Posts From May 2011

Like Meryl Streep in the movie “Out of Africa”

As soon as my friend Barbara agreed to go to Africa with me we began researching our options for travel.  After talking with several travel agents and doing our own research we decided to go with Africa Dream Safaris.  There were two main reasons for this:  1) They are with you every step of the way.  This was very important to me as this would be my first trip overseas.  2)  They provided for a private safari.  We would not be at the mercy of a group of people who may not have wanted to keep the same schedule as us.

Upon arrival at the Kilimanjaro airport we were greeted by friendly staff and escorted to a VIP Visa line.  I’m sure we were comfortably enjoying a light dinner and wine at the hotel while others on our flight from Amsterdam were still waiting to get their Visas.

The next morning we were on a plane heading for the Serengeti.  I imagined that the flight might be like Meryl Streep in the movie “Out of Africa”, but it was a cloudy day so no animal sightings.  But… as we came down for landing, we crossed over a pond and we saw our first animals – hippos!!  We were so excited, but that was only the beginning of what was to be the most incredible 8 days.  Imagine actually driving through herds of elephants, zebras and wildebeests.  Seeing leopards lazily sleeping in trees, and a pride of lions just beside your jeep.

One of the highlights of our trip was watching as a mother cheetah taught her cubs how to hunt.   When in the midst of thousands of wildebeast and zebras we felt like we were in the middle of a National Geographic photo spread.

Our accommodations were great.  We loved the tented camps.  I think our favorite was the Tarangire River Lodge.  There were only two other people staying there that night (just another reason to go in the off season).  In the morning, we viewed a herd of elephants from our deck.  As with all other places that we stayed, we had great food and heard lions and hyenas and other animal sounds all around us, all night.  At the Mbuzi Mawe camp we were greeted by a giraffe not 20 feet away from us as we were escorted to breakfast.

Let me also say a few words about the people of Tanzania.  They are so friendly, helpful, gracious people.  We felt right at home wherever we went.  And high praise for our guide, Simon.  He has X-ray eyes.  He could spot animals before we could get them sighted in our binoculars.  We had so much fun with him, and he took extra steps to ensure that we had a great experience.

Sadly, our trip came to an end.  We will never forget this experience.  Thank you Africa Dream Safari, and Asante Tanzania.

Denise Burchill and Barbara Johns
Allison Park, Pennsylvania
May 2011

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Quote of the Week: Bill and Gayle Moore

We returned two weeks ago from the most amazing travel experience of our lives. Ten days on a photo safari arranged by our Representative at ADS and supported in country by our expert Guide and a top-notch office staff.

While everyone in the customer quote emails applauds your efforts, client service and attention to detail, these same statements coming from my wife and I may be viewed from a different perspective. We are both television network journalists who have covered many of the major national and international news stories of the past thirty years. We have travelled extensively around the world and worked with many companies in order to expedite our travel and in-country accommodations and needs. When looking for a company to handle this dream adventure, we were first impressed with the endorsement from National Geographic and then the quality of your marketing materials – including the video. Being journalists we are naturally suspicious of the spin marketing and public relations people like to create. In the case of ADS, however, we now believe that you are actually humble with respect to your marketing materials when compared to the quality of service and experience you deliver. Off hand, I can’t think of any company that has ever delivered more than they promised EXCEPT you. This started from the moment we first contacted ADS until we were dropped off at the Mt. Kilimanjaro Airport upon the conclusion of our safari. You and your staff just did everything possible to make this a smooth and memorable experience. I know we are not alone in this praise, since everyone we ran into in Tanzania that was using your company had nothing but glowing praise for ADS and its’ people. Some of these people were back for a second and third safari because of you, the guides, the beautiful animals and friendly people of Tanzania. In our case, we had considered this a one time “bucket list” experience. Now, we are planning to return within the next few years to visit those areas we didn’t get to on this trip. We also want to see the mountain gorillas on another trip.

One thing that ADS clearly recognizes is the important role their expert guides play in the success of the company and customer satisfaction. In our case, you knew that we were professional broadcasters and avid photographers. I am sure it was no accident that we ended up with our Guide. Not only was he extremely knowledgeable about the wildlife, and their locations on the Serengeti, but he was also quite attune to our photographic needs – including lighting and viewing angles. We were all so impressed with our Guide that words alone cannot express our appreciation of his efforts and friendship during this safari. Our Guide was able to locate every animal we hoped to photograph and many we didn’t count on seeing, including the elusive Black Rhino. People viewing our photos are amazed at what we captured and how close we seemed to get to the action. We all miss being in his company and look forward to going on safari with him again. This, of course, is also a tribute to ADS and enlightened management that understands the importance of the staff that works directly with the client.

