Moments That Took Our Breath Away!

From childhood into adulthood one is exposed of Africa through many venues; books, magazines, movies, etc. But nothing can prepare you for what the human eye sees, the constant change of emotions derived from changing feelings, sense of intoxicating aromas and a never ending Serengeti full with wonders of life. I will try to expose these emotions; however, I am confident that neither the following words nor pictures will fully capture the actual moments. Some of these moments were in:

o The constantly changing colors blending with terrain, vegetation and light of day

o The wakening of each day by singing birds, the shuffling of animals and the roar of the male Lion. Each communicating its own message of life, struggle and dominance

o The constant battle for survival with protecting parents of their young. The quick training that must quickly pass on for both predator and pray

o The stalking before the chase, the chase, evasions and final outcomes of the most skilled

o The parental loving attention and sharing of the fresh kill by a dominant family of Lions or Cheetahs

o The almost comical approach and participation by Hyenas, Jackals and Vultures as they ravage through the leftover of a kill or normal death. The Serengeti gives and takes with little trace of the carnage and the cycle continues

o The massiveness and vastness of the migration by wildebeest and zebras

o The cyclic and repeating migration, driven by the clock of nature, which taunts them with the promise of food for their survival

o The massiveness of elephants herds with their destructiveness of trees for food. No green training here. However, the family caring is so obvious

o The massive hippos in their “aromatic” pools, territorial and so protective of their young

o The huge crocodiles that bask in the warmth of the shores in stillness and full awareness

o The giraffes so majestic with an uncaring view of all that is a foot below them. With reward of fresh green leaves that only awaits them at the tips of the high branches made brilliant against the Blue sky

o The feeling of freedom and being alive as you stand in the vehicle, head sticking out on the top while being driven through the serenity of the Serengeti, fresh wind on your face

o The many people at the camps of Kusini, Swala, Lake Masik and Ngorongoro that made our returns a welcome with cooling towels, hot water to clean and relax our bodies, and the nourishing quality of food and drink to energize and prepare us for events to come

The above are just a few of the many treasures that are intermingled by many more animals that were unveiled through the keen eyes of a well-trained ADS guide and driver (Pokea): An expert not only in wildlife, but terrain, he managed to provide us with the utmost Safari experience. The ADS family may not be large in comparison to other providers, allowing them to focus on the quality of services and motivation to provide us with the best experience possible. The ADS family has exceeded our expectations exposing us with moments that took our breath away.

The last five days (December 29, 2012-January 3, 2013) were spent in the tranquility of the Palms resort located on Zanzibar Island. What a wonderful way to chill down and reflect on the safari adventure. The people of the Palms are to be commended for the service, exquisite cuisine, and the softening tranquility of the quiet surroundings.

If you can treat yourself and family to these experiences ADS will most certainly accommodate and exceed your expectations

Enjoy and share some of our photos

Leo Pavlow and Christiane Meyer
Safari Dates: December 19, 2012-December 29, 2012
Plymouth, Michigan

8 Responses to Moments That Took Our Breath Away!

  1. Sandra Chiarandini says:

    Loved reading your story about your safari. Beautifully written and your photographs are exquisite. We are planning a safari next january with one daughter and her 2 children who will be 9 and 11. Do you think they are too young for the tented camps? Would love to stay that way but what do they do when the safari is over – can’t play outside? Anotjher daughter and 11 year old twins might come next Christmas as you did so interesting to read that this is a good time. Would love to hear back from you. thanks!

    • Anonymous says:

      I am a reader, two time safari taker … not the people above .You are right … Children cannot play outside, you just cannot let them stray or get out of sight. If I were taking children I would probably stay in some hotels where they can at least walk in the halls, visit the shops and get some level of play. Now this also depends on the maturity of the children and how well they understand why they have to stay with you. There are no fences and anything can be just outside your room even in hotels. We saw a family where the children played inside the tent and seemed ok with it.

    • Michael says:

      We have families with young children go on safari with us frequently and it’s always a very positive experience for both the parents and children. Take this family seen here on our blog for example:
      The children were ages 4, 6, 8 and 10 at the time of the safari. I do agree with the other poster that adding in a hotel style lodge with more amenities would be a good idea at some point on the safari.

    • Anonymous says:

      Please bring the children. We just returned from our safari 13 people in our family, ages 8 to 82. Children’s ages were 8, 12, 16, 20, 20. All the ages enjoyed the tented camp the best. We had a few bugs and it only bothered one of the children. The fresh air and long days of finding and following the animals was more than enough for all involved. After we would return from the drives, cleaned up and enjoyed our dinner some of the crew returned to their tents to get some rest. The others went to the lounge tent and played card games, wrote in journals, reviewed pictures (love digital cameras), or just went over the day’s excitement. Our children are very active but not one complained or became annoying due to the lack of getting out and running around. Again I say, take the children. They are at a wonderful age to enjoy such a trip and the tented lodges. Also, our oldest daughter created a journal for all the younger kids that had pictures of the animals to look for and mark off when they saw them. She also had their english name and swahili name. She also put some common swahili words for them to practice such as hello, good morning, etc. Reviewing this also kept the children busy. And the guides and other people who help on the trip were impressed when the children would speak the few words of swahili that they knew and were very excited to help them learn more. ENJOY!!

      • Lena Martin says:

        Thanks for the encouraging report! I was thinking of just going with my husband for our anniversary but now perhaps our children. It’s been a dream of mine to go to Africa for more years then I can remember. My not so little guys anymore are ages 9 and 11 but they are good travelers.

  2. Loved your report and pictures. We are planning our
    trip in Sept 2013. What kind of camera did you
    use including lens? Getting so excited..

    • Christiane Meyer says:

      Hello, dear Karlene,

      The camera we used for the above pictures was a Canon Rebel T4i (meanwhile, the T5i is out). The lense was a Sigma DG 50-500 mm 4.5 – 6.5 zoom lens – affectionetely called “the bazooka”. Did a lot of research before purchasing this camera and lens just for this trip. We loved the lens because being out in the wild, you want to be flexible and quick when taking pictures and the 500 mm zoom was perfect. 400 mm would not have been enough in some cases (them leopards and rhinos are always too far away, it seems…). The fact that we could zoom in and out quickly was great. The Rebel T4i was also a big surprise – I used to be a big Nikon fan, but we did not regret the switch: Most pictures we did not even have to ‘photoshop’ because the camera just does not take bad pictures (sounds like a cliche….but it’s true). Another hint: We brought a tri-pod and only used it once – might want to think about leaving it at home because 99.9% of the pictures will be shot from within the vehicle and you can use a sandbag for that (let them know and they will have those for you at African Dream Safari). Leo and I wish you a great trip – enjoy and live the dream!

      Leo and Christiane

  3. Joel Spitler says:

    Reading your report got me fired up about going on an adventure like this. It is definitely on my bucket list of things to do in the next five years or so. I’ve been receiving emails from ADS for a while now and all of the reports I’ve read have been great.

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