Our travels have taken us all over the world and this was undeniably the most stress-free vacation we have experienced thanks to David (our guide) and Michael and Lynn of Africa Dream Safaris. There was, however, one thing that ADS could not prepare us for — the mesmerizing beauty and tranquil peace of Tanzania.
First, we enjoyed superior accommodations, service, and food at the Mount Meru Hotel in Arusha before climbing into our plane headed for the Northern Serengeti. Our first glimpses of animals and terrain were from the plane…wldebeests, zebras, rivers, grasslands, and kopjes…an ostrich on the airstrip as we landed at one of the airfields on our way to Kogatende…we were ecstatic!!
Upon landing, David, our driver/guide, greeted us and we liked him immediately. He explained what we were going to do that afternoon and off we went…the adventure was to continue for 12 days. On a general note, David was an excellent match for us. He made us feel safe and secure at all times which was a major factor. He listened to our needs and responded accordingly and always with a cheerful smile and patience…no matter how crazy we may have sounded!! We set our own schedule each day and liked the ability to enjoy the activities/scenery that WE wanted and were not forced to succumb to a group decision.
Animals…we had the privilege of seeing two adult black rhinos and a baby rhino, leopards including one in a tree with its kill, lions with cubs and a lion with its kill, a Secretary Bird killing and eating a snake, birds of prey, hippos, elephants, safari ants, buffaloes, wildebeests and zebra in three river crossings (two were mini-crossings as we nick-named them), cheetahs, dwarf mongoose, and oh my, the list goes on.
The Tanzanian terrain is gripping…flowing rivers, endless grasslands, rising kopjes, the great rift valley, the crater…and the sunrises and sunsets…inspiring.
David taught us about the animals and their connection to their habitat and importance in the chain of life. He also proved to be an excellent driver while maneuvering our jeep during a downpour and navigating through the mud and what seemed to be bottomless water holes.
Two highlights of our trip included visits to the School of St. Jude in Arusha and the Foundation for African Medicine and Education (F.A.M.E.) in Karatu. We were impressed with both and encourage safari guests to take the time to visit and learn about both of these worthwhile and inspiring educational facilities and programs.
We sincerely enjoyed all our accommodations…from the elegance and refinement of Serengeti Bushtops, Migration Tented Lodge, Ngorongoro Manor, and Swala Tented Lodge to the down-home comfort of Lion’s Paw and Sametu Camp. Each location had a personality and character of its own which we appreciated. The staff were always friendly and accommodating and attentive to our needs.
We are fortunate to have had the opportunity to enjoy a private safari…the only way to experience Tanzania. Life is grand indeed!
Margaret and Gerry B.
Safari Dates: September 25, 2014 to October 8, 2014
Sharon at Africa Dream Safari put together the BEST safari for us! We travelled from the Northern part of the Serengeti to the Central and Southern portion into the Ngorongoro Crater and onward to Tarangire National Park. Every day was filled with excitement and we loved every second of it. All of our accommodations were very unique and fun. We saw 4 of the big 5 on our very first day. Giraffe’s everywhere! Trip of a life time!
Nina and Stuart R.
Safari Dates: November 1, 2014 to 12, 2014
Beautiful cheetah with amazing brown eyes
Big Hippo Yawning
Lazy Zebra in the road
Sleeping lion on the kopjes
Dung beetle rolling down the road with his lady friend
With Ally, our super fun and knowledgeable guide. This is us having an amazing lunch at Lemala Kuria Tented Camp which was our favorite place that we stayed. It was just perfect and the staff was so warm and friendly and down to earth.
Adorable baby elephant. We could watch the elephants for hours!
Picnic lunch safari style in the Northern Serengeti National Park
The border of Kenya and Tanzania
Handsome young male lion
Momma lion protecting her kill from vultures and hyenas
Cuddling Momma lion with her youngster after a big meal
Walking Safari with our guide Moses at The Migration Tented Camp. No shots fired.
Sunrise balloon ride in The Central Serengeti. It was an absolutely wonderful ride with a champagne finish and a delicious breakfast in the bush
Mini migration with Wildabeest and Zebra
Cutest baby Vervet monkey!
