Tag: Anniversary

A Most Memorable 40th Wedding Anniversary Celebration!

Jambo!! My wife and I celebrated 40 years of marriage in June 2016. To celebrate our milestone, we booked our ADS Safari and looked forward to this great lifetime experience! Our 10 day ADS Safari was April 2nd 2017 to April 12th 2017. We arrived in Arusha where we were met at the airport by Mathias and our wonderful Safari Guide, Russell. We spent two nights at the Mount Meru Hotel for a much needed rest and city tour of Arusha before venturing out into the Serengeti on our Safari!

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Our Most Fabulous Ever Vacation!

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

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I Had Always Wanted To See The Great Migration

Our safari began, as so many others have described, with arrival at Kilimanjaro airport and a swift and easy passage through customs and arrival at Mount Meru Resort in Arusha. The following day we were treated to a tour of Arusha with an informative, detailed running commentary by Mathias and Joseph about the city, its people, and industries. We also toured the Cultural Heritage Center that holds a vast collection of paintings, carvings, and jewelry.

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ADS TURNS 20!

Today marks the 20th Anniversary of Africa Dream Safaris. Leading the way in private, custom-tailored safari tours to East Africa, we feel honored to have fostered such a vibrant community over the years. Let us take this opportunity, during this week of thanks, to show our deepest gratitude to the wonderful guests who have traveled with us (some more than once), our incredible staff of bush guides and safari specialists, and the conservation and humanitarian partners we so proudly sponsor.

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A Private Safari – The Only Way to Experience Tanzania

Our travels have taken us all over the world and this was undeniably the most stress-free vacation we have experienced thanks to David (our guide) and Michael and Lynn of Africa Dream Safaris. There was, however, one thing that ADS could not prepare us for — the mesmerizing beauty and tranquil peace of Tanzania.

First, we enjoyed superior accommodations, service, and food at the Mount Meru Hotel in Arusha before climbing into our plane headed for the Northern Serengeti. Our first glimpses of animals and terrain were from the plane…wldebeests, zebras, rivers, grasslands, and kopjes…an ostrich on the airstrip as we landed at one of the airfields on our way to Kogatende…we were ecstatic!!

Upon landing, David, our driver/guide, greeted us and we liked him immediately. He explained what we were going to do that afternoon and off we went…the adventure was to continue for 12 days. On a general note, David was an excellent match for us. He made us feel safe and secure at all times which was a major factor. He listened to our needs and responded accordingly and always with a cheerful smile and patience…no matter how crazy we may have sounded!! We set our own schedule each day and liked the ability to enjoy the activities/scenery that WE wanted and were not forced to succumb to a group decision.

Animals…we had the privilege of seeing two adult black rhinos and a baby rhino, leopards including one in a tree with its kill, lions with cubs and a lion with its kill, a Secretary Bird killing and eating a snake, birds of prey, hippos, elephants, safari ants, buffaloes, wildebeests and zebra in three river crossings (two were mini-crossings as we nick-named them), cheetahs, dwarf mongoose, and oh my, the list goes on.

The Tanzanian terrain is gripping…flowing rivers, endless grasslands, rising kopjes, the great rift valley, the crater…and the sunrises and sunsets…inspiring.

David taught us about the animals and their connection to their habitat and importance in the chain of life. He also proved to be an excellent driver while maneuvering our jeep during a downpour and navigating through the mud and what seemed to be bottomless water holes.

Two highlights of our trip included visits to the School of St. Jude in Arusha and the Foundation for African Medicine and Education (F.A.M.E.) in Karatu. We were impressed with both and encourage safari guests to take the time to visit and learn about both of these worthwhile and inspiring educational facilities and programs.

We sincerely enjoyed all our accommodations…from the elegance and refinement of Serengeti Bushtops, Migration Tented Lodge, Ngorongoro Manor, and Swala Tented Lodge to the down-home comfort of Lion’s Paw and Sametu Camp. Each location had a personality and character of its own which we appreciated. The staff were always friendly and accommodating and attentive to our needs.

We are fortunate to have had the opportunity to enjoy a private safari…the only way to experience Tanzania. Life is grand indeed!

Margaret and Gerry B.
Lubbock, Texas
Safari Dates: September 25, 2014 to October 8, 2014

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Our Serengeti Safari-Anniversary, Birthday And Gluten Free Diet

Asante Sana ADS. This was exactly what we asked for and you delivered!

This was my second trip to Africa, having climbed Mt Kilimanjaro in June of 2013. On the way back to the States I was introduced to ADS by a couple sitting next to me who were talking about the safari they had just completed. They told me it was the best trip they had ever been on. When I inquired who the outfitter was they said ADS. ADS became the basis of all our research into safaris and in the end they won hands down! Thanks to Dawn for the personal attention to detail and patience with all our questions.

Having been in the Southern Hemisphere a couple of times my wife and I know the results of long travel times and how tiring it is. With that in mind we opted to spend an extra day in Arusha and head out on safari well rested. Very wise decision on our part. We were met at the airport by Mateas and Peter. They ushered us thru the Visa and immigration areas with a minimum of delay. We were taken to the Mount Meru Hotel, which is a splendid property and served us well for two nights. The evening of the second night we were treated to a special anniversary dinner served up in a private gazebo with a candle lit table. Nicely done.

The next morning we flew directly to the Mara River Camp and began our safari there. We saw four of the big five on the very first day and the fifth came soon after! Finding a black rhino with her baby on our first day was impressive. Loved just driving along and stopping because “oh, there’s a herd of elephants” or “oh, look at the giraffe with her baby”!

We saw not one, not two, but three migration crossings. I could not do it justice in this space. I would recommend viewing the CD “Planet Earth” or “Africa” to watch the migration and you will then know what amazing is. Later, more about our wonderful guide who made it all possible.

