Well…how to begin? Our trip that you so meticulously planned for us was simply amazing! Everything from meeting the delightful Joseph to the last day room at the Arusha Coffee Lodge was seamlessly thought out.
This was a long anticipated trip at the top of our bucket list. We had looked for several years at various safari tour companies, mostly group tours until we discovered Africa Dream Safaris and their private tours. We are two couples who have traveled all over the world for over twenty years.
Our hearts sank as we saw the horde at Immigration deplaning at Kilimanjaro. But then we see our name beckoning on a placard. Skirting round the corner past the teeming horde, we are greeted and whisked past the crowd to wait near the Customs Officer’s booth. Assisting with Immigration and clearing us well ahead of the madness is most welcome ADS; asante sana. Many of that horde were also coming for safari.
You can’t compare Africa to a camping vacation or a wilderness stay in a US national park. Being in the Serengeti National Park was pure and raw.
Departing from Arusha to the Kogatende airstrip set the tone for our entire Safari with Africa Dream Safaris. Other folks were waiting dressed in white jeans and walking shoes, jaunty straw hats and bright colored shirts and jackets- more prepared for a resort than an experience of a lifetime. Well prepared over the previous nine months by Sharon Lyon of ADS, we had come to Tanzania ready to be educated, to push beyond our comfort zones, and to inhale the REAL Africa.
A safari had been on our bucket list, it was something we talked about for years and then finally took the plunge! My search was easy, I google searched the top five safari companies in the United States and Africa Dream Safaris was on that list. What set them apart was their web site, blog pages, personalized tours, and the recommendation of National Geographic.
As avid outdoorspeople and nature lovers, my husband and I decided last year that an African safari would be a great adventure. In particular, we wanted to see the wildebeest migration, and that led us to Tanzania. After several hours of research, it became apparent that African Dream Safaris offered just the type of experience we were interested in.
The last animal we saw on Wednesday evening was a lone buffalo. Arnold, our guide, commented that was odd, as they are usually in a group. We woke early and noticed some buffalo tracks outside our tent. Heading out at sunrise we passed by two huge hippos staring at each other and we wondered how that confrontation was going to play out. The sun was rising and we headed onward into the Serengeti.
Arnold noticed some action to our left and he headed in that direction. There were about seven lions digging into a very large buffalo, the cubs almost disappearing into the stomach. We parked about 20 yards from the scene and watched the drama of the lionesses chowing down and keeping an old skinny male from even a bite.
We looked into the sky to see my nephew and friend flying overhead in a balloon. After many photographs and about an hour of viewing we went on to continue the game Drive that included seeing wildebeests and Zebras crossing the Mara River, elephant families roaming and a lone giraffe trying to reunite with her family across a stream.
At midday we headed back to camp and passed by the lion kill from the morning. There were different lions from the same pride going after the meat, still keeping the old guy away.
After lunch we headed back out to find a lone young lion guarding the kill from the circling hyenas and jackals and vultures waiting their turn.
At dusk we saw a few lions stripping the ribs of meat and cracking bones. The old lion finally had his turn.
The next morning we headed out to go to the next camp and passed by the kill scene; all that was left were the horns, a piece of skull and a few vertebrae. We regretted not watching the actual kill which we figure happened about 4am before we came upon it, and the cleanup by the hyenas, jackals and birds.
What an amazing experience to witness and realize that this happens every day on this planet. Being the only humans to witness this as well as being so close to the action was unbelievable.
I’m attaching some photos of our experience from start to finish.
Safari Dates: October 23, 2016 to November 1, 2016
Africa Dreams Safari was nothing short of AMAZING! This was the best trip I have ever been on. After traveling all across Europe, Asia, Australia, and Mexico, Africa stole my heart. Africa Dreams surpassed my expectations with everything they provided. The amenities, staff, transportation, and food!
The minute we landed in Kilimanjaro we were greeted by their amazing staff. They were with us every step of the way. The staff was very professional, friendly, and educated. I thoroughly enjoyed talking with the staff and learning about their way of life.
Once I got to the Serengeti, I was overwhelmed with how many animals were around the area. Our small plane had to actually fly close to the landing strip to move some of the animals off the area so we could land safely. Once landing, I was once again greeted by Africa Dreams amazing staff and my tour guide Michael.
