Is Amboseli National Park safari worth it?

Is an Amboseli National Park safari worth it – the answer is yes of course. But let me explain in more detail why this less-crowded National Park is worth adding to your Kenya itinerary. We added a safari in Amboseli National Park to our Honeymoon itinerary. And man, are we glad we did! A safari in Amboseli is less-popular and less-crowded than Kenya’s other National Park, the Masai Mara. Plus, it has an abundance of elephants (we saw over 100 in one day!!)

Where is Amboseli National Park?

Being set against Africa’s highest mountain – Mt Kilimanjaro makes for a spectacular backdrop for Amboseli National Park. Covering almost 400 sqm, Amboseli is one of the best National Parks in Africa for wildlife viewing. This is due to its low rainfall & high concentration of animals.

Amboseli National Park is situated about 240km South East of Nairobi. It is easily reached by car from Nairobi – taking approximately 3 hours door to door. Or why not catch the very clean & very safe train from Nairobi to nearby Emali for a lot cheaper. Ask your accomodation in Amboseli to pick you up from Emali train station. FYI – most accomodation in Amboseli will do this for a fee.

African elephants in Amboseli at sunset

What is the best place to stay in Amboseli National Park?

We spent two nights in total at Amboseli, we stayed at the very unique Maasai Simba Camp. Located on the outskirts of the National Park. Maasai Simba Camp is run by the local Maasai people. It was one of the best & most authentic experiences of our entire month-long tour of Africa.

Your accomodation here is a basic wooden cabin but very clean & comfortable. Featuring your own private bathroom & hot shower. All of your meals are included but the best part for us was that staying here offered us a unique glimpse into life as a Maasai. The package we booked with Simba Camp included a sunset walking Safari; a full day in Amboseli National Park with a driver/guide & a packed lunch; a jewellery making session with the Masai women and a sunrise walking Safari.

All of the profits from Simba Camp go towards helping the local community, and you can see the positive effect of the Camp when you drive through the village.

We highly highly recommend this to anyone who wants to experience something a little different.

Maasai warrior on a sunrise walk
Maasai warrior on our sunrise walk

Amboseli National Park has the largest polulation of African Elephants of any place on earth

In fact it is estimated that over 1600 African elephants live in Amboseli. Not only this but some of the biggest elephants live here too, both in body and tusk size. This fact alone was what piqued my interest in Amboseli in the first place as elephants are my favourite animal. So, if you love elephants (like me) then you must add a safari in Amboseli National Park to your Africa bucketlist.

African elephant herd in Amboseli kenya

What can you expect to see on an average day on safari in Amboseli

From our personal experience, spending just one full day on safari in Amboseli we saw countless African elephants (easily 100 or more). We also saw numerous buffalo, wildebeest, giraffe, zebra, impala and warthog. Never far away from their prey were hyenas, jackals and serval cats. Towards the end of our tour our driver spotted three lion cubs without their mother. This was clearly a rarity, the excitement was evident as dozens of cars pulled up to watch these babies.

We broke our long day up nicely with a stop at Observation Hill for a picnic. Observation Hill has a fantastic vantage point of the swam. From here you can watch huge African elephants wading through the grassy green water cooling down and eating the surrounding plants.

Telegraph Hill Amboseli National park
Enjoying the views from Telegraph Hill

How does Amboseli compare to more popular parks like Serengeti

We were lucky enough to experience both Serengeti and Amboseli on this trip. Honestly, it’s very difficult to compare them as they are two very different safari experiences.

Firstly, Serengeti is huge – there is no way you could spend just a day in the Serengeti. The area is so large and each part of the park is very different with different animals to see in each part. We actually did 3 full days of Safari in Serengeti as this is what all the safari company’s recommended. We’re so glad we listened to their advice. We could have spent longer in the Serengeti if I’m honest. So, if you’re short on time and still want a fantastic wildlife viewing experience then Amboseli will be better suited to you.

Secondly, if you came to Africa to see the big cats like lions, cheetah’s & leopards then Serengeti is the place for you as we saw these in abundance here. Whereas on safari in Amboseli we saw but a few lion and the three cubs I mentioned earlier.

