We Found Our Pot Of Gold In Tanzania!
What better gift could you give yourself for your 50th birthday than an ADS safari? Absolutely none! And so four good friends who all celebrated the big 5-0 this year embarked on the adventure of a half century.
We booked our 10 day trip without even researching other options after some friends highly recommended ADS after two separate safaris with them. We could not be more pleased with our decision! Sharon Lyon walked us through the planning and booking process addressing all of our concerns and questions same or next day.
The ADS guidebook was a lifesaver-follow the packing list provided and you will want for nothing. No one once weighed or questioned the size of our duffels or backpacks-our biggest concern-we each had 40 pounds total weight. Laundry service at each lodging was inexpensive and efficient. Read some of the ADS recommended books and you will be prepared to observe and discuss wildlife behavior with your guide.
Our guide Francis was more knowledgeable than we could have ever hoped for. He has done research in Tarangire while attending college at the African College of Wildlife management. He was well versed in topics ranging from wildlife behavior to African politics. He was able to correctly identify a wide variety of birds and animals as we jokingly checked his answers against our wildlife guidebook! Most impressive!! 100 percent correct! He even recognized bird calls and stopped to find the feathered noisemakers. We practiced our Swahili words with his help and enjoyed hearing about his life in Tanzania during dinners we invited him to attend.
All of the staff we encountered from ADS and the lodges were lovely gracious people who went out of their way to make our experience memorable. Our visit to the FAME clinic was a highlight and we highly recommend making this stop to see the facility and hear about the fine work they are doing there. We were lucky enough to meet Dr. Artress, the cardiac anesthesiologist who started the clinic years ago after leaving his home in LA.
Now for the animals!! We observed everything from lions mating to dung beetles rolling dung down the road!! We saw 4 of the big 5 animals -tembo/elephant, simba/ lion, chui/leopard and buffalo/nyati in the first day and wondered how our safari could get better. But it did as Francis continued to find new and exciting things for us each day. We loved watching the skittish warthogs running from us with tails held high and the graceful giraffes -the national symbols of Tanzania. We spotted a unicorn as well as the last of the big 5 -the elusive black faru/rhino-upon entering the magnificent Ngorongoro crater. The most beautiful, vivid complete rainbow we have ever seen appeared within the crater walls-a lucky sign-the end of rain!!
We all felt luckier than anyone in the world that day to be in this amazing sanctuary. We found our pot of gold in Tanzania!!!
Ruthanne and Kirk W.
West Bloomfield, Michigan
Safari Dates: March 18, 2013 to March 28, 2013