Tag: October

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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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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Thrown into the Lion King!


Not sure what it is about Africa that gets under my skin, but I am sitting here at Rome airport with the last remaining red dust in my hair, saying goodbye to one heck of an experience!

A lifetime ago, but only a few weeks ago, Chris and I flew into Kilimanjaro airport, then took a small plane to the North Serengeti. There, we met our 32 year old Maasai game driver. He packed us into the 8-seater Toyota Land Cruiser, and boy, were we in for a wild ride! Or as locals say, an African massage – the 4 wheel drives through the wild, searching for the wilder life ahead.

All 10 days of the game drive were full of surprises- our vocabulary consisted of three words/expressions: OMG, WOW , and asante sana (thank you). Our driver, Emanuel, took us into the North Serengeti the first day, and we learned the basic three rules of life here: #1 Get Food, #2 Reproduce and #3 Try Not To Get Killed. The rest of the journey, we learned the patterns of behavior around these three rules- a harmony of nature that speaks to the simplicity and nasty brilliance of the order here. Nature teaches us such important lessons…

Within the first few hours of bouncing through the rough fields, Emanuel had spotted 3 of the Big 5, and i was not sure if I had been thrown into Lion King, or was living a National Geographic adventure. Graceful Maasai giraffes were all around us, and we passed lionesses with cubs under a nearby tree.

Emanuel was determined to get us to North Serengeti as the great wildebeest migration was taking place across the Mara river. Wildebeests have herd behavior in their annual migration, and they negotiate, so they will come close to crossing, then step back while we have our zoom lenses poised, and we will have to wait 2 hours for another decision.

The final decision is made by a female wildebeest, and of course is usually right. This is a wonderful opportunity for crocodiles, lions, hyena, vultures etc. to have their Thanksgiving dinner, as the weak wildebeest are such a nice treat. We saw two lions enjoying such a big meal, and here it was – the basic rule #1. There was a line-up with vultures overhead, and hyenas watching for their turn. Soon, there would be nothing left. Talk about a great recycling program!

The most fantastic lessons we learned were lessons of animal partnerships i.e. zebras travel with these wildebeests, because zebras have great eyesight, and eat different grasses, can’t smell a thing, and wildebeests are quite blind, can smell rain miles away, so they make one great team. As well, grazers (buffalo) work well with browsers (giraffe) because they eat different diets, as well. Elephants do both, and driving through elephant country is driving through mass destruction – trees ripped apart, stampeded undergrowth everywhere! But they are so cute!

Tanzania has more than 120 tribal groups in its hills and plains. There are ancient bushmen tribes that represent some of the most primitive of all. They are isolated from outer world, and survive on roots, snakes, baboons, and wild fruit. A prominent proud nomadic tribe called the Maasai are tall, graceful, dressed in stunning colors, and use their cows like we use ATM machines. They live with their cows, claim wealth according to # of cows, (therefore more wives) and drink cow milk mixed with cow blood as a main meal (sorry if I ruined your next meal). Emanuel took us to a non touristy Maasai village where he knew most of the people, and we went into their small dung-mud huts to see the interior designs. Lynn wouldn’t have approved…There people walked miles and miles each day to find food for their cattle, often with 2 or 3 youngsters helping herd the cattle.

One afternoon, we came across a lion and pregnant lioness, but our truck got stuck in a hole, and the lion roared really loudly. I was standing up in the truck at the time, and my new sunglasses flew out of the truck. Emanuel rocked the truck and called for help, but eventually got us out. Chris rolled up the windows quickly, and I sat down- asked Emanuel to forget the sunglasses, but he went back, and put the truck between lion and sunglasses, then swooped down and grabbed them. We motored out of there full throttle, hearts pounding!

Another day, we saw a leopard and two cheetahs on the hunt…so graceful and fluid as magnificent pussy cats you want to reach out and just hug! As well, we saw a huge pool of hippos all cuddle up together, waddling in the water, pink behind the ears with their gel-like SPF they secrete to protect them from the sun. A piece of trivia- what do zebras sound like when they make noises? Answer: dogs!