Maasai giraffes Amboseli National Park

Our honest summary of Amboseli National Park

Back to my first question in this piece – is a safari in Amboseli National Park worth it? Yes it definitely is, especially if you’re after a safari experience away from the crowds that Serenegti & Maasai Mara attract. If you love elephants – you will easily see, as I did over 100 in a day. From huge bull elephants to the cutest baby elephants. Are you after a National Park that’s not too difficult to get to? Perfect – Amboseli is just over 3 hours in a car from Kenya’s capital city Nairobi.

There’s a lot more positive reasons than the above to add a safari in Amboseli to your Africa itinerary. But, I’ll stop here in order to to keep this piece short & sweet.

Tell me have you visited Amboseli National Park? I would love to hear your thoughts on it in the comment section below.

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What we thought of The Rock Restaurant in Zanzibar

How to successfully book at table at the famous Rock Restaurant in Zanzibar.

This past August, we were lucky enough to spend part of our honeymoon in Zanzibar, a gorgeous tropical island off the coast of Tanzania. This honeymoon trip through Africa was what bucket-list dreams are made of. Our trip included exploring the beaches of Zanzibar, Gorilla-trekking in Uganda, an unforgettable safari in Serengeti National Park to name but a few. To be honest, we will never forget this trip for as long as we live.

Anyway, enough bragging about how lucky we are to experience all of the above. And let’s get back to the main point of this piece how to book a table at The Rock Restaurant, Zanzibar and what the dining experience was really like.

Sunset at the rock restaurant

How to book a table at The Rock Restaurant in Zanzibar

We recommend booking your table at The Rock Restaurant, Zanzibar at least two weeks in advance. Especially for the popular dinner seatings. You can book directly on their website. If you are celebrating a special occasion be sure to mention it in the comments when you make the booking. Also, if you would like a table outside on their balcony or by the window then be sure to mention this is in the comment section of your booking too. I believe they cannot guarantee specific tables, it is more of a first-come-first-served basis. But, it is certainly worth mentioning it as it will give you a better chance of securing the best table.

Sunset at the rock restaurant zanzibar
Enjoying sunset hour

Where is The Rock Restaurant located?

It is located at Michamvi beach on the southeast corner of Zanzibar. It is 1 hour & 20 minutes from Stonetown and just 20 minutes from Paje (another popular tourist destination on the island of Zanzibar). The best way to get to The Rock is to hire a private driver from your hotel, as he/she will wait for you and return you to your hotel when you are finishes. Our private driver cost us $40 from Paje, it will cost a lot more from Stonetown. There are local buses that pass through Michamvi but the timings can be unreliable and it is likely when the bus does pass you they will already be full. Depending on where you’re staying, your accomodation will be able to suggest the best bus to take if that is what you’d prefer.

Should you visit The Rock Restaurant at high tide or low tide

This is completely a personal preference, we ended up going at low tide as we didn’t check in advance. And to be honest we would have preferred high tide as the ocean surrounds the restaurant and a staff member needs to come collect you from the shore in a little wooden boat. Worth remembering: low tide means you can walk to the restaurant across the sand and high tide means the ocean completely surrounds the restaurant. Here are the tide times for Michamvi beach (where The Rock is located) .

We personally think the best time to visit The Rock Restaurant is at high tide and for the dinner service, preferably in time for sunset.

The rock restaurant at low tide
Low tide at The Rock, Zanzibar

What is the menu like at The Rock Restaurant

The best summary of the menu is fresh seafood with an Italian twist. The seafood at the restaurant is so fresh (as in caught that day fresh). And I’m not the biggest seafood fan but I knew at The Rock Restaurant in particular I had to try their seafood dishes. We ordered the homemade ravioli filled with aubergines, the grilled fish fillet with creamy coconut spinach and to start we had the fish carpaccio served with coconut sauce. All were excellent choices and very filling dishes.

For drinks, we ordered their house bottle of white wine which comes beautifully labelled with a photo of the restaurant. We actually peeled this off the bottle and took it home for our memory box.

What was the overall dining experience like at The Rock Restaurant

We were greeted warmly upon arrival and the server checked we had a reservation and then ticked our name off a list. Just a note, it is highly unlikely you will be able to walk in without a reservation and get a table, you can do this for drinks only and sit on the balcony at the front. However, space is very limited so come early to ensure a seat.

We mentioned to the greeter that we were celebrating our honeymoon and he gave us a lovely table next to the window on the left side of the restaurant. Try to avoid the tables in the middle of the restaurant if possible, as there is a lot of foot traffic through that area with people coming in and out of the front balcony to order drinks.

