Posts From March 2011

We will do this again with ADS

When we arrived at the Seronera Airstrip in the Serengeti, our guide for the next nine days introduced himself and we discussed what we wanted to do and see. We told him we were interested in the predators, Lions, Leopards, Cheetahs along with some Elephants, Giraffes and the other assorted animals that come to mind when you think of Africa. I kind of figured this would keep him busy trying to fill our wish list for a couple of days and we got started.

Within a couple of hours we came across Zebras, Wildebeest, Hippos and a Leopard up in a tree. We then run across Lions, Elephants, Ostrich, Impala, Dik Diks, Giraffes, Cape Buffalo, Jackal, Hyena and Baboons, not to mention all kinds of birds. When we first left the airport there were a number of other guide companies driving around. After a couple of hours we found ourselves in areas without another soul in site. We figured either our guide was lost or he was taking us where the others just didn’t want to go! I think this might be why we had seen such an assortment of animals the first day. We would be driving down the road and our guide would stop and tell us about the Cheetah or Lion out in the grass and after five minutes or so we would finally see him.

The next day he asked us what we wanted to see. Well, he didn’t even break a sweat the first day. This was way too easy for him, so I had to modify our wish list. I wanted to see the same animals, only with babies and I reminded him that we had not seen a Cheetah yet. We had just gotten started and we came across a Leopard with a cub. We ran into more Lions, more Zebras and then came across Cheetahs. We ended up with Cheetahs in the grass, Cheetahs in the rocks, Cheetahs on the road. We were amazed at the number and variety of animals we seen including about twelve Black Rhino at the crater. He could not produce a Baby Rhino, but I think he really tried. This was unheard of.

We had pretty high expectations for the trip and we found African Dream Safaris exceeded them. Our biggest regret was doing the ten day trip. We really should have added another week onto it. Ten days just wasn’t enough. The lodging was great, the food was exceptional. We generally had the picnic box breakfast and lunch and found that there was too much food. We always had food left over. We will do this again with ADS; it might be a few years down the road, but that will give us something to look forward to.

Thanks for a great trip!

George and Eileen Jensen
March 2011

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Quote of the Week: Scott Kasden

I spent over eight months researching my trip of a lifetime, and decided upon ADS. Why? Service. From the first contact with my safari organizer until I was brought back to Kilimanjaro, my son and I were treated like royalty. ADS listened to what I wanted out of the safari, and arranged our personal experience to make it happen.

The most important thing was safety. I was concerned by the unrest in the Middle East and Northern Africa, but that was a world away. Tanzania was safe, the people were lovely, and worked hard to ensure our happiness. The work ethic and professionalism of the Tanzanian people is amazing, and they were a pleasure to get to know.

Our lodges (tent and fixed structures) were wonderful. They were unique, comfortable, and a pleasure. As good as they were however, they came in a distant second to our classic camping experience. It was wonderful to be the only people within miles, camping in the Serengeti. On our second day we discovered that a pride of lions was staying less than a half mile away! We had private cooks, and shared gourmet meals in complete style and comfort.

But we went to Tanzania for the safari, and that was the best part of all. The roads are rugged, but our Range rover was more than capable. The slide back top provided wonderful access so that I could capture some amazing photos (over 4 thousand, so be sure to bring a portable back up drive/card reader). The vehicle was comfortable and roomy.

We were told that our guide would soon become our best friend. I must tell you, that we spent almost every day from before dawn until the last fading light of the evening with him, and he indeed was our companion and best friend. He worked tirelessly to not only take us to the most remote places to find interesting animals/places, he was a virtual encyclopedia of information. He brought field guides to help with the rare fact that he did not know. He took pride in his professionalism and his country. We miss him.

When I talk to friends about my experience, they always ask me what was the best part. Of course we loved the animals, the landscape, the people, and our guide. If I had to say one thing, it would be that every day there was a new adventure, something exciting at every turn. Some days we would be out for hours without seeing another human, and we enjoyed these experiences all to ourselves. It just couldn’t get any better.

Scott Kasden
March 2011

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A Dozen Elephants Visited Our Lodge Pool

Lynn, this trip was the most fabulous we’ve ever taken! I don’t think we can ever duplicate or match it for it beauty of Tanzania, its people and its animals. Our accommodations were outstanding…truly first rate. We were spoiled especially by the Crater Lodge staff! But each lodge was unique. We were thrilled when a dozen elephants visited the pond behind Bilila Lodge. Then, at Kusini Tented Camp, the camp director treated us to a short astronomy lesson of the stars and constellations in the beautiful night sky; no light pollution! What a marvelous view of the Milky Way.

