For my 50th birthday I decided to check off the one item on my bucket list, an African Safari. After much research I decided on Africa Dream Safaris. The best decision I could have made. From my initial contact with Dawn to the final farewell with Mateas we were always safe and very well taken care of. Dawn’s professionalism is second to none. Even when we decided to add two more people at the last minute it was not a problem, at least on our end.
Upon arrival in Kilimanjaro we were greeted and through customs in record time. Looking at the line that formed behind us we were happy to be traveling with ADS.
The staff at every camp was friendly, courteous and full of knowledge. We were always greeted with smiles, warm wash cloths and fresh juice. Quite the treat after a 12-13 hour game drive. The food, FANTASTIC! And the soups, my sister actually got the recipe for two of them. Can’t wait to try those when we get together to view the photos. The first night after dinner the staff all came out singing with a birthday cake. Very nice touch. After cake our guide Russell presented me with a Maasai Warrior club with custom beading. Thank you.
The animals were more than we would have ever imagined. The quantity of what we saw every day was matched by the quality. Standing in our Land Cruiser with thousands of Wildebeest, Zebra, Impala, and Gazelle surrounding us is hard to explain. Wild animals as far as you could see, 360 degrees. Of course the daytime viewing is only half of the story, listening to the Lions at night is a special treat.
Our guide, Russell has to be the best of the best. This man knew everything about everything and was as humble as you could get. Not only could he name a small bird from 300 yards but he knew the history of his country inside and out. He was a pleasure to travel with and most days were spent laughing, usually and something dumb I said. His patients and his ability to read what the animals were going to do before they did it always put me in the perfect spot for photos. Not only the animal but the light. His ability to spot animals and drive those roads and miss all the big bumps was impressive. I can’t help but feel I left a good friend behind in Russell and wish him the best in everything he does.
Since I’ve been back I’ve been asked to rate the trip on a scale from 1-10, the answer is easy. It was a 50. Thank you to all at ADS who put this trip together, well planned and amazingly executed.
Safari Dates: September 8, 2016 to September 18, 2016
The wildlife in Tanzania is absolutely breathtaking but the wonderful team at ADS really created the unforgettable trip. Michael helped us plan an amazing adventure and from the day we landed until the day we unfortunately had to depart we were in incredible hands. Mathias and Joseph met us at the airport and since we had an extra day we spent an afternoon with Joseph experiencing his personal insider tour of Arusha.
In the bush Ellison was our guide and friend. He bonded with our kids, was fabulous at finding animals, had an encyclopedic knowledge of the plants, animals and geography, and truly exuded a personal passion for the Serengeti. He also took us to places where we were the only people for miles around – just us, the unending plain, and the cheetahs.
There’s no way to describe having lunch surrounded by thousands upon thousands of migrating wildebeest. The only way to go is a private ADS safari and a guide like Ellison made for a truly memorable, once in a lifetime adventure.
This was also a wonderful family adventure. Our kids are 12 and 14 which are perfect ages to experience Tanzania. Cell phones were put away (and wifi access isn’t great) and replaced by cameras. Our family took 8,000 pictures!, most of which were taken by our kids.
The lodges were all terrific and unique – like the Mbalageti Lodge where the electricity turns off in the evening and your tented room is lit by candles. Or the family tent at Seronera Sametu Camp where you hear the sounds of nearby lions at night. Or having an elephant walk by your balcony when you’re having lunch at Ngorongoro.
Each lodge was unique and each new lodge became our kids’ favorite. One of the most memorable experiences for our kids was the visit to a Masai village where the cultural contrast really resonated (especially when they saw children their age tending herds alongside the roads).
Our trip was at the end of June, when the migration was in full swing in the west Serengeti and most of the baby animals are around 4 months old. We saw baby cheetahs, lions, hyenas, warthogs, giraffes, zebras, wildebeest, gazelle, elephants…and every day, when we thought we couldn’t possibly have a new experience, we discovered something incredible and unexpected.
Thank you ADS!!!
The West Family
San Francisco, California
Safari Dates: June 22, 2016 to July 3, 2016
Where do I begin to thank you for our trip of a lifetime! It was at the very top of our bucket list and we are so happy we could share the experience with our two sons. Our family of four had the most amazing time spending 8 days on Safari on the Serengeti from August 21, 2016 to August 28, 2016.
From the moment we landed in Kilimanjaro until when we brought to the airport, the ADS staff was there to make sure our vacation was an experience of a lifetime. I would be remiss by not saying thank you to the wonderful ADS staff that helped us book our trip. It was a pleasure dealing with the staff in California. They were true professionals.
The very first day on safari, we witnessed the Great Migration of thousands of wildebeest and zebra to Tanzania through the Mara River. What a way to start the safari. Throughout the week, our guide made sure we observed elephants, hippos, lions, gazelles, zebras, giraffes, warthogs, baboons and so much more. Our days were packed with great sightings and experiences. We could not have asked for anything more.
The accommodations were fantastic. We loved staying so close to the animals and listening to the sounds of the animals at night. We always felt very safe because of the professionalism of the staff at the locations of our accommodations. It was truly a magical experience.
We enjoyed relaxing at the campfire followed by dinner each night. The sunsets were gorgeous.
Our guide, Roman, was so experienced and well versed in the habits of all the wildlife. Thank you Roman for making this trip, the trip of a lifetime!!! I know that nothing we do in the future will ever match the experience we had on our safari with ADS.
Colleen and Bart F.
Hampton, New Hampshire
Safari Dates: August 21, 2016 to Augsut 28, 2016