Posts From June 2012

That’s Africa Dreams!

This was our second trip with African Dreams Safari’s… and that speaks volumes.

Not only did we pick the same outfit, we picked the same guide. More on that later. We are filmmakers and professional wildlife photographers. On one hand we can be a pretty understandable and forgiving bunch. We realize no one can control the global weather patterns, the rain (or lack of), the conditions of the roads or whether or not the animals “show up” where they are supposed to. But we can also be a pretty demanding group. Because when the weather is good and the animals are there…. we seek perfection… the right light, the right shooting angle, accurate animal information and a guide with eyes as sharp as many of the animals we are seeking.

For these reasons, and others, we reversed our decision to spend our second African safari in Botswana and visited Tanzania again with Africa Dream Safaris. We just chose a different time of the year from our last safari knowing the weather patterns and migration would offer a unique and different opportunity. We were right.

There are, admittedly, a lot of companies doing safaris in Tanzania. Some are good, some aren’t. In my opinion, ADS sits either at the top of the list or right up there with the best. First, there is a hand holding attitude that is very comforting. It’s hard to research a safari from the US. And you have to be careful doing so. Let’s face it, it’s not all that hard to get a hold of some fancy animal photographs, hire a talented writer and create a fancy website. But you really have to dig to get to the core of the what’s important.

For starters, ADS does not put a limit on how far (or where) their guides can take you each day. Many outfits do. That’s an unadvertised fact. In fact, some outfits actually penalize their drivers for exceeding a certain number of allotted kilometers from camp each day and that can really limit your opportunities. This is somewhat of a secret… but its true. We were looking for something different and we found it again with ADS.

The Serengetti is not a zoo and it’s not like Disneyworld. The animals don’t appear on cue. They are nomadic, they move, they hide, they rest in the shade. Just finding them takes eagle eyes (well… actually not, they sometimes end up being 20 feet from your car but you get my drift). Our guide, Francis, is one of the best. College educated, experienced and speaker of many languages, he can find a leopard in a tree that you and I would drive by believing it was just another branch. He’s more of a safari ambassador in my opinion. He also knows “light”… when it’s the best for photography and when its not… and how to maneuver into the best shooting angles.

I also consider him our friend. We met him 4 years ago on our first safari and like many of the guides you will read about he became almost family. It was hard to say goodbye all those years ago. And we had not spoken to him for four years … still, we requested him on this safari. I was not sure he would remember us as the guides make friends with many clients in the bush. But when we stepped off the bush plane in the Serengetti and he saw us… a big, warm, African smile took control of his face and you could see the happy emotion in his eyes. I got a huge bear hug and he said, “AH, Mr. Jeff…. I am very happy today”. It was a touching moment and the start of a great 10 days.

I suppose I could go into a day by day itinerary like many people do on this site, but Africa is much more than that to us and you can read about those experiences from others. First of all, from a wildlife perspective it dwarfs what you will see in many other parts of Africa and that is the reason we chose to Tanzania over Botswana. Not that Botswana would have been a bad choice. But let me give you an example. We are selective photographers who do not pull the trigger on every opportunity we come across…. and there are many opportunities, trust me. Still, between the two of us in our vehicle we shot 11000 photographs on this trip… some of them are represented here. When you go out the first day on Safari you end the day saying… “wow’, today was a good day. We could actually go home now and still have a portfolio of impressive photographs that rival anything you see in a magazine.”

But that’s what’s great about the Serengetti, it continues to surprise you. It continues to produce. Just when you think you’ve got the best lion shot you’ve ever seen… you come across another, or another giraffe, or a cheetah….even more impressive than the one before. Or you become surrounded by 10,000 wildebeest in a cloud of dust. It just keeps getting better. And there is something magical about being out there.

ADS specializes in getting you off the beaten path and away from many of the other vehicles out there. There is nothing worse that coming upon a cheetah kill and have it quickly surrounded by safari vehicles. Save that for Yellowstone National Park. Many times last week we were the only people for as far as the eye could see. And in the Serengetti, the eyes see far. The landscape is forever changing. That alone is worth the price of admission.

I can’t speak for every guide in the ADS lineup… but a quick read through some of the other testimonials on this page bear out the fact that they are all knowledgeable and personable. I can now speak broken Swahili and its been a long time since I laughed as hard as I did sitting around camp at night with Francis. I also know a lot about not only the animals and their behaviors … but about life in Africa. This is like going out on vacation and coming home with a masters degree in wildlife conservation. There was not one animal, one bird, one reptile…. that our guide did not know or elaborate on. And their African accents are so unique you find yourself mimicking it. It’s something not to be missed.

” Custom.” That’s a key word at ADS. You can choose to go “high end” and be waited on or “rough it” in a bush camp and wake up to find lions wandering outside. A nice mix of the two make the experience memorable. That’s how we did ours.

On a personal note I had a good friend pass away 18 months ago. In the end we all wanted to buy him something or do something to for him. All he wanted to do was remember the things we had experienced together…. the memories. That’s what life is really about when you take away the cars, the money, the fancy clothes and all the other stuff we seem to hold so dear. And ADS creates memories… stories…. experiences…. ones you will never forget. That’s what makes Africa Dream Safari’s so special.

And one final note. If you go, you will see just about all of the animals you ever wanted to see… you know the ones…. the ones you dream about seeing. Sure, nothing can be guaranteed, but trust me, you won’t be disappointed. But in our case, something special happened. Our guide reached a little further… and decided to find the elusive Wild Dog, a know rarity in the Serengetti. Something many of the guides have yet to see.

Francis found them at the end of the first day. That’s Africa Dreams.

Go…. Just do it.

