At Africa Dream Safaris we do things a bit different than everyone else, including one way we are letting everyone know about the Serengeti. We have our own unusual representative out their strutting his stuff promoting Tanzania and the Serengeti in the dog show world!!
We are so proud of The Lion Lady’s Serengeti Sunset – Bailey won Best of Breed and continued on representing the Chinese Crested’s in the toy group at the AKC National Championship dog show in Orlando Florida December 17, 2016, making the cut in the group ring!! This show is touted as being the largest dog show in America
55 Top rated Chinese Cresteds entries from Russia, Japan, Brazil , England and USA were competing for this esteemed honor.
Bailey started his morning out by winning the breed in a lovely line up Cresteds under Judge Mr. Gareth Morgan-Jones & then continued to shine making the cut in the most competitive Toy Group you have competed in of the year under esteemed Judge Mr. Peter Green!!!
To say we are proud would be an understatement!!!
Congratulations to Breeder & owner Sharon Van Sinderen Lyon- commonly known as The Lion Lady throughout Africa and those who have booked safaris with us!!!
And her wonderful team Sammie Lewis, Trevor Lewis & Chandler Thomas Becker for their expertise and superb handling skills!!!
To watch the Toy group http://www.akc.org/national-championship/live-stream/?hellobar
The Lion Lady’s Serengeti Sunset- Bailey finished the 2016 year as the #7 Chinese Crested in the USA in Breed points and #6 in all breed points!
Keep your eyes open for him competing this coming February at the Westminster Dog show competition in New York!!! His mother won the Chinese Crested breed at Westminster in 2014 and we are excited to see him following in her paw prints!
Chinese Crested’s are believed to come from Africa 3,000 years ago from wild dogs and bred down in size by the Chinese who put them on the merchant ships to hunt the vermin.
Margaret and I wanted a big celebration for our 25th wedding anniversary and we eventually settled on a ten day Tanzania Safari created by Africa Dream Safaris. We wanted luxury as well as game drives and so ADS selected the most stunning lodges for our trip. There were no issues with altering the trip to make it exactly how we wanted it, but what we didn’t realize is that the whole trip would be far better than we’d even imagined!
Although our trip officially started at the Arusha Coffee Lodge, for us it began with a flight from Arusha to the north west Serengeti – and even on this flight we saw Zebra and Ostrich on the edge of the runway!
Russell, our ADS driver, met us when we landed, and drove us to our first lodging at Bushtops Serengeti. But this first drive was through the beautiful Serengeti, seeing Zebra, Giraffe, Hippos, Wildebeest, Buffalo, and even Lions; so even before we’d “arrived” we’d had an amazing drive.
Our second days drive took us temporarily into Kenya and offered our first views of Elephants. At first we saw one Elephant in the distance; then later a family group very active just yards away!
Throughout our Safari, this kept occurring – we’d see a great view of animals, and later a better view, and then even better still. Multiple times our view went from needing the provided binoculars, to being so close that a phone camera took National Geographic quality photos!
On our third day we transferred from the North East Serengeti to Central, at the Elewana Pioneer camp. Here our lodging was more tented but still very luxurious with king size bed, private shower, electric lighting…
The transfer drive was amazing as we drove through typical Serengeti plains, to more forested areas, hilly areas – and all the time seeing a constant variety of animals including our first Leopard, again just a few feet from the road. We were stunned too by the sight of eight Lions in a tree.
The Pioneer camp offered very fast internet too, giving a chance to share our experience with friends and family.
Another day, another drive – our first Cheetahs, Baboons trying to chase a Leopard from it’s tree, a pride of 16 Lions, and Elephants on top of rocks!
Our next lodge was Singita Faru Faru in the private Grumeti reserve, which forced us to separate from Russell and the ADS vehicle, and switch to the lodges transport. This change meant sharing the vehicle with other people, being unable to stand for the best views; but instead the vehicle was able to go off the roads which gave our very closest views of animals.
In the Grumeti reserve we also took an interesting walking tour, and an early morning balloon ride which included flying over a herd of more than 100 Elephants.
From Grumeti we flew to Manyara and met back with Russell who drove us to our last lodging at the incredible Ngorongoro Crater Lodge. We clearly had saved the best for last as this lodge has amazing cottage style rooms, constant friendship from the staff, and spectacular views of the crater!
Our drive into the Ngorongoro Crater was exhilarating and once again there were game views almost everywhere. We saw our only Black Rhino view here, rather too distant for good photos but with a calf to make the view more special. Also here we saw our only kill – a “cackle” of Hyena trapped and drowned a lost Buffalo calf but then a nearby Lion pride moved in and took over the kill, dragging it from the water.
Our final day driving from Ngorongoro back to Arusha detoured through the Lake Manyara Park for final views of Zebra, Buffalo, Elephants, Baboons, as well as hundreds of Pelicans.
Other than the end of our trip, there really were no negatives. We’d been concerned before we left USA about insects / bites, about how distant our views would be, about weather / temperature. None of these were an issue.
