From the moment we stepped off the plane in Kilimanjaro and walked across the tarmac to the airport, we knew we had made the right choice in Africa Dream Safaris.
We were met immediately, whisked through the immigration process and into our waiting vehicle. We soon arrived at our hotel where we rested for the evening in anticipation of our flight across the Serengeti the next morning.
Our guide and driver, Claude, was waiting for us when our bush plane touched down the next morning and then the adventure really began. Within five minutes of leaving the airstrip, we were stopped on a bridge watching countless numbers of hippos. We knew we were in for a special trip.
We read all the reviews, guidebooks, and “Weekly Updates from Tanzania” for months in anticipation of this bucket list trip. Each review seemed to be even better than the one before. Honestly, we hoped that they were all true and not exaggerated! We can say, they were NOT exaggerations.
Beginning with those hippos in the river by the airstrip, we kept a running list of the animals we saw. Before the day was over and we had been delivered to our first lodge, we had seen 15 different animals…and four of the Big Five. Claude was very knowledgeable about all the animals and their behaviors. We learned so much! And how he spotted the sleeping lions on the kopjes and the tiniest of birds will always be a mystery. As in all the other reviews, we felt very lucky to have such a great guide.
When we told friends about our trip, they all asked about the accommodations. The word “tent” is used very loosely in the Serengeti. Our lodges were the utmost in beauty and comfort. Our only regret is that the game drives were so much fun, we didn’t have a lot of time to enjoy all the amenities. Just not enough hours in the day. But it was sure nice to come back to the warm welcome, warm washcloths to wash off the Serengeti make-up, and cool fruit drinks each evening. And the meals were all wonderful, especially our “bush dinner” at the Migration Camp.
But the stars of the trip were the animals, of course. Some of the highlights were two kills – one by a cheetah and another by a hyena. Very amazing. We saw lions doing a mating dance (and actually mating!), a mother cheetah with her two cubs, several leopards, countless elephants, including two juveniles “wrestling”, thousands of zebras, wildebeests and cape buffalo. A surprise was the number of babies: a two week old giraffe with his umbilical cord still attached, a tiny elephant about two months old, many zebra, antelope and buffalo babies, lots of lion cubs, baby ostriches and really cute tiny baby warthogs to mention only a few. Oh, and a two week old baby baboon that we could have spent hours watching!
We have already recommended this trip to many friends, and ADS in particular. We came home with nearly 4,000 pictures (pay close attention to the guidebook on advice about cameras and lenses) and are trying to cull them down to a reasonable number for a slide show. Next time, we would like to go back during the wet season to see the beautiful Serengeti when it is green.
Thank you, Claude and Africa Dream Safaris for making our bucket list trip a success!
Louann and Jim D.
Safari Dates: September 18, 2016 to September 28, 2016