From the thunderous sounds of stampeding hooved wildlife to the roar of lions heard while drifting over the Serengeti in a hot air balloon, or the less-travelled Tarangire National Park, Africa is a luxury traveller’s portal to glimpse a place on earth where little has changed over the last few millennia. Women who dream of experiencing Africa, but don’t have a travelling partner, are no longer restricted. New Adventures for Women group tours starting in February 2015 from Visit Arusha are the only tours in the area designed exclusively for the discriminating female traveller who seeks to immerse herself in the tastes, smells, sights, and sounds of the real Africa.
Beyond the chain store machiatto
Begin your African safari in a setting that embodies Old World Charm. Hidden at the edge of the colourful city of Arusha is one of Tanzania’s largest coffee plantations, the Arusha Coffee Lodge. Thirty luxury plantation houses, reminiscent of years-gone-by, stretch in the radiant African sun into evergreen coffee fields. By day coffee pickers reap the bountiful harvest, starting their day early while the fragrance of the fruits of their labour being prepared permeates the morning air. But in the cool night air, with black sky and crystal stars overhead, open log fires beckon travellers with a warm welcome to enjoy a gourmet dinner in the Lodge’s restaurant or a drink aged in oak in the enchanting bar or lounge. Private tours with your own expert Coffee Guide will explain the process of growing, harvesting, drying and roasting the precious bean. Finish the tour of the plantation with a taste test that is sure to stimulate the senses.
The ancient road less travelled
With the largest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti, Tarangire National Park encapsulates the Darwinian essence of undiscovered Africa. Little travelled by the majority of tour groups, it provides peaceful, unspoiled viewing of wildlife – making in a true hidden gem. From the majestic big elephants to the most immense selection of bird species (more than 550) on the planet in one location, even the seasoned traveler will be in awe. You’ll have a front row seat as tree-climbing lions eye throngs of zebra, wildebeest, waterbuck, giraffe and olive baboons.
Enter the real world of make-believe
One of the highlights of the new tours for women is a real-life adventure. Tarangire Treetops is a mystical African lodge nestled among the tree tops. Arriving at the lodge, colorfully dressed Maasai tribesmen greet travellers and welcome them into this captivating world. Built around a 1,000-year-old baobab tree, the lodge’s elevated rooms provide soaring views over marula and baobab trees. Even the weariest traveller will relax as they hear the Maasai chants or dine poolside by candlelight – accompanied by an array of wildlife seeking their own refreshment at the Lodge’s watering hole. You’ll be spellbound by a place where the spirit world and the physical world intermingle so fluidly, guided only by nature.
A Serengeti like no other
You’ll quickly understand why the locals call Tanzania “Heaven on Earth”. Endless plains teeming with wildlife as far as the eye can see will make you leave behind all thoughts of civilization. During migration charging masses of thunderous wildebeest, zebra and other wild animals vie for a place in the ultimate survival test. You’ll bear witness to Mother Nature at her most intense and be reminded of mankind’s small role in it all.
While quietly reflecting, indulge in the secluded and magnificently luxurious Four Seasons Serengeti Lodge. Float in the glossy free-form infinity pool high above the watering hole frequented by animals roaming free on the Serengeti plains. Or soak in the private outdoor tubs at the spa under an azure sky choosing from all-natural spa treatments inspired by the flora and regional ingredients of Africa.
The sun also rises
Finish your tour surrounded by the ancient echoing walls of the Ngorongoro Crater that is renowned as the 8th Wonder of the World. This looming extinct volcano offers a spectacular once-in-a-lifetime experience in an ethereal setting to take in the raw beauty of Africa’s magical flora and fauna. The walls of the crater serve as a natural enclosure for the African wildlife and have earned it the well-known title of the Garden of Eden. Adjacent to the crater and situated on a 1500 acre Arabica coffee estate is the elegant and sumptuous Ngorongoro Manor. Blending Afro-European architecture and décor, this upscale lodge provides stunning views of the rich fertile green hills. Women on this tour are urged to rise early in Ngorongoro, before returning to their starting point in Arusha, to behold one of the most breathtaking sunrises of their lifetime as the sun rises and crests over the rim of the crater.