Our drive to the Lobo valley was long and dusty, but well worth the trek. Here we saw lots of lions both male and female, lots of cubs, a number of cheetahs and rare sightings of leopards. We were able to watch a cheetah hunt and kill. It was actually quite quick and humane.

Our final stop was at the Ngorongoro Crater. I believe this is the largest crater in the world that supports wildlife, and does it ever. Elephants, rhinos, giraffes, lions, buffalos, zebras, warthogs, hyenas, cheetahs, a serval cat, and more.

The accommodations at Lion’s Paw Tented Camp were excellent, as were all the camps. The tent camps were impressive, providing comfortable accommodations in not easy conditions. A queen sized bed, bathroom and shower in a tent, really! A warm “bucket” shower at the end of a long of day of game driving was most welcomed. The personnel at all the camps were truly outstanding, leaving nothing to want. At dinner in camp one evening my wife was treated to a birthday greeting in Swahili and a delicious birthday cake. Being zipped into the tents at night knowing we might hear lions, hippos, cape buffalo or possibly elephants right outside is an experience hard to explain.

In addition to the animal sitings listed earlier I would mention jackal, baboon, crocodile, eagle, vulture, eland, wildebeest, gazelle, impala, hippo, trees and birds too numerous to mention. Any attempt to include all here would be an exercise in carpel tunnel fatigue.

Last but certainly not least, two very important features that made this a trip of a lifetime. Wilfred, our driver/guide, was quite simply the BEST. There was not a question he did not have an answer to, and there were many. How he managed to maneuver the Land Cruiser thru some of that terrain was beyond belief. He found animals that were not visible to the naked eye. He was able to position us to get the best possible photo shoot. Above all he has great respect for the land and the environment which served us so well. He is truly a fine gentleman.

The second item was one I mentioned in the title, gluten free diet. My wife suffers from Celiac disease and is very sensitive to gluten whether in the food itself or cross contamination during preparation. We are happy to say she made the entire twelve days without incident. Something that is difficult to do at home with far better circumstances. Bravo to the cooks and advance work by ADS.

Indeed a trip to be remembered!

La La Salama,

Melanie & Ed G.
Londonderry, New Hampshire
Safari Dates: October 3, 2014 to October 12, 2014

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Our Safari Far Exceeded Our Wishes, Dreams and Hopes.

Our 65th birthdays and 40th wedding anniversary just happened to fall within a year of each other. Because of that, we decided to take a look at our Bucket List, and that’s when traveling to Africa became a realistic dream for us. An acquaintance of ours recommended Africa Dream Safari, and from the very first contact with Dawn Anderson and the website, we realized we were on our way to a private, luxury safari in Tanzania for four.

As luck would have it, our relatives Tom and Danni, would be sharing the trip with us. The planning process ended up taking two years. Knowing we wanted February, which is a popular time, many of our desired accommodations had already been booked. Once we decided to take our time, everything fell into place perfectly.

We arrived in Kilimanjaro, and were met by Mathius and Timan, our ADS greeters. Our entrance, transport, and briefing was handled by them, which made the process very smooth and entirely stress free. Our ride to Arusha was informative, and Mathius presented all of us with gifts made locally in Tanzania.

The Mount Meru Resort was lovely, and our three nights there gave us time to adjust, rest, and settle into the ambiance of Tanzania. Our first and second days there were planned through ADS; a visit to the Tanzanite Factory Experience, The Cultural Center, and The Arusha National Park. Our greeters were with us the first day, and even stopped to purchase us some local fresh roasted corn to try. It was most unusual, and we decided it resembled a combination of boiled corn on the cob and popcorn. Thompson was our guide the second day. He provided an excellent tour of the park while finding many species of animals and birds, and a beautiful, restful overlook for our lunch. It served as an exemplary introduction to our safari.

ADS planned one short flight from Arusha to Seranera in the Serengeti National Park, where we met our guide Francis, and we were then his passengers for the next ten days. Upon realizing the vastness of the Serengeti, there were some metaphoric comparisons we made between the ocean and the plains. It was as if we were on a boat, bumping along, the dust being our wake, the horizon in the distance encircling us.

Our sightings were numerous, and consistently different, yet singly paramount. Lionesses with cubs, lions and lionesses in new relationships, cheetahs with cubs, a cheetah killing a gazelle, and elephant and giraffe families all occurred daily. Herds of roaming buffalo always precipitated another verse of “Home on the Range.” Hippos meandering at a close proximity, while verbally and physically playing in the water all day long, was surely always entertaining and amazing.

At the Ngorongora Crater, it was very different from the Serengeti. After descending into the crater, we spotted many of the same animals in small numbers, comparatively. It was a true melting pot where the animals and birds lived for life, protected. We found it a wonder there weren’t more there. The wildlife was phenomenal throughout the trip, and we ended up locating over 80 species of birds. We had purchased the book, Wildlife of East Africa, a suggestion from ADS, which provided us with pictures, descriptions, and an accounting of what we came upon.

The zebra and wildebeest migrations added an intense and overwhelming magic to our safari, and is truly impossible to articulate. The Serengeti could absolutely be the 8th Wonder of the World. Fortunately, we experienced many of them, and all were unique in their own way. It was the birthing time for both species, and there were abundant babies around. Many wildebeest’s births took place, and we witnessed the natural beauty of them.

Gazelle’s, both Grant’s and Thompson’s, jumped and scooted everywhere along with warthogs, and hyaenas, and ostrich. Both rhinos and leopards were spotted, but in lesser numbers. Regardless of where we were, at any given time, we were surrounded by peacefulness, and quiet, unless the animals were communicating.

The Four Seasons Lodge, Lake Masek, Kusini, and Lemala were where we stayed during the progression of our safari. They were all different, and inviting in their own ways. Ensuite, private bathrooms, and hot and cold running water were priorities for us, and ADS made it happen.

