We just returned from our safari and it still feels like it was all a dream come true. Hundreds of thousands of animals in all directions to the horizon. A diversity of animals beyond belief and lots of baby animals. The circle of life was vividly and dramatically illustrated and the connectivity of all the animals in this amazing place was beautiful.
After our 3rd ADS safari, we would like to say “three safaris, three dreams come true”, but it just wouldn’t be accurate. In our wildest imaginations, we never dreamed of going on 3 safaris! Thankfully, ADS helped elevate our dreams to a higher standard through treasured, awe filled memories — each unique and new.
ADS earned our trust, respect, admiration and profound gratitude on our first safari so there was absolutely no question of who to turn to for our second. A safari in the age of Covid sounded daunting, but ADS met every challenge with the same high standards of commitment, excellence and assistance that is their hallmark. This trustworthiness is one of the big reasons we chose ADS again.
With retirement from full-time careers, we were finally ready to fulfill one of our lifetime dreams of a safari. We wanted the full experience of wildlife in their natural habitat as well as learning about the people, history, geography and environment of the region. Since this was our first visit to Africa, there was a bewildering range of options requiring a significant amount of planning and preparation to select the best company which could maximize our chances for a successful trip.
We’ve long found 3 questions from Coach Lou Holtz have invaluable life wisdom applied to ourselves and others: Can I trust you? Do you care about me as a person? Are you committed to excellence? For ADS, a resounding YES to all three questions. Their trustworthiness is truly part of the ‘dream’!
Africa Dream Safaris provided my family with the best vacation possible. From the very beginning, Dawn went above and beyond on planning, not overlooking any detail. From the minute we landed in Kilimanjaro, everything was handled for us. From the pickup at the airport to the day to day traveling around Tanzania, everyone was friendly and everything went according to plan.
Guide Emmanuel and Family
Our Safari was an awesome life-changing adventure, taking us to the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, Arusha, and many other locales in Tanzania. We spent 11 days pausing to take in life, taking photos, cherishing the environment around us, enjoying the wonderful people of Tanzania, reflecting more on the goodness of life, and the beauty of the animals that occupy this planet. This experience has touched our hearts in ways we never imagined..
Our Driver/Guide, Ellison, was magnificent! We have never seen anyone more knowledgeable! If we saw an animal, bird, etc., he immediately knew what it was and could give us a history of it. Ellison is a walking encyclopedia of all things Tanzania! We feel blessed that he was our driver and guide as we journeyed 1200-1500 miles across the Serengeti and Ngorongora with our trusted friend.
Ellison didn’t drive by animals on the side of the road. He went deep into the bush and off road to find them for us to see and photograph. There is no question in our mind — a private safari for two with a highly intelligent, informed, and skilled driver/guide is the only way to do this. We have seen things no ordinary tour would ever see.
For example, we drove THROUGH the Wildebeest and Zebra migrations – hundreds of thousands of animals. We drove deep into the bush to a dried up riverbed to find Lions feasting on a Wildebeest. And the extra good news — we hardly ever saw a tourist out in the real Africa. We feel honored that we were able to experience the great animals of Africa the right way with Africa Dream Safari! The people were great, the scenic beauty was breathtaking, and the variety of animals was astonishing!!
While the Crater Lodge and the Four Seasons were luxurious, our tents were way into the bush (10-20 miles) where the animals actually live. We traveled through riverbeds, up steep hills, over rock embankments, on dusty and bumpy paths, and deep into the forests and plains, to experience the real Serengeti and Ngoronoro – the real “bush.” We wouldn’t want it any other way.
The people of Tanzania are kind, gracious, and were helpful at every turn. We must tell you though — the people are, for the most part, very poor by American standards. Tourism is highly important to the country and its people. Many Tanzanians depend on the tourism industry for their livelihood. They have done amazing things to protect the animals of Africa, particularly those animals that are endangered. We are indebted to them for their courageous work on behalf of animals and are hopeful that someday you will be able to make this incredible trip, not only for yourself, but for the people and animals of Tanzania.
Needless to say, we highly recommend African Dream Safari. Everything Dawn and her team planned for us was exceptional to the core! They truly are the best.
