Below is our african safari feedback, now that we have had time to reflect. I also attached a few pictures from the 1,200 I took. Dean had better equipment and may provide you with a better sampling. I did take a few hours of video and am in the process of editing it and will forward 2 copies when completed (via regular mail) I for you and one for Engelbert.
Overall, we expected the trip of a lifetime and we got it. I have told everyone, this was the best trip ever and if they ever go, African Dream Safaris is the way to go. I have no complaints about anything. Even the unexpected was handled well. I have awesome pictures and video to help me remember the trip. I saw much more than expected and felt safe and secure the entire time.
Prior to leaving:
All the information your sent was very helpful. The booklet was good at getting us prepared. Your follow up was good, not too much, but enough to keep us engaged. We didn’t know whay to expect and you gave us what we needed to know to prepare.
Once we arrived:
We were met, as promised, at the airport and taken care of to get through the line and visa process. The people handling us through this process and transportation to the hotel were very nice and helped us get comfortable with our very different surroundings. The young woman who spoke with us and gave us the phone etc. ( I can’t remember her name). was very nice and informative. To improve the experience the young woman could speak a bit louder. She was soft spoken so it was difficult to hear in the back of the vehicle, sometimes in the front as well. I offer this as an improvement opportunity not a complaint. They were all very nice and helpful and very patient answering our incessant questions.
The Hotel arrival and Departure:
VERY VERY nice. The rooms were much better than expected. The food at the Hotel was good. Had we had more time to stay there, I might have more feedback. I did use the business office a bit. Everything was very nice. The staff was friendly and helpful.
You have a very dedicated employee, who enjoys working for Africa Dream Safaris and tells his clients he likes it and why. He was an excellent guide, way above expectations. He worked hard on our Safari. We left before dawn each day so we could be in the bush at dawn. We usually returned to the lodge at dusk. While this gave us excellent wildlife viewing and some spectacular pictures, Engelebert had a lot of long days. Every morning we would have a clean vehicle to ride in, so we know he worked on the vehicle after he dropped us off. I think we only ate breakfast at the lodge the last day and we never ate lunch at our lodge. Additional work for Englebert, arranging and packing our meals and cleaning the vehicle afterward.
He was very patient. I had some gastro – intestinal difficulties throughout the safari and his patience for my numerous “happy bush” stops was much appreciated. He was always very careful to make sure the “happy bush” was safe. Early in the safari, he was so patient as we looked at wildlife he knew we would be seeing the entire trip. While he would subtly prompt us to move on, he never pushed us and let us learn at our own pace. He tried to give us a lot of detail on the wildlife and had books for us for reference, He quickly learned what we wanted and patiently helped us find it.
I am convinced, Engelbert was a major reason our safari was so spectacular. He has knowledge of the wildlife and what they are going to do. He couples that with an eye for photography. So while he might stop somewhere and we think we should go closer, Engelbert would explain why were parked were we did and sure enough we would get some excellent viewing and excellent shots of all kind of wildlife. He shared his knowledge with us and patiently answered our never ending questions. Engelbert had an easy going way of sharing the knowledge that made us feel comfortable. We felt more like friends with him than him being our guide. He was our expert friend and he made us feel that way and provided us the comfort to ask him anything. Spending 12-14 hours day together could have been a challenge, Engelbert made it a pleasure. He always had everything we needed/wanted and made us confortable every step of the way.
Lodging/food on Safari:
The lodges in the bush in order of preference are: 1 Mbuzi Mawe Tented Lodge, 2 Serena Lodge, 3 Ngorongoro Crater, 4 Kikoti Tented lodge. Mbuzi Mawe had the friendliest staff and excellent food the rooms were good as well. Serena had a wonderful view on the veranda where we sipped cocktails and watched the sunsets and listen to the wildlife. Food was good, Ngorongo was like a hotel but the dining was excellent.
Transportation on Safari:
The vehicle was excellent, clean and as comfortable as we could expect. We had plenty of room and excellent visibility. The cooler had plenty of water, juice and was cold. We didn’ thirst. Englebert brought snacks for us between meals as well. We bounced around quiet a bit but enjoyed every minute. It was amazing to us how Englebert could stay on the road while, looking in tree for leopards, the bush for wildlife and the road for animal tracks.
Michael and Terry Kniola
Dean and Patricia Manke
North Bethesda, Maryland