Lynn – It has been such pleasure working with you to plan our safari. Now I am writing to say “Thank you!” to you, as well as everyone working behind the scenes, and to our incredible guide, for a fantastic safari experience in Tanzania. It was all that Ellen and I were seeking and then some.
We had previously been on safari in Botswana, and have also been to Zambia and South Africa. This time we wanted to visit either Tanzania or Kenya. When I contacted ADS, you really helped us decide on Tanzania. I frequently asked questions about everything and you always had the answers, and would present another point of view that we sometimes had not considered. You helped us select Tanzania – thanks Lynn-great choice!
Each time I called or e-mailed you with questions you were superb, getting back to me so quickly with everything we requested and more, plus lot of patience and quality suggestions. I was impressed with your service and had hoped that was an indicator of ADS company-wide, knowing that could only be determined at the conclusion of our safari. I am pleased to report that not only you, but everyone we met went above and beyond to ensure our joy, comfort, convenience and safety-and thanks to each and every one of you for your kindness and a job well done!! I am sorry it is over-we would have liked it to go on for months!!
As you know, our primary purpose was photography, and thanks to our incredible guide, we got the images we were seeking. He not only knew the wildlife, but had an intuitive sense of where and when the action would occur. He also had extensive knowledge about the wildlife & their habits, birds and landforms. Our guide was top-notch, in fact, we are confident he must be one of the top guides in all of Tanzania, he was that good.
The Serengeti itself was just beautiful, as it had rained recently, and it was quite green. It was bursting with life and natures beauty, as well as teeming with interesting wildlife. Our sightings included a lioness taking down a Cape Buffalo, mating lions, and wildebeest crossing the Mara River with crocs and vultures patiently waiting in the trees, streams and other nearby areas. We also saw a leopard, and many beautiful birds and antelope.
The three cheetah brothers were a very special sighting, as well as female cheetahs and lions with half grown cubs nearby. We witnessed a hugh hippo charge another group of hippos, sending gigantic waves through the previously calm river. Quite a commotion followed, with a bigger male going head to head with her. She was reprimanded in no uncertain terms, with a bloody neck to show for her incursion.
In Tarangerie we saw elephants taking mud baths and digging holes in the river bottom, for fresh drinking water-that was really interesting too! We also visited a swamp there, which looked to us like the “Garden of Eden”. We were able to locate a few boa constrictors in the trees, which I had really hope to see. Of course, by the end of our safari, we had seen all of the big 5 and much, much more. We had an incredibly rich and varied experience.
We debated about whether to visit a Maasi Village, because we had read that some people didn’t like it, and my traveling companion had been at one years ago, and she didn’t care for it either. But our guide said we would enjoy it, and we trusted his opinion so we went. And yes, we really really enjoyed it! One of the Chief’s sons gave us a tour, just for the 2 of us, and he talked extensively about their social customs as we sat in a small structure they sleep in, made of sticks, mud and other local materials. We learned about their lifestyle, his college experience,( thanks to a Missionary) and so much more-all very interesting. We were able to interact with one of his brothers, some children and several different women there, and we made a brief stop at the children’s school. You can see school building in the picture attached. The children were darling. What a wonderful experience we had, thanks to our guide’s recommendation.
Each of our tented camps were unique and we really enjoyed them. The service was great, they were all very clean and comfortable, and the employees went to great lengths to ensure our comfort & pleasure. We were especially pleased with the beds, which were all very comfortable, and when we had twin beds (verses 2 doubles) they were oversized (compared to those we had in Europe and South Africa), and were spaced far apart, giving us a bit of space, which we valued. They were also nicely appointed and super clean.
Food was good, especially dinners, but some camps, such as “Migration” had fabulous five star meals. Other camps had entertainment at night, with native singing, dances and apparel. Some camps had WIFI, so we were able to get on the internet, which was really nice.
One morning just before sunrise, while lying in bed waiting for the alarm to go off, I noticed there were twigs breaking outside the tent. I got up to take a peek and lo and behold!!! There were 5 or 6 elephants (mothers and young) tearing branches off the shrubs around our tent!! What a special moment that was! After about 15 minutes they quietly departed.
One night we heard lions, others we heard hyneas, but we were never afraid and our safety was not compromised. The wildlife never bothered us in our tents, plus there were always 2 Maasi guarding us at night, and though they only have spears, no guns, they are true warriors. Fortunately though, they prefer to scare wildlife away, rather that harm them. What an idyllic environment we were so fortunate to be a part of, if only for 10 nights.
What a great time we had!! It cannot be overstated!! ADS is a company that does everything it can to make sure your safari is to your satisfaction, not just when they are selling it to you, but all the way through to its conclusion. ADS has many great employees who will look out for you and your interests all along the way, not just one great employee who sells you the tour. I also like that ADS is so honest about things in advance, such as the box lunches or the Maasi VIllage. Not many would be so frank!! It was also interesting that you gave us a phone for the duration of our safari, and told us to call if anything was not happening as expected, and that you would “fix” it immediately. Amazing customer service!! I would highly recommend ADS. In fact, we plan return to Tanzania in a few years with ADS, it was that fabulous! Thanks again everyone!!
Karren Kraemer and Ellen Werner