Tag: North Carolina

A Multigenerational Adventure

We had a group ranging from age 8 to 80 and every single one of us in our family had a trip we will never forget. I wanted to commend your entire company for an amazing safari experience. The entire thing was planned and executed flawlessly from your incredible staff picking us up at the airport after a long journey and sparing us the two-hour wait in customs to the transport to the airport at the end.

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My 5th Safari To Tanzania!

I am a professional cinematographer/photographer and a lover of Tanzania. With regards to wildlife, the two go hand in hand.

Like everyone leaving their comments here, I recently returned from the Serengeti. And again, it has left a huge impression. The fact that this was my 5th safari with Africa Dream Safaris alone speaks volumes… and writing an ordinary glowing “review” seems redundant. I’ve done that previously. So I’ve decided to include some pictures and address something that my friends often inquire about when I tell them about my trips to Africa… let’s call it “ What do I do next?”

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We Had Lions Roar Right Outside Our Tent!

We have just returned from a fabulous trip to Tanzania. It was a once in a lifetime trip for us. Special thanks to Dawn who patiently answered all our many questions over the past year.

Our driver guide Patrick was great! He found all the animals he knew we wanted to see including the black rhino (we saw four in the same day), and he was a wealth of knowledge about all the animals.

We stayed in three camps (Seronera Sametu Camp, Lake Masek Tented Lodge and Ngorongoro Lion’s Paw Camp), each one very unique and special. Sametu Camp may have been the most memorable as we had a lion who roared a couple of times during the night right outside our tent!

The staff at each camp was very welcoming and congenial, and the food was great as well. We went a day early in order to visit The School of St. Jude as well as to rest up before our Safari began. The children at the school were delightful.

Judi and Larry H.
Wake Forest, North Carolina
Safari Dates: February 16, 2017 to February 23, 2017

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ADS hires the best, most experienced, most educated Guides in all of Tanzania.

I recently got back from Tanzania…for the third time. Three times I have stepped off that blue and white plane on the Kilimanjaro tarmac. Three times I have found my name on a hand held a place card next to an Africa Dreams Safari logo. And three times I’ve found a smiling face behind it to effortlessly shuffle me through the madness. People often ask me why I have gone to Tanzania three times, and more specifically, why I have gone back with ADS each time.

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Our Safari November 9 to November 21, 2013

Our safari experience with ADS was truly incredible, and enjoyable. From our initial inquiry and booking with Sharon through being returned to the airport, everything was handled in an efficient, and friendly manner. The meet and greet staff in Arusha were most helpful in getting us settled and prepared for the upcoming adventure, and in taking us back to the airport. Our driver/guide/concierge/porter Francis Peter was very patient and accommodating, and we always felt safe and comfortable wherever we went.

Having opted for the extra day at Mt. Meru Resort at the front end of our safari after the long day(s) of flying, our itinerary was 2 nights each at Mt. Meru Resort, Buffalo Luxury Camp, a Private Luxury Camp, Ngorongoro Serena Crater Lodge, and Kikoti Tented Camp, with game drives in Northern and Central Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara National Park and Tarangire National Park.

All of the camps and lodges were very well run, comfortable, and exceeded our expectations, and offered a variety of experiences. The meals were abundant and tasty with a variety of choices from very familiar to more local offerings. The attention given us at the private camp was a real treat. In addition to the daily game drives, we were able to visit a Maasai village, go on a night game drive and two private walking safaris complete with Maasai guides and armed escorts, and take a sunrise hot air balloon ride.

Although we were there during what turned out to be an extremely dry time, Francis managed to take us to where the animals were. The number and variety of animals that could be seen together at one time, and the diversity of the landscape especially surprised us. He was very good at spotting and approaching the wildlife so that we could watch and take pictures, and willingly shared his knowledge of the nature and culture of the areas we visited.

The animals and landscapes are what we went to see and were more than satisfied with, but we will also always remember our exposure to “African massage, bush TV, wake up calls, and checking a tire”. Our advice to anyone thinking about going on safari is to go sooner than later. Opportunities are and will continue to be changing.

Thank you ADS for a wonderful and unforgettable experience.