Michael was very welcoming and did everything to make sure I was comfortable and enjoying myself. The next week was spent with Micheal and viewing the animals in their natural habitat. Michael knew exactly where to go and I saw everything!!! Lions, crocodiles, Black Rhino, Giraffes, Cheetahs, and Hippos to name a few. I learned so much from Michael as he has been a tour guide in the Serengeti for over 18 years!
This is definitely a once in a life time experience. I loved every minute of this trip. The hotels and campsites were great as well. The amenities made me feel right at home and everyone was so welcoming. If you are looking for an amazing Africa Tour, Africa Dreams Safari’s are the ones to book with. I promise you will not be disappointed. I can’t wait to go back!
Debbie and Colin G.
San Diego, California
Safari Dates: October 10, 2016 to October 20, 2016
Wow, from our very first Wildebeest Crossing on the Mara River in the Serengeti to our last day in Tarangire National Park that included a rare pack of 12 African Wild Dogs, our trip could not have gone better or exceeded our expectations more than it even did!
Every one of the 10 days included sighting of one or more of the big three cats (Lion, Leopard, Cheetah). In fact, three days in a row we were able to experience up close and personal sightings of ALL three of them and even one day a Serval cat as well!
We scored our “Big Five” on day three with a fascinating visit with a black rhino and her baby within 15-20 feet. To listen to the baby talk was a real treat. We watched a Tommy give birth, a Lion “event” (you will just have to ask your guide!), giraffes fighting, a Lion kill, 2 Leopards together, and a herd of Hippo rescue a Wildebeest from a giant Croc!
All told we sighted over 40 mammal species (and countless beautifully colored birds) – what a great safari! We chose to stay out all day, everyday, but returning to camp at night was like coming home. Gracious welcomes, cold libations, hot showers and wonderful accommodations were the norm.
Our three tented camps (Mara River, Seronera Sametu, and Lions Paw) were all well appointed and set on wonderful locations. An added bonus was the animal noises that served as lullabies every night.
Our two lodges (Migration and Maramboi) were true luxury, with one overlooking a hippo pool with resident giraffe “jeri”, while the other provided a beautiful view of Lake Manyara (only interrupted by the passing of multiple zebra, ostrich, and other animals!).
All of these wonderful days could not have been possible without Ema (Immanuel), a wonderfully talented, knowledgeable, conversant and truly delightful person/guide/driver to spend our days with.
Karabu – African Dream Safaris!
Scott and Peg P.
Livonia, New York
Safari Dates: September 30, 2016 to October 10, 2016
This is our second trip to Tanzania with African Dream Safaris in the last 3 years. There is no other company I would go on a safari with than ADS. Having the proper guide is the most important aspect that makes the difference between having a good safari experience and having a great safari experience.
Once again, we had a great safari experience due to our ADS guide. The ADS guides are superior to any other guides in their local knowledge and desire to make their clients have a “once in a lifetime” experience. Our ADS guide continuously put us in the proper position to maximize our animal viewing opportunities. Isn’t that why we go on a safari?
San Juan Capistrano, California
Safari Dates: September 21, 2016 to October 2, 2016
For the last 18 months, we have been reading of others experiences in Tanzania with Africa Dream Safaris. Now, we have the opportunity to add our input.
We returned from Tanzania on the 16th of September after eleven days on safari.
To say we had the time of a lifetime is to be conservative. Everything about the trip (except the plane engine that wouldn’t start on our outbound trip to the Netherlands) was perfect.
We’d particularly like to acknowledge all of the efforts of Sharon (Simba Lady). If no one else is, we’re sure she is glad we’re back – and the questions will stop. Another ADS employee that gets all of the thanks possible is our guide, Ellison. He found incredible opportunities for us, while keeping the most interesting roads imaginable manageable. In all seriousness, he made the trip.
The best gauge of how well the trip went – during the last three days, we actually got fussy about the pictures we took OF LIONS.
We’ve included a few of our favorite pictures, we hope you’ll enjoy seeing them as much as we enjoyed experiencing them.
Bev, Mike, Christine, Jack F.
Safari Dates: September 5, 2015 to September 15, 2015
I traveled to Tanzania nine years ago with Africa Dream Safaris and was deeply moved by this unique experience. Seeing so many beautiful animals touched my soul and the gentle people of Tanzania captured my heart. At the time, I was very impressed with the ADS team both at home and in Africa. Their enthusiasm about Tanzania was palpable and their knowledge of the Serengeti was evident in every detail of my trip.