Tag: Maryland

Our Amazing African Safari

My wife and I completed an amazing 12 day safari in September with Africa Dream Safari (ADS), which exceeded all of our expectations. There are many reasons why I am glad that I selected ADS for our safari. First, I received expert advice when planning the itinerary for our trip and choosing the camps. (Many thanks to Sharon for answering all of my pesky questions and to Michael for his photography tips—the beanbags worked out great!).

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Our First Day Felt Like We Were On A Movie Set!

We were prepared to see all kinds of wildlife but nothing can prepare one for the feeling of turning a corner and seeing your first group of lions lying by the side of the road or a huge elephant walking so close to your car that you can hear him breathe. Our first day felt like we were on a movie set.

Our awesome guide Wilfred was like a walking encyclopedia and an exceptional and accommodating driver. One night during a fierce rain storm when the roads looked more like rivers, he navigated us without hesitation to our destination. We were enthralled to see many baby animals and stayed for over an hour to watch two lion cubs and their mama sunning and playing on a rock.

We were not prepared for the magnificent landscapes that Tanzania offers and the beatific and varied vistas. Many desktop pictures created! Another surprise was the exceptional food at the camps we stayed in. It was beyond our imagination how these fabulous meals were prepared, given the remote locations, but every meal was simply superb. Even for a vegetarian there was plenty to eat.

Kudos to Sharon and all the ADS staff for making this a trip of a lifetime!

Fran R. & Mark B.
Silver Spring, Maryland
Safari Dates: February 13, 2015 to February 20, 2015

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We Were Hoping To See A Great Migration River Crossing.

Planning a trip to Africa can be overwhelming at best. But, with the help of African Dream Safari, recommended by friends we truly had a dream of a vacation.

In choosing to visit Tanzania it was our hope to see the wildebeest crossing the Mara River during the migration. Knowing that wildlife activity cannot be predicted, we were not sure of exactly what we would (or wouldn’t see) during our travels.

To our amazement, and with the incredible perception of our guide, Thomson Malekia, we witnessed not one, nor two or three, but FOUR wildebeest crossings. Two of our crossings were private (with no others around at all), and two of the crossings were at sunrise. The enormity and the beauty of these events cannot be described adequately in words.

In addition to the wildebeest crossings (with a few zebras involved as well) we seemed to encounter something new and interesting around every turn in the road. Photos and video can only begin to capture the experience of the Serengeti – a truly amazing place.

Special thanks to ADS and Sharon Lyon for helping us to fulfill a travel dream, and for the special care given to us during this trip in its entirety (resplendent with surprise cake and song for Dan on his birthday proper).

Best wishes,

Jodi and Dan A.
Rockville, Maryland
Safari Dates: August 6, 2014 to August 14, 2014

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I Can’t Say Enough Great Things About Our Guides

We got home late last night. What a trip!! I can’t thank you and your team enough. Everything was superb throughout the entire process.

I wanted to take a moment to recognize the crew in Tanzania. From the moment we landed we were greeted by the ADS team. Martus and company were extremely professional, kind and so gracious. It was a wonderful way to be welcomed to Africa.

I can’t say enough great things about the 4 guides that were with us. Francis, Russell, Thompson, and Rafael were terrific. Micheal, Richard and I were escorted by Francis. I can understand why he is so accomplished in what he does, and why his peers look up to him as a leader, and mentor. He was exactly what you would want as your guide. He was funny, knowledgeable, amenable to any changes in our plans if applicable, and very intelligent.

You should feel very proud of what you have built as an organization. I will definitely recommend ADS to anyone that has dreams of going on a safari. I want to thank you and your team again for enhancing my safari experience. It truly was a trip of a lifetime, and one that I will never forget.

Please let the guides know how much I appreciated their efforts. They are 4 amazing individuals, whom I will never forget, and whom I know will go far in their professional endeavors.

Thanks again Sharon for everything. When life has me traveling to Africa again I will definitely get in touch with you.

All the Best,

Deb B.
Baltimore, Maryland
Safari Dates: September 17, 2013 to September 26, 2013

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Our September 2013 Tanzania Safari

‘Adventure Of A Lifetime’…is the best way to describe our recent two week safari to Tanzania.

After our short plane flight into the Kogatende Airstrip, we met our driver/guide, David Chando, and began our trip into the bush. We immediately realized what a special person he is. He was personable, professional, respectful and all around great.

David’s knowledge of the animals and his country added to the success of our safari. His work day did not end after arriving at our camp in the evening. He made sure we planned the next days activities and he informed us where we were going and what we hoped to see in those areas. Next, he proceeded to clean the vehicle, stock it with supplies and have it ready to go the next morning.

After leaving the airstrip with David, in only 4 minutes, we saw our first animal, which was a Hippopotamus. Animal sightings were abundant and frequent throughout the safari and that was very impressive.

Our lodging accommodations exceeded our expectations. Particularly enjoyable was the Four Seasons, Ngorongoro Serena Lodge and the Swala Tented Lodge. The local staff at every resort treated us like rock stars. We could not have been more pleased with the service they provided us.

