I traveled to Tanzania nine years ago with Africa Dream Safaris and was deeply moved by this unique experience. Seeing so many beautiful animals touched my soul and the gentle people of Tanzania captured my heart. At the time, I was very impressed with the ADS team both at home and in Africa. Their enthusiasm about Tanzania was palpable and their knowledge of the Serengeti was evident in every detail of my trip.
After ten wonderful days exploring Tanzania, I knew, without a doubt, I wanted to return and would do so with ADS. So, last March, with great excitement and anticipation, I began planning a safari for myself and my partner, Janet. With the expert help of Dawn Anderson, who answered all of our many questions, we put together an awesome itinerary.
From the moment of our arrival in Arusha on October 2nd, we felt welcomed by the ADS staff and knew they would be with us every step of the way, ensuring an outstanding adventure. Little did we know then, just how vital they would become to our journey.
After a day’s rest in Arusha we flew to the upper Serengeti where we met Ellison our driver/guide who proved to be an encyclopedia of knowledge about the animals, birds and plants of Tanzania. We were quickly drawn in by his easy going, down to earth personality. Within the first few hours we realized his animal tracking and spotting abilities were superb and we were thrilled to see a wide variety of animals our very first day.
The sensational sights and sounds of Tanzania continued to captivate us as we took in the stunning scenery and felt the closeness of such magnificent beasts all around us; however, there was one distraction. On our second day out, I developed abdominal cramps and by day three, as we transitioned to our next camp in the Central Serengeti, my symptoms worsened and the Imodium I was taking didn’t seem to help. By the time I had a fever and chills and was becoming seriously dehydrated it was clear I needed medical attention.
Ellison had seen my condition deteriorate and worked closely with Janet and the ADS staff in Arusha to find us a flight out. The commercial flights were booked, and time was of the essence. ADS organized an emergency Medevac airlift and arranged for an ambulance to meet the plane and transport us to a hospital in Arusha. Ellison helped notify them of my medical history so they were prepared to take action as soon as we arrived.
I cannot say enough about how incredible the Africa Dream Safaris staff was in managing this very scary situation. It was comforting to see Timmon and Mathias, whom we’d met previously as our “meet and greet” team, standing beside the ambulance at the Arusha airport. When we arrived at the hospital, Juliet, the ADS General Manager, was already there taking care of the admissions paperwork to ensure I received immediate attention. And, later that afternoon, once I was stable, Ally, the ADS Director, dropped by to see how I was doing. This personal attention bolstered our confidence and put us at ease knowing we were in excellent hands.
After treatment with IV fluids and antibiotics, I was released seven hours later. Again, Timmon and Mathias were right there to transport us to the Mount Meru Resort where Juliet had secured us a room for the night. That evening, Juliet visited to check on us and explain what to expect going forward. Hopeful that we could continue our safari, the ADS team had made arrangements for Emmanuel, another driver/guide, to transport us to Lake Manyara where we would meet Ellison.
Determined to finish our adventure; we were happily reunited with Ellison the next day. With his enthusiastic support, we were back game driving in no time and able to enjoy five more days of our unbelievable journey. At Lake Manyara we were entertained by the monkeys and baboons. In Ngorongoro Crater we saw three of the elusive black rhino. And, the elephants were prolific in Tarangire. Thanks to Ellison’s tracking skills, we were rewarded with a rare sighting of a pack of wild dogs. It was an incredible ending to a fantastic trip!
While no one ever expects to need an emergency evacuation from the Serengeti, if it does happen, you could not ask for a more reliable team than ADS to see you through. These kind and caring people anticipated and saw to our every need, going far beyond our expectations. The connections they already had in place to emergency services in Arusha, combined with their highly responsive and efficient management in a crisis situation speaks volumes about what a great company they are. Should another safari be in our future, without a doubt it will be with Africa Dream Safaris.
Thank you ADS for an extraordinary safari and for everything you did for us!
Marybeth B. and Janet G.
Boulder Creek, California
Safari Dates: October 2, 2015 to October 14, 2015