Posts From September 2013

Your Way Of Doing A Photo Safari Is Far And Away The Best

The trip was outstanding. Having our own knowledgeable, and personable, guide and driver, plus a vehicle dedicated to our exclusive use, made all the difference in obtaining the extraordinary photos we were able to capture. When we return to East Africa it will definitely be with ADS, because your way of doing a photo safari is far and away the best.

Here are a few photos from our trip that I consider exceptional.

Best regards,

Chris and Sandy S.
San Diego, California
Safari Dates: September 10, 2013 to September 22, 2013

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Three Outstanding Safari Encounters

We had a great safari for which I thank you very much. We saw a huge migration of several thousand crossing the Mara River and it was an amazing experience of life and death. Three outstanding and unusual experiences for us, even though we are old hands on safaris :-

1. A mother cheetah and her cub, on the prowl for food, startled a civet cat out of its hiding, the cub started chasing the civet cat and a cat and mouse game started between the two. All this while the mother cheetah ignored the civet cat and her cub playing, as she was more concerned about her prey , some Tommies a long ways off. We managed to get great photos.

2. During the huge crossing of the migration, some of the wildebeest drifted into the territory of the hippos. One hippo was not particularly pleased and was so angry he chased one of the poor wildebeest, already exhausted from the crossing, bit into his stomach and killed him , before wandering off, having vented his anger! Amazing encounter for a herbivore!

3. At the same crossing , a crocodile came swimming , targeting a tired wildebeest on shore , who stupidly jumped back into the water, followed by the crocodile, who tried to take a bite off his rump but did not succeed. Both were swept away by the rapids, the crocodile first followed by the wildebeest, who landed right into the mouth of the crocodile but the croc did not attack him! They then swam towards the opposite shore, wildebeest first followed by the crocodile.

The wildebeest tried to get on the rocks , stepped on top of the crocodile , got on the rock only to fall back into the water, with the crocodile following. Again the crocodile opened his mouth as if to nudge the wildebeest on to the shore. The wildebeest lay its body semi in the water as it was tired. We were expecting the crocodile to take the opportunity to grab the wildebeest but it did not. After a couple of minutes watching the wildebeest , it swam away! Can you believe that? It must have just eaten and was full or it was a very charitable crocodile. The wildebeest survived to live another day!

Meileen C.
September 8, 2013 to September 12, 2013

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By Emmanuel Kichao with William and Randi – First Time In Africa

This is ADS guide Emmanuel Kichao reporting from Tanzania. Having just completed my most recent safari dated September 2, 2013 to September 12, 2013 , I can say beyond a doubt that the game viewing in the Serengeti National Park whether it be in the North, Central or West Serengeti areas has been beyond spectacular this dry season. We have seen lots of amazing sights including huge herds of the wildebeest and zebra migration, big prides of lions hunting, families of cheetahs, large concentrations of elephants, giraffes and hippos, more then 10 species of antelopes, countless species of birds and we have even had several quality sightings of the elusive and solitary leopard.

Of my most recent safari with my two guests from Minnestota, USA named William and Randi we saw all of these things mentioned. It was a very wonderful experience for both myself and the clients, which this was their first time in Africa. After two nights resting in Arusha after their long plane ride from the USA, my guests arrived at the Kogatende Airstrip in the Northern Serengeti on September 2nd where I met them. From there we immediately started enjoying what nature has to offer!  Here are some of the pictures I would like to share from this trip with William and Randi.

Large male lion, Central Serengeti.

A leopard close to our vehicle, Serengeti.

A family of cheetahs, North Serengeti.

Zebras in Tarangire National Park.

My guests Randi and William overlooking the scenic vista of the Ngorongoro Crater.

Maasai dance during the visit to a Maasai village.

Beautiful giraffes near the bank of Mara river, North Serengeti.

Elephants at Silale Swamp, Tarangire National Park.

A pride of lions with cubs which we found after finishing an early breakfast near Lobo Hills in North Serengeti.

Sleeping lion around Lamai triangle, Noth Serengeti.

Huge group of elephants in Lamai Triangle, North Serengeti.