Jeff and Ginger

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Our Incredible Adventure

Sandy and I have been back from safari for two weeks now and we are still talking about how incredible our safari to Tanzania was. The people, the parks, the animals, and the accommodations of Tanzania were a magical experience. Everything we had read by others was true and deserves repeating. However, it still falls far short of actually experiencing it firsthand. Dawn Anderson and ADS’s attention to detail of what we wanted to see and experience was a major factor in the success of our safari. We cannot say enough about the time and effort Dawn spent working with us to make sure we had a perfect safari for us. Here are some highlights from our trip which began June 21:

Day 1 – We landed at Kilimanjaro airport in Tanzania where the ADS greeter had us processed in minutes through the passport control line. The ADS Arusha guide gave us a warm welcome, gathered our bags, gave us an informative ride to the Mt. Meru Hotel in Arusha. Then he conducted a safari briefing, presented a lovely welcome gift of a Maasai beaded bracelet to Sandy, and helped us get checked in the hotel.

Day 2 – After a relaxing evening, we spent an extra day in Arusha to recover from jet lag. We were taken on a leisurely tour of the city which was very informative and interesting. Sandy had the opportunity to do some shopping. We were taken to the Cultural Heritage Center for some souvenir shopping and then to TanzaniteOne, where Sandy purchased a beautiful Tanzanite ring. That evening, a private dining area was set up for us outside and a special meal was prepared so we could celebrate our anniversary; one of the reasons for our trip. This was one of the many unexpected and thoughtful touches provided by the ADS team throughout our Tanzanian adventure.

Day 3 – We had an early flight into the central Serengeti and it was finally safari time. Our guide took us to the Arusha airport and made sure we got boarded properly. Sandy does not like small planes, but the flight was short and low enough that we could see the countryside. On final approach to the Seronera airstrip, we were glued to the window of the aircraft as a huge herd of zebras emerged below us.

After landing, we were greeted immediately by our guide, Francis. This man proved to be one of the warmest and most knowledgeable people we have ever known. He was not only able to talk in depth about the animals, but of the country, its heritage and its development. We cannot overstate the importance of your guide on a safari and Francis was fantastic!

We immediately started our first game drive. We literally had chills because this is why we came to Africa. We wanted to experience all the wildlife and natural beauty. In the first half of the day, we saw lions, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, topi, eland, buffalo, elephant and ostrich. We had lunch overlooking a vast plain filled with zebras and wildebeest and were provided an introduction to the Serengeti and a detailed description of what we could expect on our safari. We continued our game drive all the way to Bilila lodge. Bilila lodge was a magnificent property and our room was pure luxury. We had an amazing dinner including a second surprise anniversary cake and were then off to bed.

Day 4 – We awoke for a leisurely breakfast and then were off to the bush. Our second day provided diverse wildlife viewing again including hippos, monkeys, baboons, crocodiles, turtles, lions, impala, gazelle, elephant, zebras, buffalo, and wildebeest. We marveled at how the landscape is ever changing and always seemingly endless. The countryside is breathtakingly beautiful. There were lots of birds of many species and many bright colors that contrasted sharply with the color of the countryside.

We were back to the lodge by 4 p.m. so we could enjoy our spectacular balcony view, beautiful sunset, and another great dinner. One of the great things about our safari was that it was private and we could pick when and what we wanted to do daily. This was one of the many reasons for choosing ADS. We came to realize this value the more we watched over crowded safari vehicles pass us daily rushing from spot to spot.

Day 5 – After breakfast, we game drove our way to the central Serengeti. We continued through areas of dense game which included zebra, wildebeest, cheetahs, buffalo and giraffe, and then stopped for lunch at the Serengeti Visitor Center. In the afternoon, we found ourselves driving among the kopjes gawking at lions, giraffe, and elephants. The highlight of the day was encountering a lion pride and watching them stalk their prey. An interesting thing was that the male lion did not take part in the hunt.

Day 6 – We had breakfast, checked out, and said our thanks to the wonderful staff and headed out for the western serengeti. Our destination was to view the great migration. We game drove the entire day through thousands of zebras and wildebeest. We had lunch along the way at a park ranger camp. We had no idea that this was only part of the great migration. How could there be more? We arrived at Mbalageti Lodge late that afternoon. It sits atop a hill and overlooks a wonderful plain that goes forever. We had another wonderful dinner and a good night’s sleep.

Day 7 – We awoke very refreshed and had breakfast overlooking the plain below us. While we were eating, a herd of hundreds of wildebeest came running down the side of a hill and ran across the plain below us. Magnificent! We game drove north to the Grumeti River where we were surrounded by thousands upon thousands of wildebeest and zebras on their great migration. There were so many you cannot imagine even trying to count them. They covered the entire landscape. They were on the way to cross the river on their northern trek into Kenya. We stopped at the river and saw many crocodiles hoping to get lucky.

Day 8 –We said goodbye to Mbalageti and began our drive towards Ngorongoro Crater. We saw the usual diverse array of wildlife along the way. We stopped for lunch at the Serengeti Park exit and continued down to Olduvai Gorge. We visited the museum and listened to a presentation. It was interesting to see this cradle of humanity first hand.

We continued on towards the Crater. On the way we stopped to visit one of the many Maasai villages. The people were very friendly and kind enough to let us tour their village. We finally arrived at Crater Lodge and got checked in. The staff was very professional and greeted us with Champagne. Our room was magnificent with a great view of the crater and complete with a wood burning stove to combat the chill from the altitude. Dinner was again outstanding and we received our third anniversary cake, which was delivered to our table by singing and dancing staff. This was a very nice end to a long day’s drive from the western Serengeti.

Day 9 – We were up at 6:30 am, grabbed some coffee and were among the first to enter the Crater that day. The view from above the Crater is matched only by the spectacular diversity of wildlife that unfolds from within. The crater lake was colored pink by hundreds of pink flamingos standing in it. We had an amazing breakfast overlooking a hippo pool. We watched a lioness with her cubs stalking a zebra herd. We had the great fortune of seeing the black maned lion and admired his beauty.

The day was capped off by our sighting five black rhino, which completed the BIG Five for us. We headed back to the lodge and were pleasantly surprised that a hot bubble bath had been drawn, adorned with rose petals. We had another delicious dinner in the dining room, next to the fireplace. It was then off to bed for an early drive to Lake Manyara.

Days 10 – After some coffee and saying goodbye to our excellent butler and the staff, we took a slow drive down the fog shrouded mountain road. We arrived at Manyara and game drove through the morning. Here, we saw many velvet monkeys and baboons. We observed a family with two little ones that were being watched over, much like we do to our children.

