Tag: October

Every Day Got Better and Better!

Let me start by saying, thank you very much for a FABULOUS time!  This was my second safari and by far it was so much better than my first trip.  My first trip was to Kenya with another company and I loved it so much that when my friends wanted to go to Tanzania, I said sign me up.  My expectations were set very high to start with, but I have to say ADS surpassed my expectations!

Our guide was great!  His spotting abilities were outstanding.  He spotted the smallest leopard tortoise while driving down a paved road at highway speeds, now that is talent!  I truly believe we would not have seen as much as we did without him.  We saw over a hundred lions, nine leopards, thirteen cheetahs, four rhinos and many wilder beasts, zebras, elephants, giraffes, gazelles, hippos, etc

Day 1 we saw thousands of wilder beasts stampeding and crossing the Mara river, a wilder beast getting attacked by a crocodile along with seeing many other animals.  At the end of day 1, I didn’t think it could get any better.  Boy was I wrong, every day got better and better!  The only thing I didn’t see was a baboon holding a little simba on a large rock formation, but this was not a Disney movie it was better.

My favorite place that we stayed at was the Seronera Sametu camp.  The location was secluded and the scenery was outrageous!  While at that camp, we were lulled to sleep by the sounds of all the animals around us including the lions!  It was great and an experience I will never forget!  The staff at all the camps was friendly and extremely accommodating.

Thanks again ADS for an experience I will always treasure!

Cindy Chan
Waldwick, New Jersey
October 2011

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The Highlight of the Safari was the River Crossing

Thank you for all of your help in planning this trip.  There are not enough adjectives to describe this fabulous trip.  It was the most fantastic trip imaginable!  The highlight of the safari was the river crossing of the wildebeest.  More than 1000 huge antelope coming over the river banks in front of and behind our land cruiser.

On our first day in the North Serengeti we saw more wild animals than I had expected to see on the whole trip.  The accommodations were much better than I had thought, especially the Buffalo Luxury Camp.  The guide/driver was a walking encyclopedia as he knew the name of every animal, bird, flower and tree.  He could spot and identify an animal 200 yards away up in a tree.

Clarence Perr
Brea, California
October 3rd to October 11th 2011

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Our Incredible 12-day Safari Adventure

We’ve been back just over a week from our incredible 12-day safari adventure and would return in a heartbeat! The trip was more than we imagined – from the awe-inspiring scenery, numbers of animals/birds/trees, lovely lodgings, tasty food, friendliness of Tanzanians, and professional care by all ADS staff.

We loved our Land Cruiser and spent 90% of the time standing to get the 360° view. Our game drives generally ran from dawn to dusk but the days never dragged as there was so much to see. Having the Serengeti to ourselves early in the morning was especially magical with the quiet and the changing light. You heard very little noise as animals glided, strolled, crept or snoozed – silently going about their business.

Our guide was the sharpest of all in spotting animals and anticipating the best place to park. While other vehicles jockeyed for position to follow the leopard with her cub, he moved further down the road where we could clearly watch her stash the baby. We never would have seen the elusive cheetahs, leopards, rhinos, and pythons without his eagle eye, and he never tired of answering our questions.

It was so refreshing to be greeted by a hot towel and cool drink as we arrived at each lodging. And we learned to look forward to the hot water bottle at night! Dinners were always flavorful and a nice chance to chat with others and share highlights. Somehow we found the room to enjoy more food after our plentiful breakfast and lunch boxes.

We’ll remember our trip as a collage of wonderful one-of-a-kind experiences: sounds of hyenas just outside our tent, a special birthday celebration, the giraffe gathering, antics of elephants and zebras swimming, lions and other cats relaxing in trees, the unusual tones of the singers at the Maasai village, our first male lion on the night safari, rambunctious hippos, spectacular sunrises and sunsets, zebras rolling on their backs, males locking horns and much more…..

