Posts From February 2017

The Marshy Floodplains of Mandusi Swamp

Mandusi Swamp is formed by the Munge stream. The swamp is a special habitat: a refuge for elephants and hippos, hunting ground for predators, cover for small animals, reserve grazing for the large herds of wildebeest and zebra and a nesting site for birds. There are about 70 different bull elephants that are regular visitors to the Crater floor and Mandusi Swamp while breeding herds of elephants (cows and calves) wander only through the rim forests and are rarely seen on the floor.

No Comments
Read Full Post

Lemala Kuria Hills Tented Lodge: Luxury Off the Beaten Path

Expansive blue sky, sloping savannah and granite studded hills frame the magnificent setting for the luxury tented lodge Lemala Kuria Tented Lodge (aka Lemala Kuria Hills Serengeti). Lemala Kuria Tented Lodge opened their doors to guests for the first time in July 2013. Located way (way) off the beaten path in a remote alcove of the Wogakurya Hills region of the North Serengeti, tucked discreetly behind a massif of granite kopjes, this 5-star permanent tented lodge is an unexpected but welcome oasis of delights for the weary safari traveler.

No Comments
Read Full Post

My Heart Is Still Full From All The Experiences We Had.

December 11th we made the trip of a lifetime to the Serengeti. We were so excited for this trip, and after reading thru all the informative guides from ADS, we felt we were totally prepared and had an idea of what to expect on the trip. After a great night of rest at the hotel the first night, we boarded our flight in Arusha to set out for the Serengeti.

As scared as I was about such a tiny plane, the pilot, Harry immediately put us at ease, and we had an awesome flight. What I was not prepared for, was how awestruck I was when I saw the migration of the wildebeests and zebras from above. It was incredible and I still cannot find the right words for the feelings I had seeing it. I looked at my husband, and we both smiled, knowing this was going to be everything we hoped and more.

What I was impressed with most on the trip, was how perfectly orchestrated everything was. From the second we landed in Africa to our flight home, the staff at ADS was there to help and guide us. This was such a new experience, and quite honestly I was little paranoid about safety. (I can’t help myself, I blame it on 20 years of working in NYC – it’s exhilarating, but leaves you a little twitchy!) I soon realized, we were in good hands, and as long as we listened to our guide, we had nothing to fear! We just had to sit back, and enjoy the ride.

After we landed and said goodbye to Harry, we met Emanuel, who would be our guide for the next 7 days. We quickly began to call him Eagle Eyes, because he did not miss a THING.

We’d be driving along and Emanuel would stop, pull out the binoculars, and boom! Leopards in a tree. Or, boom! Cheetah cubs hiding in some bushes. Or, a rhino mom and her baby! Or, bat eared foxes! The best was when Emanuel stopped as we were driving in the late afternoon on our way to the Ndutu Lodge. Boom! DUNG BEETLE with a ball of dung and his bride riding on top. It does not get better than that!

I think a good guide makes sure you see all the obvious things, but a great guide goes above and beyond to make your trip fascinating! ADS has GREAT guides for sure. The most moving part of the trip for me was the migration – being in the middle of 100,000+ zebras and wildebeests, and watching them was awesome.

The elephants and their strong family structure was a close second. I was truly surprised at how graceful and silent they were. (And, of course as I told Dawn from ADS, the hyenas are my spirit animals! So I loved watching their cunning antics) For my husband, it was the lions. Seeing them, you really do understand why they are named the King of the Beasts. They are majestic, strong, and fearless.

Every day we returned covered in dust, exhausted and with the BIGGEST smiles on our faces possible. We had so much fun, learned so much, and met so many nice people, my heart is still full from all the experiences we had on this trip.

I do want to mention that anyone considering this trip should take the time to read all of the info ADS gives you. We knew what to pack, how to pack, what to wear, what we were going to eat, even what kind of camera lens to bring for the best experience possible. We saw other travelers who were not as prepared as we were, and it affects your experience. I really felt we had a top of the line experience with ADS. My husband is already planning our next trip to come back!

Nicole and Raymond V.
Morristown, New Jersey
Safari Dates: December 11, 2016 to December 19, 2016

No Comments
Read Full Post

Lion Pride Takes Down Buffalo – Warning Graphic Videos

Thanks Jim and Sandra for sharing these amazing videos of a pride of lions hunting a buffalo. Jim and Sandra recorded this event in the Central Serengeti area, which is famous for the largest lion prides in Africa. Due to an unusually dry December and January and with their normal prey species dispersed, these so called mega prides have been forced to hunt more challenging prey including buffalo recently.