Francis made our safari the trip of a lifetime. His gentle nature, humor, and knowledge were consistent throughout. He often found sightings and alerted other guides via 2-way radio. He allowed us to “check the tires,” as often as necessary, kept our box lunches safe and sound, provided snacks, drinks, wipes, and all the comforts we needed daily. Our Land Cruiser was very comfortable and had binoculars for each passenger. The cruiser seated 8, and only having 5 gave us plenty of room to move around, pop through the roof, and view without feeling crowded.

Francis joined us for some dinners, during which we learned more about life in Tanzania. He shared some of his personal and fascinating life with us, including much of his country’s history, and the politics of it all. The people of Tanzania are generally very congenial and accepting of their lives. With Francis’ guidance, we came to realize and understand that the animals rule the Serengeti, and are respected by all. Survival of the fittest is exemplified, and the eco-system is balanced. The safari goers are in the zoo cruiser, while the wildlife roam freely in their territory. Poachers remain a threat, but the government appears to be putting more in place to control them.

We bid farewell to Francis reluctantly, and returned to Arusha and Mount Meru Resort for a couple of days before departing. It provided a well embraced debriefing for us to absorb where we had been and what we had seen. Our safari was remarkable in every way, and in so many additional ways that are too innumerable to mention. It far exceeded our wishes, dreams, and hopes, and the memories will be with us forever. Viewing Kilimanjaro as we departed was a sight, glowing through the clouds that gave us yet another chill.

Thank you to ADS, Dawn, Cathy King, and Francis, for a dream that came true.

Jamie and Sandy
Bonita Springs, Florida
Safari Dates: February 12, 2014 to February 20, 2014

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Beyond Our Wildest Dreams

When Rob and I got married ten years ago we agreed that we would go to Africa for our 10th anniversary. For many years we talked and dreamed and two years ago we got serious and started searching for a company to supply us with our anniversary trip. When we first saw the ADS website we thought a private safari would way too expensive for us but, on a whim, I inquired anyway. Dawn Anderson replied almost immediately with an incredibly impressive brochure and a price that was so close to the “budget” group safaris that we were sold.

As the days flew by we kept saying “this time next year we’ll be in Africa” . . . “this time in six months we’ll be in Africa” . . . We were so excited and kept reading the ADS newsletters but we didn’t dare to hope that our trip would be so wonderful. But then we found ourselves saying “this time next week we’ll be in Africa” . . . and suddenly we were there!

From the ADS agent who met us at the airport, to the gentlemen who took us to our hotel that night, to the help at the regional airport, to our amazing and incredibly knowledgable guide, Patrick every single detail was taken care of. We literally didn’t have to think or worry about anything but watching for animals and wondering what incredible food waited for us in those yummy lunch boxes or at the lodge that night. (We are both engineers and are sticklers about details and about time so for us not to worry about these things is saying a lot!)

In our wistful thinking leading up to the trip we thought we might see a few animals but they would be at a long distance. So I bought my husband a very fancy camera for his birthday earlier in the year with a very powerful zoom lens. Imagine our excitement when we could almost reach out and touch these beautiful creatures. Other than a very shy leopard and a somewhat elusive rhino at the crater we scarcely had to use our zoom! What a thrill to have a male lion walk right up to your truck and snarl at you because you were in the shade of “his” bush! How incredible to see the wildebeast and zebra that blackened the plains they were so numerous!

Nothing in our dreams included elephants and their babies that would walk alongside your truck and treat you to a show while they shot water and dust over their backs! And the hippos! Who knew we’d be up close and personal with hippos while they got into a tiff and their voices echoed down the valley created by the Mara river? We had no clue that zebras “bark” or that hyenas are named “laughing hyenas” for a very good reason! And that was just during the day! During the nights we were treated with visits from elephants, giraffes, elands and lions – right outside (or under in the case of the lions) our room!

Our guide, Patrick, knew the name of every bird and every creature. I took notes on it all in my journal and Patrick was always patient for me – not driving off until he had located the animal in his guidebook so I could spell it correctly. Patrick told us about the “big five” (elephant, lion, cape buffalo, rhino and leopard) and then he made it his mission to make sure we saw all five – which we did! We weren’t sure if Patrick was a kindred spirit or if he could read our minds but he always was taking us places and showing us things that we wanted to see without us saying a word.

The lodges were wonderful and the people as friendly as any I’ve experienced in my travels around the world. We loved the Maasai people and enjoyed talking with them both in their traditional bomas as well as at the lodges where they worked. The lodge managers were great people with interesting stories and were constantly surprising us with their hospitality.

Our experience with ADS has been nothing but spectacular and, as the title says, it was beyond our wildest dreams of how great a safari can be. While we were out and about we saw some of the other big group safari companies with people crammed into vehicles following each other in a line like the animals we saw. We were so pleased we were with with a company that allowed us the freedom to be where we wanted and do what we wanted. Thank you ADS!!!!! Our 10th anniversary was more special than we could have ever imagined!

Robert and Dawn A.
Avon, Indiana
Safari Dates: October 18, 2013 to October 28, 2013

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Our 40th Wedding Anniversary in Tanzania

Dave and I would like to thank you for organizing our trip of a lfetime to help us celebrate our 40th Wedding Anniversary. After more than a year of planning and reading the ADS newsletter and testimonials our expectations were high but thanks to you Dawn, ADS and Raphael Mollel they were highly exceeded. The Maasai necklace and warrior club were a pleasant surprise and one that we were honored to receive and will treasure always. The cake at the Mbuzi Mawe Tented Lodge and Plantation Lodge was very much appreciated and a special thank you for the upgrade to the Eucalyptus Suite at the Plantation Lodge.

We throughly enjoyed all of our accommodations but the private luxury camp at Naabi Hill was outstanding!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The staff was so attentive, friendly and welcoming. The meals were fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can’t believe the freshness and the variety that was prepared in the bush. David had his dream come true on the first night there. We heard the lions roar about 20 times and were told that there were 3 of them conversing about 100 yards away. Talk about your heart beating.

