Our 2nd Safari with ADS
This was our second african safari with ADS and we thought our first trip could never be topped…we were wrong. Our trip was during the dry season in August because our priority was to see the great migration river crossing. Our guide Reggie was simply awesome and his keen sense of animals was incredible. His anticipation of where animals might be and his awareness of events that may occur was amazing. We started each day at 6 AM and didn’t return to our lodge/tent camping until 6 PM daily. We kept count of all the lions we saw and ended with 99 different lions.
Our 9-day safari only had 2 nights in a lodge with the rest in various tented camping sites. Tented accommodations were incredible and luxurious. Dinners were amazing and we threw our diets out the window. Bonfires for Happy Hour every night, spectacular sunsets and sleeping with the sounds of lions, wildebeest and zebras in our ears was magical.
Seeing the wildebeest migration make THREE separate crossings during the first two days across the Mara Mara River was exhilarating. Crocodiles closed in to stop two of the crossings midstream, but not before we heard the thundering sound and saw the wild chaos of thousands of wildebeest stampeding. WOW !!!
We patiently watched a pride of 9 lions stalk a warthog before it ran away in haste. We followed the pride as it came upon a herd of wildebeest, waited as the females surrounded the herd and just when we thought a chase was in order…a jackal appeared from the middle of the wildebeest herd. It sensed danger and came forward within a few feet of the lead lion lying low in the grass. It barked loudly and was chased away by the lead lion, but by doing so, the wildebeest scampered off in haste.
Many cute moments included seeing lion cubs up close playing with their mother and poking their heads up through the tall grass. Baby elephants are adorable as they hug close to their mothers and imitate many of their mom’s mannerisms. And then watching them slide down a river embankment on their knees was a treat.
A real rare treat was seeing 3 different leopards with one very, very close on the ground. Seeing them in the trees while their “kill” stashed in the branches above was special. Beautiful cats with pretty faces.
A couple real-close encounters with animals were quite thrilling. We came across 2 elderly male lions in a remote area that nuzzled on our vehicle and used it as shade…that’s close. Another moment was a herd of elephants where one large female came so close that when she raised her trunk, I actually had to step back because I thought for sure she was going to touch me through the open roof.
I haven’t forgotten the other animals we saw…majestic giraffes as the flow across the plains, the elusive black rhino, playful Tommie gazelles, bashful hyenas, cheetah brothers just hanging out after a kill and many, many more.
We also brought various school supplies with us from the U.S. and Reggie brought us to a remote schoolhouse to donate them. The teachers were very appreciative and shared with us the daily school routine. The students were excited on seeing us and were not shy on getting their pictures taken.
The people of Tanzania were kind, friendly and very gracious hosts everywhere we went. We will miss them and the treasure of a vacation that Africa Dream Safaris provided us.
Steve, Jody, Matthew J.