Quote of the Week: Ann Eilert – Aviano, Italy
I have just returned from an absolutely fantastic trip with ADS to Tanzania, and it was so incredible – so amazing – I just have to share! First let me mention that this was not my first, but third time to be blessed in visiting this beautiful part of the world. I was once again simply in awe at the sheer wonder of it all – the raw natural beauty which is so rarely seen and experienced – something one simply cannot take for granted in this modern world that we live in today. Something deep within seems to draw me back to Africa, and hopefully this trip will not be my last! I could go on and on about all that we saw and yet never do the trip justice in just a few paragraphs, so I will instead simply mention a few of my personal highlights.
We witnessed from start to finish as a mother cheetah taught her three young cubs the fine art of the hunt as she allowed them to stalk a young gazelle. It took more than just a little patience on her part, but the chase finally ended in the cubs’ favor and they were rewarded with a much needed meal. They then rested under our vehicles with one cub eventually “hopping up” on the hood of one of our vehicles for an exciting “up close and personal” face to face encounter for all!
We watched a male lion, having obviously already eaten his fill that morning on a freshly killed zebra, attempt to stalk and kill a young baby wildebeest. He had the little guy literally in his grasp, but the feisty little fellow eluded the lion and miraculously lived to see another day!
We witnessed firsthand as a “family” of no less than nine lionesses and cubs feasted on a Wildebeest kill in the cool morning shade of the kopjes where they lived.
We watched a young female leopard, after first walking directly under our vehicle (Yes, she was THAT close!) set out to stalk (by SCENT, not by sight) two small reedbuck which were hiding in the thick reeds nearby. We were able to observe firsthand the hunt through our binoculars (provided by ADS) as her stalking attempt slowly unfolded – and in both cases she (unfortunately for her) overshot her prey’s location in the marsh – and they bounded quickly away to safety.
Animal activity was abounding…and we were humble witnesses to it all. It was, simply put – AMAZING.
I MUST not fail to mention that we would NEVER have been able to have such an incredible and memorable safari experience without our two wonderful Tanzanian ADS guides! We had 8 people in our party split between two vehicles, and you can be sure that we “mixed it up” each and every day, knowing it didn’t matter in the least which vehicle we might find ourselves. BOTH guides were professional, experienced, well-read and truly knowledgeable in their understanding of animal behavior. You could tell they bent over backwards to see that we were having a wonderful experience, and they became great companions and friends to us all. They were truly instrumental in making our trip as successful and enjoyable as it was.
So in closing, I just wish to thank ADS for planning such an exceptional experience for us all! Every aspect of this trip highly met and/or exceeded expectation, with an emphasis on the latter. In my book, it truly was (and I don’t say this lightly, based on past experiences) the trip of a lifetime!
Ann Eilert – Aviano, Italy