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
This was our third trip to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Carter with Africa Dream Safaris and it was as exciting as ever. We took friends along as it was their dream vacation. We told them we were going to be staying in tents and how luxurious that would be and they were pleasantly surprised at the upgraded accommodations.
Our guide Russell was simply outstanding. How he could see a leopard in a tree from a half mile away still amazes my husband and I. Africa Dream Safaris has the best guides in the business.
We started out two nights in the Western Serengeti. The Zebras were leading the way for the Wildebeest. We saw thousands of Zebras and Topis, as far as you could see. Our friends were amazed what they saw the first two days and I told them it was just the tip of the iceberg!
Next was the Central Serengeti for three nights. We saw lions in the tree relaxing in the heat of the day. Later that day we came upon a small herd of elephants, but nearby on some tree branches were some lions resting. Our guide Russell said “let’s follow those elephants and see if they go towards the lions in the tree.” Oh my gosh…the elephants surrounded the tree with the lion up in it! The lion was frightened and just froze until the elephants wandered off.
Next day we came upon a herd of elephants that numbered around 150. Russell said he had never seen so many elephants in one group. Ten minutes later we saw the main group of the migration. As far as the eye could see in all directions there were wildebeests and zebras…possibly 200,000. What an amazing site!
We could not believe how many different types of animals we saw including lions, leopards, elephants, cape buffalo, ostrich, hyenas, cheetah, black back jackals, topi, impala, grant gazelles, Thomson gazelles…the list is long. A for the birds, we lost count on all the different types we saw.
After the Serengeti we visited the Ngorongoro Crater. We watched early one morning as lions were stalking a cape buffalo, but unsuccessfully. Later we watched a female lion sneak up to a single wildebeest, chase it but fall short of a kill. It was fun however to watch the chess game being played out in front of us in both situations. Finally we saw our first black rhino…only to see 4 more that afternoon. That finished out our Big Five.
Several lion prides, lion cubs, several leopards, hyena families, the rare serval, several black rhinos, lots of hippos and their babies, giraffe families, angry cape buffalos, and a cast of tens of thousands of wildebeest and zebras. And don’t forget the breathtaking sunsets with deep orange and blue streaks. Tanzania is truly a safari paradise!
Steve and Jody J.
Safari Dates: May 15, 2016 to May 23, 2016
Our gang of four from Albuquerque, New Mexico have certainly appreciated and witnessed the circle of life described in the below song during the safari vacation of our life in the Serengeti from May 11 to May 20, 2016.
From the day we arrive on the planet
And blinking, step into the sun
There’s more to be seen than can ever be seen
More to do than can ever be done
Some say eat or be eaten
Some say live and let live
But all are agreed as they join the stampede
You should never take more than you give.
by Tim Rice
We had been prepared and coached quite extensively before arriving Arusha by our dear friends, Marsha and Howard Seltzer (ADS Serengeti alumni of 2009 and 2010) and the very wonderful and ever-so-helpful Dawn Anderson of ADS (through telephone calls, several emails and printed materials). Many thanks to Dawn for her knowledge and kindness.
Our trip was every thing we had hoped for and beyond. All the ADS staff were very helpful, courteous, professional and polite. The lodgings were universally unique, well appointed and surrounded by raw nature. We were escorted for safety reason to and from the common/dining areas at every dawn and darkness.
We heard several wild creatures at late nights and early mornings including lion roars and movements just outside our tent lodges. We heard buffalo foot steps and spotted them close by one early morning. The meals were excellent and with extensive menu to choose from.
We fondly thank Anglebert, our wonderful guide, for the “stories” he told us everyday through spotting, tracking the animals and narrating while and before things happened. We saw a cheetah chasing a baby wildebeest. It narrowly escaped the danger when the mother and perhaps relatives and friends chased the hunter away.
We saw one of several very beautiful grey crowned crane ferociously chasing a nearby perhaps threatening duck away, for coming too close to his lifelong mate. They both then romantically danced and kissed. We saw a whole pride of lions happily marching back to the kopjes from their morning hunt with full and bulging stomachs. They then spread out and situated themselves beautifully on the rocks.
We saw the honeymooners on the rock. Also two lionesses attentively and affectionately nursing their six cubs. One mother accommodated and nursed as many of the cubs simultaneously as possible. We anxiously watched a mother lion tormentedly and frantically searching and calling out to her lost cubs. She had evidently left them in the bush for some time while she went hunting for food for the family. After a long while, they happy reunited. We witnessed a leopard mightily and with great effort dragging a young and good sized wildebeest she had just killed up a large acacia tree to feast on.
The great migration mesmerized us to no end when we found ourselves in the middle of the sea of wildebeests. The sheer number was unimaginable and mind boggling. The fascinating stories and sceneries went on and on everyday.
In one early afternoon, while our Landcruiser was stuck in the deep mud, we heard deep breathing in the tall grass immediately next to us. We almost had to hold our breath. That was a rather uncomfortable experience for the four newbys. We were eventually rescued out of the mud by another vehicle with no difficulty.
Our Ngorongoro Crater adventure started with a visit to the Olduvai gorge where we learned about our oldest ancestors. Homo habilis, probably the first early human species, occupying that part of the rift valley area about 1.9 million years ago.
We made an early foggy morning and still dark descent into the Ngorongoro crater. Besides seeing lots of animals including the four massively looking rhinoceroses, the crater itself was a wonderfully beautiful vast meadow of wild flowers and green grassland. The sunrise was spectacular when the beam emerging through the fog and the low cloud and exposing the beautiful meadows and lakes that morning. We left the crater that evening after an unexpected and almost a spiritual experience.
Our ADS safari trip was far beyond our expectation and description. We witnessed many things for the first time in our lives. We appreciate the great efforts and energy by many people and organizations trying to preserve this beautiful planet that we live on for others and younger generations to witness and enjoy. We hope to be able to share this Africa Dream Safari experience with our family in the near future.
Nara and Kris C.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Safari Dates: May 12, 2016 to May 20, 2016