Three years ago, my brother-in-law went with his father on a safari with ADS. After seeing his pictures and hearing about their incredible experience with ADS, a Tanzania safari became the top item on my father’s bucket list. So in celebration of a milestone birthday for him this year, my father and I planned our own safari with ADS, could not have been happier with the experience!
Dawn Anderson was our safari consultant, and she did a wonderful job working through the details to customize a trip that was perfect for us. Our final itinerary was an eight-day safari starting in the northern Serengeti, with stops in the central Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Oldupai Gorge and Lake Manyara National Park. Throughout our journey, we had the pleasure of staying in lodges and camps, and loved the different experiences that both provided.
The luxurious accommodations provided by Lemala Kuria Hills and Migration Tented Lodge were a welcome reprieve after a dusty day in the bush; but the peacefulness and prime location for viewing animals provided by the tented camps at Lemala Mara River Camp, Seronera Sametu Camp, and Ngorongoro Lion’s Paw Camp could not be beat.
From hearing the hippos singing in the night at Migration Tented Lodge, to having a lion join us for breakfast at the Seronera Sametu Camp, each location provided a unique and unforgettable experience! The great locations of each camp were further supplemented by the very hospitable staff, which greeted us with huge smiles and accommodated every request to ensure a comfortable stay.
Each day on safari consisted of a game drive in a different part of the park, led by our knowledgeable and friendly driver-guide, Immanuel Kichao (Imma). Simply put, Imma was the reason we had such an incredible experience on our safari. Imma was not only more than capable of giving detailed answers to every question we asked, but he navigated the bumpy Serengeti roads like the professional that he is, ensuring that my father and I were comfortable throughout the trip.
His knowledge and experience in tracking animals translated into some breathtaking moments. Though there were far too many to list succinctly in a blog post, the highlights include watching a seemingly never-ending wildebeest stampede; lion cubs playing with each other and their mothers, then going to eat the buffalo killed for breakfast minutes later; close viewing of a leopard and a black rhino with her cub; two cheetah eating their gazelle kill; and loads of run-ins with zebras, giraffes, hippos and elephants.
While seeing the animals was certainly the highlight of the trip, I also enjoyed driving through the villages on the way back to Arusha, which included a stop at the Foundation for African Medicine and Education (FAME). FAME is a hospital in the village of Karatu that provides high quality, low cost medical care to the local villagers and members of the Masai tribe. It was both inspiring and humbling to see the tireless efforts of the staff and volunteers to increase access to quality medical care for those living outside of the large cities. I am really glad we took the time to visit FAME, and appreciate that ADS provides exposure to the local culture and community efforts.
We cannot thank Dawn, Imma and ADS enough for putting together such a memorable safari. We will be talking about this trip for years to come!
Joseph and Lindsay V.
Montgomery, New Jersey
Travel dates: July 26-August 5, 2014