Posts From October 2012

Extraordinary October – Safari Pictures of the Month

As October draws to a close, I thought it would be interesting to compile a couple of the more remarkable pictures we received this month from returning safari guests. I have included some of the more unique shots received or the ones that just plain made me smile. All pictures below were taken while on safari with African Dream Safaris during October 2012.

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We Were Treated Like VIP’s

What can we say that has not been said by other ADS guests? From the moment we arrived until our sad goodbyes at the airport, we were treated like VIP’s.

One can see many animals on safari but it’s the guide that makes the trip. Our guide, Elson, was wonderful. His ability to spot the animals, lying under the tree or hiding in grass, was incredible. One member of our family was interested in birds and Elson knew the names of all of them. During the 9 days she was able to spot almost 100 different species. He had a great sense of humor as well, especially when we pointed out our favorite animal, the Serengeti Stickebeest! We saw them everywhere.

We saw several crossings at the Mara River. The wildebeests came down to the water and back up the bank, again and again, before they finally crossed. One person described their bellowing as “yes”, “no”, “yes”, “no”! It seemed as if the entire migration was outside our tent the night we spent at Lemala Mara River Camp. What a great way to start our safari.

Lions and cubs, elephants and babies, cheetahs, leopards, you name it we saw them, the big 5 and our own “small 5”. We were also lucky enough to spot a pack of 10 African Hunting Dogs, 2 Serval cats and a Bush Baby.

We also visited the FAME hospital and saw what wonderful work Dr. Frank and Susan are doing there. We were so impressed we are considering going back to volunteer there.

When we planned our safari we thought it would be a once in a lifetime event, but it was so fabulous that we can’t wait to go back again. Tanzania is truly a magical place.

Charles and Debbie Pitman
Safari Dates: October 1st to October 11th, 2012
Silverthorne, Colorado

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We Are Forever Changed

Hello Lynn,

We are pretty-much back to normal here in Santa Fe, but I have to say that we are forever changed by our Tanzania experience. We were exceedingly pleased with all aspects of the trip, and your planning proved to be a major factor for the successful logistics and overall magnificence of the trip. By getting us out into the bush [in these really special camps], we were able to experience the wildlife as few others can.

We were particularly grateful to have Pokea as our guide. He is amazingly knowledgeable, and he took us to locations were the action was really happening. His patience [with our unending questions] was very welcome. Pokea is an amazing asset to your company. And of course, the itinerary was second to none.

With the custom aspects of our travel, we were able to focus on our particular interests, and Pokea was more than willing to provide us with outstanding service for our requests. The Ras Nungwi Zanzibar R&R at the end was very special too.

I have attached a few photos that I hope you might like. Please don’t hesitate to count on us if you need an endorsement or recommendation. We have only the highest praise for you and your ADS company! Thank you again.

Ken Apt and Mary Morris
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Safari Dates: September 30, 2012 to October 13, 2012

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Our First Day On Safari Was So Intense

Now that we’ve been back home for a week and back to corporate life, I want to express my thanks to you and Russell for a trip that was beyond our expectations. It is funny to write those words. I had read the letters on your web site and thought not everyone could have such a remarkable experience. I was wrong.

Our first day on safari was so intense with the highlight of watching “the crossing”. I didn’t think the first day could be topped. Again, I was wrong. Each day there was always something new and exciting. We felt so special seeing the wildebeest crossing twice! Then we saw the big five all in one day. The memory of seeing a hyena trotting off from a kill with a leg in his mouth leaving the other two hyenas to fend off the vultures while they got their share is still vivid. Remembering the three young lions stalking our vehicle with curiosity and the baby giraffe with the umbilical cord still attached are memories not soon to be forgotten.

We felt so fortunate to have Russell as our guide. I was amazed at his ability to spot the animals and birds and had the patience for us if we were slow to see them. He also positioned us to get the great camera and video shots. We truly got some great shots worthy of National Geographic (or so we think). Russell seemed so excited to show us his country, the animals, birds, trees, plants and talk about the culture and people. He even knew the constellations! What an asset to ADS to have such a enthusiastic, knowledgeable guide on their staff.

