Tag: New York

Jim and Kit’s Trip To Eden

We are glad to tell you of our appreciation of the glorious adventure of a lifetime. I think these pictures hint at the magnificent wonders. From the Wildebeest crossing, the most exciting event in nature I have ever witnessed, to the quiet lush beauty of the Manor Lodging, Kit and I were in a true romantic Garden of Eden.

We were especially aware of this in an outdoor shower where we were surrounded by so many fabulous plants, animals, and splendid birds. While the evening meals at the lodges were not up to their aspirations the lunches in the field and especially all meals in the private luxury camp were superb.

Our guide suited our temperament to a tee; not too much and not too little information. His assistance and bravery (he got us out of an aardvark hole while a leopard was on the hunt near by) was unbelievable. He never rested on his laurels but to the very end was looking and making us aware of the many sights of Tanzania. I only wished I’d been told before hand that if at the Masai dance performance I had jumped higher I would have gotten a shot at a pretty girl, I think I could have jumped a little higher.

If anybody is looking to see cats we saw the big three in profusion and in all manner of activity, from supping to making love. I’ve never seen such a brilliant a melange of avian life. To deny oneself, the experience, if one can afford it, is not to have lead a full life.

Jim and Kit H.
Brooklyn, New York
Safari Dates: October 2, 2013 to October 13, 2013

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Our Photos May Be Numerous, But Our Memories Are Even Broader.

Jambo! We have just returned from our safari in the North and Central Serengeti, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Lake Manyara and we are still marveling at everything that we experienced. Our photos may be numerous, but our memories are even broader. We still can’t believe that we were able to see such majesty and wonder with our own eyes.

We knew that we would have a truly incredible experience even before we landed in the Serengeti, when many of the meet and greet staff and even some of the staff at the Arusha airstrip said to say “hello” to our guide, Pokea. Upon actually meeting him, we felt very comfortable and at ease knowing that we were in the hands of a true professional. Our first day was quite an eye-opener. We saw a serval, a cat that we both wanted to see, before lunch, then dined al fresco among hundreds of zebra, buffalo and wildebeest and witnessed the Great Migration crossing the Mara River. All of this before dinner on the first day!

The rest of our safari proceeded with just as much grandeur and awe each and every day. We saw just about every animal that we could have imagined and more, except for the elusive rhino. One highlight of our animal viewing experience was watching lions mating in the early morning light. Hopefully, they will produce a very healthy litter to maintain these proud and noble creatures. Also, we got to witness on two consecutive evenings, giraffe nibbling on treetops and vervet monkeys within the tree munching on leaves, right outside of our room while we were sitting on our deck at the Migration Lodge! Watching elephants meander up to a watering hole just off of the hotel pool at Four Seasons-Bilala was yet another of our many happy memories. They just marched in so regally and all had their fill of drinks and then marched off into the distance trumpeting. Another true highlight was the hot air balloon ride. Being our first, what better place to float than over the Serengeti, and with a wonderful champagne breakfast afterwards.

Of course, we want to thank all of the kind and gracious people of Tanzania for all of their warmth and welcoming ways. Everyone, from the meet and greet staff to each and every staff member at all of the properties to our departure team, was exceptionally friendly, courteous and professional. A very special note of appreciation goes out to our phenomenal guide, Pokea. He was an absolute treasure to be around. His vast knowledge, patience, diligence and keen eyesight were absolutely amazing! We miss him terribly already. Lastly, we would like to thank Dawn for all of her patience and prompt responses to all of our questions, which I’m sure were numerous.

Asante Sana Dawn! Thank you very much to all of the staff at Africa Dream Safaris and everyone else involved in making our dreams a reality!

Christopher and Lydia B.
Valley Stream, NY
September 18-24, 2013

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ADS Gave Us The Experience Of A Lifetime

Our safari was only 2 months ago and it feels like forever since we were there. I look at our pictures almost daily and tell many fond stories to anyone who will listen. My sister, Debbie, had always dreamed of being on safari and she did all of the research for the trip. The minute she found ADS, she called me to tell me, “I have our safari”. Lynn was our safari specialist, and she was a fabulous resource. She truly catered to our wishes and needs in designing our safari.

