What an incredible, life-changing experience! We’ve traveled a lot but this was our first safari. From the moment we touched down in Kilimanjaro, Africa Dream Safaris made sure this trip was special.
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.
My sister and I just returned home from our first African Safari and thanks to ADS it was an incredible experience! Never having traveled outside of the United States, we were a little apprehensive as we prepared to embark on this adventure. Early on in our trip, we soon realized there was no reason for concern. The invaluable advice from ADS and the numerous blogs had us more than prepared.
I am 71 years old, so I knew this trip would be physically and mentally difficult for me. My children called Michael Wishner a saint for answering my 100 or so anxious emails. The bumpy roads, all the shots, brushing our teeth with bottled water, upset stomach, dust despite the fact that we purposely traveled in April, the so called wet season, which was dry, no make-up, no hair dryers at most of the camps or AC which I happen to like, 7 airplane rides and last but not least, proximity to wild animals!
On November 5th 2016, my friend of over 35 years and I boarded Qatar Airlines in Philadelphia on what was to become the most incredible journey of my life. To be honest, this was a trip that I was taking to accompany my friend in his quest to scratch one more line from his Bucket List, not mine.
You see I have flown over Five million miles during my 25 years of being a Surgeon, so boarding another flight that would take over 25 hours, did not put a BIG smile on my face…the only saving grace was that we were in First Class…BIG SMILE.
Upon our arrival at the Tanzania International Airport we were immediately greeted by the most gracious and helpful people from ADS. Big smiles on their faces, happy “Hello’s”, relieved from our luggage and taken through Security, Visas’ and all, within minutes…I knew that I wasn’t at LAX!!
We were then transported to our Hotel at Mount Meru all within an hour of landing. The picture below shows the “Bucket List” boy doing what he does best…the day before our safari was to begin.
The BIG Day arrives and we prepare to leave on what would become the most incredibly magnificent journey of my life…and believe me, I’ve had a few over the years. Our ADS Crew took care of our luggage and other essentials and off we went to the Arusha Airport for our flight to the top of the Serengeti where our Safari would begin.
As our flight took off from Arusha, all that I could think of was the movie and the beautiful music from “Out of Africa”…what an awesome sight. Once our 45-minute flight landed we were introduced to our ADS Guide David . The man that after 3 hours of being with I lovingly called “The Man injected with an animal GPS chip”.
His knowledge of everything, the land, the animals, the insects, the birds and their habits, astounded both Ray and me…he was a major contributor to the awe inspiring journey. We did not miss one creature that inhabited the Serengeti or the Ngorongoro Crater with David as our Guide.
I could continue to discuss the journey, but I think that you should see the outcome…so here we go…welcome to our African Dream Safari. To the Entire Team at ADS…ASANTE SANA for giving us the Gift of beautiful people with smiles as wide as the Crater Lake, sun rises and sets that surrounded us with warmth and beauty and Nature at its complete, unspoiled, untainted glory.
Here we go…just take in the beauty, magnificence and strength that surrounded us for 8 days.
Please move your car…Elephant Crossing!!!
The “Visitors” View from the Family below.
Simba on the “lookout” for lunch.
We were astounded that the Zebras act as the “Safety Patrol” for the Wildebeest.
What beautiful eyes and strong features of these animals…
The female Lions below captured dinner.
The Giraffe in this picture is over 26 feet tall…OMG
Dad making sure his “Kittens” are behaving.
These are all Brothers….what beautiful faces. That’s Big Brother in the middle…Dad put him in charge of the boys.
One of the 12 Black Rhino’s left…how sad.
Ray and I took over 950 pictures….we wish that we could share all of them with you. Better yet put this on your “Bucket List” and call the guys at African Dream Safaris. I am a big fan of Albert Einstein…his quote sums it all up “Our task must be to free ourselves…by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.”
We will be back ADS!!!
BJ B., MD, PhD and Ray G.
Safari Dates: November 5, 2016 to November 19, 2016
Our driver-guide Francis was fantastic. I have never seen anyone with better eyesight. In addition, he was so conscientious, always looking to get us in the correct position for the best photo angles, with sunlight and background considerations. Plus, getting to the best locations at the best times is a real skill of his.
We will recommend ADS & Francis to any friends of ours for a safari adventure. No question. Should we make the trip again ourselves, which would be a wish of ours, we would only want Francis, although I am sure you have many skilled guides.
