing the road, squealing with delight the entire time. Little did we know that we would see cheetahs, leopards, lions, and even a rhino cross the road right in front of us in the days ahead. So basically, Lake Manyara was GREAT, but the best was definitely yet to come. And because I have a million photos, I am going to split our next stops into separate posts: Serengeti, Ngorongoro, and of course, Zanzibar.
When you book a safari, they plan everything for you, feed you, drive you around, etc (we used Roy Safaris and they were great). They do give you options of places to stay, and as much as we really preferred the Four Seasons, we picked the cheapest options everywhere. Our expectations were therefore pretty low, but we enthusiastically loved every place that we stayed. After our first day in Lake Manyara, we stayed in that little bungalow pictured above at the Bougainvillea Safari Lodge. It was totally great and we all enjoyed a dip in the pool after a day of eating dust in the land cruiser (okay except me because every body of water is too cold except a hot tub).