We would like to thank all those guests that have come forward and shared their stories, memories and prayers over the last two weeks. We would also like to thank those guests that have graciously donated to the family of Peter Meena. Thank you so much for your generosity! If there is anyone else that would still like to donate, please contact us by June 1st as we will be forwarding the donations to Tanzania at that time. Asante Sana!
We are saddened to report the death of Peter Meena – one of our most beloved safari guides. Peter passed away in his sleep Sunday morning, April 26th 2015. He was laid to rest on Friday, 1st May 2015 at his home town – Usa River. Peter had just turned 51 and leaves behind his wife Sumayi and four daughters (Doreen – age 23, Kareen – age 5, Elen – age 3, and Precious – age 1)
Many of our guests over the last twenty years had the privilege of having Peter as their safari guide. I think we all fell in love with not only his amazing skills as a guide but also his genuine kindness towards others and his infectious sense of humor. His bright smile will surely be missed by many. We would love to hear from those who knew Peter in the comments section below.
If you would like to make a donation to Peter’s family, please contact Michael Wishner at email@example.com. We are organizing a donation to help out Peter’s family.
Please keep Peter’s family and children in your prayers…
Moving in the dusk hours
after our first day of safari,
like an oasis in the arid desert,
our tent camp and staff
welcomed our arrival.
a beautiful bed
with mosquito netting
and a hot water bottle
heralded day’s end.
Exhausted and happy,
sleep came only fitfully
accompanied by a cacophony
of animal sounds serenading
Awoke to a deep,
melodic, baritone voice.
D.C. (Ditmus) signaling
our pre-dawn awakening
to eat a delicious breakfast
and depart camp.
As the sun rose in beauteous splendor,
the stirring of animals
in their own form of
morning prayer commenced.
Orange, blue, purple splendor
radiate and illuminate the horizon
as dawn breaks the black,
deep darkness of the African night.
Sound permeates the
dark veil of evening here.
The low guttural warning of
“I am here! I am Monarch!
This is my territory…my pride”
from the lions in their lairs surrounding us
resonate and vibrate the cool, morning air.
distinct in their own chorus,
are distinguishable now
that my ears and eyes
have been guided and trained
to listen and see with
Days filled with Serengeti splendor.
Lions, cheetahs, elephants, giraffes
dance for our cameras.
Hyenas, zebras, and wildebeasts prance.
Monkeys, baboons and even wart hogs
play havoc with our perceptions
in the tall grasses of the African plains.
Here…all is primitive!
Here…all is natural!
Here…the eternal life cycle is
not by what the mind can perceive,
but by the survival of the fittest!
The “what’s so” simple wildness
of the natural world
has much to explore,
much to teach
the blessed journeyers
who traverse her plains.
By Dr. Seena A.
Plainview, New York
Safari Dates: February 22, 2015 to March 8, 2015
A safari trip to Africa has always been on our “must take trip” list. When some friends went on an Africa Dream Safaris trip a few years ago, they highly recommended ADS. After retirement, we realized that it was time to make that trip a reality and we spent much time on the phone and emailing with Sharon with our endless questions. She answered all of them and put together a safari to meet our desires.
The date of our Tanzanian safari finally arrived and from the moment we landed in Arusha on April 8th until we departed on April 20th, we were in expert hands. When we met our guide Peter Huka, we knew we had hit the jackpot! Not only was he an incredible driver, he was an amazing spotter and knew absolutely all of the animals, birds, and even the insects. He was quite a teacher!
We had been a little hesitant about going on safari in April which is during the rainy season but we are very happy now that we made that choice. Not only did the rain not interfere with our game drives, it led to some quite exciting driving by Peter. We never got stuck though Peter did stop and help out some safari drivers from other companies that did. He stated “not very experienced” and we were so glad that our guide was experienced!
Another added benefit to doing a safari in April other than the beauty of the green grass on the Serengeti plains, was the lack of great numbers of tourists. This is not high season here so prices are lower too. Peter said that he guessed there were only 60-80 vehicles at that moment in the entire Serengeti National Park but that in high season it likely would be more than 300 vehicles…yikes! The place where it made a huge difference was at Ngorogoro Crater, which is a confined area. One morning we were in the crater for two hours before we saw another safari vehicle.
