My daughter Emma and I just returned from a safari of a lifetime with Africa Dream Safaris. We could not be happier with what Sharon Lyon helped us to arrange.
Everything was as advertised. We were met by Matteus at the gate at Kilimanjaro Airport and swiftly escorted through the Visa and Customs process and taken to the Mount Meru Hotel. We opted for a layover day in Arusha and given a tour by Matteus and Joseph. This ADS Meet and Greet Team could not have been nicer.
The next day we flew out to the Western Corridor of the Serengeti and met by our guide Emmanuel(Ema). They say a safari guide can make or break one’s experience and we certainly lucked out. He was everything we could ask for: personable, experienced, very knowledgeable, and had a great sense of humor. He quickly realized what kind of an experience we were looking for and made it happen. As you can see with the attached photos he was able to find and then put us very close to some magnificent animals.
We spent the first three nights at Mbalageti Luxury Lodge, the next two at Seronera Sametu Camp, and the last two at Lion’s Paw Camp. They were all great, but the two tented camps (Sametu and Lion’s Paw Camps) were even more special because we happened to be the only guests there those nights so we were treated like Royalty.
I think Emma had some reservations about sleeping in tents prior to the trip but quickly found out this was not camping as either of us had ever known. From the on-demand bucket showers to the hot water bottles in our beds at night, we were pampered. We also ate very well while on our safari. It is amazing how well these chefs do at cooking wonderful meals in these remote locations. The soups were the best. We even had a special cake baked just for us on our last night.
We did not do a lot of the optional tours and visits while on safari because we were there to see the animals. We did however do a Hot Air Balloon ride which was excellent. ADS scheduled it to optimize our game viewing from above. Seeing the sunrise and all those animals from a balloon will forever be in our memories.
ADS quotes Mark Twain: “Life should not be measured by the number of breaths we take, but by those moments that take our breath away.” Thanks to ADS I had three such moments while in Tanzania. The first was when Ema parked us in the middle of the great migration and there were thousands of wildebeests and zebras in all directions. The second was when we first saw the vast expansiveness of the Serengeti Plains dotted with assorted animals spread out between the Kopjes. The third moment that took my breath away was when we first looked down over the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater.
We spent years preparing for this trip. You can read the books, look at the pictures, and watch the videos on Africa. But there is no way you can get a feel for what it is truly like. You need to be there yourself to see it, to hear it, and to even smell it. Only then can you get full appreciation. Africa Dream Safaris can make this happen for you.
Derek and Emma F.
Francestown, New Hampshire
Safari Dates: June 1, 2016 to June 10, 2016
We’ve always wanted to go on a safari in Africa, but we were intimidated by the amount of touring companies available. We did our research for months, including speaking with references from various companies and we ultimately decided to choose African Dream Safaris.
Our experience was pleasant from the start. Dawn was a wonderful liaison – friendly, nice, compassionate, and extremely knowledgeable. Still, did we make the right choice? Well let me tell you, everyone we met, starting from our arrival at the airport, had the exact qualities of Dawn! We could not believe how friendly, helpful, and caring the staff were.
Then we met our guide, Russell, the one we’d be spending most of our time with. If I had to use one word: amazing. We were extremely happy with Russell. He was always so attentive to our family’s needs, tailoring each day’s trip to maximize our enjoyment of what the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater had to offer.
Not only did he frequently spot all kinds of wildlife from afar, but he made sure the entire family could view the animals without disturbing or threatening them. He was also extremely knowledgeable about the best angle and lighting for photographs and video. His deep respect for nature and wildlife was exemplary.
Russell and the entire staff of African Dream Safaris exceeded our expectations and were responsible for a fantastic vacation that we will never forget. African Dream Safaris truly made our wishes come true.
Here is a link to our youtube vacation video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ir_cPM6ttWs
Steve C. and Nhu P.
Walnut Creek, California
Safari Dates: June 14, 2016 to June 24, 2016
We were so blessed to go on our first safari and could not have been more thrilled that we chose Africa Dream Safaris. We researched several companies prior to making our decision and never once had any regrets. It all started with our discussions with Dawn Anderson. Once we spoke to her, we were sold that ADS was the right company for us. Dawn answered all of our questions, no matter how trivial. She provided suggestions and insight that ensured every detail of our trip was handled. Dawn is the best ambassador for ADS with her exemplary customer service and desire to make our trip memorable.
Once we landed, we were met by Matthias who moved us through the immigration process so quickly. Ali and Matthias both transported us to the African Tulip Hotel that night and answered so many questions and got us even more excited to start the trip. Our next day, we had a wonderful flight to the Western Serengeti with Liz, our pilot, who took time to point out animals and the Maasia bomas explaining their culture.
This great service was followed up by the most amazing trip we have ever experienced. I knew it was going to be wonderful and more than I expected, but I wasn’t prepared for how extraordinary it would be. I am totally in awe of our time in Tanzania. This trip was, of course, like no other trip and it seems so insignificant to say it was a trip of a lifetime.
Every day it was something new and exciting from the absolutely astounding accommodations to the animals, and more animals and more animals. We were blessed to see the Big 5. Patrick, our guide, didn’t stop until he found a cheetah for us. The leopards and lions were our favorite. We saw over 40 lions: male, female, cubs. Yay! Experiencing the migration of the wildebeest by being surrounded by thousands of them was incredible. I never knew how much I loved the zebra until we saw them everywhere and their curiosity in us was remarkable.
I mentioned the accommodations were incredible and I have to say we LOVED, LOVED, LOVED the Mbusi Mawe tents. Both tented lodges (Mbuzi Mawe Tented Lodge and Mbalageti Tented Lodge) we stayed in were wonderful and having everyone call you by your name made it so intimate and enjoyable. We heard a lion roar early one morning; we had a cape buffalo outside our tent munching away on grass one night; and then one morning, when we awoke an elephant had taken a shortcut through the campsite and taken down a tree right next to someone’s tent. That was so exciting!! I wanted it to be our tent.
Did I mention the food? The food was wonderful and who would have thought we would be picnicking with the wildebeest and zebra or having a five course meal each night.
Then, there was Patrick who was exceptional. It is so apparent how passionate he is about the environment there and wanting to make sure he met all our expectations with what we wanted to see. He continually obliged with stopping so I could get that one (or many) more pictures. He shared information about the animals, the park, and the country. You name it; he was happy to answer questions and even sang his national anthem for us. Patrick made the trip the most memorable one and for that, thank you from the bottom of my heart, Patrick!
I can’t stop smiling and looking at pictures and love all the memories we have from this trip. Dawn mentioned that she hopes a bit of the safari magic stays with us. I have no doubt it will. The beauty of the land was unimaginable to me. I found myself thanking our God for the opportunity to experience his hand in the creation of all that we experienced.
Our deepest gratitude goes out to Dawn, Matthias, Ali, Liz, and Patrick for providing us with a trip of a lifetime.
Don and Kelly H.
Safari Dates: May 21, 2016 to May 28, 2016