Tag: October

Africa Dream Safari Review  

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.

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A Remarkable, Life Changing And Humbling Experience

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.

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We Will Always Cherish Our Memories Of Tanzania!

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.

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We Shall Always Remember The Majestic Landscape, Animals And People Of Tanzania.

Our safari to Tanzania exceeded our expectations! It was a life changing experience and one that we will never forget.

We researched several outfitters before we made our decision to use African Dream Safaris and were drawn to them by their promise of a worry free experience and the flexibility that was offered by a private safari. Their program was unique and well presented on their web site and brochures but we must admit that we were a bit skeptical as to their ability to deliver on all they promised.

When we contacted Dawn it was immediately obvious that she possessed a wealth of knowledge and personal experience. Her professional approach and patience put us immediately at ease. Still, it was hard to believe that our safari could be as simple and worry free as she described. With Dawns expertise we “built” our safari to our very specific wants and needs and it did not faze her at all. Dawn took over and we sat back in anticipation.

In short…ADS not only delivered on their promises but exceeded our expectations by a long shot!!! From the minute we touched down in Kilimanjaro it was obvious we were in good hands.

Our guide Francis met us at the airstrip in the Serengeti, took care of all the necessary paperwork and off we went on our adventure. Pam told Francis that she was most interested in seeing elephants and giraffes. Almost before we settled into our Range Rover, Francis had found several elephants and just a couple of minutes after that we were viewing giraffes up close and personal!

It was obvious that we were in expert hands with Francis. His knowledge, professionalism and personality were just what we needed to put us at ease. His ability to get us in the right spot for photo opportunities was excellent. Our doubts about ADS vanished.

We quickly learned that “roads” in the bush are really trails just wide enough in most cases for one vehicle to pass at a time. No worry here as Francis not only knew the roads but knew when to give us a heads up so that we could keep our heads on!!!!!

Throughout our safari, the wild life viewing was spectacular and the scenery was beautiful. We awoke each day with heightened anticipation for what the new day would hold for us. Francis did an excellent job of tailoring our days to our desires and used his expertise to maximize our experience.

It was obvious that Francis was on a mission on one of our Serengeti days. We headed off into the heavy bush and to our surprise, Francis spotted three black rhinos. These nearly extinct beautiful animals were majestic and awe inspiring. Francis explained to us how rare this sighting was and gave us an excellent vantage point for photos and viewing.

At one point, Francis asked our permission if he could “guide” another ADS guide to the location of the Rhinos to give them the opportunity to view these very rare animals. It was our pleasure to share our experience and Francis located the other party and led them to our viewing location.

The caring side of Francis for his country, his people and the animals was obvious as we progressed on our journey. It was heartwarming to experience his pride and his willingness to share his knowledge and expertise.

We chose to visit a Masai village near the Ngorongoro Crater area. This humbling experience was a highlight of our trip. The simplicity of these people, the hospitality and warmth with which they welcomed us gave us a true appreciation for the beauty of Tanzania and its diverse culture. It was our pleasure to share our time, talent and treasure with these genuine people.

Our safari was perhaps the best adventure trip we have ever taken. We shall always remember the majestic landscape, scenery, animals and people of Tanzania. We will always carry in our hearts the simplicity of the people and the beauty of the wild life and their habitat.

Robert and Pam A.
Dallas, Texas
Safari Dates: September 21, 2016 to October 3, 2016

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Being The Only Humans To Witness A Lion Kill Was Remarkable

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.

Jill U.
Carbondale, Colorado
Safari Dates: October 23, 2016 to November 1, 2016

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Africa Stole My Heart

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

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All Told We Sighted Over 40 Mammal Species

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

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Our Second Adventure With ADS

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?

Brad C.
San Juan Capistrano, California
Safari Dates: September 21, 2016 to October 2, 2016

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September In The Serengeti – An Adventure Of A Lifetime

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.
Naperville, Illinois
Safari Dates: September 5, 2015 to September 15, 2015

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The ADS Staff Were Incredible In Managing A Very Scary Situation

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.