No Comments
Read Full Post

Lobo Valley: Best Big Cat Viewing in the North Serengeti

Permanent water sources sustain an abundance of wildlife in Lobo Valley. The spectacular Lobo Valley offers the best big cat viewing opportunities in the North Serengeti. Lions, leopards and cheetahs abound. Lobo, a pristine valley scattered with woodlands, open plains, ranges of hills and studded with spectacular granite kopjes, is a remarkable place of great beauty and solitude. Some the world’s most ancient rock formations estimated at 2-3 million years old can be seen here.

No Comments
Read Full Post

The Most Incredible Journey Of My Life!

On November 5th 2016, my friend of over 35 years and I boarded Qatar Airlines in Philadelphia on what was to become the most incredible journey of my life. To be honest, this was a trip that I was taking to accompany my friend in his quest to scratch one more line from his Bucket List, not mine.

You see I have flown over Five million miles during my 25 years of being a Surgeon, so boarding another flight that would take over 25 hours, did not put a BIG smile on my face…the only saving grace was that we were in First Class…BIG SMILE.

Upon our arrival at the Tanzania International Airport we were immediately greeted by the most gracious and helpful people from ADS. Big smiles on their faces, happy “Hello’s”, relieved from our luggage and taken through Security, Visas’ and all, within minutes…I knew that I wasn’t at LAX!!

We were then transported to our Hotel at Mount Meru all within an hour of landing. The picture below shows the “Bucket List” boy doing what he does best…the day before our safari was to begin.

The BIG Day arrives and we prepare to leave on what would become the most incredibly magnificent journey of my life…and believe me, I’ve had a few over the years. Our ADS Crew took care of our luggage and other essentials and off we went to the Arusha Airport for our flight to the top of the Serengeti where our Safari would begin.

As our flight took off from Arusha, all that I could think of was the movie and the beautiful music from “Out of Africa”…what an awesome sight. Once our 45-minute flight landed we were introduced to our ADS Guide David . The man that after 3 hours of being with I lovingly called “The Man injected with an animal GPS chip”.

His knowledge of everything, the land, the animals, the insects, the birds and their habits, astounded both Ray and me…he was a major contributor to the awe inspiring journey. We did not miss one creature that inhabited the Serengeti or the Ngorongoro Crater with David as our Guide.

I could continue to discuss the journey, but I think that you should see the outcome…so here we go…welcome to our African Dream Safari. To the Entire Team at ADS…ASANTE SANA for giving us the Gift of beautiful people with smiles as wide as the Crater Lake, sun rises and sets that surrounded us with warmth and beauty and Nature at its complete, unspoiled, untainted glory.

Here we go…just take in the beauty, magnificence and strength that surrounded us for 8 days.

Please move your car…Elephant Crossing!!!

The “Visitors” View from the Family below.

Simba on the “lookout” for lunch.

We were astounded that the Zebras act as the “Safety Patrol” for the Wildebeest.

What beautiful eyes and strong features of these animals…

The female Lions below captured dinner.

The Giraffe in this picture is over 26 feet tall…OMG

Dad making sure his “Kittens” are behaving.

These are all Brothers….what beautiful faces. That’s Big Brother in the middle…Dad put him in charge of the boys.

One of the 12 Black Rhino’s left…how sad.

Ray and I took over 950 pictures….we wish that we could share all of them with you. Better yet put this on your “Bucket List” and call the guys at African Dream Safaris. I am a big fan of Albert Einstein…his quote sums it all up “Our task must be to free ourselves…by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.”

We will be back ADS!!!

BJ B., MD, PhD and Ray G.
Bristol, Pennsylvania
Safari Dates: November 5, 2016 to November 19, 2016

2 Comments
Read Full Post

What is a Typical Day Like on Safari?

A question I get quite often is what is a typical day like on safari while in Tanzania?  Some different variations of the question are “how many game drives are there” or “how long do we spend on game drive each day”?  But the answer depends entirely on you! Such is the inherent benefit of enjoying a “Private” Safari!

No Comments
Read Full Post