Lioness with a young gazelle kill.

Leopard in an accacia tree.

Lion pride in Seronera Valley, Central Serengeti.

Two brothers from the Sametu Pride, Central Serengeti.

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By Simon Sige with Jayne and Stratton from Texas

Good morning to the ADS community. My name is Simon Sige, a professional Driver-Guide with ADS, and I am providing my bush report at the completion of my most recent safari. This time I had a couple named Stratton and Jayne from Houston, Texas. They were very nice people and good clients too.

The safari began on September 10, 2013 and concluded on September 16, 2013. We spent a total of 6 nights on safari with 3 nights in North Serengeti, 2 nights in Central Serengeti and 1 night at the end of our trip at the Ngorongoro Crater.

We started our safari at the Mara River airstrip in the North Serengeti at Kogatende on 10th September where we started by viewing the wildebeest crossing. We enjoyed spectacular game viewing in the North Serengeti during our 3-night stay in this area. Not only did we see the wildebeest crossing but we also had magical encounters with both leopard and cheetah cubs. This is very rare! Also, in the Central Serengeti we came across the famous pride of lions at Sametu Kopjes as well as some quality moments with some elephants. Please enjoy my pictures below that I took on this safari.

The pride males (two brothers) of the famous Sametu Lion Pride spotted resting under a tree close to Sametu Kopjes in the Central Serengeti.

The wildebeest crossing the Mara River, North Serengeti.

A mother leopard in the North Serengeti at Wogakuria Kopjes that had two cubs and was shifting them from one kopje to another.

Cheetah with two cubs in the North Serengeti.

Elephant browsing in Seronera river valley, Central Serengeti.


Simon Sige
ADS Guide

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By Ellison Mkonyi with Sam and Keith – Wondeful Bush Experience

Jambo! This is your ADS driver-guide Ellison Mkonyi wishing all the ADS guests a warm greetings from the Serengeti National Park. I had the pleasure of having 2 guests on my most recent safari named Sam and Keith. They were from Missouri, USA. We enjoyed a very comprehensive safari itinerary together that took in all the wildlife highlights that can be found in the dry season.

The itinerary (September 5th to September 16th, 2013) was 11 nights in duration with 2 nights at Lemala Mara River Camp in the Northwest Serengeti, 2 nights at Buffalo Camp in the Northeast Serengeti / Loliondo Game Reserve, 2 nights in the Central Serengeti at Sametu Camp, 2 nights on the rim of the Crater at Ngorongoro Lion’s Paw Camp, 1 night at Lake Manyara at Escarpment Luxury Lodge and 2 nights in Tarnagire at Swala Tented Camp. It was a superb itinerary and an excellent safari experience. I would like to share with you some highlights from the trip and also some snapshots I took with my pocket camera that all the ADS guides are issued in order that we post pictures on this blog. It’s a great idea but I keep saying that I am a better guide then a photographer!

My guests and I enjoying a picnic in the middle of the Serengeti wilderness. It doesn’t get any better then this!

We saw this mother lioness and her cubs during a game drive in the long Grumeti circuit road in the North Serengeti. It was early in the morning and they were really active. We spent almost 2 hours enjoying the lions.

The wildebeest migration crossing the Mara River about 3 kilometers from Kogatende in the North Serengeti.

We found these lions as they were finishing their breakfast and others were drinking water after eating their full. We took beautiful pictures of one of the male lions with its reflection in the water. We also found a mother lioness and cubs near Wogakuria Kopjes and they were relaxing and very healthy.


Ellison Mkonyi
ADS Guide

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By Arnold Mushi With Group of 6 From California

This is Arnold Mushi, senior guide for Africa Dream Safaris, with my latest slideshow of pictures from my most recent safari trip. This time I had another group of 6 persons where we had almost 9 days in the bush with beautiful sightings during the whole time.

