Tag: Washington

A Photo Safari With My Own Private Vehicle

Jambo, my name is Luisa and I just completed my first ever safari to Africa. I could not have done it without the help of Africa Dream Safaris. I was interested in going on a safari but being a single traveler I was nervous about going alone and with just any company.

The main things I was looking for in a safari company was the trip being 100% escorted, all inclusive, my own private safari vehicle and people who could accommodate my specific wants and needs. Africa Dream Safaris surpassed my expectations, even from the very beginning when I requested a quote. Dawn was extremely available and helpful at answering all of my questions.

My biggest concern during the planning stage was that I would be alone in Tanzania, a country I had never been visited before. However, Dawn reassured me she had also been on safari on her own many times and that she never felt threatened. While planning my safari the staff were open and honest about questions and opinions they had on where to stay and what animals I might see in each area.

Upon landing in Tanzania I was wowed by Africa Dream Safaris, not only was my escort there but it took only 15minutes to get my visa and I was on my way through customs. Each person I encountered from ADS had a smiling face and was eager to tell me about their country, traditions and culture. They were also very curious about mine. Like I said before, I was alone on my safari and, although I did have a male guide, I never at any point felt uncomfortable.

Claude was my guide and was very welcoming and knowledgeable. The best part about Claude was, while other guides were sleeping or on their cell phones, Clause had his binoculars out looking at the animals as intently as I was. He was constantly giving me information as to the sex, size, age, feeding habits etc. of each animal. He was just as excited and intrigued by the animals as I was and I found that to be very refreshing. I am sure he has seen these animals thousands of times, but it seemed as if it was his first time seeing each one.

All of the accommodations were amazing and I have no complaints with any of the tented camps or lodges. I stayed at Mount Meru Resort, Mbuzi Mawe Tented Lodge, Lake Masek Tented Lodge and Ngorongoro Serena Lodge. Service at each place was beyond amazing from the wait staff to the room service. Each day I came back to a clean room and a delicious meal.

I had read in the ADS handbook that there were some complaints about the boxed lunches, I am not sure why. Although the food can be redundant, it is very delicious. At almost every place I stayed you got to pick what was going to be in your lunch box the next day.

The animal viewing itself was INCREDIBLE. I knew that I would see animals but I was not expecting to see the wide range of animals I saw, from the big 5, to the birds etc. there are thousands of animals and each animal is a gorgeous piece of nature. It’s breath taking to see the wildlife in their natural habitat. I have included some photos for you to see for yourself.

I wanted to write this testimonial because I know there are lots of companies to choose from and it’s difficult to settle on which would be best for you. My only advice is that if you are looking for a company who offers everything and considers your wants and needs, then ADS is the company for you.

I cannot say enough praises about them. To all the staff at ADS who made this trip possible – thank you for the trip of a lifetime!

Luisa C.
Tacoma, Washington
Safari Dates: April 13, 2016 to April 23, 2016

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The Moment

We both wanted to take the time to let you know just how much we enjoyed our African Safari Dream vacation. The wonderful and expedite responses from you as we were planning our trip, the materials, books and maps, the instant email responses to our questions and the care given to us by the team the minute we landed until the day we said good bye to East Africa, can only be described as excellence in meeting all of our needs.

I will admit it took some convincing for my husband to agree to go. He was shall we say reticence and made it known to our group. Then on that third evening as everyone was talking at once about all we had seen and done the previous days, he stood up, had everyone’s attention and announced, “are you not so glad that I talked all of you into coming”. What a moment. I am attaching a picture from that moment.

I also want to commend the professionalism of all those associated with your organization. You are right up there with Disney in your customer service. Our meet and greet team, our guides, David and Ellison were so knowledgeable about the animals, the birds and the history of their country. They were totally engaged with each of us. They were also considerate of our needs and planned the trip accordingly. I enclose their pictures because they were so important to us.

I also am sending on the lion picture Gene took with his phone camera. You do not need fancy equipment to experience the wonders of an African Dream Safari.

Thanks again for all that you have done. I have recommended you to all of my friends.

Gene and Barbara N.
Vancouver, Washington
Safari Dates: May 15, 2015 to May 26, 2015

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We Recommend ADS To Anyone Wanting A High Quality PRIVATE Safari.

We want to thank Africa Dream Safari (ADS) for a most wonderful lifetime experience. From the moment we got off the plane in the Central Serengeti we were seeing all kinds of animals. Right when we thought we had seen it all, the next day brought a new and exciting experience and each day was a new adventure. It was so wonderful to see all the animals in their natural habitat on our game drives. They were so close you could almost touch them!

Russell, our guide and driver was extremely well educated and experienced. Our Land Cruiser was very comfortable and Russell drove cautiously at all times. Russell provided in depth details of everything we saw, from the big 5, to reptiles, to insects, birds and so much more. He took the time to answer all of our never ending questions. We learned so much in such a short period of time.