Our safari guides were kind, courteous and so well informed…and so proud of their country! We felt very safe and comfortable with them and learned so much from them. The idea of our group using two vehicles turned out to be a very good suggestion…not just from the standpoint of having extra room for viewing the animals but because one vehicle could always return to the lodge early while the other could stay out longer for those of us who could not get enough of the animals and scenery. Every aspect of the trip was wonderful…and we’ve got lots of photos to remember it by.

Thanks for all your careful planning on our behalf. It was a dream come true for us.

Ouida and Wayne Drinkwater
Ridgeland, Mississippi
March 2011

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Quote of the Week: Rich and Cathie Guimond

We hope that you like these photos and can use them in your updates. We had a fabulous time during our safari and everything went extremely well. We loved all of our accommodations. We hope to return in a few years with more members of our family. However, it will be hard to top the animal encounters that we observed this time.

This adventure was a celebration of our wedding anniversary. We topped it off by purchasing a very nice Tanzanite and diamond ring for Catherine at the Cultural Heritage shop as we drove back into Arusha. She is thrilled with the ring.

While we were there we saw many people with large groups. Six to eight in a vehicle and two to four vehicle caravans. We were very happy that we were on our private safari with ADS instead of being packed into those vehicles. We know some people that were on a group safari with Thompson in January. There were a total of eighteen in their group. The price for them in the large group was almost the same as our cost for the private safari. Although they enjoyed their safari it was not the same private and tailored experience that we had. Asanta sana!

Rich and Cathie Guimond
March 2011

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Cheetahs at Gol Kopjes

The Gol Kopjes area is certainly not disappointing our safari guests! This green season with continued exceptional cheetah viewing. Though the green season has been on the dry side this year, just enough rain has fallen to provide enough fresh grass growth to keep the gazelles and thus the cheetahs on these eastern plains around Gol Kopjes. Sametu Kopjes, with it’s permanent waterhole, has been really great this year for lion activity. The large Sametu Lion Pride has seemingly been a permanent fixture around the waterhole for the last two months.

Special thanks to Kirk Palmer and family for sending in these great pictures of a successful cheetah stalk, chase and kill at the Gol Kopjes (note one of the kopjes at Gol in the background) on February 23rd. Click here to watch a video of the cheetah chase.

Cheetah Hunt - February 23, 2011
Cheetah Hunt – February 23, 2011


Cheetah Hunt - Gol Kopjes - February 23, 2011
Cheetah Hunt – Gol Kopjes – February 23, 2011


Enjoying the Green Season - Lake Ndutu - February 24, 2011
Enjoying the Green Season – Lake Ndutu – February 24, 2011

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Exceptional Green Season Game Viewing

We want to thank Africa Dream Safaris for making our dream trip come true. After forty years of hoping he could return to Tanzania, this time to visit the Serengeti, my husband finally got his wish. The safari and all the arrangements promised by ADS transpired exactly as promised – no surprises except that the experience was more wonderful than we expected, and everything we could have dreamed of. From the first lodging in Arusha until saying goodbye to our guide at the airport, everything was perfect. I particularly appreciate the presence of several staff in Arusha, knowing were any problems to arise, we had the ability to get in touch with them at any time.

Within minutes of landing at the Seronera airstrip we were seeing cheetahs. Within a couple hours, we saw nearly every animal we hoped to see on the entire trip. Who would have imagined seeing dozens of lions, thousands and thousands of zebras, cheetahs and leopards every day. All thanks to the incredible eye of our guide, and the teamwork of all the ADS guides in the area. The guide’s insight into animal behavior, the Serengeti ecosystem, and frankly anything we could dream up to ask him, was incredible. We learned as much about East Africa, Tanzania, its people, politics and culture, as we did about the animals. He even helped my husband brush up on his Swahili! Francis’ company was most welcome, and the ADS’s high standards shows through in their selection of guides.

We were truly amazed at how close we were able to get to the animals. Herds of elephants surrounding our vehicle, lions lounging next to the wheel of the truck, a leopard sauntering across the road in front of us, all manner of predators stalking prey within yards of us. The lodges were all very comfortable, but our favorite was our last – Lemala Ngorongoro Camp. A very peaceful setting, with the most attentive service one could ever imagine. And the best popcorn I have ever eaten!! All the lodges provided a wonderful nights rest, good food and a chance to catch up with other ADS guests we came to know during our trip.

I can’t recommend Africa Dream Safaris highly enough and would not see the Serengeti any other way. Their responsiveness during the planning stage, the excellence of their guides, the quality of the accommodations before, during and after safari, the comfort of their vehicles, (three people in our 8-passenger vehicle, versus 6 people in 6-passenger vehicle with other companies) the ability to customize the experience from beginning to end and the support staff available on site all add up to the perfect trip. Thanks again, ADS.

Mary Ann D. and Wade L
Juneau, Alaska
March 2011



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