Then it was off to Tarangire Park. We had lunch at the park entrance and then drove into the park. We had been told that we might see a herd of 50 to 100 elephants. We immediately saw a herd, and then more, and more, and more. We were overwhelmed by the number of elephants and saw at least three hundred or more. This was amazing! I love the elephants and enjoyed this greatly.

We continued on until we arrived at Swala Lodge. Our hosts met us, gave us a tour, and a drink at the outdoor lounge. We watched a herd of elephants and impala graze while we enjoyed our drinks. We were treated to a special dinner under the stars at our lodge and Sandy was presented a birthday cake.

Day 11 – We were about to head home. After breakfast, we said goodbye to our hosts and game drove through the morning out of the park and headed to Arusha. We stopped along the way to buy more souvenirs. Once again the ADS staff was waiting at the hotel when we arrived, got us situated at Mt. Meru Hotel for lunch and made sure we got back to Kilimanjaro airport in a timely manner for the trip to Amsterdam.

Thanks again Dawn, the rest of the ADS Team, and a special thank you to our guide, Francis, for the trip of a lifetime! Francis is filled with information about Tanzania and always anxious to share this with his clients. He also has a deep compassion and an innate understanding of what every person needs to make their safari perfect for them. You are never “just another client” with ADS. You are treated as if you are the most important people in the world! We would never consider using any other safari outfitters now that we have experienced the attention to detail provided by the entire ADS company!

Jerry & Sandy
Nashville, Tennessee
June 2012

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Our African Safari Journal

We wanted to follow up on the email you sent after our safari. We had a great time and plan on going again and booking through ADS since all of the details were perfect. As we talk with our family and friends, showing them some of the 6,500 pictures I took or the 20+ hours of video Mark shot and tell them have much fun we had and how exciting the trip was we always let them know that ADS planned it all. Thanks to Dawn and all of the ADS employees (especially Jonas) the trip was truly magnificent.

Mark and I have been back for about a month and we are still talking about it and how we want to go back or wish we were still there. Our safari was the best vacation we have ever had. Here are our highlights which started on June 18th:

Day 1 – Thanks to ADS once we landed in Kilimanjaro we breezed through customs and met the trusty ADS meet and greet team. The 50 minute ride to Mount Meru Resort was not bad at all since we did ask a lot of questions on the way. We had a light dinner then off to the room to get packed and set for the early morning flight into the Serengeti.

Day 2 – ADS picked us up at 7 am then off to the Arusha airport. The thing that I dreaded most was getting on that small plane which I had heard horror stories about, but it was not bad at all. We made one stop for a pick up and after 1 ½ hours we were on the ground and into the western Serengeti. We met our new friend, driver-guide Ellson and we were off. Within the first 30 minutes we saw 2 lionesses with 4 cubs, zebra, wildebeest, hippos and many birds. There were so many animals! The little black faced monkeys are so cute! We also saw baboons, crocodiles, dik dik, topis, gazelles and water buck. We arrived at the Serengeti Soroi and greeted with cool towels and fresh juice. After orientation we went to our hut for a quick shower and off to dinner. The place was very nice and dinner was good.

Day 3 – After the wakeup call with hot tea we left at 6 am what would we see today? Not far from the lodge Ellson spotted a leopard in a tree. After further investigation there was a hyena eating a wildebeest where the leopard had killed it earlier. There are so many impalas, zebras and topis we could not count them all. One of the highlights of the day was to see the great migration with wildebeest and zebras, one of the reasons we went to Tanzania. There were thousands of them, it was really cool. Giraffes right by the road then on to see about 50 hippos sunning on the bank. One baby Ellson said could not be any more than 2 months old. While we had our boxed breakfast we watched the wildebeest go up and down the banks of the river and the black faced monkeys played in the trees. More giraffes then on to see some really big crocodiles; one was at least 15 feet long. 3 lions were lounging in the shade while hyenas and vultures were finishing off a wildebeest. We also saw bush pigs, cape buffalos, gazelles, elephant’s, baboons and a tawny eagle. It was a great day in the Serengeti.

Day 4 – We started again at 6 am, we said hello to the leopard that we spotted yesterday and yes he was still in the same tree. We went to the central Serengeti today we again saw the great migrations a far as you could see were wildebeest and zebras running as past as they could, thousands of them. We did see 12 lions have their breakfast with some of the wildebeests. We saw so many lions today, everywhere, it must be mating season for them. Unbelievable; what do we see lions lying on a very large tree limb. As we followed a herd of 20 elephants to the river to get water and to cool down we thought that would be interesting but once we arrived at the river I thought I was in the Garden of Eden. There were about 200 hippos in and around the river, while many zebras were getting a drink across the river. Wildebeest, cranes, Egyptian geese, gazelles and topis were all there this was amazing. I did not want to leave. But we had to then not far away we saw about 200 cape buffalos crossing the road so we stopped and waited and they slowly moved. Some other things we saw that day were lilac breasted birds, helmeted guineas, black backed jackals, hornbills, red headed lizard, ostrich, great heron, saddle bill stork, marabou stork, ibis, white faced ducks, vultures, plovers, cheetahs, hyrax, hartebeest, bush buck, water buck, doves, parrots, go away bird, shrike and weevers. Does this get any better?

Day 5 – Again stated at 6 am and going to the central Serengeti, there were elephants standing next to the road and let us know that we were not welcome so we moved on. We saw a snake eagle, again zebra, wildebeest and impalas then dik diks, a tawny eagle and a lonely cape buffalo. While having breakfast there were so many birds of all colors many bright neon colors. We loved them. We moved on to see lions and topis, Ellson pulled us up under a tree to have lunch when what do we see? A cheetah lying under the tree so we decided to stay, eat in the vehicle so we could watch her. Funny to see a hyena in a water hole up to her neck with mud but Ellson explained that is how it helps her digest the bones they eat. We moved on to see two other cheetahs, one killed a baby thomsons gazelle and the other taunted another one. Seeing 8 lions, two males with dark mane, WOW! We moved to the kopies where lions were sunning themselves. Elephants and giraffes were spotted as we made our way to camp.

