Over the Top – POA POAAAA!
We have been planning a trip to Tanzania for two years to celebrate our 15th anniversary. We wanted this trip to have elements of what we like about our lives together: adventure, “luxury”, excitement and sharing educational experiences. We also wanted to witness, first hand, the magnitude of the great migration.
Sharon, our ADS planner, arranged the perfect agenda. And Arnold, our jovial, incredibly knowledgeable guide, made it come to life. From the minute we woke in Arusha, to the day we left Tanzania, it was amazing. Arnold, sporting a huge grin, met us upon arrival at the Mara River Airstrip and off we went on our first game drive en route to Buffalo Springs. We came across over 35 animals and exotic birds that day (1 of the 35 would be a few thousand wildebeest!). If this was any indication of the rest of the trip – we’re in heaven!
Our tented camps were beautiful with all the luxury we expected. The staff was very friendly and so accommodating, and every meal in our private camps was delicious. I say private because, at times we were the only guests, which made our trip even more special.
Having the vehicle and Arnold all to ourselves allowed us to get out earlier and stay out much later than if we had shared the time with other guests. We saw more Cheetah, Lions and Leopards than we ever expected to see. The migrating herds we witnessed, standing above the Serengeti plains at Mbalageti Tented Lodge, made us dumbstruck. The rivers were incredibly low but Arnold diligently followed his instincts to try and get us to see a big crossing somewhere along our journey. It never happened. The changing global weather patterns prompted the migration to start a few weeks before we arrived.
However, every day we saw thousands of confused herds of Wildebeest and an unexpected hundreds of thousands of Zebra moving in every direction. We were mesmerized by the closeness to animals eating, resting, hunting, fighting and even lions mating. We saw two nocturnal Crested Porcupines heading out on a dawn drive and an elusive/nocturnal Serval Cat hunting in broad daylight. Our last morning in Tarangeri Park, we came across two Verreaux Owls in different trees. It’s pretty hard to spot one and we saw two. And the mama Cheetah hunting to feed her four cubs was a big highlight. Going through our photos we saw and captured far more than we realized.
Our balloon flight over the Serengeti on our anniversary was spectacular. We highly recommend you add it to your trip. And our special anniversary celebration with champagne and gifts that night at our favorite accommodation, Seronera Sametu Camp, was a wonderful surprise from the staff. Our visit to the Masai village was very educational and well worth taking a break from our morning game drive to experience. Our stop at F.A.M.E., en route to Tarangire Park, was very moving and inspirational. This is a cause worthy of donations from every person who travels with ADS.
And lastly our surprise farewell celebration at Kikoti Tented Lodge, complete with the staff dancing and singing while presenting us with a “Welcome Again” cake, made our trip’s ending very special and sadly, all too real.
We’ve done safaris in other countries on the African continent and without hesitation, highly recommend Africa Dream Safaris (which we’ve already started to do!) to everyone we know planning a safari in Tanzania. The professionalism and genuine personal interest in customer satisfaction was over the top. We made the right choice with ADS and can’t thank Sharon and Arnold enough for ALL the special touches added to make this our best safari ever!
Gayle & Sandra
Safari Dates: October 20, 2013 to November 1, 2013