Posts Tagged With: Serengeti

Dog-Friendly Hotels in East Africa

In general, people in Tanzania and Kenya seem not to like me, which is weird because in the US everyone loved me.  I’m discriminated by Precision Air, and many other places because I’m a dog, but there have been a few gems in my travels.  I want other doggies to have an easier time than me while traveling Africa so I’m going to keep a running list here of the places where I’ve been welcomed.

The Places I've Stayed

The Places I’ve Stayed

1. Hilton Hotel, Nairobi

All the people that worked at the Hilton were excited to see me and quickly learned my name.  Everyday at breakfast they would greet me by name and also they gave me my first meal of goat, yummy!  When my mom went back to the Hilton a month after our stay without me, everyone remembered me and asked where I was, they missed me!

The bed was super comfortable at the Hilton

The Pool at the Hilton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Ryan’s Bay Hotel, Mwanza

  • Website: http://www.ryansbay.com/
  • Telephone number: +255-28-254-2347
  • Location: On the shore of Lake Victoria just next to downtown Mwanza
  • Price: $120/night for a double room

The people at Ryan’s Bay were super welcoming to me after a long drive from Nairobi.  Even though I only stayed there for one night, I kept going back for dinner because the people were so nice to me.  The room was huge and I had a great view of Lake Victoria every night at dinner.

View of Capri Point from Ryan’s Bay

The view from dinner at Ryan’s Bay

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Speke Bay, Lake Victoria

  • Website: http://www.spekebay.com/C01/UK/welcome.htm
  • Telephone number: +255-28-262-1236
  • Location: On the shores of Lake Victoria, about a 2 hour drive from Mwanza and 15 minute drive from the Western Corridor Gate of the Serengeti
  • Price: $300/night for a triple room, includes dinner and breakfast

This was my first real beach and it was beautiful!  There’s only 8 bungalows at the hotel so we basically had the whole beach to ourselves and I got to run up and down, digging and swimming!  They even let me come in the restaurant and when we left they asked me to bring back 3 more dogs just like me 🙂

Post Lake Victoria-swimming at Speke Bay

The view of Lake Victoria from our bungalow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Setavin Hotel, Musoma, Tanzania

  • Telephone number: +255 282 622 282
  • Location: The center of Musoma town, which is located on Lake Victoria, 1 1/2 hours from the border of Kenya and 2 1/2 hours from Mwanza
  • Price: $50/night for a double room, includes breakfast

Mom and I weren’t expecting much from the hotel selection in Musoma because Marcel had warned that the town was similar to Butare in Rwanda, however I was pleasantly surprised with Setavin Hotel.  The people who worked there accepted me right away and all learned my name and also helped me practice the ‘sit’ command.  The room was super clean and I had fun playing on the balcony while mom had dinner and breakfast.  Before I left, all the staff made sure to say goodbye and one of them even fed me by hand!

Me on the bed at Setavin Hotel

The outside of Setavin Hotel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Snowcrest Hotel, Arusha, Tanzania

  • Website: http://www.snowcresthotel.com/
  • Telephone number: +255 272 543 100
  • Location: Just outside the center of Arusha near the Arusha International Conference Center
  • Price: $230/night for a triple room, includes breakfast

We arrived here late at night and the guards and the reception were so nice and welcoming to us.  They smiled at me and quickly checked us in and showed us to our wonderful room.  The beds were comfy and had nice fluffy duvets.  We were really hungry so we ordered room service at 12:30am and it came quickly.  In the morning, the humans had a yummy breakfast buffet and I got to play in the huge gardens surrounding the hotel.  Five paws for the Snowcrest!

Me and mom at the Snowcrest

Me and the guard at Snowcrest Hotel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Sarova Lion Hill Lodge, Nakuru, Kenya

  • Website: http://www.sarovahotels.com/lionhill/
  • Telephone number: +254 020 231 5139
  • Location: On a hill overlooking Lake Nakuru inside Lake Nakuru National Park just outside of Nakuru town
  • Price: $180/night for a double room, includes breakfast

Even though it was difficult to enter Lake Nakuru National Park as a dog, once I arrived at the Sarova Lion Hill Lodge, I was treated like a star!  The individual bungalows are spaced far enough apart for lots of privacy and the view of the Lake in the morning is delightful!  Also, the beds are super comfy and have a hot water compress inside for a warm, snuggly, night’s sleep 🙂

Just outside our bungalow, overlooking Lake Nakuru

Me on the bed at the Sarova Lion Hill

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Peacock Hotel, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

  • Website: http://www.peacock-hotel.com/
  • Telephone number: +255 22 2120334
  • Location: The city center of Dar es Salaam
  • Price: $95/night, includes breakfast

This may be the only hotel that will allow dogs like me in all of Dar es Salaam, even though it’s a big city and the capital of Tanzania at that.  Mom, Sham (our awesome taxi driver), and I drove and drove and drove around the city looking for a place we could stay for almost an hour in the very early morning and the Peacock Hotel finally welcomed us with open arms.  They allowed us to check in at 7:00 am so that we could sleep after two long days of flying.  The rooms are clean with big, comfy beds, a tv, free wi-fi, and air conditioning.  We truly loved everything about our stay here!

In the bathroom on a pile of Peacock towels

In the bathroom on a pile of Peacock towels

Me on the comfy bed with LOTS of pillows

Me on the comfy bed with LOTS of pillows

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My mom went on safari and…

I decided I wanted to play with the kitties too, turns out they’re nothing like my siblings Michi and Fupa!

Take me home!

