Category: Travel

Tanzania – Safari (Part II)

 

Firstly my apologies for the long delay in this post. I have no idea why it took me so long because I honestly haven’t been doing much lol. but well. here it is. If you missed the previous post, you can find it here at Honeymoon Diaries – Safari Part I.

Day 4: NGORONGORO CRATER

IMG_7822.JPG

View of the crater right before you start descending to go inside it

I was actually pretty tired by day 4 and since on top of that I absolutely loved the place where we were staying the night before so almost told Faizan to go here on his own and just pick me up on his way back. I was tired as hell and we were asked to wake up at bloody 6 am, which wasnt motivating me much either.

DSC_1013

Now you know where to go, yes?

But against my will, I did get up at 6 and for some reason it was insanely cold which is something you dont really expect when you are in Africa, that too in summers. We only had like a sweater each (which we packed for Dubai) so wore those and decided to head out. It took us almost an hour to reach the crater and for the first time I was happy I woke up that early. This place was magnificent. So so so gorgeous and the animals were all around us. It was insane bhaaaiiiii.

DSC_0932.JPG

Please stop because the Wildebeest needs to cross the road firstttt

A little history, this crater apparently used to be a mountain and it kind of collapsed, so this space is the base of that once existing mountain. It is surrounded by many other peaks and so much greenery and there is also like this tiny lake like thing in the middle. You obviously have to follow the man made trail there and not get off the car at all (ours got punctured at one point, so we actually got off and stood in the middle of the crater, which btw I was super against because there were all these lions, flamingos, buffaloes, hippos, elephants, like a million types of birds and rhinos and stuff around us, but later felt pretty cool hehe) so you can see only as much as your eye sight allows. But we saw all these wonderful animals up close which was crazy (Not the hippos though because damnnnnn they are stiiinnnkkkkkyyyyyy)

DSC_1023.JPG

It was like someone collected and threw all the dirty diapers in the world here. TOO SMELLY BHAAAIIII

DSC_0995.JPG

wasssuuuppp girllfrriiieennndd

DSC_1019

Hi.

DSC_0993

This lioness was giving the “come hither” look to all the lions lololol

And also saw a black African rhino, the race of which was declared extinct a week after we came back, so my heart actually bled. There are a total of 7 rhinos left in the crater of any form and their race is ending very fast which is too too sad.

DSC_1011

Hero inside the crater helping fix the tyre

IMG_7848.JPG

Taking panoramic shots of the crater while husband change tyres

As the sun started coming out, it got pretty warm so the sweaters were being regrettedhaha. After driving around the crater for a few hours and seeing more animals, we decided to head back to Arusha. The drive back was gorgeous.

IMG_7834

Regretting sweater decisions but smiling in the sun anyway

IMG_7523.JPG

Side view of the Kilimanjaro airport

IMG_7525

The stunning Kilimanjaro airport parking lot. Never seen this many colors at an airport :O

It took us a few hours to reach back to Arusha and then took a flight from Kilimanjaro to Zanzibar from the most gorgeous airport ever. It was so tiny and simple but too beautiful.

Tanzania – Safari (Part 1)

 

So as I mentioned in my previous post, we decided to divide our honeymoon into 2 parts. First was Safari on request of Faizan. We planned our trip with this safari tour company called Kilidove. Its based in Tanzania and this company make customized trips arrording to your budget and requirements. It was ideal for us because we couldnt find a safari that was less than like 5 nights on other pages and they planned a much more relaxed and suitable itinerary for us. The entire thing was planned over emails, payments were made online so we were naturally a little nervous but everything was planned brilliantly and we had the time of our lives. Zero exaggeration.

We booked a 4 day 3 night Safari with Kilidove in which we covered 3 major places.

Day 1: Lake Manyara National park
Day 2: Serengeti National park
Day 3: Serengeti National park
Day 4: Ngorongoro crater (Will be covered in the next post!)

For people like Faizan and I who love to explore new things but arent exactly crazy wild life enthusiasts, this was actually perfect and we were pretty happy we didnt go with one of those longer safaris because by the end of it I was pretty sure I would live happily going without seeing any more Lions or Zebras up close.

Day 1: LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK

DSC_0329

Lake Manyara national park Entrance!

This place was like an incredibly green and beautiful forest. It wasnt a forest but it was so so green and lush that it felt like we were driving in the middle of the forest and before you knew it, there were plains and animals all around us. Here we saw Elephants, a million baboons and different types of monkeys, Zebras, Antelopes, many many different kind of birds, Buffaloes, Wildebeests, Giraffes. You get the point. Lot of animals. No lions or leopards here. The lake however was a major disappointment because it wasnt monsoon reason so pretty dried up and even though it was there we could only see it from really far away since there are certain boundaries set up by the authorities that you can cross for safety purposes. So long distance view of the lake boohoo.

