A Herd Of Elephants Wandered Between Our Tents!
We have just recently returned from our safari to Tanzania which was arranged by African Dream Safaris. After researching many private safari operators we selected ADS and this was the best travel decision we have ever made. From the time our plane landed in Kilimanjaro until our departure eleven days later everything was handled in a professional, friendly manner by competent ADS personnel.
My wife and I are celebrating our 50th anniversary this year and wanted to do something very special. A safari was always number one on my wife’s bucket list but I was somewhat ambivalent. Within ten minutes of leaving the small airstrip in the West Serengeti I was hooked. We were joined by my brother and sister in law from Tasmania, Australia on our adventure.
We were picked up at the Grumeti Airstrip by our driver/guide, Wilfred. We have travelled extensively and taken many tours and excursions over the years but we can say unequivocally that Wilfred was the best guide we have ever encountered. His knowledge of the animals and their characteristics and habits was amazing.
Wilfred was also an expert on the many species of birds that we saw. Rather than just looking at an animal’s movements he would explain what it was thinking and doing. He truly made our safari a once in a lifetime travel adventure.
Starting in the West Serengeti we were able to see the beginning of the great migration of wildebeest and zebra. At times we observed fields full of wildebeest and zebra and other times observed long columns of at least a quarter mile long. We saw the “Big Five” and with the exception of the Black Rhino all the encounters were within a very few yards of the animals.
Although we do not enjoy seeing animals killed we understand how the food chain works. One morning Wilfred found a mother cheetah and her three cubs sunning themselves on a group of rocks. After five minutes of watching the mother stands and becomes very rigid looking out towards a Thompson gazelle that had wandered off and was alone.
A couple of minutes later the mother cheetah descends into the tall grass followed by her cubs and starts stalking the gazelle. After several more minutes the mother cheetah strikes and kills the gazelle, which provides food for her three cubs. We thought we were watching a National Geographic video but we saw the entire hunt live.
We spent four nights in tented camps which provide a real wildlife experience. During the first night in camp we heard something moving outside right in front of our tent. The animal was making a low purring sound and the next morning the camp staff told us it had been a lion. The next evening at sunset as we were relaxing in front of our tent a herd of elephants wandered between our tents no more than ten yards from us.
Each night in the tented camps the staff made a fire where we could sit around with a glass of wine and watch the incredible display of stars. Never have we seen or are likely to see again the rising of the moon on our right and the setting of the sun on our left.
We wish to thank Sharon, Wilfred and all the staff at the lodges and camps who contributed to making this such a memorable vacation. We would not hesitate to recommend African Dream Safaris to anyone looking for a safari operator who will provide you with a memorable experience and ensure your well being from start to finish.
Ted & Sandy C.
San Juan Capistrano, California
Safari Dates: May 6, 2017 to May 16, 2017