Tag: Georgia

We Had So Many Wow Moments!

Wow! There aren’t enough superlatives to describe our September safari with ADS. While my husband and I are frequent travelers and have enjoyed many wonderful expeditions, we had no idea how magical and unique this immersive experience would be. We chose ADS because my brother and sister-in-law had recently traveled with ADS. My sister-in-law does her homework when she travels so we knew we didn’t need to look elsewhere. She always finds the best.

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The Totality Of Tanzania…The Country, Its People And The Wildlife Is Truly Special

Our first ADS safari was in April of 2014 at the end of the green season. Almost immediately Africa was in my blood and I knew I would have to make a return visit within a few years. So we did…in August of 2017, during the dry season. Imagine my surprise upon landing at Kilimanjaro Airport to be greeted once again by Matthias, who gave me a big hug and said “welcome back, Sue!”

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What To Expect When Using ADS As Your Tour Company

Without a hint of change in his behavior in more than 30 minutes, the Wildebeest on point, without warning, leaps into the Mara River, working his way across, ever cautious of the hazards lurking beneath the murky water. It was the beginning for thousands of Wildebeest that would follow his lead over the next 12 minutes.

They crossed with great haste, swimming through the neck high water, with their hoofs slipping and sliding on the large boulders which littered the river, only slowing when they met firm ground on the far side of the Mara River. They created their own “river”, which flowed perpendicular to the Mara River, a truly wondrous sight to behold.

The Black Rhino lay sleeping, while a small herd of 5 elephants browsed 200 yards in the distance. The Elephant’s grazing path, from Acacia tree to Acacia tree, was leading them directly towards the slumbering Rhino. Many minutes passed, and the Elephant closed their distance to the Rhino…it was only a matter of time before the Rhino would detect them.

At 50 yards, the Rhino sensed their presence and rose to her feet, facing menacingly in the Elephant’s direction. As quickly as she rose to her feet, a small, heretofore unseen 6 week old baby Rhino appeared on her far side. Discretion being the better part of valor, the Rhino mother and her “tiny” offspring, gave way to the approaching Elephants, and briskly moved to the western horizon, avoiding a conflict which could have resulted in injury to her baby. A most unique find, and totally unexpected.

A mature Eland lies neck deep in a small stream trapped by a pride of Lion. It appears to have a broken, right front leg…its hind quarters are severely raked by lion claws, but it is determined to avoid the pride of 7 Lion which surround it. Periodically, it would would shift its position, in the hope of extracting itself from its dire predicament, but the pride would quickly counter, with a blocking move of their own. Although the Eland was extremely determined to live, its fate was sealed by the Lion the following day, as they were never going to relinquish such a plentiful bounty.

Most people on Safari would have been ecstatic to have experienced any one of the first three events I described above, during the course of their entire Safari. This was our 4th Safari with ADS, and our expectations were very high. Needless to say, we were not disappointed!

All of the happenings I described above, occurred on our first Safari day in the northern Serengeti…yes, the first day. What may appear as completely serendipitous events, could not have been witnessed without exceptional pre-Safari planning, and a Safari guide with a great deal of knowledge and experience of the African bush. These are attributes we have come to expect, and thoroughly appreciate, when using ADS for our Safari adventures.

Our primary goal of this Safari, was to partake in a Mara a River crossing. We witnessed two additional crossings, each possessing its own uniqueness and mayhem, as crocodiles attacked Wildebeest, as they jostled their way through the muddied waters.

Our first Wildebeest river crossing experience, was eerily calculated by our outstanding guide Arnold, predicting their movements throughout the morning as the Wildebeest browsed the Mara River grasses. We were only 1 of 3 vehicles which witnessed the thousands of Wildebeest which surged across the Mara that mid-day, a first time experience for us, which is deeply etched into our memories.

Exciting events continued to unfold for us throughout our 13 day Safari:

– 2 juvenile Green Mambas weaving their way through the thorns of an Acacia tree

– Numerous tree climbing Lions

– A pride of 10 Lions hunting a zebra mid-day, devouring it in 20 minutes

– A Cheetah mother, and 2 yearling cub stumbling upon some resting Lion, almost meeting an untimely end to their young lives

– A mother Leopard and her young cub lounging on a very large Kopje

– Martial Eagles predartory attack on Guinea Fowl and a newborn Thompson’s Gazelle

– 3 adorable newborn Lion cubs, experiencing their first weeks in the wilds of the Serengeti

– Encountering 4 new species of animals, including the Oryx, an almost mystical creature for this part of Tanzania.

My professional, wildlife photography portfolio, has practically doubled from this Safari alone, a further testament to ADS’s commitment to the wildlife/nature photographer, and their specific technical needs.

All of our Lodge accommodations, from the Hatari Lodge in Arusha Park, to our standout favorite from our 4 Safaris, Swala, were outstanding. We can highly recommend the walking safari at Swala as well, which is truly an adventure all unto itself! From the Maasai Warriors which guard the tented lodges during the night, to the incredible dynamic vistas which expand before you on a daily basis, Tanzania is a truly an exotic and magical country which begs to be explored.

Asante Sana Arnold, and to all of the ADS staff for making our 4th Safari, the most memorable yet. (yet) as in we are already planning our 5th Safari with ADS. 🙂

Peter and Jody A.
Alpharetta, Georgia
Safari Dates: August 27, 2015 to September 9, 2015

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Thanks ADS Dream Weavers For The Trip Of A Lifetime!

