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Lupita Island Lodge

Africa, Family, Hotel Reviews, Travel Tips

Oct
04
2009

Lake Taganyika, Tanzania

October 4th, 2009

After the glorious safari tour in Tanzania, my last stop was to Lupita Island Lodge, a private island located in the middle of the world’s second largest lake;  Lake Taganyika.  A fresh water lake with a maximum depth of over a mile, Lake Taganyika is a skinny sliver running down the western coast of Tanzania and bordering Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Zambia.

laketag2

The Lake’s blue green waters are wonderfully vibrant while the rocky islands feature curious granite boulders and very little fauna. Then again, it was just before the rainy season and I’m told it gets more lush after the rains. Either way, after being hot, sweaty and somewhat tormented by flies in the Bush for a week, I was thrilled to be near the Lake’s cool water.

Lupita Island from the air

Lupita Island from the air

I arrived via chartered flight from Katavi National Park and landed on an airstrip that was stunning; in the purest form of the word. Just look at this arrival!

laketagapproach

lupitaapproachrunway

The small hut on the right served as the terminal where we unloaded our luggage and supplies for the Lodge.  It’s also where we were met by smiling fleet of local luggage handlers – ready and eager to carry our bags down to the awaiting boat.

Most of this was food supplies for the Lodge

Most of this was food supplies for the Lodge

These adorable little boys insisted on carrying our bags and refused any sort of tip

These adorable little boys insisted on carrying our bags and refused any sort of tip

Once on the boat, with the spray from the Lake cooling my sunburn, I could truly marvel at the size, color and overall magnitude of Lake Taganyika. I recall thinking: this is surely somewhere I could never have imagined.  We zoomed across the chop to Lupita Island passing by locals shuttling on boats between the various islands and shorelines. Our first glimpse of the island was the wooden dock and perhaps the island’s most beloved resident, Roddy the goat.

The dock at Lupita Island Lodge

The dock at Lupita Island Lodge

Once on land we were ferried up the hill in golf cars (if you squint you can see them parked under the center hut in the photo above). At the main house of the Lodge we were greeted by the two women that run the show. After a nice lime-flavored drink I, along with the group, was shown to my private cottage room. My room, number 5, was tucked down into the hillside, at the end of two separate paths and surrounded by acacia trees and chirping birds. The cottages are done in a treehouse-like style with open walls affording intimate views of the lake and direct (yes, direct) communication with nature. The views of the moon, however, are unbelievably stunning, as is the ability to actually ready by moonlight.

The open-air plan with thatched roofing and wood deck flooring just remodeled by <a href=https://www.palmbeachroofingexpert.com/highland-beach-roofing/” width=”460″ height=”345″ />

The open-air plan with thatched roofing and wood deck flooring

The comfy plantation chair with the plunge pool on the deck below below

The comfy plantation chair with the plunge pool on the deck below below

The best feature of my room was without a doubt, the bathroom. From both the shower and the tub the views of Lake Taganyika were uninterrupted. Even the john had a prime vista. I didn’t expect much from the place, I thought the rooms and the whole house was going to be in a really bad shape, but they told me they recently remodeled it and even did some foundation repair services so the rooms feels like brand new.

One of the best soaks in a tub I've ever had or may ever have - truly outstanding

One of the best soaks in a tub I've ever had

As a special romantic touch, the staff will fill a warm bath with local flower petals, line the deck floor with candles and leave a champagne bucket right alongside the tub all as a delicious surprise for the guests arriving back from cocktails on the water.

Activities at Lake Lupita Lodge include kayaking, swimming, diving, snorkeling, plus there’s a full gym, gorgeous lakeside spa, a games room with table tennis, pool and darts and a Boma and huge terrace bar ideal for the transition from fireside cocktails to late-night dance parties. The island is well-suited for a family or group takeover with 14 cottages and two family suites. Having the run of the island makes every element even more enjoyable. And from our group’s amusing 3 night stay, we vowed that what happens on Lupita Island, stays on Lupita Island.

Posted in: Africa, Family, Hotel Reviews, Travel Tips

Published by Meg, Sunday, October 4, 2009 No Comments

Staying Fit on Safari

Africa, Travel Tips

Sep
30
2009

The Bush

September 30, 2009

For me, the best trips are also those where I can do something active each day – skiing, hiking, biking (not swimming), running etc. Although hotel gyms are incredibly important, if possible, I prefer to be outdoors. For me, one of the better ways to see a new place is to go for a jog or bike ride.  Given the wild terrain, I didn’t have any real expectations for outdoor exercise on safari. You sit on a land rover and get fed delicacies all week, right? Well, man was I wrong. Here are some photos of the many outdoor activities I was lucky to have enjoyed while on Safari.

1. Tennis on a court fashioned from Termite Mounds at Sabora Camp in the Grumeti Reserve.  The color recalls the French Open and there’s even a ball boy on hand. It was super hot and the ground was a bit uneven but we laughed ourselves silly with the sheer absurdity of tennis in the bush throughout the entire game.

Tennis in the Bush anyone?

Tennis in the Bush anyone?

2.  Kayaking on Lake Taganyika in Tanzania. Our first activity upon Lupita island was an afternoon kayak around the neighboring islands. It was surreal to compare it to other places I had recently kayaked (Caribbean, Connecticut, Maine).  We passed by a boat of locals transporting bushels of straw for roofing.

Kayaking on Lake Taganyika

Kayaking on Lake Taganyika

3. Bush Walking through Katavi National Park led by two experienced Guides. We got quite close to some hippos below and learned to ignore the constant buzz of bugs by our head – which, was no easy task.

Surveying Hippos in Paradise valley in the Katavi National Park

Surveying Hippos in Paradise valley in the Katavi National Park

4. Bush Biking in Sabi Sands Reserve.  One of the lesser thought-out things I have ever done in my life. Luckily we were never hassled and often forgot where I was (save for the heat).

Bush Biking promo ad. I'll get my video up soon

Bush Biking promo ad. I'll get my video up soon so you can see me floundering.

5. Any Gym in the Bush seems impressive given it’s incongruous nature to the setting, however I have to give the award to the most jaw-dropping setup to Singita’s Sabora Tented Camp in the Grumeti Reserve in Tanzania. There they have an air conditioned tent (yes – an air conditioned TENT so that the flaps are open with screens the entire time) dedicated solely to the gym filled with an eliptical machine, treadmill, weight machine, yoga mats and those big bouncy balls for sit-ups plus a fridge with cold water and towels. There’s also a flat screen TV that hangs from the top of the tent displaying everything from CNN to Rap Videos. Gu-faw.

saboragym

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Posted in: Africa, Travel Tips

Published by Meg, Wednesday, September 30, 2009 No Comments

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About Meg

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Meg is the founder of luxury travel consulting company, Friend of a Friend Consulting. Her three books, Italian Hideaways, Caribbean Hideaways and England's Hideaways are published by Rizzoli. Passionate about travel, hotels and wine, she continues to write freelance travel pieces and is currently pursuing a Masters in Wine through the WSET.

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The opinions expressed on this blog are solely my own and do not reflect separate business relationships with the subject. Whenever posts are supported financially, they are designated as such.