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