Of course the itinerary was superb with each location a different experience and I have to thank you for your help in putting this together. I waited until the end to see if I could pick a favorite location since they were all wonderful. I have to admit I loved Swala. The male lion at 3:30AM proclaiming his territory 30 feet from our tent was certainly one of the highlights I’ll never forget. Oh yes, and having to shoo the impala from our path to get to our tent is not an everyday event.

I can only hope to return to Africa one day. Until then. Asante sanna.

Christine McKenzie
Plano, Texas
Trip Dates: September 12th to September 22nd, 2012

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We counted 17 lions in one pride!

Landed at the airstrip and 2 hours later we’ve got the Wildebeest migration in full swing. The next day, our first full day, we get Lion and Leopard. The next photo is a view from our patio. I know it’s a tent, but I’ve stayed in a lot of hotel rooms that were miserable by comparison. I’ve also drank in a lot of bars that could not match the quality and selection of the drinks at Buffalo Springs. A very pleasant camp run by wonderful people, and a lovely area, we wished we could stay another day.

Nice lion action the next day. Note the nursing cub. No problem finding Cape Buffalo. These two were part of a large herd. Somewhere under that “flock” of vultures is a carcass of some kind. A little later we found another carcass that the lions were not done with yet. We counted 17 lions, I think. Dana’s favorite was the Giraffes.

A big buck Impala with his harem. Hunter decides to “get down” with the Masai. According to Ally, our guide, he does not see African Wild Dogs even once a year. You don’t see Elephants next to the average swimming poor. Treetops, another magical place. Cheetahs! Another uncommon sighting.

Hope you like the photos as much as I loved my safari!

Joe Whittington
Hampton Falls, New Hampshire
Safari Dates: October 3, 2012 to October 11, 2012

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A private safari with ADS makes for a more intimate, enjoyable experience.

My wife and I have just returned from our safari and are still basking in the glory and spectacle that is Tanzania. Our trip from October 9, 2012 through October 17, 2012 coordinated and planned by ADS was the most memorable and rewarding trip thus far in our lives.

From a game viewing standpoint, our trip greatly exceeded our expectations. Within minutes of landing at Kogatende Airport our guide, Pokea, had placed us in a location where we could view multiple crossings of the Mara River by massive populations of both wildebeest and zebra. Thankfully, the pressure was off and then the viewing of the Great Migration could be scratched off my wife’s bucket list. By the end of the first day, my wife and I were incredulous as to the amount and variation of species we had the privilege of viewing. Even more incredulous was the fact that the next day’s game viewing was more spectacular than the previous day. This scenario played out through the duration of our safari. My only hope is the visual images we experienced would be captured by our photographic efforts.

Again, I cannot express the magnitude beauty, and grace of these animals in their natural procession and habitat. Just the ability to view numerous prides of lions with suckling cubs, cheetahs with cubs, leopards feeding on a kill in an acacia tree, herds of elephants with young as well as giraffes, hippos, buffalo, black rhino, assorted and varied types of antelope all made for an experience that was beyond belief.

It was a veritable Noah’s Ark. In addition to the more publicized animals, we had the good fortune to see some of the harder to see species such as the martial eagle lunching on a monitor lizard, Egyptian vulture, side striped jackal, and serval cat.

The logistics and arrangements made by ADS were impeccable accomplished without the slightest error or delay. Everything from customs and visa clearance at JRO airport, ADS meet and greet staff, interval flights, and drop off at JRO airport at the conclusion of our journey was seamless and timely. The ADS staff and staff at the lodges we stayed were nothing short of perfection. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable of all flora and fauna and displayed a great respect for nature and Tanzanian environment. All lodge staff could not do enough to make our stay the best we could experience.

In conclusion, anyone contemplating an African safari should look no further than ADS. Their contact staff and people on the ground in Tanzania were nothing short of remarkable and provide you the means for a trip of a lifetime. There is more than one aspect of ADS that I have yet to reveal, saving the best for last so to speak: all ADS safaris are private (unless you are traveling with friends). This means you have a well equipped and comfortable vehicle plus knowledgeable and conscientious guide to yourselves. That is to say, you are not sharing the vehicle with anyone! This makes for a much more intimate, enjoyable experience.

Again, thanks for everything Sharon & ADS, especially the end of the trip cake that was presented to us on our final night at Lion’s Paw.


