Our travels have taken us all over the world and this was undeniably the most stress-free vacation we have experienced thanks to David (our guide) and Michael and Lynn of Africa Dream Safaris. There was, however, one thing that ADS could not prepare us for — the mesmerizing beauty and tranquil peace of Tanzania.
First, we enjoyed superior accommodations, service, and food at the Mount Meru Hotel in Arusha before climbing into our plane headed for the Northern Serengeti. Our first glimpses of animals and terrain were from the plane…wldebeests, zebras, rivers, grasslands, and kopjes…an ostrich on the airstrip as we landed at one of the airfields on our way to Kogatende…we were ecstatic!!
Upon landing, David, our driver/guide, greeted us and we liked him immediately. He explained what we were going to do that afternoon and off we went…the adventure was to continue for 12 days. On a general note, David was an excellent match for us. He made us feel safe and secure at all times which was a major factor. He listened to our needs and responded accordingly and always with a cheerful smile and patience…no matter how crazy we may have sounded!! We set our own schedule each day and liked the ability to enjoy the activities/scenery that WE wanted and were not forced to succumb to a group decision.
Animals…we had the privilege of seeing two adult black rhinos and a baby rhino, leopards including one in a tree with its kill, lions with cubs and a lion with its kill, a Secretary Bird killing and eating a snake, birds of prey, hippos, elephants, safari ants, buffaloes, wildebeests and zebra in three river crossings (two were mini-crossings as we nick-named them), cheetahs, dwarf mongoose, and oh my, the list goes on.
The Tanzanian terrain is gripping…flowing rivers, endless grasslands, rising kopjes, the great rift valley, the crater…and the sunrises and sunsets…inspiring.
David taught us about the animals and their connection to their habitat and importance in the chain of life. He also proved to be an excellent driver while maneuvering our jeep during a downpour and navigating through the mud and what seemed to be bottomless water holes.
Two highlights of our trip included visits to the School of St. Jude in Arusha and the Foundation for African Medicine and Education (F.A.M.E.) in Karatu. We were impressed with both and encourage safari guests to take the time to visit and learn about both of these worthwhile and inspiring educational facilities and programs.
We sincerely enjoyed all our accommodations…from the elegance and refinement of Serengeti Bushtops, Migration Tented Lodge, Ngorongoro Manor, and Swala Tented Lodge to the down-home comfort of Lion’s Paw and Sametu Camp. Each location had a personality and character of its own which we appreciated. The staff were always friendly and accommodating and attentive to our needs.
We are fortunate to have had the opportunity to enjoy a private safari…the only way to experience Tanzania. Life is grand indeed!
Margaret and Gerry B.
Safari Dates: September 25, 2014 to October 8, 2014