Visiting in the green season was incredible so lush and the animals were active. Being in the middle of the Great Migration was an experience we will never forget. We did have a few showers every day but nothing to spoil our safari. Saw 92 lions 2 leopards (one up close and personal) and 18 cheetahs and of course all of the beautiful birds hippos, giraffes, grazers and monkies.

The best experience was while we were in Ndutu. Raphael came across a mother cheetah and 3 cubs. They were chasing each other around a tree and then stopped and came toward us. OMG next thing one jumped on our hood then two were on our back tire and the fourth on the hood. This was the icing on the cake and my dreams came true. We were the only vehicle for about 20 minutes so we had them all to ourselves. I cannot say enough about Raphael. We hit it off the minute he met us at the airstrip. He was always friendly, courteous, professional and attentive to our expectations, needs and desires to see the animals. A skillful driver who always maneuvered us to the best position in viewing the animals. Most of the time we didn’t need to use our zoom. His eyesight was phenomenal in spotting the animals. Also his knowledge of the Serengeti, Crater, floral, fauna and Maasai was superior. ADS should be proud to have him as an employee and we highly recommend him as a driver/guide. We throughly enjoyed our hot air balloon ride. What a thrill!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, better end as I can go on and on and on. We would recommend Africa Dream Safaris to anyone. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for making this dream come true.

Margaret and Dave F.
Westland, Michigan
Safari Dates: April 4, 2013 to April 14, 2013

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We Left Our Hearts In Africa

The trip and experience of a lifetime is how we have been describing our recent safari in gorgeous Tanzania with Africa Dream Safaris. Each day was a new adventure with Anglebert our driver/ guide. Not only was he extremely knowledgeable about the animals and birds, the history and culture of Tanzania, but he was also skilled at reading animal behavior and predicting what they might do next, affording us opportunity for wonderful viewing and photography.

Our safari with ADS started on Nov. 1, 2012 in the Northern Serengeti after a short flight from Arusha. Even from the air we could we could see herds of zebra, wildebeest, elephants, and Cape buffalo. Within hours of meeting Angelbert at the Kogatende airstrip we were fortunate to see a herd of wildebeest crossing the Mara River as a lioness waited in the thickets on the other side. We found her later in a thicket with one of her kills.

Our first two nights stay were at Buffalo Springs tented camp where we received a warm welcome. The staff made us feel at home and protected, and we loved waking up each morning to a “ good morning” with coffee and hot chocolate being brought to our tent before we left for an early morning game drive. The “tents” here were very deluxe. Ours had a leather loveseat and chair, a king size, beautifully furnished bed, and a tiled bathroom complete with all the amenities.

The next morning we went to a Masai Boma where we were given a guided tour of the Boma and were instructed in Masai culture. Our time there ended with the men and women dancing and singing for us. That evening we took a night game drive starting in the late afternoon.

The wildlife was particularly abundant here. We saw a herd of 24 giraffe, a pride of 22 lions, Thompson gazelle, Topi, Eland, Reedbuck, Water Buck, Elephant, Mongoose, Baboon, Vervet monkey and a large herd of Cape buffalo, which thankfully were on the other side of a narrow deep ravine, as they looked ready to charge our vehicle. We also saw our first Serval Cat, and a pack of five Wild Dogs.

We chose to take a walking safari at Buffalo Springs too. It was a little unnerving walking in places where we had seen wild game even though we had two Masai warriors with us in addition to our guide Moses. He was very knowledgeable in the animals, plants and birds we came across. We even got to watch a pair of Dung Beetles rolling their dung ball and then burying it. While game driving here we came upon two poachers late in the afternoon who had killed an eland. Angelbert reported it to the park rangers, who came promptly to check it out.

November 4 we game drove in the Loliondo and Lobo Valley area. One of our first sightings of the morning was a leopard who walked out from under a small bridge we were crossing. Later that morning we saw Cheetah, Ostrich, and Bat Eared Fox. We visited the Retima Hippo Pool, and though we had seen hippos in the rivers we had been near, we had never imagined or seen such a huge number of Hippos in one place. It was fascinating to watch them and the area lent itself to great photo opportunities. Later as we ate our boxed lunches Angelbert introduced us to Tangeweezi, a soft drink that tasted like a combination of Mountain Dew and Ginger ale. We really enjoyed it.

Our next two nights we stayed at Seronera Sametu tented camp. Jonas, one of the staff, greeted us each time we arrived at camp with hot moist towels, fresh mango juice, and his beautiful smile. Once again our tent accommodations were amazing and comfortable. Had it not been for mosquito netting around our bed and the sounds of lions, and hyena in the night, we would have thought we were in a resort hotel somewhere.

The next morning we ate our breakfast in the Land Rover as we watched a mother cheetah and her 5-month-old cubs eating their breakfast of gazelle. Throughout the day we toured many of the kopjes. We climbed one to see the Masai drawings on the rocks. Later at Lake Magati we saw innumerable flamingo. We later saw a large herd of wildebeest thundering across the plain and stopped a while to watch them. Angelbert positioned us so that they were running at us. For added entertainment, two young impala bucks fought each other nearby.

We had planned to go back to camp early today as we were both quite tired, but we were so glad we didn’t when we saw two male cheetahs that had spotted each other from afar. As they approached each other they recognized that they were brothers and nuzzled each other. Shortly after, Angelbert spotted 3 female lion stalking a herd of wildebeest. One charged too soon and the wildebeest got away. We followed one of the lionesses as she tiredly walked the road next to our Land Rover and stopped to drink heavily from a rain puddle.

Jonas’ lion stories at supper that night we pretty frightening and as he walked us to our tent that night we could hear lions!

November 6 we started our game drive today at 6:30am and headed for the Southern Serengeti. In early light we saw a cheetah take down a gazelle. Angelbert was so adept at observing and interpreting animal behavior. We had been watching a herd of zebra going down to a lake to drink. He noticed that the stallion of the herd suddenly held his head high. Sure enough, there were four lions hiding in a thicket near the water’s edge. It was fascinating to sit close by and see all this.

