1726…no, that’s not the year we did our first of 5 safaris with ADS…that’s the number of miles we covered during our exceptional 12 day safari! As my wife and I are avid photographers, going during the wet season has been very high on our list. We knew would never have another opportunity to go during peak season and have a minimal number of vehicles in the Southern Serengeti and Ngorongoro Conservation Area, as Covid would severely limit the number of safari travelers. Our guide ensured we would be in the optimum area to observe the Migration, which meant driving many miles to follow the ever moving herds, depending upon which lodge we were staying. ADS excels at getting you to the animals, and the miles driven are inconsequential.
To say our safari exceeded our expectations for adventure and thrills would be an understatement. Our expectations continue to grow higher with each safari, so this was no easy feat, and it certainly took some fortuitous planning to bring it all together. We carefully weighed all the associated risks of travel during a pandemic, and can readily say, we had a very safe journey, from our 10 takeoff and landings, to our overall safari experience.
ADS, as usual, spent a great deal of time with us planning our itinerary based up our particular wants for this safari. ADS also ensured our driver was Covid tested prior to our arrival, and they expertly arranged for our PCR test, 3 days prior to our departure and return to the US. Our hands were free to focus on our shutter buttons and the thrills of all the animals.
The lodges we stayed in made us feel very safe, and the staff wore masks throughout our respective stays. Tables in the dining rooms were adequately spaced, but this was never really a problem, as there were so few safari guests, and on occasion, we were the only one’s in the lodge.
Our guide was once again superb, and ensured our photography needs were met on a daily basis. In fact, he was able to rescue and help other guides who were fruitlessly lost in the Serengeti. We saw some very unhappy safari clients in the vehicles which were lost, 30 or 40 miles from where they had expected to have been.
There…now that I have put your mind at ease about our travels, let’s get on to the animals. We knew we would experience a good amount of rain, and that was certainly the case, although everyday also had its share of star shine. Our previous safaris were all done in the dry seasons, so this was a particularly exciting treat for us to look out across the expansive Serengeti and observe a sea of green! The Ngorongoro Crater looked like an enormous salad bowl, filled to the brim, with a plethora of vegetation.
It’s as if Mother Nature understood our desire to see the more unusual animals on this safari, and that was certainly the case. We had never seen a Serval before, never mind a Caracal, and the almost mystical Pangolin! Our guide with 15 years of guiding experience, had only seen 1 other Caracal during this time, and he was as excited as we were.
We were even most fortunate to have seen a number of Rhino in the crater, and added some great photos of them to our portfolio. Black Serval?? Never even knew such a creature existed until we bumped in to him in the Crater.
The wildebeest migration was spectacular, and we saw no less than 1 million of them in the Southern Serengeti. We drove through them for many miles and the herd just never seemed to end. The accompanying photographs do not begin to do the scene visual justice, and one must experience this phenomenon first hand to truly comprehend its enormity. I could go on and on about our animal encounters, but I will let our photographs do the talking.
A very heartfelt thanks to ADS, the lodges we stayed in and to the people of Tanzania, who made this particular safari a standout in a time when one might be hesitant to go to a local restaurant. We could not have been more happy with the outcome!
Peter and Jody A.
Oro Valley, Arizona
Safari Dates: February 10, 2021 to February 22, 2021
22 Comments Leave a Comment
Peter, your photos and testimonial have fed our excitement to the point of bursting! We cannot wait to get onto that plane! Just 5 weeks to go….the clock seems to be ticking ever so slowly. Thank you for sharing your fabulous photos, as well as all your tips and tricks! Can’t wait to share back.
Thanks very much Nina! I’m sure you will have a fantastic safari. Looking very forward to hearing about all your wonderful adventures.
Peter, we just returned from our adventure on Saturday. To say it was unbelievable is an understatement. Only those of us who have been can comprehend the enormity of the experience! Thanks again for all your pre-trip help! Our own photos and travel experience on the blog to follow shortly!
Your photos are out of this world! I’ve been 3 times with ADS but your photos are best I have seen.
Thanks very much for your most glowing comments Mary. You obviously love ADS and Tanzania, as much as we do, and great to hear from another enthusiast. Peter
Hi Peter and Jody. Just read your review. That is so exciting. My husband Dr. Donald Daly and I are planning our trip with ADS for July. We are very excited about this trip. Since we will be there for Don’s birthday we will be doing a balloon flight that day.
Anyway thanks for the great review. That has us even more excited.
Hi! Even though we have only just returned, I’m envious of your pending July safari! That sounds like a wonderful birthday present for Don, and I’m sure you will really enjoy your balloon ride as well. Thanks for your nice comments too. Peter
Many thanks for sharing. It’s been 10 year since we went on safari with ADS. Your pictures and story have inspired us to return soon!
Hi Carman…. my pleasure sharing our experiences and photos. Most happy that we have provided some inspiration for you to return to Tanzania, certainly one our most cherished places on our planet.
Your pictures are stunning! Thank you for sharing them.
My pleasure Marybeth, and thanks very much for your kind words! Peter
Your images belong in a book. Absolutely loved each and every photo you both captured during your trip. We are so looking forward to and can’t wait for our upcoming 3rd trip with ADS in May 2022. Thanks for sharing your trip with us.
Most thoughtful words Bruce! We have always been so thrilled to be in Tanzania, being supported by the whole ADS team. It’s great that you will return in 2022, and a third safari no less. Most happy to have shared, and best of good fortune on your upcoming safari. Peter
We love your stunning photos and look forward to our trip withADS in September. Any advice for a camera lens for an avid but very amateur photographer??( I have a Canon EOS t6i body)
Thanks so much Katie! I’m sure September cannot come fast enough for you. Great that you have Canon gear, and your t6i, is an excellent camera. An almost must lens would be Canon’s 100-400L series, either the mark i or ii. We shoot with both, but the mark ii, is certainly the more refined of the 2 lenses. Since both have been available for many years, the used market is a very good place to find one, should you not want the expensive of a new mark ii. Please feel free to reach out to me with any additional camera questions. Peter
Your pictures are spectacular! I had to look at them several times to fully enjoy all the details. We’ve been on 2 ADS safaris and they are the very best of the safari companies. The care and attention to detail they give is unsurpassed. We look forward to seeing Tanzania again soon with ADS.
Thanks very much for your gracious comments Marge! Could not agree more with you about ADS, which is obviously why we have been with them 5 times. A very customer centric company if there ever was one. Peter
Your photos are STUNNING! And what an incredible gift to see Tanzania’s wonders without a lot of other tourists. Thanks for sharing your photos.
Thanks very much Wendy and happy you enjoyed our photography!
Great shots they are some of the best safari photos I seen What lens did use?
Thank you Jim! Canon lenses ranged from 24mm through 500mm. A must lens for Tanzania would be a very good zoom lens in the 100-400mm range.
Just WOW !!! Stunning photos. We are three weeks our from our first ADS safari and bursting with excitement. We are going with a Canon EOS R6 with an RF mount 100-400, hoping to get our hands on an extender before departure if supply chain permits. Any tips or recommendations from five-time veterans would be much appreciated. Have a feeling, one will not do and we will be back for a green season safari.