From the moment our plane touched down in Tanzania, Africa Dream Safaris exceeded every expectation we had. Marcus took care of all paperwork at the airport with no hassles. He and Timon then drove us safely to Mount Meru hotel, answering every question we could think of asking.
After getting us settled in our hotel for the night, they drove us to the Arusha air strip the next morning for our flight to the Western Corridor of the country. They made sure everything was taken care of during ever aspect of that part of our trip. Our flight to the Western Corridor was beautiful with a very professional pilot.
After landing, our guide, Peter, picked us up, and away we went for the adventure of our lives. Our first day was amazing! We even told our guide that there was NO WAY the next day could measure up, but how wrong we were. Every day was better than the last. We saw over one hundred lions, thousands of wildebeests, zebras, antelopes, gazelles, and topis.
The great migration was unbelievable—–animals as far as you could see in both directions! We even saw eight of the 500 cheetah in the Serengeti, eight leopards, a serval, seven of the 33 endangered rhinos in the Ngorongoro Crater, hundreds of hippos, elephants baboons,and monkeys. Every day was new and exciting. We saw more animals that we ever thought possible.
Our guide, Peter, was excellent. He spotted almost every animal around and worked extremely hard to make sure we saw everything possible. We even saw mating lions, lions dining on a zebra (twice). We never got to see an actual kill, but saw lions stalking topis and cheetahs on the hunt. I think we saw every type of animal in the Serengeti.
Our visit to a Maasai village was fascinating and a favorite part of the trip. The Maasai culture amazed me! Our guide in the village was a chief’s son (a fourth wife’s child and one of thirty five of the Chief’s children), who had been educated in Arusha, but had decided to return to his village. He gave us a first class tour of his village. The kindergarten children melted my heart. I will never forget the very young Maasai children taking the goats and cows out to graze each day. They walked miles with the herds, then returned each night—-with lions all around! The shoes worn by the Maasai (I call them tire shoes) were made of TIRES! They could walk miles in them!
Our lodges were all first class. We stayed in Mbalageti, Serena Serengeti (my daughter;s favorite), Lake Masek tented lodge, Ngorongoro Serena, and Plantation Lodge. My favorite was the Lake Masek tented lodge. Hippos bathed in the lake all day and at night you could hear them walking by the tents eating grass, returning to the lake at daybreak. Our food was very good. You could always find something delicious for dinner. Our box lunches and breakfasts were also very good (although too much food!). On my next trip, I will stay in all ADS tented lodges. Our guide took us by the Sametu ADS lodge and it was quite impressive, very intimate with excellent staff.
African Dream Safaris went above and beyond all expectations to make this trip our NUMBER ONE TRIP OF OUR LIVES! Many thanks to Dawn, Marcus, Timon (whom we found out was a Maasai tribe member. He entertained us with numerous stories!), all of the staff at our lodges, and especially our guide, Peter (THE BEST OF THE BEST!!!). We will return to this beautiful country again! Thanks ADS for giving us the TRIP OF A LIFETIME!
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Safari Dates: May 29, 2015 to June 8, 2015
We are now nearly a month post safari and it all seems like a dream now, a vivid and unforgettable dream. African Dream Safaris is no misnomer, but rather a most accurate descriptor of a company, a style, and a philosophy that succeeds on every level in delivering the promise of once in a lifetime experience.
From our arrival in Arusha and the kind and welcoming reception at the airport and the rapid delivery to the comforts of our first Africa hotel, things got underway as smoothly as possible. The upward trajectory gathered speed quickly the next morning with the arrival of Francis, our peerless guide and soon-to-be friend. We were but two couples, my wife and I accompanied by two dear friends.
Having read other reviews and the copious encomiums lavished on other ADS guides Francis shouldn’t have come as such a great surprise, yet he was. His knowledge of the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti were encyclopaedic. He seemed to know just about everything about the flora and fauna of every place we visited in the region.
He was constantly spotting things otherwise invisible, constantly searching for new ways to delight and entertain us. He knew about so many things and his truck contained reference works on birds and animals that were dog-eared and lovingly pored over. Did I mention that he was also a simply awesome driver taking us safely across all manner of terrain, weather and challenging condition?
Francis passion and determination that paid off time and again with the rewarding appearance of leopards, cheetahs, lions galore, elephants by the score, giraffes, hippos, crocs, rhinos, untold bird species, monkeys, baboons, hyenas, jackals, and all manner of wildebeest and zebra, buffalo and plains dwellers.
We came for the animals, we got the animals and so much more. That included an encounter with an angry alpha male elephant charging angrily toward us in pursuit of an errant couple from the herd who had the temerity to “sneak” off for a mating effort before our very eyes. (Francis said he had never seen that before!)
Our accommodations were extraordinary, a throwback in bush-style elegance from quite another era. The staff members at each location were unfailingly cheerful, helpful and friendly. The food was magnificent, always fresh and exquisitely prepared. As surprised as we were by all the natural splendors, the restfulness, comfort and ease of life in the bush were beyond any of our expectations, way beyond!
The lodges throughout were perfect places for respite and provided pleasurable ways to reflect on the ardors of the day’s wonders. Perhaps the most delightful surprise of all was our bush camp that transported the vicinity from frontier to comfort zone. Our tents included king-size beds, excellent camp toilets, and hot showers (provided by a charcoal fire and the prodigious efforts of our terrific staff) and meals to die for consumed under the gaze of lions! The magical cooks presented us with their charcoal and wood-fired creations including a cake on our last night.
Our last stop was a luxurious lodge that included a swimming pool, beautiful cottages and a wonderful restaurant. The Masai protectors led us to and from our rooms with their spears at the ready. Having visited one of the Masai villages and having observed them with their herds on the plains, the strength, beauty and resilience of those people was a thing to behold.
Our ADS experience really was a dream, a dream come true. In a place and environ where so much can go wrong, everything went right due to the extraordinary talent and efforts of the personnel. We can’t thank you enough for helping to create an extraordinary memory.
Elliot D. and Linda T.
Santa Rosa, California
May 27, 2015 to June 7, 2015
Have you met Big Bird yet? If you haven’t, you should watch one of the most amazing videos we’ve seen in a long time come out of Tanzania.
After being orphaned from his family, Big Bird was adopted by the staff of Greystoke Camp located in Mahale National Park in Western Tanzania. Jeff, the camp manager, teaches Big Bird how to fish and a most unlikely friendship is born. This is a truly touching video…make sure to turn your volume on and enjoy!