I have to say that planning this trip we were a little overwhelmed. Where to go, who to go with, where to stay, etc. Once we decided on the great migration and Tanzania it only got slightly easier! My wife and I have dreamed of exploring Africa since we were kids, this trip needed to fulfill a lot of expectations. Throw on top of this Kelly’s mother-in-law was going and needed some extra care, as well as 3 eager kids. After what seemed an endless research project, we ran into Africa Dream Safari. From the initial contact, we were very impressed.
Between our expectations and the sheer cost of taking a private Africa safari, that bar was set very, very high. With what we were spending between the safari and airfare, this trip needed to be amazing. We’ve been to 6 continents, dozens of countries, and the gamut of accommodations. How could anywhere live up to this level of expectation?
From the moment we touched down in Kilimanjaro, we were blown away. Every single member of ADS we were in contact with went above and beyond anything we could ever have expected. Joseph drove us around Arusha both before and after the Serengeti. Seemed like a member of our family.
Precious was our initial contact before heading out and after we returned. She was extremely professional and answered all questions we had. Arusha gave the entire family the royal treatment. Seeing the local markets, school children heading to school, the hustle and bustle of a very friendly city.
What can I say about the Serengeti…Took our breath away! Our 2 drivers (Wilfred and Patrick) were incredible. I got to thinking…how in the world does ADS have such incredible staff, everyone in the organization. We have trouble doing this at our factories. From the first to the last lodge, they all exceeded our expectation from the location, staff, amenities… I could go on and on. They were all unique in their own way and we would re-visit any of them again.
I think perhaps Wilfred and Patrick have tracking devices on the animals or eyes in the backs of their heads. How they spot a leopard in a tree while navigating the roads is beyond me. Our only job was to try to see them…it usually took them pointing them out for several minutes before we ever saw them.
Oh yeah, there were animals too. I was expecting to see this or that occasionally, but the amount of animals and proximity to them took us all by surprise. I think we saw everything and then some.
Traveling from the airport when we first landed in the Serengeti to the hotel, we came across a large herd of wildebeest. We had to park and wait for the herd to go by. Wilfred had us look behind us, not 50’ away was a female lioness stalking the herd. He told us what she was doing, which wildebeest she was looking to hunt, etc.. We just arrived and we are seeing a lion hunt, we now had the kids attention. After watching this successful hunt, we were off to our first lodge.
The animal encounters from that point on only got better. Our 10 year olds main objective was to see the big 5. Well, Wilfred made that all happen in 1 day. She was ticking off animals from her book by marking which ones we saw. She wanted to see every animal in the book. By the time we left the Serengeti, she had everything marked off except one animal. She kept wanting to see it but we explained that Seals don’t live in the Serengeti, perhaps Zanzibar.
We were reminded time and time again during the trip why we chose a private tour. We often came across 3 or 4 land cruisers in a convoy all from the same company. It was like watching a circus every time they stopped. The ability to leave when we wanted to, where to go, when to return was immeasurable with the kids and Kelly’s mom.
When all was said and done, we are still decompressing from what we have experienced. Indescribable experience, Something I wish everyone was able to see. I want to personally say “Thank You” from our entire family for the best experience of our lives…so far.
I’ve attached a few pictures that I took on the trip. I’ll be putting together an online photo album that I’ll send your way once I get a chance to go thru all of the photos. We would recommend ADS to anyone wanting to head to Tanzania and would not hesitate to use you again on a future trip.
Thank you again… We will remember this trip forever.
Dave B. and Family
Safari Dates: July 30, 2017 to August 09, 2017