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Serengeti Safari camp has a special magic

As usual I am writing a report on our most recent trip to Africa – our sixteenth with Africa Exclusive!  The first thing to say is that all the arrangements went like clockwork – the sign of a meticulously prepared holiday, and one for which we are both grateful.

Our first night was at the Arusha Coffee Lodge, and I cannot think of a better place to break the journey.  No doubt thanks to your good offices we had the Plantation Suite, which was extremely comfortable.  The staff were welcoming and helpful and the food good, which reflects great credit on the place, given that the vast majority of their guests must be one nighters.

We then moved on to the Nomad mobile camp in the Serengeti.  This is a wonderful place, with a very special magic of its own.  Yes, it might be rustic – long drop loos [actually we have eco-flush loos in all tented camps - MD] and bucket showers, but it is exceedingly comfortable, the food is first class and the staff would do credit to a five star hotel.  They are always available, always smiling, and have the knack of anticipating your every need.  We really cannot speak too highly of the camp, and the greatest pat on the back must go to Laurence, the camp manager.  Neither of us will ever forget our last night, when he had arranged a surprise sundowner stop at the most beautiful spot in the reserve, with permission from the rangers to remain out after all the other jeeps had left.  It was a fantastic gesture, and one we are so grateful for.

Of course the main event in any safari is the game viewing experience, and I think it is fair to say that we were well and truly spoiled!  Rowland is a superb guide (and a lovely man as well), but I think even he was surprised by how much we saw.   The extraordinary afternoon of five kills, the two hours we spent with the cheetah brothers who had just brought down a wildebeest – when we arrived the carcass was untouched, and when we left the cheetahs were pot bellied, the vultures were happy and there was only a skeleton left – and of course the migration.  This year we saw it in all its majesty and glory:  the plains were black with countless (literally!) wildebeest, snorting, munching, ever moving, followed by so many young.  It was what we had dreamed of seeing, and thanks to you, Rowland and Nomad our dreams were realised....

... We both so hope that Nomad can resist the increasing demand (mainly transatlantic) for smarter, glitzier camps, and keep the mobile camp just as it is:  for us, it is perfectly in keeping with the bush, and added immeasurably to our enjoyment.On the way back we had a day room at the Kia Lodge in Kilimanjaro.  Perfectly adequate (although the rooms seem a bit Spartan) and with surprisingly good food.  A blessed break on what was a very long journey back – twenty-nine hours from leaving the camp to getting home!

As you have probably gathered, we absolutely loved our latest trip.   Heartfelt thanks to everyone concerned in making it so special.    The love of Africa still burns bright.