Posts From July 2010

Quote of the Week: Christine and John Collings

Our trip with Africa Dream Safaris was an experience of a lifetime! We went on safari with Africa Dreams in July 2010 with my parents and sister; it was the first time for all of us to Africa. We truly feel we had the most amazing experience possible.

Lions, cheetah, leopard, black rhino, elephant….we saw it all. I am continually amazed by the diversity and sheer number of animals that we encountered. It was mind-boggling. Our guide was wonderful. He was able to spot animals in trees, sleeping in the grass, or in the distance that we never would have found on our own! [He] was truly an expert on the wildlife of Tanzania; he not only showed us the animals, but explained their behavior in ways far more detailed than any guide book. At one point, I commented to my family that I had learned more from [our guide] than I had in a year of high school Biology!

We were amazed by how close we were able to get to the animals. Some of my favorite moments were watching the elephants; how with a quick look you knew they were watching you as closely as you were watching them; how they always kept the baby in the middle of the herd for protection; the way they interacted with each other as family.

Another memorable experience came at the end of our trip. We had stayed in Swala Camp the evening before, and were having a leisurely start to the morning. We had woken up to the sound of vervet monkeys running across the top of our tent, and when we went outside, there were animals everywhere! What an amazing place. After showering in their outdoor shower, I came back inside the tent; a few minutes later, my husband went running outside. I asked him what he was doing, and he laughed and said ‘A monkey just turned on the shower!’ Sure enough!

Christine and John Collings
July 2010

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Quote of the Week: Debra, Chip, Preston Cazale and Mark Swierc

Our trip to Tanzania in July 2010 was truly a dream come true! An African safari had always seemed like one of those trips that might never happen – it’s so far away, how do you chose when there’s so many safari options to pick from, is it really ok to take our son and the biggest obstacle – my husband really didn’t have a desire to go! Fortunately a friend traveled to Tanzania with ADS in 2008 and after hearing about her trip we were convinced we had to go (thank you Sally!)

From the moment we landed in the Northern Serengeti until we departed a week later we couldn’t stop smiling! The week flew by for us with something exciting every day. Our guide was amazing – we would give him our “wish” for the day and somehow he made it happen – including spotting the elusive black rhino in the last 30 minutes of our safari! People in vehicles next to us couldn’t see them, so apparently our binoculars were superior (thank you ADS!).

We can’t say enough about our guide. We would be driving down the road at 30 kph and he would stop and back up and point to an owl in a tree that couldn’t have been more than 6″ tall – and it had a mouse in its claws! I loved that he didn’t always point out the wildlife to us, he let our 16 year old son do a lot of it, which added to the excitement for him. While we were in the Central part of the Serengeti, where there were a lot more tourists, our guide took us off the beaten path and we only saw a couple of other vehicles in several hours but LOTS of wildlife. One day we saw FORTY-SEVEN lions! Another day he spotted a leopard sleeping in a tree – how he saw it we’ll never know! We were the only vehicle there and were able to watch quietly for as long as we wanted – what an awesome experience.

I’d like to stress to anyone considering a safari the importance of having the freedom to control your entire day. Obviously our guide had recommendations, but he would defer to us on how long we wanted to watch the martial eagle, a lion stalk her prey, the vultures finishing off a wildebeest or crocodiles feasting on a hippo. It was always hard to leave one area, but the excitement of what was around the corner was constantly urging us on. I would highly recommend at least a couple of nights in a tented lodge – there’s nothing quite like getting ready for bed and hearing lions roar in the distance!

Thank you ADS for helping to make this trip so memorable!

Debra, Chip, Preston Cazale and Mark Swierc
July 2010

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Quote of the Week: The Saffouri Family – Bassam, Barbara, Eliana, George, and Steffi

Thank you for all of your help and warm wishes! We arrived home tired but amazed at the wonderful adventure we had just experienced. Our safari was more than we ever could have hoped for, and we were extremely lucky in our animal sightings. On our first day alone, we saw lion cubs feasting on a recent kill, an ostrich mating dance, a herd of elephants within arms-distance from our truck, and so much more!