We have been receiving your customer quote emails since signing up for our safari, so I am not going to repeat what everyone else has said about the outstanding animal experiences, excellent tented lodges, comfortable vehicles, and friendly service staff at each location. All potential customers – or those waiting to experience their safari – need to know is that nothing is exaggerated when it comes to ADS marketing or the experience that awaits each individual on safari in Tanzania. Well done and our sincere thanks.

Bill and Gayle Moore
May 2011

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A Most Memorable Dream Safari

We want to give a heartfelt “Thanks” to everyone at Africa Dream Safaris that touched our lives before, during and after our 10-Day Safari in Tanzania. As travel agents we had our choice of many safari companies and there is no doubt in our mind that we could NOT have picked a finer company to arrange our safari. From the initial arrangements to our swift entry into Tanzania with the efficient staff located at the airport and in Arusha, to our choices in accommodations, add to that our wonderful guide and his knowledge; our entire experience was “awesome” and even that word is selling it short! As our guide said, “Every Day Is A New Day” and that sums up every day of our safari adventure!

We were no sooner settled into our lodge on the first day when two adults and one baby vervet monkey showed up on the roof of the main lodge. They ate and played while we watched and after a while disappeared. The monkeys were then hooting and scampering over our chalet roof that night–like they knew where we were sleeping. What a great way to start off our trip–we certainly weren’t in the U.S.A. anymore.

We left early the next morning and within the first few hours of our safari our guide had spotted 4 of the “Big 5.” Our first sighting was of 2 lioness and 2 cubs well hidden in the bushes. We would never have seen them, but our guide certainly did. Then shortly after, he spotted 6-7 lions climbing up into a low tree. We were informed this is rather unusual behavior for lions – they were probably searching for shade. We continued our drive and saw water buffalo, elephant, hippos, crocodile, zebra, hyenas, jackals, antelope, gazelles, monkeys, baboons, wart hogs, crocodiles, mongoose, ostrich, eagles, storks, African Cranes and dozens and dozens of other different animals and birds. (We had to keep a journal otherwise we would not remember all of what we saw.) Wow! and that was only our first day. Could it get any better?

It did – in fact, it got a lot better! By day three we were in the middle of the Wildebeest Migration. You can watch TV and experience the migration but nothing beats actually being in the middle of it with thousands and thousands of wildebeest mooing and running everywhere. Sheer pandemonium! It was more fascinating that we ever imagined. Within a day we also saw the zebra migration. These too are beautiful and curious creatures and their migration stretched from horizon to horizon, sometimes in a one-by-one formation.

As we continued on our daily drives we saw lots of giraffe, both young and old, and were fascinated by their elegance, beauty and serenity as they went about their daily foraging in the Acacia trees. We spent a lot of time watching and photographing them.

Our special sightings were when we came very, very close to a male lion with a two kills, a lioness feeding her cubs, a leopard gnawing on an antelope kill in a tree, a male cheetah standing atop the rocks surveying the area searching for a female, and having a face-off with water buffalo and an elephant. There were many more such events and the excitement never stopped.

We want to add something about our cultural tour to Arusha. It was a colorful, bustling town with lots to see and a lifestyle that was totally new and intriguing to us. The other special experience was visiting a Maasai Village. What a fascinating culture! We spent quite a bit of time in one of their villages and really enjoyed being greeted by the typical “jumping dance” and being hosted by the chief’s son who had 6 wives. Their school was equally interesting and their students were entertaining. We were impressed with how well they spoke English and what happy, carefree people the Maasai are with their choice of lifestyle.

The tented lodges were a pleasant surprise–very clean and comfortable with “wake-up calls” by one of the lodge staff bringing strong Tanzanian coffee and cookies at 5:00AM – a unique way to start your day. The staff at all of these facilities were very attentive and always trying to please. Marge even had a massage one afternoon in our tent by an absolutely great therapist. It was fun to watch all the animals around the grounds at these locations – even Cliff Springer’s, a unknown animal to us. Monkeys and baboons were always present and at night we could hear them moving about. One night we were awakened by hoof sounds. When we got up and looked out our screened window we saw four long legs – a giraffe! We were so excited we had trouble getting back to sleep.

Finally, maybe the biggest surprise of all…as we were on our way to the airport…the sun came out, the clouds cleared and there before us was majestic Mt. Kilimanjaro, all 19,300 ft. of her!

Thank-you ADS for providing a most memorable Dream Safari!

Marge & Lance Jensen
World Ventures, Tours & Travel
Knoxville, Tennessee
May 2011

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It Truly Was The Trip Of A Lifetime

Hi there. Well, I can’t stop talking about our trip and can’t wait until I am able to do it again! Here are a couple of pictures that I thought showed some really incredible things. Trying to choose from over 2,000 wasn’t easy and there are so many more that show other really amazing things.

