I am so happy I ignored my friends’ warnings and stuck with my scheduled safari in Tanzania this January. To address the elephant in the room (so to speak)…there is NO Ebola problem in Tanzania.
My companion for my third ADS safari was my sister-in-law who was looking forward to her first. Our trip with Africa Dream Safaris was perfect. From the moment we stepped off the plane to the hour we were delivered back to the airport we were pampered. We never once felt any need to worry about our surroundings, so always felt totally safe.
We stayed in two tented camps and one lodge. Each had its own unique charms and all were of the highest quality. Beds were comfy and the food was good. Bonus in the camps is that water is heated over a wood fire so smells wonderfully smoky as you shower. We would return again to any of them.
Our driver, Wilfred Foue, is very knowledgeable and cheerfully answered our hundreds of questions even if we had asked them the day before. We stumped him once on the last day, but as we ‘high fived’, we encouraged him to just make something up! His knack for spotting game was impressive.
We were up at dawn every day and stayed out on our game drives until dusk forced us back to our lodgings. Unlike many of the other tour operators, dawn drives are encouraged with ADS. Many folks we met had to wait until after breakfast to set out. There is a lot of action underway in these early hours and it is a shame to miss it. Also, there is nothing as breath taking as watching the mists clear and the dawn break on the Serengeti.
We saw all of the ‘Big Five’ several times and witnessed two cheetah kills. Over our boxed breakfasts in the jeep, we watched a lioness hunting for her meal one day and a cheetah hunting the next. On another day we spotted a baby leopard waiting for Mom to return with food. Many of our meals were spent this way…quietly waiting for the action to begin. When a Mom is hungry and looking to feed her cubs something is going to happen. It’s only a question of being as patient as the cat is.
At lunch one day, Wilfred spotted what he thought were two female lions lazing under a bush. As we got closer we noticed little heads begin to pop up as a litter of four newborns with their eyes still closed stumbled in and out looking for a meal.
Big animals are exciting of course, but the treat in January is this is the time when about 500,000 Wildebeests are giving birth in the South. On a chill morning after rain in the Ngorongoro Crater, we saw birthing all around us. It seemed like one moment there were no babies then all of a sudden we would see them popping up to their feet. These amazing babies begin to walk immediately and within minutes can run…wobbly sometimes, but moving well. Soon each herd seemed to have thirty or forty new members.
We had an amazing ten-day experience. I would not hesitate to tell anyone I know to go to Tanzania on safari with ADS. Plan it now and enjoy this gorgeous country. It is an unforgettable experience.
Feel free to visit my website to see some more photos from my safari.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Safari Dates: January 18, 2015 to January 28, 2015
Greetings from Arusha, Tanzania. This is ADS guide David Chando with my most recent safari report. My safari this time was with two persons named Ralph and Brian from La Jolla, California. I picked up my guests on January 16, 2015 from the central serengeti airstrip when they first arrived on regional airlines in the mid morning. We enjoyed an amazing safari adventure over the next 10 nights with some very impressive wildlife sightings including the famous wildebeest migration during the calving season. We were lucky to see wildebeest being born and lion cubs among many other highlights including a family of cheetahs, dozens of lions and hyenas, large herds of elephants and giraffes and the beautiful scenery of the Serengeti and Ngorongoro ecosystems during the green season.
Our safari focused on the four main game viewing areas during this time of year including the central serengeti, east serengeti, south serengeti and ngorongoro crater. We had a lovely mix of tented camps and lodges with 2 nights at Four Seasons Lodge in the central serengeti, 3 nights at Lake Masek Camp in the south serengeti, 3 nights at Kusini Camp in the southwest serengeti and 2 nights at the Crater Lodge on the rim of the ngorongoro caldera. Below are some of the pictures I would like to share with you.
Elephants coming very close to our vehicle in the Central Serengeti.
A beautiful lion pride in the southwest serengeti in the Kusini area resting on what we call Simba Kopjes.
Another picture of the lion pride. One of the lions was heading towards the wildebeest and zebra.
Zebras at one of my favorite places in the south serengeti called Hidden Valley. This is a beautiful area very far from other roads and other tourists. There are usually some watering holes here that attract game during the green season.
Giraffes forming a circle around an acacia tree to browse at the tender leaves.
Wow! This part of the Serengeti used to be a farming area! The picture was taken in Kusini. This is a sunflower, which is one of the cash crops of the Sukuma people south of lake victoria. I assume the seed came from an elephant by chance who brought the seed inside Serengeti.
Baby wildebeest in the Kusini area of the South Serengeti.
Elephants marching down one of the main roads in the Seronera area of the Central Serengeti.
Tree climbing lions in the Seonera Valley, Central Serengeti.
Wildebeest migration in the Ndutu area of the South Serengeti.
Zebras at the beautiful Lake Ndutu, South Serengeti.
Mother cheetah with 3 large cubs in the Ndutu area of South Serengeti.
Black-backed jackals in the East Serengeti.
Elephants in the Masek Woodlands, South Serengeti.
Spotted hyenas hunting wildebeest.
Young male lion in the Seonera Valley of Central Serengeti.
We watched this wildebeest being born in the Ngorongoro Crater – WOW!
We had very high expectations of our trip of a lifetime based on everything we had heard and read about Africa Dream Safaris. What we actually experienced exceeded our expectations. From our arrival to our departure we felt welcome and “in good hands”.
Our driver/guide, Francis, was friendly, knowledgeable and engaging. It was obvious from the first day he loves his job and the animals of the Serengeti. One day we came upon a herd of 40-50 elephants, from babies to bulls. Francis seemed to be as transfixed as the rest of us by their presence and majesty as they surrounded our vehicle. He later told us the elephant was his favorite animal and he never grew tired of watching them.
The accommodations were first rate and the staff was anticipatory of our every request. The four camps where we stayed were clean, comfortable and staffed with friendly and helpful people. All in all it was an experience we will always cherish and highly recommend to others.
John R. and Barbara B.
Safari Dates: September 27, 2014 to October 6, 2014