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Why Zanzibar is the most romantic place on earth

Ellie Goldsmith and Ben Pinington recently got engaged on our Rift Valley Safari trip with Zanzibar extension. With love in the air we decied to find out more about their trip and the wonderful proposal. 

We wanted to know more from Ellie and Ben about their fabulous group holiday to Tanzania and Zanzibar and  find out why they loved safari.

1. Why did you choose Tanzania and Zanzibar?

Ellie: "My mum had always wanted to go on safari to Africa and it was her 50th birthday. I stole all of her research about Africa and that's how we ended up booking a family holiday to Tanzania and Zanzibar."

2. It was a family group holiday - did this make it more special?

Ellie: "It was two families, my mum's best friends and their four children and me and my brother. It is the last family holiday we would spend with each other and it was lovely in so many aspects... It was great because we say things like 'wouldn't it be great to see two cheetahs today' and then we would! And we saw the Big Five and even the Small five"  

Ben: 'And we got charged by an elephant too...You got to share experiences with other people, the family, and hear their thoughts on the experience. It wasn't just shared between the two of us.'  

3. So tell us about the proposal itself.

Ellie: "On the Monday in Zanzibar we were going to watch the sunrise but I didn't want to get out of bed... so we went on Tuesday. The sunrises out of the sea there so we wanted to see it. Paddling in the water I stepped backwards and nearly fell over a heart shape in the sand with a shell in it. I told Ben "someone must have made that heart shape" and he told me it was him. Inside the shell there was a note with 'Will you marry me?' on it."

4. When is the wedding and where are you going on honeymoon?

Ellie: "It is a country wedding in a field with everyone camping on 31 August 2013. We have a campervan so we will sleep in there or we are thinking of hiring a yurt or tipee. It's going to be very relaxed at a friend's house in the country."

5. And lastly what was your most memorable experience of Tanzania?

Ellie: "It has to be the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. It is a must! Camping in the Serengeti is brilliant and we had the best guides ever Wilson and Francis. We became a group of 14 rather than 12 by the end."

Ben: "Some of the group went to the toilet in the dark and heard hyena and we saw a funnel web but no spider. You have to go to the toilet with someone else! It was like a horror film at night in the Crater."

Ben: "Zanzibar too is a must. You do need a break after the safari."

Ellie: "Yes you do, I think because of the excitement you're tired even though you're sat down all day. You're concentrating so hard on watching for the animals you get tired."

Well we think Ellie is very lucky to have such a romantic boyfriend and we wish them all the best for their future together. And a Happy Birthday to Ellie's mum, Susan.


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The happy couple
The happy couple
Ellie's Zanzibarian engagement ring
The magic of Zanzibar
Ben's amazingly beautiful heart in the sand
On safari
What a way to celebrate your 50th
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Trip type: 
Adventure level: 
2. Gentle
Max group size: 

Rift Valley Safari

Africa, Tanzania | 10 days
Trip code: 
Spot elephant
This is an amazing safari for those who don't want to rough it but who still want to experience nature and wildlife up close.

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