Randy and Rhonda Soth
Hallandale, Florida
Safari Dates: October 9, 2012 through October 17, 2012

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From Guide Francis Peter – Mother Cheetah with her three Cubs

I am just back from the bush having completed a wonderful safari from October 8th to October 17th.  One of the highlights of the safari was seeing a mother cheetah with 3 cubs on October 9th. This was along North East of the Serengeti on the way to Kleins Gate at Buffalo Luxury Camp. The cheetahs were looking for shade beneath one of ADS vehicles soon after they consumed a Thomson Gazelle.

I also captured a couple good pictures of a large termite mound (approximately 18 feet tall) on October 16th in Tarangire National Park. It is not easy for them to get that high because of the natural forces like wind, rain, and some animals digging them for sheltering or to prey on termites…eg. Aardvark.

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From Guide Raphael Mollel – Serval Cat Spotted

Jambo! My name is Raphael and I am a guide with Africa Dream Safaris. This is my first posting. I just finished a safari and one of the highlights was seeing the rare serval cat in the Ngorongoro Crater on October 9th.  It was seen crossing the Sopa Ascent Road on our way back to Lion’s Paw Camp, which is situated in an incredible location along the rim of the Crater.

I also took this picture of an elephant in the North Serengeti on October 3rd. You can see some of the wildebeest migration in the background.

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From Guide Ally Dhulkfil – Mara River Crossing Photos

I am back in Arusha now after finishing my latest safari. I think my guests can agree that the wildlife viewing was outstanding. Two of the most interesting sightings to me were seeing the wildebeest crossing the Mara River (we saw two separate crossings) on October 4th and also spotting the very endangered wild dog. There is a pack of about 16 dogs that have been ranging inside Tarangire National Park and it is a really special experience to be one of the lucky persons to see this rare predator.

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Dawn’s FAQ of the Week: What is Proper Guest Etiquette While Out on Safari?

I couldn’t answer this any better than what Garth Thompson already has. Garth is the author of the great guide reference book “A Guide’s Guide to Guiding” and he has some great advice for all well-intentioned guests:

“Tourist Etiquette

o Try not to be loud when in a wildlife area. Don’t whistle and bang on the vehicle to attract an animal’s attention.

o Don’t always take the prime seat in the safari vehicle.

o Be considerate of others with you.

o It is pointless comparing things in Africa with your home country.

o Be considerate of African culture and etiquette. Don’t treat the locals as if you are from the civilized world and they are inferior.

o Ask permission to take a photograph of someone or to hold their child or enter their hut.  Imagine if they barged into your home, picked up your kids and photographed all and sundry how upset you would be.

o Try not to be argumentative with the guide and others in the safari vehicle or camp.

o Don’t leap around when other people are trying to take photos, thus rocking the vehicle and potentially messing up the photo.

o Don’t get drunk and unruly when in wild areas, the bush doesn’t lend itself to this kind of behavior. It’s a long way to travel to behave like you can at home.

o Don’t encourage the guide to break park rules; it could cost him or her their job.

o Be sensitive to what you say about other nationalities, gender, gays, politics etc.

o Try not to enter into ‘We saw more than you’ competitions with other guests. It cheapens the experience.

o There is a lot of bureaucracy in Africa, be patient and keep your cool.

o Most of all don’t disturb the natural order of things. Don’t keep pressuring animals for a better photograph. Remember they are wild and that is why you have come so far and spent so much to see them.

o Lastly remember that ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and a genuine smile go a long way in Africa.”

Garth Thompson, author of the book “A Guide’s Guide to Guiding”

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ADS Trip to Tanzania

After a few weeks of daydreaming of Africa and reviewing photos, we are finally settled back into our daily routines. We had the most wonderful and life-enriching safari organized by Africa Dream Safaris (ADS). It was, with no doubt, the best trip we have ever had in our lives. With less than a year of advance planning with Sharon Lyon of ADS, our trip came together without a single hitch or even the slightest problem. ADS delivered on every aspect of trip they said they would. Sharon provided excellent advice and discussed various last minute issues prior to our departure. She was always helpful and courteous.