DSC_0083.JPG
The cute notice board/map of the park and some random tourism stuff at the entrance of the park
DSC_0087

Check out our sweeeeettt ride for the Safari

DSC_0132

Handsome boy trying to fix the selfie stick

DSC_0323.JPG

Baby Elephant got scared so ran away 😦

DSC_0175

Random couple posing at the park 🙂

DSC_0233

MONNNNKKKKKAAAYYYYYSSS

Roamed around the park for a good 5/6 hours and then headed back. This night we were provided accommodation at Eileens Tree lodge which was absolutely amazing.

DSC_0377.JPG

My Favorite spot at Eileens. This tiny sitting area outside our chalet which was surrounded by flowers and trees and I am a loser so took picture at night when nothing was visible.

Day 2 and 3: SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK
This park was the entire reason behind going on a safari because Faizan has apparently “ALWAYS wanted to go there”. I personally never knew it existed before I started planning the honeymoon so no points for me but the more I researched the more excited I got and I was pretty thrilled that day so wooohhooo.

DSC_0552.JPG

50 shades of blue in this picture and please notice my hand randomly resting on my cheek. WTH?

We left the lodge early morning on day 2 and start driving towards serengeti. It was almost a 3 hour drive from the lodge till the entrance of serengeti but there was so much to see ourside. We entered through the Ngorongoro conservation area, crossed it and then reached Serengeti.

DSC_0399.JPG

Boy waiting while the driver/guide was getting the paperwork done for our entry in the Ngorongoro conservation area.

DSC_0409

Loved these sign painted on the walls pointing towards the rest room. Very important of course, so had to share.

On the way there, suddenly in the middle of nowhere our driver stopped the car and told us he had a surprise for us. When we got off we saw the MOST BEAUTIFUL THING IVE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE. It  was a view of Ngorongoro crater from the top of this mountain and I was dying because it was insanely gorgeous. I’ve seen quite a bit of the world Alhamdulillah but this was beyond anything I’ve ever seen before.

DSC_0434.JPG

Picture doing zero justice to what the place actually looks like.

Left there after ooh’ing and aah’ing too much and then stopped once again at a small Masai village. This is a tribe in Africa that lives in the wild, have absolutely no contact with the outside world, no phones, no TV, they make fire with sticks god damn it. They along with the government of Tanzania started this initiative where they take tourists around their village, show them their lifestyle and homes against donations and a fee of $50 per car through which they raise money for their kids education which btw, is also done inside the village because they do not want their kids to get influenced by any “outside world” shiny stuff. They are also protecting the wild life in the area (up for debate really because we read somewhere that if a lion or any other animal hurts their cattle, they kill the animal with their spears as revenge. YIKESSSSSSSS!). What was incredible was really the fact how they live their lives. It was like moving back into some 100 year old place because in all honesty, people like you and I wouldnt even last an hour there.

DSC_0518.JPG

Masai Warriors in their village.

Anyway.

Left the village and then finally on the way to the park. RIGHT before the entrance, we looked on one side and saw atleast 500 zebras and even more wildebeests running in one direction and we were told that that was the head of the great migration (LOOK it up if you dont know about it because its SUPER cool!) and Faiz and I were in absolute awe.

DSC_0565.JPG

Zebras and wildebeests eerrryyyywwwhhhheeerrreee

Entered the park and the first thing we did was start looking for lions because thats all what Faizan really wanted to see. Serengeti is endless. Its plains everywhere you look. This season, the grass is a little higher so we had to search a bit for the animals. First day was not as exciting as we imagined because couldnt see a million animals and after watching all those shows on Nat geo from bachpan till now, thats kind of what we were expecting. But even then, we saw lions, lionesses, hippos, buffaloes, giraffes, leopards, monkeys and a few more.

DSC_0725

Searching for animals okkkkaayyyyyy

Camped that night inside the park and even though it was extremely exciting, I will be honest and tell you it was horrifying haha. We could hear animals the entire night and that kind of kept us awake and freaked out. More on that when i discuss the best and worst of this trip later.

Saw many many more animals on day 3. Many lions up close so Faizan felt happy finally. Zebras, wildebeests, heartbeests, antelopes, guzeles, monkeys, hippos, giraffes, leopards, 50 kinds of birds and many that i cant honestly recall the names of.