Drinks at The Rock Restaurant

The majority of the servers are from the local area and so, have an abundance of local knowledge. It was quite nice to see that such a well-known restaurant encourages employment from the local area. All of the staff we interacted with were very knowledgeable and friendly.

Our honest review of dinner at The Rock Restaurant

Overall, we would highly recommend to book a table at The Rock Restaurant it was a wonderfully unique experience in one of the most recognisable restaurants in the world. The food is of high-quality, although a lot more expensive than other restaurants on Zanzibar. To ensure the best experience we recommend going at high tide, try to get a seat on the balcony or near a window to admire the spectacular view. Oh and take lots of photos.

Have you visited The Rock Restaurant? We would love to hear about your experience in the comment section!

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The Ultimate Guide to Gorilla Trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Uganda

Our honest review of Gorilla-trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Uganda. With detailed advice on how to book a tour, where to stay and what to wear on your trek.

For our honeymoon this past August, we were lucky enough to tick off a major bucket-list item. Gorilla-trekking in Bwindi impenetrable forest, Uganda was something I’d wanted to do for a very long time. And to be honest I wasn’t quite sure what to expect! From our research it seems everyone has a different experience. Gorilla-trekking in Uganda is a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will treasure for the rest of my life.

We combined the gorilla trek in Bwindi with a safari in Serengeti (as well as other amazing stops) and I have to admit it was the best honeymoon I could imagine for myself!

As promised, in this piece, I will give you all the details about Gorilla-trekking in Uganda. As well as answer all the burning questions you have been asking us since our return.

silverback gorilla bwindi
A female gorilla in Bwindi!

Why add Gorilla-trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest to your bucket list

The sad fact is that there are only two populations of mountain Gorillas left in the world. One population lives in the Virunga mountains of Central Africa. The second population (and the one we visited) lives deep in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda.

According to results released in May 2018, the number of mountain Gorillas is estimated to be just 1,000 individuals. This puts them on the critically endangered list, which is just two classifications away from completely extinct!

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Our honest review of Gorilla-trekking in Bwindi Imepenetrable Forest, Uganda. With detailed advice on how to book a tour, where to stay and what to wear.

Why we chose Bwindi Impenetrable Forest over other area’s in Africa

Gorilla-trekking in Uganda is only done in two national parks – Bwindi & Mgahinga. At the last count, there were found to be 17 mountain Gorilla families living in Bwindi and just one family in Mgahinga. Bwindi has almost 500 individual mountain gorilla’s – which makes your chances of seeing these majestic creatures all the more likely. The range of accommodation options in Bwindi were far greater too.

Why didn’t we choose to do gorilla-trekking in Rwanda you may ask? The cost of a gorilla-trekking permit in Rwanda is significantly higher at $1500USD per permit versus Uganda’s $600USD. So, a primary reasoning in choosing Uganda over Rwanda was the cost. Trekking for gorillas in Rwanda is supposedly easier and a less-strenuous hike – this day trip from Kigali is highly recommended.

Why not read next our Serengeti Safari experience

Paul posing with the gorilla family in the background!

Our experience Gorilla-trekking in Bwindi impenetrable forest

We started planning our Gorilla-trek in Uganda at least six months in advance. Advance planning is essential as the permits sell out quickly – there is a limited number available daily. We researched all the gorilla-trekking companies in depth and finally decided on Adventure in the Wild. Adventure in the Wild are fairly priced are quick and honest in their responses to our questions over email. We also liked the accommodation options they offered for our two nights in Bwindi impenetrable forest. This particular tour is very similar to the option we chose.

At the start of our 4-day tour, our guide – Elias (who was fantastic by the way) collected us from our accommodation in Kigali, Rwanda. We planned a more unique route and spent a night in Akagera National Park. Before making the long journey into Uganda and finally to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Be prepared for long periods in the car, the journey from Kigali & Entebbe to Bwindi is at least 4 hours each way.

We arrived in the late evening to our accommodation at Gorilla Mist Camp and quickly dropped our bags at our cabin before going straight to the buffet dinner. We were told that it would be a fairly early start the next day (breakfast at 7am) so we headed to bed early and found hot water bottles in our bed which was a cute touch as it does get pretty chilly in the evenings.

