In January 2005, my wife Louise and I went on a tour of 4 weeks around Kenya, Tanzania & Zanzibar booked through a Dutch Tour Operator Sawadee, with tour guide Nicole, driver Edward Ngonyani and cook Kenyatta. The group was 20 guests.
One of the highlights would be the guided tour in Ngorongoro Crater, conducted by Kearsleys Tanzania, and believe me, IT WAS!
On the day of the early morning start of the tour, there were 3 4×4 vehicles of Kearsleys on the campsite in Karatu, easily distinguished by their dark green colour and white stripes on the rear side. 2 Toyota Land Cruisers and 1 Land Rover Defender 110.
Owning a Land-Rover Defender ourselves back home in The Netherlands, there was very little argument about which car we were in, of course.
On the road to the crater, we overtook with ease and confidence several other 4x4s who struggled and felt like they needed a boost, but our little convoy of Kearsleys Safari cars climbed to the crater rim without any problems. Not only the quality of the cars, but also the skilfulness of the drivers did that, changing gears at the right time, not over raving the engine or changing when not enough power. The Kearsleys drivers were confident and we felt safe throughout our journey.
Once arrived on the crater floor, the driver pointed out, showed and told us lots of things we probably normally wouldn’t have seen, that’s experience!
We were stuck, not in the mud, but with a few lions using the shade of our vehicle from the heat of the day; it took a while for them to move away.
It just seemed funny that the lions liked Kearsleys more than all the other tour operators!!
The drivers warned us for the red kites who were flying around at the “picnic site” at the lake where we would have our lunch. “Don’t go outside the car with your lunch in your hand!” Some people of another tour operator clearly didn’t listen and yes, right before our eyes the kites came down out of nowhere and stole their lunch!
We took hundreds of pictures in the crater of great memories to cherish.
Every time back home when we saw a documentary on TV about Kenya or Tanzania we felt we were back on Safari.
We did lots of other trips around the world, but this one was of high quality, and will be in our memories as long as we live, thank you Sawadee and Kearsleys for such memories.
After returning to Holland we did several digital picture-shows, i.e. for a group of radio amateurs, for a reunion of the Nautical School / Officers, for a group of people in the Royal Dutch Navy, and our picture books were taken out of the cabinet several times when we had visitors. After looking at it there were even people who made about the same trip!
Kearsleys 4×4 cars were excellent and well maintained cars, good and experienced drivers/ guides, lots of knowledge about the crater. We remember it as one of the absolute highlights!
On their Facebook & Instagram pages, we see they have new extended fleets of vehicles now, compared to 13 years ago.
We would book Sawadee and Kearsleys again without a doubt! The whole trip around Kenya and Tanzania was fantastic, Nicole and staff contributed to it very much.
Highlights were i.e. Lake Nakuru, the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Usambara-Mountains and Zanzibar where we made a trip around the island ourselves.
Great memories, never to be forgotten, asante sana.
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