From the moment we arrived in Arusha and were greeted by Joseph and Matthius, our trip was flawless, liberally sprinkled with surprises around every turn that would delight even the most seasoned traveler, and just simply, the most epic adventure.
We came away from our trip with so much more than we bargained for – we saw the great migration, the crossing, lions mating, angry lions confronting hyenas who had stolen their food, elephants, giraffe and zebras galore, and so many more animals. We saw the Big Five!
What we were unprepared for, and for some reason were so incredibly surprised about, was the cultural experience that this trip offered. The Tanzanians, across the board, are so warm, welcoming, hospitable and joyful. Everyone we met offered their hand to us, extended friendship and shared a bit about themselves and their country.
After spending 2 nights at Arusha Coffee Lodge (which I would highly recommend) we were whisked off to the airport for our trip to the Serengeti – since I am not a fan of small planes, I knew this would be the most stressful part of the trip for me. Quite to the contrary! I’m sure this was unusual, but we were the only passengers and the pilot treated us to a “fly around” of the only active volcano in Tanzania. It was breathtaking.
Landing at the Kogatende airstrip we both excited, but a bit nervous to meet Bennett. Your driver/guide will be your constant companion, and well, you hope for the best. But Bennett, who would be our driver/guide for the next 13 days, was extraordinary in all ways. Intelligent, knowledgeable, funny, and with a superior ability to spot animals – Bennett really made the trip more special than we had expected – and we knew it would be special.
Bennett provided us with so many viewing moments where we were the only vehicle around – so many insightful moments about the history of Tanzania, the tribes of Tanzania and such a wealth of information about animals and animal behavior. (Disclaimer, my husband is a wildlife expert which Bennett did figure out – it was especially delightful when Bennett could surprise my husband with unknown animal facts which he did nearly every day!)
I’d especially like to point out how much I enjoyed our “proper coffee” stops every day mid-morning – Bennett throws quite a nice caffeine break for those of us who crave a bit more coffee!
We always knew that, for us, a private safari was the way to go rather than a group tour. Although we feel especially indebted to OUR driver/guide, Bennett, I suspect that all of ADS driver/guides are as hospitable, funny and knowledgeable as ours was, which is really a testament to ADS.
To anyone considering ADS, I urge you, wait no more! Sharon planned an absolutely flawlessly executed trip, was always responsive and so very knowledgeable.
You will always see animals in the Serengeti, but going with ADS is the only way you will experience the true warmth and hospitality of Tanzania, a truly unique wildlife viewing experience, the most phenomenal driver/guides ever, and behind the scenes expertise and knowledge that, in my opinion, no one else can match. And there will be some very lovely surprises along the way!
Asante sana, ADS, Sharon, Matthius, Joseph and Bennett.
Jill and Ron D.
Safari Dates: June 26, 2017 to July 11, 2017