●Mark Thornton Safaris – 18 Saddle Road (Devil’s Peak, Cape Town); 011-255-78-754-1686; thorntonsafaris.com or email@example.com; National Geographic’s highest rated African outfitter.
●Gibbs Farm – Rift Valley; 011-255-27-253-4397; gibbsfarm.net; small lodge from which guests can hike to Ngorongoro Crater area.
●Lake Natron – close to Kenyan border, in Gregory Rift; flamingoes & animals turned to stone.
●Ol Doinyo Lengai (Mountain of God) – overlooks Lake Natron; drive down to area is hot & harsh, terrain is black & grey for miles around; uniquely produces natrocarbonatite lava.
Sights & Sites
●Kilwa Ruins – Lindi District; whc.unesco.org/en/list/144; great East African port remains (admired by early European explorers); from 13th-16th Centuries, Kilwa merchants dealt in gold, silver, pearls, perfumes, Arabian crockery, Persian earthenware and Chinese porcelain; much Indian Ocean trade thus passed through their hands; UNESCO World Heritage site.
●Lua Cheia Beach Camp – Bweni; 011-255-777-424-588; luacheiabeach.com; high-end tent camping along private beach on island’s extremely excluded north end.
●Mafia Island Lodge – 20 minutes outside Kilindoni; 011-255-786-303-049; mafialodge.com; ideally situated for diving and snorkeling in rich reefs along Chole Bay.
●Ras Mbisi – Ras Mbisi (Kilindoni); 011-255-754-663-739; mafiaislandtz.com; “luxury bandas” (open-air coconut-wood cabins with hot showers and queen beds).
●Coastal Aviation – 107 Upanga Road (Dar es Salaam); 011-255-602-430 or 011-255-602-431; coastal.cc; can fly into Mafia Island.
●Tropical Air – Creek Road, Darajani (Stone Town, Zanzibar); 011-255-24-223-2511; tropicalair.co.tz; can fly into Mafia Island.
Sights & Sites
●Mafia Island Marine Park – located near River Rufiji delta, about 120 kms south of Dar es Salaam; history goes back to 8th Century when played major ancient trade role between Far East and mainland Tanzania; major activities are scuba, snorkeling, sport fishing, and beach and off-shore island excursions; places worth visiting include Chole Bay, Jibondo Pass, Kinasi Pass Islets, Kitutia, and Mange Reef; about 1 km off island’s western shoreline, 200 m deep contour along seabed that acts as aquarium hosting numerous marine species; excellent scuba diving; October to March end best months for diving; for non-divers, months between May-October offer best weather.
Sights & Sites
– Lindi District; whc.unesco.org/en/list/144; Swahili stone town, dominated by well-preserved remains of more than 40 large domestic room-blocks, 5 mosques & numerous tombs.
Tarangire National Park
●Chem Chem Safari Lodge – Vilima Vitatu; 011-255-78-337-9765; chemchemsafari.com; lies between Tarangire National Park’s immense savannas and Lake Manyara’s bird–rich waters; lodge is nestled in palm oasis with panoramic Rift Valley western escarpment views; 8 luxurious tents designed to complement lush surroundings; each offers elegant bedroom, reading room, full bathroom, outside shower, and wooden deck area; tented lodge is located in small private concession where one can experience unforgettable walking safaris and bird watching excursions.
MARA & SIMIYU
Serengeti National Park
●Kirawira Luxury Tented Camp – Serengeti Plain; 011-254-20-284-2333 or 800-525-4800; serenahotels.com; situated between crocodile-rich Grumeti & Mbalageti Rivers, blufftop camp furnished in Edwardian style.
●Mwiba Lodge – Mwiba Wildlife Reserve (Serengeti National Park); classic-portfolio.com/clients/mwiba-lodge.
