Posts From June 2011

Four Magical Big Cat Moments

Georgette and I wanted to take the time to write you a few of our thoughts on our recent safari.

As we headed to the airport, we talked about our extremely high expectations for the trip. We felt that we were starting on our greatest vacation ever. When we arrived home, a little over two weeks later, we realized that the trip had far exceeded those expectations. The African Dream Safari team had provided us with a dream vacation that we will never forget. We wholeheartedly would recommend ADS to anyone who is considering a safari vacation.

We had the perfect guide for our trip, an incredible wealth of knowledge of all the cultural, natural and scientific information of the Northern Tanzania area as well as having an extremely friendly and easy going personality. One of his first questions to Georgette, me and my two sisters was what was our priority to see on the safari. We are all cat lovers and of course our response was to see the big cats. Through a little bit of luck and and our his knowledge of where the big cats were often spotted, we saw over one hundred lions, cheetahs and leopards during our trip.

FOUR special cat moments on the safari included having a male cheetah jump up onto the hood of our land cruiser and peek over the opened roof at us. I took an incredible close up of its face (from about three feet away). I was standing up in the vehicle directly behind the guide when this happened. My sister took a great shot of the cheetah through the windshield of the vehicle.

The second cat moment came in the Lobo area of the Serengeti when we came upon a male and female lion pair lying on the grass next to the road. As we were taking pictures, the male suddenly stood up and mounted the female. Somehow, I managed to take a few pictures of their intimate moment as Georgette and my sisters were laughing so hard they didn’t get any pictures of the moment.

A third cat moment occurred on our last morning in the Serengeti. We came upon a kopje with over a dozen young male, female and lion cubs sleeping on the rocks. As we were sitting there watching them, our guide spotted two mature male lions about 1000 feet away sleeping in the grass. Later, one of the male lions stood up and started to roar. All of the lions on the kopje responded to the male’s call with their own cry including all of the young cubs. This continued on for probably 30 seconds. We were mesmerized by their morning roll call. Our only wish was that we would have thought to record the audio of it.

The last cat moment that I will mentioned occurred in the Ngorongoro Crater. We witnessed four young lions trying to take down a mature cape buffalo. During the course of the chase, the buffalo ran within 30 feet of the land cruiser. The lions were young and inexperienced and soon gave up. Then as the cape buffalo ran to escape from any further attacks, the buffalo ran right into an elephant who had just emerged from some vegetation. The elephant and cape buffalo appeared to wrestle for a moment when the elephant suddenly rolled the enormous buffalo over onto its back. Our guide said he had never seen a buffalo and elephant in an encounter like this.

We knew we would see a lot of a lot of animals on the trip but the sheer numbers was more than we had imagined.  The Northern Tanzania countryside was absolutely beautiful. Even during the rare moments when we were in an area with only a few animals, we were lost in the beauty of the landscapes. I would have enjoyed the drive though the natural wonderland even if we didn’t see many animals. Finally, we enjoyed meeting the beautiful people of Tanzania who always seemed to have a smile and were dressed in vibrant colors. All of these things combined to make the perfect trip.

In conclusion, we all agreed that this trip was incredibly special and with the pictures we shared with my sisters and the journals we wrote about the events of each day, we will be able to reminisce about this trip for the rest of our lives. Again we would like to thank the African Dream Safari team for all of your efforts and would recommend to everyone that they book their safari with ADS.

Ronald and Georgette Reckers
Sacramento, California
June 2011

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Quote of the Week: Scott and Michelle MacIntosh and Family

What a fabulous trip!!!!!! ADS is the best. Your people on the ground in Tanzania were simply superb, especially our guide. He made everything seem effortless and he made us feel extremely welcome. Not to mention that we are convinced that he has bionic eyesight as he saw everything from “miles” away long before we even had the slightest idea where to look. In addition, our guide was very knowledgeable regarding the animals, migration patterns and where to find anything your heart desires to see.

Michelle and I are already talking about going back in the rainy season so we can see the wildebeest giving birth in the Ndutu region. Thanks for planning an absolutely fantastic safari for us. Attached are a few pictures for your enjoyment.

Scott and Michelle MacIntosh and Family
June 2011

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Finding A Cheetah With Cubs Was Unbelievable

I have just completed my company’s 2012 calendar and in selecting the photos for the project, I was reminded of how much we enjoyed our Africa Dream Safari.

We had wanted a really special photographic experience and your suggestion of a private safari made sure that is what we received. Everything was great. Your staff was waiting for us at Kilimanjaro Airport and going through Customs was a breeze. Our flight to the Serengeti was interesting in that our dirt landing strip was in the middle of the Great Migration and wildebeests were everywhere.

Our driver was excellent. He knew animal behavior and had an uncanny knack at finding all sorts of interesting wildlife situations. ADS had several vans in each area and the different drivers would share information making everyone’s experience ever better. I like cats and we saw too many to count. Finding a cheetah with cubs only a few yards from the van was unbelievable. The accommodations were very comfortable and sitting on your own deck watching the sunset on the Serengeti at Mbalageti Lodge was a real treat. Dinners were satisfying at every location. We chose box lunches for breakfast and lunch to spend more time on safari.

Our trip was truly an experience of a lifetime and I have many excellent photos of Tanzania to keep those memories alive. Thank you for all of your help in planning our safari.

David and Carrie Spencer
Wichita Falls, Texas
June 2011

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Quote of the Week: Erika Hartle-Schutte and family

This was truly the trip of a lifetime for us- finding the words to capture the experience is impossible. A dear friend of mine recommended ADS and after seeing her photographs and hearing her stories, I had some pretty high expectations; those expectations were exceeded in every way! The guidance we received through the planning process was fantastic and resulted in the perfect adventure for our family. Our driver-guide was phenomenal! His expertise, knowledge, patience, and gentle, quiet demeanor were so astounding and so appreciated. It was truly a pleasure to get to spend our days with him. We were amazed by the sheer number of animals we saw each day and as we went to bed each night, we wondered how the next day could possibly compare to the previous day.

We have 6,000 photographs between the four of us so picking a few favorites to share is nearly impossible.

· We sat and watched this noble lion for nearly an hour; he napped and groomed himself and then stood up and marked the front of our vehicle as he walked away. He knew he was King.

· The elephants were breathtaking; it was a gift to watch (and listen to) them eat, drink and bathe themselves in the mud.
· We were so blessed to see not just one, but four leopards! We were on an early morning drive on our last day in the Serengeti when we saw this striking male; not a single other vehicle was around so his beauty was ours alone.

· Watching two cheetah brothers groom each other was an amazing experience; we were so fortunate to share that quiet, magical moment with them.

· While it was usually the babies and the monkeys who provided the silly moments of the day, this itchy zebra had us laughing. We sat and watched as she rubbed her belly, neck and legs all over this rock- and two other zebras were waiting in line to do the same thing!

Asante sana.

Erika Hartle-Schutte and family
June 2011

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