Lions, Lions, Lions

While drafting this post it feels as though to convey the African safari experience will be a daunting task, one in which mere words will fall far short of the diverse enormity of this wonderful adventure. The folks at Africa Dream Safari however made it all possible.

Beginning with the efficiently expedited ADS Tanzanian visa check in process we were in good hands. Mathias was there, waiting to guide us through a seemingly unending mass of visitors. Everyone in the terminal haphazardly arranged in serpentine like lines, the result of two wide body plane loads of passengers arriving at the same time.

As others gave serious questioning looks we were whisked to the front of the line. I felt like announcing to those who had a long wait ahead “Next time book with ADS”.

Our travel time wind down began with a most welcome, pleasant three night stay at the Lake Duluti Lodge. Kudos to the lodge staff. The accommodations, food and service were great. A winning choice thanks to ADS.

Upon arrival at the Mara River airstrip in the North of the Serengeti National Park, we were met by our driver/guide David. So many previous ADS clients praise their guides as the best, (and I’m sure they are very good) but they haven’t met David. His driving skill, game spotting and educating commentary about the Serengeti and its many diverse residents were five star plus. You name it and we saw it, including the big five. Thank you David.

Witnessing two migration crossings of the Mara river on two separate days, is an absolutely amazing experience. Each time we were perfectly positioned for photographing the action. David had an uncanny sense of where to be and when to be there.

Of all the animal behaviors which we observed the most stunning and compelling was the male African lion. Regal, majestic, and supremely confident, there is no doubt that the lion rules the savanna of the Serengeti. Other species may share that vast territorial expanse but their paths of travel will most assuredly be influenced by the presence of the big cats.

Hundreds of photos had been taken, but only a few, indeed a very few, capture the essence of such a gracefully beautiful animal. One lion photo posted here captured perfectly a large male, with a beautiful dark matted mane. The eyes, for a brief moment, caught the early morning sunlight. Those eyes appeared as two small, yet deeply reflective pools of liquid amber. What a splendid and emotionally thought provoking sight. “What is he thinking?” crossed my mind.

Another favorite was the male who decided to jump a small stream. First crouching in readiness, then the leap, mane blown back as if by a giant hair blower and finally his fore and hind feet gathered together for the landing. A perfect executed landing to be sure!

So many animals were to be seen, each having claimed a specific role in the ecosystem of the vast Serengeti and Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The stealthy leopards, slender fleet cheetahs, opportunistic hyenas, intimidating cape buffalo, wary rhinos, massive nile crocodile, lumbering yet very dangerous hippos, family groups of elephants and zebras, graceful giraffes, antelope of every stripe and size from the diminutive Dik Dik to the large Grants Gazelle, less than attractive warthogs, and wildebeest by the thousands, birds of every size and color, bickering screeches of baboons and monkeys. Then the lions, lions and more lions.

All these creatures to be seen in a swirl of birth, life and death in the African savanna. The music from The Lion King . . . Circle Of Life fits this place perfectly.

On a safari such as this, one feels as though we are in their ‘zoo’. It is of natures making while we are passing through this environment as mere temporary respectful visitors. What a privilege! Tanzania is an enchanting place. Our safari experience was richly enhanced by the people we met. Truly a montage of cultural sights, sounds, smells, language and more.

Village market days, appearing to be pure bedlam, are loosely choreographed by dozens of individual endors selling produce and goods of every type and description. In Arushatown there were motorcycles galore. Of all descriptions and all for hire, they are whimsically known as the African Uber service.

Time well spent were visits to Saint Judes School and the F.A.M.E. medical facility. Both visits were escorted tours by local staff. Everyone was so polite and welcoming. We thank them for their time. An authentic Maasai village or boma provided an opportunity to experience, first hand, a unique African culture. It was a must for our safari itinerary.

The Hemingway Experience tented camps were fantastic. Attention to our every need was more than we could ask. Each morning coffee and tea were served at our tent to enjoy while the new day was launched by a spectacular sunrise. The camp meals would suit any palate, all prepared and served by camp staff dedicated to making their guests feel happy and carefree. They succeeded. Many thanks to all those involved at each camp.

The nighttime sounds of Africa absolutely mesmerize. You fall asleep knowing that new adventures await with each dawn.

During our initial safari planning we had some reservations. Nothing too serious. Questions that could only be answered in time. Everyone of those questions were anticipated and fully addressed by the folks at Africa Dream Safaris. Hakuna Matata!

The only question that remains is “when will we return?” Another ADS safari adventure is now in our plans. We can hardly wait! Meanwhile we will relive this life changing adventure in the weeks and months ahead. Thank you so very much to Michael Wishner and all the staff at Africa Dream Safaris.

Bill and Sandy P.
Ellensburg, Washington
Safari Dates: September 05, 2018 to September 19, 2018

8 Comments Leave a Comment

  1. This is so beautiful !!!! My son and I were there in 2015 and loved every minute. Our guide was wonderful, Emanuel and he was great. , Would love to come back and see more..

    1. Thank you for comment. I sincerely hope that you have another opportunity to go on safari. There is nothing in the world like it, is there? Good luck to you. Bill

  2. In June 2019 we are going on this same safari with ADS….. from your gorgeous pictures I can’t wait!! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Thank you for your comment. We found that half the fun of this great adventure was the time spent in anticipation and planning. I know that you will have a great safari experience with ADS. If possible allow yourselves a couple days to adjust to the time zone change before heading to the bush. Best of luck to you. Bill

  4. We will be staying in Arusha for two nights before starting out on the third day. I learned my lesson when we went to India and didn’t allow a couple days to adjust.
    May I ask what camera and lens you were using? Thank you.

    1. My primary camera choice was a Nikon DSLR D7100. One thing I learned was that I had a lot more to learn about the cameras many features! The lens choice was either an 80-300 mm or for longer range a Nikon 200-500 zoom, sometimes using a 1.4 teleconverter which effectively converted the zoom capability to 700 mm. I found that to be overkill at times. I also used an iPhone for quick close ups.

      1. I’m going to purchase a camera now so I may use it a lot, prior to the trip, to know how it works, etc It has to be simple!! My phone takes great close up pics but I want something for distance also.
        Thank you for your kind responses.
        Sue W. Tew

  5. A lovely stroll along your journey in Africa. Beautiful pictures up close and the Lion jumping to the other side. I bet you will live with this for years!
    My computer was compromised so couldn’t watch this until now. I was one of the many scammed and hoped it was still in my account. I enjoyed the video. What’s next on your bucket list.

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