This truly was an adventure of a lifetime, thanks to the professional assistance from all the staff associated with Africa Dream Safaris. We have recommended to our friends, and suggest to anyone interested in taking a safari, to consider contacting the best organization for this type of vacation, Africa Dream Safaris.

Among the four of us, we took thousands of photos and movies, which will continue to provide us wonderful memories for years to come.

Below are some of our special sights, enjoy.

Chuck, Cathy, Donna and Dee
Fallston, Maryland and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Safari Dates: September 5, 2013 to September 15, 2013

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Better Late Than Never (old Swahili saying)

Just getting around to looking at my photos and enclose a few for you. The little lady in the village is Donna and that is Michael jumping. We couldn’t have been more pleased with our safari and with Russell as our guide. He was the perfect combination of extraordinary knowledge of the flora, fauna and history of the region and a warm, very likeable companion.

We have recommended ADS to many of our friends. Several physicians at our hospital have established a link to the FAME clinic that we visited and we were most impressed with all that ADS gives back to the region with support of the clinic and the local school.

Best wishes, and we hope to join you again in the not too distant future.

Len and Donna W. and Michael W. and Imtiyaz H.
Chevy Chase, Maryland
Safari Dates: August 6, 2013 to August 14, 2013

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Africa Dream Safari Is The Way To Go!!

I could not be more pleased with our entire safari experience from beginning to end. We worked with Dawn and she is wonderful; she answered every e-mail promptly, courteously and accurately. Most people don’t describe a safari as relaxing but it was to me because I did not have any decisions to make once we arrived in Tanzania except what delicious food to choose for my meals. Everything was taken care of for me.

A month before we left my 22 year old son Jeremy called to gently tell me he needed knee surgery but the doctor assured him he would be fine for the safari. A week before we left he called again to let me know that the doctor had just told him he would still need his crutches on our adventure. My heart sank. I immediately e-mailed Dawn and she assured me that he would be fine on the safari and she was right. Jeremy loved the adventure and did not miss a thing, including crutching his way across two swinging bridges!

The safari experience was 7 days in paradise. Much of the credit goes to our driver Petro who was amazing; knowledgeable, kind, humorous, and handled well our dynamic group of seven! We saw every animal I hoped to see and then some! He read the group well and catered to our wishes and wants. We chose to be out for 10-12 hour days and loved every minute of it from the first lion we saw to the last wildebeest. We chose a variety of accommodations and enjoyed each one. I may have to adopt the traditions of being greeted with warm moist wash cloths after a long day outdoors and using a hot water bottle in my bed at night! We felt so pampered.

I had high expectations for our safari and between Dawn from Africa Dream Safari and Petro all of my expectations were more than met. Thank you Dawn and Petro for creating a vacation our group of seven will never forget! It was an experience of a lifetime.

Laura J.
Derwood, Maryland
June 20-June 28,2013

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We saw at least five cheetahs, up close and personal

Judy and I are still basking the glow of our trip to Tanzania. No, it did not fulfill our expectations. Rather, it far exceeded them. No stone was left unturned. Every detail was meticulously covered from the first meeting at the airport in Arusha to being carefully ushered through the confusion of departure. The good news only gets better. Although we were somewhat concerned about the tented facilities, we quickly discovered that each had a personality of its own and offered a unique luxuriousness. In every place we stayed the food was wonderful, the service superb, the beds perfect, and the sense of being cared about and cared for was complete. Our Masai warriors protected us from the animals at night. Our guide opened our eyes to them in the morning.

A safari in Tanzania is not simply a cruise on placid seas. There are a few million bumps in the road. But the comfort we felt in our land rover made the trip the most exciting excursion we have ever done. Judy and I have travelled all over the world during the last twenty years or so. We have had many guides in the most developed and undeveloped nations. Our Guide in Tanzania was the most wonderful of all. Your literature says the guide will quickly become your best friend. He became our younger brother, our protector, our translator, our teacher.

There was almost nothing he did not know about his country or about the animals we had come to see. And not only did he open our eyes to the vast world of wildebeests, antelopes, and cats, but he also introduced us to the world of birds and the beauty of the flowers. Our guide has a marvelous sense of humor and the patience of a saint. Only once, in 12 days, were we on time. He quickly understood that leaving at six a.m. sharp meant leaving at six-twenty, that ending any photo shoot always involved about five more pictures. His English skills were marvelous but he still seemed to love learning some of our antiquated English slang. He was always gracious, kind, and accommodating. He clearly enjoyed sharing the culture of Tanzania with us as well as sharing some of his personal life, his hopes and dreams.

This was our second safari. The last was 23 years ago with a very upscale and famous company. But Africa Dream Safaris was, by far the best. We saw five leopards. At least five cheetahs, up close and personal. We loved the abundant Giraffes. And of course we enjoyed visiting with all the Lions, Dik Diks, Elands, Topis, Wildebeests, Zebras, Elephants, Impalas. We grew to love the Warthogs, the Jackals, and even the Spotted Hyenas. We took about 3,471 photos. So far, we have been able to reduce the number to 1,326. Every one is a winner.

Don and Judy Gluckman
Pikesville, Maryland
September 2011

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Our Safari Feedback

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:
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.

Engelbert:
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
July 2011

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