The day of the trek in Bwindi

We had breakfast before our departure to the meeting point at Bwindi National Park headquarters, there we were given a briefing and treated to a welcome dance by the local women! You are then split into smaller groups and they try to match you with others of similar fitness levels – most of the other trekkers were over 50 so we weren’t expecting an overly strenuous hike. You can choose to hire a porter to carry your bag and help you on the hike – which I highly recommend doing as it’s giving more income back to the locals. And even though I’m fit I definitely used my porters help more than I expected to. I think it costs from $10 USD for a porter.

It took us less than an hour to reach our gorilla family. It was a steep downhill climb through dense forest but we suddenly stumbled upon a family of 8 gorillas eating near a tree. You have only an hour in their presence to observe and take photos.

I can’t recommend this experience enough and honestly it was one of the best things I’ve done in my life! You can book a tour to Bwindi from Kampala; from Kigali in Rwanda. Or you can include it as part of a 10-day Uganda Safari!

silverback gorilla in bwindi
The silverback gorilla!

Where to stay near Bwindi Impenetrable Forest

For our two nights in Bwindi, we stayed at Gorilla Mist Camp. It’s rustic-chic and we had our own cottage with a large balcony and fantastic views. Dinner and breakfast are included with your room and is served at set times. Also, because of it’s remote location electricity and hot water are only available at certain times. It gets cold at night but the staff place a hot water bottle in your bed at turndown service, which is a wonderful touch.

Some other great hotel options near Bwindi include,

  • Bwindi Forest Farm and Campsite – at this basic campsite you can choose a double room with a shared bathroom or pitch a tent. It’s a great budget option and offers breakfast.
  • Bwindi Forest Lodge – with lovely garden views this Lodge also has a restaurant and children’s playground. The rooms are cabin-style and comfortable.
  • Bwindi Guest House – set in a gorgeous location and with a garden and a terrace to enjoy the views. The rooms are larger than most in the area. There’s also an on-site restaurant and 24-hour reception.
  • Rushaga Gorilla Lodge – one of the only hotels in the area with an outdoor pool – this is certainly one of the more luxurious options.
baby gorilla bwindi impenetrable forest
A baby gorilla in Bwindi!

Is Gorilla-trekking in Uganda safe?

In short yes, our experience felt completely safe and we didn’t have any problems. Before even venturing into the national park, you are given a detailed briefing at the park headquarters. Some of the most important things to note from this are that:

  • You must remain 7 metres away from the Gorillas at all times, don’t eat or drink in their presence
  • Don’t make any loud noises
  • Refrain from using flash photography
  • Do not may eye contact with the Silverback Gorilla
  • If a Gorilla gets too close to you then you are told to act submissively and bend or crouch down – do not run away!

Our gorilla family were very habituated and unaffected when a large branch broke off from a nearby tree making a loud noise. At one point, our Ranger even took me right up close to a large female Gorilla sleeping on the ground. She wasn’t affected by my presence, even though she knew I was standing just a metre away.

Gorillas are notoriously clever. We had an hour in their presence, and when the time was up the Gorillas knew before we did and began moving into the thick forest away from our prying eyes.

In short, follow all the guidelines outlined in your briefing and also your rangers recommendations while in the Gorilla’s presence and you will have no issues.

Why not read next, why a honeymoon in Zanzibar is a good idea

local guide gorilla trekking uganda
Posing with my porter on the hike!

How much does it cost to go Gorilla-trekking in Uganda?

The permit alone costs $600USD per person, which is significantly lower than Rwanda but higher than the Democratic Republic of Congo. You can also choose to have a local guide accompany you on the trek, to help you with your backpack and assist you down the steep hills and narrow paths to your gorilla family. This costs $15USD per guide.

In my opinion, it is definitely worth it. And even though I consider myself fit, my guide was incredibly helpful whilst going down the very steep muddy hill to our gorilla family. In hiring a guide you are also contributing to the local community.

Besides the permit and the local guide, you will still need to pay for transportation to and from Bwindi as well as accommodation here. This is why we chose to book with Adventure in the Wild as they gave us a 4 night package which included everything.

You can book a tour to Bwindi from Kampala; from Kigali in Rwanda. Or you can include it as part of a 10-day Uganda Safari!

mountain gorillas uganda
Photo credit: Shadows of Africa

Why is Gorilla-trekking so expensive?

