Amazing trip from Lake Victoria to the coast with EASTCO
Written on: April 01, 2016
I visited in March 2016
We have just finished a 2 week safari with EASTCO. We have travelled with EASTCO in the past and this time wanted to go somewhere we hadn't been before to see more of the country. Simon from EASTCO suggested we go to Mwanza.
We arrived on QATAR airways and sat around Dar Es Salaam airport for the evening flight to Mwanza. Not much at the airport here, sat outside on the benches with the sun in our eyes before checking in on the Fastjet flight.
Arrived in Mwanza in the dark, small airport with a very rustic arrivals lounge! It was warm and humid. We were staying at Ryans Bay Hotel which was only about 20 minutes away. The hotel was great and we had a second story room with balcony and view over Lake Victoria.
The next day we met our guide from EASTCO, Bernard, and did the very short drive to the National Parks dock. It was great meeting up with Bernard as in the past he had been our guide and we shared an interest in birds! We were heading out to Saanane Island National Park to spend the afternoon with a ranger and guide exploring the park. The park launch was covered with a canopy and since it was just us and the guide we headed off straight away.
The thing that struck us most was the massive granite rocks everywhere. We were told the locals call Mwanza Rock City. It was good to get out of the water and stretch our legs on the island. Saw quite a few zebras and antelope, also a monitor lizard sun baking on the rocks.
The next day we headed off for the drive along the lake shore towards the Serengeti. This was one of my wishes, to drive through the Serengeti from near the shores of Lake Victoria to Ngorongoro.
We spent two nights in a bush camp in the Grumeti area. Lots of mud and long grass, but saw so many buffalo and elephants here. Also saw in the distance a basking crocodile. Then headed to the plains around Ndutu and Olduvai for two nights in a bush camp. These were two totally different experiences, from the valleys and rivers near Grumeti, to the long sweeping plains around Ndutu .
We especially wanted to spend some time at Olduvai Gorge, visiting the museum and taking a guide into the gorge, so we asked Simon to choose a campsite nearby, and we were lucky enough to be under a small kopje about 20 minutes drive away so we could spend as much time here as possible. I had visited Olduvai on an earlier trip quite a few years ago and wanted to visit again.
We skipped Ngorongoro this time and went straight to Naitolia Camp in Tarangire. The change since our last visit was amazing, everywhere was green and so bushy with trees and shrubs where in the past was open area overgrazed. We had three nights here for some walking and game viewing. The birds there were fantastic.....I don't think you could find a better place for watching birds.
After this we went to Mkomazi National Park. We hadn't been here before. We stayed in a bush camp in the park. It was very wet which made getting around hard, but the surrounding mountains, the isolation and having the entire park to ourselves was something special. Game viewing was scarce, we did see some eland and other antelope, but the walks were fantastic.
We then drove over the Pare mountains and down to the main road. We did get lost a few times on the twisting roads and the low clouds made for interesting driving! We headed for Tamborani Lagoon south of Pangani. This is part of Tanzania’s latest Marina Park, the Tanga Coelacanth Marine Park.
This is not a beach resort place! We stayed in very basic tents on the beach, surrounded by palms. We loved exploring the beach and mangrove swamps. We also did a trip out to a small sand island in a outrigger dhow and visited the Tongoni Ruins. It was a very special four nights. We had the place to ourselves, and enjoyed watching the locals go about their daily life. It was interesting watching them catch squid at night with a torch right in the shallows near the camp!
This was a fantastic trip and we saw many places off the beaten track! We were able to work with EASTCO and plan the itinerary we wanted.
We spent many hours searching the internet and guide books for the right mixture of safari and culture experience. EASTCO caught our attention because of their long service to community conservation and their mainly excellent reviews and guides. We got in touch with Simon and planned a short safari. This was last notice and we were glad to be able to experience wha...
EASTCO is a relatively small team comparing to some other Safari companies in Tanzania but the key differentiators for EASTCO are deep expertise and knowledge of Safari , flexible and customized offers at very attractive and competitive price! The itinerary recommended to us by East African Safari & Touring Company was indeed well balanced between Safari time and ...
We had a wonderful tour with East African Safari Co. Communication beforehand was prompt and clear. The trip was planned very well. Lodgings were progressively less rugged and more luxurious, as we made our way from a big pup tent in the Serengeti finally to a fabulous eco lodge near Tarangire. Our guide, William, was wonderful--thoughtful, very knowledgeable, and ...
My wife and I had a bad experience with EASTCO. We had to cancel our vacation and our tour. We canceled about 2 months before the tour and were promised a refund (also part of the contract). We never got our refund. Each week we got different excuses from Simon why they are not sending our refund until one day he stopped answering our mails.
I would not recommend ...
We just completed another safari with EASTCO in March. For something different we decided to some walking safaris so visited Tarangire, Arusha National park and Mkomazi. Not being our first trip to Tanzania, we were looking for something a bit different and asked Simon to prepare a safari which combined walking and some culture.
The walk at Tarangire started near ...
My wife and I returned to Tanzania last January for a 16 day safari. This is not my first or even second trip, but we decided that this would be our grand adventure. We first visited way back in 1984 and did a Tracks pink truck camping safari through Manyara, Ngorongoro and Serengeti, before heading off to explore southern Africa on the TAZARA train and then north ...