A Private Safari In Tanzania
It has been a dream of mine to visit Africa ever since hearing stories from my aunt and uncle who worked for Radio Free Europe there decades ago. It took some convincing to get my wife to agree to the trip – not that she didn’t have a similar dream of taking an African safari because of her love of animals, but that she was nervous regarding occasional news reports of various uprisings and how it would impact the trip. After many months of broaching the subject, she finally agreed!
We were given the name of a tour company that someone we spoke with had used. I researched that company on the Internet and eventually came upon another: Africa Dream Safaris. I liked what I read and particularly liked the option for a private safari in Tanzania – just us and the driver/guide. Our contact at ADS, Sharon Lyon, made the planning as easy as possible and provided lots of useful information.
Immediately upon arrival in Tanzania, the team assigned to take care of us were on hand and extremely helpful. They had our visa paperwork processed quickly – well ahead of the others arriving on the same flight – and in very little time we were taken to our vehicle and driven to the hotel. We had a wonderful tour guide in Arusha, who provided some insight into life there and drove us to various points of interest.
We were excited finally to take the small plane out to the Serengeti so we could start our customized safari. Our ADS driver/guide, David Chando, was wonderful and is a real asset to the ADS team. We are in awe of his ability to find the best viewing spots, such as the wildebeest migrating across the Mara River (which other groups had attempted but missed because they were in the wrong spot when it actually took place) and the lioness with a fresh kill and her two cubs providing us with wonderful photo and video opportunities. There were numerous other times when we felt we had the best, most proficient guide.
We had a wonderful 12-day stay at various tent camps and a couple of lodges. Each had different styles, but all were what we needed for a comfortable, enjoyable stay. The staff of the tent camps were welcoming, cheerful and professional – we felt very much at home despite only staying one or two nights at each.
Most of all the trip was about the animals. The safari provided spectacular views and incredible photographic opportunities. Zebras, wildebeest, elephants, impala, baboons and even lions came within touching distance of the vehicle, but they paid very little attention to us. It was rewarding to see these magnificent animals where they belong – content in their natural environment, unlike those at zoos, circuses and wildlife parks in other parts of the world. We were happy to help contribute to funding the continued conservation of the land and wild inhabitants of Tanzania.
We were sad to say “goodbye” to our driver/guide and the other wonderful staff who helped us along the way. Watching the video clips and viewing the many wonderful photographs we took (over 6,500 of them!), we find ourselves becoming nostalgic. We would certainly recommend this adventure to anyone considering an African safari and highly recommend Tanzania as the destination, Africa Dream Safaris as the tour company, and David Chando as driver/guide. Thank you to everyone who made this trip such a great lifetime memory.
Dave and Fiona Fiar
West Hartford, Connecticut
Trip Dates: September 5th to September 16th