Thanks for much for an unforgettable time,

Martha Laing & Douglas Barnes
Richmond, Vermont
October 2011

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I Never Intended To Go To Africa

I never intended to go to Africa. It seemed like there were just too many reasons not to go. Then some friends booked a private safari with ADS and convinced me to go with them. WOW! I can’t believe I almost passed up the trip of a lifetime!

We saw so many animals. Our driver/guide was amazing. He could spot anything, and was so knowledgeable about all the animals, birds, and plant life. Our favorite camps were the ones where he could have dinner with us, so he could continue to tell us about what we saw that day. The best camp of all was the one I initially didn’t even want to go to, Seronera Sametu camp. Never having camped a day in my life, I thought a place with only four tents might be a little too “rustic”. Boy was I wrong. All the necessary comforts were there, and nothing compares to listening to two prides of lions calling out from opposite sides of the camp all night long. We had an incredible time there thanks to Arnold and Jonas.

One of the many highlights of our trip was seeing the wildebeest migration crossing the Mara River. It’s amazing to think that a year ago I was watching “Great Migrations” on television, never thinking that this year I would actually be there and witness it in person! Another highlight for me was seeing leopards. Although they can be hard to find, I had high hopes that we would see some up close. As you can see from the pictures, our guide did a great job spotting leopards!

I would like to thank Sharon and everyone at ADS for setting up an incredible trip for us. To anyone who never seriously thought of going to Africa, or just isn’t sure if they should go, DO IT! You’ll be so glad you did!

Thanks,

Elaine Ullrich
Whippany, New Jersey
October 2011

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Amazing Trip Photos from Tanzania and Zanzibar

Kim and I want to thank you for putting together an amazing trip. With all the glimpses of the Serengeti that you sent I had high expectations, but I was not disappointed. Everything about the trip was wonderful. Our driver was great. His ability to spot wildlife was amazing and it was a joy spending the safari with him.

It was definitely a worry free trip. Everything was taken care of, meeting us in Arusha and getting us through customs to getting us to our computer flight. Everything was on time and all we had to do was sit back and enjoy.

The scenery and wildlife viewing was amazing. The camp staffs were very friendly and bent over backwards to make our stay enjoyable. Being able to relax in Zanzibar before the flight home was great also. We also enjoyed meeting Brian and Lori Holt and Dave and Julie who were also on Africa Dream Safaris.

After showing people our pictures, they have all ask about Africa Dream Safaris and my comment is “it will be a vacation of a lifetime”.

Again thank you.

Barry Rutgers and Kim Gabriele
Oxnard, California
September 2011

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Our Safari with ADS was truly an Incredible Experience

Like everyone, we wanted the very best safari experience. We visited the websites of numerous safari outfitters and read reviews posted by their clients. Most of these websites were poorly designed and lacked vital information. Many of their clients’ reviews complained about sharing a vehicle with strangers, poor food, and mediocre accommodations. Fortunately, we then visited the ADS website. It was, by far, the most informative and easily navigated safari website. The ADS website promised our own private vehicle and great accommodations.  Africa Dream Safaris delivered on those promises and more.

The driver/guide is critical to a successful safari. Our driver/guide knew exactly where to find the wildlife we requested at each area visited. He would often reposition the vehicle to give us the best views and camera angles. His vehicle, by the way, was clean, comfortable, and offered excellent viewing with its canvas convertible top. He enriched our trip with his knowledge of the wildlife and their surroundings. He was engaging and attentive to our every need.

The game drives during our 11 day safari were excellent. We saw almost everything: lions, giraffes, elephants, hippos, cheetahs, leopards, and much more. And we saw them all again and again each day and at each area visited (Northern Serengeti, Central Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, and Tarangire). We were fortunate enough to witness a herd of wildebeests crossing the Mara River and were surprised to encounter numerous varieties of unusual birds, such as Barefaced “Go Away” birds and Hornbills, and colorful birds such as Lilac Breasted Rollers, Superb Starlings, and Fisher’s Lovebirds. Mary Ann’s favorite was the giraffe. For me, the great cats were the stars of the show.

