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This is the third of twelve posts on our safari in Tanzania. Check out our other posts here:

Mrs. Selfish and I arrived in Tanzania around midnight, on our direct flight from Istanbul. We were greeted, by Francis, our driver for our 7 day-safari, who took us to Arusha for our short overnight stay. The next morning we woke up early and drove to our first real accommodation, the Maramboi Tented Camp.

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Located near the Tarangire National Park, the Maramboi Tented Camp is a group of 3 dozen or so permanent tents, located a short distance from Lake Manyara. As a result, there are tons of animals nearby.

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Check-in and the Grounds

We arrived around lunch time to sweltering heat (at least by San Francisco standards). Check-in was smooth and fast, and was done in the outdoor lobby area.

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The grounds aren’t too extensive, though all of the rooms are spread out. In addition to the main lobby/dining area, there is also a pool.

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The Room

Though slightly rustic in appearance, the rooms are actually pretty modern. Each guest is given their own permanent “tent” which comes with modern plumbing, electrical fans and lights, and for a price ($5 USD for 30 minutes), wi-fi.

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Although it was pretty hot during the day, the temperature dropped to the upper 60’s in the evening. Since we were by the lake, we also managed to get a nice breeze, so we were able to open up the tent flaps to cool our room down.

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The bathroom had a sink and a European-style open shower, which worked well. Unfortunately, we don’t have a wide-angle lens, so this is the best shot we were able to take.

The food

For the price of the room, you’re given three meals a day. Breakfast and dinner are buffet style, and lunch is a pack-and-go type deal. I’m not sure whether all hotels in Tanzania do this, or whether it was because all of our stays were through the same hotel group, but this was our arrangement for all 7 nights during the safari.

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Overall, while food was fresh, it was pretty bland. This is possibly due to the fact that properties we were staying at cater to westerners. Mrs. Selfish and I got to try some more “local” dishes, which were mostly stews, but again this was through dining at the hotel so I’m not sure how authentic it was.

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I was a big fan of the pack-and-go lunch approach, however. You’re basically given a box which you stuff with all sorts of goodies.

Some of the lodges do more elaborate meals like fried chicken, or pizza, but the Maramboi Tented Camp was keeping it simple with sandwiches, hard boiled eggs, nuts, fruit, and local baked good.

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The Animals

The best feature of the Maramboi Tented Camp, however, is the animals. They are everywhere. So much so, that at night the hotel staff has to escort you back to your room from dinner.

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After getting back from our first safari, Mrs. Selfish and I found our tent surrounded by wildebeests and zebras. We quickly snuck out to snap some pictures of the beasts!

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We later learned that the two species often pair up to warn each other of predators – the wildebeests rely primarily on sight, while the zebras are better at smelling predators. I’m not sure if we were spotted, or if they smelled us coming (hopefully the former!), but the skittish animals quickly ran away.


The Maramboi Tented Camp  was an excellent introduction to Tanzania. Though not the best place we stayed on our safari, living amongst the animals was a truly magical experience.

Join us tomorrow, as we hit the Tarangire National Park in search of elephants on our first safari.