Drs. Charles and Liz S.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Safari Dates: April 29, 2014 to May 7, 2014
Regions Explored: Central Serengeti, East Serengeti, South Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara
Lodges: 2 x Four Seasons, 2 x Sametu, 2 x Lake Masek, 2 x Crater Lodge
As first-time safari goers, we approached our safari planning and trip with some trepidation, which was understandable at the outset but proven in the end to be completely unnecessary. The preparation provided by ADS was extraordinary. The handbook was complete and detailed, providing all the necessary information and answers to virtually any question one might have. And any remaining questions were promptly addressed in emails or by telephone.
In addition, the map and recommended reading list provided by ADS were very useful. We purchased some of the recommended books and read them, with map near at hand, in advance of the trip. The books by Myles and Kay Turner were particularly informative about the history of the park. As a result of this excellent preparation, we were very well oriented to the geography and we were able to participate intelligently in discussions with our guide about game drive planning.
The emergency contact information provided by ADS also came in helpful. They are in fact available 24/7 to assist with unexpected problems. In our case, we traveled to and from the Serengeti from Entebbe, Uganda by private air charter arranged by ADS. It is not the usual route. When we were not able to make contact at Entebbe with our charter company, we called the 24/7 number at the Arusha ADS office. We connected promptly, and they were very responsive. Within minutes following the call, a charter representative came for us and escorted us through security and customs.
By the way, the charter flight itself was a very good experience. We flew from Entebbe to Tanzania across Lake Victoria, and processed through Tanzanian customs at Tarime “International” Airport. The airport has a grass runway, and two huts — one that serves as the office of the charter company and a smaller one that serves as the custom office. I have included a picture of the two huts; the smaller one in the background is the customs office. It took only a few minutes to process with customs and then the plane took off again on our way to the park.
The scenery at low elevations was fantastic, and with our prior map orientation, we were able to identify the principal terrain features, like the Great Rift Escarpment and the Mara and Grumeti Rivers. As we approached Seronera, we could see giraffe, zebras and wildebeest. Our guide was waiting for us at the Seronera airstrip, and after transferring our luggage, making introductions and a brief stop in the available airstrip facilities, we began our first game drive.
Our guide (Ellison) was excellent. He was wonderful, informed and educational, and the safari would not have been the same without him. The accommodations were also excellent, and the camp and lodge staffs very friendly and attentive. The game drives and animal viewing were amazing. It is difficult to describe the sheer breadth of the panoramas, the large numbers of diverse animals, and how close you get to the big game (over and over again).
If we ever go again, it will only be with ADS (and hopefully with the same guide). We had thought that our safari would be a once in a lifetime experience, but after being there a couple days we decided that we would make another trip. And we would highly recommend ADS to everyone.
Bill A. and Mary S.
Safari dates: April 8 – 15, 2014
Regions Explored: Central Serengeti, East Serengeti, South Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara
Lodges: 3 x Private Camping, 2 x Lake Masek, 2 x Ngorongoro Serena
We have just returned from our 11-day African adventure with African Dream Safaris.
Angelbert,, our guide extraordinaire, demonstrated his extensive knowledge of animals and birds, animal behaviors, photography and lighting conditions, as well as Tanzanian politics and social issues. He kept us safe, recognizing the Egyptian spitting cobra at a safe distance, and pulling away just as a bull elephant charged our vehicle.
He taught us lessons in patience when observing the animals; lessons that allowed us to see 3 kills and to appreciate the absolute wonder of 400,000 migrating wildebeests. Watching the interactions of the animals in the wild, we got an appreciation of how we are not that much different. Young ones play, mothers worry over their children, and survival isn’t always easy.
We were able to visit a Maasai school and the FAME hospital; examples of the dedication some amazing people have to improve the lives of Tanzanians. We stayed at both tent camps and larger hotels. All were very nice. The Tanzanian people made us feel at home.
Dawn, our stateside contact, answered all of our questions, and was genuinely interested in providing the best experience possible. Thank you ADS for such a stress-free, life-changing vacation.
Luellen, Mark, Noelle and Jack M.
Kansas City, Missouri
Safari Dates: May 19, 2013 to May 29, 2013