Later, after Angelbert spotted a leopard tortoise, he saw a male cheetah. Over the period of about an hour we were able to get within a few feet of this male cheetah. We watched him mark his territory, take a nap, walk to another set of low rock, climb up and look out over the plain. This rock was about the same height and size of our Land Rover. The cheetah hardly even looked at us as Angelbert backed our Land Rover up against the rock, had us pop our heads out the top and took our picture with the cheetah a mere 6-8 feet away. Just before we stopped for a picnic lunch we saw a pride of lions napping on and in the shade of Gol Kopjes. We were again able to get within several feet of the black maned male.

Our next two nights were at the Ngorongoro Serena Lodge. This lodge is amazing in its construction of local stone, and its location on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater. Our room looked out over the crater. While completely different in the type of lodging we had experienced in the other camps, we really enjoyed our stay here. Our room was large and comfortable, and we could get internet access at the bar which allowed us to update our family and friends at home about our amazing experience so far, and that we had not made it on the menu of the local predators so far. (This had been a concern of our 90 years plus parents).

We enjoyed the nightly entertainment before dinner, which featured local acrobats, a music/ dance group and a performance by the local Masai in their brightly colored clothing and beaded jewelry. The sunsets and sunrises over the crater were breathtaking! We enjoyed our game drives in the crater each day. The crater floor is abundant in wildlife.

In addition to lion, elephant, Cape buffalo, warthog, wildebeest, zebra, impala, gazelle, baboon, flamingo, ostrich, and hyena, we saw black backed jackal. We saw the black rhino from a distance, and even though Angelbert worked hard all day to get a closer sighting, they were not cooperating that day. As in other parts of Tanzania we were able to see a large variety of beautiful birds. The end of our second day in the crater ended with a Cape buffalo kill by two lion.

Nov. 8 we headed out of the Ngorongoro Crater area and toward Taranguire National Park. Along the way were took a short tour of a local Masai market where goats and sheep as well as clothing, fruits and vegetables were being sold. We also stopped briefly at a local arts and crafts market so that we could purchase a few souvenirs. Later we stopped at FAME (Foundation for African Medicine and Education). We were very impressed with the work here by Dr. Frank and his wife. They are certainly providing much needed medical care for the local people in a beautiful new facility. We admire ADS for supporting this work.

After eating our boxed lunches at the entrance of Tarangire National Park we began our game drive. While the temperatures so far on our safari had been temperate, we noticed that it was warmer and more humid here. We also experienced Tsetse flies for the first time. This was the one experience of our whole trip that I could have done without. They seemed to find me especially tasty. While we still saw a large variety of animals here, the numbers were down due to the rains coming early this year and many animals having already left the park.

We did have many close encounters with elephants, which we thoroughly enjoyed. We also enjoyed seeing the enormous Baobab trees and the giant termite mounds. Our final two nights we stayed at Kikoti Tented Camp. These “tents” are up on stilts and also beautifully decorated. Ours faced the evening sunsets, which were absolutely gorgeous. We were able to take time here to sit around the campfire at night and share safari experiences with other travelers. The local Masai sang, danced and jumped for us and then had us join in. They also demonstrated how to build a fire by rubbing two sticks together. The night before we were to depart, the staff presented us with a “Good Bye” cake and sang Hakuna Matata to us.

November 10 found us regretting we had to leave beautiful Tanzania with its warm, friendly people, beautiful landscape and amazing animals. Anglebert drove us back to Arusha for our flight home, and after a few hours to shower, pack and rest at the Mount Meru Hotel, he brought us to the airport and even waited there to make sure we had to problems with our departure.

We highly recommend Angelbert as a driver/ guide. How he stays so patient and happy through what were usually 10-12 hour days, drove safely on difficult roads, and still managed to spot the animals was unbelievable! He was so kind and helpful, and has an amazing knowledge of the animals, birds, history, and culture of Tanzania.

We also highly recommend Sharon Lyons who was so helpful in planning our trip, making us aware of all necessary paperwork, and changes, and answering our questions. Africa Dream Safaris helped us plan the safari of our dreams and then made it happen. We are recommending you to all who will listen. We definitely left a part of our hearts in Africa and hope to return one day.

Doug and Jan Van Drie
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Safari Dates: November 1, 2012 to November 10, 2012

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The Perfect Way To Celebrate Our 45th Anniversary

We decided a safari was the perfect way to celebrate our 45th anniversary. We have wanted to go to Africa for years but for a variety of reasons never got around to it. We quickly found out that deciding to go was the easy part – choosing a company to travel with was an almost overwhelming problem. We are avid photographers – amateur, but serious. We are also experienced travelers – but Africa was an entirely different concept for us. We wanted a tour company that would handle a lot of things for us but give us flexibility, allow us go where we wanted to safely, but more than anything, go at our own pace. After a lot of research, we chose Africa Dream Safaris. After spending 11 days in Africa and watching other tour operators, we clearly made the right choice.

The first step was determining where and when to go. After several discussions with Sharon Lyon, we learned that where we went depended on when – and vice versa. She did an incredible job of helping us match up what we wanted to experience and when we could go with where to schedule our trip. So we booked it and then waited for the big adventure to start.

When we arrived in Tanzania, we were met by an ADS representative and for the rest of our time in Africa we were never without someone to help us. After a brief stay in Arusha, we flew into a camp by the Mara River and our adventure began. We met our driver/guide for the next 10 days, Omary. He turned out to be an amazing match for us and was a significant reason for our trip’s phenomenal success. Not only did he have incredible knowledge of the Serengeti, the wildlife and the plants but he had a great feel for lighting, backdrops, scenery, etc. He even had a good sense of humor – by the second day we had established our “missions” for the trip – including giving him one of a “mature male lion on a rock”. This became our quest – but by day 8 he had delivered! He told us on day one we were family – by the end of the trip we knew he really meant it.