My guests named Marie, Steve, Susan, Don, Karen and Marsha were from California and they arrived into the North Serengeti on September 6, 2013. We started exploring the Northern Serengeti around Kogatende including the Mara River habitat, Lamai Triangle and Wogakuria region. Next we headed to Buffalo Camp to explore the Loliondo Game Concession and also the Lobo Valley area of the North Serengeti. We finished our time in the Serengeti at Sametu Camp located in the Central Serengeti around Seronera. After departing the Serengeti we enjoyed game drives in Ngorongoro Crater and Tarangire National Parks before finishing up back in Arusha.

Apart from that we had two nights at Lemala Mara, two nights at Buffalo Luxury Camp, two nights at Sametu Camp, one night at Crater Serena, one more night at Gibbs Farm and the other last two nights at Swala Tented Camp, which comprises the total of ten nights.

The below are the photos to support the fact, regarding the great sightings we saw during the safari.

-143 to 161 – Crocodile at Mara river and wildebeest crossing the Mara river, North Serengeti.

-162 to 165 – A hippo walking in front of a group of wildebeest close to the Mara river.

-166 – Crocs again in Mara river, North Serengeti.

-168 to 194 – Lion pride at Mara river.

-195 to 216 – Leopard at Wogakuria Kopjes – Northern Serengeti.

-218 – This was 6:30am when the pride of the lion finished all the meat from the wildebeest.

-230 – A lion cub at  lobo valley on the top of the kopjes, North Serengeti.

-235 to 237 – Leopard at Seronera valley, Central Serengeti.

-297 to 307 – Cheetah kill near Sametu Camp, Central Serengeti.

-309 – Ngorongoro at the rim – sunrise time.

-310 to 312 – Wildebeest crossing lake magadi at sunrise, Ngorongoro Crater.

-319 – Lion resting in the Ngorongoro Crater.

-321 to 340 – Male ion chasing a lioness.

-343 to 348 – Lions hunting.

-349 to 351 – Flamingos at lake magadi, Ngorongoro Crater.

-352 – Hyena’s trying to hunt flamingos on the crater floor.

-372 – Blue monkey at Lake Manyara National Park.

-379 – Pelican at Tarangire National Park.

-387 – Bee hive in a gardenia tree, Tarangire National Park.

-395 – King fisher , Tarangire National Park.


Arnold Mushi.
ADS Guide

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We Would Drive For Hours And Never See Another Vehicle

We really enjoyed our trip to Africa. We saw more wildlife than we ever expected. Rented a 70-300 lens for most of the shots. Our guide was knowledgeable and excellent at finding wildlife and could spot things that we would never have seen if not for him.

We saw plenty of everything. I think when we drove “cross country” we had some of the best and most memorable views of the trip. We would drive for hours and never see another vehicle.

John, Lolly, Charles, Cynthia.
Baton Rouge and Sunset, Louisiana
Safari Dates: September 13, 2013 to September 25, 2013

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By Claude Shitindi with Don and Judy from Boston

Hello to all my friends out there! It’s me Claude here with just a quick report before I head back out into the bush for another safari. On September 11th we started our safari with my two new friends (Don & Judy) from Boston. We began our adventure in the Northern Serengeti. We had great and fantastic sightings of the wildebeest crossings, cats and other herbivores species from circuit to circuit in the Northern Serengeti.

Afterwards we moved on to Lobo Valley where there were more large herds of the migratory wildebeests and zebras and also amazing landscapes (valleys), lions, cheetahs, elephants, elands, and many more. The Central Serengeti was still dry and the good game viewing was along the Seronera river as it is one of few areas with running water and marshes.

On our last day in Tarangire National Park, we set up and watched a lioness stalking, crouching and finally making a sprint forward to catch a reedbuck right in front of us! Unfortunately, I couldn’t catch it on my small camera because the action was just too quick! It was amazing to witness such an action especially on our last day. It was a great way to end our adventure!

I hope you enjoy a few of my pictures from this trip:

– Male Impala at Kogatende.
– A leopard – Wogakuria Kopjes.
– Kogatende sunset.
– Vultures on carcass – Kuria hills.
– Baby zebra suckling – Nyamalumbwa.
– Retima hippo pool.
– Grazing zebras – Ngorongoro.
– Buffalo in the crater.
– Brown snake eagle – Tarangire.