Pool at Four Seasons with elephants at the watering hole
Beautiful Maasai women singing
Happy baby hippo playing with his Mom
Baobab tree in Tarangire National Park
The loveliest little lady named Naomi we met just outside of the Tarangire Park. She was selling her beaded jewelry which we loved.
Asante Sana ADS. This was exactly what we asked for and you delivered!
This was my second trip to Africa, having climbed Mt Kilimanjaro in June of 2013. On the way back to the States I was introduced to ADS by a couple sitting next to me who were talking about the safari they had just completed. They told me it was the best trip they had ever been on. When I inquired who the outfitter was they said ADS. ADS became the basis of all our research into safaris and in the end they won hands down! Thanks to Dawn for the personal attention to detail and patience with all our questions.
Having been in the Southern Hemisphere a couple of times my wife and I know the results of long travel times and how tiring it is. With that in mind we opted to spend an extra day in Arusha and head out on safari well rested. Very wise decision on our part. We were met at the airport by Mateas and Peter. They ushered us thru the Visa and immigration areas with a minimum of delay. We were taken to the Mount Meru Hotel, which is a splendid property and served us well for two nights. The evening of the second night we were treated to a special anniversary dinner served up in a private gazebo with a candle lit table. Nicely done.
The next morning we flew directly to the Mara River Camp and began our safari there. We saw four of the big five on the very first day and the fifth came soon after! Finding a black rhino with her baby on our first day was impressive. Loved just driving along and stopping because “oh, there’s a herd of elephants” or “oh, look at the giraffe with her baby”!
We saw not one, not two, but three migration crossings. I could not do it justice in this space. I would recommend viewing the CD “Planet Earth” or “Africa” to watch the migration and you will then know what amazing is. Later, more about our wonderful guide who made it all possible.
Our drive to the Lobo valley was long and dusty, but well worth the trek. Here we saw lots of lions both male and female, lots of cubs, a number of cheetahs and rare sightings of leopards. We were able to watch a cheetah hunt and kill. It was actually quite quick and humane.
Our final stop was at the Ngorongoro Crater. I believe this is the largest crater in the world that supports wildlife, and does it ever. Elephants, rhinos, giraffes, lions, buffalos, zebras, warthogs, hyenas, cheetahs, a serval cat, and more.
The accommodations at Lion’s Paw Tented Camp were excellent, as were all the camps. The tent camps were impressive, providing comfortable accommodations in not easy conditions. A queen sized bed, bathroom and shower in a tent, really! A warm “bucket” shower at the end of a long of day of game driving was most welcomed. The personnel at all the camps were truly outstanding, leaving nothing to want. At dinner in camp one evening my wife was treated to a birthday greeting in Swahili and a delicious birthday cake. Being zipped into the tents at night knowing we might hear lions, hippos, cape buffalo or possibly elephants right outside is an experience hard to explain.
In addition to the animal sitings listed earlier I would mention jackal, baboon, crocodile, eagle, vulture, eland, wildebeest, gazelle, impala, hippo, trees and birds too numerous to mention. Any attempt to include all here would be an exercise in carpel tunnel fatigue.
Last but certainly not least, two very important features that made this a trip of a lifetime. Wilfred, our driver/guide, was quite simply the BEST. There was not a question he did not have an answer to, and there were many. How he managed to maneuver the Land Cruiser thru some of that terrain was beyond belief. He found animals that were not visible to the naked eye. He was able to position us to get the best possible photo shoot. Above all he has great respect for the land and the environment which served us so well. He is truly a fine gentleman.
The second item was one I mentioned in the title, gluten free diet. My wife suffers from Celiac disease and is very sensitive to gluten whether in the food itself or cross contamination during preparation. We are happy to say she made the entire twelve days without incident. Something that is difficult to do at home with far better circumstances. Bravo to the cooks and advance work by ADS.
Indeed a trip to be remembered!
La La Salama,
Melanie & Ed G.
Londonderry, New Hampshire
Safari Dates: October 3, 2014 to October 12, 2014