Travel Consultant Experience – Tauck East Africa
I’m Connie Moody, senior travel consultant with Preferred Travel of Naples. I’ve been with the company 15 years now and I’d like to talk with you about my trip of a lifetime.
In May, I was fortunate enough to take a Tauck Classic Safari to Kenya and Tanzania, which was one of two goals I had this year. The big highlight of my trip was to see all of the large cats in the wild. I am a great cat lover. I have three of them and to all of the lions, the leopards, the cheetahs, all in the wild was something very important to me.
The first place we visited was Lake Manyara. We went in May because it is a value season, which is less expensive than going in the peek season, which is June through October. We found many less people there. There were times when the four safari vehicles, which were part of our Tauck experience were the only vehicles surrounding the animals. It made the guides work a little harder because they didn’t have the network of radios, but it enhanced the experience for us because it was such a personalized visit to east Africa.
In Lake Manyara, we saw the flamingos that you see in the pictures. We saw wildebeests, zebras – thousands of them everywhere. The wildebeests are the largest population of any of the animals in east Africa.
Then that night we stayed at the Ngorongoro Serena Lodge, right on the Ngorongoro Crater, which is the most beautiful place especially the time of year that I was there. The whole crater was carpeted with wild flowers. When the dry season hits, it’s more of a dust bowl. We had to look a little harder to find the animals because they were surrounded by greenery, but the morning that we visited we did come across a pride of 12 lions. There were four lions, four lionesses and four cubs. That was an experience; we sat and watched them for probably 45 minutes with the cubs interacting with the lions. Finally, the lions were just exhausted so they would do what any house cat would do. They would lie on their back and put their feet in the air and it was just a wonderful experience for me to see that. That was a place where we also saw so many elephants. As we were coming out of the crater, you do a very steep ascent. On the left hand side of the road there was a herd of elephants with so many babies. You do get to see the babies when you go there in the spring, so that were something that we really enjoyed.
Then after that we went on the Amboseli. We stayed at the Amboseli Serena Lodge and that’s where you really see the large herds of elephants. We would do a game drive in the morning, usually leaving the lodge about 7 o’clock and then be back at the lodge for lunch and take a little bit of time off in the afternoon. Then we would do an afternoon game drive. Most of the parks you have to be off the roads by 6pm. The afternoon game drive is really when we would see the elephants and a couple of times our vehicle would be in a stand off with an elephant coming down the road at us and we had to back up because it was bigger than we were.
Then we went to the Mount Kenya Safari Club. Our room had a balcony and one afternoon I had two peacocks on my balcony rail for an hour and a half. It was incredible. At the Mount Kenya Safari Club we visited the Jane Goodall Chimpanzee rescue. There were about seven chimps that were still living there.
The next place we visited was the Serengeti Four Seasons. Our wonderful guide Seth referred to it as African Disneyland because it was an over the top experience as only Four Seasons can do. We saw several lions there. We saw giraffes, which of course, is the symbol of Tanzania. We saw them eating the acacia trees. They are so nimble for as long necked as they are. They’re beautiful creatures to watch them run in the wild.
We did have a hot air balloon ride. The weather was beautiful. We went high enough above the trees but not too high and we saw the animals from the sky and that was pretty spectacular especially the herds of zebras and the wildebeests.
When I tell people this was the trip of a life time, Kenya and Tanzania were country 111 and 112 and I’ve been on cruises everywhere but I’ve never experienced anything that I’ve enjoyed as much as that safari. I came with a lot of anticipation and it never failed to exceed my expectations.
If you’d like to book this trip or any other adventure, please contact us. We are very experienced at almost every place in the world. We are Preferred travel of Naples. Our website is http://www.preferrednaples.com and our phone number is 239.261.1177.