My wife and I completed an amazing 12 day safari in September with Africa Dream Safari (ADS), which exceeded all of our expectations. There are many reasons why I am glad that I selected ADS for our safari. First, I received expert advice when planning the itinerary for our trip and choosing the camps. (Many thanks to Sharon for answering all of my pesky questions and to Michael for his photography tips—the beanbags worked out great!).
Second, from the moment we landed in Kilimanjaro and throughout our safari, we received VIP treatment from and because of ADS. For example, we were able to avoid the long visa line and got expedited entry into Tanzania because of ADS (thank you, Mathias!) and on two occasions, at different camps, we were treated to a private, secluded dinner with a cake baked just for us, apparently because of our affiliation with ADS.
But the most important reason I am grateful for having selected ADS is the superior quality and expertise of their guides. ADS must treat their guides well because they seem to stay with the company for a long time.
Our guide, Bennett, has been with ADS for 10 years, and the guide of another couple we became friends with was going on his 8th year. So why is that important? Because your guide can make or break your safari. And the more experience your guide has, the better are the odds that you’ll find the animals you’ve traveled so far to see.
And, boy, was Bennett knowledgeable about animal behavior and skilled at being in the right place at the right time. For example, we saw two wildebeest crossings on the first day of our safari, and on each occasion Bennett was the first to arrive on the scene.
Another time Bennett saw a herd of zebra and remarked that they looked tense so there must be a big cat around. Sure enough a few minutes later we saw a male and female lion (a mating couple) walking through the tall grass on the plains.
Then there was the time that we watched a lion pride of about 8 or 9 lions munching on a Cape buffalo calf when Bennett pointed out a herd of elephant, with 3 babies, approaching. “Watch what happens,” Bennett said.
And a few minutes later, a big female elephant, who Bennett identified as the matriarch of the herd, went right up to the lion pride and blared out a warning, which caused the lions, including one full grown male, to disperse and retreat to the safety of a nearby rock outcropping. And that’s when I learned that the elephant is the true king (or in this case queen) of beasts.
I could go on and on describing all of the wonderful animal scenes we witnessed. We must have seen over 30 lions, 18 cheetahs, 10 hyenas, 4 leopards, dozens of Cape buffalo, giraffe and hippo, hundreds of zebras and antelope, and of course thousands of wildebeest.
Bennett even found a black rhino mother with her youngster in the Northern Serengeti region, which is rare. And while we watched all of the many animal species, Bennett would regale us with facts about them. He even helped me with swapping out my lenses (I had 4 that I used).
So Bennett, many thanks for making our safari such a memorable one! And thank you as well to all of the ADS folk who treated us so well throughout our journey. Here’s hoping that we see you all soon!
Elliot S. and Janet B.
Safari Dates: September 05, 2017 to September 17, 2017