Claude Shitindi
ADS Guide

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By Patrick Kivumbi with the Griffith Family – The Great Panorama

This is Patrick Kivumbi, a professional guide with ADS. My latest safari began on August 27, 2013 when I picked up my five guests visiting from Wyoming, USA at the Lobo Airstrip in the North Serengeti. We spent a total of 6 nights on safari together and explored the following areas: North Serengeti, Central Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Tarangire National Park.

After I picked up my guests at the Lobo Airstrip, I provided a quick briefing including an overview of the Serengeti National Park assisted by a large fold out map. We then departed for our first game drive around Lobo Valley, which is one of the most beautiful areas in entire Serengeti ecosystem. We were luck to come across three big male lions not long after we departed. Further up into the Lobo Hills, we came across more lions with a topi antelope kill including a large lioness with three cubs.

The rest of the safari went very well and I would like to share with you the below photos which I took during the trip.

We came across this adult elephant in the woodlands surrounding the Lobo Valley that was trying to cross the road. The elephant was seemed surprised to see us and was behaving in an unusually aggressive manor by attempting to charge our vehicle. It was a very exciting moment for my guests and I.

Here you can see a small bush where a lioness had dragged her kill (a topi antelope). This is the lioness with  two cubs. The kill was very fresh but the lions were very shy and nervous of our vehicle. Unfortunately, we see this behavior too often in this area as it is not far from a private hunting concession.

On the way to Mara River around the Bologonja plains we encountered these two giraffes necking!

On the same road to the Mara river before reaching the Kichwa Tembo area, we came across a wildebeest carcass surrounded by some vultures. Here you can see a Marabou stork along with Ruppells griffon vultures and white backed vultures. It is the migration time in the North Serengeti and there are may vultures around.

A herd of wildebeest gathered themselves around the Mara river waiting to cross the river.

Finally one of the wildebeest started to cross and then the entire herd jumped down into the river.

A beautiful lilac breasted roller on top of a thorny acacia bush.

On the way to Mbuzi Mawe tented camp for a late evening game drive, we enjoyed this beautiful sunrise. The sun was setting over the a flat top acacia tree…the symbol of Africa.

Outside of the gate of Tarangire National Park while heading to Kikoti Tented Camp we spotted this beautiful leopard tortoise.


Patrick Kivumbi,
ADS Guide.

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Sit Back, And Let Your Dream Come True!

When I was a little girl, visiting zoos to see the animals, I always dreamed of, someday, being able to go “somewhere” and see them free and out of cages. In September 2011 I began to plan my dream trip. After spending twenty plus years in the travel industry I started by reaching out to my contacts; from travel agents, travel professional to tour operators asking for their recommendations. I met with people in our community who have been on safaris (some more than once) and, of course, doing research on the internet. Did I mention that I’ve been accused of being anal?! I requested and received so much information that our mail person was begging me to stop!!

I started reading the information and weeding out many tour operators whose idea of a small group was anything below twenty people. Then I read more and looked at photos of six people (or more) in the vehicles and realized that I wanted more flexibility! I didn’t want to have to worry about getting the top of someone’s head or their ear in one of my photos! Or, not being able to see what was on the other side of the vehicle…or even not having the freedom to stay as long as I wanted to stay to watch a particular animal. So, I kept looking.

I noticed the quote on the Africa Dream Safaris information packet; “Life is not measured by the amount of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away” and I thought to myself, so true. I included their information in a smaller pile of tour operators that did the true “small group” safaris. From there I started doing more research, emailing each of the tour operators, checking with the Tanzania Tourist Board, the Better Business Bureau, Trip Advisors, etc. (Told you I was anal!)

Based on everything, including the quick, detailed and informative responses from Sharon (Lyon) I choose African Dream Safari and from there on life was easy!! Sharon, who I now refer to as “safari planner extraordinaire” took care of everything! I gave her my dates (another plus with ADS, they plan the safari around your travel dates!!) and told her I wanted to see animals, animals, animals. That was priority one and secondary, sunsets! I trusted her to pick the accommodations (after all she’s been on safari sixty times versus my zero – so who would know better?!) I told her I wanted to see and do everything and she got it all into our itinerary.

