A Most Memorable Dream Safari
We want to give a heartfelt “Thanks” to everyone at Africa Dream Safaris that touched our lives before, during and after our 10-Day Safari in Tanzania. As travel agents we had our choice of many safari companies and there is no doubt in our mind that we could NOT have picked a finer company to arrange our safari. From the initial arrangements to our swift entry into Tanzania with the efficient staff located at the airport and in Arusha, to our choices in accommodations, add to that our wonderful guide and his knowledge; our entire experience was “awesome” and even that word is selling it short! As our guide said, “Every Day Is A New Day” and that sums up every day of our safari adventure!
We were no sooner settled into our lodge on the first day when two adults and one baby vervet monkey showed up on the roof of the main lodge. They ate and played while we watched and after a while disappeared. The monkeys were then hooting and scampering over our chalet roof that night–like they knew where we were sleeping. What a great way to start off our trip–we certainly weren’t in the U.S.A. anymore.
We left early the next morning and within the first few hours of our safari our guide had spotted 4 of the “Big 5.” Our first sighting was of 2 lioness and 2 cubs well hidden in the bushes. We would never have seen them, but our guide certainly did. Then shortly after, he spotted 6-7 lions climbing up into a low tree. We were informed this is rather unusual behavior for lions – they were probably searching for shade. We continued our drive and saw water buffalo, elephant, hippos, crocodile, zebra, hyenas, jackals, antelope, gazelles, monkeys, baboons, wart hogs, crocodiles, mongoose, ostrich, eagles, storks, African Cranes and dozens and dozens of other different animals and birds. (We had to keep a journal otherwise we would not remember all of what we saw.) Wow! and that was only our first day. Could it get any better?
It did – in fact, it got a lot better! By day three we were in the middle of the Wildebeest Migration. You can watch TV and experience the migration but nothing beats actually being in the middle of it with thousands and thousands of wildebeest mooing and running everywhere. Sheer pandemonium! It was more fascinating that we ever imagined. Within a day we also saw the zebra migration. These too are beautiful and curious creatures and their migration stretched from horizon to horizon, sometimes in a one-by-one formation.
As we continued on our daily drives we saw lots of giraffe, both young and old, and were fascinated by their elegance, beauty and serenity as they went about their daily foraging in the Acacia trees. We spent a lot of time watching and photographing them.
Our special sightings were when we came very, very close to a male lion with a two kills, a lioness feeding her cubs, a leopard gnawing on an antelope kill in a tree, a male cheetah standing atop the rocks surveying the area searching for a female, and having a face-off with water buffalo and an elephant. There were many more such events and the excitement never stopped.
We want to add something about our cultural tour to Arusha. It was a colorful, bustling town with lots to see and a lifestyle that was totally new and intriguing to us. The other special experience was visiting a Maasai Village. What a fascinating culture! We spent quite a bit of time in one of their villages and really enjoyed being greeted by the typical “jumping dance” and being hosted by the chief’s son who had 6 wives. Their school was equally interesting and their students were entertaining. We were impressed with how well they spoke English and what happy, carefree people the Maasai are with their choice of lifestyle.
The tented lodges were a pleasant surprise–very clean and comfortable with “wake-up calls” by one of the lodge staff bringing strong Tanzanian coffee and cookies at 5:00AM – a unique way to start your day. The staff at all of these facilities were very attentive and always trying to please. Marge even had a massage one afternoon in our tent by an absolutely great therapist. It was fun to watch all the animals around the grounds at these locations – even Cliff Springer’s, a unknown animal to us. Monkeys and baboons were always present and at night we could hear them moving about. One night we were awakened by hoof sounds. When we got up and looked out our screened window we saw four long legs – a giraffe! We were so excited we had trouble getting back to sleep.
Finally, maybe the biggest surprise of all…as we were on our way to the airport…the sun came out, the clouds cleared and there before us was majestic Mt. Kilimanjaro, all 19,300 ft. of her!
Thank-you ADS for providing a most memorable Dream Safari!
Marge & Lance Jensen
World Ventures, Tours & Travel