DSC_0488.JPG

Giraffe looking super uncomfortable having lunch 😦

DSC_0979

Sick Lioness was eating grass not long before this picture 😦

In the afternoon on day 3, we left the park and drove towards our accommodation for the night which was BEYOND BEAUTIFUL. Rhino Lodge was the name of the place and it was in the middle of heaven. Most gorgeous views, FABULOUS food, their dinning room i wanted to take home with me because it was insanely cozy and pyara.

DSC_0912.JPG

The amazing view from our room at the Rhino lodge

DAY 4: NGORONGORO CRATER COMING SOON!

Tanzania!

 

Doing the honeymoon posts before the wedding posts because its so fresh in my mind right now (and I really want to wait for the nice wedding pictures hehe)

Faizan and I decided a long time ago to go to an unconventional place for our honeymoon (Even though the first place we thought of was Greece LOL.) Its became really hard for us to decide on a country because:

  1. we were getting married in December and the honeymoon had to begin around end Dec, Start of January type which means the entire world is either snowing or raining or too far away.
  2. The only affordable nice weather beachy options were Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia types but I had one requirement: I dont want a busy place thats dying with tourists and I end up running into 10 people I know (sorry people I know!) because I wanted some serious me and alone time with the new husband.
  3. The other nice beachy options included the Caribbean type places but I’d rather die than spend 2 days on a plane specially when Faizan had to go back to work within a day of coming back because zero time to relax. Plus even though the accommodation seemed pretty affordable the tickets alone were costing a fortune so yiiiikkkeesss nooowayyy type scene.
  4. We wanted to go to a place both of us have never been to (I was focusing more on a new continent actually) and since Alhamdulillah we are well traveled, that really narrowed the options.

DSC_0020

I’d be lying if I say Tanzania was our first choice and always wanted to go there. It was actually no where near the list that we first made. Greece (Too cold!), Madagascar, Samoa, Fiji, Seychelles (Monsoon season ppppffffttt) and then finally after a lot of google “Where to go on Honeymoon in January/top Destinations for January honeymoons: Tanzania.

Am I happy we decided on Tanzania: BEYOND HAPPY.

Was it everything I wanted: BEYOND EXPECTATIONS.

Am I exaggerating a little: NOT AT ALL.

We decided to leave on the 29th of December (right after our valima in Lahore). We decided to stay a couple of days in Dubai and celebrate new years there (small post for Dubai will be coming up shortly!) We planned the entire thing ourselves and researched for the whole thing online for around 6 months because NO travel agents in the country arranges trips to Tanzania. Losers. Please note that tripadvisor is the best thing that happened to anyone who is travelling to a place that they are completely clueless about.

DSC_0036
Hey there, shy mountain hiding behind clouds!

Tanzania has a lot going on, so we decided to divide the trip into 2 parts. Safari (on Faizans request) Beach (on my request, Faizan magically believes that it was his idea too – No.) So we ended up doing a 4 day safari and then 5 days bumming around the gorgeous Indian ocean and then back home.

Will be doing separate posts for the two very different experiences with all the details justforyouguysssss very very soon.

Pre Wedding Lahore – Part III

rfl3

Hello and welcome to the part two of my 14 day Trip to Lahore earlier this month. If you missed the first and second part, dont be shy and check it out shamelessly by clicking on the following links:
Part 1: https://rantsofadesibride.wordpress.com/2015/10/17/desi-bride-trip-to-lahore-part-i/
Part 2: https://rantsofadesibride.wordpress.com/2015/10/23/desi-bride-trip-to-lahore-part-ii/

(Going to start with the next day.)

Beautiesssssss, Mashaa’Allah ❤

Day 10: The valima day. The night before this went to stay over at this really fun friends place and in the morning she and two other friends took my out for a Lahori nashta. For the first time in my life I had nihari and naan for nashta WITH lassi. Not the best decision keeping in mind that fact that I had to wear a sari later that night :P. Honaywala had to get himself a shirt and tie to wear at the valima, so he and I picked a friend up and then went out shopping (Ended up buying like 5 ties because they were gorgeous and on sale LOL). Went to the valima and it was beautiful. The decor was lovely and dulhan dulha tou wesay he are my absolute favorites so fun day.

6

Post valima the entire wedding party went for for dessert and coffee tou bara maza aya. Did a little shopping for honaywala from shaadi’s point of view too (stuff that goes from larkiwala’s place to larkaywala type shopping, clothes and shoes and stuff.)

Shaadi wise rating: Rarely productive

2

Here is a picture of me lovingly (and very badly) fixing the dupatta of my baby girl.

