What separates Africa from other trips? Of course there’s the obvious answer – the exotic animals in beautiful natural surroundings, but to me the big difference between Africa and other destinations is that each day brings a new adventure. You never know what excitement the new day holds.
This past February was my third trip to Africa and second trip to Tanzania. I thought I pretty much knew what made a good safari experience as well as what constitutes a good guide. Africa Dream Safaris raised those bars to unexpected heights! Not to take anything away from my first two safaris, they were obviously thrilling enough to bring me back for a third time, but this was so much more intense. On the first trip to Tanzania I saw 2 cheetahs and they weren’t close. On this trip I saw over 30 and they were so close I was able to fill the frame of my camera with just the head. We stopped counting lions after seeing 80, we watched them eat (wildebeest, zebra, and buffalo), watched them hunt, and clicked off numerous shots of the family relaxing with the cubs.
A word about guides, your enjoyment is tied to their ability and work ethic. We were in a group of ten and had two guides, Reggie and Adam. They worked great as a team using two radios for communication. On my first safari it was the customers who usually were the first to spot the animals, not so with Reggie and Adam as they could spot an animal so far off it was amazing. “Lions” they would say looking at what looked like a small termite mound in the distance but when we got there they were of course correct. If you are serious about photography, which I am, these guys will get you close with the animal in the best possible light. They are trained naturalists so when they tell you that we should start early in the morning it’s for a good reason. Several times we were by ourselves out on the Serengeti watching very active lions with a fresh kill in the morning. Later in the morning the safari vehicles were lined up with clients snapping shots of fully fed lions lying like lumps in the grass with their eyes closed. Not a good photograph but if it’s your first time you probably think it doesn’t get any better, well it does!
The African Dream Safari people will customize your trip to include what you want. Their permanent tented camps are a great experience combining great staff, great food, a campfire to sit around before dinner, and hearing lions at night – what a thrill. Of course they will plan your trip to include lodges and you can stay just in lodges but trust me, you’ll be missing something if you skip the permanent tented camps. Their staff in Tanzania is top notch so airport transfers and such are painless. When you first visit Africa you may hear the question “first time in Africa?” and you’re thinking well it’s the trip of a lifetime how many people come back? After you visit, you’ll understand the question. My advice is to do it right the first time with Africa Dreams Safari, I know I will when I plan my fourth safari.
William P. and David W.