Conservation of the mountain Gorillas is not as cheap as you may think. Up until mid-2018 they were classed as ‘endangered species’. A lot of the money from the Gorilla permits is invested in trying to increase their population. And thankfully it has helped, as their numbers now surpass 1,000.

About 75% of the funds from the permits are channeled back to support the growth of these Gorillas. The local community takes about 10% and the government retains the remaining 15%.

What to wear on your trek

  • A good pair of hiking boots with ankle support, synthetic material as opposed to leather is best. And a sole with a good grip. These are the newer version of the hiking boots I had and I found them brilliant! My husband had these ones!
  • A rain poncho as opposed to a rain jacket as it is lighter and easier to pack in your backpack. This is a great all-round rain poncho!
  • Long pants and a long sleeve top – ideally with built in insect repellant. I had this pair of ladies waterproof trousers and they were so comfortable. These mens waterproof trousers are the pair my husband had!
  • Thick wool socks, preferably merino wool so you feet don’t get too sweaty. These are a great pair of merino wool socks! We also recommend tucking your pants into your socks to limit insect bites
female gorilla yawning bwindi uganda
A female gorilla yawning!

With all of the above tips, we hope you have all the information you need for your Gorilla-trekking experience in Uganda. It is trully an amazing experience. One you will undoubtedly remember for the rest of your life!

If you have any further questions about Gorilla-trekking in Bwindi – feel free to ask us in the comment section below.

Thanks for reading my blog, I also have heaps of other articles on Africa including Amboseli National Parkdining at The Rock Restaurant on Zanzibar and much more!

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Our tips for the best honeymoon in Zanzibar

Spending your honeymoon in Zanzibar – it sounds dreamy doesn’t it? Here’s why we think this stunning African island with white beaches, glittering oceans and a unique history should be at the top of your honeymoon bucket list.

This past August we spent an epic 27 days in Africa for our honeymoon. We started with 7 days in Zanzibar & then continued on to other amazing destinations like Serengeti and Gorilla-trekking in Uganda.

Out of all the places we visited on our honeymoon – Zanzibar has sparked the most interest from our readers. With lots of questions coming through on our emails and social media about the beautiful island of Zanzibar. In this piece, we will aim to answer all those questions and give you lots of advice for your honeymoon in Zanzibar.

Tip #1 – Divide your time between the beaches and Stonetown

We spent 4 nights on Jambiani beach on the Southeast of the island and 3 nights in Stonetown. This itinerary worked out perfectly for us, because it meant we spent our first few days relaxing on the white sand beaches of Paje. We wanted to de-stress after our wedding in Italy and so doing nothing more than swimming, eating & drinking cocktails was just what the doctor ordered.

Stonetown on the other hand was pretty jam-packed as there’s lots to see. We recommend visiting the Old Slave Market, doing a boat tour to Prison Island to see the giant tortoises and visiting the Darajani market. In the evening make sure you head to the beach to watch the sunset preferably at one of the many bars and restaurants dotted along the beach. We liked The Beach House.

jetty spice island resort jambiani

Tip #2 – Book a table at the Rock Restaurant

We hugely recommend booking the Rock Restaurant in advance as it is extremely popular. We advise booking your table at least 2 weeks prior, especially, if you want a dinner sitting. The Rock Restaurant is pricey, but in our opinion it’s worth the price tag. The cuisine is best described as fresh Zanzibar seafood with an Italian twist. You can order non-fish items on the menu too. In fact, I ordered the vegetarian ravioli and it was yummy! We also ordered the house wine which has a beautiful label featuring the restaurant at sunset (we peeled this off and took it home for our memory box).

Depending on the tides you may be able to walk to the Rock restaurant or the restaurant will collect you on their boat if the tide is in. Your hotel will need to organise a taxi for you as the Rock restaurant is quite far from most places. Your driver will wait for you in the carpark until your finished. Our taxi cost $40 return from Jambiani.

