Seeing is Believing!

We recently returned from our “trip of a lifetime!” We heard that phrase before we went…but, seeing is believing! Although we had read about Safaris (compliments to ADS for an educational website including testimonials) from other visitors to Africa and heard stories from friends, our expectations were far surpassed by the trip itself.

Africa Dream Safaris was so helpful as they greeted us (“jambo!”), assisted us as we settled in to our lodging and as we continued on our safari where we felt safe at all times and, of course, the staff being with us as we departed for home. Our good-byes were to very special new ADS friends that we made in Tanzania.

Our guide was so enthusiastic as he spotted animals and shared his vast knowledge of the land and its inhabitants. We laughed as he described our often bumpy ride as a complimentary Serengeti “massage.” In truth, the well-maintained truck supplied comfortable seat cushions, excellent binoculars, superior roof access for standing for views, drinks, snacks, camera battery charger, etc…all that we might need for each day’s journey.

We had a copy of Wildlife of East Africa (Withers and Hosking) handy as Arnold would confirm a sighting and tell us more about what we were seeing. Arnold’s explanations of the animals and their habits, Arnold’s sense of humor and his friendliness made our days in the “truck” delightful…as he would say, “hakuna matata.” We saw the “big 5” and too many other animals and birds to mention..and up close, so up close!

Our photo opportunities were unimaginable. We watched the activities of the animals and often were moved quietly to a better viewing position chosen by Arnold…all the time snapping photos or shooting video. Arnold’s timing was perfect for seeing all that we could see and for photography. Leaving early in the mornings provided many exciting views of active animals. Each day, we would happily stay on safari as long as we could as we viewed the wildlife and the magnificent open blue sky with fluffy white clouds nearing sunset.

At dinner, after each day in the truck and then sharing our experiences with our group, we were continually amazed at not only the numbers of animals we saw, but also the variety of them and the many kinds of birds. As my son said when I described our experiences, “Mom, I’ve never heard you so AMAZED.” We were continually thrilled by what we were viewing, yes…AMAZED.

When Arnold spotted a dung beetle pushing its ball with an egg inside, we were astounded that he would notice that “small wonder” near the side of the road. When we watched a giraffe awkwardly spread his long legs out to get a drink of water from a puddle… when we saw the wildebeests and zebras and “believed” in a massive migration…when we learned of acacia trees, the magic tree, kopjes, sausage trees, the endless plain, rolling hills of lush green, the crater, hearing monkeys on our tented roof…our incredible experiences went on and on.

And, we haven’t even mentioned the fabulous meals…and Veronica, the chef, and her friendliness, sense of humor and charm…and our beautifully-appointed accommodations…and our outdoor private shower looking up at the stars…and our visit with the Massai…and our fun-loving friends who shared our truck…and…more and more. Obviously, we could go on and on about the spectacular sights and sounds of a friendly, peaceful country…Tanzania. But, as we learned and you will, too, – seeing is believing.

And, Sharon, thanks again for working with the Jensen’s in providing a “once in a lifetime” experience. I can’t think of a single thing that I would change!

BJ B. and Betty B.
Grayslake, IL
Jensen Group: April 4-12, 2014

Additional recommendations: We All Went on Safari by Laurie Krebs and Julia Cairns (children’s book, great for grandchildren). Safari Guide to East African Animals by Jonathan and Angela Scott (used by Arnold and purchased in Arusha by us)

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