I can’t find the words to accurately describe our experience and never could have imagined the memories that were made on our trip. Our guide, Michael, never ceased to amaze us. We called him “Eagle Eye Mike” because he’d see things we didn’t even know were anywhere near us.

One day, we spotted a lion couple lounging in a field. He stopped the truck and told us they might be mating. Sure enough, within 10 minutes the mating began. Michael explained to us they they will mate every 15 – 30 minutes for a few days and that they are coupled together for only 15 seconds or so. Michael was extremely knowledgeable and answered every possible question we had (and we had many). If he wasn’t sure of the answer, he would consult one of his many field guides he had in the truck.

We can’t imagine having to share the truck with anyone. It was perfect for the two of us and all of our gear. We could move freely about in order to get the best photo; one of the days Michael must have opened or closed the roof more than 5 times for us. He knew the park like the back of his hand, and for much of the trip it was like the Serengeti was ours alone with no one to get in our way.

After our second day, we thought we had seen it all and figured that the rest of the trip would be low key and uneventful. We couldn’t have been more wrong! Each new day had something new and unique in store for us. At the end of each day, when we reached our camps and lodges, we were treated like royalty. From the moist towels and cool drinks upon arrival, the fabulous meals, and our early morning coffee wake up call, we were spoiled. Then when we were ready to head out again, Michael would have the truck fresh and dust free, waiting to take us where ever we wanted to go.

My sister’s dream was to see giraffes, and that we did. We even saw a baby with its mother and nursing. Come to think of it, we saw young or babies of almost every animal we saw. I’m a science teacher, and the controlled burning, predatory, migratory and mating behaviors, and birds picking the insects off the giraffes will be part of my lessons. How perfect that I have pictures and anecdotes to share with my students.

I could go on and on about our safari, but to sum it up: ADS gave us the experience of a lifetime and when we go back again, my sister will not need to do any research. We already know we will be traveling with Africa Dream Safaris.

Linda J.
New York, New York
Safari Dates: August 1, 2013 to August 10, 2013

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Six Days On The “Endless Plains”

Marty and I want to thank you Lynn for helping bring our once in a lifetime trip to fruition. It was truly memorable in the very best sense. Marty caught a cold the day of the flight back home and hasn’t yet shaken it off completely, but that has been the only down side. I love telling everyone about our trip and love looking at my favorite pictures. Yes, I have culled through my literally hundreds of pictures that I took and have chosen about 20 as my fav’s. Let me summarize as succinctly as possible our thoughts/feelings.

We came away with so much more than we expected, even though I hadn’t really know what to expect. Actually I thought it would all be desert sand – that’s how little I really knew! It was such a good idea to spend an extra day recuperating first recuperating from our long flight to Tanzania. We then took the internal flight up north and were greeted by our guide and driver, David Chando. He turned out to be not only knowledgeable but also enthusiastic about sightings, as well as patient about stopping for my photographing as much as I wanted.

As you know, we spent 6 days on the “endless plains” (July 3 – July 8. We were driven from the Northern Serengeti down south into the Ngorongo Crater and then through Lake Manyara National Park. Even though we went in during the country’s winter, we saw so many animals. Some of my favorites were the beautiful zebras and giraffes, who became more numerous in the south. I also loved seeing some of the mothers and their young ones, especially when they were nursing, though I wasn’t able to photograph any. I even grew somewhat fond of the wildebeest.

I’m about to describe photos shown below. Marty and I found it most exciting to see two different lionesses laying in wait and then pounce and run after a warthog, but they were too slow to catch them! However, we did see the end result of a lioness dragging her kill – a lovely Thompson’s Gazelle. 1) That is pictured below. 2) Another special picture is the leopard, since they’re often difficult to spot. Indeed, I can see the details of this leopard better in the photo than I could that day in person.

