I have been travelling through Africa for more than 70 days, that is, over two months. It was kind of interesting to note that between journeys especially at airports and in planes, some rather famous people have also been discovering Africa with me!
Prime minister Modi was all over Africa and perhaps, he was having more fun than I was and definitely covering more ground.
Mark has been around. He lost a satellite and suffered a setback to his plans of bringing the internet to Africa. So ok, they are definitely covering more ground, yes, but I was sure seeing a bit myself!
After staying and roughing it in the game lodges of Kenya and Tanzania, the one that stood out by quite a bit is the Sopa lodges at Serengeti and Ngorongoro.
These are huge magnificent properties. One staring out into the crater and the other gazing into the dense forest area.
With a swimming pool and luxurious cottages, they are super comfortable with large beds and a balcony with the view and hot towels.
The foyer and the lobbies are large and elegant. I felt like the royal Maharaja and I am liking it.
As I had checked in, there was that elegant welcome drink and then I was accompanied like a minor royalty to my room. I relaxed for a while and had a quick shower. It was cold in the evening and jackets are a thing here.
I stepped out to get some Wi-Fi which is available only in the lobby area. This lobby area reminded me of a bit of Taj Man Singh at Delhi with wooden British colonial architecture in all its splendour.
A lawn staring at the volcanic crater with a swimming pool. I seemed to have arrived at sunset time and so I had to capture the scene in front of me.
With the cool evening approaching, the sun was setting behind the mountains and the clouds. It was an amazing scenery and I took some pictures of it before I went back to my garden chair to sip a large glass of J&B with soda.
I felt royal as I tucked away at the fish fingers and peanuts. Suddenly out of the blue, wild animal noises started to come from the other end of the lodge.
I looked over and whoa, there they were, a troupe of Maasai people and they were here to perform the traditional dance for us and which they did with great enthusiasm.
These are the great spontaneous moments that make travel even more exciting and it was all there at the great Sopa Lodge.
Dinner was served at 7 pm and there were loads of stuff including the entire main course with candle light to go with it. The service is par excellence and it was indeed more like attending a royal gala dinner. I was loving each and every moment in this place.
I promised to catch the sunrise also from this lodge as I felt it would be a splendid thing to capture before we leave for the lower areas. But I knew waking up at sunrise was not something I did very well!
With a little nip in the air, it can get a bit chilly at night but I loved the weather and climate of this region. As I slipped into my bed, I got a warm fuzzy feeling in my legs. I realised it was a warm water bottle which had been slipped into my bed just before I went to sleep.
It was a remarkably warm and hospitable gesture. For me, this is the best lodge to stay in this part of the world. There were lots to see tomorrow including the lakes and, of course, Zanzibar. So, good night for now and keep reading…