We just returned from another safari with Africa Dream Safaris and we are so glad that we didn’t put it off until another year. We found that there was no need to worry about the effect that Covid might have had on venturing on a safari to Africa. ADS only uses lodges and camps where the staff observes Covid protocols of mask wearing, hand sanitizing, and in some places, temperature readings.
At all but one of the camps that we stayed in, the dining room is in a screened room so the air flows freely. The tables were widely separated. All of these practices were reassuring, but in reality, we were either the only guests staying there or one or two other groups of guests. The camp staff was so grateful to have guests at their property. At each camp, the camp manager, chefs and others came to chat with us.
It seemed to us that the tide is turning and tourists are beginning to return to the beautiful Serengeti and the friendly people of Tanzania. For a country that survives in large part on tourism, we were so happy to have been a part of the re-opening of many of these camps that had been closed for way too long.
We want to send out a special thank you to the ADS family that made our safari so special. We planned this safari on very short notice, but Michael and the rest of the ADS staff, here and in Tanzania, worked hard to make sure we got our necessary visas, Covid testing arranged (in the U.S. and Tanzania), and all other necessary arrangements made on time. Michael also kindly arranged for us to have bush dinners outside around a campfire at a number of our camps and a celebration of our 25th anniversary. Thank you, Michael. That was very enjoyable!
Upon arrival in Tanzania, it was like meeting old friends as Mathias and our guide, Ellison, met us at the airport in Kilimanjaro. Mathias has met us at the airport for each one of our safaris and gives us a full briefing on what to expect on our safari. Ellison and Mathias are in contact with each other throughout the safari to arrange everything for a smooth safari and easy departure back to the U.S.
This was our third safari with Ellison as our guide. It was great seeing Ellison again after a few years absence and once again, we were delighted with his friendliness, sense of humor, patience, knowledge, etc. Thank you Ellison for everything you did to make our safari so wonderful. We hope to see you again someday!
The wildlife viewing was spectacular. We were fortunate to have seen a large portion of the migration on three separate occasions. We were the only jeep in the area to be surrounded by thousands and thousands of wildebeest and zebra.
We were lucky to see some of the more elusive animals such as caracal (on two separate occasions), a serval cat, a side-striped jackal, and four different kinds of snakes. For those who might be snake-phobic, don’t worry, snake sightings are not actually very common, but we did see two python, two puff adders, a black mamba, and a very quick glance at a smaller non-venomous snake.
In summary, our opinion is that a fear of Covid should not be a reason for keeping you from traveling to Tanzania. The people waiting there for you will more than make up for any fears you might have. Enjoy!
James and Sandra M.
Safari Dates: June 11, 2021 to June 23, 2021
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Hi James & Sandra!
Loved reading about your recent adventure! We, too, had the adventure of a lifetime in April with Russell as our guide, and like you, we pretty much had all the lodges and the Serengeti to ourselves… which was sad for the people and the country but wonderful for us! We absolutely loved everything about Tanzania and the warm, friendly people and plan on going back as soon as we can, (and of course only with ADS!) And, also like you, we couldn’t have felt safer as far as Covid goes from the moment we left San Francisco until we returned 17 days later.
We loved looking at your photos and are jealous that you got to see a caracal! Lol! However, we did get to see nine servals including one melanistic! 🙂
We are curious as to what camera equipment you used, and what lenses, as your photo certainly are wonderful…!
Take care and we are so happy that you had such a grand safari!
Mark & Nina, San Jose, California
Mark & Nina,
I am not a avid photographer but I do like to take pictures. Accordingly, the equipment I use is not the best, but is more than adequate. I used a Canon 70D body. It is a few years old. The features are “somewhat” the same as the very expensive cameras w/o the cost. The main lens was a Sigma 400 mm. zoom. It has pretty good range and takes decent pics. I had other cameras for closer shots w/o having to switch lenses. Sandra had a Canon “SX” series with a built in zoom lens that does an amazing job for close up shots at great distances.
Wow, nine servals, what did you do, bring cat food in the vehicle? 🙂
We have heard nothing but good things about Russell as a guide and maybe someday….
James and Sandra
Wow, considering you aren’t “avid” photographers, Mark and I think you both did the Serengeti justice…your photos are really good. We found, though, in truth, it’s pretty darn hard to take a “bad” photo in Africa! We’ve been home over 2 months now, and are still having a hard time getting into the car with our cameras and going out to our normal digs to do some photography…everything just seems so….boring! LOL! Thanks much for the response.
PS We heard that Ellison is phenomenal, too… 🙂
James & Sandra…………….your trip sounds marvelous and the your pics are priceless. In particular, the leopard and caracal pics, big cats can be tricky. We are returning this August with ADS after missing 2020 due to COVID and are again getting excited.
What type of camera equipment did you use if I may ask (lenses, etc)? How many days was your safari?
Thanks and glad you had another priceless safari with ADS!
Kevin & Natalie, Los Altos, CA
Kevin & Natalie,
I brought a couple cameras. I used a Canon 70D body for the main camera. Not the latest and greatest, but pretty good. The lens was a Sigma 400 mm. zoom. It does a decent job. I also had a Canon M50 (compact body) with a couple lenses. Not the best for wildlife as it has an electric shutter that blacks out the image during and a bit after each shot. You can’t really follow along while taking pictures. It was nice to use it for close shots or wide scenery shots when things are not moving. I used my cell phone for some pics and videos and even brought a GoPro camera for moving vehicle pictures. Still a bit bouncy to watch. Sandra had a Canon “SX” series with a built in zoom lens that handles close ups real well.
We left LAX on June 10th and got back the 24th. (Safari dates June 11-23rd) We went more north and west than we usually go due to the left over migration still running around those areas.
This was our 7th safari with ADS.
I am sure you will have a great time in August. Wish I was going back then also!