Our safari was more than just game drives, however. The visit to a Maasai village was quite the cultural experience. The young Maasai warriors had a great time taking pictures of each other with my camera. We also enjoyed the learning opportunities presented at the Oldupai Gorge, the cradle of mankind, and the Great Rift Valley, a fracture in the African tectonic plate.

Our safari with ADS was truly an incredible experience. We can’t wait to go back. We strongly recommend ADS for everyone’s African adventure.

Denny and Mary Ann Dowling
Cincinnati, Ohio
October 2011

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Asante Sana Africa Dream Safaris

Imagine being in the middle of thousands of zebras, wildebeests, gazelles and giraffe for as far as your eyes can see…or watching a family of elephants sliding down a steep river bank on their elbows and playing in the water like happy children… Or being 10 feet from a cheetah lying down in the shade of a lone tree beside its kill WITHOUT it running away!!!

Before our trip to Tanzania, those images were just “dreams”. Within 10 minutes of landing in our prop plane at a remote air strip and taking off in our own Land Cruiser with our warm, welcoming guide, Joshua, these “dreams” began to come true!

It was an amazing adventure everyday that always ended with elegant dinners and magical private accommodations in the middle of nature! We felt pampered and safe from the moment we arrived in Arusha airport until we, sadly, had to leave from the same point.

Words are difficult to explain this trip of a lifetime! Thank God we have over 1200 pictures! We are so grateful that we chose first class Africa Dream Safaris to make this a true dream come true!

Asante Sana (Thank you very much!), Africa Dream Safaris!!!

Colleen And Bill McCall
Scituate, Massachusetts
October 2011

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Safari in Tanzania

If we had to describe our Safari in Tanzania in only two words those words would be ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC.

We began planning our trip a year and a half ago and just returned last week.  From our first initial contact with Africa Dream Safaris (specifically Dawn Anderson) and throughout our trip ADS was with us every step of the way.  ADS turned our dream vacation into a magnificent memory.  Everyone we came in contact with was extremely thoughtful and caring.  The people we met throughout our trip were amazing.  They kept our comfort and experience in the forefront of everything they did.  The accommodations were great and totally surpassed our expectations.  The food was outstanding as were the boxed breakfasts and lunches.  Our guide, Sitta, was absolutely fantastic and made our trip a great experience.  His knowledge of the animals and twenty-plus years of experience in the Serengeti allowed us to learn about and experience the animals in such a way that we will never forget our time we spent in Tanzania.

If anyone is ever considering going on a safari to Tanzania there is no need to do any further research on which company to use.  Just contact Africa Dream Safaris and prepare for a trip of a lifetime.

Brian and Sondra Gessner
Coopersburg, Pennsylvania
October 2011

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Quote of the Week: Pat and Bob Bilovsky; Colleen Roman – California

We would like to thank you for the support, care, and planning that you provided us on our recent (October 20-November 2) Safari. We had a fantastic journey that even surpassed our expectations. Every step along the way we were supported by your wonderful staff. The preparation notebook we received at home was extremely helpful in answering many of our questions and helping us to make our trip easier while we were in Tanzania. The discussions with our ADS rep were invaluable and enabled her to set up a custom safari that met our needs, adapted to the season we were traveling, and provide a maximum opportunity to observe the rich wildlife, customs, and culture of Tanzania.

From the moment we landed at Mt. Kilimanjaro Airport to the last day we were in Tanzania, we were supported by Africa Dream Safaris Staff. Upon arrival we were met and assisted with all of our entry requirements. We were met by staff (Selma), driven to our hotel, given a cell phone to use during the trip if we had any concerns (we didn’t need it). Selma prepared us for the next morning when we would be picked up, taken to the Arusha airport,and we would fly to the Northern Serengeti. The next morning, Selma was at the hotel to take us to the Arusha airport, check in our luggage, and make sure everything went well with our flight to Kogatende. Upon landing at Kogatende, we were met by our Guide for the next 9 days. Our Guide was very knowledgeable, caring, thoughtful of our concerns, funny, and very interested in us getting a full safari experience. 5 minutes out of Kogatende, on our first game drive we saw elephants. That day and each day after were magical. On that first day we saw the Wildebeest crossing the Mara, an unbelievable sight, we saw a cheetah with her two cubs, two black rhino, zebras, giraffes, impalas, hippos, cape buffalo, many species of the beautiful birds and the beautiful Tanzania landscape. It was an incredible day, made even more special by the insight our Guide was providing us.

