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The trick to a successful family safari

You nailed it…our trip was everything we could have expected and more…and it was not only what you suggested what we should do that was spot on, but also what we could live without that was very helpful.  Being overbooked with three kids (one being 12) would have really burned us out.

Your 1-2-3 of tent camping, Lamia Serengeti and Sand Rivers Selous could not have been better thought out…I would recommend (demand) that itinerary for any of my friends…

Your insight into traveling with children (considering you have three yourself) was your best value add…

Now for some specifics:

Onsea House:  What wonderful people and what an amazing chef…the perfect place to get settled in Tanzania after 17 hours of travel…five stars from this guy.

Gibbs Farm:  A true highlight and a must for anyone traveling to or from the crater.  The daily lectures, the wonderful grounds and the terrific rooms…you were right, it was a shame we didn’t have two nights there…

You were right, you have to go to Lake Maynara and the Crater, but we had some great experiences coming up…

[Serengeti Safari Camp] Tent Camping in the Serengeti:  People must experience this…and believe me, no matter what I had heard about the tents, yours (and the hot showers) exceeded every expectation…there is really nothing better than walking out of your tent and being part of the Serengeti.  The nights around the campfire enjoying the stars is magic.  And I felt safe enough that I was comfortable with my children having their own tent, but a do have to say it was a little unsettling to see fresh animal tracks outside their door in the morning.

Lamai Serengeti:  What a magical place and what wonderful staff…we really enjoyed meeting Mark and Chloe (she’s a gem)…please let her know that we were asking about her (and hope the pregnancy is going well).  I could go on and on about the Lamai…we woke up one morning to the sight of 15,000 wildebeests…the walking safaris, the happy hour surprise, the wonderful service…seriously:  special place, special people, special family time.

Sand Rivers Selous:  Wow, thank you for sending us there last…it was the perfect place to finish and would have frankly been too much for this guy if we had started there…It was the perfect finish…boat versus truck (we’d had enough of sitting in the Land Cruiser).  Nic and Jana were delightful and I hope I have this right, Ernst (looks like Festo on the website) was the man.  Once again, you were right on about fly camping…it is my single most vivid memory of the trip…and you made it happen.  Thank you so much.

The people you meet (although very diverse) are such a pleasant surprise.  We made friends, exposed our children to thoughts and sights that they would never see and most important…had the family trip we really needed (with a our oldest heading off to college).

Bottom line on a Safari (in my opinion) is that the Guides simply make the trip.  And Nomad has amazing guides.  We felt fortunate to have Godwin for the first two legs (he was passionate about us getting to the right location to take the best possible picture) and there should be a shrine to Ernest (Festo)in Sand Rivers …the night of the fly camp he must have gotten an hour (max) of sleep…he makes a true difference.  The key to a great guide (and thus a great experience) is having the guide listen to you…which they did.  There were times when we simply wanted to end the day early and go back to the lodge and enjoy each other as a family.

Nomad Tanzania has a big fan in me…please let me know what I can do to spread the word.

Thank you again Milly, you made our Safari the trip of a lifetime…

JWG