Day 6 – After breakfast we checked out the Soroi and went back to the central Serengeti. The Soroi was a nice place to stay but still needs a little more TLC with the employees as many do not speak English. The food was OK but then again we are in Tanzania. We saw many animals again today as we drove hours. It rained today and the road to the Seronera Sametu Camp was extremely muddy. Once we got there it was awesome. With only 5 tents there and we were the only one’s staying there that night so we got plenty of attention. We started out at the fire pit with cocktails and with a scare from a hyena that must have smelled dinner it started raining again so we moved in for dinner. Dinner was great especially the zucchini soup (my favorite overall by far the entire trip).

Day 7 – With a beautiful sunrise to start the day we ran into 10 hyenas as they finished up a zebra. The day was full of great things to see as we move from place to place; lion couples as they mate and baboons as they groom each other, the hippo pool which really did not smell very good but the numbers were awesome. Again we see the graceful cheetahs and many of the normal wildebeest, zebras and impalas. Dinner again was excellent.

Day 8 – We are still in the central Serengeti and just visited a cheetah with 5 cubs. The birds in Tanzania are so colorful and plenty. We are now at the Mbuzi Mawe Tented Lodge which is very nice. Enjoyed our evening cocktails and dinner.

Day 9 – We started again at 6 am for a morning game drive in the northern Serengeti. We saw a jackal and 2 bat eared fox, they are so cute. Mark spotted a cheetah then I spotted a male and female lion, the male’s mane was so full. We went on to have breakfast where there were so many banded mongoose. They were very curious but stayed their distance. There was nothing happening in the northern Serengeti so Ellson suggested we go back to camp and wait on an afternoon drive. We went back to the lodge today for lunch. While walking around camp we did see 3 klipspringers right next to some of the tents, they were just eating gracefully. We started back for an afternoon game drive. It has really been raining so everything was very muddy. We saw a serval close to the side of the road, under more investigation there was another one that had been killed on the side of the road. It kept meowing and even tried to wake the other one up. It was really sad but beautiful animals. We watched a leopard try to kill a wildebeest but he got kicked by the wildebeest and failed his attempt. We were about 10 feet from the leopard. As we were going back to camp there were three bat eared foxes in the middle of the road. They tried to outrun the vehicle; we all got a good laugh.

Day 10 – We left the Mbuzi Mawe today, but as we go out our tent there are two giraffes standing there eating, good morning. We are on our way out of the Serengeti. But before we do we see a hyena, male and female lions, cokes hartebeest and grants gazelle. It rained again so we did quite a bit of slipping and sliding around. We did see two cheetahs on a dead tree; we also visited the cheetah with her 4 cubs. On the way we did see some dik diks, lovebirds, an eagle, zebras, wildebeest, cape buffalo, vultures and black faced monkeys. We did see many Mosai villages and people on our way to the Ngorongoro crater. We did stop and see the Olduvai Gorge . Once there we took the 30 minute ride down to the crater. We saw 13 lions all lying down and a rhino with her baby. The numerous flamingos there that were told they fly in the morning and fly out in the evening, only to eat in the salt water lake. Accommodations were nice. Sunset was out of this world.

Day 11 – we started at 5:50 am and were the first to get into the crater, thanks to Ellson. It was very cold and foggy and actually misty. Down to the crater we did see a honey badger (looks like a skunk). We saw 10 of the lazy lions just resting. We had our breakfast on a hill but stayed in the vehicle since it was extremely windy. It finally cleared up around noon and we had lunch with many people by the lake. We did see 4 rhinos today but none were very close by. The elands were huge while we visited the couples for a while. We headed out of the crater and on to the Sopa Lodge for dinner. This lodge is more like a hotel with many people. It overlooks the crater and the sunsets are breathtaking. The bar area is very pretty with many hand carvings around the fireplace, walls and columns.

Day 12 – We headed out and on to Lake Manyara, we were not impressed with that area at all we did not see any animals. So we left and went to Tarangire. Yes we did see so many elephants here. We got to the Kikoti Tented lodge. The place was really nice but we were not impressed with the manager, bar tender or the food.

Day 13 – We started out at 6 am again and went to Tarangire, we could not get to the swamp area and did not see anything until around lunch time. We did see some common water bucks then went to have lunch. There were so many black faced monkeys around the eating area. People had left their boxes on the table to walk around and the monkeys stole their lunch. We did see a lion kill a zebra but she did not eat very much of it. Our last night of our game drive and we will really miss it.

Day 14 – We head out and stop by the Tarangire for one last look. We did see a baby giraffe; he was very young since he still had an umbilical cord hanging on his belly. A large male giraffe was really checking him out; we wondered if he was really new to the world. We stopped by the Cultural Heritage Center to pick out a few souvenirs. We did stop by another place but the prices were really high and did not get very much of a discount. The better priced items were at the Sopa Lodge in the Ngorongoro crater. When we go back to the Mount Meru Resort the day room was very relaxing, we had an early dinner . Ellson picked us up and took us to the airport. We will miss the animals but we plan on going again.

Again thanks to Dawn, Ellson and all of the exceptional ADS employees for all of their dedication and hard work which made our trip #1. When we go back we will ask for Ellson to be our driver-guide again since he knew everything about the land, animals and plants. For every question he had an answer. Now that we have been there we can plan our next trip to Tanzania and the Serengeti so Dawn I will contact you.

Mark & Donna Thomas
Calhoun, Louisiana
June 2012

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Thank you Africa Dreams

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:

• Driving in the early morning or late afternoon. It was so peaceful – and inevitably we would run across some baboons for entertainment.

• Being in the center of the migration – surrounded by thousands of wildebeest and zebra as far as you could see.

• Watching two buffaloes fighting for territory.

• Spending hours observing the big cats — the confidence of the lions, the sleekness of the cheetahs, and the beauty of the leopards.