Michael C. and Family
Chester Springs, Pennsylvania
Safari Dates: July 21, 2016 to July 28, 2016
Our family just returned from our dream safari in Tanzania! Africa Dream Safaris provided us with everything we needed. The service Dawn provided us prior to our journey was always prompt and so valuable. She worked hard to make sure our trip was tailored to our desires and we greatly appreciate her efforts.
It was so comforting to have an ADS team member take care of us from the moment we stepped off our plane in Africa. The accommodations at each of our camps on the safari exceeded our expectations and the staff did everything to make our stay memorable, from the campfire discussions, the delicious meals, the hot water bottles in our beds, to the wake up calls with drinks and treats in the morning.
We were amazed every day by the knowledge of Russell, our guide. We can’t begin to express how impressed we were with his wealth of knowledge. We learned more in 9 days with him than we could have ever learned in a classroom. As we show friends pictures of our trip, we find ourselves adding so much extra information about each picture, from details about the animal’s social life, to information about why a bird or lion is acting a particular way, to details about the vegetation or terrain. Russell’s pride of his country and enthusiasm to share information spread to each of us and we can’t seem to stop sharing it with our friends. He had the skills to find and spot more animals than we ever dreamed we would see.
The first day of our safari, we saw animals every time we turned our head. We were privileged to witness a 45 minute wildebeest crossing of the Mara River. Nothing can describe the thunderous sound as they push their way across the river! We were able to see a zebra with a white mane, and when Russell took a picture of it we knew we witnessed something unusual.
We saw more lions and cheetahs than we could have hoped for. We saw 3 serval cats and 2 honey badgers which Russell said were rare to see. We were even lucky enough to see a tree climbing python and a black rhino. We have so many memories and stories and I know we will continue to repeat them for many years to come.
Africa is so alluring, providing a scenic picture with every turn of your head. You find yourself speechless as you try and soak up every bit of its beauty. I am so thankful to have had this experience with my family! Seeing the amazement in my children’s eyes with every turn of our trip was priceless.
I would strongly suggest to anyone who has ever considered going on safari to stop thinking about it and just do it. Take the trip. You won’t regret it. It is the most amazing, majestic place I have ever been, and I hope to return some day.
Michelle, Scott, Kristie, Janelle, Mary, Eugene and Timothy
Safari Dates: July 11, 2014 to July 20, 2014
Our safari experience with ADS was truly incredible, and enjoyable. From our initial inquiry and booking with Sharon through being returned to the airport, everything was handled in an efficient, and friendly manner. The meet and greet staff in Arusha were most helpful in getting us settled and prepared for the upcoming adventure, and in taking us back to the airport. Our driver/guide/concierge/porter Francis Peter was very patient and accommodating, and we always felt safe and comfortable wherever we went.
Having opted for the extra day at Mt. Meru Resort at the front end of our safari after the long day(s) of flying, our itinerary was 2 nights each at Mt. Meru Resort, Buffalo Luxury Camp, a Private Luxury Camp, Ngorongoro Serena Crater Lodge, and Kikoti Tented Camp, with game drives in Northern and Central Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara National Park and Tarangire National Park.
All of the camps and lodges were very well run, comfortable, and exceeded our expectations, and offered a variety of experiences. The meals were abundant and tasty with a variety of choices from very familiar to more local offerings. The attention given us at the private camp was a real treat. In addition to the daily game drives, we were able to visit a Maasai village, go on a night game drive and two private walking safaris complete with Maasai guides and armed escorts, and take a sunrise hot air balloon ride.
Although we were there during what turned out to be an extremely dry time, Francis managed to take us to where the animals were. The number and variety of animals that could be seen together at one time, and the diversity of the landscape especially surprised us. He was very good at spotting and approaching the wildlife so that we could watch and take pictures, and willingly shared his knowledge of the nature and culture of the areas we visited.
The animals and landscapes are what we went to see and were more than satisfied with, but we will also always remember our exposure to “African massage, bush TV, wake up calls, and checking a tire”. Our advice to anyone thinking about going on safari is to go sooner than later. Opportunities are and will continue to be changing.
Thank you ADS for a wonderful and unforgettable experience.
Dan and Marti W.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Safari Dates: November 9-21, 2013
‘Adventure Of A Lifetime’…is the best way to describe our recent two week safari to Tanzania.
After our short plane flight into the Kogatende Airstrip, we met our driver/guide, David Chando, and began our trip into the bush. We immediately realized what a special person he is. He was personable, professional, respectful and all around great.
