A safari across the Serengeti has long been a bucket list adventure we’ve been looking towards as we embarked on our retirement years. Then COVID hit and our plans were put on hold. We did not want to experience a safari with a group of 10-12 strangers following an itinerary where we were one of a dozen other tours staying at the same lodges. We were seeking a unique intimate experience that we would remember for the rest of our lives! African Dream Safaris (ADS) provided just such a custom experience.
Working with Sharon Lyon of ADS over many discussions and planning calls, we were able to craft a custom itinerary for four people that exceeded our expectations. ADS only offers safaris in Tanzania and their in depth knowledge of the Serengeti was apparent as they recommended a safari experience that maximized our opportunity to view animals in their environment during the great migration, stay at lodges that offered welcoming and comfortable surroundings and match us with an exceptional guide (Fadhal) that was not only knowledgeable but had a “sixth sense” in locating animal viewing experiences that you’d expect to see in National Geographic documentaries.
From the moment we touched down at Kilimanjaro airport after traveling 28 hours, ADS greeters met us as we got off the plane and swiftly ushered us through the VIP lounge and customs and on our way to the beautiful Legendary Lodge for a few days of excursions around Arusha before heading off to safari.
Our safari kicked off with a bush plane ride north to the Kogatende airstrip near the Lamai Triangle and Mara River region where we met our guide and soon to be best friend for the next 11 days, Fadhal. Within an hour we were experiencing wildebeests, elephants, giraffes, gazelles, zebras, lions, warthogs, baboons, hyenas, vultures as far as the eye could see in all directions – it was simply awesome and magnificent!
During our three nights at the Mara River Camp, we took a sunrise balloon adventure, viewed two river crossings of thousands of wildebeests and zebras, watched crocodiles stalk, and catch wildebeests as they crossed the Mara River and viewed hippopotamus and rhinos as we lunched from our vehicle.
As we moved south to the central Serengeti our guide was most accommodating working with us to maximize our viewing of animal activity going out early in the morning, resting in the early afternoon and going out again late afternoon before sunset. This enabled us to see lions, cheetahs, and leopards stalking and killing their prey as well as interacting with their young within their pride.
Olduvai Gorge, Ngorongoro Crater and Tarangire River areas were also highlights as we saw the archaeological site of the birth of man, interacted with a Maasai village and viewed pink flamingoes and a host of wonderful birds in a different environment.
Accommodations were A+ and the staff at many of the lodges provided personalized bush dinners by campfire or bush brunches along with Maasai dancing and singing while we were surrounded by grazing zebras – what an experience.
We are so happy we worked with ADS on creating a trip we will never forget!
Asante sana ADS!!
Mary and Greg P.
Webster, New York
Safari Dates: September 7, 2023 to September 20, 2023