Dan and Marti W.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Safari Dates: November 9-21, 2013


Ostrich with chicks, Tarangire
Resting Leopard
Young Lion With Toy
Superb Starling
Lion prints in the pathway from overnight, Kikoti Camp
Lilac-breasted Roller on Acacia
Grey Crowned Cranes
Elephant with Youngster
Banded Mongooses on the move
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A Fantastic Family Safari

Sharon, the animal encounters were amazing. We started seeing zebras before our entrance into Tarangire National Park. The pictures that we took do not do the safari justice. We experienced a lion and lioness mating and saw a deep cut on the lion’s hind leg from a former battle as he walked away from his mate. A lioness was resting at the side of the road to where we thought she was full from breakfast, but in fact was pregnant and ready to deliver any day. The ostriches were flapping their wings across the Serengeti to call their mate we then experienced them mating as well. Baby lion and cheetah cubs were playing at the side of the road while towers of giraffes were munching on the treetops.

One of the highlights of the trip was on an early morning game drive. We observed a cheetah surveying 3 gazelles for her tasty snack. The cheetah bolted like lightning speed and conquered the gazelle in a matter of minutes. We were fortunate to stumble upon this great feat along with the vultures picking up the pieces once the cheetah left the area.

Another highlight was the buffalo confrontation. While on a walking tour, a buffalo came out of the bushes unexpectedly. Our guide threw his walking stick at his head to steer him in another direction while the African warrior shot 3-4 rifle shots at the buffalo to scare him away. The buffalo was literally 30-40 feet away from our group and we could clearly see the magnitude of this animal up close and personal.

While we watched the elephant parade, an enormous elephant blocked our path in the road. We waiting patiently, but the big guy wasn’t going to let us drive down “his” road. Our guide drove around the elephant as we weren’t going to tangle with this huge elephant. But to see that large beast up front was incredible as you can see the wrinkles in his hoofs and eyelashes on his eyes.

The birds and trees were truly something that you have to experience firsthand. The colors and shapes are pictures of artwork. We purchased a large African mask from the Cultural Heritage Center in Arusha and had it shipped back to USA. It arrived safely in North Carolina about 3 weeks after our departure and it hangs beautifully on our wall to treasure for years to come.

The visit to the Maasai tribe was an experience like no other. The African people are so very genuine and we felt welcomed at every place that we explored. Sharon, & Africa Dream Safaris did a fantastic job with our animal observations and our experiences were very memorable and will be treasured for many years to come!

David and Mary D. and children
Cecilia (age 13) and Henry (age 6)
Burgew, North Carolina
Safari start date: July 7, 2013

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We Were In Awe Of The Beauty Of Pure Africa!

Hi Sharon we just wanted to thank you for the wonderful safari you planned for us. Bill and I had a super time; we have so many great memories. The animals and the experiences went way beyond what we could have imagined. Not sure if you heard but we did have an encounter with a Cape Buffalo, pretty scary at the time but what a story. The lodges were all so beautiful and the service at each one; 5 star!

From our first 15 minutes into the park we were in awe of the beauty of pure Africa! We saw so many animals, to the smallest little turtle to the most amazing elephants. We had so many experiences that we never thought could never happen to us. A lion and a lioness mating, a cheetah kill, a encounter with a cape buffalo and dinner in the middle of the Serengeti as a spotted hyena walked up to us to get a better smell.

The photos can only remind us of the wonderful time we had and then bring our memories back to the most real moments. I loved every minute of our experience from the dust on my face to the picnics under the acacia trees to the many remarkable, stunning and truly inspiring natural wonders of Tanzania. We truly appreciated the knowledge, professionalism and patience our driver Petro gave us each day with a smile. ADS made our trip of a lifetime a most enjoyable one meeting every expectation and beyond.

Asante Sana!

Bill and Cindy B.
Wilmington, North Carolina
Safari Dates: July 8, 2013 to July 19, 2013

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Our guide was a living encyclopedia who must have 20/10 vision

Our safari adventure was a year in planning. We checked several tour companies, researched brochures and finally decided that we wanted to work with ADS. Sharon, our consultant, was so informative and worked with us to customize our itinerary. She gave us some really great advice, such as going with a backpack instead of checking through our luggage with KLM.

We left on our much anticipated adventure with a little “what ifs” and a lot of excitement. As soon as we stepped off the plane we were treated as VIPs. Our visa had been pre- handled, no luggage to collect and we were whisked out of the airport where the “meet & greet” staff met us and ushered us off to our beautiful Mt. Meru Resort. Everything went according to plan, there was nothing for us do. We took an extra day in Arusha where we toured the city and bought school supplies which we got to personally hand out to the children at a local school. The teachers and children were so appreciative, lots of smiles all around.

