I'm Going On A Pilgrimage To The Best Hotel In The World—In A Tanzanian Game Reserve

shots band aidsPost-polio and tetanus vaccines. No pain, no gain!

Photo: Julie Zeveloff/Business Insider

Next week, after picking up my visa and taking my final typhoid pill, I’ll board a Qatar Airways flight at JFK Airport in Queens.Two flights and 34 hours later, I will disembark at Kilimanjaro International Airport on the northern border of Tanzania to kick off a week-long trek across the country.

No, I didn’t win the lottery and I’m not a lucky honeymooner. I’ve been invited by the Tanzania Tourist Board to go on safari and visit several of the country’s best lodges, including the tented camp that Travel + Leisure has called “the best hotel in the world” for the past two years.

I’ll also visit Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, and two remote parks in the southern part of the country that American tourists don’t often see.

julie tanzaniaThe Africa Adventure Company sent me this handy pouch for my travel docs (and a cool hat!)

Photo: Daniel Goodman/Business Insider

Along the way, I’ll report on all aspects of my journey, from the packing essentials to the complexities of running a luxury hotel in a remote game reserve. I’ll snap a ton of photos and interview the people who work in Tanzania’s tourism industry.Here are the highlights of my itinerary:

  • The Serengeti, home of the “great migration” (I’ll spend two nights at Singita Grumeti’s Sabora Tent Camp)
  • Ngorongoro Crater, home to a huge array of wildlife including flamingos (I’ll stay at the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge)
  • Ruaha National Park, known for great population of elephants (I’ll spend the night at Mwagusi Tented Camp)
  • Selous Game Reserve, the second largest game reserve in Africa, with crocodile and hippo populations in the Rufiji River (I’ll stay for two nights in a cottage at Beho Beho)
  • Overnight in Dar es Salaam, the commercial centre of Tanzania

What do you want to know about going on safari in Tanzania? I’d love to hear from you before I head off. If you have any safari tips or questions, send them my way, to [email protected]

You’ll be able to find all my stories about the trip here.

Disclosure: Our trip to Tanzania, including travel and lodging expenses, was paid for by the Tanzania Tourist Board, The Africa Adventure Company and Singita Grumeti Group, and Coastal Aviation.

A sneak peek inside the tented camp I’ll stay at in the Serengeti:

singita wide

sabora tented camp

Photo: Courtesy of Singita Grumeti

sabora tented camp

Photo: Courtesy of Singita Grumeti

Now take a closer look around the awesome safari hotel I’ll be visiting >

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