Our safari began with flawless flights and entry into Tanzania. We had an extra day for shopping and night lodging. With a short flight to the Mara River – Kogatende Airstrip, we met our guide, Anglebert. He had us in the mix of wildebeest, zebras, giraffes, and hippos within fifteen minutes on the road. We cannot say enough positive and good things about Anglebert. We hit it off soon after our arrival and the fun began. He has a keen eye for spotting wildlife and for photography. He was always getting us into great positions for photographs. Besides deftly handling the Landcruiser over some pretty rough terrain, he was insightful about Tanzania’s animals, plants, parks, government, and the like. We came away with a great learning experience, especially with lessons in patience. We had the opportunity to view three spectacular and exciting wildebeest and zebra river crossings on the Mara River thanks to Anglebert.

We stayed at a mix of tent camps, tented lodges and permanent structured lodges during our sixteen days in Tanzania. We would say our best experience was at the ADS private camp, which we wished we had added a couple more nights. All of our camp and lodge accommodations were wonderful and the food and service was delightful. Most notable was the professional manner in which each camp or lodge treated us. Each place we stayed the staff knew our names as we got out of our vehicle. That kind of treatment made us feel truly welcomed! One special event for us was a night at the Crater Lodge when a visiting astronomer put on a show for the folks staying there. He pointed out so many stars, planets and constellations we thought we were back in college.

We tried just about everything ADS had to suggest or offer on this trip from the hot-air balloon safari to a Masai village tour. We had a walking safari with the Masai and a night safari – not at the same time, mind you! We had a private guided tour of the Leakeys’ dig site at Olduvai Gorge, thanks to Anglebert. We visited the F.A.M.E. facility and stopped at a local primary school to give away supplies to the students and teachers. All in all, this trip was rewarding and fulfilling.

Saying we saw many wild animals would be an understatement. Each day, which started at predawn, we were off and within minutes we would be looking at some animal. We took over five thousand photos and still had time to take in each moment of viewing with awe. One day we came upon a female cheetah and her two cubs with no one else around. We watched them watch us. They played all around the Landcruiser for about fifteen minutes before they scurried off. A short time later we came upon a pride of sixteen lions that had just finished eating a kill. Again, we were the only people around to see this event. Everyday, Anglebert was able to get us into a viewing situation that seemed to match or exceed the previous day’s experience. The best event was on our last day as we were leaving Swala Camp. Anglebert spotted a rare African wild dog that led us to a pack of fourteen dogs resting under trees nearby. We watched the dogs for about an hour. There was so much to see, and hear, and smell all the time that the entire experience was worth the cost of the trip. It was just plain magical!

Finally, enough cannot be said about the professional ADS staff with whom we had contact. A special thanks to Emmanuel for getting us about in Arusha. Thanks to Anglebert and Juliette for getting us into the Arusha National Park for a half-day tour before we left Tanzania. For those who are looking or thinking about an African safari experience of a lifetime, we would recommend talking to Sharon Lyon with Africa Dream Safaris.

Steven and Suzanne Olmstead
Cheyenne, Wyoming
Safari Dates: 25 Sept. thru 10 Oct., 2012

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It was Africa, it was a safari and it was a dream come true.

I can’t believe I was really there. We were a group of 6, 4 of us form the US and 2 from Australia. We met 2 years ago on river cruise in Europe so this was a reunion trip for us, 18 months in the making!

Within minutes of leaving the airport we saw impala; within a half hour we saw zebra and giraffes with babies! We woke up the first morning to a giraffe at sunrise, you now those pictures you see in magazines. What an experience see the great migration and the river crossing. We were told there are 1.7 million wildebeest; we think we saw a million of them!

We did a night game drive and couldn’t get enough of the bush babies jumping from tree to tree! We arrived first or maybe second as a vehicle passed us, to the Ngorongoro Crater. There were a lot of animals playing around. We saw 4 of the “Big 5”, only the buffalo was missing. We had the privilege of following 2 black rhinos (we had been lucky to see 2 others in the Serengeti).

Seeing all of the elephants, giraffes and zebras in Tarangire Park was amazing. I read you could see 100-400 elephants a day here. I think we did. At one point one of the people in our group counted 56 of them standing together.

Here we also experienced the love of a mother for her child. We came upon a mother elephant and her baby, separated by the road. The baby was obviously ill and could hardly move. She was trying to get it to cross the road by her. When she saw that we might come between them (we were stopped several meters away) she started to charge us. Wilfred quickly maneuvered the vehicle so we off t he side. She continued in a sideways movement across the road towards her baby not leaving her eyes off of us. We watched as the baby slowly moved across the road and the plain trying to follow the mother to the herd.

