Tag: June

June 24, 2009

Several of our driver guides reported in today with exciting news on the wildebeest migration. Enormous herds of wildebeest along with some smaller herds of zebra have flooded onto the Musabi Plains in the Western Corridor of the Serengeti. The Musabi plains have been unusually quiet during this year’s northward migration season. These plains are typically packed full of all 3 migratory species (wildebeest, zebra and Thomson’s gazelle) throughout May and June but this year’s unusual rainfall pattern has really disrupted the typical migratory routes. We also continue to receive reports of large groups of wildebeest being spotted in the Northern Serengeti and specifically in the Lobo River Valley. We are eagerly anticipating the first wave of wildebeest to begin crossing the Mara River in the far reaches of the Northern Serengeti of the great African Safaris. And, no doubt the Mara River crocs share the same sentiment. All of us here at African Dream Safaris are looking forward to our July trips and the beginning of the core of the dry season as the northward migration season is now coming to a close.

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Quote of the Week: The Lyman Family

Many thanks to you and the staff both in the United States and Tanzania for our dream-come-true vacation! We have so many memories, stories to tell and photos! Every detail was perfect. The lodges were beautiful, the food was more than delicious and our driver/guide was top notch! He was so knowledgeable about the animals, the plants and the terrain. He could spot animals as well as an eagle! It was great seeing lions every day since they are my favorite! We also saw a hyena make a kill, we saw a lioness with 4 cubs playing, and a pride of lions lying around digesting the wildebeest they had just eaten while jackals enjoyed the leftovers. We saw a herd of 37 (yes 37) giraffes! We saw a serval! We saw soooo many animals, more than I can list! Tanzania is beautiful and the people of Tanzania are so friendly! Thank you again for our trip of a life time!

The Lyman Family
June 2009

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Quote of the Week: Don Reichert

It was a real pleasure dealing with a company who knows that customer service does not stop when the check clears, but actually just begins.

It is an understatement to say we had an amazing 10 day safari. Our guide had to be ADS’s best and made us feel comfortable and welcome from the moment we met him. He was very enjoyable to be around and was an expert at spotting game we had not even seen with our binoculars. His knowledge of the animals (and birds), their habits and characteristics was simply amazing. The lodging throughout the safari exceeded our expectations. Every place we stayed had great food, cold beer, and great rooms (even the tented lodges). Every lodge had a wonderful staff and we were treated like royalty. The game drives and animal experiences are really hard to fully explain to those who have not experienced it. The magnitude of the great migration, lions basking on a kopje, cheetahs, lions or hyenas feeding on a fresh kill and herds of elephants so close you could almost touch them. Even the pleasant weather and beautiful scenery was more than we could have imagined.

Africa Dream Safaris really took care of us from the time we stepped off the plane until the time we stepped back on. They are truly a first class organization! We went into the trip thinking it would be a once in a lifetime experience but are now looking forward to our next experience with Tanzania and Africa Dream Safaris.

Don Reichert
June 2009

**Bonus Feature!**
This short video, comprised by Peter and Jody Arebalo, represents some wonderful highlights from their safari in May:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4so93gP4mFk

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Quote of the Week: Jayne Carson

Jambo! I do not know where to start or how to express just how fabulous our safari was. Our disappointment was that it came to an end!! Thank goodness we booked with Africa Dream Safaris. [Our ADS rep’s] combination of professionalism, friendliness and knowledge was the reason for our fortuitous choice. Our time in Tanzania exceeded all our expectations and I believe we had set our hopes for a fantasy safari pretty high. […] The itinerary was perfect for the amount of time we had to work with but there is no way it would have been as great without our guide. I do believe that a guide will make or break a trip like this and I cannot imagine anyone working as hard or as cheerfully as [our guide]. We came upon a couple of other ADS vehicles and they seemed to be having a great time too, unlike some others that we talked with […] Thank you once again and we will definitely be contacting you for another future Tanzania adventure.

Jayne Carson
June 2009

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June 18, 2009

As promised in our last posting on June 15th, we would provide further details on the migration as our June safaris return back to Arusha and our driver guides report back. Special thanks to Don Vermillion who just finished his 4th Tanzania Safari with Africa Dream Safaris and his guide Peter Meena for reporting in. They covered some remote areas of the Serengeti on this latest adventure and without further delay, here is the scoop!