I also loved viewing the elephants. We saw many different compositions of them – in small groups and a larger herd. Actually, we saw the different groups then walk from different places, as we were driving, and then come together at a large pool. Very cool! 3) The photo below of the two young elephants was taken at a distance. I think it’s so cute! 4) I also love the 2 hippos play fighting on land, since we so often see them resting their large bodies either on land, or in the water. 5) an adorable set of zebra I had to include, and 6) finally, a cheetah and her cubs hidden in the shadow of a tree and the grass; that might be too difficult to really see, but I couldn’t resist including it. I’ll stop myself from giving you more. I love so many of them.

Thanks again for ushering us through what was an extraordinary event.

Warmly,
Louisa and Marty L.
New York, NY
Safari Dates July 3, 2013 to July 8, 2013

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If An African Safari Is On Your Bucket List Do It Now!

We returned from our safari on June 11, 2013.  I am the Director of an Animal Shelter in New York and this trip was my life’s dream.  I am very thankful to Sharon and Africa Dream Safari for making that dream come true.  The attention to detail was impressive.  The planning packet and handbook provided was extremely helpful.

Our adventure started in Arusha with a short flight to Western Serengeti.   We decided to combine tented camps and lodges on our journey and each was more comfortable and amazing than the next.  We were met at each destination with a warm towel and cool drink.  Who could ask for more!  BUT there was oh so much more.  The food was extraordinary and the staff made you feel like family.

Now, the wildlife!  Words really can’t describe seeing animals living free in their natural environment.  We were able to see elephant families travel together, lions and their cubs play, hippos graze and swim, alligator’s fish and even what I labeled a baboon parade.  The birds were spectacular in colors, sizes and numbers.  The great migration of wildebeest and zebra should be one of the wonders of the world.  A special moment was having lunch in our truck alongside a lone Cheetah.  She gave us the opportunity to share her world.  We saw numerous youngsters – elephants, lions, hippos, giraffes, zebra, water buffalo and wildebeest.

It seemed like a dream BUT I have thousands of pictures and memories to share.

A special thank you to our guide Peter.  His knowledge of the country, its people, plants and wildlife made our safari complete.  He encouraged us to experience Tanzania from sunup to sundown…..we didn’t want to miss a minute!

If an African safari is on your bucket list do it now!

Louise M.
Huntington, New York
Safari Dates: June 2 – June 10, 2013

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Every Day Brought New And Exciting Adventures

This was the trip of a lifetime. After numerous conversations about what exactly my husband and I wanted, Lynn put together a trip that included everything we requested and more including Claud, the perfect guide for us. We originally planned the trip for late May but had a change in plans. Lynn assured us that by going the last week of April/May we were going at her favorite time of the year, at the end of the rainy season where everything is lush and green. She was absolutely correct — the weather was perfect 80F and sunny everyday.

Transportation: The KLM flights from Detroit to Kilamanjaro were wonderful. Excellent service, decent food and timely. Mathias was waiting at the airport and walked us effortlessly through customs. We spent an extra day in Arusha and Mathias and Trevor were great tour guides– we really enjoyed our time with them. The flight from Arusha to Seronera was breathtaking. Flying low over the plains, valleys and mountains gave us a feel for the vastness of the Senengeti.

Lodging: Mt. Meru is a very classy hotel, staff was accommodating and food was good. At the Mbuzi Mawe Tented Lodge we were introduced to the “bush”. While being escorted to our room, a troupe of 20+ baboons came chattering by. A little startled we realized that we were really in the “bush.” Micheal was our bartender and our waiter and service was impeccable and the room was super. Second lodge, Ndutu Lodge had beautiful views, great food, nice gift shop and good location. Last night we stayed at the Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge on the crater. It was magnificent! At least four stars if not five. Breathtaking views !! Loved all our lodging.

Safari: Every day brought new and exciting adventures. Early rising got us to the important viewing sites in time to see recent kills with lions feasting on their well earned prey. Claud seemed to be able to find whatever we asked for – four lion prides, one with three females
and seven cubs ranging in age from approx. two weeks old to two months.

