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The Royal Treatment

My experiences in the wilds of Africa have equipped me with a specific set of skills to deal with things like charging elephants and angry lions. These skills tell me when to stand my ground, and when running is the more prudent choice.

Having said that, there are certain things I’m just not ready for, such as the experience at Ngorongoro Crater Lodge in Tanzania, where I was introduced to my own butler. My instincts immediately told me that I should run, lest the staff find out I was an imposter, unworthy of such service.

I bravely stood my ground though, and for the next two days did my best impersonation of royalty. Dusty from the road, I would return to my suite to find freshly poured Tusker beer—moisture just beginning to bead on the glass—and a bath drawn at the perfect temperature. Trust me, the view from the bath is almost worth the trip alone. Later, my butler would ‘summon’ me for sumptuous meals overlooking the Caldera, bathed in the last light of the day…hopefully you’re getting idea by now.

The only thing that detracts from the perfection at the lodge is the safari experience itself. The Crater is on a lot of people’s bucket lists and is therefore busy, sometimes miserably so. Suffice it to say that there is no way 100 square kilometers can accommodate 300+ safari vehicles. Call me a snob but the fumes from so many vehicles and the sounds of people on cell phones have no place in the bush. Don’t go here for the game, go instead for the sheer spectacle and experience of the place, it’s worth it.

Put Ngorongoro at the beginning of your safari before you head into the true Tanzanian wilderness (or better yet get Trufflepig to do it for you). The standards at the lodge are exceptional and while you won’t be disappointed with any of the suites, the ones lower down the hill are the more intimate option. The dining room is smaller, the view more dramatic, and the feel just that little bit more exclusive. It’s a bloody long way from anywhere to get to Tanzania and the name of the game is a soft landing to ease you into the adventure—believe me, this is it.

Dan Achber is a bit snotty when it comes to safari. He’ll admit it too, it isn’t just us. But who better to plan your once in a lifetime trip to Africa than a guy who chooses only the best? 

Don't go here for the game, go instead for the sheer spectacle and experience of the place, it's worth it.

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