Reading the AD newsletters makes you realize that Africa Dream sets their clients expectations high and then consistently surpasses them. Our trip was no exception. Our guide, Reggie, showed us so much on our first afternoon that we did not know how there could be much more in the ten days to come. Nevertheless, he delivered time after time.
First, there was a buffalo stand-off with a lion in a tree. Then, there was a hippo out of the water followed by a large herd of elephants which were not only close but also crossed the road immediately in back of our land cruiser. Several times he spotted leopards and lions in trees, including a pride of eight. Of course, there were zebra, wildebeest, topi, baboons, ostrich, gazelles, giraffe, and many other animals. This was in the first afternoon.
I thought to myself that seeing a lion on a kill would be nice but too much to ask. Well, the very next day we saw hyenas finishing off a kill. A few days after that we saw a handsome male lion on a kill with more than thirty predators waiting their turn. When he walked away the frenzied free-for-all among the hyenas was fun to watch. Very quickly that wildebeest carcass was gone and if we’d come into Ngorongoro Crater after breakfast as some tours do, we would have missed it. Okay, now we’d seen a bonus, more than one could ask for, right?
Wrong. The big thing left to see was a predator making a kill and that is exactly what happened hours later. We watched a single lioness patiently stalk a wildebeest. Reggie said she was waiting for the wildebeest to not be paying attention. Sure enough, after more than fifteen minutes of our waiting, another wildebeest challenged him to a fight and in seconds the lioness was on him. Her skill at overcoming an animal much larger than herself was fascinating. Reggie got it all on our video camera.
Time and time again, Reggie demonstrated his understanding of animal behavior by positioning us in the ideal spot. The male lion crossed the road directly in back of our land cruiser when he finished eating. Several times we were able to watch elephants extremely close.
When my husband’s joking response to the first distant giraffes was “Reggie, I want to see their eyelashes”, Reggie delivered by finding giraffes feeding next to the road. Two black rhinos crossed immediately in front of us because Reggie anticipated what they would do and signaled other cars not to move so we’d maintain a rhino-friendly gap. We were able to drive right into the migration and sit there surrounded by wildebeest and zebras. It was awesome. A cheetah with three cubs was a bonus as were the sleeping lions on the kopjes.
Our accommodations were all outstanding but we especially enjoyed the tented places and Gibbs Farm. Reggie’s response to my husband’s health problem on day two was superb and saved our trip. My only regret was that my husband’s health problems prevented all but one early morning departure – something both Reggie and I would have preferred.
Thanks Africa Dream for making dreams come true.
Bobbie and Rich Kinsinger