By July of 2012 the reservations were made and all I had to do was wait until September of 2013 for my dream to come true!! From my first contact with ADS until this September any question I emailed Sharon was answered so promptly (regardless of time of day or day of the week) that I asked her if she ever took time off!

When I started getting the newsletters I was so excited and in awe of all the beautiful photos and reading about everyone’s experiences I knew I had made the right choice. As the time got closer I told Sharon that when they assigned a guide to us to make sure they knew that, if our bodies could handle it, that we wanted to be up and on safari first thing every morning and would stay out as long as we could, so to make sure we got a guide who was ok with that.

We were so fortunate to have Ally as our guide. Within a few days we nicknamed him “Ally the AWESOME” or “Awesome” for short. Why you ask? Well, on our first day we saw the big five (including a lion chasing a leopard up into a tree)!! The second day we saw four of the big five. We would comment that we’d like to see a leopard in a tree with a kill. Well, sure enough Ally would find us one. Then me, being anal again, would say on a later day I’d like to see one closer, and he’d find another! We’d ask to see a giraffe with a baby, and literally five minutes later, there one would be. This happened over and over, at about day four or five I challenged him to find me one of two animals….a polar bear or a penguin, after all he’d found everything else so far I had to make it tough, if I’d have picked anything native, he’d have found it!! How he can see the animals at a distance while driving is remarkable! Add to that the knowledge he has about the animals, the ecology and the country – he made our trip awesome.

Our accommodations were each unique and special in their own way. The staff, at every location, welcomed us and was truly concerned about our comfort, making sure we felt welcomed and were taken care of. And the food, way too much to eat, even in our picnic boxes!!

To anyone who’s looking for a private safari, a once in a lifetime experience (which after having done it you’ll want to make it more than once in a lifetime) make your life easy, pick up the phone or send an email to Sharon and sit back, and let your dream come true!

Hallie and Walter P.
Port Charlotte, Florida
Safari Dates: September 15 to September 25, 2013

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By Ally Dhulkfil with Alain, Monique and Cullen – Bush Greetings

Jambo to the ADS family! This is driver-guide Ally reporting from the Serengeti National Park. I had an awesome safari with a family of two adults and one teenager from Canada named Alain, Monique and Cullen. The safari dates were August 21, 2013 to August 29, 2013. We spent 2 nights in the North Serengeti and the new Lemala Kuria Camp, 2 nights in the Loliondo Game Reserve at Buffalo Camp, 2 nights in the Central Serengeti at the beautiful Four Seasons Bilila Lodge and 2 nights in the Ngorongoro Crater split between Crater Lodge and the Manor Lodge.

We started from the Mara River Airstrip in the North Serengeti where we had tremendous game viewing opportunities due to the high concentrations of animals. We even witnessed several crossings including one crossing that lasted almost 1 hour. Most of the migratory wildebeest and zebra herds are on the Tanzanian side of the border and only a few smaller herds remain in Kenya.

Whenever you see lots of herbivores, you are bound to get some good carnivore sightings. Luckily, we saw leopards including one with a young wildebeest up in a tree that it must have successfully hunted. Pound for pound the leopard is the strongest predator in the Serengeti and it is always amazing how they drag prey larger themselves up into the tall branches of the accacia tree. In the Central Serengeti we saw three leopards but this time with a Thomson gazelle kill in a tree. We also were privileged to see cheetahs hunting, but unfortunately they couldn’t catch their prey. Here a few of my snap shots from my safari.

Ally Dhulkifil,
ADS Guide.

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Our Photos May Be Numerous, But Our Memories Are Even Broader.

Jambo! We have just returned from our safari in the North and Central Serengeti, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Lake Manyara and we are still marveling at everything that we experienced. Our photos may be numerous, but our memories are even broader. We still can’t believe that we were able to see such majesty and wonder with our own eyes.