●Singita Grumeti Reserves – Serengeti Plain; 011-27-21-683-3424; grumeti.com; tented camp; abundant wildlife, animal migrations, and endangered species; open-air showers and authentic African art and furnishings; 3 splendid lodgings (Faru Faru, Sabora & Sasakwa) within 34K tract adjacent to Serengeti National Park; Sasakwa is most sumptuous (7 suites styled as colonial manor houses), Sabor has 6 furnished tents on open plain; Faru Faru has 6 tents on Grumeti River in wooded area; June-August for best wildebeest migration (1.5M); Faru Faru’s Tent 6 has best river view.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
●Ngorongoro Crater Lodge – Ngorongoro Crater; 011-255-27-11-809-4314; ccafrica.com; mud-&-thatch roof, doomed buildings house suites with chandeliers; floor-to-ceiling windows view crater.
(semi-autonomous Tanzanian region)BARS & NIGHTCLUBS
●Africa House – Shangani Street (Stone Town); 011-255-777-432-340; theafricahouse-zanzibar.com; converted from gentleman’s club founded under British colonial rule; rich in atmosphere; terrace is popular gathering spot for predinner drinks with sunset over Indian Ocean.
●Big Wall – impressive coral reef drift dive; powerful current.
●Africa House – Shangani Street (Stone Town); 011-255-777-432-340; theafricahouse-zanzibar.com; converted from gentleman’s club founded under British colonial rule; rich in atmosphere.
●Baraza Resort & Spa – Bwejuu; 011-255-774-440-330/331/332; baraza-zanzibar.com; resembles sultan’s palace; can arrange through Pure Zanzibar (see below).
●Dongwe Ocean View – Michamvi Pingwe; 011-255-777-88-5515; dongweoceanview.com; more affordable but beautiful establishment on beach.
●Essque Zalu Resort & Spa – northern shore (about 1 hour from Nungwi); 011-255-778-683-960; essquehotels.com/essque-zalu-zanzibar.html; Ocean View Suites are villa style rooms, with over 500' square of space; large king beds with canopies; fronted by 200' square patio; large bathrooms include oversized, walk-in showers; most have full-on ocean views (no beach so sea front suites overlook small 15' cliff to ocean); 3 restaurants, 2 in main resort building and 1 on jetty over Indian Ocean.
●Kilindi – northern shore; 011-255-24-223-1954; kilindi.com; beautiful white pavilions on northern beach.
●Mashariki Palace – Hurumzi Street (Zanzibar Town); 011-255-24-223-7232; masharikipalacehotel.com; 18 spacious rooms.
●Ras Nungwi Beach Hotel – northern peninsula; 011-255-24-223-3767; rasnungwi.com/contact.
●Residence – Mchamgamle (Kizimkazi); 011-255-24-555-5000; theresidence.com; 66 villas (27 oceanside) spread over 80 acres.
●Tembo House Hotel – Forodhani Street (Stone Town); 011-255-24-223-3005; tembohotel.com; well-appointed waterfront lodging in former wealthy merchant home; rooms are spacious, decorated with Oriental and Zanzibari antiques, furniture, and ornaments, with wooden balconies overlooking courtyard pool.
●Zamani Retreat Kempinski – Kiwengwa; 011-255-774-444-477; kempinski.com; holistic spa; expensive.
●Zanzibar Serena Inn – Kelele Square (Stone Town); 011-255-242-233-587; serenahotels.com; near Africa House and known for pampering.
●Tower Top Restaurant – 236 Hurumzi Street (Stone Town, on Emerson and Green Hotel’s roof); 011-255-747-423-266; emerson-green.com; stunning views over Indian Ocean and Stone Town; Arabian style seating, on pillows at low tables.
●Forodhani Gardens – waterfront (by House of Wonders); open-air night market; point to raw seafood skewers and cooks grill in front of you.
●Pure Zanzibar – Little Waterham Farm (Faversham, Kent); 011-44-12-2775-3180; purezanzibar.com; travel company founded by Tarquin Barnsby.
SIGHTS & SITES
●Stone Town – Zanzibar City’s (Unguja Mjini) old center; Mji Mkongwe, in Swahili (meaning “ancient town”); built on triangular peninsula on island’s western coast; narrow alley warren of bazaars, houses, mosques, and shops; large and ornately carved wooden doors and other unusual features.