• Seeing the variety of the Serengeti. We were fortunate enough to have time to explore the 4 corners (Central, West, North and South) of the Serengeti, enjoying the uniqueness of each area.

• Experiencing Ngorongoro Crater. What an amazing place! It was like entering the Garden of Eden or a lost world.

• Learning and practicing our Kiswahili.

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

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A Rare Pangolin Spotted!

We have just returned from a family adventure of a lifetime- my husband Joe, our 22 year old son Jared and myself (Michelle). Our adventure began on a Wednesday evening when we arrived in JRO Airport. As we walked into the airport any concerns and trepidation I’d had dissolved instantly. Just as Dawn Anderson had assured me, there was someone waiting for us with our name on a sign. He took our passports and quickly got us through the entire check in procedure. We were brought over to our ADS representatives- Mathias and David and we left the airport as other travelers waited on long lines to get through. We arrived at our destination-the hotel where we would have dinner, shower and have a good night’s sleep before leaving for the airstrip in the morning.

Early the next morning after breakfast we met David in the lobby to be driven to the airstrip for our flight into the Serengeti. It was a weekday morning and as we drove through the streets of Arusha I was in awe of the hustle and bustle- the same as in any town and city. Children in uniforms with backpacks walking to school, men and women standing outside shops buying coffee and talking, shop keepers sweeping in front, women cooking in huge cooking pots over fires, people whizzing by on motor bikes. The only differences were the buildings themselves- they were constructed out of pieces of wood and scrap metal, and there were cows and goats walking down the street right alongside the people. I couldn’t believe we were actually in Africa!

We arrived at the airstrip; it was quite cold so I stepped into the quaintest little coffee shop. The man who was working there was so proud of his shop, so of course I bought a cup of hot tea which he wrapped for me so that I wouldn’t burn my hands. I took it onto the plane- a breathtakingly beautiful hour and 15 minute flight into the Serengeti. Because we were not at a high altitude we were able to see the scenery below us- trees, rivers, hills, the plains, lots of green grass. When we landed we were greeted by Claude who was to be our guide for the 8 day trip.

Within the first hour, and not even far from the airstrip (and the bathroom!) we saw impalas, female lions, hippos, crocodiles, Grants gazelles, zebras, and Wildebeast. After a boxed lunch we started heading towards our lodge which was a few hours away. Distance meant nothing as everywhere we looked we saw amazing animals and scenery.

This was when we first saw giraffes- magnificent and graceful. And just as suddenly as that we saw part of the Great Migration- wildebeast from every direction! Thousands of them! Claude waited until he could continue driving and after a short while we came upon another safari vehicle stopped on the side of the road. The people and their guide were looking at something so Claude asked if we wanted to stop and look. Of course we did! We got out and there was a pangolin – a sighting so rare that Claude had never seen one before.

We arrived at our lodge around 5:00 pm. After showering we were brought to the lodge for dinner by a Maasai. We had a wonderful meal and then were surprised when all of the waiters came into the dining room singing to us in Swahili with a cake with candles. Obviously this was something Dawn had planned to celebrate our anniversary. Jared loved this and felt it was payback for all the times we did this to him on his birthday at TGIF. But this was so much better, and I really fell in love with the Tanzanian people that night. They just derived so much pleasure in making us happy! After dinner we were accompanied back to our rooms for the night by a Maasai- this first evening really sparked my interest in learning more about the Maasai people and their way of life.

The rest of the trip was truly fabulous and if I keep on writing it would be a journal of our 8 days in Tanzania. I think everyone should be surprised as we were so that they can have their own exciting adventures. From the magnificent animals we saw on all day safaris (our choice) to visiting a wonderful Maasai village to buying school supplies in a local shop and bringing them to a school for orphaned children (a highlight for me as a retired teacher) the entire trip was just fantastic from beginning to end (when we saw Mt. Kilimanjaro on the way to the airport). Claude’s enthusiasm and knowledge of the animals, the land, the culture, and the people just made an amazing trip all the more spectacular.

We were sorry to leave, and can’t wait to return!

Michelle, Joe and Jared Bodnar
Lakewood Ranch, Florida
June 2012

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Our Retirement African Safari

Sharon – The safari vacation through Africa Dream Safaris exceeded our expectations. The accommodations and food were over the top. We were surprised to receive welcome gifts at the beginning of the safari, a retirement cake and song for my husband after our second dinner (this vacation was a retirement gift from his former employer) and at the end of our stay we were honored with another song and cake after dinner that welcomed us to come back.

Everyone we met was genuinely friendly. We couldn’t have had a nicer and more informative guide. He was able to locate so many animals for us. In fact, we were able to see and photograph the “Big Five!” When we passed other vehicles crammed with people, we felt very fortunate to be on a private safari. We have travelled to many destinations, but this one was absolutely the best!

Donna and Michael Harper
Glen Carbon, Illinois
June 2012

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Most amazing experience – thank you from the bush!!

Sharon – Lisa and I are still in Africa enjoying Faru Faru. I will send a more detailed and appropriate thank you when we return to the States as well as call you personally. However, I wanted to drop you a short note to tell you how grateful we are for all the work you and your team has done to make this possible. This truly has been the most amazing experience of our lives (except for the birth of our daughter) and has exceeded our expectations in every way. I cannot say enough good things about our guide John – “JP”. His personality and talent as a guide put us at ease from the second we landed and we delighted in having him around and learning and laughing with him. Every member of the staff from the crew at the airport to the guys that handled the camping have been extraordinary. I look forward to the two remaining days here and sending you some photos on our return.

Thank you again! Mike and Lisa

P.S. As with everything else, you were right about Faru Faru – the perfect way to end the trip – though Lisa misses John terribly!