We elected to stay in “bush camps”, preferring that to being in a lodge. In every camp, we were met on arrival by the staff with warm facecloths and drinks. In each camp we had comfortable accommodations – whether part of a permanent camp or a tent on the ground. The service we received rivaled many 5 star European destinations we have experienced. And every person we met seemed genuinely interested in our comfort, safety and ensuring we enjoyed the trip and the accommodations.

And last, but not least, was the Serengeti. We were totally unprepared for the experience. By the second day, we decided that if we had to end the trip, our expectations would have been exceeded. The enormous variety and quantity of wildlife was astounding. We saw dozens of lions, numerous cheetahs, hundreds of elephants and giraffes – the list goes on. We saw the wildebeest crossing the Mara River (one of Omary’s missions). We had lunch on a Kopje overlooking a migration of zebra a mile wide stretching from one horizon to the other. We had a whole pride of lions walk within feet of our truck. We watched a leopard descend from a tree and disappear in the grass only to reappear right by our truck. The flexibility we had allowed us to do this; other tour operators had left when the leopard didn’t move. The list goes on and on.

This was a truly memorable experience. We wanted to make it memorable since we would only be able to do this once and already we are figuring out how to do it “one moretime” .

Gary and Nancy Prade
Castle Rock, Colorado
Safari Dates: November 6, 2012 to November 16, 2012

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A Magical Symphony for the Senses

Lisa and I have been back for four days now and we still cannot stop talking about how incredible our safari to Tanzania was. When combined with ADS’ attention to detail, the people, parks, conservation areas, animals, and accommodations of Tanzania really became a magical symphony for the senses. I could easily copy and paste from almost any other travelogue or testimonial because based on our experience, everything said by others is undoubtedly true and bears repeating. Here are some key highlights from our trip …

Day 1 – We landed in Tanzania where a visa expert had us processed in minutes while hundreds of others floundered around the passport control line. The local ADS crew was standing by with our bags and gave us a warm welcome, informative ride to the swank Mt. Meru Hotel in Arusha, a safari briefing and a lovely welcome gift in the form of a Masai beaded -bracelet which Lisa wore every day of the trip. It became immediately obvious to us that it would be unnecessary to think or worry about a single detail during our trip as everything was taken care of for us, including check-in.

Day 2 – After a relaxing evening, we spent an extra day in Arusha to recover from jet lag. The ADS team took us on a leisurely afternoon tour of the city which was very informative and interesting. We returned to the hotel for some poolside lounging. That evening, a private dining area was set up for us outside under a pergola and a special meal was prepared so we could celebrate Lisa’s birthday and our anniversary – the reasons for our trip. This was one of the many unexpected and thoughtful touches provided by the ADS team throughout our Tanzanian adventure.

Day 3 – We took an early flight into the bush as it was finally safari time!! We had one stop for a passenger pick-up at Lobo airstrip where we were joined by two crying women who were ending their trip. Lisa and I thought they were nuts until about day 5 when we both realized we too might have the same reaction on our way home. On final approach to Grumeti airport, we were glued to the window of the aircraft as a huge zoo emerged below us. After landing, we were greeted immediately by the highlight of our trip – our guide.

This man proved to be one of the warmest, funniest, and most knowledgeable people we have ever met. Within 15 minutes of being out in the bush, he spotted a lion that we watched from 5 feet away! We literally had chills because THIS is why we came to Africa – to experience up-close all the wildlife and natural beauty. In the first half of the day, we snapped over 200 photos of lions, zebra, giraffe, topi, eland, buffalo, elephant and ostrich.

We regained our composure at lunch on some rocks overlooking a vast plain where were were provided an introduction to the Serengeti and a detailed description of what we could expect on our safari. We continued our game drive all the way back to the Soroi lodge, where just before sundown we stumbled upon a billion (okay, maybe just a few thousand) wildebeest in migration running across the road in front of us. Awesome!! The Soroi was a magnificent property and our room was pure colonial luxury. We had an amazing dinner including a surprise birthday cake for Lisa and were then off to bed for an early game drive.

Day 4 – We awoke for a 6:30 breakfast and then were off to the bush. Our second day provided extremely diverse wildlife viewing again including hippos, monkeys, baboons, crocodiles, turtles, impala, gazelle, lizards and oh yes, the wildebeest. We marveled at how the landscape is ever-changing and always awe inspiring, from the lush tree-packed areas around the rivers, to the vast plains, to the sporadic rocky outcroppings that emerge – the countryside is simply breath taking. We went back to the lodge by 4 p.m. so we could enjoy our spectacular balcony view, outdoor shower, beautiful sunset, and another great dinner.

Day 5 – After a 6:00 am wake-up call and breakfast, we game drove our way to the central Serengeti. Not long into our day, we had a close encounter with a huge elephant. Noticing an unusually large amount of droppings on the road, our guide had a hunch that more elephants were looming, so we drove a few more minutes and – sure enough – stumbled upon a herd of 40+ elephants! We spent an hour just watching them – it was an absolute joy to watch these creatures unencumbered by artificial boundaries.

We continued through areas of dense game which included zebra, wildebeest, buffalo and giraffe, then stopped for lunch at the Serengeti Visitor Center and took an informative walking tour. In the afternoon, we found ourselves driving among the kopjes gawking at lions of every size and shape. The day ended with our guide spotting a cheetah from at least a ½ mile away (we still have no idea how he spots these creatures). After taking a few dozen photos we looked 5 yards to the right and found a cheetah cub sitting in a rut below the grass line. That was good for about another 50 photos!

