Goway’s president, Bruce Hodge, and his wife, Claire, are on a 32-day extraordinary journey in Africa, travelling through 8 countries.
Checking off 14 ultimate Africa bucket list items, Bruce and Claire have been writing about their various, unforgettable experiences on this journey of a lifetime, which is now more than half way through. Along with incredible photos, below is an excerpt taken from their personal travel blog, of Day 17, as they and their accompanying small group arrive in Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
From Arusha we took a short, half-hour flight to Lake Manyara. Here we are met by Wolfgang and Big John, our safari guides for the next 4 days. They have driven our vehicles from Arusha (the previous evening), which takes about 4 hours.
First stop is a shopping market/art gallery where Greg purchased a lovely tanzanite ring for Jane – Tanzania is the only place where tanzanite is mined. Claire bought a great mask to add to her collection at home, Shirlee bought two large carved Masai figures which are being shipped to her home in California, and the others bought a variety of curios, bangles and other items. We then continued to our stay of distinction, arriving in time for lunch.
We are now staying in one of the most incredible places any of us have been to – the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge. It is perched on the edge of the crater where all rooms have a view of one of the most famous sites in the world, yet is almost invisible from the crater floor. “Where Masai meets Versailles” is how promotional literature describes it. It is spectacular, consisting of three adjacent glamorous camps with 30 Masai-inspired suites and a main lodge, eclectically furnished and decorated with large comfy furniture, fireplaces, chandeliers and fascinating artwork and carvings. The suites are set in classic crescents, made of stone and thatched with large windows in abundance – each suite has a personal butler who will bring you tea or coffee in bed, stoke your personal fireplace, and draw your bath.
On arrival we are greeted by all the staff with cold towels and champagne … and about 50 baboons frolicking on the grass. At 6pm we all meet for sundowners but instead of gathering on the deck, we are whisked through the bush to a clearing nearby where, to our surprise, there are blankets and pillows set out on the ground with a full bar and 5 servers. Just as we are settling in to enjoy our cocktails and nibbles and enjoy the view, we hear a rumble of noise and out from the bush come 21 Masai, carrying their traditional sticks and flaming torches, and chanting. After circling us a few times, they line up in front of us and do what they are famous for – singing and jumping. We persuaded Greg to go and “have a jump” with them. It was a wonderful performance, from wonderful people.
We then returned to the lodge for a delightful dinner at our enormous dining table, specially set up for us.
You can read more about Bruce and Claire’s incredible Africa journey on their personal travel blog, Journey of a Lifetime – Cape to Cairo.
To find out more about our 32-Day Cape to Cairo… Ultimate Journey of a Lifetime, please visit us at www.goway.com.