Our accommodations on the trip were always excellent. We stayed in two tent camps and hotels. The staffs at all of our accommodations could not do enough for us and always cared about our comfort and happiness. The food was excellent, the beds very comfortable, and we always felt safe, even with lions roaring outside our lodgings at 3am! Our Guide took us to a fairly remote Maasi Village, on a night safari, on two walking safaris, on a visit to a medical facility in Karatu, and on many game drives. He wanted us to get a full exposure to the beauty of his country. He had unbelievable eyesight and could see animals from before any of us could. The vehicle, our Guide, and his expertise were at our disposal. Each night we worked out the plan for the next day- what time we would leave, would we have picnic breakfast, lunch etc. It was all very easy and all very enjoyable.

We would certainly highly recommend your company. There are many safari companies to choose from and I’m sure many of them are very good and reliable. We were happy we chose your company. We really appreciated the genuine attention to detail and concern for us having the best experience possible that was demonstrated by the whole Africa Dream Safaris staff. We thank you, once again, for providing us with a trip of a lifetime.

Pat and Bob Bilovsky; Colleen Roman – California
Oct/Nov 2010

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Quote of the Week: Dottie Shively and Bill Rothschild; Pam and Bob Pierce

As soon as our small plane approached the dirt runway in the Northern Serengeti and the Zebra and Wildebeest ran under our plane, we knew that we were embarking on an adventure of a lifetime! There, our ADS driver-guide and soon to be friend met us. Our guide amazed us as every day he took us to the best spots and maneuvered us into the best viewing situation. We soon valued his knowledge as he increased our enjoyment and insights into animal behavior. Each day added new animals: giraffes, elephants, lions, cheetahs, leopards, hippos, wart hogs, baboons and many more. The birds were also amazing from the ostrich to the crown crane. Watching the migration of the Wildebeest leap into the water to cross to new food sources was truly astounding.

The four of us so enjoyed our private safari. Each evening, we would discuss our day and favorite memories bringing back all events of the day. We will always remember our two evenings in the Presidential Suite with our very own dinner catered to our “private dining room”. And our stay at the opulent Crater Lodge with zebras eating in “our front yard” while we sipped our wine on our balcony was truly incredible.

We laud our pre trip preparation, missing no detail. ADS surpassed our expectations.

Dottie Shively and Bill Rothschild; Pam and Bob Pierce
October 2010

A crowned crane hunting for insects.

 

A leopard polishing off his lunch high in the boughs of an acacia tree.

 

A hyena “finding” a zebra that seems to have died of natural causes; he won’t have to work too hard for this meal!

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Quote of the Week: Dale and Raelyn Cole

We were supposed to arrive at JRO at 1:45AM, but the flight was delayed & we landed at 4:00AM! Some 70 passengers groggily deplaned, but we alone had anyone waiting! Yes, ADS was there cheerfully ready to do whatever needed doing. In minutes we had our visas & were hustling out the door (everyone else was stumbling around bleary-eyed wondering what to do & how to get away from airport in absence of taxis). We’d followed our ADS rep’s advice & had a layover day in Arusha to recover. Next day, at Arusha airport there were dozens of folks milling around looking for planes, boarding passes, destinations, information. ADS whizzed us through & we were effortlessly on our way in less than 30 min.

