David and I want to express our sincere appreciation to ADS for an absolutely wonderful and unforgettable adventure to the beautiful country of Tanzania. We have traveled extensively all over the world with Tauck Tours, a first rate American travel company, but nothing even remotely compares to the personal preparation and treatment we were privileged to experience with ADS. On the Arusha side of the globe our ubiquitous guide was fantastic! He was such a gentleman—friendly, good sense of humor and an extraordinary knowledge and ability to look for predators and other mammals and birds and to teach us about their habits and ecological habitats. We saw not only all the big five animals but in fact almost every species on ADS’s Animal Checklist on Northern Tanzania including all types of trees and vegetation! We even saw a leopard kill, a black-maned lion, a rare kudu and a cheetah with her cubs enjoying a kill. But we really worked hard for it-in other words we were gone from morning to sundown searching!
Areas we really enjoyed seeing included the Mara River area especially during Migration-it was amazing to see literally hundreds of wildebeest and zebras all lined up to go across the Mara River-unfortunately a lioness appeared and they all stampeded back down the ravine which in itself was like a dry land crossing-dust everywheres—“a never to be forgotten” sight! We also loved the Serengeti Balloon ride and the champagne breakfast!
Outside the realm of herbivores and carnivores, talking with guide (our Maasai teacher and guide) and visiting a remote Maasai village was a very humbling experience for us. It was mind boggling to see first hand how the natives lived– we have never seen such poverty—grass and cow dung huts, no water nearby, no plumbing and no electricity. It really makes you appreciate how fortunate we are to live in America. We also enjoyed visiting the Poli Village outside Arusha and the Iraqw Village on the way from the Crater to Lake Manyara and learning about their traditions. Our visit to Olduvai Gorge was worth it as [our guide] took us down to the bottom of the area so we could see firsthand the original Leakey archeological site.
All in all we would rate this safari as OUTSTANDING, the most unique adventure we have ever experienced and I hope those reading this will have a similar Tanzanian experience; at least with Africa Dream Safaris you cannot go wrong-it was extraordinary to have our own private guide who would stop anytime (we took over 1200 photographs)! I would like to come back someday to this beautiful country of Tanzania but in the green season for a comparison. And we would not hesitate (in fact we already have) to recommend ADS to our friends. Kwa heri and Asante Sana.
Sandy and Dave Bertetti
My husband and I did a lot of research before committing to ADS. We wanted the best for our ‘trip of a lifetime.’ ADS lived up to its reputation and more. We took our three boys with us and each one of us loved the trip. First, we could not have asked for a better guide. He found four leopards in trees — which other trucks simply drove past because their drivers did not know what to look for. We were amazed at how he found lions (we saw three prides), cheetahs (we saw many) and leopards. We spent most of our time going to places where there were no other people. We truly had the safari to ourselves. Second, the lodges and camps were truly luxurious. We preferred the luxury camps and were truly impressed at the level of accommodations and service. I cannot recommend ADS more highly and I would recommend them (and will) to my closest friends. Third, the people of Tanzania were very friendly and the side, cultural trips offered by ADS are worthwhile.
Joanna Litvack and Family
Large male lion sauntering over to a shade tree.
A pride of lions finishing up some scraps from their dinner.
A mother cheetah and her sub adult cub basking in the bright Serengeti sunshine.
The Serengeti was my favorite. On one days drive in the Serengeti we saw everything from cheetah, lions on a kill, leaping gazelles, a leopard kill in a tree, the Great migration AND a Mara River crossing! It was because our guide knew what he was looking for and when to be inconspicuous that we got to experience that one. We had watched the wildebeest go to the rivers edge and balk back and forth for some time, then spotted another group with similar behavior. Our guide drove the Safari truck behind a tree, hiding us, but directly across from where the animals were “testing the waters”. We then heard the first splashes and drove over to the edge and witnessed the amazing river crossing right in front of us…It was spectacular!!!
All in all it was indeed the trip of a lifetime and I am still digesting it all…my main purpose was to see and experience the animals and the perfection of balance that exists in the Serengeti… that was accomplished without question… my experience filled my soul and was so amazing to share with my kids and husband…we will have a lifetime of fabulous memories….and an appreciation of some simple things… the day after we got home, my daughter said that when she filled her water bottle with our lovely Oregon tap water, she smiled, knowing we have clean water to drink… so mission accomplished here in a life lesson for the kids of how basics are simple to us, but not to much of the rest of the world.
Sue Dougherty and Family
The dry season continues to strengthen its harsh hold on the Serengeti. The last bit of green from the few sporadic thundershowers we received last month has faded to brown. Most of the wildebeest and zebra herds are located in the North Serengeti stretching from Lobo Valley northwest to the Mara River and Lamai Triangle. There are also significant herds in the Masai Mara, Kenya (especially zebra). The lagging herds in the West Serengeti and Grumeti Game Reserve we saw in June and July seemed to have moved further north now and we expect these to be arriving in the accessible areas of the North Serengeti shortly, which will mean another round of Mara River crossings. This had been an exceptional year for Mara River crossings and our guests have seen quite a few. In fact, we had one group witness the river crossing in both directions with no doubt some confused wildebeest. The best place at the moment to see the main herds of the migration is just northwest of the Kogatende Ranger Post about 2 kms past the Mara River in what we refer to as the Lamai Triangle or Lamai Wedge.
Despite all excitement in the North Serengeti, it’s the Central Serengeti that continues to steal the show. Why? Let’s just say all the Serengeti’s large carnivores (lions, leopards, cheetahs and spotted hyena) have been showing off their hunting skills. Pictures are worth a thousand words and I will just leave off with these extraordinary photos taken on July 29th just to the east of the Seronera Valley in the Central Serengeti at the beginning of the Eastern Plains. For those familiar or with our ADS map, the area is just to the west of the Sametu Kopjes and Marsh. Thanks to David Y. and his family for submitting these unique photos of 2 young cheetah males attempting to hunt a topi.
Cheetah and Topi Battle – July 29, 2010
Cheetah and Topi Battle1 – July 29, 2010
Cheetah and Topi Battle2 – July 29, 2010
Cheetah and Topi Battle3 – July 29, 2010
Cheetah and Topi Battle4 – July 29, 2010