Day 11: One of my closest baby friends, someone I consider my younger sister got her nikah planned out of absolutely no where and it was on this day. I got a call from her two days back and out of no where she said she was getting married and the nikah was on Monday afternoon at Badshahi mosque and I was like WHAAT ISSS HAPPENING.So that day woke up and in the afternoon the newly weds had asked everyone to meet for lunch so went there and then got dropped at the parlor where my friend was getting ready. Didnt even keep any proper clothes or anything so just decided to put on some makeup and leave for the mosque for the nikah.

Such a beauty queen this one is Mashaa'Allah. PhotoCredits: Palwasha Minhas

Such a beauty queen this one is Mashaa’Allah. PhotoCredits: Palwasha Minhas

Was so unprepared that didnt even have a dupatta on me and had to ask a friend to bring it with her lol. Also ended up meeting my valima photographer who I had booked online a couple of weeks back and had never met. She was covering the nikah so figured how she works and her style and stuff. Then the nikah happened – SO EMO OMG. Right after the nikah we had to run out again for the reception. Friend went back to the salon for touch ups and I went to honaywalas place, got ready and then left with him for the reception. Got back home, watched a movie and went to sleep.

Shaadi wise rating: Zero productivity

Day 12: Was supposed to get my shaadi jora today but didnt and was supposed to leave the next day but naturally couldnt because had to take the jora with me har haal mein. So honaywala called the travel agent and changed my ticket and that was done. Got a little shit from home about extending my stay even more because like bauhat ho gaya tha lol but khair. I missed my brothers birthday during this trip so decided to get him something great as a present. Realized he is turning 23 and never owned a real man type watch so honaywala and I went watch shopping and got him a great watch which he feels very thankful for and I love when that happens haha. We also went looking for sofas and stuff for the room, found nothing and finally decided we werent going to find anything so should get something custom made. (Thats stuff pending btw LOLOLOL). What we did do was buy stuff TV and things like that for our living room – probably the most exciting part of the entire shaadi shopping for honaywala. HE WAS SO EXCITED OHMYGOD. we went to three shops back and forth like 10 times because he couldnt decide whether he wants LG or Sony or Samsung. But ended up buying it finally and this sense of fulfillment washed over me like we got something real done today

Shaadi wise rating: Super Productive

Day 13: Woke up and mother in law picked me up and we decided to head out and get stuff done like real ladies. We went out to this market and bought fabric for a sofa and curtains. Then went to these other shops and bought a carpet. Got back home, Got everything set and the living room started taking some shape and it felt AMAZING. A lot still needs to be done to that space but I think its just a matter of time and everything will settle out khud se slowly and gradually. Also went to pick up my bridal dress but the fitting needed a little work so made an arrangement where i was going to pick the jora right before my flight the next morning. Was leaving the next day so made a plan to meet the newly weds late at night and catch up on gossip and stuff. Had such a fun time and goodbyes were so weird because I knew the next time I’ll see them Inshaa’Allah

Shaadi wise rating: Super Productive

1

Belgian chocolate killer gol gappay.

Day 14: Had my flight scheduled for around 3 in the afternoon. So went with mother in law to pick up my dress and ufffff SO HAPPY ALHAMDULILLAH. honaywala came back from work  break le ker so he could drop me off at the airport. We left the house early just to be safe and reached the airport bauhat he ziada jaldi. So just sat in the car and chilled for a bit. Discussed some stuff, got asked by the police people there to move the car like 10 times hehe and when we figured we must move now tou i got off the car we said goodbyes and I went to get my ticket printed. Ticket print karaya and went to the place where you enter the check in area from and realized there was a STUPID error in my ticket. It was booked from Islamabad instead of Lahore. Can you believe it? Rushed to the airline counter, got laughed at by 10 different people, got the ticket changed to later at night. called honaywala to come back and pick me up. lol. He came back, we went back home. On our way back we stopped at this shop to check out some lamps, we thought ab time hai tou must get some work done lol. He dropped me home and went to work. I fell asleep, woke up when honaywala came to get me. Went to his place, ate pakoras, chilled with aunty for a bit and then finally left for the airport. in the middle honaywala and i decided to have dinner. One last BIG dinner before we start eating healthy for missionsexyshaadi2015 (still not happening btw) and ATE SO MUCH THAT I COULDNT MOVE.

We were clearly very sad.

We were clearly very sad.

After convincing myself I can do it, got up and went to the airport. Said our goodbyes again, with less feelings because had our moment earlier in the day and now we both just wanted me to go hahaha. Flight got delayed again, but eventually took off and I got back home.

