We saw at least five cheetahs, up close and personal

Judy and I are still basking the glow of our trip to Tanzania. No, it did not fulfill our expectations. Rather, it far exceeded them. No stone was left unturned. Every detail was meticulously covered from the first meeting at the airport in Arusha to being carefully ushered through the confusion of departure. The good news only gets better. Although we were somewhat concerned about the tented facilities, we quickly discovered that each had a personality of its own and offered a unique luxuriousness. In every place we stayed the food was wonderful, the service superb, the beds perfect, and the sense of being cared about and cared for was complete. Our Masai warriors protected us from the animals at night. Our guide opened our eyes to them in the morning.

A safari in Tanzania is not simply a cruise on placid seas. There are a few million bumps in the road. But the comfort we felt in our land rover made the trip the most exciting excursion we have ever done. Judy and I have travelled all over the world during the last twenty years or so. We have had many guides in the most developed and undeveloped nations. Our Guide in Tanzania was the most wonderful of all. Your literature says the guide will quickly become your best friend. He became our younger brother, our protector, our translator, our teacher.

There was almost nothing he did not know about his country or about the animals we had come to see. And not only did he open our eyes to the vast world of wildebeests, antelopes, and cats, but he also introduced us to the world of birds and the beauty of the flowers. Our guide has a marvelous sense of humor and the patience of a saint. Only once, in 12 days, were we on time. He quickly understood that leaving at six a.m. sharp meant leaving at six-twenty, that ending any photo shoot always involved about five more pictures. His English skills were marvelous but he still seemed to love learning some of our antiquated English slang. He was always gracious, kind, and accommodating. He clearly enjoyed sharing the culture of Tanzania with us as well as sharing some of his personal life, his hopes and dreams.

This was our second safari. The last was 23 years ago with a very upscale and famous company. But Africa Dream Safaris was, by far the best. We saw five leopards. At least five cheetahs, up close and personal. We loved the abundant Giraffes. And of course we enjoyed visiting with all the Lions, Dik Diks, Elands, Topis, Wildebeests, Zebras, Elephants, Impalas. We grew to love the Warthogs, the Jackals, and even the Spotted Hyenas. We took about 3,471 photos. So far, we have been able to reduce the number to 1,326. Every one is a winner.

Don and Judy Gluckman
Pikesville, Maryland
September 2011

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