I have dreamed of going to Africa ever since I was a little girl and watched my first Tarzan movie with Johnny Weissmuller. My dream started to become a reality when I inherited some money and booked my first safari with Sharon from ADS. Sharon was always there to answer all my questions and plan the perfect safari.
Our safari started on March 22, 2015 when we were met by Mathias at the Kilimanjaro airports. He put me at ease, and all my fears and anxiety disappeared.
Our first night was spent at the Mt Meru Hotel. What a hotel, this must be how the rich people live! We got up early for a hot breakfast on the veranda and then off with Mathias and Timan to the Arusha airport.
Once we landed at the Seronera airstrip in the central part of the Serengeti, we were met by Ally, our guide for the safari. He had a smile from ear to ear and was never far away from us. He answered all our questions, provided us with a wealth of information regarding the animals and the African culture. I especially enjoyed his sense of humor. His eyes were incredible and he was able to pick animals that were no bigger than a speck in the grass.
Before arriving at Seronera Sametu Camp, we saw a herd of elephants chase away a pair of lions, saw Thompson’s Gazelle, Grant’s Gazelle, Impala, Worthog, Zebra, hippos, Giraffe, Lions, Elephants, Baboon, Hyena, Hartebeest, Topi, Buffalo, Jackal, Cheetah and many types of birds. And that was just the first day!
The first time I saw Sametu Camp, I wondered what had I gotten myself into. I had only seen pictures of the camp, but I could never have imaged how wonderful staying in one would be. We were greeted by JJ with warm towels to wipe off the days dust and a glass of juice. The tent was amazing. While we were at supper, the staff would close up the tent, turn down the bed, pull down the mosquito netting, fill the shower with water and place hot water bottles in the bed. During the nights we heard lions outside the tent. I can’t begin to describe the feelings: fear, excitement, terror, trepidation. In the morning we found out the lions were on a rock formation not far from the tent.
These are some of the high lights from our 3 day stay at SAMETU CAMP:
1. Night drive. You need a special permit to do this.
2. Hot air balloon, we just hovered over the heads of buffaloes, trees and hippos.
3. Zebras, by the thousands waiting to get to a watering hole.
4. A lion stalk and kill a warthog.
5. Pride of 20 lions eating a zebra.
6. Countless numbers of animals including the elusive Serval cat
7. And of course JJ.
Then off to NDUTU LODGE in the South Serengeti for 2 nights. Highlights include:
1. Cheetahs and leopards
2. A cheetah stalking and killing a young hartebeest
3. Our first Bushy TV (camp fire)
4. Eating dinner and having Genets climbing around on the rafters
5. Exploring Lake Masek
Then off to LIONS PAW CAMP, but first a visit to a Maasia Village!
At Lions Paw Camp, where we were met by Edward, highlights include:
1. By day we explored the Ngorongoro crater and saw 8 rhinos and 2, yes 2 Caracal cats.
2. At night, I heard the buffalo eating grass outside the tent next to my head.
3. Lots of great scenic pictures
The game drives were long and dusty, but filled with excitement. We would get lost in following a leopard walk across the Serengeti or watching a cheetah stalk and kill a young hartebeest. Each day was filled with something new and exciting. I’m so glad we chose to use ADS for our safari needs and thankful they paired us up with our guide Ally.
I want to thank all the ADS staff for making my childhood dream come true.
One last note: I never did see Tarzan, but I have memories that will last a lifetime.
Marilyn and David C.
Safari Dates: March 22, 2015 to April 1, 2015
We want to thank Africa Dream Safari (ADS) for a most wonderful lifetime experience. From the moment we got off the plane in the Central Serengeti we were seeing all kinds of animals. Right when we thought we had seen it all, the next day brought a new and exciting experience and each day was a new adventure. It was so wonderful to see all the animals in their natural habitat on our game drives. They were so close you could almost touch them!
Russell, our guide and driver was extremely well educated and experienced. Our Land Cruiser was very comfortable and Russell drove cautiously at all times. Russell provided in depth details of everything we saw, from the big 5, to reptiles, to insects, birds and so much more. He took the time to answer all of our never ending questions. We learned so much in such a short period of time.