We arrived at our private camp just before sunset and were greeted by a friendly staff, warm towel and cold drink. The decision to camp was not one we made lightly as this usually isn’t our speed. Suffice to say, we would do it again in a heartbeat as it was one of the highlights of the trip and provided the most amazing views of the sunset and night sky. Dinner was followed by a camp-fire chat and a visit from a “friendly” hyena that was eventually chased away. We drifted into sleep accompanied by the sounds of the “friendly” hyena and tons of other game in the area.

Day 6 – We had a 5:30 breakfast in the Serengeti and headed out on another “fishing” adventure. In the morning we spotted a hyena trailing a few lions, a pair of cheetah unsuccessfully stalking prey, and two lions mating – now that was quite a show! Shortly after we spotted another lion stalking a group of zebra drinking by the river. Our guide instinctively knew this would result in a kill, so he drove us a little distance away so we could have prime viewing of the entire event unfolding. That was by far the most exhilarating show of the trip!

We went back to the camp for a delicious lunch and siesta, and then headed back out in the afternoon to watch a pride of lions frolicking and a leopard return to the impala it had stashed in a tree – mission accomplished. We had another great dinner at the camp with warm birthday wishes and another cake for Lisa! We were briefly awakened at 2 a.m. when a zebra stampede moved through the camp, but quickly fell back asleep to the softer sounds of night in Serengeti.

Day 7 – We woke up very refreshed and compared notes about the stampede and accompanying cacophony. We thanked the crew for a great stay and headed back out to game dive our way to the Bilila Lodge. We checked on our leopard friend again before we left the neighborhood and spent some time with the pride of lions from the day before. We drove us past some ancient Masai cave paintings and we had a great lunch on a large outcropping where there was a musical rock – the “gong rock” – that was totally fun to play.

Our guide wisely thought we would enjoy spending a little more time at the lodge after camping in the Serengeti, so we arrived at Bilila around 2:30 – he was right. Bilila is a beautiful full-service property with amazing views, great food and delicious drinks.

Day 8 –We decided to sleep in since we were only staying one night, and began our leisurely drive towards Ngorongoro Crater at 8:30 am. We saw the usual diverse array of wildlife including a huge python that we spotted off the road. It is really true what everyone says – there is always something new and unexpected to see in the Serengeti. We stopped for lunch at the Serengeti Park exit and continued down to Oldupai Gorge. We visited the museum and listened to a presentation. It was amazing to witness this cradle of humanity first-hand.

After the requisite photo ops, we continued towards the Crater. On the way we delighted in the change of landscape and in the sightings of Masai villages as we climbed to the top of the Crater. Crater Lodge was beyond amazing and to describe it is to short change it. The staff was super professional and we had our own butler. Our room was magnificent and bigger than most apartments in Chicago, complete with a wood burning stove to combat the chill from the altitude. Champagne greeted us upon arrival and dinner was served to us in our room with rose petals scattered all around. This was a very nice end to a long day’s drive from the central Serengeti.

Day 9 – We were up at 5:30 am, grabbed some coffee and claimed bragging rights as we were first to enter the Crater that day. The view from above the Crater is matched only by the spectacular diversity of wildlife that unfolds from within. The terrain changes are just as diverse. We had an amazing breakfast overlooking a hippo pool and were treated to the last of the big 5 – an awesome close encounter with a black rhino that crossed directly in front of our vehicle. Of course, our guide had spotted two rhino earlier (with his unaided eyes) which were literally black specs at over a thousand yards, but proved to have the characteristic horns when viewed through binoculars.

We watched some lions frolicking around and caught sight of another rhino as we were headed to our lunch picnic spot – awesome! On our final rest stop within the Crater, a very precocious monkey jumped into our vehicle and stole an apple because we inadvertently left the cooler opened – oops! We headed back to lodge for some afternoon tea and were pleasantly surprised that a hot bubble bath had been drawn – adorned with rose petals! We had another delicious dinner – this time in the opulent dining room next to the fireplace – followed by another tasty cake and cheerful birthday song! We were off to bed for an early drive to Lake Manyara where we would fly out to Faru Faru for a few days to end the safari.

Days 10-12 – After some coffee and saying goodbye to our excellent butler and the staff, we took a slow drive down the fog enshrouded mountain road – and, of course, came across a leopard! We arrived at Manyara airport and exchanged goodbyes and well wishes with our guide. Though we were sad to be parting with our new friend, we felt confident we would see him again as we already were talking about our next trip to Tanzania.

Our plane arrived on-time and we were shuttled off to Sasakwa airstrip for the private Grumeti Reserve. We were met there by a friendly member of the Faru Faru staff who shuttled us to a resort that needs to be experienced to be appreciated. I’ll simply say that Sharon from ADS was right – this was the perfect way to end a safari, completely immersed in unpretentious luxury with a staff that was exceptional. We spent three incredible days here, experienced amazing cuisine, met interesting people, went on exciting game drives – a cheetah hunt and kill comes to mind – and enjoyed incredible sunsets. We were totally rested and relaxed when it came time to head home.

Day 13 – It was now our turn to get teary eyed as we were about to head home. We had a beautiful flight back to Arusha and could appreciate the Serengeti even more now that we knew what was contained in the landscape beneath us. Once again the ADS staff was there on arrival, shuttled us to the Cultural Heritage Center for some souvenir shopping, got us situated at Mt. Meru Hotel for lunch and made sure we got back to Kilimanjaro in a timely manner for the trip home. We spent the next 30 hours reflecting on our incredible trip and how there was literally nothing we would have done differently.

People who know us have heard us say that the birth of our daughter is the first thing in life that has truly exceeded our expectations. The safari that ADS arranged for Lisa and me is the second. We both agree that this was by far the best trip we have ever taken. We cannot wait to do this again with our daughter. Thanks again Sharon and the rest of the ADS Team!

Michael and Lisa Boffa
Chicago, Illinois
June 2012

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Grateful to See So Much . . .