The migration remains splintered into at least 4 or more main groups as the wildebeest and zebra continue to make their way north towards the North Serengeti and the Mara watershed area including the Lamai Triangle. Two large groups of wildebeest were spotted in the Western Corridor with the larger group of wildebeest near the western park gate (west of Kirawira Camp) and the 2nd group (consisting of both wildebeest and zebra) being located north of the Grumeti River very close to the border between the Serengeti and Grumeti Game Reserve. A 3rd group of mainly wildebeest was spotted just south of Makoma Hill in the Central Serengeti and a 4th group of mainly zebra was seen dispersing through the Simba Kopjes area.

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Quote of the Week: Stephanie Kahle

Getting back to work and acclimating back to this time have left us with little time in the pm to email you back. We had a wonderful time on our trip. We couldn’t believe how many animals we saw in just the first 2 days! Ryan, my 9 year old, said while grinning from ear to ear in the jeep that he would “recommend this trip to anyone”. We saw everything we had hoped to see and more. We were shocked at how close the animals would be to the jeep. All of the accommodations were excellent. The change to Mbalageti was a surprise, but it was a really neat place. I almost wish we would have had another day there. The service everywhere was excellent, especially the private camp.

We really enjoyed [our guide]. He has great enthusiasm and experience. He was very eager to show and teach us as much as possible. I did want to let you know that I think it was such a great idea that ADS sent him to the USA. He is still just so excited about his experience and feels it gives him a better appreciation for why people come to Tanzania. Also, I wanted to let you know that Jonas, at the private campsite, is absolutely wonderful. He is attentive, hard-working, eager and friendly. He will be an asset to your company. There were no disappointments on our trip. It met and exceeded our expectations. We will definitely send some photos and a comment on the website, but it may take us a few weeks!

Oh, the only thing I will comment on is our visit with Daniel about the Iraqw. He is a very pleasant and knowledgeable man, but his presentation is quite long. It was interesting, but after a long ride in the jeep, a 2 hour talk can be a bit too much. I would kindly ask him to develop a standard 45 minute presentation, and then allow people to ask him questions if they would like more details. This would put his tour at about 1 hour, which seems more appropriate. Thanks again!

Stephanie Kahle
June 2009

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June 15, 2009

The dry season has finally taken hold of the Serengeti. The famous southern plains, which only a few weeks back were green and filled with game, are now virtually empty except for Grant’s gazelle, warthog and ostrich. Our attention now shifts north to the beautiful western and northern woodlands of the Serengeti where we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the migration. The zebra herds have arrived in full force with large groups being spotted throughout the western corridor. However, it’s the large herds of wildebeest that are proving difficult to track at the moment. In fact, we recently took a scenic/survey flight over parts of the Serengeti (it would take several flights to cover the majority of the ecosystem and that is simply beyond our budget) and we only spotted some scattered herds. It appears that many of the wildebeest may be moving directly north without going through the Western Corridor this year. It has certainly been the strangest northward migration season that any of us here at African Dream Safaris can remember. We have several groups out on lengthy african safaris at the moment in the far reaches of the Serengeti so stay tuned for more updates on the migration as our driver-guides report back.

Meanwhile, wildlife viewing for resident game continues to be fantastic with Seronera Valley and the Central Serengeti continuing to steal the show. Also, the eastern fringes of the Central Serengeti at Maasai Kopjes and Sametu Kopjes continue to deliver consistent cheetah and lion action. In fact, yesterday one of our groups witnessed a mother cheetah and her four 14 month old (estimated) hunt and successfully kill an adult reedbuck at the swamp bordering the southern side of Maasai Kopjes. Also, last week our guests witnessed several hunting attempts by the Sametu pride right at the marsh in front of Sametu Kopjes. We are seeing typical lion behavior now as the dry season sets in with many of the lion prides waiting in ambush at their favorite watering holes, rivers and marshes.