Although we never saw a kill we did see the aftermath…the cheetah in a tree eating, and lions eating their take down. We were on safari during the dry season, we were fortunate to have very few other vehicles around; often we were the only one. The camps were wonderful, especially the talking bush showers after a dusty hot day out. Two of the nights we were the only ones at the camps so it was like having experienced 3 private camps instead of one.

Sandy Jacobson
Wallace, North Carolina
Safari Dates: October 15, 2012 to October 25, 2012

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Huge Lion Kill Near Our Home In The Serengeti

We always eagerly await the periodic reports prepared exclusively for Africa Dream Safaris by the on-site field researchers of the Serengeti Lion Project and for good reason. This month’s report was especially thrilling and features the large transect pride (23 lions total) bringing down a buffalo just 150 meters away from the current field researcher’s  (Daniel Rosengren) house located at Seronera in the Central Serengeti. Thanks Daniel for providing us with an excellent report on our favorite lions once again!

Serengeti Lion Report – October 2012

THE TRANSECT PRIDE has been very busy since last time I wrote. In the dry season when the migratory prey like wildebeest and zebra are far away this large woodland pride has to catch other animals. Buffaloes are around all year but being a huge bundle of muscle with horns this is a dangerous challenge to take on. One day another researcher here told me he saw the Transect lions take down a buffalo only a few kilometers from our home. The buffalo fought viciously and managed to launch a lioness high into the air before being brought down and eaten. About a week later I got a report from another researcher that a buffalo had been brought down by the same lions just a kilometer away, just behind the local store. I went there but the carcass was already stripped of meat and there were only a few vultures and a jackal around.

In the morning after they brought down a buffalo in the dry creek just about 150 meters away from our house. We could see and hear the lions from our porch. They stayed there the whole day finishing their meal. There are 23 big lions in this pride but 2 buffaloes in two days is still a lot of food.
About one week after that I woke up at 1 am by a repeated groan. I thought I knew what it was and snuck out to the car. I only had to drive about 50 meters to our neighbor’s house where I found the Transect lions covering a buffalo, still kicking. But the battle was almost over and soon the lions started eating. There was a constant growling from lions trying to get their share. The moon was almost full and bright enough for me to see clearly without a light.

The Transect lions feasting on a buffalo next to the house:

After about an hour the three resident males, The Lohay Trio, came charging in. One of them came running along the car, literally brushing it as it passed just centimeters under my camera lens poking out of the window. The arrival of the males stirred up a chaos with lions scattering in panic. But soon enough they were all back to the carcass again feeding, the sound level of the growling even higher. By dawn only the skeleton remained of the buffalo. In only two weeks time these lions killed and ate at least four buffaloes. They sure haven’t suffered from the lack of prey in the dry season that other prides might.

Next time I write I’m probably going to have more big news from this pride. Lately the adult females have been very secretive, hiding in dens scrub and among the rocks. The last few tries I’ve only located the signal of the collar but not been able to actually see any lion. This can only mean one thing. They are having new cubs. I’m looking forward to seeing the new pride members but at the same time dreading the work it’s going to need. It’s going to take weeks of trying to sex the cubs and get the identifying whisker spots on both sides of the muzzle all while the cubs are running around and mixing in tall grass. The new cubs probably also means that the adults won’t let the now two year old youngsters stay around. So they’ll have to manage on their own now.

Some of the lions in the MAASAI KOPJE PRIDE have been seen more together lately. These are Jezebelle, Kennedy, Mato Keo and Blixten. Cordelle haven’t been seen since October last year and is probably dead. She was like many other lions in this pride very old and it wasn’t unexpected. The two cubs of Mato Keo though are still alive and healthy and recently Kennedy was seen mating with Ou, one of the Loahy Trio males that they share with the Transect Pride. So more members to this pride seem to be on their way.

Another pride that is seen more together again is the members of the CUB VALLEY PRIDE (also known as the Sametu Pride). The reason for this is no doubt because they’re having a baby boom. Valkyrie, Vanilla, Dawn, Twilight, CV91 and CV95 are altogether having 13 cubs. While Dawn and Twilight stay on their own and are rarely seen the rest can often be seen around the Sametu Kopjes and marsh. Last visit out there they were just finishing off a buffalo kill. The four resident males, the Killers, had already stuffed themselves when I arrived and lay panting in the shade with huge bellies. They almost looked like they would produce litters too.