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A Magical Symphony for the Senses

Lisa and I have been back for four days now and we still cannot stop talking about how incredible our safari to Tanzania was. When combined with ADS’ attention to detail, the people, parks, conservation areas, animals, and accommodations of Tanzania really became a magical symphony for the senses. I could easily copy and paste from almost any other travelogue or testimonial because based on our experience, everything said by others is undoubtedly true and bears repeating. Here are some key highlights from our trip …

Day 1 – We landed in Tanzania where a visa expert had us processed in minutes while hundreds of others floundered around the passport control line. The local ADS crew was standing by with our bags and gave us a warm welcome, informative ride to the swank Mt. Meru Hotel in Arusha, a safari briefing and a lovely welcome gift in the form of a Masai beaded -bracelet which Lisa wore every day of the trip. It became immediately obvious to us that it would be unnecessary to think or worry about a single detail during our trip as everything was taken care of for us, including check-in.

Day 2 – After a relaxing evening, we spent an extra day in Arusha to recover from jet lag. The ADS team took us on a leisurely afternoon tour of the city which was very informative and interesting. We returned to the hotel for some poolside lounging. That evening, a private dining area was set up for us outside under a pergola and a special meal was prepared so we could celebrate Lisa’s birthday and our anniversary – the reasons for our trip. This was one of the many unexpected and thoughtful touches provided by the ADS team throughout our Tanzanian adventure.

Day 3 – We took an early flight into the bush as it was finally safari time!! We had one stop for a passenger pick-up at Lobo airstrip where we were joined by two crying women who were ending their trip. Lisa and I thought they were nuts until about day 5 when we both realized we too might have the same reaction on our way home. On final approach to Grumeti airport, we were glued to the window of the aircraft as a huge zoo emerged below us. After landing, we were greeted immediately by the highlight of our trip – our guide.

This man proved to be one of the warmest, funniest, and most knowledgeable people we have ever met. Within 15 minutes of being out in the bush, he spotted a lion that we watched from 5 feet away! We literally had chills because THIS is why we came to Africa – to experience up-close all the wildlife and natural beauty. In the first half of the day, we snapped over 200 photos of lions, zebra, giraffe, topi, eland, buffalo, elephant and ostrich.

We regained our composure at lunch on some rocks overlooking a vast plain where were were provided an introduction to the Serengeti and a detailed description of what we could expect on our safari. We continued our game drive all the way back to the Soroi lodge, where just before sundown we stumbled upon a billion (okay, maybe just a few thousand) wildebeest in migration running across the road in front of us. Awesome!! The Soroi was a magnificent property and our room was pure colonial luxury. We had an amazing dinner including a surprise birthday cake for Lisa and were then off to bed for an early game drive.

Day 4 – We awoke for a 6:30 breakfast and then were off to the bush. Our second day provided extremely diverse wildlife viewing again including hippos, monkeys, baboons, crocodiles, turtles, impala, gazelle, lizards and oh yes, the wildebeest. We marveled at how the landscape is ever-changing and always awe inspiring, from the lush tree-packed areas around the rivers, to the vast plains, to the sporadic rocky outcroppings that emerge – the countryside is simply breath taking. We went back to the lodge by 4 p.m. so we could enjoy our spectacular balcony view, outdoor shower, beautiful sunset, and another great dinner.

Day 5 – After a 6:00 am wake-up call and breakfast, we game drove our way to the central Serengeti. Not long into our day, we had a close encounter with a huge elephant. Noticing an unusually large amount of droppings on the road, our guide had a hunch that more elephants were looming, so we drove a few more minutes and – sure enough – stumbled upon a herd of 40+ elephants! We spent an hour just watching them – it was an absolute joy to watch these creatures unencumbered by artificial boundaries.

We continued through areas of dense game which included zebra, wildebeest, buffalo and giraffe, then stopped for lunch at the Serengeti Visitor Center and took an informative walking tour. In the afternoon, we found ourselves driving among the kopjes gawking at lions of every size and shape. The day ended with our guide spotting a cheetah from at least a ½ mile away (we still have no idea how he spots these creatures). After taking a few dozen photos we looked 5 yards to the right and found a cheetah cub sitting in a rut below the grass line. That was good for about another 50 photos!

We arrived at our private camp just before sunset and were greeted by a friendly staff, warm towel and cold drink. The decision to camp was not one we made lightly as this usually isn’t our speed. Suffice to say, we would do it again in a heartbeat as it was one of the highlights of the trip and provided the most amazing views of the sunset and night sky. Dinner was followed by a camp-fire chat and a visit from a “friendly” hyena that was eventually chased away. We drifted into sleep accompanied by the sounds of the “friendly” hyena and tons of other game in the area.

Day 6 – We had a 5:30 breakfast in the Serengeti and headed out on another “fishing” adventure. In the morning we spotted a hyena trailing a few lions, a pair of cheetah unsuccessfully stalking prey, and two lions mating – now that was quite a show! Shortly after we spotted another lion stalking a group of zebra drinking by the river. Our guide instinctively knew this would result in a kill, so he drove us a little distance away so we could have prime viewing of the entire event unfolding. That was by far the most exhilarating show of the trip!

We went back to the camp for a delicious lunch and siesta, and then headed back out in the afternoon to watch a pride of lions frolicking and a leopard return to the impala it had stashed in a tree – mission accomplished. We had another great dinner at the camp with warm birthday wishes and another cake for Lisa! We were briefly awakened at 2 a.m. when a zebra stampede moved through the camp, but quickly fell back asleep to the softer sounds of night in Serengeti.

Day 7 – We woke up very refreshed and compared notes about the stampede and accompanying cacophony. We thanked the crew for a great stay and headed back out to game dive our way to the Bilila Lodge. We checked on our leopard friend again before we left the neighborhood and spent some time with the pride of lions from the day before. We drove us past some ancient Masai cave paintings and we had a great lunch on a large outcropping where there was a musical rock – the “gong rock” – that was totally fun to play.

Our guide wisely thought we would enjoy spending a little more time at the lodge after camping in the Serengeti, so we arrived at Bilila around 2:30 – he was right. Bilila is a beautiful full-service property with amazing views, great food and delicious drinks.

Day 8 –We decided to sleep in since we were only staying one night, and began our leisurely drive towards Ngorongoro Crater at 8:30 am. We saw the usual diverse array of wildlife including a huge python that we spotted off the road. It is really true what everyone says – there is always something new and unexpected to see in the Serengeti. We stopped for lunch at the Serengeti Park exit and continued down to Oldupai Gorge. We visited the museum and listened to a presentation. It was amazing to witness this cradle of humanity first-hand.

