The wildlife in Tanzania is absolutely breathtaking but the wonderful team at ADS really created the unforgettable trip. Michael helped us plan an amazing adventure and from the day we landed until the day we unfortunately had to depart we were in incredible hands. Mathias and Joseph met us at the airport and since we had an extra day we spent an afternoon with Joseph experiencing his personal insider tour of Arusha.
In the bush Ellison was our guide and friend. He bonded with our kids, was fabulous at finding animals, had an encyclopedic knowledge of the plants, animals and geography, and truly exuded a personal passion for the Serengeti. He also took us to places where we were the only people for miles around – just us, the unending plain, and the cheetahs.
There’s no way to describe having lunch surrounded by thousands upon thousands of migrating wildebeest. The only way to go is a private ADS safari and a guide like Ellison made for a truly memorable, once in a lifetime adventure.
This was also a wonderful family adventure. Our kids are 12 and 14 which are perfect ages to experience Tanzania. Cell phones were put away (and wifi access isn’t great) and replaced by cameras. Our family took 8,000 pictures!, most of which were taken by our kids.
The lodges were all terrific and unique – like the Mbalageti Lodge where the electricity turns off in the evening and your tented room is lit by candles. Or the family tent at Seronera Sametu Camp where you hear the sounds of nearby lions at night. Or having an elephant walk by your balcony when you’re having lunch at Ngorongoro.
Each lodge was unique and each new lodge became our kids’ favorite. One of the most memorable experiences for our kids was the visit to a Masai village where the cultural contrast really resonated (especially when they saw children their age tending herds alongside the roads).
Our trip was at the end of June, when the migration was in full swing in the west Serengeti and most of the baby animals are around 4 months old. We saw baby cheetahs, lions, hyenas, warthogs, giraffes, zebras, wildebeest, gazelle, elephants…and every day, when we thought we couldn’t possibly have a new experience, we discovered something incredible and unexpected.
Thank you ADS!!!
The West Family
San Francisco, California
Safari Dates: June 22, 2016 to July 3, 2016
Where do I begin to thank you for our trip of a lifetime! It was at the very top of our bucket list and we are so happy we could share the experience with our two sons. Our family of four had the most amazing time spending 8 days on Safari on the Serengeti from August 21, 2016 to August 28, 2016.
From the moment we landed in Kilimanjaro until when we brought to the airport, the ADS staff was there to make sure our vacation was an experience of a lifetime. I would be remiss by not saying thank you to the wonderful ADS staff that helped us book our trip. It was a pleasure dealing with the staff in California. They were true professionals.
The very first day on safari, we witnessed the Great Migration of thousands of wildebeest and zebra to Tanzania through the Mara River. What a way to start the safari. Throughout the week, our guide made sure we observed elephants, hippos, lions, gazelles, zebras, giraffes, warthogs, baboons and so much more. Our days were packed with great sightings and experiences. We could not have asked for anything more.
The accommodations were fantastic. We loved staying so close to the animals and listening to the sounds of the animals at night. We always felt very safe because of the professionalism of the staff at the locations of our accommodations. It was truly a magical experience.
We enjoyed relaxing at the campfire followed by dinner each night. The sunsets were gorgeous.
Our guide, Roman, was so experienced and well versed in the habits of all the wildlife. Thank you Roman for making this trip, the trip of a lifetime!!! I know that nothing we do in the future will ever match the experience we had on our safari with ADS.
Colleen and Bart F.
Hampton, New Hampshire
Safari Dates: August 21, 2016 to Augsut 28, 2016
Five years ago, my wife and I went on our first African safari with ADS. It was truly a trip of a lifetime! It was during that trip that we said to each other, We need to bring our grandchildren back here when they get old enough, and see this through their eyes! Well, our two oldest grandchildren are 13 and 15, and we felt this was the year to fulfill that wish.
After much planning to find 10 days where we were all available, our son’s family of four along with my wife and myself embarked on our Tanzanian safari. There was no doubt that we would again choose ADS as our tour company based on the outstanding trip we had 5 years ago. We were not disappointed! From our planning with Michael to our meet and greet team in Arusha, from our fantastic driver/guide Russell to the wonderful hosts at our various camps, it indeed was a trip of a lifetime!
Russell was so knowledgeable about all the animals and birds! His understanding of animal behavior and anticipating what was about to happen was amazing. He was always mindful of the animals and aware of not intruding on their space, and at the same time putting us into the best position to see and experience the animal behavior and to be in the best position for photographs! I think that is a rare combination!
Some of the more exciting things we saw were two cheetah kills! When you see these on TV, they are always in slow motion, but when you see it live, you really appreciate just how fast these cats can run!! One of the cheetahs had 2 cubs that were running and jumping on each other until the mother left to hunt and kill a Thomson gazelle. Then the 2 cubs stayed still and quiet in the tall grass until the mother returned. A hyena came soon after the kill and “stole” it away from the cheetah, so she returned to the cubs with nothing.
Another entertaining moment was watching a leopard “play” with a mongoose!
The leopard clearly had a full belly from a kill stashed in a tree and wasn’t hungry, but he chased and played with this mongoose for 90 minutes! I am not sure the mongoose appreciated the “play” part of this game, and finally escaped unharmed.
Our son elected to rent a camera and lens for the trip and chose a Canon 80D body with a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens. I used a Sony DSCHX 400V 50X zoom. All of the photos included here were taken with my camera. The amount of zoom was amazing, as the black rhino was at least a half a mile away! Thank you ADS for a fantastic experience!
Curt and Nancy S.
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Sam, Heather, Xander, and Sophie S.
Safari Dates: July 27 – Aug 4, 2016