Now I know what Ernest Hemingway meant when he said, “I never knew of a morning in Africa when I woke up that I was not happy.” For eleven magical days, we couldn’t wait to see what our expert guide, Godson, had in store for us as he carefully guided our trusty Cruiser along the endless trails of the Tanzanian wilderness.

The sheer abundance of wildlife awakened a childlike wonder within. Lion, leopard, hyena, elephant, giraffe, hippo, baboon, eland, topi, kudu, dik dik, and, of course, wildebeest and zebra appeared suddenly, as if out of no-where, yet they were everywhere. While some encounters were thrillingly illusive (cheetahs hidden away in the high grasses), others were breathtakingly close and even, momentarily pulse-raising, like the time we came face to face with a great bull elephant who had no intention of giving way to our Cruiser. Quickly, Godson diverted our vehicle off-road, giving this very determined giant plenty of room to pass, as well as providing us with a great photo-opportunity!

A much anticipated wildebeest crossing taught us early-on the value of patience and filled us with a deep sense of awe for Nature’s Ways. Nothing can rival such a thunderous mass of ruminants braving dangerous waters for another day of life. That experience moved me to tears.

Another great surprise was the incredible variety of raptors and birds! Ostrich, egret, guinea, stork, flamingo, kingfisher, and songbirds flashed their shimmering colors and amused us with their antics. How do they manage to perch between those claw-like thorns of the acacia trees?

Admittedly, I lived behind my camera for the first couple of days. Then the sheer abundance of life all around me demanded that I come out from behind the view finder and absorb those moments of encounter which no photo could ever do justice. It was a decision I will never regret. While I still brought home a couple of thousand pictures, I think of them as tools to sharpen the memories I’ve tucked away as my real treasure.

The elegantly appointed tented lodges and camps provided a big exclamation point to the end of each day! Smiling, attentive staff greeted us with cool, wet cloths, pleasant drinks, and a sincere welcome (“Karibu”), then whisked us off to our tents for warm, smoke-scented showers with waters heated over open flames. Later, gathered in the crisp coolness by a crackling bonfire, we toasted the sunset then lingered over intimate, candle-lit meals underneath the canvas roof of the dining tent. With the night skies awash in stars and our seclusion broken only by the roar of a lion in the distance, we knew we were having the experience of a lifetime.

Many thanks to ADS’s knowledgeable and cheerful Dawn Anderson who spent the past year indulging every one of our questions with promptness, patience and kindness and helped shape for us a fantastic travel adventure. Asante sana, Dawn!

Elizabeth S., Clark S. and Larry O.
Atlanta, Georgia
Safari Dates: July 26, 2014 to August 7, 2014

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We Were Blessed To See The Elusive Caracal.

My wife, mother and I recently returned from a 10 day safari organized by Africa Dream Safaris. Everything about our trip exceeded our very high expectations: the animals were more plentiful, the scenery was more stunning, the accommodations were more luxurious, the food was more delicious, the service was more attentive, and our driver-guide was more knowledgeable and solicitous than we could have possibly imagined.

From our first contact with Dawn Anderson in ADS’s US office to checking-in for our return flight, our experience with every ADS employee was positively enjoyable. Every request, large or small, was attend to promptly and efficiently. After two rest days in the Kilimanjaro area, we flew to Grumenti airstrip at the western end of Serengeti National Park. There we went on two game drives and a hot air balloon ride, relaxing in the evenings at the five star (in our opinion) Mbalageti Tented Lodge.

On the first afternoon alone, we saw lions, giraffes, zebras, crocodiles, hippos, cape buffalo, baboons, elephants, impalas, warthogs, wildebeest, topis, waterbucks, jackals, gazelles – well, you name it. It seemed that every turn in the road brought a new flock of birds or herd of animals into view. It was the same for the remainder of our safari.

On our game drives in the Musabi Plains, Seronera River Valley, Ngorongoro Crater and Tarangire National Park we saw elephants fighting, cheetahs hunting, leopards resting, ostriches mating, hyaenas scavenging, flamingos feeding and vervet monkeys getting into all sorts of mischief. And we saw all this not from a great distance, but up close and personal. Finally, we were blessed to see the elusive caracal and the endangered black rhinoceros.

My wife and I have traveled all over the world: from the top of Norway to the deserts of Australia, from the Siberian steppes to French Polynesia and judge our vacation with Africa Dream Safaris to be far and away the most enjoyable trip we have ever been on.

All the very best,

Jeff Holzgrefe
Decatur, Georgia
Safari Dates: June 16, 2013 to June 23, 2013

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A Memorable Honeymoon in Tanzania

I wanted to contact you and tell you thank you so very much for helping us plan the trip of a lifetime. I cannot put into words how amazing our trip was and how beautiful the sites were that we saw!! We loved every second of everyday we were there and hated the moment we had to depart.

We truly believe our guide made the trip extra special – there was not one animal that we wanted to see that we were not able to get up close and personal with by the end of the trip. He was so knowledgeable about the land and all the animals – he was constantly educating us and entertaining us with his stories. He was very personable and we felt as if he was a true friend of ours by the time we departed.

We want to thank everyone at ADS for making our honeymoon so very special. We have been entertaining all of our friends and families with stories and pictures since we returned. We started planning our next trip and saving our funds so that we will be able to extend our stay on our next trip – we cannot wait to return. Thank you so very much for your help all the way through the process. We have attached some of our favorite photos for you to see – of course it was so very hard to narrow down. Thank you again and I look forward to contacting you to let you know we are ready for our next trip!

Kristen Payne and Jason Deweese
Columbus, Georgia
July 2011

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