We even got to see a male and female lion greet each other with a big hug ! Our viewing of the cheetah mom and her four cubs chase down a wildebeest, make the kill, and enjoy the feast was incredible but when they all came over to the vehicle, bloody faces and all, to lay in the shade it was a dream come true. At the crater we really wanted to see the black rhino. Claud explained usually you only see them from a distance, but his excellent vision enabled us to get within 10 feet of a black rhino who let us take our pictures but them stamped her feet and started toward the vehicle. Claud assured us it was time to leave ! I don’t think there is anything we didn’t see. Leopard, baboons, elephants, hippos, several types of monkeys, giraffes, servel cat – I can go on and on. Claud located everything we wanted and more.

About Claud – Wonderful person. Very intelligent, knowledgeable not only of Tanzania but also of the world in general. When you spend seven days with someone conversation can get stale. But not with Claud. Conversation was always informative and fun for both him and us. He got along very well with other drivers and they seemed to appreciate his willingness to share information on our sightings. If we were to return, we would definitely request him as a guide.

We saw other groups six and nine people in the van. For the extra cost, it was well worth our private safari. Room to move around to see both sides of the vehicle and space to move around.

Nancy and Bill H.
Rome, New York
April 23, 2013 to April 29, 2013

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Saw the ‘Big Five’

It has been said countless times on this site, but our trip to the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater really altered our view of our planet. These two national parks should not be missed by any animal enthusiast! We HIGHLY recommend AFRICA DREAMS SAFARI because they maintained a close personal touch with us from the time we arrived at the Kilimanjaro Airport until the moment they dropped us off 10 days later.

David, our guide, is as good as it gets. He was informative without being blabby. His respect for the parks and the animals was truly inspiring. He was always careful to position us for the best camera angles for pictures of the animals!

Selecting our favorite moment is difficult because there are so many! We were proud that we saw the “big five!” Within two hours of our arrival in northwest Serengeti, we were surrounded by 60 to 70 elephants, which was at the top of our list of goals!

It was fascinating watching three lions devour a Cape Buffalo after a kill. They gorged themselves to the point of not being able to move! After the feast, one of the lions passed out in the road right in front of us!

In Ngorongoro Crater we particularly enjoyed the sunrise interplay between a pride of lions on the hunt and a herd of Cape Buffalo who managed to chase the pride into the bushes and keep them there! Two of the lions are pictured here. This was classic a lesson in survival of the fittest.

The blue monkeys were beautiful and hilarious!

We saw the beginning of the migration of the wildebeests and zebra, which is beyond description. We guessed that we laid eyes on nearly a million wildebeests and a quarter million zebras!

The giraffes were simply magical. So gentle and graceful. We saw hundreds throughout the trip!

We were so lucky and honored to see the rare black rhinos in the magical Ngorongoro Crater. We could go on and on, but the bottom line is, this was the trip of a lifetime and we feel so fortunate to have been able to do it! AFRICA DREAMS SAFARI offers terrific customer service . We will definitely go back to them for our next trip!

Holland and Patience
Skaneateles, New York
May 2012

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Maguire-Moore Family

What can I say? Where do I start? From start to finish it was the most amazing trip ever. You had every little detail planned to a “T”. It was all perfect! Arnold was the nicest, classiest most professional and informative guide we could ever have imagined. He was an outstanding ambassador for African Dream Safari. He was impeccably turned out every day – with such a good nature. He was superb with the children – and nothing was ever a problem for him. He knew everything about the animals too – which was mind blowing!

Michael and Charles were also so professional, welcoming and warm natured. What great staff you have. All of our accommodations were so perfect – and each so different – it was fabulous to keep moving and have things change all the time.

The children really loved every second of it! There is something on the Serengeti on the Animal Channel tonight – that they can’t wait to see! My favorite was Mbuzi Mawe, Paul’s was Ngorongoro Lodge. The kids loved Ndutu Lodge. We all loved it all! We met Annesley, one of the owners of Ndutu – she was totally taken with the children and how well behaved they were – I kept assuring her they were on a Holiday High!

The animals were incredible. We got to see so much of everything. The first day was unreal! It would be great if more young families did this. I kept saying to Paul, how lucky we are to be able to do this at this age! Anyways – we have some friends with serious interest – now that we have started the bug, so we will be sure to pass them on to you.

We could not imagine having done this trip with anyone other than African Dream Safari!

Thank you!

