Tanzania : Tarangire
South of Lake Manyara, this large and beautiful park is famous for its baobab trees, its large mammals and especially its elephant. Huge herds are drawn to Tarangire from August to October, when the Tarangire becomes the only permanent water source in the area.
Tarangire Treetops is an unusual tree-house style lodge set in the 57,000 acre Tarangire Conservation Area adjacent to Tarangire National Park. It has 20 spectacular rooms set on platforms high up in the baobab, mopani and wild fig trees. Each tree-house is roomy and very private, with a large bed in the centre of the room which takes full advantage of the views, and a cleverly integrated open-plan bathroom with a double shower. A balcony runs along the front of the tree-house, ideal for whiling away the heat of the day or watching the sun go down. The main bar and lounge has been built around a huge baobab tree, and has a unique indoor fire pit, with large steps lined with cushions. A Maasai boma (village) is currently being recreated in the grounds, and from early 2009, there will be the option to enjoy a barbecue-style dinner here, accompanied by Maasai dancing. A small swimming pool overlooks the lodge’s waterhole which regularly attracts elephant, waterbuck and sometimes even lion (when we were last there a wild dog took a waterbuck down in the waterhole as we swam!). Tarangire Treetops is particularly well known for its night safaris, which give you the opportunity to view a wide range of nocturnal animals.
Oliver’s is a really charming, old fashioned-style tented camp with eight beautifully furnished canvas tents, set unobtrusively among the bush. Each of the spacious but cosy bedroom tents is furnished with indigenous wood beds made up with crisp, white linen, with a small writing desk in the corner and an elegant screen secreting a dressing area. The en-suite bathroom is beyond, with a bucket shower and eco-friendly chemical loo. The bathroom has clay walls and parts of it are open to the stars and the trees. Dining is around a large old-fashioned table, and there is a small library tent filled with wonderful artefacts collated by its first owner Paul Oliver and others, from photographic equipment to books and maps. The camp has a sense of the safaris of old and is very romantic for those who enjoy being in the heart of the bush. As well as game drives, it is possible to arrange walking safaris and fly camping from Oliver’s, but these must be pre-booked.
"Everything was lovely: great game, the staff were fantastic and a huge effort was made for the fly camp. A particular highlight was seeing the sun rising simultaneously with the moon setting and animals in silhouette against it."
Alex and David, Perth