A few highlights were seeing a cheetah eating its fresh kill (thankfully we missed that chase), we must have come upon it just after. It was difficult for me to watch and hear every noise of her meal however it was also fascinating at the same time. One picture shows the meal with her periodically getting up from eating to check for other animals trying to steal it, the other shows her licking her lips from eating, red stained fur and all.

At one hippo pool tons of hippos were swarming around and these two were playing or fighting, either way it made for a great picture.

Another great sighting was a leopard lounging in a tree with its dinner draped over another branch. The meal is on the left and the leopard is on the right in the tree.

We had a male and female lion walk right up to our truck and lay down beside it in the Ngorongoro Crater to get some shade. That was pretty amazing. The picture doesn’t do it justice but to have two huge animals that could rip us to shreds just peacefully lying down next to us was something I will never forget.

And of course, my all-time favorite animals are the male lions, we saw quite a few and trying to pick my favorite picture was impossible however this one with the mouth open was irresistible. They seem to be very lazy animals but like I said before I could watch them sleep all day and when they move it’s like winning the million dollar lotto!!!

I could go on and on so I’ll wrap it up to say that it truly was the trip of a lifetime. For a girl who loves to travel and experience new things I don’t think I’ll ever be able to top this one. You were dead on with all your planning and suggestions and we loved every bit of it. We did the Maasai Village as well and that was a lot of fun. I can’t say enough about the trip, the accommodations, the people of Tanzania, our guide, and of course the animals. African Dream Safari’s was the perfect choice and all of you made the trip the best.

I included a picture of our group so you can finally put the names together with faces. From the left (Ileana, Nate, Nancy and me).

Thank you, thank you, thank you, so much.

Lisa Baligian
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
May 2011

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Mother and Daughter Safari

It certainly was a trip of a lifetime!

We arrived home yesterday afternoon and want to tell you that we had an amazing safari experience. ADS left no stone unturned and treated us royally from start to finish. Our guide was terrific. He really made sure that we covered as much ground as possible and saw every animal we wanted to see. At the end, he even chased down 2 huge black rhinos at the crater, which ended up crossing the road right in front of us.

My daughter and I have so many wonderful memories of the safari and captured most of them in photos and in a journal she kept of every detail each day. I want to thank you for planning such a wonderful trip and will be sure to recommend your services to other friends who may be interested in going on a safari to East Africa in the future.

Best regards,

Andrea and Jamie Kringstein
New York, New York
May 2011

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Quote of the Week: Randall and Terryann Sanders

First of all I want to thank you for all your help in putting this trip together for us. As it turned out we had a most wonderful experience in Tanzania. All my worries were for not, the weather was perfect, the game viewing was fantastic and the lodges and people there were absolutely wonderful. From start to finish we had a terrific time.

Our guide was great, easy to get along with, delivered what we were looking for as far as pace of viewing, took his time and let us soak in not only the animals but the beautiful countryside. Many times we would stop to view a nice setting along the river or in the woodlands and as we took in the sights something wonderful would happen. At one time as we watched a hyena for a bit, she eventually went over to her den and let out her four pups, we watched as she nursed them only fifteen feet from our Land Rover.

The migration was awesome, all three days we stayed at Mbuzi Mawe we ran across the migration as we went on our game drive in the Seronera River Valley area, each day the herd increased in size. And were talking a hundred thousand or more of wildebeest and zebras. We watched as the animals would drink from the river and a crocodile would lurch up and try to catch one, over and over new wildebeest would come to drink and the croc would attack.

I can’t put this journey in a nut shell, we saw so much, elephants, giraffes, a leopard, and so many lions. The beautiful Topi, gazelle, impala, bush buck, too many animals to list. We have a thousand photos, and so many are worth framing, I have attached three. Thank you again for this wonderful journey, we will treasure it for a lifetime

Randall and Terryann Sanders
May 2011

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Quote of the Week: Karen and Bob Baker

Let’s just be honest! It is totally impossible to put the Serengeti experience with ADS into words. Everyone tries, but fails.

The Driver-Guide slows—–is it a rut in the road, or has he spotted something?

A black rhino is hiding in a group of wildebeests and zebras!! Rhinos are shy, you know. This sighting is particularly thrilling because it is approximately 3:00 in the afternoon and since our 6:00am departure, we have seen lions, cape buffalos, elephants, a leopard and now a black rhino. THE BIG FIVE all in one day!!