The next day we left on our Bush plane and then our safari began. Our guide was Ally – a living encyclopedia who must have 20/10 vision. He could spot a lion in the distance, a leopard in a tree dining on her fresh catch, a mother wildebeest who had just delivered her baby and warned us that a pride of lions were about to go after a buffalo who had separated from the herd to have her baby. He even found the exact spot where the wildebeest & zebras were migrating. He answered all our questions and seemed to enjoy every moment with us. His enthusiasm never wavered, he became our lifeline to the sounds and smells and panorama of the Serengeti. We visited a Masai village and learned much about the culture of these nomadic people.

Our camps and lodges were wonderful. The food was great. We especially loved the Masek Under Canvas Tented Camp & Lemala Ndutu Camp where we heard lions roaring at night, had a zebra outside out tent welcoming us in the morning & baboons racing all about. The bucket showers were a kick & the highlight were the “Bush TV”- sitting by the campfire at night staring up at a majestic night sky flooded with stars.

A highlight of our trip was our visit to FAME where we got to meet Dr, Frank & Mama Susan and see first hand the wonderful work they are doing bring preventative care to the local people. We saw the new hospital and first class operating rooms and met many of the staff. We were truly inspired and applaud ADS for their sponsorship of something that is so needed in this part of the world.

And lastly, unlike other tour companies who are finished with you when the “trip is over”, we arrived home to a beautiful “Welcome Home” e-mail and beautiful postcard. We will never forget this trip…it may have been short, but the memories will last a lifetime. Thank you ADS, Ally, Sharon and Michael.


Gail B. and Sue P.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Safari Dates: February 5, 2013 to February 12, 2013

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It was Africa, it was a safari and it was a dream come true.

I can’t believe I was really there. We were a group of 6, 4 of us form the US and 2 from Australia. We met 2 years ago on river cruise in Europe so this was a reunion trip for us, 18 months in the making!

Within minutes of leaving the airport we saw impala; within a half hour we saw zebra and giraffes with babies! We woke up the first morning to a giraffe at sunrise, you now those pictures you see in magazines. What an experience see the great migration and the river crossing. We were told there are 1.7 million wildebeest; we think we saw a million of them!

We did a night game drive and couldn’t get enough of the bush babies jumping from tree to tree! We arrived first or maybe second as a vehicle passed us, to the Ngorongoro Crater. There were a lot of animals playing around. We saw 4 of the “Big 5”, only the buffalo was missing. We had the privilege of following 2 black rhinos (we had been lucky to see 2 others in the Serengeti).

Seeing all of the elephants, giraffes and zebras in Tarangire Park was amazing. I read you could see 100-400 elephants a day here. I think we did. At one point one of the people in our group counted 56 of them standing together.

Here we also experienced the love of a mother for her child. We came upon a mother elephant and her baby, separated by the road. The baby was obviously ill and could hardly move. She was trying to get it to cross the road by her. When she saw that we might come between them (we were stopped several meters away) she started to charge us. Wilfred quickly maneuvered the vehicle so we off t he side. She continued in a sideways movement across the road towards her baby not leaving her eyes off of us. We watched as the baby slowly moved across the road and the plain trying to follow the mother to the herd.

Although we never saw a kill we did see the aftermath…the cheetah in a tree eating, and lions eating their take down. We were on safari during the dry season, we were fortunate to have very few other vehicles around; often we were the only one. The camps were wonderful, especially the talking bush showers after a dusty hot day out. Two of the nights we were the only ones at the camps so it was like having experienced 3 private camps instead of one.

Sandy Jacobson
Wallace, North Carolina
Safari Dates: October 15, 2012 to October 25, 2012

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Our Second African Dream Safari

Even before our first safari was over my husband and I had decided to return to the Serengeti and there was no question at all that we would go with Africa Dream Safaris. Naturally we were a little worried that a second safari to the same place might not be as great as the first trip, but we were so wrong! The ADS folks made sure we had our original guide, Wilfred.

This was an advantage since we had meshed so well on our first trip. He knew we would be first out of the lodge at 6 am and would not be back until whenever we had to be. We planned our second safari to cover areas of the Serengeti that we had not visited the first time.

We started with three days near the Mara River hoping to catch a crossing. It started out with one day of watching the wildebeests walk to the river, pause then walk away. Hmmm . this was a lot like last time!

However, bright and early the next morning we caught a wild crossing with the animals leaping off one steep river bank then climbing up the far side which had an impossible looking grade. Downstream we spied a rock covered with every possible scavenger waiting for whatever food swept past.