Read more: how exactly to book a table at The Rock Restaurant
the rock restaurant zanzibar

Tip #3 – Splurge on a nice hotel

It is your honeymoon after all, so treat yourself to a ‘fancy’ hotel – ideally on the beach. We chose the Spice Island Resort in Jambiani. The unique selling point for the Spice Island Resort is the jetty extending into the bright blue Indian ocean. You can sunbathe on the jetty, swim off its wooden steps or enjoy a cocktail at sundown. The hotel also has a large swimming pool, a Spa and a large restaurant. They were also nice enough to organize a private dinner on the beach for our honeymoon. A very special touch.

In Stonetown we stayed at the Doubletree by Hilton. And we’re so glad we did – we were upgraded to a Suite and even got a warm chocolate chip cookie on check-in. The Doubletree is centrally located and has an excellent view from the rooftop restaurant Taarab.

swimming at jambiani beach

Tip #4 – Make sure you watch sunset every night in Zanzibar

We’re so glad we made the effort to watch the sunset every night of our honeymoon in Zanzibar. Some of the sunset highlights for our honeymoon were at the jetty at Spice Island in Jambiani or as previously mentioned the Beach House in Stonetown.

sunset on jambiani beach

*Now to answer those burning questions you’ve asked us about our honeymoon in Zanzibar*

Can you swim in the ocean in Zanzibar?

You can definitely swim in the ocean in Zanzibar – in fact we made sure to swim a few times a day. In the Southeast where we stayed the water is gorgeously turquoise but it can be windy and so the water tends to be choppier. Keep in mind that Paje & Jambiani beach are very popular windsurfing destinations. When the tide goes out you can walk over the rock pools for quite a while and spot crabs and small fish. Pretty cool!

Our honeymoon in Zanzibar

Is Zanzibar safe?

We never felt unsafe during our honeymoon in Zanzibar and found the locals to be incredibly friendly and accommodating. However, as with everywhere we recommend having ‘your wits about you’ when walking the streets of Stonetown or the beach of Jambiani. Locals will approach you often but they are usually just trying to sell you a tour or get you to visit to their restaurant or bar. Be polite, smile and tell them firmly “No, thank you” and they tend to leave you alone.

Don’t display flashy jewelry or cameras. Lock your valuables in the safe in your room. If your room doesn’t have one ask reception to store your valuables securely for you. Above all be respectful – Zanzibar is a predominantly Muslim nation and so respecting their culture is important. Dressing appropriately, especially for women is recommended.

dhow in zanzibar

How easy is it to get to Zanzibar?

I will admit, I thought it would be a lot more difficult to reach Zanzibar than it actually was. We saved money by flying from London Gatwick via Istanbul with Turkish Airlines. You can also fly with Emirates via Dubai and British Airways via Doha. As always, we recommend using google flights to find the best flight deal!

And there you have it, I hope you’ll agree that Zanzibar is a fantastic honeymoon destination. From white beaches, a unique history and plenty of luxury resorts. Zanzibar is the ultimate honeymoon destination!

As always, if you have any questions – please comment in the comment section below and we will get back to you.

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Planning our Honeymoon in Serengeti National Park Tanzania

In this blog post, we’ll tell you all about our honeymoon in Serengeti. Where we stayed, what we ate and what animals we saw.

Not only were we lucky enough to get married in Cinque Terre, Italy this past August. We were also incredibly lucky to have a month long honeymoon in Africa afterwards. A once-in-a-lifetime trip that can only really be justified for a big occasion like your honeymoon. It trully was everything we imagined it would be and no activity left us disappointed.

A big part of this trip was spending three nights in the unforgettable Serengeti. This was a very exciting moment for me having spent many years watching TV shows about the Serengeti on National Geographic. In this blog post we will let you in on a few secrets about our trip to Serengeti – where we stayed, how we got there and what we ate.

This 3-day 2-night tour which includes both Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater is very similar to the one we did! This 2-day luxury tour departs from Arusha and is a great option for those wanting only luxurious accommodation. And if you are short on time – this one-day tour from Mwanza is ideal.

Herd of zebras in Serengeti
Zebras in Serengeti

Where we stayed in Serengeti on our honeymoon

In total we spent three nights in the Serengeti and surrounding area (this is including Ngorongoro Crater National Park). Our first two nights here were spent in Lobo Wildlife Lodge in the Lobo area of the park. This is a government-owned lodge that was built back in 1968. It has a beautiful setting overlooking the park but it does need some work. The floorboards in our room were very squeaky. But the view from the deck area of the bar and the pool more than made up for the minor quirks. We stayed on a full board package and the food was good although not as good as some other Lodges we stayed at.

