It is not often when reality surpasses your dreams but from the moment we landed on a dirt runway in the Central Serengeti and a herd of wild Zebras were our welcoming committee to the time that we were surrounded by over 2 million as we were front and center to the Great Migration, I knew we were part of something I could only imagine…up until then!
Over the next 11 days, we slept in tents (a few lodges) and fell asleep to the roar of Lions. Each and every day was something different and brought with it a new and exciting experience that will be with us forever.
Whether it was waking up and going out to see a Leopard drag his recent nightly kill up a tree, to the daily box lunches we had with Lioness, Lions, and Cheetah as we watched the interaction between the mothers and their cubs, we truly were living National Geographic moments.
We saw it all: Lions, Lioness, Cheetahs and their cubs, Leopards, Elephants, Buffalo, Rhinos, Monkeys, Baboons, Hippos, Hyenas, Jackals, Wart Hogs, Eagles, Flamingo’s and more. The stories I can tell could go on for pages but the one that stays with me the most and epitomizes why ADS is the only one who could have given me such memories is as follows…
Being it’s a private, customizable, flexible, safari with unlimited miles and distance you can pretty much make changes on a moment’s notice. It was our 2nd night and the next day we were schedule to go to a place on the original itinerary we were given before we left. Arnold (the best driver/guide ever…more on him later) suggested we change the plan.
Arnold said he just received word where the Migration was located. He said it was far but if we were up for a long 3-hour drive he was too! He knew one of the main reason for me being there was to experience just that so it took me less that a second to say yes! The next morning, we were in the car at 6.00am and started our dive.
What was to take 3 hours took more like 4 hours (if not a little more) why??…because we were in no rush and the sights along the way of herds of Elephants, Buffalo and Zebra constantly had us stopping to see and experience what was in front of us. Even before we got to our destination the day was a total success. I saw things I’ve only imagined and I was already quite content if the day would have ended there. Thankfully though, it did not end there.
As we went up a hill and around the bend we were rewarded with a view that no picture can ever do justice too. There along the horizon for as far as I could see front, left and right were over 2 MILLION Zebra and Wildebeests. It was sensory overload. There in front of me was the Great Migration!
My heart was beating like a 5-year old experiencing Disney for the first time as I was totally overcome with excitement. Arnold being the best driver / guide of all time slowly proceeded to drive us down into the middle of what was a never-ending sea of animals. He turned off the engine and there we stayed as we took in the sights and sounds of what the Great Migration is all about.
What made it ever more spectacular was in this total vastness of animals and land there was only 1 other vehicle in sight and, of course, it was another ADS one. We were the only 2 witnessing this magnificent “moment in time”. No other company took the time or drove the distance for their customer’s to experience this. We were all alone! This is what ADS is all about.
My stories like my pictures can go on and on…and will for me for many years to come. I cannot thank Michael Wishner enough for the time he spent listening and understanding to what it was I really wanted. He totally guided me and had me change my time frame which I was very nervous about. I wanted to go during another season for my birthday. He convinced me that based on what I told him I wanted the only time to go was April…he was RIGHT!!
But my biggest thanks and reason I feel my trip ended up being what it was is because of the best drive r/ guide EVER. Arnold knew everything about the country, the animals and their instincts. His patience and understanding of what we wanted was what put this trip over the top. Nothing was ever a bother or too much.
He knew how important “the picture” was to me. He would move the vehicle 3 inches so a branch was not in the way. He was constantly saying “hold please” as he would reposition the vehicle in a better light. He saw things in trees or in the grass from what seemed like miles away. He was always on the radio making sure he found out where the action was.
I witnessed firsthand how other drivers quickly drove to where we already were, take a picture and leave. Their customers were not able to experience the intimacy we did by taking our time sitting there and watching the interaction not only between the animals within their own families but the interaction of different animal species. They will never know what they missed! I on the other hand know what I did NOT miss. Arnold WAS and IS the reason why my trip will forever be with me.
Thank you Arnold, thank you ADS and thank you Tanzania for giving my son and I a lifetime of memories!
Voorhees, New Jersey
Safari Dates: April 10, 2017 to April 21, 2017