After the requisite photo ops, we continued towards the Crater. On the way we delighted in the change of landscape and in the sightings of Masai villages as we climbed to the top of the Crater. Crater Lodge was beyond amazing and to describe it is to short change it. The staff was super professional and we had our own butler. Our room was magnificent and bigger than most apartments in Chicago, complete with a wood burning stove to combat the chill from the altitude. Champagne greeted us upon arrival and dinner was served to us in our room with rose petals scattered all around. This was a very nice end to a long day’s drive from the central Serengeti.

Day 9 – We were up at 5:30 am, grabbed some coffee and claimed bragging rights as we were first to enter the Crater that day. The view from above the Crater is matched only by the spectacular diversity of wildlife that unfolds from within. The terrain changes are just as diverse. We had an amazing breakfast overlooking a hippo pool and were treated to the last of the big 5 – an awesome close encounter with a black rhino that crossed directly in front of our vehicle. Of course, our guide had spotted two rhino earlier (with his unaided eyes) which were literally black specs at over a thousand yards, but proved to have the characteristic horns when viewed through binoculars.

We watched some lions frolicking around and caught sight of another rhino as we were headed to our lunch picnic spot – awesome! On our final rest stop within the Crater, a very precocious monkey jumped into our vehicle and stole an apple because we inadvertently left the cooler opened – oops! We headed back to lodge for some afternoon tea and were pleasantly surprised that a hot bubble bath had been drawn – adorned with rose petals! We had another delicious dinner – this time in the opulent dining room next to the fireplace – followed by another tasty cake and cheerful birthday song! We were off to bed for an early drive to Lake Manyara where we would fly out to Faru Faru for a few days to end the safari.

Days 10-12 – After some coffee and saying goodbye to our excellent butler and the staff, we took a slow drive down the fog enshrouded mountain road – and, of course, came across a leopard! We arrived at Manyara airport and exchanged goodbyes and well wishes with our guide. Though we were sad to be parting with our new friend, we felt confident we would see him again as we already were talking about our next trip to Tanzania.

Our plane arrived on-time and we were shuttled off to Sasakwa airstrip for the private Grumeti Reserve. We were met there by a friendly member of the Faru Faru staff who shuttled us to a resort that needs to be experienced to be appreciated. I’ll simply say that Sharon from ADS was right – this was the perfect way to end a safari, completely immersed in unpretentious luxury with a staff that was exceptional. We spent three incredible days here, experienced amazing cuisine, met interesting people, went on exciting game drives – a cheetah hunt and kill comes to mind – and enjoyed incredible sunsets. We were totally rested and relaxed when it came time to head home.

Day 13 – It was now our turn to get teary eyed as we were about to head home. We had a beautiful flight back to Arusha and could appreciate the Serengeti even more now that we knew what was contained in the landscape beneath us. Once again the ADS staff was there on arrival, shuttled us to the Cultural Heritage Center for some souvenir shopping, got us situated at Mt. Meru Hotel for lunch and made sure we got back to Kilimanjaro in a timely manner for the trip home. We spent the next 30 hours reflecting on our incredible trip and how there was literally nothing we would have done differently.

People who know us have heard us say that the birth of our daughter is the first thing in life that has truly exceeded our expectations. The safari that ADS arranged for Lisa and me is the second. We both agree that this was by far the best trip we have ever taken. We cannot wait to do this again with our daughter. Thanks again Sharon and the rest of the ADS Team!

Michael and Lisa Boffa
Chicago, Illinois
June 2012

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We could not believe the number of animals

Lynn, We just wanted you to know that our trip couldn’t have been better. The accommodations were great, our guide was exceptional, and the people with Africa Dreams went beyond our expectations. We ran headlong into the Northern migration and could not believe the number of animals we saw. We were fortunate to see every animal of importance including 9 of the 22 Rhinos in the Crater in addition to many lions, leopards and even a cheetah with 2 cubs.

Also we were thankful we had booked with you as opposed to some others we had considered. At the last camp there was a group of 16 with Tack travel with 3 vehicles. They spent much less time out viewing game than we did. It was just so much better being able to come and go whenever you wanted. Thanks again and we will highly recommend you to everyone we know that is considering such a trip.

Dave and Margie Warner
Plymouth, Minnesota
June 2012

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Serengeti Ranked #1 Natural Wonder

Make sure to pick up the latest copy of Wild Travel Magazine. The recent edition features the top 100 natural wonders that everyone should see in their lifetime. I was thrilled that the Serengeti received two of the top five spots. Below are the top five attractions on the African continent:

#1: Witnessing the Great Migration in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

#2: Tracking with Mountain Gorillas in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda

#3: Seeing the black/white rhinoceros in Hluhluwe Reserve, South Africa

#4: Encountering leopards in South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

#5: Watching lions in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

I was also delighted to see Africa Dream Safaris listed as the Top Tour Operator in the Serengeti National Park! Our company goal has always been first and foremost to deliver the ultimate wildlife viewing experience in the Serengeti so this recognition is very much appreciated. I know our safari guides firmly believe their Serengeti expertise is unsurpassed!

The rankings for the magazine were compiled by African specialist Philip Briggs who has been exploring and writing guide books on Africa for over 20 years. If you are planning a safari to Tanzania (especially to the northern safari circuit including the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara and Tarangire National Parks), Phillip’s Northern Tanzania Bradt Guide is a must buy. Africa Dream Safaris was delighted to host Philip Briggs and his wife Ariadne Van Zandbergen on safari. Check out their safari testimonial here.

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The Best of 2011

It has been an incredibly rewarding year here at Africa Dream Safaris. The stories, pictures and videos submitted from returning guests over the last 12 months have been spectacular and even inspirational. I thought it would be great fun to revisit some of the more exceptional postings from our blog during 2011 and highlight some of the most remarkable photographs.

Note: Please click on each link to access the entire original posting.