The next morning we watched a crossing that lasted for more than an hour. It is hard to describe the chaos of these crossings. The animals leap onto each other, crash into rocks, slip and slide as they all try to squeeze through the same narrow passage. It all seemed crazily impossible to get across this river until we spotted a herd of zebras a bit upstream choose an area of calmer water and lazily trot across. Smart zebras.

The Western Corridor was absolutely amazing. Though it was not supposed to be the prime time for this area, we were fortunate with the rains and had no problem with game sightings. We watched a pond of hippos challenging for dominance right next to a pool loaded with too many crocs to count. We spotted a crocodile eating an adult zebra and the size of his mouthful of teeth reminded us that this was indeed a prehistoric monster. There were ostrich families, ostriches mating as well as antelope fights and cheetahs hunting. We seldom saw another vehicle on the roads. Our lodge room even had its shower out on the deck so we could spot game as we washed up.

Our last two days were back on familiar turf in the Seronera area where we hoped to see the big cats in action. Almost immediately we followed a large pride of lions teaching their young to hunt and really not doing such a great job. Missed cornering the zebras at the water hole twice.

The last day was one of our most memorable. This may sound strange since it involved staying with a cheetah mom and her cubs all day long. We spotted them around 7 a.m. and Wilfred said she and the cubs were hungry and something would have to happen soon. We decided to wait and see. There was a second ADS truck on site so the drivers decided to switch out so we could see if there were anything else happening nearby. They would call each other if Mom started to hunt. We spent the time watching the cubs climb trees and play together. They nursed and napped while Mom kept a steady eye on the horizon.

I have to admit that by one o’clock I was ready to bail but my husband and Wilfred convinced me to give it another hour while we ate our lunch. Thank goodness they did because a herd of gazelles meandered by and things happened very quickly. We learned how fast a cheetah could move .WOW! Mom and babies were soon feasting. We stayed until a hyena moved in and claimed the carcass, stealing it away from the cheetahs as well as the waiting jackals and the buzzards circling above.

The safari was over too quickly. Regular days without game drives are not as much fun as wondering what is just around the next corner. We might need safari number three and I cannot think of a better group than Africa Dream Safaris to trust with the arrangements. I have to say that most evenings in the lodges we could overhear other groups talking about their day and seldom did anyone have the range of experiences we did. They are the best!

Chris and Terrence Campbell
Raleigh, North Carolina
Safari Dates: October 6, 2012 to October 14, 2012

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Lions and Rhinos and Pythons OH MY!

Dream vacation – understatement! Life changing – most certainly! ADS was the perfect choice for my mother and I. Can’t thank Omary enough for sharing his country and 15 years of knowledge with us. His eagle eyes (without the help of glasses) managed to spot a python – only the second one he’s seen in his 15 year career.

He also spotted two rhinos in the crater. Added fun at no additional charge was our up close & personal encounter with the resident leopard that has managed to elude the gals that run Soroi Serengeti. Carol graciously gave us the honor of naming him. We chose Tar Heel after our home state of North Carolina.

We tried to race over to Gary & Grant’s campsite to catch a glimpse of the 20+ lion pride that visited them one morning. Unfortunately that was the only day I was running 15 minutes behind & we lost out. That same evening, our campsite was visited by a huge herd of mostly bull elephants. They woke me around 1am & stayed for hours. Omary swore they were only curious. He was awake as well to ensure they didn’t step on his little tent. I had never been so happy to see daylight & the sound of that generator in my life.

The lack of sleep had definitely taken a toll on mother. By the time Kevin came to give us our morning wake up call, she had a story made up about lions visiting us that not even Gary & Grant would believe. Needless to say we got no pictures but did have the bags under our eyes as proof.

On our last day we had the pleasure of meeting Pam who gave us a tour of F.A.M.E. We stopped for a quick bit of shopping after that & met fellow ADSers Debbie & Barry. There Barry insisted on purchasing the shop owners display wooden elephant. This would be his carryon over the next week as they were off to Paris after Tanzania. Hope ya’ll made it back in one piece! It was also on our last day in Lake Manyara National Park that I saw the most amazing sign that summarized my time in Africa just beautifully:

Remove nothing from the park except:
Nourishment for the soul;
Consolation for the heart;
Inspiration for the mind.

Kimberly Green and Donna Kelly
Charlotte, North Carolina
May 2012

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