David’s knowledge of the animals and his country added to the success of our safari. His work day did not end after arriving at our camp in the evening. He made sure we planned the next days activities and he informed us where we were going and what we hoped to see in those areas. Next, he proceeded to clean the vehicle, stock it with supplies and have it ready to go the next morning.
After leaving the airstrip with David, in only 4 minutes, we saw our first animal, which was a Hippopotamus. Animal sightings were abundant and frequent throughout the safari and that was very impressive.
Our lodging accommodations exceeded our expectations. Particularly enjoyable was the Four Seasons, Ngorongoro Serena Lodge and the Swala Tented Lodge. The local staff at every resort treated us like rock stars. We could not have been more pleased with the service they provided us.
This truly was an adventure of a lifetime, thanks to the professional assistance from all the staff associated with Africa Dream Safaris. We have recommended to our friends, and suggest to anyone interested in taking a safari, to consider contacting the best organization for this type of vacation, Africa Dream Safaris.
Among the four of us, we took thousands of photos and movies, which will continue to provide us wonderful memories for years to come.
Below are some of our special sights, enjoy.
Chuck, Cathy, Donna and Dee
Fallston, Maryland and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Safari Dates: September 5, 2013 to September 15, 2013
Our safari was truly an awesome experience and definitely an excellent pick for a father-daughter photography adventure. Immediately after our bush flight into the Serengeti our adventure began and continued all the way up to our departure. Every day held new discoveries. Even if we explored the same area for two days, we spotted new animals interacting in completely different ways. It’s one thing to hear about other peoples’ safaris and how amazing it is to be surrounded by hundreds of animals, but it is entirely different to personally experience it.
Our driver Peter was amazing at simultaneously spotting game in the distance, navigating the roads, and educating us on the nearby animals or current terrain. We definitely learned a lot about wherever we traveled and now possess a plethora of random trivia about African wildlife.
We thought the accommodations along our journey added an adventurous atmosphere to the safari. They perfectly blended the idea of camping in the bush with the comforts of home. The views from many of the campsites were simply astounding. There was definitely a pleasant sense of isolation when you stood outside your tent and realized that the only things you could see were wildlife and savannah.
Sharon & Africa Dream Safaris definitely made this a trip of a lifetime. We already wish we were back on game drives exploring Tanzania.
Caroline and Joe L.
Blue Bell, Pennsylvania
Safari Dates: August 1, 2013 to August 12, 2013
We’re still enjoying our safari ‘high’ and are very excited to share our adventure with you!
The trip you planned for us was a fabulous overview of all of Tanzania. We started at the Ngorongoro Crater, turned south to beautiful Tarangire, traveled through the central Serengeti, headed north to track the wildebeest herds along the Mara River and concluded our adventure in the Lobo game reserve.
After our group of ten arrived at the Ndutu airstrip, we were met by our guides Arnold Mushi and Thomson Maleki who were fabulous! They were always eager to find exciting animal encounters, eternally patient with our unceasing photography demands and full of detailed information about any animal/bird/reptile we saw. Arnold would frequently shout out, “How is everybody??” and we would enthusiastically respond! The bar was set extremely high right off the bat as we saw not only a lioness hunting warthog, but a group of ten lion cubs who came down to the water to drink right in front of us! Absolutely magical!!
Though a few of our days were long and we covered many km, when we arrived at each camp there were smiling faces, eucalyptus-scented cloths to wipe away the trail dust and a chilled beverage to refresh us! Each camp was more amazing than the last. Our ‘tent’ accommodations were absolutely top notch with all the comforts of home. Our favorites were Lion’s Paw at the Ngoronogoro Crater and Swala.
At Lion’s Paw, our sundowner was the perfect place to watch a beautiful sunset before we enjoyed a delicious dinner prepared by Jonas and his staff before we snuggled into our beds in the chilly air. The hot water bottles awaiting us were the perfect touch!
At Swala, we were delighted to have front row seats for a controlled burn of the grass during dinner and lions roaring virtually in our ears at night. We thoroughly enjoyed watching the crazy antics of an African Harrier Hawk as he hung upside down in a nearby tree. Chris and his crew were spectacular hosts.
Our stay at Seronera Sametu was highlighted by a ‘close encounter’ with a lioness who was stalking buffalo near camp. She popped up out of the tall grass and gave my husband and one of the camp guards quite a start! Very exciting!!