After travelling from North to South Serengeti, we came to the Olduvai Gorge. Here is an example of shifting plate tectonics where millions of years of archaeology are presented in a shelf for the viewing. And here is where Dr. and Mrs. Leakey made one of the most important archaeologic discoveries of our time- the “first footprint” that linked present day man to our primate forefathers.

Onto the huge Ngorongoro Crater, a 22×18 km sanctuary for all kinds of wildlife. We stayed in a camp on the edge of the crater, then went early morning to see many lions, cubs, elephants, and finally our rhinos! We made the big 5!

Near the end of our trip, we had the good fortune to stay in Swala Tented Lodge before heading to Arusha. What a luxury retreat! Hot water 24 hours a day! On arrival, an elephant was drinking out of the infinity pool, and later, lions had come to have a nice drink before bed. This was a good stone’s throw from our dinner table, and I ate very quickly with one eye on the lion! Our staff knew the behavior of these wild game and had no fear. They simply understand and respect each other.

The company we travelled with was African Dream Safari. They support a modern medical hospital, where an American cardiologist, Dr. Frank, and wife have devoted the last 12 year of their life building. It cares for a full range of tribal and tourist patients, and delivers superb care. Dr. Frank told me that he had three European neurologists vist when an American tourist came in with chronic headaches. One of the neurologists saw papilloedema in her fundi, and diagnosed a blood clot. She was transferred urgently to a nearby hospital, and had appropriate care. Would this have been picked up if she were home? Not so sure. Physician staff is international and telemedicine is used regularly. How unbelievable to hear that tuberculosis and malaria are so common here. How good to hear that HIV is on the decline.

Chris F. and Gail P.
Kelowna, Canada
Safari Dates: October 8, 2014 to October 18, 2014

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Our Dream Trip Was Realized

We just returned from a 9 day safari with ADS. We cannot thank the staff enough for the planning and attention to detail that we experienced. For a trip of this magnitude, there is an overload of information – and much of this is included in their client preparation packets.

We saw the wildlife in numbers that one couldn’t imagine. The pace of the trip was good, the selection of the lodges and camps were excellent and in the “right order”, and the all inclusive nature of the experience put us as ease throughout our vacation.

Our guide was bright, experienced, and flexible to our wishes. The food was too good. The physical demands were appropriate and manageable. Our dream trip was realized and we had begun planning our next visit to Tanzania on last day- a good sign!

Sincerely,

Doug and Carolyn G.
Tiburon, California
Safari Dates: October 31, 2014 to November 9, 2014

Black Rhinos – Ngorongoro Crater

Lioness and cubs – Central Serengeti

Elephant at Mara River – North Serengeti

Sundowner at evening game drive – Buffalo Springs Camp, North Serengeti

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A Private Safari – The Only Way to Experience Tanzania

Our travels have taken us all over the world and this was undeniably the most stress-free vacation we have experienced thanks to David (our guide) and Michael and Lynn of Africa Dream Safaris. There was, however, one thing that ADS could not prepare us for — the mesmerizing beauty and tranquil peace of Tanzania.

First, we enjoyed superior accommodations, service, and food at the Mount Meru Hotel in Arusha before climbing into our plane headed for the Northern Serengeti. Our first glimpses of animals and terrain were from the plane…wldebeests, zebras, rivers, grasslands, and kopjes…an ostrich on the airstrip as we landed at one of the airfields on our way to Kogatende…we were ecstatic!!

Upon landing, David, our driver/guide, greeted us and we liked him immediately. He explained what we were going to do that afternoon and off we went…the adventure was to continue for 12 days. On a general note, David was an excellent match for us. He made us feel safe and secure at all times which was a major factor. He listened to our needs and responded accordingly and always with a cheerful smile and patience…no matter how crazy we may have sounded!! We set our own schedule each day and liked the ability to enjoy the activities/scenery that WE wanted and were not forced to succumb to a group decision.

Animals…we had the privilege of seeing two adult black rhinos and a baby rhino, leopards including one in a tree with its kill, lions with cubs and a lion with its kill, a Secretary Bird killing and eating a snake, birds of prey, hippos, elephants, safari ants, buffaloes, wildebeests and zebra in three river crossings (two were mini-crossings as we nick-named them), cheetahs, dwarf mongoose, and oh my, the list goes on.

