Lesley Paull of Paull Travel recently traveled with Big Five to Tanzania and she provided this written report.
I just returned from an amazing trip to Tanzania with Big Five. Everything was perfect. I have fallen in love with Tanzania. I wanted to offer information for travelers. If they are travelling via Amsterdam, everything is easy with no gate changes, so you change gates the same as you always have.
Upon arrival in Kilimanjaro International Airport, JRO, per the new regulations in Tanzania, we were not required to show a document for a Covid-19 test, or anything that shows you have medical coverage. You need your passport and a visa, that’s it! I strongly suggest that you get your visa in advance online. It saves valuable time.
The VIP arrival process is even better than it used to be. We were met and escorted to a special area, where they offered us food and water/juice while my documents were checked. We did not have luggage, so with checked luggage it would have taken longer. But as it was, the process took maybe 20 minutes and was just what one needs after a long flight. Note that on the return through Amsterdam you do need to go through a COVID security desk, but that is simple and fast. You just answer the usual questions – that’s it. It was very easy.
The next day, I was so glad that we were able to make it to the Ereto Primary school Big Five is helping build. It can be hard to reach because the road is often impassable, which does make for an “adventurous drive.“ But it was so worth it!
I think the project is amazing, providing a school for 200 kids! Education is so important to the future for these children. To see all those beautiful kids singing for us did bring a tear to my eye, that’s for sure.
The trip to Lake Manyara and on to Ngorongoro Crater was awesome, and Erik, our Big Five guide was very knowledgeable and a lot of fun! Our stay at Gibbs Farm, a very beautiful and interesting stop, allowed us to see a working farm and how they are providing work for the community as well as a beautiful camp and safari experience.
Our next stop was Taasa Lodge and it was a dream. This is an incredible tented camp with on the edge of the Serengeti, and has off road safaris and night game drives… We loved it. The staff was over the top, and the half day trip to the Masai Village was a real eye opener and incredibly interesting.
Our last stop was Lemala Mpingo Ridge in Tarangire National Park, another totally different environment. We also loved this tented camp – and all those beautiful people, great food, wonderful service and, again, incredible safaris, where we saw lots of elephants!
As you can imagine, the camps are hurting as well as we all are, but they welcomed us with open arms and were SO, SO glad to see us. It gave us time to spend time with everyone and to get to understand their lives and their dreams. Tanzania captured my heart, and it’s amplified with COVID and how they are all suffering yet always still smiling. The people never complain, in fact I may have adopted a few along the way!
Our departure process was seamless. This was the perfect time to travel to Tanzania. I felt that I had been let out of jail!
I will encourage everyone to go now. This video will give you an idea of the great safari experience waiting for you. Thank you – it was over the top. The fantastic service from Big Five, the people, the smiles and the safaris, it was simply magical. It is inspiring.
Note: A special thank you goes to Lesley and Peter, they have become active supporters of Ereto Primary School. We are grateful for their help.