Before going to Africa through Africa Dream Safaris, we read over and over from testimonials how wonderful everyone’s experiences had been. It just seemed to be too good to be true. But we are now believers! We are thankful to have had the opportunity to go to Africa and experience the sights and sounds of such a beautiful and pristine place. From the moment we met David, our guide, in the Seronera Valley, we knew we were in for a treat. David had an incredible knowledge of the animals and geography, keen eyes and a sense of where the game was.

People ask, what was your favorite animal or experience? We enjoyed it all! The animals were amazing, but so was the scenery. The Serengeti Plains stretch in front of you and seem to just go on forever. It was just breath taking! Our favorite sightings were of three black rhinos, a mother cheetah and her cubs, and the endless troops of goofy baboons! We could sit for hours watching the hippos at the Retina Pool or the multiple age pride of lions playing under a shade tree. The elephants were fascinating to watch, from the grace of the adults to the little ones just learning to forage and eat.

The sheer magnitude of animals of the Great Migration in the Hidden Valley was magnificent! We drove for 2 hours in a seemingly endless sea of wildebeest, zebras, gazelles and birds!

In the Ngorongoro Crater, we listened as hyenas called to one another – come here!!! Building from just three to eleven, they banded together to work through the wildebeest and zebras in hopes of an evening meal. Fascinating!

We must also mention the peace and tranquility that we enjoyed. Yes, we were up and out most mornings by 6:00 a.m. and stayed out on game drives until after 6:00 p.m. each day, but we found so much joy in watching the animals coexist with each other in the quiet beauty of the bush.

If you by chance stay at the Seronera Sametu Camp, you will certainly enjoy being cared for by Jonas and his staff. “Good Morning”, will be his gentle wakeup call right outside your tent while bringing you hot coffee and tea. His personal attention to our needs was such a treat and made this camp a truly special place!

On our last night at the Lake Manyara Serena Lodge we were having a quiet dinner when we noticed a commotion coming from the kitchen area. The staff were parading and singing and we assumed someone was having an anniversary or birthday. As the marchers came closer we began to get the feeling that we we the intended recipients of their good cheer! Turns out that David had treated us to a farewell dessert cake! We enjoyed a portion and sent the remainder to the buffet. It was a nice gesture and expression of thoughtfulness on his part!

Also, I just wanted to touch on the airport check in at JRO. It was excellent. We entered the arrival area and met our host who tended to our every need. She even had the blue cards completed and we were quickly checked through immigration and customs. I did feel somewhat guilty being whisked to the front of the line and being processed so quickly. Then the meet and greet staff welcomed us and took us from there to Arusha in short order. A very nice way to end a long day of travel!

Finally, a note of appreciation to both you and Beverley. You two planned a spectacular trip and I wouldn’t have changed a thing! The whole trip just seemed to fit so nicely together. Starting in the tent camp with it’s small, intimate setting and progressing south through the Serengeti and on to more luxurious accommodations of the Ndutu and Ngorongoro Lodges, it was just perfect! We appreciate your knowledge and expertise and your responding to all the little detailed questions that we had!

All the best to you and everyone at ADS and again and thank you for your part in our incredible trip!

Harry and Beveryl Crosby
Staunton, Virginia
January 2012

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A Memorable Honeymoon in Tanzania

I wanted to contact you and tell you thank you so very much for helping us plan the trip of a lifetime. I cannot put into words how amazing our trip was and how beautiful the sites were that we saw!! We loved every second of everyday we were there and hated the moment we had to depart.

We truly believe our guide made the trip extra special – there was not one animal that we wanted to see that we were not able to get up close and personal with by the end of the trip. He was so knowledgeable about the land and all the animals – he was constantly educating us and entertaining us with his stories. He was very personable and we felt as if he was a true friend of ours by the time we departed.

We want to thank everyone at ADS for making our honeymoon so very special. We have been entertaining all of our friends and families with stories and pictures since we returned. We started planning our next trip and saving our funds so that we will be able to extend our stay on our next trip – we cannot wait to return. Thank you so very much for your help all the way through the process. We have attached some of our favorite photos for you to see – of course it was so very hard to narrow down. Thank you again and I look forward to contacting you to let you know we are ready for our next trip!

Kristen Payne and Jason Deweese
Columbus, Georgia
July 2011

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Quote of the Week: Mary and Tom Luetkehans

Tom and I recently returned from our safari trip with ADS. This was a trip we had dreamed of for many years, and we decided that it would be a wonderful way to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. I guess the best way to sum up our adventure is…Wow! We were so delighted with the whole ADS team. We felt like they took great care of us every step of the way – starting long ago in our planning phase with our ADS Sales Consultant, to the ADS rep who met us at the Kilimanjaro airport, to our absolutely wonderful guide, who spent hours tirelessly driving us through the wilderness and spotting all kinds of animals with unbelievable skill. And as so many have already attested, the animals were completely amazing. We were in the western Serengeti during the wildebeest migration, and it was just magnificent. The lines of running wildebeest stretched to the horizons. Along with that, we saw zebras, giraffes, elephants, lions, cheetahs and so many, many more animals that we had only seen in books or zoos before. We felt so privileged to be able to watch these beautiful creatures interacting in their natural environment – and even interacting with us in a way. It was such an amazing sensation to be standing in our land cruiser while an elephant almost near enough to touch looked directly in our eyes.

Our lodgings were wonderful as well. Most of our tented lodges were out in the wilderness where we could hear the animal sounds as we fell asleep. The rooms were charming, the food was delicious, the views were outstanding and every member the staff and each place we stayed was so friendly and gracious. We took walking tours with guides at two of the lodges, and they were wonderful. It was so exciting to be able to take a walk in the long grass of the Serengeti! Actually, there was only one aspect of our trip that was not what we expected…we had planned this trip as a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, but now we can’t wait to go back again! We are already envisioning our next safari during the wet season when the wildebeest are giving birth, and when we are ready to go we will without doubt return to ADS. They made this trip everything we had hoped for and more. Asante sana!

Mary and Tom Luetkehans
May 2011

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