I hope you enjoyed reading about our time in Cape Town and at Londolozi! On the sixth day of our honeymoon, we made our way from South Africa to Tanzania. This was one of the long travel days I mentioned in yesterday’s post and while I won’t downplay the difficulty of getting from Londolozi to the Serengeti, it was so worth it for us to be able to experience safaris in both places on one trip. I’ve detailed our travel journey and our four days in the Serengeti below!
Where we stayed: Four Seasons Serengeti
The Four Seasons Serengeti combines the luxury of a well-known hotel collection with the natural beauty of the Serengeti. If you’re looking for a super relaxing safari experience (where you can decide the timing of your game drives, book any number of excursions, spend an afternoon at the spa, etc.) this is the place for you. We stayed in an insanely gorgeous room with a private terrace overlooking the park and one day we saw a massive herd of elephants just casually making their way past our room to the hotel pool. We also had an outdoor shower (my favorite!) and were welcomed to our room with sweet treats that had been printed with one of our wedding photos! Needless to say the service was pretty exceptional.
But the pièce de résistance at the Four Seasons is the infinity pool overlooking the park. It has a watering hole just beyond it where elephants gather several times a day and the scene took our breath away each time we were lucky enough to catch them there!
As I mentioned above, day six was our biggest travel day of the trip. It started with a two-hour drive from Londolozi to Kruger Airport for a flight to Johannesburg. We then flew from Johannesburg to Nairobi (where we’d return in several days) and from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro. Then we drove one hour from the airport to spend the night at the Legendary Lodge in Arusha, Tanzania, as there was no flight to get from Kilimanjaro to the Serengeti that evening. If you are are just planning a trip to the Serengeti (without visiting South Africa first), I would try to get straight to the Four Seasons vs. spending a night in Arusha. We were there for too short a time to actually see anything (arriving after dark and leaving the next morning) and we’d have much preferred another night on safari than a quick sleep in a sprawling city. Just my two cents! 🙂
We flew from the airport in Arusha to the Serengeti/Serona Airport with the plane making several quick stops in between. I actually love traveling on a tiny plane because it means you can be on solid ground within a minute of landing (compared to having to wait for 20 rows in front of you to deplane… the worst) but it is something I wanted to call out in case you’re a nervous flier.
The Four Seasons sent a car to pick us up at the airport and we really had a mini game drive en route to the safari lodge. It was immediately fascinating to compare our safari experience in South Africa with the same experience in Tanzania. In South Africa, the cars were all open and the terrain was pretty rugged and very dry. We could also go a while without seeing any animals and then suddenly get the thrill of the chase and go barreling off in pursuit of a leopard or a lion. In the Serengeti, the cars were enclosed (with lots of windows and a sunroof big enough to look out of) and primarily stayed on paths (meaning sometimes we were super close to the animals and other times we’d use binoculars our driver provided to get a closer look). And there were animals literally everywhere in the Serengeti — it wasn’t uncommon to see elephants, giraffes, lions, and zebras all within a half hour. We absolutely loved both experiences, but I thought I’d highlight the differences if you prefer the sound of one or the other!
We woke up extremely early on our first full day at the Four Seasons for a hot air balloon ride with Serengeti Balloon Safaris. Neither of us had ever done a hot air balloon ride before and it sounded like an amazing way to take in our new scenery! Our hot air balloon took off right at sunrise and it was not only incredibly peaceful but offered a magical viewpoint for spotting animals below. Two other hot air balloons took off at the same time so we were able to take some fun photos of the other balloons from the air. If you look closely at the fourth photo down, those are actually dozens of hippos in the water! The hot air balloon ride is 100% something we would both do again, in Africa or elsewhere.
After the hot air balloon ride, there was a champagne brunch with two long tables of other hotel guests. It was really fun to meet several other couples our age who were also on their honeymoons and hear about where everyone had been and was heading to next!
We then headed back to the safari lodge and had the most luxurious couple’s massage in the spa. I live for a good massage but even Will (who gets super antsy during massages and always tries to listen to an audiobook simultaneously… #nerdalert) said it was the best one he’s ever had.
The next day was quite possibly the best game drive of the entire trip. It started with an extremely rare cheetah sighting, but the highlight was happening upon a pride of lions hanging out in the shade. We parked and watched them for a while until the lions started getting too warm and set off in search of better shade. By that time there were several trucks parked watching them and some of the lions started using the trucks’ shadows as a cool place to rest! I think it was the closest we got to any animal on our entire honeymoon and I seriously took over 100 photos before putting down my camera and just reveling in what was surely a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I get goosebumps all over again just thinking about it!
After our game drive, the Four Seasons surprised us with a romantic bush dinner with a candlelit table atop a small hill overlooking the park. We had cocktails as the sun set and spent dinner recounting everything we’d seen that day. It is one of my favorite memories from the trip!
Wearing Marysia scalloped one-piece
Our final day at the Four Seasons started with another game drive and ended with afternoon cocktails with elephants at the pool before a candlelit dinner at the pool after the sunset. Elephants have been my favorite animal for as long as I can remember and I could have watched them all day both from the truck and the pool. Did you know that they can live to be 70 years old in the wild? Or that they’re vegetarians? Or that the whole herd pitches in to protect the babies? I could go on. 🙂 I just love them so much!
I hope that’s a helpful rundown of our time at the Four Seasons Serengeti! As with each chapter of our trip, we were sad to leave but looking forward tothe next adventure. I’ll be back this afternoon with part four!