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African Dream Safaris Made Our Dream Come True!

From the moment we landed in Arusha till we left Arusha for home your staff was right on. Our adventure started as we were attempting to land in the bush and our landing was aborted due to a Giraffe on the runway! We realized right then and there that this was going to be a special experience.

After we landed we met our guide, Emmanuel, who quickly became our friend. He was knowledgeable, patient, understanding and considerate. We left the airport and almost immediately we began to see animals “up close and personal.” Zebras, wildebeests, and gazelles were everywhere. Giraffes were majestic and elephants were lumbering along as we drove.

We were “lucky” (based on Emanuel’s skill ) to spend some time watching a cheetah and her four cubs frolic under a tree. If that was not enough, our first lion sighting also took place on the first day.

We ate our box lunch and continued to drive to River Camp. Here the staff could not have been more accommodating. After a delicious dinner and a good sleep, we started out in the morning hoping to see a river crossing. We sat at a location for about an hour as it looked like the wildebeests were getting ready to cross. Then suddenly the herd moved off – that is when we saw the reason – a lion had a wildebeast in his jaws! We followed the lion who took the kill in to a bush.

We left and continued on our quest for a crossing. Again, patience was the key and sure enough, we were able to observe a crossing. What an experience! This was all before lunch! Since we were very close to River Camp we went back for lunch – the table was set outside under a tree. Back to our home away from home – the Landrover – looking for a leopard. Sure enough Emmanuel got us a leopard – in a tree very close to the road.

I do not know how he did this but we were able to get close to so many animals. Every day was better than the one before. Lions, cheetahs, leopards seemed to be waiting to meet us! While the drives between camps were long, they were interesting and gave us a real feel for the vastness of the Serengeti.

We were only missing a rhino to complete our wish list. In the crater, way off in the distance we observed a young rhino sleeping. Well we thought that was enough – not Emmanuel. He told us that as it cools down the rhino may start to move. We drove around for a while and returned to see the rhino still sleeping. Do not give up was our motto. Patience paid off – after about an hour the rhino woke up and started a slow but steady walk in our direction.

The rhino, as if on command, came to the road and walked right behind out vehicle! What a way end our Africa Dream Safari!!!

Janet and David C.
Beechhurst, New York
Safari Dates: October 10, 2015 to October 18, 2015

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On Safari with the Author of Bradt Travel Guide to Tanzania

Africa Dream Safaris was delighted to host Philip Briggs and his wife Ariadne Van Zandbergen for a 15-day safari. Philip was in Tanzania doing research for the latest editions of the Bradt Tanzania Travel Guides. Philip Briggs is the author of the prestigious and well-respected BRADT Travel Guides. Philip’s published works include Bradt Guides to Tanzania, Northern Tanzania Safaris, and East African Wildlife, as well as many several other books about Africa. Many loyal fans follow Philip’s travel advice and recommendations very closely when planning their own dream safari vacations. And rightfully so…Philip has traveled extensively in Tanzania for many years and offers an unparalleled perspective from which to judge any African Safari company. So, needless to say we were thrilled when he came back with a glowing review for Africa Dream Safaris!

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GREEN vs. DRY Season Safari

I recently completed my third safari with Africa Dream Safaris. Two of them were in September and October during the dry season and the last one in January during the short wet season. Friends have asked which season I liked best and which would I pick to return. Good questions.

I have to give this answer. “It all depends.” All of my safaris have been different. Yes, there were some similarities, but each season holds surprises and great beauty. Each season provides experiences you will never forget.

The dry September/October Season is the time to watch the Wildebeests crossings at the Mara River. That frenzy is quite similar to their rushing about in the dusty Hidden Valley during the short wet Season. There are vast numbers of them at both times but during the wet you experience the herds spread out on the plains from horizon to horizon which is quite indescribable.