And that my friends, was my last trip to Lahore before the shaadi. *Clapping*

Pre Wedding Lahore (Part II)

rfl

Hello and welcome to the part two of my 15 day Trip to Lahore earlier this month. If you missed the first part, dont be shy and check it out shamelessly by clicking on the following link:
https://rantsofadesibride.wordpress.com/2015/10/17/desi-bride-trip-to-lahore-part-i/

(Going to start with the next day.)

Untitled

Day 6: Tons happened. Insane scene. Went to the brilliant brilliant brilliant Ali Xeeshan Theater studio with mother in law (honaywala was at work) to pick up my valima jora. Was completely blown away by not just the jora but the level of professionalism shown by them. Jora was everything I hoped for and more, ready BEFORE time, extremely accommodating staff and bus too happy. Specially want to mention Khadija at the studio who updated me herself on the dress, not once I had to make a call to ensure everything was happening timely. Wonderfully managed. I was clapping like a maniac when I tried on my dress and regretted that later because I think many thought I was mentally challenged. Chilled with aunty all day.

Untitled3

Then had to go or honaywala’s suit appointment. He met us at the studio, where we picked out the absolute perfect cloth for his suit with some help. He gave his measurements while I took selfies. Got done from there and went to another place to pick up honaywala’s suit for the wedding in Lahore. Picked that and then straight to the dance practice. Final one because mehndi was the next day. Hectic. Dulha miyaan had a moment when he thought no one was taking him seriously and that just proved that EVERYONE freaks out at some point or they other in some way. LOL.

Shaadi wise rating: Super Productive

dec

Day 7: MEHNDI DAY! Was picked up by a friend early in the morning and we went straight to the dulhas’ house where we had to decorate the “cycle” on which the dulha was going to make his big entry at the mehndi. It was insanely hot and face looked like shit. But the cycle, by the time we were done with it, looked wonderful. From there we went straight to the same friends parlor where I had a express spa day and LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT. I got my mani pedi, cleansing, threading, waxing, hair wash and styling ALL done in under an hour. Was beyond impressed and everything looked fabulous. One problem, my skin was madly breaking out so I asked the friend to get someone to set concealer on my face. The only issue was that directly from there I had to go to Munib Nawaz to select a sherwani for honaywala. LOL. So basically in jeans and a button down and my hair and foundation done (ONLY!) I looked like a dead body and reached the studio. Honaywala reached 15 mins late so I decided to kill time by chatting with the Munib Nawaz rep there. Every 2 mins I realized what I looked like by laughed it off. Wish I had made a video of that. lol. Khair. Honaywala reached, we decided on a few things but since we were short on time told them we will be back the next day and ran back home to change and rush to the mehndi.

mehndi

Mehndi was FABULOUS. So much fun. Great dances, the dulhan dulha ki entrances were cute as hell, so much color, SO many pictures and bus it was perfect. Both the cuties looked amazing too as always. So all in all quite the perfect mehndi.

Shaadi wise rating: Productive.

brtt

Day 8: Baraat day. Went out to continue the sofa shopping that got delayed due to the car breaking down. Didnt really find anything and then finally decided we will get one made instead of buying a ready made sofa. Went back home to get ready for the shaadi later. Shaadi was beautiful. Elegant. The dulhan looked stunning beyond words (no surprises there!) and even the dulha cleaned up very very well. Later post shaadi, everyone went out for ice cream and then ghar ghar. Relaxed day, despite of the wedding so nicely done.

Shaadi wise rating: Productive’ish.

lllggg

Day 9: Went to Munib Nawaz to confirm the order and make the tiny changes we wanted. I tried on different qullahs. Bara maza aya. Honaywala and I planned a date night(not really but kind of) both just decided to dress up a little and go on Andaaz (on my request because I’d been to every other place at food street at some point BUT andaaz :/). we reached Andaaz and I was pretty blown away by the view (I am a bloody sucker for old buildings and purana architecture. Dont ask.) We ordered food and thats when we got a call from the newly weds asking where were. We told them and asked them to join us if free and they graced us with their shaadi shuda’d presence. Honaywala was in complete shock that his “good” friend was married and kept on laughing. so weird. haha khair. Had an AMAZING time. Great food, great venue and my three favorite people in Lahore all together tou felt like a jackpot. Honaywala kept on whispering something to the dulha through out and I was like pata nahe kya hora hai.

ss

Khair we got up from there and honaywala took me to a friends house, where..he proposed. LOL. It was so unexpected and weird and I was like WHAT IS HAPPENING HAHAHA. Will do a separate post on that because its way too special to be just casually mentioned in a post like this.

Shaadi wise rating: Productive’ish.

To be continued..

Part 3 – coming soon.