An elephant using his trunk to scratch a hard-to-reach itch behind his ear!

Our hot air balloon ride over the Serengeti was memorable even for those of us afraid of heights. At Ngorongoro crater, we were fortunate enough to see a rhino (only after our driver spotted it!) and newborn lion cubs with their mother. With the help of our guide, we counted over 100 different species of birds, much to the excitement of our daughter who had studied many of them at school. Over the six days, we saw the famous Big Five, and we believe we were the only ones of the other groups we encountered who had. The wildlife was incredible, but we also cannot fail to mention the sheer beauty of the land and the different habitats within. The crater was probably our favorite region with its panorama view and lush flora. Another highlight included visiting Olduvai Gorge and witnessing the site of one of the most groundbreaking discoveries in history – it truly was an awe-inspiring and humbling experience.

An elegant cheetah gliding through the Serengeti grasses.

We would like to end by commending the wonderful hospitality and warmth displayed by the people in Tanzania, both at the lodges and with your company. As we were newcomers to Africa, we were naturally a bit nervous, and the ladies who greeted us made us feel welcome and at ease. But most of all, we could not have been luckier to have been assigned [our guide]. His knowledge of wildlife and ability to spot obscure animals in the distance was astounding. Not only could he point things out, but he could explain details about the biology and behavioral aspects of each animal, which enriched the experience so much more. Over the six days, we regarded him as more of a friend than just a guide. He truly made a great safari unforgettable, and we will always remember his kindness and warmth towards our family. Thank you again.

The Saffouri Family – Bassam, Barbara, Eliana, George, and Steffi
July 2010

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Quote of the Week: Tracey Tomashpol and Farron Brougher

We spent two weeks in Tanzania with Africa Dream Safaris and already are thinking about going back! From the moment we were greeted by the “meet and greet” staff at the airport (bypassing the very long line for immigration and so on) through each “check in” and our final drop-off at the airport, every detail went smoothly and we never spent a minute worrying about our next destination or check-in or anything. During the preplanning phase when I had endless questions and concerns and changes, [our ADS rep] answered each question thoroughly, patiently, and quickly. Those quick and thorough responses did a lot to convince us of ADS’s professionalism, and our experience confirmed it.

Being on the Serengeti at sunrise, with an endless plain around you and only the sound of wind as you watch lions only 10 feet away, is an experience we will never forget. But it’s only one of many such experiences! A cheetah and her three cubs under a small acacia tree, wildebeest and zebra crowding down a river bank to drink, a martial eagle plucking and devouring its kill, jackals fighting vultures over the remains of a zebra … each experience was new and unique and incredible. And the experience isn’t simply a visual one! Hearing the crunching of bones as a lion devours its prey, the grunts of the hippos in a lagoon, the screeching of guinea fowl or the sound of grass being pushed aside as a leopard walks past in the bush … all so memorable. And for our most memorable sounds, we’d have to include the night at the private camp when nearby lions growled and roared, along with the trumpeting that an elephant “mom” made when she thought we were too close to her and the “kids.” Did we mention that she then took off after our car? No problem driving quickly away though!

Our guide was knowledgeable, friendly, and accommodating. He helped give us a picture not only of the abundant wildlife (birds, reptiles, animals) but of life in Tanzania too. He was working hard so we could have a tremendous trip, and we’re so appreciative. All of the staff we encountered were friendly, and the experience at the private luxury camp was not only a highlight of this vacation but of any vacation we’ve taken. Incredible new tastes with African food prepared in camp, served under the stars, with candles and starlight and the sound of distant (at the time!) lions. A camp where you are the only people for miles and miles. An incredible sky overhead. That meal and night could have gone on forever.

We would highly recommend the experience and the Africa Dream Safaris company to anyone. We’ll be back for a rainy season trip in another few years (wish it could be sooner!).

Tracey Tomashpol and Farron Brougher
July 2010

A procession of giraffes marching over the Serengeti plains.


A family of young cheetahs relaxing in the shade with their mother.


A confident leopard, pausing momentarily in a regal pose, as he pads through a grassy clearing.

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