During the dry, you can see how well the animals are camouflaged in the golden brown grass. You experience the animals’ constant hunt for water and learn how that leaves them vulnerable.

In the wet, the deep grasses hide both the predators and their quarry. The great vulnerability now is that they are giving birth and are trying to protect their babies from danger. The predators were more numerous with us spotting 36 hyenas at one watering hole.

The beauty of the dry for me lies in the harshness and the heat. The beauty of the short wet season is the abundance of birds and flowers. You could easily turn into a “birder” at this time of year. In our lodge at Ndutu many birders were able to set their cameras up on their front porches and photograph birds of all types in comfort.

It’s so hard to choose one over the other. Perhaps I just have to go back a few more times in order to decide. If I do, it will definitely be with ADS because one of the things I have learned is how to take full advantage of the services they provide.

We always use the same guide so we are not always starting out from scratch each trip. Meeting up with Wilfred each time is like getting back together with a friend. He knows how we like to spend our time. Same with the ground staff…we see many of the same faces each time as they stay with ADS for years. I am sure we have asked them all a thousand questions but they always answer with a smile.

We are up and out of camp every morning at dawn and do not return until dusk. The best animal action is usually in the morning and evening because the animals rest in the heat of the day. Staying out also means you get further away from the bulk of the tours and often do not see another vehicle for hours.

Biggest lesson Wilfred taught us was staying put. Yes, waiting…and waiting. If the animal is hungry or has babies to feed waiting pays off. Sooner of later something is going to happen and it is going to happen too fast for you to drive back to it. We have had jeeps wait with us for a few minutes…loaded with expensive camera equipment but short on patience. They drive off and leave the action behind. Relax, grab a snack and wait.

Bottom line is that you will have an amazing experience in any season.

Link to my October 2012 safari: https://blog.africadreamsafaris.com/?p=9981

Link to my January 2015 safari: https://blog.africadreamsafaris.com/?p=25408

Chris C.
Raleigh, North Carolina

Green Season

Dry Season

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Green Season

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We Saw 86 Different Species Of Animals!

My husband has wanted to travel to Africa and “see animals” since he was a small child. Visiting Africa was the number one item on his bucket list. After several months of research, he selected Africa Dream Safaris. The dream became a reality when we left Arusha September 30th.

Our 10 day safari was everything we dreamed of and more. Our guide Malaki ensured that we encountered amazing sights every single day! When we had seen the “big 5” on day 2, we wondered what the future days would hold for us. That was not a concern. We saw 86 different species of animals. We saw two leopards in a tree with a herd of elephants passing beneath them. Even on our last day on the return drive to Arusha we saw a female Gerenuk (Malaki had not seen the species in 5 years), and two cheetahs (mother and son) near the road.

Our most memorable sight was an amazing river crossing of wildebeest and zebra that lasted more than 30 minutes. Thundering wildebeest jumping off a cliff is an awe inspiring sight! The Serengeti is a special place. The Swahili definition of the word Serengeti (Endless Plain) is appropriate.

The camps were wonderful (6:00 am delivery of flavorful coffee to our tent exceeded our expectations). The people were extremely friendly and welcoming. The country is beautiful. A sunset with a Flat Top Acacia tree in the foreground is breath taking.

We would definitely recommend ADS. We had the trip of a lifetime. Dawn helped to ensure that we knew what to expect, and that we were prepared. Malaki made the trip so special – he was a wonderful guide who we will always remember. He had four engineers in the vehicle and he patiently answered our questions about the vehicle (fuel capacity, whether thorns from Whistling Acacia trees cause flat tires, etc.) as well as geography, animal habitats, etc. He helped us learn about the country, the people, and the animals of Tanzania. We have so many wonderful memories. Asante.

Mike and Susan H.
Columbus, Indiana
Safari Dates: September 30, 2014 to October 8, 2014

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