We were treated like royalty everywhere we stayed and we were well taken care of from the moment we got off the plane to the moment we boarded our plane home. The accommodations were so fantastic – really over the top – and the food was fantastic. Our safety was a priority from all staff we encountered.

Tanzanians are very kind and wonderful. ADS is extremely professional and provided us with the highest quality experience not only on the Safari but in all the preplanning that went into our trip. We both rate ADS a 10 out of 10 and recommend ADS to anyone wanting to experience a high quality personal safari.

Cynthia and Cary N.
Seattle, Washington
Safari Dates: March 26, 2015 to April 4, 2015

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‘Watching Bush TV’

I’ve been home now for almost a month and I still picture the vast beauty of the land and the animals cohabitating in the Serengeti. The sun rising over the land in the morning is a picture I will never forget.

Some of my favorite memories are upon arriving at the North Serengeti Kogatende Airstrip to meet our guide driver, a giraffe came walking down the airstrip towards us. I remember thinking how wonderful that my favorite animal came to greet me upon landing in the bush. Little did I know how many animals I would see just the rest of that one day!

The river crossings (we saw 2) were wonderful too. Spending time with my friend “watching bush tv” after a day’s game drive, fun! The highlights are just too many to outline them all.

ADS did a fabulous job of greeting us at the airport in Arusha and getting us to our hotel (no lines, no waiting, just in and out). All of our accommodations were great. My favorite accommodation was Seronera Sametu Camp, the location was fabulous and Jonas was great! But, I loved each and every location for different reasons…being on the Mara River the first 2 nights was very nice. Listening to the animals outside the tent at night, instead of being frightened, was very very cool.

Our guide driver, Thompson, was great at his job and fun to spend time with. All in all, we saw 8 leopards, 79 lions, 2 river crossings, 4 cheetahs, 1 serval cat, 2 rhinos and unlimited zebras, elephants, wildebeests, giraffes, ostriches and other birds, impalas, baboons, gazelles, elands, topis, and what soon became my favorite…the hard to photo because they are too quick…the warthogs.

Thank you ADS and Sharon for a trip of a lifetime!!!

Laura B.
Bellingham, Washington
Safari Dates: September 26, 2014 to October 3, 2014

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Simba In The Serengeti

This truly was our dream come true from the animals, to the hotel rooms, to the people that greeted us with a smile. Every single animal on our check sheet we got to happily mark off from the wild dog to the black rhino!

One of my favorite moments was going on the back roads outside of the Serengeti, after a meet and greet with the local village one of the villagers was talking to us about the Wild Dog den up in the mountain. Next thing you know we convinced him to ride with us up the mountain to show us the dog den as soon as we made it to the top of the hill he told us to turn off our engine. Sure enough within a minute a wild dog walked right up to us, then dog clan joined him. It was so amazing to just listen to the animals and watch them interact. Speaking of watching animals interact my favorite thing to do was to pull up next to a family of elephants and just watch them, the babies would run around chasing birds and would often fall down after running in circles it was so entertaining.

Every detail of this trip was so well planned out thanks to Lynn and Africa Dream Safaris. On our anniversary night the cooks came out and danced around our dinner table singing us songs and brought us a cake. It truly was the best way to celebrate our anniversary!

During this trip we were expecting to see 1 or 2 lions on our week long safari but after 3 days and counting over 50 lions we finally gave up counting! We were amazed by the mass amount of animals we found.

We were so happy about all the different animals we learned about on our trip and how informative our guide was he had such a great span of knowledge of every animal out there.
We really hope to go again soon, we already miss the animals and staff.

Taneal and Neil C.
Tulalip, Washington
July 25 to August 3, 2013

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We Had The Most Amazing Experience.

It is hard to know where to start when describing our safari experience with ADS, and with our guide extraordinaire Reggie Matemu. Shortly after meeting Reggie and leaving the airport on the first day of our safari, we encountered some other vehicles watching something. Reggie told us there was a leopard in the grass walking. We saw him from a distance, and then Reggie was off. We proceeded to another location that was some distance from all the other cars. “This is where the cat will come out” Reggie told us. Sure enough, within a few minutes a deer bolted out of the grass not 15 feet from our truck and the leopard was right behind it. This was just one of many, many experiences on our safari where Reggie instinctively knew exactly where to be to experience the animals in the best possible way.

We spent that night at the tent camp at Seronera Sametu which was remote and absolutely wonderful. We had a pride of lions wander through camp that night and we could hear them huffing and growling outside our tents. So exciting! Our safari continued with excursions where we saw lions close up, cheetahs making a kill, and so much more.