A new documentary on the Serengeti debuted this week on the Discovery channel entitled Natures Most Amazing Events – Surviving the Serengeti. Make sure to set your DVR’s! It’s a great documentary filmed mainly at Ndutu in the South Serengeti and features Ndutu’s resident lion pride as well as the famous cheetah Eleanor and her six cubs. Eleanor was featured in our first Serengeti Cheetah Report that was emailed out this week.

We are delighted to announce the promotion of Sharon Lyon to Vice President of Sales here at Africa Dream Safaris. Sharon, affectionately known as the lion lady or mama simba has bee a valued member of the ADS team for over 4 years. Her commitment to ADS, and most importantly, her commitment to each of the over 500 guests that she has helped send on their dream safaris has been unsurpassed. Sharon has been on over 35 trips to Africa with one safari in the Serengeti lasting for 60 consecutive days. Now that is certainly a level of experience you won’t find anywhere else. Special thanks to Tara and Joe Parker who just returned from their African Safari and sent in this incredible shot of a black rhino in the Ngorongoro Crater.

Black Rhino - Ngorongoro Crater
Black Rhino - Ngorongoro Crater
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Quote of the Week: Jayne Carson

Jambo! I do not know where to start or how to express just how fabulous our safari was. Our disappointment was that it came to an end!! Thank goodness we booked with Africa Dream Safaris. [Our ADS rep’s] combination of professionalism, friendliness and knowledge was the reason for our fortuitous choice. Our time in Tanzania exceeded all our expectations and I believe we had set our hopes for a fantasy safari pretty high. […] The itinerary was perfect for the amount of time we had to work with but there is no way it would have been as great without our guide. I do believe that a guide will make or break a trip like this and I cannot imagine anyone working as hard or as cheerfully as [our guide]. We came upon a couple of other ADS vehicles and they seemed to be having a great time too, unlike some others that we talked with […] Thank you once again and we will definitely be contacting you for another future Tanzania adventure.

Jayne Carson
June 2009

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Quote of the Week: Don Reichert

A trip to Africa had long been on my ‘Bucket List’ and a dream of mine but there was never anyone who could or would go with me. Little did I know that my wife, two sons and Africa Dream Safaris (ADS) planned the trip of a lifetime for me and my two sons for my 70th birthday. ADS had prepared us for every detail before we arrived in Africa with not only their outstanding website information but also personal interaction. We arrived at Kilimanjaro WITHOUT my bag as it stayed over in Amsterdam for an extra day. However, ADS didn’t leave me stranded and went out of their way and made this issue a priority until they had gotten my bag from the airport and delivered it to me out in the Serengeti. It was a real pleasure dealing with a company who knows that customer service does not stop when the check clears, but actually just begins.

It is an understatement to say we had an amazing 10 day safari. Our guide had to be ADS’s best and made us feel comfortable and welcome from the moment we met him. He was very enjoyable to be around and was an expert at spotting game we had not even seen with our binoculars. His knowledge of the animals (and birds), their habits and characteristics was simply amazing. The lodging throughout the safari exceeded our expectations. Every place we stayed had great food, cold beer, and great rooms (even the tented lodges). Every lodge had a wonderful staff and we were treated like royalty. The game drives and animal experiences are really hard to fully explain to those who have not experienced it. The magnitude of the great migration, lions basking on a kopje, cheetahs, lions or hyenas feeding on a fresh kill and herds of elephants so close you could almost touch them. Even the pleasant weather and beautiful scenery was more than we could have imagined.

Africa Dream Safaris really took care of us from the time we stepped off the plane until the time we stepped back on. They are truly a first class organization! We went into the trip thinking it would be a once in a lifetime experience but are now looking forward to our next experience with Tanzania and Africa Dream Safaris.

Don Reichert
June 2009

The 4 sequential photos document the story of a pride of lions hunting their prey, from stalk to feast.  A haunting illustration of the triumph and tragedy that must coexist out here on the Serengeti Plains.

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June 2, 2009

A picture is indeed worth a 1000 words. And in this case, 7 lone zebra in the midst of 10,000 plus wildebeest. A special thanks to Julia Eakes and Harriett McCorkle who took this great shot on their African Safari. This photo was taken on May 28, 2009 on the five hills track, just a couple miles north of Simba Kopjes in the Central Serengeti. You can see Oldonoyo Rongai Hill way off to the west, which is a famous landmark in the Serengeti that is used for navigating when off-road driving the Serengeti plains.

