By Roni Chastain
My sister and I decided to go to Tanzania to celebrate our milestone birthdays. After checking out several tour operators we decided on a tour with Overseas Adventure Travel, which specializes in small groups of no more than 16 people. It was the best decision we could have made. Three guides accompanied us and drove us from place to place. They were very knowledgeable about the country, people, and wildlife.
We started our tour with a pre-trip, staying in a permanent tented camp at the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro. On our first day there we did a short walking safari, during which we saw two rainbows and several zebras.
At night, we kept the window part of the tent unzipped, with only a screen separating us from the outdoors. I wanted to hear all the animals! Though we could hear them walking around the camp, it was too dark to be able to see them. During the day, we rode through the countryside in open-top vehicles. When we spotted some animals, the open top made it easy to stand up for an unobstructed view. Knowing I am a photographer, our guide would politely ask me if I was finished taking photos before moving on to find more animals.
Our Maasai guide, Wiliam, also accompanied us on these drives. The Maasai are a nomadic group with a thorough knowledge of the area. I was sure our other guides would not have been able to find their way without Wiliam’s guidance. Wiliam took us to his village where we met his family and learned more about Maasai life and customs.
Over the next 12 days, we stayed in a permanent tented camp, a few lodges, and a mobile tented camp in the Serengeti. The food was great, the trip was very well organized, and the people and the wildlife were just amazing. It was a trip of a lifetime, a wonderful adventure through a marvelous country. I loved visiting and photographing an authentic Maasai village as much as I loved the wildlife.
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