One of the cheeky cubs in the Cub Valley Pride:

THE NAABI PRIDE has survived yet another dry season out in the harsh conditions around the Naabi Hill, all three cubs still alive. They have been venturing far out on the shadeless plains around the hill in search of scarce prey. Porky though, the grandpa of grandpas, have been seen less and less with this pride. I wonder if age is catching up with him and he finds it difficult to tag along with the rest. Every time I see him I rejoice for the fact that he has lived yet another day.

In the beginning of July the SIMBA EAST PRIDE (also known as the Gol Kojes pride) vanished completely. Despite big effort and a lot of time was spent on finding them inside and out of our study area we could not pick up one beep from their radio collar. We had no clue to where they could be. Two months later, they reappeared in the centre of our study area, as if nothing had happened. It was Skvimp and Sarah with their four cubs. Sonia and her two cubs are still missing. We do think they are still around though. But not having a collar she is much more difficult to find on a regular basis. Probably she has chosen to raise her cubs alone since the cubs of Skvimp and Sarah are much bigger and would have a huge advantage in the fight for food.

The Simba East pride re-found:

When lions disappear like this only to reappear again later makes me wonder where they’ve been. At these times I wish we could afford collars with GPS. With those it wouldn’t matter if the lions walked up all the way to Kenya, we’d still know where they were.

Since this pride is back though, they have been hanging around in an area where they never used to be. Instead of roaming around Gol Kopjes or in the nearby Cub Valley, now they have settled on the plains free of trees northeast of the Cub Valley where the sun is merciless. I hope future research will give clues to their disappearing and change of territory.

Last time I wrote I reported that there were six new little members in the MUKOMA GYPSIES PRIDE. Now the number of cubs has grown to ten only one of them is a female. She’ll have to compete for milk and food with nine brothers. If she survives she might grow up to be a very tough female.

The Mukoma Hills and their new cubs quenching their thirst in a ditch by the road:

Lately this pride have been moving slightly north along the Seronera River and often venturing out on the Mukoma Plains, something they rarely did before. This got them to cross roads with the Transect Pride recently and ended in a big battle. It was a battle that we only saw the aftermath of. One of the young Transect males had open wounds on his back and one of the Mukoma Gypsies cubs couldn’t be seen. Considering that both of these prides are very big, 18 and 23 lions, the casualties could have been much worse.

The MAKOMA HILL PRIDE females are still hanging around with the two new males Nisse and Sotis. As a result of that the sub-adults in this pride have been driven off to a life on their own. No male would accept young non-reproductive lions in the pride they’re about to take over. At least the sub-adults were big enough to run away. Smaller cubs would have been killed. Soon we might be able to get acquainted with new cubs in this pride too.

Nyota and Melody from the Mukoma Hill Pride drinking together with Sotis:

THE MAKOMA MISCHIEFS continue to move around a lot and being difficult to track. Lately they have spent a lot of time down in the Sopa Valley and one time they were spotted on top of a ridge near the Sopa Lodge. This is quite far outside our normal study area. But they are all still alive and in good condition.

So these last three months have kept us busy looking for lions running around outside their normal territories and a lot of new cubs have been born for us to give new IDs. In the near future we’re hoping for rains and that the wildebeest migration will arrive. As of writing they are not far away. We’re expecting a lot o new cubs to be born too, especially in the Transect Pride.

ADS is a proud sponsor of the Serengeti Lion Project. Our funding helps to protect lions against diseases such as canine distemper through programs aimed at vaccinating domestic dogs on the periphery of the Serengeti. We are delighted to announce that Africa Dream Safaris was honored with the Tanzania Conservation Award specifically because of our work with the Serengeti Lion Project. This prestigious award is presented by the Minister of Tourism in conjunction with the Tanzania Tourist Board.

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Dawn’s FAQ of the Week: Is Tanzania a Safe Place to Visit? What Safety Measures do you Have in Place?

