The trip we thought would never come (due to COVID-19) was finally here! My entire family was very much looking forward to spending the next two weeks in the beautiful country of Tanzania!
To go or not to go
“In the circle of life…it’s the wheel of fortune…it’s the leap of faith…it’s the band of hope…til we find our place…”
Well, we took a leap of faith and found our place in an unbelievable Serengeti safari experience! Where to begin? I’m sure so many of you fellow travelers are wondering about what traveling is like now, so I will give you an honest and extremely thorough account of our travels and sights during this crazy time. Get ready if you choose to read this, because it’s a very long blog!
Extraordinary! Unbelievable! Amazing! Fabulous! A dream came true. The minute I stepped out of the bush plane on Serengeti soil in the Lobo Valley an indescribable feeling of peace and serenity encompassed me. Our guide Arnold greeted us with his contagious smile and wit. I continue to enjoy (nearly 5 months later) the burden-free peacefulness and serenity felt those amazing days during September 2019.
Having recently returned from an eight day African Dream Safari, cycling through the 1000 photographs and reliving each day – it is hard to put in to words our experience.
We opted for a “rest day” in Arusha at the Coffee Lodge. After breakfast, Didah took us for a quick tour around the city and a stop for some shopping at the Cultural Center. We were glad to have this day to help acclimate ourselves to the time change.
We recently completed a safari with ADS. It was the experience of a lifetime…from our initial contact with Dawn to our landing at Kilimanjaro airport we were welcomed and guided through our safari. Our expectations were met or exceeded within the first few days. Everything else was added wonder. We have already told many friends about this trip and hope they might have this opportunity in the future. It is unlike any other trip we have ever taken.
Wow! There aren’t enough superlatives to describe our September safari with ADS. While my husband and I are frequent travelers and have enjoyed many wonderful expeditions, we had no idea how magical and unique this immersive experience would be. We chose ADS because my brother and sister-in-law had recently traveled with ADS. My sister-in-law does her homework when she travels so we knew we didn’t need to look elsewhere. She always finds the best.
We did a once in a lifetime photo safari to the Serengeti back in February 2018. Within a year, the magic of this place started calling our names again. I called Dawn Anderson, with Africa Dream Safaris, to get the planning process initiated for the second time. Since our ﬁrst trip was during the green season, we thought we’d like to experience a dry season safari, with hopes of witnessing a Mara River crossing. We eventually booked our trip for mid August.
Going on a Safari has always been on our bucket list of ‘want to do’s’. But fears of distance, unknowns and where to go caused hesitation. Then a year ago our friends who had gone on a Tanzanian safari encouraged us. Well this got my husband and I thinking…we should just do it.
Leading up to our safari, my daughter and I watched all the nature programs we could on Africa and the Serengeti. We were prepared and excited. So, we thought. Nothing could have prepared us for the experience we had with Africa Dream Safaris. Our safari far exceeded our expectations.
She struts across the savannah, attitude on full display. At around four feet tall and ten pounds, she’s not the biggest thing out here, but she has swagger and a killer kick. I watch her chase several immense vultures off a carcass, just because she can. This is the most unique bird of prey in all the world—crane-like long legs, a bare red/orange face, hooked beak, and crazy black feathers on the back of her head. Over the course of ten days, I see about a dozen of these entertaining birds, sashaying across the most wondrous place in all the world—the Serengeti in Tanzania. The secretary bird is one of 201 bird species I record on my Sep 2019 trip with my 29-year-old daughter Daisy.
Before my wife and I visited the Serengeti, I had 2 fears. First, I had visited the Serengeti 50 years ago and was fearful it had changed for the worse. I was pleasantly surprised that the wildlife was still very diverse and plentiful. Second, I was fearful my wife would not enjoy herself. She’s a city girl not used to camping. After our first night “glamping” she announced she loved it. She was enthralled every day with the immense vistas and close proximity to animals. She dubbed the extraordinary daily events as “WOW moments”.
People keep asking about our African Safari and it’s still hard to put into words. We have told people that if we could use one word to describe the trip, it would be “SURREAL”! All the planning for the perfect safari was easy with African Dream Safaris. Sharon Lyon walked us through the process step by step. She allowed me to plan the trip to fit our wants, needs and budget making it a success from the start.
Our hearts sank as we saw the horde at Immigration deplaning at Kilimanjaro. But then we see our name beckoning on a placard. Skirting round the corner past the teeming horde, we are greeted and whisked past the crowd to wait near the Customs Officer’s booth. Assisting with Immigration and clearing us well ahead of the madness is most welcome ADS; asante sana. Many of that horde were also coming for safari.