That was my wifes’ reaction when I made the suggestion for our next trip. Africa had always been on our radar but it had always been a “back burner” thing. However, after watching a cute movie about Africa on Netflix it was suddenly back at the top of my list.
Now the real work began. What kind of safari? Group? Private? How much? And where in Africa? Obviously, the choices were many and diverse. However, after consulting my crystal ball (and Forbes “Best Safari Companies in Africa” on the internet and figuring out the finances, we decided to give Africa Dream Safaris (ADS) a look.
With the safari package options available as well as the reasonable pricing it seemed like a logical choice. So I sent out an inquiring email. Within 24 hours I had a response from Sharon Lyons with answers to most all of my questions. This seemed promising. After a little back and forth, we settled on dates and a cost (safaris are not cheap, you know). We opted for the 2 person, private safari which meant we had our own Land Cruiser.
With the package (Hemingway I believe), duration and pricing it was turning out to be the best “bang for the buck”. Once that was decided, then all we had to do was get there. Again, ADS answered the call with an often used travel agent for our flights to and from. As you might well imagine, there were still numerous details to be attended to and again, ADS was invaluable with their assistance.
From the time we landed in Africa and were whisked through customs (front of the line) to attending to the smallest of details, ADS and their local support personnel were ever present and on top of everything. The camps where we stayed in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro were first rate and we wanted for nothing. This was glamping at its finest with excellent accommodations, first rate meals, and 5 Star service. It was amazing.
I guess now its probably time to talk about our guide who was with us for the entire length of our stay. I am not quite sure how to adequately describe or do justice to Ally and what he meant to us and the success of our safari. While in his charge, we did not want for anything.
It is also important to remember that although we had a daily “schedule”, this was OUR safari and we were free to deviate if we so chose. We didn’t. Always safe and with a couple of surprises for us every day, we saw more animals than I ever would have imagined. Ally put us on the pages of National Geographic and at the same time offered a running commentary on all of the animals. Without him, this safari would not have been the success that it was. I cannot sing his praises loud enough.
So what about pictures/videos. I am by no means a photographer / videographer but again ADS took care of that too, putting me in contact with their professional world renowned photographer. I was not about to spend $2500-$3000 or more on a camera and lenses that I would probably use only once and I did not want to “lug” around all of that equipment.
He suggested that I look into renting one and suggested a “bridge” camera with a built in 22-600mm zoom. So no extra lenses were required. Then after I got the camera, he spent 1 ½ hours on the telephone with me setting it up. GREAT!! I am just now reviewing the last of almost 2900 pictures that I took, plus additional videos. But I guess my point is that ADS had me covered there too.
Obviously, we are pleased beyond words with the complete service provided by Africa Dream Safaris and will recommend them highly to anyone who is interested in their own safari.
Bob and Mary O.
Safari Dates: April 09, 2022 to April 19, 2022