We were treated like royalty everywhere we stayed and we were well taken care of from the moment we got off the plane to the moment we boarded our plane home. The accommodations were so fantastic – really over the top – and the food was fantastic. Our safety was a priority from all staff we encountered.
Tanzanians are very kind and wonderful. ADS is extremely professional and provided us with the highest quality experience not only on the Safari but in all the preplanning that went into our trip. We both rate ADS a 10 out of 10 and recommend ADS to anyone wanting to experience a high quality personal safari.
Cynthia and Cary N.
Safari Dates: March 26, 2015 to April 4, 2015
I recently got back from Tanzania…for the third time.
Three times I have stepped off that blue and white plane on the Kilimanjaro tarmac. Three times I have found my name on a hand held a place card next to an Africa Dreams Safari logo. And three times I’ve found a smiling face behind it to effortlessly shuffle me through the madness.
People often ask me why I have gone to Tanzania three times, and more specifically, why I have gone back with ADS each time.
I am a professional wildlife photographer and a filmmaker. And this trip was mostly dedicated to shooting a Safari themed film. Why Tanzania? Well, for starters, it is the best safari destination in the world in my opinion. Because of the great migration there is nowhere on the planet where you can see as many animals at one time than Tanzania…ANY time of the year. For a photographer, it is heaven on earth. Even if you are a beginning photographer…you can build an entire portfolio there in one trip.
I stumbled upon ADS before my first safari. I was a newby to Africa. It was, without doubt, the best piece of dumb luck I have ever had for so many reasons.
But you can read all about that on the dozens of other testimonials on this site, along with much praise for the Serengeti. I don’t need to rehash that. I am going to concentrate on something else here…their Guides. Because in my opinion, they may be the most important element of your trip. ADS hires the best, most experienced, most educated Guides in all of Tanzania. As one Guide told me on this trip when I asked him why he works for Africa Dreams Safaris he said “because they are the best…. and we are the best”. So true.
For this trip ADS paired me up with Raphael Mollel, one of their 20 or so Guides. Francis Peter, my previous Guide and now friend, was already on Safari with other people. In short, I was told that Raphael was “the real deal” and that I would like him. He turned out to be all of that. Raphael is not only an expert ADS driver/guide. He is also a full blown Maasai warrior.
When I found this out, I asked Raphael if I could interview him for the film I was working on. He said yes. The next morning when we headed out to the truck…Raphael was waiting, wearing full Maasai warrior clothing and a big smile. That’s just a small example of the dedication…the little touches you get with Africa Dreams Safaris. They…are the real deal. Your guide is your pilot on safari. He will expertly take you on this journey. And he will become your friend. I guarantee that.
The ADS guides are all local. They know the area, the language, the customs. And they are all educated in everything you will encounter in the Bush, from the animals and birds to the geology and the local tribes. They are english speaking Tanzanian encyclopedias with Swahili accents. We laughed, we joked, we shared experiences and we learned from each other. Along the way, we ran into my friend Francis in the Bush with his Safari. It was like seeing an old friend…even better than that.
The ADS guides are a family and when you enter into a Safari with them…you become part of that family. You’re going to spend a lot of time with your guide. And when it comes time to leave…. you are not going to want to. The Tanzanian people have a friendly way about them and you are going to become absorbed by it. It’s infectious. Your guide will become as big a part of your Safari as any of the amazing things you will see out there. And in your photo album, amongst the amazing pictures of the Lions and Giraffes and Elephants there’s going to be a picture of you with your arm around your Guide. Ask anyone who’s been there with ADS. It just happens. Francis is in mine…so is Raphael.
So read on. So many people have beautifully captured the essence of their Safaris in the testimonials on this website. Although words and pictures don’t really do it justice… you have to experience it to really “feel” it. And when you’re out there, sitting around a campfire talking about your Guide with whoever you are with, you’ll say to them (about this article) “you know…that guy was right”.
Jeff S. and Chris L.
Pineville, North Carolina
Safari Dates: March 7, 2015 to March 16, 2015