It's hard to believe it's been just over a month since we returned from our trip. And, it's still hard to find the words to describe the amazing experience we had on our Safari. Tanzania definitely took hold of us. It is truly a beautiful place with a welcoming spirit. Thank you Africa Dreams -- and a special thank you to our guide Arnold, for the trip of a lifetime!
We had read the testimonials on the website, but still didn't entirely know what to expect. However, what we experienced was spectacular and completely surpassed any expectations we both had. On our first day, we took a breathtaking flight from Arusha to Seronera where we met Arnold for the first time. He gave us an overview of the areas we would be exploring and we set off on our adventure.
In that first afternoon we saw 3 of the Big 5; lions mating; a portion of the great migration; and two lioness' on a successful hunt to feed their 6 cubs! We thought, what more could we see? But, we had 8 more days of amazing experiences thanks to Arnold. He was fantastic! We would go out "fishing" and when we discovered something interesting, he was as excited as we were to see what would happen.
His knowledge was incredible; we learned so much from him. He always had us in the right place at the right time. It was almost if he was orchestrating the scene for us. He seemed to know what the animals would do before they did. Everyday ended with us wishing we had more hours left with which to explore. While there are too many memories to share, here are some of our favorites:
It was with immense sadness when we ended our safari and prepared to leave for Zanzibar. We weren't ready to leave the adventure behind - or Arnold! We said our goodbyes and waited to board our flight to Zanzibar. The flight was delayed almost 3 hours. We had been waiting a while when we heard someone call our names. It was Arnold! He and Solomon were still waiting to make sure we got off ok. It was so nice to know Arnold was still looking out for us.
While we enjoyed our time relaxing in Zanzibar, it took us a while to adjust to life on our own again. If you do take the Zanzibar extension, we highly recommend Fumba Beach Lodge. Also, don't miss out on a spice tour.
This was our first worry-free vacation ever! From the initial arrangements to our return home we were well taken care of by the Africa Dream's team. Before we had even arrived, Africa Dreams had rearranged our itinerary to adjust for the best wildlife viewing. Plus all of the lodges were first rate. It was hard for us to select our favorite spot.
We loved the spectacular view from the deck of the Soroi; the relaxed atmosphere (not to mention the animals) at Mbuzi Mawe; and of course the breathtaking views from Ngorongoro Crater. There was nothing for us to do but relax and appreciate the beauty around us. Tanzania is one place in the world where you can clearly see that every being has a purpose.
Since we've been back, we have shared our many photos and stories with friends and family who are completely awestruck (and of course we are constantly recommending Africa Dreams). And even a month later, we are still talking about the trip, going through our many photos to relive our experiences, and practicing our Kiswahili.
In the words of Arnold, we are very "lucky people". Hopefully we'll return again someday. Thank you to the entire Africa Dreams team for allowing us to experience the magic that is Tanzania.
Asante Sana Rafikis,
Sharon & Tim Haller
Trip Dates: May 25 - June 8, 2012