We knew that we would have a truly incredible experience even before we landed in the Serengeti, when many of the meet and greet staff and even some of the staff at the Arusha airstrip said to say “hello” to our guide, Pokea. Upon actually meeting him, we felt very comfortable and at ease knowing that we were in the hands of a true professional. Our first day was quite an eye-opener. We saw a serval, a cat that we both wanted to see, before lunch, then dined al fresco among hundreds of zebra, buffalo and wildebeest and witnessed the Great Migration crossing the Mara River. All of this before dinner on the first day!

The rest of our safari proceeded with just as much grandeur and awe each and every day. We saw just about every animal that we could have imagined and more, except for the elusive rhino. One highlight of our animal viewing experience was watching lions mating in the early morning light. Hopefully, they will produce a very healthy litter to maintain these proud and noble creatures. Also, we got to witness on two consecutive evenings, giraffe nibbling on treetops and vervet monkeys within the tree munching on leaves, right outside of our room while we were sitting on our deck at the Migration Lodge! Watching elephants meander up to a watering hole just off of the hotel pool at Four Seasons-Bilala was yet another of our many happy memories. They just marched in so regally and all had their fill of drinks and then marched off into the distance trumpeting. Another true highlight was the hot air balloon ride. Being our first, what better place to float than over the Serengeti, and with a wonderful champagne breakfast afterwards.

Of course, we want to thank all of the kind and gracious people of Tanzania for all of their warmth and welcoming ways. Everyone, from the meet and greet staff to each and every staff member at all of the properties to our departure team, was exceptionally friendly, courteous and professional. A very special note of appreciation goes out to our phenomenal guide, Pokea. He was an absolute treasure to be around. His vast knowledge, patience, diligence and keen eyesight were absolutely amazing! We miss him terribly already. Lastly, we would like to thank Dawn for all of her patience and prompt responses to all of our questions, which I’m sure were numerous.

Asante Sana Dawn! Thank you very much to all of the staff at Africa Dream Safaris and everyone else involved in making our dreams a reality!

Christopher and Lydia B.
Valley Stream, NY
September 18-24, 2013

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Despite All The Recommendations, I Remained Skeptical…

Randi and i became interested in a photo safari in the Serengeti after one of her colleagues had returned from a safari (with a different company) and shared some of her experiences and impressions as well as photographs. This interest was reinforced during a New Zealand vacation last year where we met a couple who had been to Tanzania and had an incredible experience with ADS. Despite these recommendations, I remained skeptical; I was persuaded, however, to read the ADS testimonials and contact Sharon Lyon to begin preliminary planning for what became the “trip of our lifetime!”

In preparation for this safari, Randi and I read a number of travel books and articles. Despite this preparation, we were both surprised by what we found in Arusha; I was not expecting to find a modern urban city which Arusha certainly is becoming. We chose to spend an extra day there before beginning our safari to acclimate before “heading into the bush” and this was certainly welcome after nearly 24 hours traveling from Rochester, Minnesota to Africa.

Our guide, Emmanuel, met us after our short flight into the Serengeti and we were immediately immersed in Africa, its wonders and incredible animals. During our first game drive we saw cheetah, lions, and a second Mara River crossing by thousands of wildebeest. We saw an enormous Nile crocodile on the opposite bank of the Mara (thankfully); he was taking the sun and seemed to have recently had a large meal. In some instances, we were close enough to have touched the big cats who were unconcerned with our presence amongst them (I did not expect this); one large male lion appeared so exhausted that he completely ignored our presence.

Each succeeding day brought new joy and unanticipated contact with Africa and Serengeti. That we saw so much of hidden Africa is completely due to Emmanuel. How he was able to locate leopards in rocks and trees from the distances that he did amazed us. On a subsequent afternoon, we were overtaken by a pride of ten lions and Randi and I were awed as these magnificent predators wearily passed our stopped land cruiser, brushing close to the side as they passed. So close that I was able to count the fat black ticks on the back of one adolescent male. Nor can Randi and I forget the young leopard who, with two siblings, came out of the grass and stopped beside our vehicle. He looked up at me for a long moment and then moved away.

William N. and Randi H.
Rochester, Minnesota
Safari Dates: September 2, 2013 to September 12, 2013

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I Can’t Say Enough Great Things About Our Guides

We got home late last night. What a trip!! I can’t thank you and your team enough. Everything was superb throughout the entire process.