The Tanzanian terrain is gripping…flowing rivers, endless grasslands, rising kopjes, the great rift valley, the crater…and the sunrises and sunsets…inspiring.

David taught us about the animals and their connection to their habitat and importance in the chain of life. He also proved to be an excellent driver while maneuvering our jeep during a downpour and navigating through the mud and what seemed to be bottomless water holes.

Two highlights of our trip included visits to the School of St. Jude in Arusha and the Foundation for African Medicine and Education (F.A.M.E.) in Karatu. We were impressed with both and encourage safari guests to take the time to visit and learn about both of these worthwhile and inspiring educational facilities and programs.

We sincerely enjoyed all our accommodations…from the elegance and refinement of Serengeti Bushtops, Migration Tented Lodge, Ngorongoro Manor, and Swala Tented Lodge to the down-home comfort of Lion’s Paw and Sametu Camp. Each location had a personality and character of its own which we appreciated. The staff were always friendly and accommodating and attentive to our needs.

We are fortunate to have had the opportunity to enjoy a private safari…the only way to experience Tanzania. Life is grand indeed!

Margaret and Gerry B.
Lubbock, Texas
Safari Dates: September 25, 2014 to October 8, 2014

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Our Serengeti Safari-Anniversary, Birthday And Gluten Free Diet

Asante Sana ADS. This was exactly what we asked for and you delivered!

This was my second trip to Africa, having climbed Mt Kilimanjaro in June of 2013. On the way back to the States I was introduced to ADS by a couple sitting next to me who were talking about the safari they had just completed. They told me it was the best trip they had ever been on. When I inquired who the outfitter was they said ADS. ADS became the basis of all our research into safaris and in the end they won hands down! Thanks to Dawn for the personal attention to detail and patience with all our questions.

Having been in the Southern Hemisphere a couple of times my wife and I know the results of long travel times and how tiring it is. With that in mind we opted to spend an extra day in Arusha and head out on safari well rested. Very wise decision on our part. We were met at the airport by Mateas and Peter. They ushered us thru the Visa and immigration areas with a minimum of delay. We were taken to the Mount Meru Hotel, which is a splendid property and served us well for two nights. The evening of the second night we were treated to a special anniversary dinner served up in a private gazebo with a candle lit table. Nicely done.

The next morning we flew directly to the Mara River Camp and began our safari there. We saw four of the big five on the very first day and the fifth came soon after! Finding a black rhino with her baby on our first day was impressive. Loved just driving along and stopping because “oh, there’s a herd of elephants” or “oh, look at the giraffe with her baby”!

We saw not one, not two, but three migration crossings. I could not do it justice in this space. I would recommend viewing the CD “Planet Earth” or “Africa” to watch the migration and you will then know what amazing is. Later, more about our wonderful guide who made it all possible.

Our drive to the Lobo valley was long and dusty, but well worth the trek. Here we saw lots of lions both male and female, lots of cubs, a number of cheetahs and rare sightings of leopards. We were able to watch a cheetah hunt and kill. It was actually quite quick and humane.

Our final stop was at the Ngorongoro Crater. I believe this is the largest crater in the world that supports wildlife, and does it ever. Elephants, rhinos, giraffes, lions, buffalos, zebras, warthogs, hyenas, cheetahs, a serval cat, and more.

The accommodations at Lion’s Paw Tented Camp were excellent, as were all the camps. The tent camps were impressive, providing comfortable accommodations in not easy conditions. A queen sized bed, bathroom and shower in a tent, really! A warm “bucket” shower at the end of a long of day of game driving was most welcomed. The personnel at all the camps were truly outstanding, leaving nothing to want. At dinner in camp one evening my wife was treated to a birthday greeting in Swahili and a delicious birthday cake. Being zipped into the tents at night knowing we might hear lions, hippos, cape buffalo or possibly elephants right outside is an experience hard to explain.