View from room at Lobo Wildlife Lodge
The view from our room at Lobo Wildlife Lodge

For our third night we stayed at Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge (you can book the luxurious Ngorongoro Serena Lodge which is nearby here). This is located within the Ngorongoro Crater National Park and is approximately 3 hours drive from the exit gate of Serengeti. The Lodge has a fantastic view from the main deck of the crater, when we arrived we even spotted a black rhino through the Lodges’ binoculars from here. Like Lobo Wildlife Lodge this Lodge is government owned but seems more modern (recently renovated perhaps). It was built in 1969. Again, we stayed on a full board package and the food here was of really high quality.

This 3-day 2-night tour is very similar to the tour we did in Serengeti!

View from Ngorongoro wildlife lodge
The view from Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge

Where to stay in Serengeti National Park

Other than the two hotels we stayed at, there are several hotels we recommend to stay in Serengeti. Which one you choose depends on your budget ( a lot are $$$ as you can imagine) and what part of the National Park you want to stay in (Serengeti is huge!!). Here I have split the hotels into three of the most popular areas – Seronera; Naabi Hill and Mara River.

Sunset from Lobo Wildlife Lodge
Sunset from Lobo Wildlife Lodge


Also known as the Central Serengeti, this is the best part of the Park to see big cats like lions, cheetahs and leopards. The peak season in the Seronera is between April and June and October to December – when the Great Migration passes through the area. Seronera airstrip (where we flew into from Zanzibar) is also located here.

Best hotels in Seronera – Mbuzi Mawe Serena Camp; Four Seasons Serengeti and Siringit Serengeti

Mara River

The Mara River borders both Kenya and Tanzania, this area in Serengeti is famous because it is where the Great Migration happens (we witnessed it and it was amazing!!). As a result this area gets booked up quickly from September to December when the great migration happens in the area.

Best hotels near Mara River – Melia Serengeti Lodge; Serengeti Serena Lodge and Mbalageti Serengeti

Naabi Hill

This is where the main gate to enter Serengeti is located so it’s a popular option for the first night in Serengeti. Naabi Hill is actually an acacia-covered hill and this area is home to lions and the Great Migration passes through the area on the way to the Eastern Serengeti.

Best hotels in Naabi Hill – Gnu Ndutu Camp and Lake Ndutu Luxury Tented Camp

How we got to the Serengeti

We arrived to the Serengeti in a very unique and memorable way – by fixed wing plane. We booked with Auric Air from. Zanzibar to Seronera airstrip in the Serengeti. This included a quick re-fuel in Arusha. This was an amazing experience, flying high over the blue Indian ocean and above the Serengeti in a small plane. Our plane only sat 9 passengers plus the pilot and co-pilot.

Neither me nor Paul are afraid of flying but if you were a nervous flyer then the fixed wing plane will feel different then a ‘normal’ plane. But we felt very safe at all times. Make sure to have a camera with you, as the photo opportunities on this flight are incredible.

Auric air plane
Out plane with Auric Air
Flight from Zanzibar to Serengeti
The view over Zanzibar

Our driver met us at Seronera airstrip upon landing and we immediately began our safari experience in the Serengeti.

What did we eat in the Serengeti

As mentioned above, throughout our time in the Serengeti we were on a full board package. I believe this is common in most hotels in the Serengeti as its not like a normal destination where you can go for dinner in a nearby restaurant. Here, almost everyone eats and drinks in their accomodation due to the distances between accomodation options. Our meals were a lot better than expected considering the remote nature of the Serengeti.

Breakfast for us was a buffet offering fruits, cereals and baked goods as well as made to order pancakes or omelettes. Our lunch was pre-packed and eaten in the park during our game drive. It consisted of a sandwich, fruit, crisps and a cake. Dinner was buffet-style with soup and salad to start. A variety of meats, vegetables and french fries for the main. There were some small cakes on offer for dessert.

What a ‘normal’ day on safari in Serengeti looks like

Everyday on safari in the Serengeti is different. And your driver will adapt each day depending on what animals you want to see. Also, depending on the time of the year – seeing the great migration will likely be a big priority to you.

Day one – Seronera area

On our first day upon being picked up from Seronera airstrip, we focused on the central area of Serengeti (also known as Seronera) which is known for big cats like lions and leopards.

