The Wonders Of Tanzania

We cant say enough good things about our experience with ADS and the wonders of Tanzania and we are more than happy to share some of experiences.

An upclose safari has been a dream since watching David Attenborough on TV as a child and the experience with ADS more than lived up to our wildest expectations. We wanted to do something special to celebrate our 50th birthdays this year and it seemed time to fulfill those childhood dreams. I did feel a certain skepticism about the other testimonial pictures as they did seem almost too good to be true. But now look back at our pictures this is not definitely not the case.

Our guide Ally picked us up from the airport and the adventure began! Ally took great care of us for the entire stay and the welcome at the hotel has now set new standards for all of us. Peter gave us a wonderful introduction to Arusha and the experience of driving through a Sunday afternoon market, watching women cook maize at the side of the road and drooling over some enormous tanzanite stones at the cultural heritage center set the stage for the most amazing trip.

On our flight out to Seronera, we all wondered whether we would really see animals within a few hours of starting our safari. It must have been less than 15 minutes before we saw the first family of elephants and it was a completely jaw dropping sight. From family groups, to a lone elephant having a good scratch on a tree that first 30 minutes set the stage.

We all came with a list of what we would like to see and we were all delighted. From watching baboons coming down from the rocks at sunrise at Mbuzi Mawe to the sounds of migrating zebra and wildebeest, lions enjoying a siesta under an acacia tree every day was full of surprises. Watching a pack of hyenas nursing, playing and “laughing” with a couple of cheetahs off in the distance while the sun came up was magical. Some of the smaller animals were also fascinating: bat eared foxes running around was always a source of amusement and the antics of a serval cat were completely out of the ordinary and we all laughed at the many warthog families running through the grass with their tails held high.

Ally was a fantastic guide, his passion and knowledge covered interests of both adults and children. The drive almost up to the border with Kenya was amazing, remote yet beautiful and we really got to see what the great migration looks and sounds like! The accommodations were fabulous. The intimacy of Mbuzi Mawe and their wonderful staff (and the elephant, giraffe, buffalo and sounds of lions roaring around the camp) made this a very special place. The food at all the lodges was delicious both for adults and children and we all loved the Tanzanian hospitality. Mbalageti lodge was amazing and we loved the views from the dining room, the luxury of a post game drive and watching the sun go down from the deck.

We all found the 6 am drives magical, watching the sun rise while cheetahs wander through the grass or lions showing cubs how to hunt zebra were amazing experiences. The drive across the Serengeti, through Nabi gate and down to Ngorongoro reinforced the scale of the Serengeti and there and then we started planning a return trip during the rainy season. The thought of those incredible plains covered with animals seems incredible.

By the time we left Ngorongoro we had seen everything on our pre-trip lists (including the reclusive rhino) and so many unexpected delights and Ally made sure we had time to absorb as much as we wanted. Including on our return trip back to the airport during a lovely clear view of Kilimanjaro and he stopped so that we could collect some final pictures. He seemed to find the most secluded and interesting spots: enjoying a breakfast picnic one morning while watching a family of baboons play and groom beside a river, while crocs and hippos swam past and the occasional group of impala stopped by was magical.

Many thanks also to ADS for the after dinner surprise during our final dinner at Ngorongoro Sopa lodge. The staff were fabulous but then when the lights went down and they came over to our table carrying torches and singing we couldn’t believe it was for us. The children still talk about this and hearing the phrase “hakuna matata” was a highlight for them too!

This was a completely fabulous experience from the first info package with DVD and sample itineraries, through the pre-departure planning with Dawn through to kindness of everyone we met in Tanzania. ADS and Ally took great care of us and we cant wait until the next time.

Karen, Alan, Alexander (age 13) and Isobel (age 9) S.
East Lyme, Connecticut
Safaris Dates: June 23, 2013 to July 1, 2013

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