Friday, October 25, 2013

The safari plane experience in Tanzania

The other day in Tanzania, living a Travelife, we flew from the Serengeti National Park to Zanzibar.

If you've ever traveled around East Africa, you'll know that the main way to get around is via a series of small planes, usually fitting 8 to 10 people maximum.

It's not the best way to travel, but it's really the only way, unless you want to spend hours on bumpy roads.


So we've become the small plane experts on this two–week trip around Tanzania

Upon our arrival, in fact, we got the full–blown safari plane experience via a series of small planes to the edge of the Selous, which is the largest and most remote game reserve in the entire Africa.


We landed in Dar es Salaam, and then we were met by a company we contracted to deal with all our domestic logistics. They drove us to the terminal for the safari charter flights, about three kilometers away.

From there, it was a bit of a wait. 

There was nothing much to do in the terminal and we didn't have any local money, so we couldn't buy anything. Not that there was much to buy here. But you get the picture.

Finally, our flight was called. 

We were booked for the Sumbazi airstrip, but we had to land and take off at about five other remote airstrips before getting there. 


That was quite an experience, especially as the airstrips were all dirt road and the planes are small.

But they're not as bad as I thought. I managed without problems.


But the other day, we were preparing ourselves for a very long series of flights on a small plane, from the Seronera airstrip in the Serengeti to Zanzibar. The worst–case scenario was a series of short hops over three or four hours. 

That's no joke on a tiny plane.

But what luck we had that day. 

When we reached Seronera airstrip, we happily learned that our airline had sent us a fast and modern plane that could go up to 25,000 feet in a pressurized cabin

It was still a small plane, but it cut our flying time by half.

The best part was that it had suddenly become a direct flight between Serengeti and Zanzibar. That certainly made our day.


I'd even ordered a boxed lunch from the Four Seasons Serengeti for us, just to have something to do on the long plane ride. 

But now, with the kind of luck that always seems to pop up in a Travelife, we were going to reach Zanzibar in time for a proper lunch.

What a pleasant flight it was. And from the air, I marveled at the clear blue waters and the islands of Africa.

And by just past 1 PM, there we were, by a beautiful beach in The Residence, a five–star resort in Zanzibar, enjoying fresh coconut juice, club sandwiches and grilled fish for lunch. 

And living a Travelife, of course.

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