Lions in Serengeti
Lion cub in Serengeti

Day two – Mara River and Great Migration

On our second day we drove from Lobo Wildlife Lodge North towards the Mara River. We were hoping to see the Great Migration. We waited for a few hours in one location, had some lunch in the vehicle and we thought all hope was lost.

Then on our drive back to the Lodge, we spotted lots of cars in the distance hiding in the bush near the river. Our driver decided to go check it out. As luck would have it, when we arrived we spotted hundreds of Wildebeest lined up on the other side of the river. This is it we thought. It took a several minutes but eventually they started crossing the river. We witnessed the great migration and it was incredible.

Great migration mara river

Day three – Ngorongoro Crater

On our third day, we drove towards the Serengeti exit gate including some game spotting on route. We were slowly making our way towards the Ngorongoro Crater. Once you exit the Serengeti you are essentially driving on an ‘almost’ motorway, to break this up we stopped at a traditional Masai village. Entry to here was $50USD and it was very interesting albeit a little ‘showy’. What I mean by that, is that it seemed like the Masai tribe were putting on a show for us. We did get caught paying well over the odds for some trinkets they were selling. So be mindful of this.

The drive into Ngorongoro Crater is stunning and very steep. We weren’t very lucky in spotting a huge amount of animals but we did spot elephants, zebras, baboons and others. We weren’t lucky enough to spot the elusive black rhino whilst driving through the national park. However, later on our Lodge’s deck we spotted two through the binoculars. Lucky. This tour is a great option to Ngorongoro and departs from Arusha.

The luxurious Ngorongoro Serena Lodge is a great place to stay here!

Giraffes in Serengeti national Park

Best things to do on a honeymoon in Serengeti National Park

  • A sunrise hot air balloon – wake up before anyone else and embark on a bucket-list balloon ride over the Serengeti and watch the sky go pink and the animals below going about their morning. The balloon ride is an hour long.
  • See the Great Migration – if you visit Serengeti National Park during the months of late September to December you may just catch the Great Migration. We were lucky enough to witness this in late September on the Mara River. For the best chance of seeing this phenomenon stay at Mbalageti Serengeti which looks onto the Mara River.
  • Have a picnic in the wild – ask your accommodation if they can set up a private picnic for you in the Park.

What to pack for your honeymoon in Serengeti

  • A good pair of hiking boots with ankle support, synthetic material as opposed to leather is best. And a sole with a good grip. Although you will be in the car most of the day these are helpful when you get out to stretch your legs or go on a safari walk with your guide These are the newer version of the hiking boots I had and I found them brilliant! My husband had these ones!
  • Long pants and a long sleeve top – ideally with built in insect repellant (mosquitos and horse flies are a big problem here). I had this pair of ladies trousers and they were so comfortable. These mens trousers are the pair my husband had. Alternatively, these ladies pants are a stylish safari pants.
  • Thick wool socks, preferably merino wool so you feet don’t get too sweaty in your boots. Theses are a great pair of merino wool socks! We also recommend tucking your pants into your socks to limit insect bites

If you love adventure then a honeymoon in Serengeti is for you

So, there you have it a brief insight into our honeymoon in Serengeti. Although, we only spent three days here, we felt like we saw everything we wanted to see. Our expectations were well and trully exceeded and we mentioned numerous times to each other on the trip that we wished we had left Serengeti until the end of our trip. As no other safari lived up to what we saw in Serengeti. The Serengeti is trully a place like no other, and what better way to see it than with your spouse on honeymoon.

These are the best tours to Serengeti National Park that we could find –this 3-day 2-night tour which includes both Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater is very similar to the one we did! This 2-day luxury tour departs from Arusha and is a great option for those wanting only luxurious accommodation. And if you are short on time – this one-day tour from Mwanza is ideal.

Herd of elephants in Serengeti

*We booked our Serengeti trip through Shidolya Tours and we highly recommend them. They were quick to answer our questions and are reasonably priced. Our driver Peter was so knowledgeable and friendly.

Thanks for reading, we also have loads more blog posts on Africa including gorilla trekking in Uganda, Zanzibar, Amboseli National Park and much more!

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A honeymoon in the Serengeti is an amazing experience. Here I'll tell you where we stayed, how we got there and what we ate in the Serengeti.