A Piece Of Tanzania In Our Hearts
Jambo to All Considering a Safari,
If you’ve ever thought about exploring the African “bush,” we’d wholeheartedly encourage you to contact Lynn Newby-Frasier at African Dream Safaris (ADS). Lynn turned our daydream, our “what if,” and our “maybe someday if we’re lucky” into reality. For years, my parents, my children, and I have dreamed wistfully about a safari in Africa. We’d watch nature television shows featuring lions, elephants, zebras, and other exotic African animals and wish we could have these experiences firsthand. We’d linger over magazine articles about East Africa. We’d pause at travel brochures featuring trips to Africa.
Finally, less than two months before the only two-week period that the seven of us would have free last summer, we decided that it was time to address that dream. We surfed the web for safaris and contacted half a dozen companies. Although each representative was helpful, it was Lynn, with such passion for her job and for Tanzania, who won us over. After our first phone conversation with Lynn, it was obvious that working with her and ADS was the clear path to our dream safari.
However, I feared that as I shared our approaching dates, ages, and financial boundaries that her optimistic tone would wane or that she would even admonish us. Never fear, Lynn was always supportive and accommodating, ensuring us that our dream safari would happen. She listened carefully, suggesting accommodations and travel itineraries that fit our physical, budget, and curiosity needs. Lynn worked quickly and efficiently to incorporate our suggestions and provide us with not one, but five separate safaris that all fit our interests and desires. After we selected our favorite, she quietly and quickly worked behind the scenes setting each step of our safari into motion.
It wasn’t until we reached Tanzania, that we realized how much planning she had done for us before our trip. Along the way, it seemed like we daily had questions, which we emailed to Lynn. She cheerfully and graciously answered each one—some so mundane like whether there is lotion provided in the lodgings. Her reminder lists and Swahili vocabulary lessons helped ensure that we were well prepared and excited.
When the big day of our departure arrived, we wondered how we would survive in Africa with our trusted friend Lynn remaining in the states. Our worries were quelled by ADS’s Arusha team of Matthias, Francis, and Trevor. They picked us up at Kilimanjaro Airport, took us to our beautiful hotel, and made sure that we enjoyed our stay in Arusha.
Then we had the great fortune to meet Ellson, our driver/guide. We could not have asked for a more patient, knowledgeable, and skilled guide. Being passionate about animals, we barraged him with questions daily, which he thoroughly and expertly addressed. Curious about Tanzania and its wonderful people, we inquired about practices, customs, and politics. Each day, we marveled at the wonderful sights he showed us and the volumes of information that he imparted to us. He quickly learned our interests and habits and tailored our schedule and itinerary to fit our desires exactly.
We met travelers with both ADS and other safari companies at our lodgings. While we were impressed with what our fellow ADS guests had seen, we were sad to hear of the abbreviated game drives and inflexible schedules that guests of some other companies experienced. For example, on a day where Ellson changed his initial plans so that we could see a leopard and python that fellow drivers had informed him about, these other tourists had no choice but to return early for lunch and an afternoon of leisure.
While other safari outfitters charged up to twice as much, we are certain that we could not have had a richer, more fulfilling, or memorable vacation. Although my parents have kindly taken my children and me on an international trip every year, this has been our favorite. It is our first experience, too, where our agent has stayed in contact with us upon our return. We will always be grateful to Lynn, Ellson, and all those with ADS, the lodgings, and excursions who made our safari truly a dream come true and left a piece of Tanzania in our hearts.
Janet, Henry, and Sherrie E. and Toby, Lani, Jamie, and Jesse M.
Newport Beach, California
Safari Dates: August 11, 2013 to August 20, 2013