Insects were almost non-existent on the game drives and lodgings, except at Singita Faru Faru where they were very noticeable at dinner – the choice was lights that attracted them, or darkness with no way to see what you were eating! For some reason many flying insects also got into our room, though the net around our bed kept them from being too annoying.
Temperatures were perfect; during the hot day time the canopy of our ADS vehicle kept us shaded – at night because our Lodgings were all 4,000-5,000 feet altitude, temperatures dropped to very comfortable low 60s or even 50s. On our early morning drive at the Grumeti reserve we definitely needed the provided blankets.
As for the views, almost all animals were seen at least some of the time less than 50 feet from the vehicle – and some views were much closer. I was very pleased with my Nikon Coolpix P900 camera with it’s 2000mm equivalent maximum zoom, but I was also very pleased with the video and photos I was able to take from my iPhone, sometimes.
Our two days at the Singita lodging gave us a flavor of what Safari trips are like from companies other than ADS. With ADS, Russell was our personal driver and guide; he took us where and when we wanted and was a constant friend, providing a major enhancement to our vacation.
We would have been less thrilled with having to share our drives, obey set times and have less control over our days. Additionally, the experience of driving rather than flying from one lodging to another seemed to be a significant benefit in being able to see the changing terrain from one part of Serengeti to another.
Thank you Michael for creating our special trip, and Russell for making it so wonderful!
Ian and Margaret C.
Winter Garden, FL
Safari Dates: November 28, 2016 to December 7, 2016
P.S. It’s hard sometimes when watching a Safari program on television to get a realistic idea of what a Safari drive is like. So here I’ve put together a few videos taken during our trip, using just my iPhone (so these views are close to the truck, not zoomed in from far away!) You can see that the terrain is sometimes grass plain, sometimes more full of trees, sometimes no animals visible and sometimes you have to stop because the animals are blocking the road!
Driving in the Serengeti: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXkr2o-6gW4
Our safari to Tanzania exceeded our expectations! It was a life changing experience and one that we will never forget.
We researched several outfitters before we made our decision to use African Dream Safaris and were drawn to them by their promise of a worry free experience and the flexibility that was offered by a private safari. Their program was unique and well presented on their web site and brochures but we must admit that we were a bit skeptical as to their ability to deliver on all they promised.
When we contacted Dawn it was immediately obvious that she possessed a wealth of knowledge and personal experience. Her professional approach and patience put us immediately at ease. Still, it was hard to believe that our safari could be as simple and worry free as she described. With Dawns expertise we “built” our safari to our very specific wants and needs and it did not faze her at all. Dawn took over and we sat back in anticipation.
In short…ADS not only delivered on their promises but exceeded our expectations by a long shot!!! From the minute we touched down in Kilimanjaro it was obvious we were in good hands.
Our guide Francis met us at the airstrip in the Serengeti, took care of all the necessary paperwork and off we went on our adventure. Pam told Francis that she was most interested in seeing elephants and giraffes. Almost before we settled into our Range Rover, Francis had found several elephants and just a couple of minutes after that we were viewing giraffes up close and personal!
It was obvious that we were in expert hands with Francis. His knowledge, professionalism and personality were just what we needed to put us at ease. His ability to get us in the right spot for photo opportunities was excellent. Our doubts about ADS vanished.
We quickly learned that “roads” in the bush are really trails just wide enough in most cases for one vehicle to pass at a time. No worry here as Francis not only knew the roads but knew when to give us a heads up so that we could keep our heads on!!!!!
Throughout our safari, the wild life viewing was spectacular and the scenery was beautiful. We awoke each day with heightened anticipation for what the new day would hold for us. Francis did an excellent job of tailoring our days to our desires and used his expertise to maximize our experience.
It was obvious that Francis was on a mission on one of our Serengeti days. We headed off into the heavy bush and to our surprise, Francis spotted three black rhinos. These nearly extinct beautiful animals were majestic and awe inspiring. Francis explained to us how rare this sighting was and gave us an excellent vantage point for photos and viewing.
At one point, Francis asked our permission if he could “guide” another ADS guide to the location of the Rhinos to give them the opportunity to view these very rare animals. It was our pleasure to share our experience and Francis located the other party and led them to our viewing location.
The caring side of Francis for his country, his people and the animals was obvious as we progressed on our journey. It was heartwarming to experience his pride and his willingness to share his knowledge and expertise.
We chose to visit a Masai village near the Ngorongoro Crater area. This humbling experience was a highlight of our trip. The simplicity of these people, the hospitality and warmth with which they welcomed us gave us a true appreciation for the beauty of Tanzania and its diverse culture. It was our pleasure to share our time, talent and treasure with these genuine people.
Our safari was perhaps the best adventure trip we have ever taken. We shall always remember the majestic landscape, scenery, animals and people of Tanzania. We will always carry in our hearts the simplicity of the people and the beauty of the wild life and their habitat.
Robert and Pam A.
Safari Dates: September 21, 2016 to October 3, 2016