With retirement from full-time careers, we were finally ready to fulfill one of our lifetime dreams of a safari. We wanted the full experience of wildlife in their natural habitat as well as learning about the people, history, geography and environment of the region. Since this was our first visit to Africa, there was a bewildering range of options requiring a significant amount of planning and preparation to select the best company which could maximize our chances for a successful trip.
After research with several companies and corresponding with Sharon, Africa Dream Safaris (ADS) was our best fit for visiting Tanzania and the Serengeti region. Compared to other companies ADS had the best combination of customer support and interaction, and provided a private safari agenda with quality accommodations and staff at reasonable cost. Due to the uncertainty associated with movement of animals in the areas of interest, a private safari tailored to our requests was the only way to go.
Late May was a good time of the year to visit with fewer visitors, only a few brief showers, cooler weather, many flowers in bloom and regional migrations in progress. Most importantly, our driver/guide Patrick and other ADS support personnel provided us with great guidance, interaction, fun and confidence throughout the visit and had answers for our countless questions.
The lodging accommodations delivered as promised, and we especially were impressed with the staff at Mbuzi Mawe tented lodge. We also were surprised by the special retirement recognitions and mementos provided by ADS at Mbuzi Mawe and Ngorongoro.
Patrick was always providing extra effort to make the safari successful, spot wildlife and providing background information. Most days we optioned for the early morning game rides and were rewarded with spectacular sunrises and animal activity. We spotted all the Big 5 (Lion, Leopard, Rhino, Elephant and Cape Buffalo) plus the Cheetahs, Hyenas, Jackals, Zebras, Antelopes, Gazelles, Hippos, Giraffes, Wildebeests, Crocodiles, Baboons and Monkeys and many other animals and varieties of birds.
In addition, we saw double rainbows and spectacular scenery, heard the animals close by at night, and learned about the local culture including a visit to a Masai Boma and had several opportunities for souvenir shopping. We learned that one can still have a wonderful time without a cell phone, the internet and television or paved roads.
The highlight of the trip was finding two separate prides of about 15 lions and cubs which had just started feasting on a Wildebeest. We could have stayed most of the day watching. We also saw Cheetahs and Hyenas with their prey, Lions resting on large rocks on Kopjes, the Hippos at Retima and other sites too numerous to mention here. The clouds even parted to see the top of Kilimanjaro on our last day.
Thanks to ADS and good planning, our trip exceeded expectations with no significant issues. Based on our experience we are happy to recommend ADS to anyone for a memorable Tanzanian safari experience.
Larry and Sharon F.
Safari Dates: May 15, 2019 to May 24, 2019