We didn’t know what we were in for when we boarded our flight to Arusha last November, but we arrived in a land of enchantment, generous hospitality, and heart-stopping drama in kingdom animalia. We absolutely loved our time in Tanzania, and have ADS to thank for every moment of that wonder. From Dawn’s precise pre-trip details to our warm welcome at the airport to our final goodbye in Zanzibar, we had the absolute trip of our lives.
Our guide Ellison was the best, and we mean that literally, responsible for opening our eyes to the treasures in the land. He could predict animal behavior so precisely, and his eyes were always finding not only hard-to-spot animals like rhinos and leopards, but also birds of all kinds; he was a walking field guide and talking with him was the highlight of the trip.
We loved arriving at each hotel to cool towelettes and smiles, and discovering our tents and rooms, which were all so magical, starting with the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge’s Treetops homes (like sleeping in a tree house) to the Serengeti Bushtops luxe tents. From elephants walking on the paths at Migration Camp to the water buffalo drinking below the Four Seasons’ pool, each location blended into the landscape and welcomed the animals, while keeping the guests safe. And I should mention that every hotel accommodated my gluten-free dietary restriction with ease.
Probably the most surprising thing for me was the quantity of animals. So much of the trip, there were hundreds of animals out every window of our vehicle! My favorites were the baby animals: monkeys clinging to their moms, elephants wiggling their trunks in the dust, giraffes loping with their pals. But the most unbelievable sighting of the trip was that as we watched the wildebeest migration across the Mara, a massive crocodile lunged out of the river and took one.
Here’s a teaser of the photos my husband took, and if you’d like to see/read more, you can see all our posts on our travel blog at https://walkandalie.com/trips/2016/tanzanian-safari/
We wouldn’t change a single thing. In fact, when considering other trips we keep saying “too bad Dawn/ADS don’t plan trips there!” Thank you, ADS, for the most spectacular journey!
Love from Brooklyn and Minnesota,
Alie on behalf of The Angells
Safari Dates: November 12, 2016 to November 26, 2016
We have just recently returned from our safari to Tanzania which was arranged by African Dream Safaris. After researching many private safari operators we selected ADS and this was the best travel decision we have ever made. From the time our plane landed in Kilimanjaro until our departure eleven days later everything was handled in a professional, friendly manner by competent ADS personnel.
My wife and I are celebrating our 50th anniversary this year and wanted to do something very special. A safari was always number one on my wife’s bucket list but I was somewhat ambivalent. Within ten minutes of leaving the small airstrip in the West Serengeti I was hooked. We were joined by my brother and sister in law from Tasmania, Australia on our adventure.
We were picked up at the Grumeti Airstrip by our driver/guide, Wilfred. We have travelled extensively and taken many tours and excursions over the years but we can say unequivocally that Wilfred was the best guide we have ever encountered. His knowledge of the animals and their characteristics and habits was amazing.
Wilfred was also an expert on the many species of birds that we saw. Rather than just looking at an animal’s movements he would explain what it was thinking and doing. He truly made our safari a once in a lifetime travel adventure.
Starting in the West Serengeti we were able to see the beginning of the great migration of wildebeest and zebra. At times we observed fields full of wildebeest and zebra and other times observed long columns of at least a quarter mile long. We saw the “Big Five” and with the exception of the Black Rhino all the encounters were within a very few yards of the animals.
Although we do not enjoy seeing animals killed we understand how the food chain works. One morning Wilfred found a mother cheetah and her three cubs sunning themselves on a group of rocks. After five minutes of watching the mother stands and becomes very rigid looking out towards a Thompson gazelle that had wandered off and was alone.
A couple of minutes later the mother cheetah descends into the tall grass followed by her cubs and starts stalking the gazelle. After several more minutes the mother cheetah strikes and kills the gazelle, which provides food for her three cubs. We thought we were watching a National Geographic video but we saw the entire hunt live.
We spent four nights in tented camps which provide a real wildlife experience. During the first night in camp we heard something moving outside right in front of our tent. The animal was making a low purring sound and the next morning the camp staff told us it had been a lion. The next evening at sunset as we were relaxing in front of our tent a herd of elephants wandered between our tents no more than ten yards from us.
Each night in the tented camps the staff made a fire where we could sit around with a glass of wine and watch the incredible display of stars. Never have we seen or are likely to see again the rising of the moon on our right and the setting of the sun on our left.
We wish to thank Sharon, Wilfred and all the staff at the lodges and camps who contributed to making this such a memorable vacation. We would not hesitate to recommend African Dream Safaris to anyone looking for a safari operator who will provide you with a memorable experience and ensure your well being from start to finish.
Ted & Sandy C.
San Juan Capistrano, California
Safari Dates: May 6, 2017 to May 16, 2017
Like all the other reviews you’ve read about ADS and their Serengeti Safaris, our trip was fabulous! Dawn at ADS tended to all the details and it ran like clockwork – top drawer the whole way. We can’t imagine you could do any better.
The key to a successful safari is your guide of course and Ellison was absolutely superb – friendly, gracious, an expert driver, a knowledgeable guide. We could not have had a better companion to lead us. It’s taken for granted, but our vehicle ran like a top which is important for the wash-board roads of the Serengeti.
The 3 accommodations we stayed in (Mbalageti Tented Lodge, Mbuzi Mawe Tented Lodge and Ngorongoro Serena Lodge) were each excellent. Our favorite was Mbuzi. Mount Meru Resort in Arusha was also good. The service and friendliness of the Serengeti staff was warm and nurturing.
Our trip was 12 days including an extra day at the start in Arusha to help catch up with the time zone differences. We went to the wonderful St. Jude school in Arusha that day. We also included a down day in the Serengeti where we could elect to just enjoy the resort and not ride the roads for a day.
We are very glad we went to Oldupai Gorge for its archeological significance and delighted we went to N’goro Crater for its beauty and the different demeanor of the animals vs. the Serengeti.
Our trip was May 1 – 12, at the end of the green season and we had only 2 rainy nights and a drizzly/sunny day in the crater. The landscapes were verdant – very little dust, few bugs, lots of young animals, 65-70 degrees and mostly sunny days.
We had the Western Serengeti almost to ourselves and the Central Serengeti area was quite lightly attended too. The Crater had maybe 2 dozen other vehicles in it. Heaven!!! Almost every morning we elected to be on the road at 6:00am, just prior to the 6:30 sunrise. The light is beautiful and the animals are on the move.
The pictures included below were all taken with my iPhone since my Nikon accidentally vibrated off the vehicle seat the first day in the bush. It certainly made picture-taking uncomplicated. We hope you enjoy the short videos.
George and Sheila S.
Whidbey Island, Washington
Safari Dates: May 1, 2017 to May 12, 2017