Our wonderful, delightful driver/guide met us & off we went. Within minutes we were within steps of a pride of lions, followed by herds of zebra, a few giraffes, elephants on the skyline, & antelope everywhere. That entire day we did not encounter another vehicle — the northern corner was ours alone. The 2 nights at Migration Camp were lovely & our first experience of the cold wash cloths & icy drinks on arrival. How do they manage to be standing at the ready as you drive up? We were fortunate enough to witness a few hundred wildebeest gathered on a shingle debating whether to go for it. Eventually a few dozen jumped in & furiously swam. They entered the water at the head of a shallow rapids; in the still water below the rapids the crocs were waiting. Some of the wildebeest were strong enough to prevail, some were swept downstream, & some returned to shore. The crocs grabbed two of the weak swimmers, but one was close enough to our side of the river to scramble out & shake the croc off its leg. Quite a show!

As we moved into the Central Serengeti we began encountering many more vehicles. Our driver/guide has a ‘6th sense’ & quite often we were first on the scene of an ‘event’. One such event involved a pair of lion moms teaching the kids how to dine on a fresh kill — blood & soft parts. Like all children, the kids kept looking at Mom as if to say ‘do I hafta eat this?’ The nearby males hunkered down a few hundred feet away & waited until the family left before feasting on the remainders.

Our 2 nights of private camping were surely a high point of the safari, not least because Gady joined us for dinner both nights. His knowledge of his country, its animals, and people was remarkable as was his informed awareness of the rest of the world.

Ngorongoro Crater lived up to its reputation; one of the fascinating things we saw was 3 lions (one male, two female) stalk a cape buffalo. They circled & circled, eventually cutting their intended prey away from the herd; they slowly closed in, then suddenly the cape buffalo had enough, & charged the lions — who wildly fled in three directions at full speed. They re-gathered near us to discuss their failure & then slunk off.

We almost missed visiting FAME which proved another high point. The folks there are doing a terrific job serving an area of Tanzania that lacks basic medical services. Well worth whatever time & support we can supply.

Of all the tented lodges, Swala most embodied perfection. Some others were more ‘elegant’, but at Swala everything was exactly right. All the furnishings & fittings belonged, the managers genuinely gracious, the food superb, & ambiance sufficient to satisfy anyone’s African Dream. Our 2 nights at Swala were a fitting conclusion to our 2-week safari with ADS.

Dale and Raelyn Cole
October 2010


A mother elephant and her young calf digging a well to search for clean water on the side of a river in Lake Manyara National Park.

 

A rare Kudu antelope taken in Tarangire National Park.

 

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Quote of the Week: Vivek and Deb Kansal

The trip is something Deb and I will remember for the rest of our lives. The experience of being in the middle of the Serengeti with no one else around but the animals is hard to describe.

My main request coming into the trip was to try to stay away from other vehicles (my concern was a zoo type feeling). Our guide did an excellent job of keeping us isolated from the rest. Most of our days in the Serengeti were spent completely alone with no other vehicles around. We were able to watch animals in peace without feeling like we were infringing on their land. He was also completely flexible, allowing us to stay with animals for as long as we liked as we came across them. We spent an hour with a lioness as she hunted two warthogs. Unfortunately at the very end she decided it wasn’t worth the effort and gave up. We spent about 90 minutes following a cheetah as it stalked a Thomson Gazelle and finally went in for a successful kill. The experience of staying with the animals for as long as we did while they hunted was incredible. We truly felt like we were a part of the hunt.

The lodges were very nice, with over the top service (Deb and I are actually not accustomed to the level of service provided and at times felt uncomfortable). The food was pretty good. The best accommodations we experienced BY FAR was the private classic camping. The ADS camp crew was very polite and friendly. They were very accommodating and adjusted when we mentioned we would prefer “less” service. The food, in our opinion, was much better than the other lodges. The picnic breakfast and lunches from the ADS crew were significantly better than the lodges. The camping experience was unbelievable.

Overall, we were extremely pleased with the ADS crew and level of service. We would definitely recommend ADS to any friends. We would also definitely recommend the private camping. I am not sure what we would say about the other lodges though, but in reality this was a small aspect of the trip and I am sure others enjoy the parts that made Deb and I uncomfortable.

I could type alot more but I think this email is already long enough. We had a blast and will never forgot it.