Maguire-Moore Family
Chestnut Ridge, New York
April 2012

 

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We saw 10 out of the 30 Black Rhino

Sharon,

Our safari was everything we had hoped for. Our Driver Guides Angelbert and Omarey were amazing. They found everything we told them we wanted to see and more! Their enthusiasm for the wildlife and the Serengeti was inspirational. Although it sometimes required long days to see everything we wanted to see, they were always enthusiastic about the long days. We did have some rainy nights on the trip which made driving the next a bit muddy, but our drivers got us through it without a hitch.

We saw 10 out of the 30 Black Rhino and 1 of the 5 Cheetah in the Ngorongoro Crater. We watched 3 Cheetah stalk and kill a wildebeest and went right into the middle of a heard of wildebeest and zebra on the Serengeti.

It was truly the Vacation of a lifetime! Thank you so much for making it happen!

Gregg Carroll and Family
Cortlandt Manor, New York
December 2011

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National Geographic Adventure

Our safari in Tanzania with African Dream Safaris was an incredibly amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience. Every aspect of the trip was incredible in its own right. Starting from the planning phase, our consultant, Lynn was extremely knowledgeable, helpful, and so friendly. She helped us out with all of the details, last minute questions, and customized our trip to our particular wishes. She even went as far as contacting our family after ensuring a safe arrival in Tanzania. We cannot say enough about Lynn’s support and guidance!

On to the safari aspect, it truly is hard to put in words. Everything from the animals, lodges, food, service, and VIP service was top-notch. Camps such as Swala, Buffalo Springs Tented Camp, Seronera Sametu, and of course the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge are worth special mention, each in their own unique ways. The caretakers/ managers of each camp went out of their ways to make us feel at home from the moment of arrival to departure. Everyone was so friendly and accommodating, and we felt completely safe the entire trip. The food and drinks were amazing. From eating breakfast with the elephants drinking from their watering hole in front of us at Swala, to butler service at Ngorongoro Crater lodge, to fun filled dinners with our newly-found friends at Seronera Sametu, the experiences were unforgettable.

As far as the animal exposure, even our guide called it a “blessed” safari. Every day was like an adventure out of National Geographic. Watching the animals in their various environments was awe-inspiring. Everywhere you looked seemed like a postcard in the making. Particularly interesting was the vast difference in the fauna and surroundings of the various locations- from the dry Central Serengeti and the impressive kopje structures, to the plush Northern Serengeti, to the swamps and woodlands of Tarangire and Lake Masek, and of course the Ngorongoro Crater which has it all.

Our timing at the end of the dry season in September seemed ideal for us from a game-spotting and comfort perspective. We were able to see literally hundreds of zebra, elephants, wildebeests, giraffes, hyenas, buffalo, baboons, hippos many species of birds, lions, cheetahs, leopards, rhinos, hyraxes- of all ages (babies included).

Some trip highlights included ostriches mating, a giraffe mating attempt, lions feeding their cubs, hippo pools, cheetahs with their cubs, leopards with their cubs in trees feeding, baboons on the hood of our vehicle, elephants with their young, tree-climbing lions, and spottings of 8 rhino. Perhaps the most exciting single event was the crossing at the Mara river, where hundreds of wildebeests rushed to swim across and gallop right in front of us. We even saw crocodiles feeding. Our trip to Zanzibar for a few days at the end was a nice relaxing touch as well.

Our guide, Michael, was also amazing. He was able to spot animals in the distance all over the place while driving us safely around all day. His knowledge of the natural world including the animals and the environment was truly astounding. He was extremely nice and accommodating as well and we never felt rushed. He would look out for great picture-taking opportunities and go out of his way to make our experience unforgettable.

Throughout our safari, we had the opportunity to see other tour groups and operators. There is no doubt that there is a huge difference in the experience provided by ADS compared to the others. A private safari is invaluable- providing the flexibility for timing, location, and duration of the game drives, meals, and rest. The large open topped Land Cruisers were ideal for comfort, viewing, and picture taking, and the refrigerator within was a very nice amenity. Other companies had vehicles with people crammed inside and mileage limitations which we believe would significantly detract from the overall experience.

