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Backpacker Safari

Backpackers Clive Gaby and his girlfriend Daniella recently returned to the UK after a couple weeks exploring northern Tanzania – and the beaches of Zanzibar. We recently interviewed Clive about a safari that BootsnAll helped organize.

1. Tell BootsnAll members a little bit about your trip. How many days and to what national parks?
We only did a really short trip, for two days. The first day was in Lake Manyara and the second one was in the Ngorongoro Crater.

2. What was your favorite park? Why?
Both parks were really beautiful for different reasons. Lake Manyara had amazing vegetation and the surrounding valley was stunning. To suddenly come out of the trees and see the lake with all the wildlife around it and the valley walls behind it was an amazing thing to see. Ngorongoro crater was just a crazy place to be! Looking around you and realising that you’re in what used to be a mountain bigger than Kili is pretty exhilirating. The wildlife in the crater was also more varied than Manyara. The only drawback though, and the reason why Manyara just pipped it for me, is that because the crater is so flat you can see ALL the other safari vehicles racing around, and often you get into a little queue of them, which can make it feel like a bit of an amusement park. Still, both parks were fantastic and I’d recommend both of them to anyone thinking of going.

3. What was the most amazing experience on safari?
The most amazing experience was how cold it got on the rim of the crater where we camped!! Joking aside though I think seeing a cheetah stake out a warthog was pretty cool, as was getting up real close to a hyena protecting its young.

He saw every kind of animal imaginable, and our guide was full of information about them. Without him we hardly would have known what to look out for and where. The best moment was when he spotted four cheetahs in the distance that to the naked eye were no bigger than pin heads!

Our cook was great too – he put a huge effort into cooking our meals and making sure that everything was ok for us. We were just expecting some basic meals but he really cooked up a feast at every meal – we didn’t eat better our whole time away!!

4. Did you see any interesting animals?
Loads! They were all interesting – I’m from England; the only interesting animals we have here are usually served with chips and salad.

5. Any recommendations for other travelers?
Make sure you get a zoom for your camera, otherwise you’ll be constantly annoyed at how small things look through your lens! And also, if you book beforehand like we did, make sure you shop around and find someone relatively independent to ask advice from…like BootsnAll!