Most of the time we were in places where there were no other safari vehicles….we had the place to ourselves. Reggie was so knowledgeable about the local areas, the history, animal behavior and where to go to get the best safari experience. The rest of our safari was one exciting day after another, including things like watching a male lion defend his kill from a pack of hyenas, and having cheetahs climbing on our vehicle two days in a row. It is unforgettable to look one of those cats in the eyes when they are no more than two feet away.

We saw so much, learned so much, and just had the most amazing experience possible. Thanks Reggie for becoming our friend and for being the best guide ever! We will never forget this trip.

Shari and Otto K.
Seattle, Washington
March 23, 2013 to April 2, 2013

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Lunch with Lions

Lunch with a lion, breakfast with a baboon, and dinner with a genet…those are just a few of the memorable moments from our totally amazing trip with Arica Dream Safaris. We are so glad that we chose Africa Dream Safaris for this “bucket list” trip. ADS came highly recommended by a co-worker who did a similar trip last year. To be honest, I thought his effusive praise for ADS and the wonders of the Serengeti were a little over the top. But I can happily admit to being wrong, from our first contact with Dawn (the most patient and responsive trip planner ever) to the final goodbyes at the airport, Africa Dream Safaris was absolutely the best!

I can’t thank ADS and our guide, Wilfred, enough for making this truly the trip of a lifetime. They delivered all of the things you’d expect – first rate accommodations, comfortable and reliable vehicle, flexible itinerary, but also the little touches that made the trip special – the lovely Maasai bracelets, gifts and champagne to celebrate our anniversary and the good-bye cake! We always felt safe and cared for – having Wilfred was like having an encyclopedia of the Serengeti at our disposal. Not only was he great at locating animals and getting us into position for great photographs, he would also share the most interesting facts about the animals, plants, and ecosystem. By the time we left, he was “Uncle Wilfred” to the girls and we truly hated to say goodbye.

From the first day in Seronera when we ate our lunch in the vehicle just a few feet from a huge male lion, we had one amazing experience after another. We took over 6000 photos and videos, but no images or words can convey the sense of wonder that the Serengeti evokes. I’ve wanted to write a review since we returned, but have been dragging my feet because I just don’t feel like I can do it justice. One of my favorite memories couldn’t be captured digitally. (I tried!) Our second night in the private camp (which should not be missed) I was snuggled in the incredibly comfortable bed watching a spectacular lightning storm that lasted for hours, listening to lions roaring just yards away from our tent. I had this huge grin on my face that just wouldn’t quit.

We saw so much more than we expected and yet you can never see it all. We’ll have to make a return trip to find the elusive honey badger, python, and pangolin! We saw a clan herd of over a hundred elephants, many incredible cheetah sightings (16 in all, including two hunts!), hyenas and lions with their kills, herds of wildebeest as far as the eye could see, and so many other amazing animals and birds I can’t begin to list them all.

While the “Big Five” were awesome, many of the highlights of the trip were smaller things – spotting the rare African wildcat, the yellow-winged bats, a double rainbow with an elephant at the end of it, and delicious fresh mango for breakfast. The animals are amazing and the reason we planned the trip, but we found the Tanzanian people to be equally wonderful. The stop at a Maasai village and a visit to an elementary school class in Arusha brought home both the differences and similarities of our cultures and lives.

The grin returns whenever I think of all the delightful people and places we visited. I’ve had a wonderful time sharing stories and pictures from the trip, here’s a link to some more of our favorites: http://www.pbase.com/teddi_and_roger/africatrip2013. Needless to say, Africa Dream Safaris has another huge fan!

Teddi and Roger, Randi and Rian Edington
Kent, Washington
Safari Dates: January 1, 2013 to January 9, 2013

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Going in May was Great

What a fantastic adventure!!!

Just as promised, we were met at Kilimanjaro Airport,and whisked through immigration. Soloman had us on our way to Arusha’s Mt Meru Resort in no time. We were pleasantly surprised walking into our spacious, luxurious suite. A great introduction to the quality of things to come.

Omar met us the next morning for a trip to Arusha National Park. What a neat experience and pre-safari introduction to flowers, birds and wildlife. We highly recommend a day spent in the park prior to safari.

Jumping ahead, I think going in May, at the end of wet season,was great. The countryside was green & full of flowers – no dust or bugs. Yes, some of rivers were at flood stage & roads impassable, but we certainly did not lack for birds & wild life.

We felt we were in excellent care and accommodations from arrival to departure. Enough good things can’t be said about the staff – Dawn, Soloman, Omar, Ellison- our safari driver/guide and the personnel at all the tents & lodges. We would like to clear the air on bringing snacks. You definitely do not “hurt” for food! The box breakfasts & lunches are of high quality and more than you will ever eat.

We also highly recommend the private classic camp. The service & food were outstanding. Lions on the road out of camp while still dark on an early morning game drive – what more could one ask for?

Africa Dream Safaris – you’re the best!

Thank you.

Bob & Edith Henry
Forks, Washington
May 2012

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