Posts From June 2010

Safari to Tanzania – June 2010

Here are a few of my favorite photos from my safari in June 2010!

Probably my most favorite safari-experience happened on this trip… when a family of 6 cheetahs came up to our vehicle (a momma and her 5 sub-adult cubs).  To my dismay and delight, two of them actually jumped up and used our vehicle as a perch!  Talk about getting up close and personal!  I’ll never forget their gentle curiosity and sweet conversation as they “chirped” to each other about the *contents* of the vehicle (aka *us*, the people inside!)  Since cheetahs are my absolute favorite animal, this was a very special experience I will never, ever forget.



























No Comments
Read Full Post

The Northward Migration Crosses the Mara River

It has been a strange northward migration season here in the Serengeti. Last year in 2009 we saw a relatively typical northward movement with the migratory wildebeest and zebra moving into the Central Serengeti in May, the West Serengeti in June and finally the North Serengeti in July. We reported the first major crossing of the Mara River on July 29, 2009. The 2010 northward migration couldn’t be any further different from what we had witnessed in 2009.

This year the bulk of the migration had departed the plains by the end of April despite some fairly healthy rains. The situation got more unusual with sizeable herds moving directly north in May (roughly 2 months ahead of schedule) and skipping the Western Serengeti all together. We can now report that we have had the first major Mara River crossings up in the extreme North Serengeti on June 29th and June 30th, 2010. This is almost a full month ahead of a typical year.

The migration (both the wildebeest and zebra herds) is currently very widely dispersed throughout the entire top half of the Serengeti ecosystem. There are still a few scattered herds in the West Serengeti but the majority of the action is now taking place in the North Serengeti from Lobo Valley north to Bologonja Springs and northwest through Wogakuira and up to the Mara River. There are also sizeable concentrations ranging in the Grumeti Game Reserve. The gazelles are always the last migratory species to depart the plains and we are just finally seeing large herds of gazelles stream through Seronera and the Central Serengeti and pushing into the Western Corridor.

Wildlife viewing excluding the migration has been better then usual with predators including cheetah, lion, leopard and spotted hyena being regularly spotted on almost a daily basis in the Central Serengeti. We had guests witness a leopard chasing and bringing down a live adult wildebeest yesterday, which was something truly extraordinary (2nd time I have every heard of this happening). Last month, there was a quite a bit of activity in Seronera with several guests witnessing Seronera’s famous lion prides showing off their hunting skills. We had one guest bring back some incredible photos of one such encounter between a lion pride and an old bull buffalo (pictured below).

We also had a couple rare sightings a few weeks back of those elusive black rhinos in the Moru Kopjes complex in the Central Serengeti. Elephant viewing remains tremendous and all our guides are commenting on how the elephant population has been thriving the last couple of years.

Mara River Crossing - June 29, 2010
Mara River Crossing – June 29, 2010

Seronera Valley - Central Serengeti
Seronera Valley – Central Serengeti

Leopard Kill - North Serengeti
Leopard Kill – North Serengeti

No Comments
Read Full Post

Quote of the Week: Rhonda and Andy Powali

It was the trip of a lifetime!!! You created a safari that more than fulfilled our wishes, it actually exceeded any preconceived expectations. It was an amazing trip and one we will NEVER forget!! We are so happy that we went with ADS. From the moment we landed we were completely taken care of (as we had hoped). The VIP service upon landing from the airplane was a great kick off to a super trip. It was so nice to have the vehicle to ourselves and be “in charge” of when we wanted to leave in the morning, to when we stopped for lunch, up to the point of when we came back to the superb lodges. Knowing that there was no limit to the mileage was also a BIG plus. The ADS vehicles are allowed in areas not many other outfitters can go—-so it is like having the Serengeti to yourselves. We saw ALL of the animals we wanted to see (the big 5-leopards, lions, cape buffalo, rhinos and elephants) and sooooo many of them!! There was one situation where we saw a herd of over 35+ elephants-it seemed like they just kept coming and coming and coming!! We also added on the hot air balloon to our trip and were completely thrilled that we did so!!

I do have to say that the office here in the States was wonderful in answering any questions and concerns we had prior to the trip and I feel they did a terrific job in planning out our trip. We could NOT have done this on our own!! Even when we were out on safari we were taken care of by the courteous staff and our knowledgeable guide. The lodges and food were well above anything we could have imagined. We would not hesitate in recommending ADS to anyone who wanted to take a ‘trip of a lifetime’!!