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Speke Bay

This past weekend, my mom and Aunt Amanda decided they needed a break from Mwanza so they planned a special trip to Speke Bay on Lake Victoria.  Marcel, mom and Aunt Amanda’s friend, agreed to drive us, but he was a little worried about my car behavior.  However, I showed him how good of a travel puppy I am.  Seriously, I can be a very chill puppy in the car because I like traveling so much; I think I get it from my mom!

Me and mom on the way to Speke Bay

It only took us about 2 hours to drive from Mwanza to Speke Bay.  When we got there, we walked straight to the beach.  WOW!  I’d never seen anything like it.  Powdery white sand and water for as far as I could see.  Mom says that Lake Victoria is the second largest freshwater lake in the world.  It was truly huge!  Also, the sand was super fun to dig; much easier than regular dirt.  That evening, I ran around and dug tons of holes just to feel the grains of sand slip through my paws.

Digging in the sand

Later on, we took a sunset walk on the beach.  I was so content, warm weather, beautiful beach, a vivid sunset, not at all like cold Ithaca!  I can’t believe how lucky I am that my mom brought me on this African adventure.

Dipping my toes in the water at sunset

The following morning, my mom decided that I needed to learn how to swim.  I actually had no idea what she was talking about, but she said that I have webbed toes and a long snout so I should be able to do this thing called swimming.  Anyway, she took me out to the beach and immediately I saw a bird.  Birds are some of my favorite creatures and I’m always trying to catch them.  Well, this bird that I saw took off over the water and I wanted to catch it so badly, so I dove in ready to chase it as far as possible.  However, quickly I realized that the further I went, the deeper the water became and soon I couldn’t touch the bottom anymore.  So, I just moved my arms and legs as fast as I could, like running but instead pushing against water.  It was a strange sensation, feeling like I was running through water.  My mom screamed with excitement and said that I was swimming all on my own.  I don’t know what the big deal was, but she sure was excited for me.

I'm swimming for the first time!

Eventually, mom got worried because I wouldn’t give up on chasing the bird.  Little did I know that swimming is actually a lot harder than running so she came into the water to save me when I got too tired.  She said even though there’s a parasite called schistosomiasis in the lake that we could all just take some pills to make it go away.  I’m not worried because I trust my mom, she’s going to be a doctor one day!

I just swam in Lake Victoria!

After swimming, we decided to take a walk along the beach to see if we could find any crocodiles.  Mom and I found one the first day when we were walking alone, but she was too scared to stay and look at it.  While we were walking some local fishermen came along and one agreed to take a photo of me in his boat.  I was really happy because most Tanzanians think I’m going to bite them, which is the funniest things because all I really do is lick.  I don’t even have all my adult teeth yet!

I'm on a boat!

We left Speke Bay in the afternoon on Sunday and decided to take a quick drive to the Serengeti to see the Western Corridor Gate.  Perhaps the coolest part of the whole trip was this impromptu Serengeti trip.  From the window of the car, we spotted some zebras and wildebeest, so mom made us stop because she wanted me to see them up close.  We tromped through the brush and into the field and got pretty close to the zebras.  I really wanted to play with them, although I’ll admit that I was a little scared too.  I was enamored with the zebras and just couldn’t look away, but then as we were taking photos along came the park rangers who yelled at us to get out and stop taking photos, party poopers!  Anyhow, it was an amazing experience: a weekend of firsts for me!

My Lion King moment in the Serengeti

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Nairobi to Mwanza

My mom is back from her weekend trip to Nairobi, so now I can post again since she took her computer and the internet with her.  Her journey home from Nairobi was so much easier than mine!

We arrived in Nairobi from Amsterdam at 9:30pm on New Year’s Eve.  Mom needed to be in Mwanza, Tanzania by January 3rd, but we still hadn’t figured out how to get there.  Unfortunately Precision Air is the only airline that regularly flies from Nairobi to Mwanza and they hate little dogs like me, so flying wasn’t an option.  Luckily we met a great taxi driver named Michael in Nairobi and he agreed to drive us from Nairobi to the Kenya/Tanzania border where we would meet my namesake and godfather, Tito the taxi driver.

Me in Tito the taxi driver's car

We set out from Nairobi on the morning of January 3rd.  We drove through the Great Rift Valley and saw Masai herders.  It was the biggest yard I’ve ever seen!

The Great Rift Valley

Masai herders with the biggest animals I've ever seen!

It took us almost 5 hours to drive from Nairobi to the border town of Isebania.  In some sections communities built speed bumps so high that the car would get stuck on top.  During the day, they helped to push us over, but during the night, it’s much more dangerous.  Mom said they even steal things from people this way.  Good thing we were driving during the day!

Using dad's neck pillow on the long car ride

Once we got to the border we easily crossed into Tanzania and the town of Sirari.  No one even asked to see my paperwork!  We met my godfather Tito at the border and transferred everything into his vehicle to finish the rest of our drive to Mwanza.

We got a mini-Safari as we drove from the Kenyan border to Mwanza since we were on the edge of the Serengeti.  I thought the cows from the Great Rift Valley were cool until I saw zebras in the Serengeti.  These giant striped creatures just blew my mind!  Mom says that elephants are even bigger and I can’t imagine what I’ll do when I see one.

Zebras in the Serengeti

After driving for 4 hours and spotting zebras, wildebeest, and baboons along the way, we made it to Mwanza!  That first night we stayed in a wonderful hotel on Lake Victoria called Ryan’s Bay Hotel.  After a 10 hour journey, I was beat and super happy to relax in my new home.

Me relaxing at Ryan's Bay Hotel

Our route from Nairobi to Mwanza

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