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November 30, 2012updated Feb 11, 2013

Surpassing Safaris, Bespoke Tanzanian Trips Redefine African Travel

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

Singita Sabora Tented CampandBeyond Ngorongoro Crater LodgeMwagusi Tented CampBeho BehoTanzania—Reported by Jennifer Sembler for Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine

A year-round destination that draws almost 870,000 tourists a year, Tanzania’s varied landscape and numerous parks and game reserves provide no shortage of adventure and spectacular animal sightings. But Tanzania is no DIY destination and a tour operator, such as Africa Adventure Company, is a must. They’ll tailor your trip exactly to your specifications by organizing ground transfers, game drives and guides, air transfers on carriers such as Coastal Aviation, and most importantly, accommodations. And with Tanzania’s ever-increasing luxury offerings, you can experience the wildlife of Africa without giving up your creature comforts. From north to south, east to west, the landscape couldn’t be more varied but the properties are equally as suited to the elite traveler.

For a true one-with-nature experience, Singita’s Sabora Tented Camp is a perfect pick. Nestled within Singita Grumeti, a private concession in the western corridor of the Seregenti, Sabora Tented Camp, one of five properties in the area, is made up of just nine luxury tents. The deluxe air-conditioned cotton canvas structures feature leather-floored en-suite bathrooms, outdoor showers, private decks overlooking the plains, six-poster beds and carefully selected antiques. When you aren’t on twice-daily game drives, the main lodge area offers a covered dining area, library, swimming pool, plus a fitness center and spa. To the east is the famed Ngorongoro Crater, the largest unflooded caldera in the world, often referred to as the eighth wonder of the world. After a drive on the crater floor, stay right on the rim at andBeyond’s Ngorongoro Crater Lodge. Thirty suites divided into three separate areas keeps the experience as intimate as possible. Designed in the style of traditional African huts, each banana-thatched-roof suite features gorgeous views of the crater through floor-to-ceiling windows, an in-room fireplace, chandelier-lit bathroom and butler service. Down in the south of the country sits Ruaha National Park, the largest and one of the less-visited national parks in Tanzania. Stay at Mwagusi Tented Camp for a real rustic and authentic bush experience. Built right on the banks of the Mwagusi River, each deluxe banda (which means temporary shelter) has a spacious tent, en-suite bathroom and large covered verandah with a seating area overlooking the river. During dry season, join owner Chris Fox down in the riverbed for dinner and drinks by candlelight. Also in the south is the Selous Game Reserve, the largest game reserve in Africa and a UNESCO World Heritage site. While there are numerous lodges to choose from, Beho Beho was the first property to set up camp here back in the early seventies, and so it enjoys a prime position in the cooler highlands. The eight stone cottages with palm-thatched roofs have only three sides, leaving them open to the elements so guests never lose sight of the beautiful landscape. An array of activities are on offer, including walking and boating safaris, in addition to regular jeep safaris. But what makes Beho Beho unique is the friendly vibe and house party mentality—guests and staff mix and mingle here on a nightly basis.

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