In addition to the animal sitings listed earlier I would mention jackal, baboon, crocodile, eagle, vulture, eland, wildebeest, gazelle, impala, hippo, trees and birds too numerous to mention. Any attempt to include all here would be an exercise in carpel tunnel fatigue.

Last but certainly not least, two very important features that made this a trip of a lifetime. Wilfred, our driver/guide, was quite simply the BEST. There was not a question he did not have an answer to, and there were many. How he managed to maneuver the Land Cruiser thru some of that terrain was beyond belief. He found animals that were not visible to the naked eye. He was able to position us to get the best possible photo shoot. Above all he has great respect for the land and the environment which served us so well. He is truly a fine gentleman.

The second item was one I mentioned in the title, gluten free diet. My wife suffers from Celiac disease and is very sensitive to gluten whether in the food itself or cross contamination during preparation. We are happy to say she made the entire twelve days without incident. Something that is difficult to do at home with far better circumstances. Bravo to the cooks and advance work by ADS.

Indeed a trip to be remembered!

La La Salama,

Melanie & Ed G.
Londonderry, New Hampshire
Safari Dates: October 3, 2014 to October 12, 2014

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‘Watching Bush TV’

I’ve been home now for almost a month and I still picture the vast beauty of the land and the animals cohabitating in the Serengeti. The sun rising over the land in the morning is a picture I will never forget.

Some of my favorite memories are upon arriving at the North Serengeti Kogatende Airstrip to meet our guide driver, a giraffe came walking down the airstrip towards us. I remember thinking how wonderful that my favorite animal came to greet me upon landing in the bush. Little did I know how many animals I would see just the rest of that one day!

The river crossings (we saw 2) were wonderful too. Spending time with my friend “watching bush tv” after a day’s game drive, fun! The highlights are just too many to outline them all.

ADS did a fabulous job of greeting us at the airport in Arusha and getting us to our hotel (no lines, no waiting, just in and out). All of our accommodations were great. My favorite accommodation was Seronera Sametu Camp, the location was fabulous and Jonas was great! But, I loved each and every location for different reasons…being on the Mara River the first 2 nights was very nice. Listening to the animals outside the tent at night, instead of being frightened, was very very cool.

Our guide driver, Thompson, was great at his job and fun to spend time with. All in all, we saw 8 leopards, 79 lions, 2 river crossings, 4 cheetahs, 1 serval cat, 2 rhinos and unlimited zebras, elephants, wildebeests, giraffes, ostriches and other birds, impalas, baboons, gazelles, elands, topis, and what soon became my favorite…the hard to photo because they are too quick…the warthogs.

Thank you ADS and Sharon for a trip of a lifetime!!!

Laura B.
Bellingham, Washington
Safari Dates: September 26, 2014 to October 3, 2014

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We Crossed Rivers And Streams, Craters And Valleys, Kopjes And Plains…

To say we really enjoyed Tanzania and our safari is an understatement!!!

Thanks for organizing such a memorable safari experience for us. Everything went as planned which is a nice compliment to everyone who is involved in your operation. Now that we have completed our safari, we can really appreciate all the logistics that have to occur to make a great trip happen. Plus the local Arusha staff did a great job taking care of us too. Also, the small ADS book you sent was very helpful, as were the animal checklists at the back!

Arnold was an amazing tour guide, and a really nice guy. Besides being a guide, he did an outstanding job being a driver, mechanic, finding animals, organizing our picnics, and keeping the vehicle so clean. Did he mention we got a flat tire right in front of 8 lions? He really went above and beyond to fix that tire for us.

We saw many, many animals and will send you some pics once everything settles down. Arnold always got us a ‘front row seat’ so to speak, meaning we have some great pics and memories of animals up close.

We met the friendly and helpful local people who couldn’t do enough for us. We met some wonderful people who dedicated themselves to helping the students of St. Jude’s School. We saw animals, more animals, and even more animals. We were in awe of the animals’ lives and interactions with one another. We visited an amazing Masai Village. The scenery throughout Tanzania was beautiful, especially at sunrise and sunset.

