We are delighted to announce the opening of the first ever baby elephant orphanage in Tanzania. The orphanage will be open to the public starting in November 2015. Guests travelling with Africa Dream Safaris can visit the facility on their final safari day. The facility will be open to the public for 1-hour each day from 11.30am to 12.30pm.
The facility in Arusha will start with approximately 50 baby elephants that have been orphaned due to the illegal wildlife trade in East Africa. The baby elephants will be kept at the orphanage for up to three years before being released into Tanzania’s National Parks and reintegrated back into wild elephant populations.
To access a recent article about the latest elephant census in Tanzania, please visit Serengeti Elephants On The Rise
For more information on this wonderful conservation project, please visit The African Wildlife Trust’s Ivory Orphan Project.
As our plane circled over a grassy runway in the Serengeti my husband and I and his parents saw our first African animals in abundance. Giraffe striding gracefully, zebra grazing and baboons running across our path as we landed. All the planning, decision making, and long travel melted away as excitement and awe overtook us.
The swollen Grumeti river prompted adventure from the moment we stepped off the plane, forcing us to cross a suspension bridge to our waiting vehicle on the other side. On our first day we couldn’t believe how many animals we saw- lions, giraffe, hippos, bat eared fox and numerous birds to name just a few.
Each day became more magical than the previous. A running joke with our guide, Michael was our question each morning, “how are you going to top yesterday’s game drive?” and he would!
We easily got into the rhythm of waking at 5:30 am with coffee delivered to our tents and on the road by 6am, breakfast and lunch in the bush and twelve hours later winding back to camp stopping to photograph the amazing sunsets. We virtually had all our camps to ourselves since we travelled early in the season. The staff at every lodge were amazing!
We have definitely been spoiled and can never consider doing another safari any differently or with any other company. It is such a treat to have every detail taken care of. Another aspect of the rhythm to our day was becoming friends with our guide. We loved Michaels’ sense of humor and his abundance of knowledge. We felt fortunate to have a guide with 18 years of experience at the helm.
Once we returned home we were continually asked, “what was the most amazing thing you saw on your trip?” I would just sort of give a blank stare back with the slide show flipping through my brain unable to answer.
Do I say, “the Dr. Seuss like trees dotting the landscape…or every sunset was more intense than the night before…or standing in the middle of the great migration watching and listening to thousands of wildebeest and zebras while sipping coffee…or the silent drift over the Serengeti from the vista of a hot air balloon…or watching baby lion cubs play then nurse from their mother?” The entire experience was so amazing it is impossible to pinpoint just one highlight.
We went on this trip with no particular expectations and found beauty from the weavers nests to the majestic maned lion sauntering across our path. We all fell in love with Africa and hope to make the journey back someday.
Thank you to all the wonderful staff of African Dream Safari!
Kari and Oliver P.
Safari Dates: June 6, 2015 to June 20, 2015
We have just completed our second safari with ADS and with our outstanding guide, Francis. Last time we went at the end of January during the green season. This time we went in August which is the dry season. This time we traveled with our niece and nephew and their 2 kids, 11 and 13. It was great seeing all of this again through their eyes. Although it was all very exciting for us-it was such fun watching them take it all in for the first time.
We started out in the North by the Mara River. The wildebeest are up there now for the water and it was an amazing sight. Wildebeest as far as the eye can see. We also had an extremely rare sighting-a baby rhino!!! This was a first, even for Francis who has been at this for some time. We felt very honored.
This was also our first experience with the semi-permanent camps and I will say we were a little apprehensive about, what we loving called, shower-in-a-bucket. Let me assure you, many of our favorite times were at Sametu Camp where we wanted to move in. J.J. and Kidevu made us feel so welcome and treated us like family from the moment we got there to the moment we, sadly, had to leave.
At Mara River Camp, Gilbert and Tony extended hospitality that made us feel right at home and oh so comfortable. These places will be memories we will talk about forever.
This trip varied from our January one in that we saw babies of just about every species. We saw mamas nursing, mamas grooming, mamas hiding their babies, we even saw young male elephants jousting. We saw two lion cubs playing with what looked to be a mud flap off a vehicle. One of the cubs came over and started to gnaw our tire-guess he wanted another toy.
Once again we saw the Big 5 and all their babies. Hopefully on our next trip the babies will be all grown up.
Nancy and Lenny M.
The Villages, Florida
Safari Dates: August 12, 2015 to August 21, 2015