ADS Has The Best Of The Best When It Comes To Staff, Guides, Locations and Itineraries..
After 18 months of planning and anticipation, our safari time finally arrived. This family trip, grandparents, parents and grandchildren, was planned to be a time of enjoyment, education and memories to last a lifetime. We were not disappointed in any aspect of expectation!
The 20+ hour plane ride was grueling but the anticipation easily trumped the non-eventful con-nections at airports starting in San Francisco winding through Washington DC and Addis Abba, Ethiopia. We were all tired and ready for the resort at Mount Meru in Arusha as T-mon and Mat-tias whisked us through the airport, taking care of our bags, visas and insuring us that we would soon have a hot meal and a bed to rest in, we began to sense how smoothly the ADS operation would run.
These guys were professional and had only our needs on their agenda. Our extra day spent in Mount Meru, before departing to the Serengeti, was well spent and just what we needed to get over the jet lag. Thank you Mama Simba for paving the way for us at the Heritage Cultural Center where we were able to purchase good, quality tanzanite at great prices along with getting an education about the area and the mining of the stones.
Our 1 hour plane ride out to the Western Serengeti was an amazing view of the land and a small introduction of what was to come. Once we arrived at the Grumeti Airstrip and met Ellson , our ADS guide, the 6 of us loaded up in our Land Cruiser. Within 5 minutes of leaving the airstrip we were already seeing animals in their own environments! The elephants, giraffe, gazelle, hyena, birds, warthogs, jackals and others were right there, within reach, and we had multiple cameras ready to document it all. Needless to say, the excitement and anticipation levels were off the hook!!
Our game drive through the West Serengeti to our first camp, Mbalageti Tented Lodge, was complete as Ellson shared all his knowledge of the animals and their way of life. I can’t imagine that there is a more qualified and knowledgeable guide than Ellson on your staff. He was truly a walking encyclopedia on all subjects and readily shared all information with us. He even carried reference books in the vehicle so that we could see pictures of the birds and other animals that we saw. He quickly became not just our guide but a genuine friend and part of our family.
The Mbalageti Tented Lodge was an amazing oasis in the middle of this open wildlife environ-ment. Our private veranda was an amazing place to watch the wildlife and sunset and just one of the many luxury parts of this lodge. The food was amazing, the people so accommodating and focused on making our trip the best and the chalets were so comfortable. The designer rates an A+ for luxury in the wild! Our early morning game drives allowed us to encounter all the native residents and much more. We saw it all! Ellson made sure we didn’t miss a beat as he had this remarkable knack for spotting the animals in the far distance.
On to the central Serengeti and 3 nights at the Seronera Sametu Camp which was a tented camp that was camping at it’s finest! We were pretty much the only residents for the time we were there which meant that Primo, our top chef, devoted all his attention to us. The rest of the staff was amazing too. They anticipated & catered to our every need. The wildlife was amazing and, OMG, we even had a Cape Water Buffalo in arms reach as he grazed outside our tent one night. We were up early every morning for game drives and managed to see lions & cubs, cheetah & cubs, leopard & cubs along with the rarely seen Serval and her cub along with a Steenbok during our 8 night stay.
The Lion’s Paw, on the rim of the Crater, was another fabulous location chocked full of luxury! I wonder if this is what they call “Glamping”? The Flamingos were amazing, a concentration of pink spread across the water as we descended down into the base and of course we were able to see not 1 but 2 rhinos. The staff was as attentive as ever at camp and really made our stay so wonderful. Groovy, our chef, made some of the best soup that I have ever eaten and it was amazing to see his kitchen and realize that everything was cooked using charcoal! The hot water bottles in bed…who would think of these little things that make such a huge difference! All of the staff did an amazing job and catered to us to insure we were comfortable and felt welcome.
What an amazing journey…words just can’t do it justice. We will remember this for years to come and definitely remember that ADS has the best of the best when it comes to staff, guides, loca-tions and itineraries. Thank you ADS for this once-in-a-lifetime, bucket list experience!!!
Alice and Barry B.
Kim and George A.
Nicole and Jessica A.
Safari Dates: June 1, 2014 to June 12, 2014