In the month of September, 2018, my wife and I enjoyed one of the most amazing travel experiences possible, an African safari hosted by Africa Dream Safaris. At the conclusion of that adventure we found ourselves wondering if we would ever again be able to return to Tanzania and repeat such an awesome travel experience. As good fortune would have it, we did repeat our African adventure, spending 14 days on safari in April 2021.
Growing up in a large family without a lot of money, travel was not part of my family’s life. Our adventures to far away places came from the pages of the books we read and the nature shows we watched on TV. My fascination with the Serengeti and the animals of Africa began when my parents came home from an auction with a huge box of old National Geographic magazines. I spent hours under the covers with a flashlight devouring every article. My favorites were always about Africa. Sixty years later, my dream of visiting the Serengeti came true with the help of my husband, and Africa Dream Safaris.
We had high expectations for our safari to Tanzania, and Africa Dream Safaris not only met them, but exceeded those expectations. We have been following ADS on the internet and Facebook for many years and knew that when the time came to take a safari to Africa we would go with ADS. Often in this kind of situation when you’re so excited about something for so long, it’s easy to get disappointed. After all, we’d seen so many amazing pictures on the ADS website from other people’s safaris that it was going to be hard for our own trip to be as good. But in this case, our safari was everything we hoped it would be – and more.
August 2019 found us examining our extensive travel Bucket List and deciding to move “Safari to Africa” to the top. A photography friend who had traveled to Tanzania several years earlier with Africa Dream Safaris and who knew that we wanted a private safari told us, “I’ve already done the research…don’t bother looking at any other safari company!” So one phone call later, and a lengthy discussion with Sharon, Vice President of ADS, our much-anticipated safari trip planning began in earnest, and was to commence the following spring in April 2020.
And then the world stopped…
Every lodge we stayed with quickly became our favorite, from the luxury of Arusha Coffee Lodge to the outstanding service at Escarpment Luxury Lodge. We absolutely loved the early coffee service in our luxury tent at Seronera Sametu Camp before heading out for our pre-dawn adventures. Lake Masek tented lodge was a total delight. We could hear the hippos grunting and snuffling as they dined on the lawn right outside our tent, and we love the little Bush Baby that lives in the tree near the dining area deck.
I grew up in Wyoming, and it seems like most of my childhood memories are outdoors. Our family vacations almost always featured the camper and hiking boots over hotel rooms and large crowds. We’ve always enjoyed the nature of Wyoming (and Colorado, where I live now) and thought it was one of the best reasons to live here.
My parents and I, and especially my Dad, have always talked about how amazing it would be to go on an African safari and see a whole new wilderness. My parents recently retired and decided it was high time to make that dream a reality. And I, despite being an adult with a child of my own now, somehow lucked into becoming their third wheel.
As soon as we arrived in the Serengeti National Park via the most interesting plane ride of all time we were whisked off in the jeep with our guide Emanuel and parked smack dab in the middle of the great migration. Within minutes, we saw thousands of zebras and wildebeests. The first day may have been my favorite (I’m one of a group of four) as the sheer number of animals was more than I thought I’d see on the entire trip! I didn’t exactly know what to expect, but the first day was already beyond my greatest expectations!
My husband and I have recently returned from our sixth safari with Africa Dream Safaris. Yes, six safaris. We know that is crazy. For those people scouring the internet looking for a safari company to take you to Africa and reading reviews of those companies, we will tell you why we have chosen Tanzania to go to and why we have chosen Africa Dream Safaris to take us there six times.
For over six years, my really great teacher friend had told me about her amazing safaris to Africa…how close they got to the animals like no other company, and ‘check out these amazing photos of the cheetah on their jeep from a few years ago.’ In turn, I was in awe of course, but the worries were there….what would I do with my two children? Would I have to get shots? What about the expenses?
We were just minutes out of the Seronera airport in the Serengeti when we spotted the migration. Thousands of wildebeests and zebras. Next, just a few minutes later, our first elephant sighting. Russell, our amazing driver/guide, spotted the elephant far off in the distance coming toward us. We waited as the sea of wildebeest parted to let it pass. It walked to the road, right behind us, and continued on.
My friends and I just got back from an incredible trip to Tanzania, to include Arusha, the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Ngorongoro Crater itself, and once again – I have ADS to thank for it! This was not my first trip to this part of the world, but just as in past trips – seven in all – it was no less incredible! The true “magic” of Africa is that no matter how many times you return, the experience is just as fresh and new as if you had never been. Every day in the bush is unique – and you just never know what you will see around the next corner. As the famous quote goes, “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” And in Africa, I have found this to be so very true.
I have waited to take this trip for a long time. It did not come without considerable research. I decided on Africa Dreams Safari for several reasons. They had the most comprehensive, honest and straightforward webpage and information, they responded to my inquiry immediately, and not the least of all, Sharon Lyon, Mama Simba! I never felt like I was being given a sales pitch. The love of the country and it’s people, culture and wildlife was so evident when speaking to Sharon, that I knew immediately I had found a partner for this journey. Her communication and patience with my many questions was so greatly appreciated. Her knowledge of everything Tanzania was staggering.
Several years ago we took a once in a lifetime trip with ADS. It was incredible! The fact that we controlled the adventure was perfect for us – if we wanted to hang back and watch something, we could. Having our own dedicated driver guide made that possible. The guides and the camps were exceptional, and the people we dealt with were helpful, friendly, and went out of their way to make sure we enjoyed ourselves.
This was my third safari to Tanzania with Africa Dream Safaris and once again, it was fabulous! I have now been to Tanzania in February during the green season, September during the dry season, and this time in April. Each safari has been different, special, and always perfect thanks to the work of the people at ADS!
This was our second safari to Tanzania with Africa Dream Safaris. We wanted to go back in April since that is when Dawn said there would be many newborns. And she was definitely right about that!