Tag: Oregon

The Joys of Fishing on a Safari

I must say, from beginning to end, I totally loved each and every experience of my Safari to Tanzania. It all started with Dawn Anderson who put my package together right through to my outstanding guide, Roman, who took me ‘Fishing’ each day of the trip. I thank both of them from the bottom of my heart.

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First In and Last Out Was Our Motto

We are now back from our trip with ADS and feel so blessed to have been able to do this trip and enjoy the incredible people and animals of Africa. We learned so much and have thousands of pictures to now go through to relive memories. Not only were the animals amazing but all the people we met in Africa, in the camps, shops, and along the way were so warm and generous. We learned much about the culture and history of the people as well as about the behaviors of the animals we saw.

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Our most Exciting Adventure Ever!

After being included in a friends 50th birthday Bucket List Safari in Tanzania, we reviewed the ADS website and the Handbook they mailed to us. Of course, that set our expectations very high and we are happy to report that every expectation was exceeded. Every minute was memorable, amazing, and an exciting adventure. It is hard to imagine how the experience could have been any better.

We had the most wonderful driver-guide, Russell, who appeared to know the animals and requested that they show up for our game drive! They appeared on cue so we could enjoy and photograph them. Surely, what seemed like telepathy was actually experience and hard work combined. While driving us safely for almost a thousand miles he surveyed the landscape constantly and found sights that were invisible to us.

The crossing of the Mara River by hundreds of Wildebeest with a few Zebra friends was astounding, and Russel knew just when it was going to happen. We had over 60 lion sightings, some with their cubs. There was a “honeymooning” lion couple that serenaded us very near our tent one night – we didn’t get much sleep but it sounded as if they had a great time! We loved seeing all the zebras, the wonderful giraffes, the wallowing hippos, and the magnificent and seemingly gentle elephants. A leopard seen with its fresh kill one day, was seen the next in the same tree devouring it with bone crushing sound effects. You are that close to the animals!

The tent camps were great – comfortable, had every amenity imaginable, and were fun. The staff at each treated us like royalty, always friendly and helpful. Meals at the camp and the box breakfasts and lunches were all excellent.

In addition to the animals, a highlight was going to a Maasai Village, enjoying their singing and dancing, seeing their homes, watching young students in a small school learn English, and visiting with the chief’s son who gave us a tour.

We have special memories of all the people we met during our Africa Dream Safari, as well as our fun-loving traveling companions.

We are so grateful to the staff members at ADS who helped put this memorable trip together: Dawn handled every detail and made our trip “perfect”; Joseph and Mathias in Arusha, and Michael Wishner in California all contributed to making this a “once in a lifetime” experience for us

If you want the very best safari experience, Africa Dream Safaris will not disappoint you!

Bob and Jayne V.
Meford, Oregon
Safari Dates: September 8, 2016 to September 18, 2016

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Over The Top!

In the last few years several of our friends have came back from Africa with glowing reports so we expected to be impressed. Well this trip was so far over the top that we will always consider it the best trip of our lifetime.

I am a businessman so during the trip I observed why we were so impressed and why this trip was ‘above category’. Here is what I observed. First since this was a custom trip you allowed us to pick the number of days we wanted to stay (11) and which camp we wanted to stay in at each stop. Your write ups of the camps were perfect and we stayed in the most amazing places.

Second, the guides were amazing. They tried to please 24 hours per day and succeeded all 11 days. Their eyes could spot game a half mile away (we had a range finder) and cats and birds in trees that no normal eyes could identify. After a few days of amazing sights we started to think ‘what more can we see’.

There was always more, like the time we had 6 giraffes running beside the jeep, 4 adults and 2 babies, for about half a mile or when the elephants came and starred in the windshield, or we sat 30 feet from a cheetah and her 4 cubs eating a kill, or when we spotted the most beautiful birds anyone could imagine.

A friend who had been on a different safari told me he would like to go back to see the birds sometime. They didn’t stop for many. On our trip we told the guide we wanted to see the birds as well as the game. I identified 162, new for me, largely with the help of our guide who spotted most of them first and named and spelled the species. I am an average bird watcher with well over 1000 on my life list.

Our guide, David, made this trip. Stopping to see and photograph the birds even impressed those in the jeep who had previously no interest in birds. That added a dimension to the trip that allowed us to see something different when no game was in sight.

Digging deeper into why the trip was so terrific I quizzed David on his back ground. He had been a guide for another outfitter before you hired him for Africa Dream. You trained him, an experienced guide, for a year before he could guide for you. New places to go, new way to cater to your customers, etc.

We observed disinterested guides sitting in other jeeps while their customers looked at the game. Our guides acted as interested as we were and told in depth details about why and how the wild life acted as they did and a history of the area. Your guides have to report at the end of each trip where they went and what they see and even take pictures for you. This is somehow recorded in your data base in the states so you know where the animals will be year to year based on the calendar, and arrange the tour route accordingly.