We were also quite pleased with our safari accommodations. Our favorite places were Seronera Sametu Tented Camp in the Central Serengeti and Lion’s Paw Tented Camp just inside the gates of the Ngorogoro Crater. The locations and service were excellent and unforgettable. We will always remember the excellent dinners, then requesting hot water to take showers after dinner, and then crawling into our luxurious bed warmed by hot water bottles to rest to the sounds of animals outside our tent…
There are countless wonderful memories from our safari and we tried to capture many of them by taking nearly 7000 photos. I was also able to keep a running journal on my notes app on my iPhone as we experienced our game drives so I wouldn’t forget a moment. I have posted eight journal entries from our ADS safari to babecks.blogspot.com and have included a few of my favorite photos there. Please check it out.
We’ve always said this was going to be a “once in a lifetime” trip but now after our wonderful experience with ADS, we are starting to think that it might be fun to back to see the Mara River crossing someday. Always dreaming!
Thank you Sharon, Peter, and all of the Africa Dream Safaris team!!!
Gary and Bonnie B.
Santa Cruz, California
Safari Dates: April 8, 2015 to April 20, 2015
PS. Here is a link to a map file for our trip: http://www.africadreamsafaris.com/misc/BeckSafariMap.html . If all goes well, it should open google maps in your browser with our route in a different color for each day. There’s a list in the upper right of each date. For some reason, 4/18 is out of order. You can click on each date to turn it off or back on. And zooming works as well.
Gary, Peter and Bonnie
The Great Migration – Ndutu Plains – South Serengeti
Young Lions – Ngorongoro Crater
Leopard With Cub – Seronera Valley – Central Serengeti
Mother Cheetah Hunting A Thomson’s Gazelle – Sametu Plains – East Serengeti
The Mother Cheetah Brought Her Cubs To The Kill
Black Rhinos – Ngorongoro Crater
An Elephant Next To Our Tent at Sametu Camp – East Serengeti
Great Wildebeest Migration At Gol Kopjes – East Serengeti
Great Wildebeest Migration – South Serengeti
Hippos – Retima Pool – Central Serengeti
Grant’s Gazelles and Elands – Ndutu Plains – South Serengeti
Buffalo – Ngorongoro Crater
Blacnk Rhino – Ngorongoro Crater
Lake Magadi – Ngorongoro Crater
Angata Kiti Valley – East Serengeti
Bonnie at Nasera Rock – East Serengeti
A special surprise at Ngorongoro Lion’s Paw Camp
Genet Cat at Ndutu Lodge
Mating Lions near Ndutu – South Serengeti
Black Backed Jackal – Ndutu Plains – South Serengeti
Golden Jackal – Ngorongoro Crater
Side Stripped Jackal (note the white tail tip) – Ndutu Plains – South Serengeti
Bat Eared Fox – Ndutu Plains – South Serengeti
Spotted Hyena – Ndutu Plains – South Serengeti
Elephants – Seronera Valley – Central Serengeti
Hippos – Retima Pool – Central Serengeti
Giraffe – Lemuta Kopjes – East Serengeti
Dik-Dik Antelope – Seronera Valley – Central Serengeti
Great Migration at Sametu Kopjes – East Serengeti
Maasai Village Excursion
Our First Hotel in Arusha – Mount Meru Hotel
Leopard – Seronera Valley – Central Serengeti
Young Lions – Ngorongoro Crater
Cheetah – Ndutu Plains – South Serengeti
Lioness with Wildebeest Kill – Ngorongoro Crater
Baboons – Ngorongoro Crater
Vervet Monkeys – Seronera Valley – Central Serengeti
Long Crested Eagle
Verreaux’s Eagle Owl
Yellow Masked Weaver
Lilac Breasted Roller
Fischer’s Love Bird
Guinea Fowl and Banded Mongoose