All in all, our trip in Tanzania with ADS was an amazing experience which will never be forgotten. All of our friends who hear our stories and see our pictures (a few of which are attached) are amazed, and we whole-heartedly recommend them to sign up with ADS. Thank you again for such an incredible experience!

Sincerely,

David and Julie Capiola
New York, New York
September 2011

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We Drove into a Pride of 35 Lions

Thank you ADS for an amazing, Tanzania Safari. Being a quintessential New Yorker, I must admit that I was initially skeptical when booking with ADS because I hadn’t met anyone in person and my entire transaction was over the phone / internet. However, from the moment we were greeted by the first ADS staff person upon our arrival until the day we were dropped off at the airport, we had nothing but a wonderful experience. Every ADS staff person that we encountered was courteous, knowledgeable and focused on our needs.

Our safari guide made sure that we experienced a trip of a lifetime. He was highly knowledgeable about the wild life (birds included), fauna and local culture. He was a perfect fit for me and my family because of his determination during our game drives. There was not one “uneventful” day during our 12 day safari (Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater. & Tarangire). It was as though he knew exactly where the animals would be each day! We had countless encounters with herds of elephants, pools of active hippos, traveling wildebeest, herds of giraffes, impalas, zebras, etc. We saw leopards and cheetahs but our highlight was the Lions!!

During one of our many exciting game drives in the Serengeti, we came around a turn and drove directly under a rock with two lionesses peering over us! It was the most frightening and exciting experience of my life. That encounter was topped a few days later when we drove into a pride of 35 lions (15 were cubs!). There was very little distance between our vehicle and the lions! I could go on and on describing each of our exciting days.

Although we traveled during the dry season, the Serengeti was remarkably still green and we witnessed a great deal of the wildebeest migration. There were times that we were the only vehicle on the road and it was quite nice because it made for better viewing and we were not covered in so much dust. Our vehicle was very spacious, clean and comfortable and the open roof top allowed for excellent photo opportunities. It was always well-stocked with water and soft drinks. The customizable, private safari experience was a good choice for us as we could plan our days out as we wanted and not have to deal with a planned schedule or travelers that preferred to go back to the camps/lodges for lunch. We ate our lunches and some breakfasts in the bush. I was amazed at the quality and quantity of the picnics or boxed meals. Our dinners were excellent and filling and the wine selections were outstanding. It was also a pleasure to have freshly brewed coffee brought to us each morning as part of our wake up call.

The lodges and camps that we stayed at were all outstanding and quite luxurious. The service was impeccable as the staff went above and beyond to make us feel safe and comfortable. During the night, we could hear animals rustling by our tents. At Migration Tented Lodge on the Grumeti River, hippos would come up at night to graze and we could hear them munching ….one night our tent was surrounded! It was such an exciting experience.

We visited a Tanzanian School/Orphanage, and the FAME medical clinic. These were all eye opening experiences and I’m happy that we had the opportunity to visit these places. It’s truly incredible to see how many people devote their lives to wonderful causes. We also visited a Massai village which was a tremendous cultural experience.

Our first safari adventure was incredible and it definitely won’t be our last. ADS does a great job and upon speaking to fellow travelers using other companies, we were constantly reassured that we made the right decision. No changing of drivers, full attention to detail with well thought out itineraries, no overcrowded vehicles and highly knowledgeable staff.

Thank you again!

Julianne Recine and Family
New York, NY
July 2011

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Mother and Daughter Safari

It certainly was a trip of a lifetime!

We arrived home yesterday afternoon and want to tell you that we had an amazing safari experience. ADS left no stone unturned and treated us royally from start to finish. Our guide was terrific. He really made sure that we covered as much ground as possible and saw every animal we wanted to see. At the end, he even chased down 2 huge black rhinos at the crater, which ended up crossing the road right in front of us.

My daughter and I have so many wonderful memories of the safari and captured most of them in photos and in a journal she kept of every detail each day. I want to thank you for planning such a wonderful trip and will be sure to recommend your services to other friends who may be interested in going on a safari to East Africa in the future.

Best regards,

Andrea and Jamie Kringstein
New York, New York
May 2011

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