Vivek and Deb Kansal
October 2010

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Quote of the Week: Eric Vermilya

As you said it would be, the trip was wonderful. Both [our guides] were great and Uli and I were amazed with the scope of their knowledge (and their eyesight). We both like to sit patiently and watch to see what develops and were very happy with both of our guides, in that they didn’t seem to mind at all. I can only imagine the frustration we would have felt if we were in a vehicle with a larger tour group.

A perfect example of how having a private tour paid off, was a leopard kill that we came across in Tarangire. There were numerous other vehicles parked along the side of the road with the kill was in one tree close to the road and the leopard in another about 500 feet behind it. It was clear the leopard wasn’t comfortable, but the leopard stayed put in the tree that was far away because vehicles came and went (with some of their passengers particularly noisy). However, after about 1 ½ hours we were the only vehicle left, and we sat there in silence for a while and eventually the leopard came down (funny — we saw it come down, lost sight of it and then all of a sudden it appeared at the base of the tree that had the kill in it). It climbed the tree and started feeding — and Uli got quite a few shots (however, the day was overcast and the light was bad).

Also I wanted to let you know that we probably sighted close to 100 lions, including a female & 4 cubs about 15-20 feet from us that we sat and watched for 2 hours with nobody else in sight. We also sighted a couple of more leopards, including a female and her cub that was testing out its climbing abilities on a fallen tree, several cheetahs, and a even a Serval out hunting in the middle of a very hot day (we were driving at high speed from the Serengeti to Ngorongoro and Uli just happened to spot it). [Our guide] tried to stop as quickly as possible, but he backed up, located it again and Uli got a couple of shots.

So thank you too, for representing such a great company. We’ll definitely send out a finished testimonial and some sample photos (out of the 2500 Uli took) when we get them all downloaded and are able go through them.

Eric Vermilya
October 2009

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Quote of the Week: Susan Gallagher

My Africa Dream Safari was truly the most memorable experience I’ve ever had in my life and I still dream about it a lot. It has become my ‘happy place’ when I need to escape from the everyday stresses of life. Everyone on the Africa Dream Safaris team was exceptional. Joy and Daudi, who met me when I landed in Tanzania, were friendly and helpful. My safari guide was the best. He was so knowledgeable about every animal, bird, reptile and tree that I not only saw a lot of wildlife, but I also learned a great deal from him. All of the accommodations were wonderful, from the lodge to the luxury tented camps to the private tent camp. The staff there were wonderful and thought of everything and I always felt safe. Besides all of the animals I got to see, I really loved the sense of humor of the people there. Thank you so much for taking such good care of me and helping me to create so many memories that will last a lifetime. I can’t wait to do it again!

Susan Gallagher
October 2009

 

 

 

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Quote of the Week: Leslie and Scott White

Wow! There are no words to describe the adventure that is an African Safari! We had never been on one and I think, no, I know, it would not have been the fantastic wonder it was, if it was not for ADS and their incredible crew. From [our ADS rep’s] help in planning, to all the staff in Tanzania, and the over the top lodging, all aspects of the trip were everything we desired and more!

The Serengeti landscape is so beautiful and surprisingly varied, the drives throughout the land just mesmerized us. I can honestly say even if there were no wildlife sightings, I would still have enjoyed every minute of it. But of course, there is an abundance of all species of animals and that is just SO thrilling! We saw it all thanks to our wonderful guide!

You never forget the first time you see lions, elephants, giraffes, leopards, the list goes on and on! Other firsts included: a moon-rise over the crater and dawn breaking in Lobo, while eating breakfast, watching the wildebeest in their migration on the terraced hills across the river. Enchanting is the only word for the scene, the lighting was magical! I will never forget it! We were struck by the absence of any hint of man in the Lobo Valley: no signs, no litter, no telephone lines. Just a Garden of Eden in every direction, as far as the eye can see. We can now name more African birds than we can North American! I strongly recommend reading up on the wildlife before a visit, it’s exciting to spot the animals and birds that you’ve read about.

All I can say, is from the first game drive, we have been planning how we can make it back to this marvelous country, and soon!

Leslie and Scott White
October 2009

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