Dear Gemma and Nick,
A massive thank you for organising our holiday of a lifetime!
Journey over there went like clockwork, nice short transfer time that was fine due to planes both being on time! Donald was our guide and met us at the airport... very professional and knowledgeable and we had a great time with him for the first 4 days.
Tarangire Treetops was absolutely lovely... out of this world. Elephants that need shooing away so you can get to your rooms... rooms were exquisite and food to die for! No idea how they get showers that powerful in the middle of nowhere. Was a bit of a journey at the ends of each day but worth it. Yohana was our butler and he made our stay... a charming man. Two day game drive... all fantastic... animals a plenty, lion that had just killed a zebra, leopards, elephants, zebras, giraffes, too many to mention... and very beautiful birds.
The Ngorongoro Sopa - good drive up there and amazing views like I have never ever seen before. It blew us all away. Stopped at the viewing point, eldest daughter managed to lob her phone over the railings as she took a photo..... super Dad to the rescue, only a short climb down to get it! The view and external appearance of the Sopa Lodge was amazing, rooms rather more basic and 'crossroads'! Though if we had gone there first, we would not have thought any such thing... it was simply that Tree Tops was ridiculously nice! The majority of staff were good, some grumpies..... again this would not have been so obvious had we not just come from Tree Tops. The game drive the next morning was an early start and another amazing time. Different terrain, colours and slightly different animals, all amazing though. Hyenas became a bit of a favourite for my husband and hippos for the rest of us.
Coastal Flight to Serengeti and Lemala Kuria Hills... rather windy by the time we got on... consequently an hour of torture in the biscuit tin! Still... we quickly moved on having been greeted with tea and cookies by Miraji, our new guide. Even on the 2 hour game drive back to camp, we had seen a cheetah, leopard, lions and more! Again, very different scenery.... so much greener and wetter... but all breath takingly stunning.
Lemala Kuria Hills - we thought tree tops could not be topped but this was a phenomenal place too. The staff were charming and helpful, food delicious and the 'tents' were not tents as I had imagined at all!!! Here, we were accompanied at night to shoo away Buffalo and the hyenas, being lulled to sleep by yet more animals... all rather unimaginable, now we are back in Surbiton.
Two and a half more days of fantastic animals and great fun with Miraji... he tolerated us singing 'when I was a young warthog' (from the Lion king...hideously predictable!) every time we saw a warthog, he searched hard to find the leopard cubs for Lizzie and sang spider man to Megan every time we saw the red and blue lizard that she called The spider man Lizard! A thoroughly nice man.... . He came and sat with David at night to go through his photos and rename all the birds they saw (up to 100 different ones) as we knew we would struggle once home. He thought nothing of throwing us around in the jeep (to our great amusement) to get us to The River Crossing.... a truly breath taking sight... unfortunately final score was: Wilde beast 3000 - Crocs 3 (did look at all three girls sitting with tears rolling down their cheeks at this sight, sad though at the same time, understanding this is the harsher reality of the animals life here). We later saw a cheetah kill a baby Thomsons Gazelle.
Coastal flight home was easier weather and the two trips were much much better and I even glanced out of the window on a couple of occasions! We all felt very sad and emotional to be leaving.
All in all, we completely agreed... our favourite holiday of all time (and possibly always will be) that humbled and amazed us all at the same time. I would recommend it to anyone and was glad we pushed the boat out and stayed in the extra special places. A massive thank you to you all for your time and patience getting it just right for us, we massively appreciated it.