Having the opportunity to go on a second safari my first call was to Sharon at Africa Dream Safaris. We had such an unbelievable safari three years ago there was no need to even think about a different operator.
I told her my only requirement was that my feet were to be on the ground for my birthday and it wasn’t to be the first or last day of the safari. I told her to take it from there and plan it as if she was the one going! (Who better to plan a safari than someone who’s been on over 50 safaris?) She did give us several options for lodging in each location as she had multiple “favorites”. So we did provide some input. All of the accommodations were unique and special in their own way (Arusha Coffee Lodge, Serengeti Serena Lodge, Lake Masek Tented Lodge, Ngorongoro Serena Lodge and The Manor).
My only question to Sharon was “Will I feel like I’ve been there, done that”? Her immediate response was “No!” And how right she was!! Our only request was to have “Ally the Awesome” as our guide for the second time. They were able to grant that request and Ally was just as awesome this time as the last, even fulfilling my request to see a rhino standing in a field of flowers!
His ability to see animals while driving, the knowledge he has of each animal/bird, his patience and his laughter…I’m still smiling! Plus, we knew a little bit about him from the last time and we took the opportunity to learn more about him and his life/traditions in Tanzania…and share things with him from our lives. Like the Wizard of Oz…and his new favorite joke; when someone asks….”How did you sleep? You answer “With my eyes closed”!!!
The second time was so different from the first. Yes, the animals and birds didn’t change (tho’ we did see some we didn’t see the first time). The seasons were different allowing us to see babies, the grassland migration and so many things we didn’t witness the first time. Our first safari was in September (the dry season) and this safari was in April (the green season). This year Tanzania was experiencing some drought like conditions during the rainy season but the experience was still different and just as incredible as the first time. We also went to different areas of the Serengeti than the first time.
To think a week ago we were in Tanzania on our last day. Not at all looking forward to leaving (part of that may have something to do with the long ….long flight home.) For the past several days we’ve been going through over 11,000 photos trying to find something different to send in to ADS.
How do you capture a feeling?
-The awe, wonder, the vastness of the migration? Animals as far as you can see in every direction .…which is three miles per google (and that has to do with the horizon).
-The tenderness of the lioness as she tolerates her cubs antics.
-The patience of the mom cheetah going after a small gazelle for a kill only to watch one of her crazy offsprings take off in a different direction after an adult wildebeest.
-The hilarity of the antics of a troop of baboons and being able to stay and enjoy watching them until we were ready to go.
-The marvel of two male lions sharing a kill with two cubs.
It’s so difficult to put the feelings into words and even if a photo is worth a thousand words it’s still not enough to capture the incredible feelings.
But here are some photos to try and give you an idea how awesome it can be!
Halle and Walter P.
Port Charlotte, Florida
Safari Dates: April 17, 2017 to April 29, 201