When I booked this trip, I asked for Photography all the time and you did not disappoint! We were met at immigration and avoided a 2 ½ hour line and the following morning we were met by an individual named Precious. Sincerely she is Precious. She was the personification of a modern African women, smart, erudite and gracious.
Precious took us to the bush airport and made sure that our overweight luggage got on without charge. Apparently, your name, African Dream covers some weight. Time passed fast on the flight and we landed on a dirt runway in the middle of nowhere.
We were met by our guide Pokea who was with us during the entire trip. He knew every crack, crevice and hideout for the animals of the Serengeti. His ability to see the unseen, and to locate game was uncanny. He knew which and where to get the best shots and truly knew the park.
This trip, although very rough, was not a minute wasted. We were up and out at 6AM and came back slightly before sundown at 6PM. We were spared the assembly of 20 other Land Cruisers over filled with tourists with cell phones intimidating the animals.
The rough parts are the dirt roads, which are both dirt and rocks. I must say, I never saw a vehicle (Toyota Land Cruiser) take that much punishment. Literally, the water bottles were jumping out of the cup holders. The photo ops and the photos exceeded my expectations. We got to see everything.
I understand that there are some 400 tour operators in the Park, but yours catered to my wish for Photography all the time, we were clients not a number. The accommodations were camp sites, while the others mainly vote for Lodges. These are large tents with bathrooms and showers and real beds. But, this is not a Hampton Inn and they were not filled with amateur travelers. After dinner, we could barely get to the tent to crash.
I did not come to Africa for fine dining, swimming pools and a touch of safari. If I wanted this, Hawaii is a better choice. I got the real deal. The food was pleasant and adequate and we particularly enjoyed lunch in the middle of the Serengeti. Pokea made coffee and we enjoyed it as much as Teddy Roosevelt or Dr. Livingston might have.
While I cannot comment on your more traditional itineraries, ours fulfilled a 70-year dream of seeing what Dr Carl Akeley of the American Museum of Natural History saw when he visited in the early 1920’s and taking photos of it. I subscribe to the axiom, “There are those who travel, and those who travel well.”
At the end of the trip, Pokea took us to an Art Gallery and gift shop. It was large, inexpensive and definitely not a tourist trap.
For those wishing to get somewhat serious in photography, if you don’t bring a 500mm lens, don’t bother with photography. You do also need a 24-120mm, and a 300mm, and two bodies. Some things are close (150 ft.) but most are hundreds of feet away and short glass just does not do it.
Again, both my daughter and I fully thank you and your entire staff for the trip of a lifetime. You spared us from seeing a tourist version of Tanzania.
Cary R. and Stacey O.
East Hills, New York
Safari Dates: July 03, 2017 to July 12, 2017