Best Zebra – Peter and Jody Arebalo

Best Rhino – Mark and Shawn Pitts Safari

Most Exciting Post – Close Encounters of the Animal Kind

Best Black and White Photo – Laura Krabill and Family

Best Lion – Cindy Chan

Best Leopard – Martha Laing & Douglas Barnes

Most Useful Posting – What’s in My Day Pack? – Dawn Anderson

Best Cheetah – Karina and David Reuter

Most Inspirational Posting – An Inspirational Story of Hope – Dr. Frank Artress

Most Educational Posting -Stripe Facts – Lynn Newby-Fraser

Best River Crossing – Greg and Elise Gubitz

Best Live Bush Report – Sharon Lyon

Best Zanzibar Photo – Barry Rutgers and Kim Gabriele

Best Buffalo – Denny and Mary Ann Dowling

Best Hippo – George Filliter

Best Action Shot – Ronald and Georgette Reckers

Best Migration – Patti and Joel Velasco

Best Elephant – Debby and Dale Hewitt

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What’s in My Day Pack?

I was answering safari prep questions for one of my clients the other day, when she asked what I thought was a very good question. “Dawn, when you are out on safari, what items do you bring in your day-pack?” Aside from my main suitcase full of clothes, I do also bring a smaller back-pack that travels out “into the bush” with me during the course of a day, while the larger suitcase stays at the lodge. I thought it was a clever question, and perhaps the answer will be helpful to others as they embark on their own safari adventure.

Here it goes, my “Master ‘Day Pack’ List”!

• Sunglasses
• Lip balm (SPF 45)
• Facial cleansing clothes (“Olay Daily Facials Express” or similar)
• Mints or chewing gum
• Tylenol or Advil
• Small notebook and pen
• Sunscreen (SPF 50 or higher)
• Safari hat
• Pony-tail holder
• Kleenex
• Pet-waste bags
• Hand-sanitizer
• Insect repellent towelette
• Money/passport wallet
• Camera

Okay, so many items on the list are self-explanatory and seem to be common sense. But this list actually took me several different safaris to perfect!

Sunglasses are rather obvious. But it took me at least 3 trips to Africa and several episodes of sunburned/chapped lips before I figured out to bring lip balm with sunscreen!

The facial cleaning clothes, like the ones made by Olay, are a big lifesaver, especially when conditions are dusty, and the type that are especially formulated for your face will double as a skin care regimen for morning and evening.  At home I use facial cleanser and moisturizer, but these bottles of liquid are cumbersome to pack and I much prefer to leave them at home.

I bring along a small pack of Kleenex for minor emergencies. They are easy to keep with you, and just in case the toilet paper runs out I have my own backup. On a similar subject, I also bring along a pack of opaque “pet waste” bags to dispose of any toilet paper from using “bush bathrooms”. An easy and low-profile way to avoid being a litter-bug! Bringing along a small bottle of hand-sanitizer is also a good idea!

Nothing ruins a great trip like a headache. Sometimes the sun, dust and bumpy roads can initiate one, so I’m quick to nip it in the bud with couple Tylenol or Advil before it becomes a bigger problem. Of course I also bring along any other medication I might need during the day.

As much as I love to pop my head out the open-topped land-cruiser and feel the wind in my hair, it also gets tangled pretty quickly unless I use a trusty pony-tail holder or safari hat. I also bring along a brush or comb. One trick I’ve found to keep long hair tame is to wear it in a braid; this will result in very few tangles at the end of the day!

Instead of bringing insect repellent lotion or spray, which can be cumbersome to pack, I now use these handy pre-packaged towelettes. I like the brand “OFF” because theirs include DEET, which is extremely effective against mosquitoes, and they easy to find and purchase, either on-line or through many outdoor-type stores. The best part about these is how easy they are to pack and use! I can usually get by using only 1 per day.

I also bring along a small notebook and pen to take journal notes, as well as mints or chewing gum.  A clever product I’ve recently discovered are Brush-ups, which are a great way to quickly ‘brush your teeth’ while on the go.  Sunscreen is an obvious item to pack, but I think it’s a good idea to bring the strong stuff!  Think SPF 50 or greater. The climate in Northern Tanzania feels mild because of the high elevation, but here on the equator, the sun is stronger than you think! And if anything can ruin your trip faster than a headache, it would be sun-poisoning.

Of course I keep my passport and money with me at all times. I use a travel wallet, similar to this one:  Eagle Creek Travel Wallet

So that’s my day pack!  Obviously your contents may differ slightly from mine, but hopefully I’ve offered an idea or two that you too can use!

Of course, I also bring along a camera. But describing what type of camera equipment I bring and why is another (long) subject all on its own, and probably one that deserves special focus, perhaps in a future post!

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Camping with Lions!

A special thanks go’s out to guest Gary Baumgartner who just returned back from safari and sent in this amazing picture showing a lion strolling right through their Private Luxury Camp. We have received many exciting reports from guests staying in the Central Serengeti campsites and also those at Seronera Sametu Camp this May due to the presence of the wildebeest migration, which has attracted large concentrations of predators (lions, cheetahs, leopards and hyenas).

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New Serengeti Lion Report

We are delighted to announce the continuation of the lion reports from the world famous Serengeti Lion Project. After a roughly 2-year long hiatus we were just thrilled to get our hands on a current report and read about all our favorite lions. Click here to see the report.

Africa Dream Safaris helps fund the Serengeti Lion Project’s ongoing conservation efforts. In turn, periodic reports are prepared exclusively for Africa Dream Safaris by the on-site researchers for the Serengeti Lion Project. So you won’t find this info anywhere else!

Since there are MANY lion prides in the Serengeti, we picked 6 specific study prides to focus on. Talk about having the inside scoop! These Serengeti Lion Project researchers live, sleep, and work out in the bush every single day, so they are able to offer invaluable information about the location and adventures of our favorite lions.

Reading like a soap opera at times, we think you will also enjoy the real-life drama and adventures of these awesome animals as they live, hunt, and raise their families together in the harsh African wilderness.

So what new adventures have our favorite lions been up to lately? Visit the Lion Report section of our website to access all the lion reports including the current one.

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