Regarding the question of security and safety, you can rest assured you are in good hands with Africa Dream Safaris! We’ve never lost a client yet! (ha)

Seriously, your safety is of ultimate importance, as well as your comfort and peace of mind. We have offices both in the U.S. and Tanzania to support all segments of your trip, and all safaris are 100% escorted and chauffeured from arrival to departure. Every vehicle is equipped with a long distance radio. These radios are used for communication between other driver-guides for game reports and with our main operational office in Arusha. If there is any problem on safari, your driver-guide can immediately handle the situation as he is trained and has the experience to handle any problem. He also can use his long distance radio to communicate with our operational office in Arusha. As part of our standard procedure, we also lend all our families or groups a “local” Tanzanian company cell phone during their time in Tanzania so they have a way to contact our staff in the event of an emergency. The phone comes pre-loaded with approx $10 worth of “time”, which is plenty of credit to make several calls within Tanzania. The lodges and camps each have guards that watch over the property at night, and whistles or radios in the tents to get a guard’s attention if you have any urgent concern.

In terms of politics and national security, Tanzania is a VERY safe place to visit! Although many of the people in Tanzania still live a very simple life in rural villages and may not have a lot in the way of material possessions, Tanzania is inherently a very PEACEFUL country. To go back into Tanzania’s history would allow one to understand how early government policies encouraged the various tribes to intermarry and mix together years ago, thus creating a melting pot of cultures and dissolving any of the tribal tensions that one might hear about in other African countries. All the people of Tanzania are united by a common language of Swahili, which has encouraged communication and cooperation between the different tribes as well. Everyone here just ‘gets along’, literally. I have traveled to Tanzania all by myself on a number of occasions, and never once have I felt unsafe in any way.  You can check for yourself and see that there are no warnings issued for Tanzania on the Government’s Travel Warning website. 

It’s our job to look out for you and help you make the right decisions, and of course safety is our #1 priority for all our guests, always.  The local Tanzanian people are extremely gracious, polite, conservative and just a wonderful culture overall.  Guests are always overwhelmed with the warm smiles and general hospitality that immediately envelops them upon arrival, and just seems inherent to the local people of Tanzania in general.   You will see!!!

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Greetings from Arnold in Tanzania!

I just got back from a wonderful safari in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater! We saw many wonderful things. I am including a few of my favorite pictures from the trip below.

I am driving to the North Serengeti to meet my guests who are arriving at the Kogatende Airstrip tomorrow but I will try to provide another update soon. The weather is beautiful at the moment in the Serengeti and wildlife viewing especially in the North and Central Serengeti is amazing. Asante Sana!

Below are a few pictures of the Migration crossing the Mara River!

Here is a crossing of the wildebeest and zebra at the Mara River, site #4.  You  have to wait for a while sometimes to get to see them crossing!  ‘Tulia’ is the Swahili word for ‘Patience’.


We watched this zebra family cross the river.  The young foal really struggled to make it all the way across.  We were afraid he might drown, but he eventually made it to the other side unharmed.


It is always a fantastic site to watch the Migration cross the Mara River!


A large elephant is curious about our vehicle.  North Serengeti, Mara River area.


A lioness had just made this wildebeest kill shortly before we arrived.  North Serengeti, on the plains near the Mara River.


A large pride of lions (18 lions total, although not all can be seen in these 2 pictures) lounge underneath a couple trees in the Northern’s Serengeti’s Loliondo Reserve near Buffalo Springs Tented Lodge.


A lioness nurses her three cubs, estimated at approximately 3 weeks old.  Mara River area, North Serengeti.


A lioness runs from a herd of elephants in the Lobo Valley of the North Serengeti.


A male lion successfully hunts and kills a large warthog.  He is dragging it under a tree to enjoy his lunch in the shade.  Taken in the Lobo Valley of the North Serengeti.


A large group of lion cubs wait for their mother to return home from her hunt.  Taken in the Seronera River Valley, not far from the Seronera River in the Central Serengeti.


A pride of lions drink from a pool in the Seronera River Valley, Central Serengeti.


Elephant!  Up close and personal in the Central Serengeti.


A pride of lions finish off a buffalo carcass near Turner’s Spring in the Central Serengeti.


Leopard lounging in a tree near Maasai Kopjes in the Central Serengeti.


Rhino mother and baby (approximately 6 months old) spotted at the Moru Kopjes in the Central Serengeti.


A lion is eyeing a Cape Buffalo (not pictured) in the early morning in the Ngorongoro Crater.


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