Our trek to LeMala Mara was chock full of African wildlife; the hippos crowding the hippo pools of the Mara River and seeing a lion family devour a freshly killed wildebeest were truly memorable sights.
Our final days were spent at the beautiful Buffalo Luxury camp. My daughter, a budding artist, loved that they had drawing supplies available in the lounge so she could put some of the amazing animals we saw down on paper. Our host, Chris, took us on a wonderful walking safari and even organized a hilltop sundowner for our last evening. The food was spectacular (loved those loaf-sized dinner rolls) and they even baked a birthday cake to help celebrate a special birthday for Kathi. Another truly memorable experience was the opportunity to visit a nearby Maasai village and learn about their lifestyle. They welcomed us warmly and we thoroughly enjoyed their melodic singing, jumping and dancing!
Our animal encounters were amazing! All in all we saw 84 lions, 9 cheetahs and 7 leopards along with countless elephants, giraffe, hippo, monkeys, wildebeest, Tomi’s and many beautiful birds. As a group, we took over 10,000 photos! Despite what we thought Africa would be like, it was so much MORE than we expected and the fabulous planning and attention to every detail sets Africa Dream Safaris apart. It was truly the trip of a lifetime!
As Arnold would say, “Every day is a good day… in the bush!!”
Thank you Sharon for putting together our adventure, we sincerely hope it is not too long before we can return to the magic of Africa.
Chris, Mark, Mason & Kylie (Naperville, Illinois)
Mark, Kathi, Liz & Robby (Avondale, Pennsylvania)
Bob & Ruth Ann (Scottsdale, Arizona)
Safari Dates: July 14, 2013 to July 29, 2013
We just returned from our incredible Safari to the Serengeti. I started the trip with very high expectations from reading and seeing all the information ADS provided. Much to my satisfaction, my high expectations were met and even exceeded in every category.
From the time we landed until we left we were guided and briefed every step of the way. There are times when marketing paints an unreal picture to promote sales. Not the case with ADS. We found no exaggerations in any of the information. In fact it was very thorough, we were prepared, thank you.
To try to describe the Serengeti and all the animals bankrupts my vocabulary! All my life I’ve seen pictures, stories and video of the Serengeti that were great but it’s not like being there where you can feel it, smell it, hear it, and become part of it. There are no words to properly describe it for me.
I’m sure your guides are all good but we had Arnold and I don’t see how you could get a better one. He knew where to go to find the animals and anticipated our every need. He was pleasant, knowledgeable and fun. “Hakuna matata!”
Our camps were all different but each had a charming character all of their own. They also had very efficient and friendly employees.
I am extremely pleased that we chose Africa Dream Safaris for our “someday” adventure.
Larry and Sandra Shober
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
My husband and I have traveled all over the world both separately and together and our safari through Africa Dream Safaris was by far the most breathtaking and thrilling experience. As you know, we planned the safari 1 year prior and while we got excited to read about other ADS client’s safaris we were anxiously awaiting our chance to make our memories.
After all the anticipation and dreams of Africa, we realized shortly after arriving that everything we envisioned was going to be surpassed. From the second we stepped off the plane in Kilimanjaro to the time we left mainland Tanzania our trip was carefully planned, well thought out and not a detail was missing.
Our guide was the best! He was warm, knowledgeable and had a keen sense of where the animals were headed. We were continually impressed by his ability to navigate the extreme terrain and spot animals all while being in engaged in a conversation with us. We were in awe of the animals and the ever changing landscape. Our encounters with the wildlife were so close that we could hear them eat and breathe and that is something we will cherish and long to hear again.
Our accommodations throughout were unrivaled in service, detail, comfort and natural beauty. The feeling that comes with waking up and seeing zebra and wildebeest grazing near your tent is one that must be experienced because the description will fall short. How do we explain what it’s like to have two male lions roaring at each other for territory outside our tent or what it’s like to flash your light outside and see two cape buffalo staring back at you? How do you describe what it’s like to sip on a beverage while looking out into the bush and in one view see elephants, zebra, antelope, vervet monkeys and waterbuck? Our encounters and experiences are too many to list in a simple email but hopefully we have conveyed the pure joy that we felt and our deep gratitude for the experience.
Africa has a scent, fresh and crisp but at times combined with the smell of red earth and animal musk, other times combined with dung and spice, earth real and raw.
We long to delight our senses in Africa again.
Karina & David Reuter