I wanted to take a moment to recognize the crew in Tanzania. From the moment we landed we were greeted by the ADS team. Martus and company were extremely professional, kind and so gracious. It was a wonderful way to be welcomed to Africa.

I can’t say enough great things about the 4 guides that were with us. Francis, Russell, Thompson, and Rafael were terrific. Micheal, Richard and I were escorted by Francis. I can understand why he is so accomplished in what he does, and why his peers look up to him as a leader, and mentor. He was exactly what you would want as your guide. He was funny, knowledgeable, amenable to any changes in our plans if applicable, and very intelligent.

You should feel very proud of what you have built as an organization. I will definitely recommend ADS to anyone that has dreams of going on a safari. I want to thank you and your team again for enhancing my safari experience. It truly was a trip of a lifetime, and one that I will never forget.

Please let the guides know how much I appreciated their efforts. They are 4 amazing individuals, whom I will never forget, and whom I know will go far in their professional endeavors.

Thanks again Sharon for everything. When life has me traveling to Africa again I will definitely get in touch with you.

All the Best,

Deb B.
Baltimore, Maryland
Safari Dates: September 17, 2013 to September 26, 2013

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By Claude Shitindi with Jim and Cheryl – A Dream Comes True.

On August 26, 2013 at the Kogatende Mara River Airstrip in the Northern Serengeti I met my clients (a lovely couple from Colorado named Jim and Cheryl ) for the beginning of their safari. Right from the airstrip our safari started and within in a few minutes we had seen several species of herbivores. We had a half day at Kogatende before heading down to buffalo camp.

It was such an unbelievable and amazing day as we were lucky to watch hundreds and thousands of wildebeest and zebras crossing the Mara river. It is not always easy to witness the crossings as sometimes the wildebeest will march right up the bank of the river and then for no apparent reason will turn right around.

My guests and I decided that after watching the crossings we will go somewhere and have a picnic lunch before heading down to buffalo camp. Our drive to the camp kept going great with some amazing sights including lions, giraffes, elephants and several species of antelopes.

The Maasai village near buffalo camp was fascinating. There is so much to learn and experience in that community. We enjoyed 2 nights at buffalo camp in the North Serengeti and departed on August 28, 2013 for 2 nights at Sametu camp in the Central Serengeti. I always look forward to a stay at Sametu camp. This camp along with the similar lions paw camp are my favorite camps in the serengeti/ngorongoro ecosystem.

On our way to Sametu camp we went through the lower grumeti woodlands and lobo valley. The landscape there was unusually green and lush for this time of year. Also, the game was incredible. We saw a lion with a buffalo kill, cheetahs, giraffes and elephants. It was a great day!

The Seronera valley was so cool. We got lucky with a cheetah hunt and she made a kill in front of us and we also saw a pride of lions killing a buffalo at Moru Kopjes. It was such an amazing and lucky day to see all these kills. It does not happen that easy during our safaris! Our two nights at lion’s paw (August 30th and 31st) went good too. In Ngorongoro Crater we saw rhinos and a big pride of lions (four males and three females) with one couple mating about ten meters from our vehicle.

On September 1, 2013 we departed for Kikoti camp in Tarangire National Park. We had such a great time with loads of elephants drinking, wallowing and splashing at Silale Swamp. Silale swamp is one of the best places in Tarangire for game viewing during the dry season. We tried for the extremely rare Oryx antelopes around Larmakao but unfortunately we did not find them. Instead, we spotted a very wild leopard that looked like it had never seen a vehicle before! We finished our trip on September 3rd and it truly had become a dream come true for my guests Jim and Cheryl.

Below are some of the photos to share with you.

– A mother cheetah with her two juveniles at Kogatende, North Serengeti.
– Wildebeests crossing Mara river.
– Maasai giraffe at lobo in the morning.
– Brousing elephant bull at Seronera valley.
– Giraffe at Moru.
– A mating lion at crater.
– After mating the lioness walking away.
– Silvery cheeked hornbill at Lake Manyara.
– Splashing and funny young Elephants.

Claude Shitindi.
ADS Guide

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