Working for Explore has opened my world to travel and when I got engaged I knew this was going to be my chance to have a once in a lifetime honeymoon, but how would we choose from all the amazing places in the world?
We set out with a few ideas of what we wanted to do. We love animals, so we wanted to go somewhere we could see wildlife, but also wanted time to relax and enjoy our time away. With this in mind, I went to the Tailormade team and asked for some ideas for what we could do.
The team had a wealth of knowledge and immediately gave me lots of ideas for places that I could see plenty of wildlife before relaxing on the beach. We talked through options for seeing the Big Five in Africa, spotting sloths in Costa Rica or elephants in Sri Lanka before heading to the Maldives.
I took all the information away and we decided that we wanted to go on safari in Tanzania. It had everything we wanted; wildlife fills the mainland and we could fly to Zanzibar to finish our holiday in pure relaxation. Sarah, the Tailormade Africa specialist, was fantastic, as she talked us through all of the big decisions; the hotels, itinerary and activities. I felt really reassured that our special trip was being handled by experts, and that all the recommendations were carefully chosen to match our requirements.
We started our adventure in Lake Manyara, where we stayed at The Manyara Wildlife Safari Camp. The rooms are private huts with canvas walls that looked out over Lake Manyara and as we walked down the pathways we were surrounded by flowers and butterflies. After spending the afternoon driving around the lake, seeing giraffe, elephants (including a gorgeous baby elephant) zebras and pelicans, we sat by the pool enjoying a drink; we couldn’t have wished for a better start to our honeymoon.
Our next stop was the Ngorongoro Crater, a national park covering 260 square kilometres, full of lions, buffalo, elephants and hyenas. Our driver, Hadjid, could spot animals from miles away, ensuring we saw so much from the small jackals to spotting a rare black rhino around 50 miles away. We were lucky to see a lion kill and watched a group of hyenas steal it from the lions. It was a shocking but awesome sight.
We stayed at the Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge, looking out over the spectacular landscape. You wake up in the clouds as you are so high above the sea level. You can spot the animals along the crater ridge, including some naughty monkeys, often trying to steal snacks, which for me was an absolute highlight.
Our final safari spot was the Serengeti National Park, staying in the beautiful Serengeti Sopa Lodge. It was located in the park and we could see zebras and elephants just outside the hotel. On safari we saw a beautiful leopard, herds of elephants, lions basking in trees and lots of baboons. Without Hadjid keeping in touch with the other guides; we wouldn’t have seen half of what we did. The only big cat we hadn’t seen so far was a cheetah.
The following day we headed to Serengeti’s airport to go to Zanzibar. Driving to the airport I caught something out of the corner of my eye and spotted a cheetah sitting up first thing in the morning. This was the perfect end to our safari and we had been lucky enough to have seen everything we had hoped for.
Getting to Zanzibar is easy and it only took a couple of short flights before we landed on the tiny island. We stayed in the Hideaway of Nungwi, on the quiet northern point of the island. The beach was unlike any I had ever seen, with pure turquoise waters and white sands; Zanzibar had some of the clearest waters I had ever swum in. The hotel was the most luxurious experience and we spent the week being pampered in the on-site spa, snorkelling in the blue waters and seeing the red colobus monkeys and mangroves located on the island.
Adding the extra week to the end was one of the best decisions we made, taking the time to really relax and finish our honeymoon in style.
Booking my honeymoon through Explore Tailormade was an easy experience and made everything stress-free, especially when you are arranging a wedding at the same time. Sarah, our travel expert, thought of everything, even down to letting the hotels know we were on honeymoon, so when we arrived they greeted us with congratulations.
From the moment we got to Heathrow to the moment we arrived back, everything was organised for us. It was an unforgettable experience that we will treasure forever.