We crossed rivers and streams, mountains, craters and valleys, and kopjes and plains. The migration story was fascinating and we saw and learned about the circle of life. Our stays at the tents and lodges were relaxing and indulgent. Each of these elements alone were fascinating and worth a trip half way around the world, but the real safari magic happened when all of these pieces came together to create one of the most memorable experiences we’ve had in our lives. Thank you, Africa Dream Safaris!!!!

This was a life-changing experience for sure, and what an awesome time all of us had there.

Thanks again for everything, including the Masai blanket and the spectacular farewell cake and dance/ceremony at the hotel on our last night in the bush. If we know anyone else who is interested in a safari we will be sure to give them your contact info.

Asante sana,

Peter M. and Gary L.
Washington D.C.
Safari Dates: September 29, 2014 to October 9, 2014

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Our 9th Safari To Africa!

Deborah and I have traveled to Africa a number of times. In fact we have made eight trips to the continent before our recent tour to Tanzania. We are amateur bird watchers and also very much enjoy viewing all of the unique animal species of Africa. We had previously visited twenty countries in Africa so we had quite extensively covered the continent. However, we have never been to Tanzania and the Serengeti. We had purposely avoided the Serengeti because we had heard many stories about the crowds of tourists that overrun the region. With that said, we finally decided that we really needed to see the Serengeti to fill out our African experiences.

We searched the Internet for a tour company that covers Tanzania and would meet our requirements as seasoned African travelers. I am very pleased to say that we discovered Africa Dream Safaris. We were very pleased with the tour package that they offered to us. They laid out our itinerary with our suggestion in mind that we hopefully wanted to avoid as much as possible the tourist crush. They provided us with an excellent guide that specialized in bird watching; a modern, comfortable vehicle that served us well during our tour; and luxury small camp accommodations that were our preference. I am very pleased to report that we experienced an excellent game viewing tour with ADS. We added 53 new birds to our African Bird list and 3 new mammals to our African Mammal list.

Deborah and I are now saying to ourselves that we made a big mistake avoiding the Serengeti for so long. It is now our belief that it is the premiere game viewing location on the African continent. We would also highly recommend the African Dream Safari tour company to anybody interested in visiting Tanzania for the wildlife viewing experience. They handled us very well on our recently completed ninth trip to Africa.

Bill and Deborah C.
Dixon, Illinois
Safari Dates: October 3, 2013 to October 13, 2013

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Another Fantastic Safari From ADS!

When my husband and I planned our first safari to Tanzania way back in 2011 with Africa Dream Safaris, we thought it would be a once in a lifetime trip. We were barely into the third day, however, when we decided that the country was so amazing that we would return! This past month in October 2013 we made that return journey. There was never any doubt in our mind who to use, as Africa Dream Safaris had done such a spectacular job with our past safari.

Dave and I had thought the first trip was unbelievable…but this second trip….wow….words simply cannot describe it. The Northern Serengeti in September is nothing short of magical with a lush green wooded landscape teeming with wildlife. We had targeted September for our visit as we wanted to see the migration crossing the Mara River, as well as view Tarangire at its finest. And see both we did thanks to Africa Dream Safaris!

We started our trip in Tarangire and spent two wonderful nights at Swala Camp where we dined and fell asleep to the roars and grunts of lions roaming in the vicinity of camp and the footsteps of elephants walking near our tent. We could even see them from the deck of the dining area!

Our first guide, Michael, drove us throughout the park and showed us the huge elephant herds walking to the water, as well as more than a dozen lions hunting, eating, and resting under the shade of the trees. On our first full morning at Swala we left camp at 6am for our game drive and within a mile of camp we saw a lion nonchalantly strolling down the road. We watched him intently, until we realized that there were twelve more about four feet from our Land Cruiser sitting in the grass staring at us!

From Tarangire, we flew to the far north of Serengeti where we were picked up by our guide for the remainder of the trip, Arnold, in a sparkling and very new Land Cruiser with a sunshade. My husband was especially keen on seeing a river crossing and we were very hopeful of catching one while we were there. Well, within 30 minutes of landing on the Kogatende airstrip….we were right in the MIDDLE of one!