Between the awe inspiring sunrises and sunsets, the days are full of amazing moments. Remembering that this is not a zoo and expecting to be constantly searching for animals in the far distance, we were completely unprepared for the unending stream of wildebeests and zebras crossing the road, the elephants heading toward the water hole, actually running!! The giraffes nibbling the treetops right in front of us and the once in a lifetime opportunity to actually follow a male lion stalking a juvenile cape buffalo and then having lunch. The fantastic animals, magnificent birds, vast and varied landscapes were right in front of us, with our talented Driver-Guide leading the way.

Returning to our lodge late one afternoon, several elephants were right by the road and as usual, we wanted to take a picture. Our guide stopped and I remarked that sadly the light was wrong; he replied….”What about the ones on the other side of the road?” There they were, another group with perfect afternoon light!!

One day we decided to relax at the fantastic lodge, catch our breath, read and swim. However, that was the day the wildebeest arrived! From our balcony we watched the entire landscape fill up….not just wildebeest and zebras, but one family group after another of elephants heading to the water hole just beneath the swimming pool!! We estimated we saw over 400 elephants. It was magical and surreal.

A heartfelt thank you to all at ADS. From our first call to Dawn to the final good-bye at the airport. you were simply the best!!! Now we have the memories and the impossible task of putting them into words. It can’t be done!!!!

Karen and Bob Baker
May 2011


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Our Third Safari with ADS!

It was our third Safari adventure with Africa Dreams Safaris, and it was all the excitement and adventure that we had hoped for. Once again ADS worked many hours with me to ensure our trip requirements were completely understood, as nature photography was one of the key elements of our trip to the Serengeti. Our May Safari this year was just as memorable as it was 4 years ago, and even more so when it came to crossing paths with the Wildebeest migration. I really wanted to add great leopard photos to my portfolio too, and I was not disappointed with the outcome. From the first steps off the plane in Kilimanjaro International, to our sad departure day, ADS did not skip a beat.

The lodges were once again top notch, but my wife and I both agreed, the ADS Private Tent was the hi-light. Our tent was located in the middle of the Serengeti, where we were surrounded by Wildebeest, Zebra and Giraffe. We had a Hyena friend who camped with us and “sung” to us all night long. A truly marvelous serenade. The migration came right to us and we were truly overwhelmed by the sheer number of Wildebeest, well into the hundreds of thousands. They were so densely packed you could have walked across them for miles, with your feet never touching the ground. Predation abounded, from numerous Cheetah hunts and kills, to Crocodile attacks on the ever unsuspecting Wildebeest.

Our Guide ensured we were on the game road everyday pre-sunrise, to catch the best of the morning sun light. And we stayed out to the last possible moments to witness the Serengeti’s picture perfect sunsets.

ADS is only bested by Mother Nature, and it’s truly a Serengeti combination which cannot be equalled. We are already planning our next Safari adventure with ADS. Thank you again so very much!

To view more pictures from Peter and Jody’s safari, please visit

Peter & Jody A.
May 2011

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Quote of the Week: Mary and Tom Luetkehans

Tom and I recently returned from our safari trip with ADS. This was a trip we had dreamed of for many years, and we decided that it would be a wonderful way to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. I guess the best way to sum up our adventure is…Wow! We were so delighted with the whole ADS team. We felt like they took great care of us every step of the way – starting long ago in our planning phase with our ADS Sales Consultant, to the ADS rep who met us at the Kilimanjaro airport, to our absolutely wonderful guide, who spent hours tirelessly driving us through the wilderness and spotting all kinds of animals with unbelievable skill. And as so many have already attested, the animals were completely amazing. We were in the western Serengeti during the wildebeest migration, and it was just magnificent. The lines of running wildebeest stretched to the horizons. Along with that, we saw zebras, giraffes, elephants, lions, cheetahs and so many, many more animals that we had only seen in books or zoos before. We felt so privileged to be able to watch these beautiful creatures interacting in their natural environment – and even interacting with us in a way. It was such an amazing sensation to be standing in our land cruiser while an elephant almost near enough to touch looked directly in our eyes.

Our lodgings were wonderful as well. Most of our tented lodges were out in the wilderness where we could hear the animal sounds as we fell asleep. The rooms were charming, the food was delicious, the views were outstanding and every member the staff and each place we stayed was so friendly and gracious. We took walking tours with guides at two of the lodges, and they were wonderful. It was so exciting to be able to take a walk in the long grass of the Serengeti! Actually, there was only one aspect of our trip that was not what we expected…we had planned this trip as a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, but now we can’t wait to go back again! We are already envisioning our next safari during the wet season when the wildebeest are giving birth, and when we are ready to go we will without doubt return to ADS. They made this trip everything we had hoped for and more. Asante sana!

Mary and Tom Luetkehans
May 2011

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