Five Hills Track - Central Serengeti - May 28th
Five Hills Track - Central Serengeti - May 28th
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Quote of the Week: Jon Baird

The trip was beyond all of our expectations. We were thrilled with all of the accommodations and especially grateful for the services of our guide. He was without a doubt the supreme facilitator of our amazing experience. We cannot say enough wonderful things about him from the gentle way about him to his very keen understanding of the ecosystems we experienced. He was truly a blessing on this trip and we hated to say goodbye to him…

[Our itinerary] was a perfect balance of game drives and relaxation time so that all could experience the full pleasure of this amazing continent. We all knew this was to be the trip of a lifetime and yet, none of us were prepared for just how impactful this adventure would be. It’s been over a week and we still cannot stop talking about the trip nor finding a few moments to look at the pictures we took. I could go on forever talking about our experiences but let me leave you with one thought: every one of us walks away from this journey an ambassador for Tanzania, Africa, and Africa Dream Safaris. It was truly the trip of a lifetime and one I hope we can repeat some day.

Jon Baird
June 2008

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Quote of the Week: Al and Allison Scheflow

We absolutely loved our entire safari. We had the BEST guide. How did we get so lucky? He knew where to find everything. The accommodations were outstanding. Al didn’t want to leave Kirawira, the view was spectacular. Marcia celebrated her birthday there and the entire staff came and sang at the table. Everyone was talking about how beautiful the song and singing were. We were only about 5 minutes into our safari when [our guide] said “see the elephant?” What??? Already?? and it just didn’t stop. We saw everything: rhino, cheetah, leopard, plenty of lions, hippo, giraffe etc. […] The service was over the top. Those guys were so friendly and warm […] Asante sana, tena. We will be back!

Al and Allison Scheflow
June 2008

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Quote of the Week: Andy Marino

The Serengeti in Tanzania is one of the purest, untouched environments left on earth! The abundance and variety of wildlife (Gina was thrilled with all the baby animals), observing their behavior in their natural habitat up-close and personal, the clean air filled with unfamiliar animal sounds, the sweeping landscapes of acacia and baobab trees, the early morning light as it filters across the Serengeti plains, the total absence of mankind (except, of course, for the mighty Maasai people) – all this was brought to life by our Maasai guide with Africa Dream Safaris. This, my friends, was the life-changing trip of a lifetime for Andy, Gina, Karen, and Barbara!

In addition to the wildlife, our lodging experience was also phenomenal. The hospitality shown to us by the ADS team at the private camp was sincere and exceptional. We’ll never forget our African dinner under the stars with the camp staff singing the Jambo song as they brought us our dinner. We’ve traveled extensively, and the Presidential Suite at the Mbalageti Lodge has to have the most stunning scenic view of any lodging anywhere in the world (no exaggeration). The Swala Lodge is at the “end of the earth” with impala roaming through camp. The couple who manages the camp makes you feel welcomed and serve cocktails and appetizers around the campfire before dinner (the food here is superb). Throughout our experience, ADS was responsive and provided personal service both at home and in Tanzania. Your safari experience is only as good as your guide and we strongly believe that a private ADS safari with your own personal guide (who you will bond with) is the ONLY way to see the wildlife in Tanzania …and provides for the best possible experience at so many different levels.

Andy Marino
June 2008

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Quote of the Week: Karen Annis

It is with great sadness that I write to inform you that my sweetheart, Paul Bishop, passed away on January 16th [2009]. While he had experienced some health issues prior to us going on safari in May/June 2007, we had no idea they were symptoms of the cancer he was diagnosed with last August. I am so thankful that for whatever reason there may be, that we decided to take that wonderful trip and not put it in to the “someday” bucket. And I truly believe this was our trip of a lifetime. Even up to a week before his passing, he spoke about our trip, someday returning and shared our pictures and stories with the nurses and telling them how special the trip was. […] Asante sana from the bottom of my heart for taking such good care of us and giving me memories that I can carry with me forever.

Karen Annis
May/June 2007

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