Rhonda and Andy Powali
June 2010

An amazing view of a Pangolin…a very (very) rare creature that has only been glimpsed by a slim handful of lucky guests!


No Comments
Read Full Post

Quote of the Week: Amy and Steve Gunther

Upon our initial arrival to the Serengeti at the Grumeti airstrip from Arusha (a surprisingly vibrant city of 400,000 and the home of most everyone who works in the Serengeti), our bush plane was greeted by a large herd of Impala which prevented us from landing until our pilot buzzed the runway. From that first introduction, and for the balance of our safari experience, we were blown away by the sheer magnitude of wildlife which exists in this magical (and thankfully protected) corner of the world.

As we approached our tent upon return to camp late afternoon on the first day, our path was crossed first by a small group of Warthog running by, followed by encountering several Rock Hyrax (a rodent similar in size to a large hamster) resting on the steps leading up to our stilted luxury tent, only to be capped off by seeing a pair of Baboons sitting comfortably in the chairs outside the front entry! While the sun was setting with a brilliant orange-red hue behind a Kopjes (a large rock formation) adjacent to our camp, and as we were enjoying a refreshing drink on the deck outside, we listened to a cacophony of Hippos grunting in the nearby water hole, Elephants trumpeting in the nearby thicket of trees, and Lions roaring off in the distance.

Our safari happened to occur during the great northward migration of the Wildebeest, and at one point our guide (who is a magnificent, knowledgeable guide possessing a gentle spirit) had to stop the vehicle for approximately twenty minutes as he estimated 15-20,000 Wildebeest ran by us in a thundering cloud of dust. Though there were innumerable amazing encounters, both in life and death, with the myriad animals we were blessed to observe, one of the most tender highlights was being able to witness a male and female lion during their “ceremony”, wherein they part from the rest of the pride for several days to mate.

Having your urban life interrupted by such a dose of pure nature in its rawest form somehow becomes a very existential experience which lets you know, no matter how much we try to manipulate our own life, there is a certain order to the world of which we are inexorably a part. A certain peace is gained while being in the wild that makes you realize that everything happens for a reason, and that all is as it should be. What started out as a dream trip on our “bucket list” has transformed our perspective and become a life-altering experience which we will repeat whenever we need to renew our spirit.

Amy and Steve Gunther
June 2010

Lions passing in front of a herd of Cape buffalo.


Two zebra friends passing time together.


The DeRose family and their ADS guide, having a good time on safari!

No Comments
Read Full Post

Quote of the Week: Richard and Yvonne Buckley

Every dream comes at a price. The Serengeti will now haunt our dreams until we return. Thanks to the entire staff of Africa Dream Safaris, both here and in Tanzania, for making our dreams into reality. Our eagle-eyed guide, not only knew every animal’s behavior, but he could spot our quarry from unbelievable distances.

Richard and Yvonne Buckley
May 2010

Two hyena and a zebra they just caught for lunch.


A lion roaring… or maybe that’s just a yawn?

No Comments
Read Full Post

Quote of the Week: Cindy and Tom Ressler

I just want to thank you and African Dream Safaris for the most amazing adventure! There are no words to describe what I feel in my heart so I’m not even going to try. I’m sure you understand how I am feeling. Truly an experience of a lifetime, and my only complaint is that it went by too quickly. Tom and I have traveled to many places, but this is by far the best travel experience I have ever had. I love Africa, and it will always be with me. I know that someday I will return. A special thank you to our guide for putting his heart and soul into our safari experience, spending 11 to 12 hours a day with us or more. He had us on the road at 6:00 or 7:00 each morning!! Every day of our safari was unique and special. Not only was our guide extremely hard working, but we were amazed at all of the animals he was able to spot! Never a boring or disappointing moment. You are very lucky to have him as an employee of ADS.

Please know that you and African Dream Safaris can count on our referral. I have not been able to stop thinking or talking about my safari experience….I am already working on my brother and his wife!

Cindy and Tom Ressler
June 2010

A young baboon quenching his thirst in the river.


Cindy enjoying a nice view of some cheetahs!


A small sampling of the Great Migration.

No Comments
Read Full Post