Arnold used his experience and network of guides to find out where the crossing was occurring and quickly get us there. It was absolutely amazing and like nothing we could have prepared for – imagine thousands of wildebeest and zebra clamoring and climbing over one another down the banks of a river and into the rushing water, all the while braying and barking and grunting and kicking up dust. As they tried to get across the water, some would get caught on rocks – or worse yet – in the jaws of a croc.

We found ourselves rooting and cheering as a wildebeest luckily made it to safety after getting pulled down by a croc. Or when a young zebra got swept downriver towards a group of hippos…only to bump face to face with a big mama hippo who submerged herself and appeared to give him a strong push that was enough to get him back upriver and towards shore. As if one river crossing wasn’t dramatic enough, we saw FIVE in total over the three days we spend in the North. We also saw tiny leopard cubs playing, as well as two adults leopards making some new cubs on a rock a few yards from us!

Our other reason for loving the North was the camp we stayed in, Bushtops Serengeti. We had picked it out especially as the place we wanted to spend our anniversary. If we could live anywhere in this world – it would be right in this camp! Absolutely heavenly and luxurious, while still feeling comfortable. The tents were out of this world, with an outdoor shower, couches, hot tub, and a private dining table right on the deck! But, it was the view and the people that truly made this camp. From our deck we watched the sun setting over the expanse of the Serengeti, while sitting on the couch with a glass of wine.

The camp manager and the entire staff were so welcoming and really topped off the whole experience. They made the night of our anniversary very special with a dinner on the deck of our tent, lit up by lanterns, decorated by rose petals, and completed with a song, cake, and visit from the camp staff and our guide Arnold who we had quickly already bonded with. Bushtops also had this insanely cool infinity pool that looked out over the Serengeti. After a game drive one day my husband and I cooled off in it and then stood back in the pool with Safari beers in our hands and happily sighed as we looked out over the plains and said, “Now this…THIS is why we work – for moments like this.”

From the North, we went to the Lobo area and then onwards to the Central Serengeti where we stayed at Africa Dream Safari’s outstanding Sametu Camp. Jonas made us feel right at home with warm towels and Safari beers when we arrived. For the first night we were the only guests and enjoyed a beautiful evening watching the sunset, sipping wine, listening to the hyenas whoop, and chatting with our guide Arnold. A lioness even chased a zebra through the camp after we finished dinner and headed back to our tents!

The Central Serengeti provided our “32 Cat Day” thanks to Arnold’s amazing skills as a guide. In ONE day we saw 7 cheetah (including two cubs), a leopard in a tree, and 24 lions (including 10 different cubs, four of which were less than three weeks old).

I can’t say enough about how Africa Dream Safaris made our second journey to Africa the incredible experience it was. Dawn flawlessly planned a breathtaking trip that went far beyond our wildest expectations. Arnold and Michael were amazing guides who showed us the wildlife of Tanzania, knew exactly where to position us for great photographs, maneuvered the Land Cruisers through difficult terrain safely (unlike many other companies we saw), and gave us memories that will sustain us until a third trip! I have no doubts that without them our trip would not have been the same incredible experience.

Having done two trips now to Tanzania, we have seen many other companies and guides and listened to the stories from their guests. They simply don’t compare to the high level of quality, professionalism, kindness, and expertise provided by African Dream Safaris. We will be back to Tanzania and will most definitely use ADS again! Thank you Dawn, Arnold, Michael, Jonas, and the entire Africa Dream Safari staff!

Moira and David F.
Chicago
Safari Dates: September 25 to October 4th

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One’s Own Personal Chariot

What an adventure! Stunning vistas filled with all forms of wildlife – and one’s own personal chariot with a knowledgeable driver/guide who answers all your questions as well as making sure you get as much out of the experience as you want. We enjoyed sharing our lives and experiences with the other guests at the relaxed settings of the evening camps, yet were secretly glad we weren’t crammed into a vehicle with 6 or 7 others continually negotiating which person’s opinion should determine where to go, what to see, and how much time to spend. This, in combination with the amazing scenery and friendly helpful people, is a real strength of the personalized African Dream Safari experience.

John R. and Glenda W.
Claremont, California
Safari Dates: October 5, 2013 to October 11, 2013

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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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