I’m not sure where to even start other than we had a fantastic safari. First of all, the tented camps and tented lodges were much nicer than we envisioned. The workers at all of our lodges, which many were local Masai, were incredibly friendly and always happy to help in any way. That also seemed to be true of all the Tanzanian people we dealt with from the hotels to the cultural center to F.A.M.E to the meet and greet staff and to any locals we met on safari.
Then, there comes our guides. I’m sure everyone that travels with ADS believes they had the best guides and we are no exception. We loved our guides Roman and Emmanuel (Ema) and could not say enough about them. Their friendliness, driving skills, knowledge of the animals, general knowledge of Africa, and sincere desire to accommodate any of our wants or needs were more than we could have hoped for. By the end of the trip they were truly part of our family people best indicated by the tears saying goodbye.
Now the Safari itself. While we expected to see a lot I don’t believe any of the 10 of us had any idea just how much we would see. We started out at the crater early and enjoyed a pride of lions playing and lounging just feet away. We saw elephant, zebra, gazelles, buffaloes, flamingoes, and even a black rhino in the distance so our trip started out great and then got better. Over the next 8 days here are some of the highlights:
We parked for a good while probably 10 feet from a lioness with her 3 new cubs (the guides estimated 4 weeks old ) playing under a tree while on the other side of the jeep was another mother with her approximately 6 month cubs playing with each other.
We also got very close to different lions both sometimes laying under a tree, sometimes on a Kopje, and also just walking through the tall grass.
We saw different herds of elephants and again able to get very close for great pictures.
The giraffes and zebra were everywhere along with the wildebeest. We were even able to slowly get very close to a giraffe on our Walking Safari.
We were very fortunate to come across a black rhino mother in a shallow stream with her baby on the bank above her. That was awesome.
I don’t believe that many safaris can say they saw a black spitting cobra. Well, not only did we see one but we were very close. We spotted this long black something sticking out of a hole while driving near a small river. As we got close we could tell it was a snake but the guide thought maybe it was dead because there was no movement. Then after a minute we saw some slight movement and he slowly backed out of the hole with a bullfrog in his mouth.
Even the guides were not sure what type of snake it was until we got to camp to positively identify it through all of our pictures as a black cobra. Unbelievable!
We were really lucky to see two Wildebeest Crossings. The first one we the perfect spot with the whole herd coming right at us. We even videoed a crocodile taking down one of them Real National Geographic stuff. Incredible!
On our night safari we came across three lionesses who had just taken down a wildebeest. It was truly unbelievable sitting there with the red infrared lights on them watching them taking apart their feast. We were so close that you could hear every crunch.
We were lucky to find a leopard early one morning in the middle of our trip. He was at a distance and walked beyond our view within a minute or two but we did get a few pictures. Then on our last day through ours and the guides determination we came across a big leopard lounging on a Kopje under a tree. He would occasionally sit up almost to pose for our pictures and we got some great ones.
So, when it comes to animal sightings I don’t think we could have done much better but that wasn’t all we enjoyed. We had a great visit to a Masai village. Besides learning their culture our Masai guide took us into his hut which was really eye opening.
I don’t think it was more than a ten by ten hut with probably a three foot door to get in. We sat there in the dark and listened about how they live. They also did their dance for us and had each of us take a turn jumping with them. It was a great experience that I’m sure no one in our group will forget.
We also loved our F.A.M.E and St. Judes school visits.
I’m sorry if this got lengthy. There was so much we love about our trip but I’m sure you hear it from every group you work with.
We would like to thank you and everyone at ADS for making this a trip of a lifetime for us.
Take care and be assured that anyone we talk to that might be thinking about a Safari we will certainly recommend that they contact you.
Gary W. and Family
St. Charles, Illinois
Safari Dates: July 29, 2018 to August 07, 2018