Yes, I was expecting to see animals, and lots of them, when I journeyed to Tanzania. In fact, when friends ask me to describe my trip I reply, “It felt like I was invited to star in my very own made-for-Disney movie where all of my co-stars were exotic animals.”
What I didn’t realize, however, was how the soul of the Tanzanian people would captivate me, and PAS was ultimately responsible for this!
Zubeda, whose smile radiates from the inside out, exudes a willingness to make special things happen effortlessly. She seems to be all places at once as she directs operations on the ground from Arusha. At our trip’s end it was hard to say goodbye since Zubeda welcomed us not only to Tanzania, but into her life and love for her amazing country.
My request to see hippos was quickly and efficiently accommodated by Sitta, as if he could magically make them appear. Around every corner of our day together in Arusha National Park, Sitta made each wildlife encounter a first-hand lesson in the introduction of Tanzania’s fauna and flora. Likewise, he never stopped laughing and smiling which made me feel at ease and always secure in our adventures.
Another unexpected highlight of my safari was the bush flight to Ndutu airstrip to meet our guide, Adam. Nothing short of spectacular, the view from above was surreal as I focused on identifying herds of animals from the air while simultaneously absorbing the scope of the terrain below us. Within minutes of meeting Adam I was taken in by his knowledge and kindness as we set off to discover lions, cheetahs and the often hard-to-find leopards within the first hour of our arrival. I joked with him since we so quickly sighted 3 of the Big 5, what was left in store for the rest of the week?
The bush breakfasts, where we were treated like royalty, the thoughtful and respectful observations of animal sightings, and the passion for his work truly make Adam stand out as a superior guide and person. I can’t wait to return to learn more from him!
In contrast to the rawness of the bush, in all its beauty, we welcomed our arrival to the oasis of the Plantation Lodge our last night. The plush accommodations, tropical gardens, and spectacular cuisine added a lovely surprise touch to our stay.
Thank-you, PAS, for creating much more than a safari to Tanzania, but an experience that will linger for a lifetime!