Mahree’s Tanzanian Safari – Part I

December 18, 2013  By: Gretchen

Mahree spent a few fantastic weeks in Tanzania and Zanzibar last month and we’ll be sharing her stories here on the Safari Journal Blog over the next week.

Having just returned from Tanzania and her adjacent island of Zanzibar, I’m still floating a few feet in the air. I believe it is impossible to choose a favorite country in Africa for each has its own unique flavor and essence. East Africa has firmly embedded itself in my heart as Southern Africa did so many years ago.

These are but a few of my memories which I shall forever cherish: the golden sea that makes up the Serengeti, cheetahs, sleek and elegant suddenly bolting at lightening speed, clouds and mist hovering over acacia trees on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, the brightly colored beads and robes of the Maasai – their haunting dance around an open fire. I shall remember crisp, starry nights, alive with the sound of lions calling in the distance, and the quiet, lapis waters of the Indian Ocean.

Mahree KiliMy heart is now atwitter with new adventures. What a dream it was to fly into Tanzania on a bright, November morning as I watched Mt. Kilimanjaro come into view. There it was, this icon, just as I had imagined; snowcapped, majestic, rising out of the savannah against the bright sapphire African skies.

I arrived at Kilimanjaro Airport near Arusha, a small, friendly airport, to meet the driver who would escort me the short distance to my first stop near the base of Mount Meru.
Mount Meru is like the little sister of Kilimanjaro – though it’s anything but little at more than 14k feet. It rises up from Arusha National Park with lush, green slopes carpeted in rich, fertile forests which are home to abundant wildlife and up to 400 different species of birds.Mahree Meru hotel

The luxurious Mount Meru hotel is nestled in the foothills of this beautiful mountain on 9 lush acres with breath taking views of the grounds and slopes of Mount. Meru.

The hotel is modern and elegant with 4 restaurants, a business center, pool, and spa. The rooms are spacious and comfortable; complete with air-conditioning, a mini bar, telephone, free Wi-Fi, satellite TV, and beautiful views of the grounds or the mountain. My room had a lovely view of the grounds, green manicured lawns, acacia trees, and a white gazebo next to a large pond.

Mahree Meru room viewDinner was served in the main restaurant which offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner; buffet-style. There was an array of fresh fruits and vegetables, soups, and variety of entree choices which included both western and traditional African dishes. Along with the abundance of food, there was a very nice wine list and a large array of tempting desserts. My dinner companion for the night happened to be one of the foremost experts on birdlife.Mahree Arusha airstrip

After an evening of superb dining, fine wine, and stimulating conversation, I realized I was relaxed. When had that happened last? I was content, at home – ready to snuggle up into my beautiful, cozy bed and dream of the days to come. Overall, the hotel is extremely comfortable, with friendly, efficient service, gourmet meals, and all of the modern conveniences one could ask for. The accommodations at Mount Meru Hotel offer a perfect place to re-group and relax in style. The following morning, I awoke refreshed, excited and ready to embark on safari. Off to Arusha airstrip fr a short flight to the famous Tarangire National Park, ready for adventure.