From being greeted at the airport with a ‘present to the birthday boy’ to receiving a birthday cake in our room upon arrival, then having the dining staff perform a Africa birthday dance this trip was one of a lifetime to the last day where we spotted 7 new birds and monkeys. Tell anyone who needs a reference to call me day or night. The trip was that good.

Oh one final note. We had 4 in each jeep which allowed one person on each of your 4 rows allowing everyone to see and take photo’s from each side. Many of the budget operators had 6 and 7. And you should have told us to stay one more day. Lake Masek tent camp lodge was our favorite.

Thank You,

Willis & Liz G.
Portland, Oregon
Safari Dates: May 15, 2015 to May 26, 2015

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Though it is trite to say it, it was truly the trip of a lifetime!

I woke slowly to the sound of water … Kedafi, our Massai server, was filling two canvas sinks on the porch with warm water for us to freshen up for the day. The sky was grey awaiting sunrise and Kedafi cheerfully asked whether we would prefer him to bring coffee or tea as we prepared for our day on the Serengeti plains.

My wife, Patricia, and I came awake in our private safari camp tent for another day of exploring. The tent was great… the main room with a 4-poster bed, end tables and lamps; another room had 3 partitions for a chemical toilet, a shower, and a luggage/dressing room. What a great way to travel!

After a hearty breakfast with our personal guide, Pokea, we headed out for a day-long “game drive” in search of all the animals we had only seen on the screen before. Investigating the plains, often moving cross county without a road or track, we found lions, cheetahs, hyenas, wildebeest, zebra, and many, many other animals. What a thrill … getting as close as 30 or 40 feet from a cheetah mom and her five playful, young cubs, watching as two male hippos faced off in a challenge for their territory or finding a Pangolin – a rare anteater that many guides have never seen in person.

Patricia and I recently returned from a 12-day safari in Tanzania with Africa Dream Safaris (ADS). Though it is trite to say it, it was truly the trip of a lifetime. From our first contact with the company to get initial information a year in advance until we returned home, we felt that ADS had our interests in mind. Dawn Anderson, who helped us arrange the trip, was tirelessly helpful…assisting us in figuring out the best time to go and what to see as well as providing lots of useful information on everything from camera insurance to recommended shots and medications to electrical differences between the US and Tanzania. She never missed a deadline or failed to respond exactly as promised and the company provided lots of information that made it easy to prepare for the trip.

From the moment we stepped off the airplane (not our favorite part of the trip) at Kilimanjaro Airport until we climbed back on the plane (or no, not again) at the end of the trip, there was always someone from ADS actively looking out for us. We like to think of ourselves as a bit adventurous but who wouldn’t want to be greeted by friendly staff who can help you avoid the line for customs and simply whisk you out of the airport and into waiting transportation as soon as you pick up your bags? Then upon arriving at our initial lodging (which was beautiful, by the way) we were greeted with warm towels and cold fresh fruit juice and an ADS staff member to give us a quick orientation.

After a day of layover which included sleeping-in and massages – one of our smarter moves in developing the itinerary – we set off for the actual safari. Again, ADS staff were ready to help with our bags and to transport us to the airport (with a tour of Arusha enroute) for a short flight to Serengeti Park to begin our safari. Our guide, Pokea, and vehicle were waiting for us when the plane arrived. As the trip progressed, we learned to appreciate both of them greatly and count ourselves lucky in both regards. Now, you may be like Patricia and not pay much attention to vehicles but it didn’t take long to appreciate the Toyota Land Cruiser we were assigned.

With removable roof panels and one large rear window with canvas/plastic that could be rolled up, we had totally unobstructed views no matter where we were (and, of course, having the vehicle to ourselves meant that we were able to continually change our positions to see and photograph whatever we wanted.) In Pokea’s able hands we were able to go anywhere …. fording rivers, climbing steep hills, clawing through mud, and navigating various rough terrain.

As you would expect, your guide during the trip is absolutely the key to your safari experience. Quietly ensuring that all of the arrangements for lodging and luggage are handled smoothly, preparing the vehicle and packing box meals and drinks each day, tracking and locating every type of animal you can imagine, answering hundreds of questions – what kind of bird is that, how many babies does that animal typically have, what kind of tree is that, are we there yet, and on and on. Pokea was everything we could ask for and our impression that other ADS clients we crossed paths with felt the same way about their guides.

Our thanks to Dawn, Pokea, Kedefai, and the dozens of other ADS employees who made this trip everything we had hoped for and an experience we’ll never forget.

Doug & Patricia Butler
Portland, Oregon
April 2012

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