Tag: Wyoming

Our Photo Safari To Tanzania

My wife and I have been traveling to Africa since 1967 and during the last 24 months we have traveled to Africa 4 times, once to travel the Coptic trail in Ethiopia, and 3 times on Photographic safaris. We travel by ourselves, and arrange trips with the help of someone on the tour operator’s side. We are very familiar with tour operators, from the United States, as well as Africa. We are concerned with the entire journey, including the camps, the food, accommodations, driver/guides, and the operator’s ability to meet our needs. Furthermore, the cost of the trip is something we are very conscious of.

This trip was a photographic safari, and 3 people traveled together, my wife, our South African Wildlife Photographer friend, and myself. The purpose of this trip was to see and photograph the calving of wildebeests, in the Serengeti. The trip was arranged with African Dream Safaris, through our South African friend, and my wife, Myra, and numerous emails occurred. While African Dream Safaris has its World Headquarters in the United States, our communications seemed to always be through the people in Tanzania, and they were always appropriate, helpful, and candid.

The trip was arranged about 12 months prior to leaving, and this was simple, and very well done. The communications from African Dream Safaris were excellent, including the final itinerary, and getting the necessary Tanzanian visa forms, and having them filled out saved us a great deal of time…getting through the immigration melee was really easy…and that was great.

We were met in Arusha upon landing, and driven to Arusha National Park and our first night stay at the Hatari Camp. This accommodation was fine, and we had a nice day, as we continued to get our internal body clock organized. African Dream Safaris had recommended staying in the National Park in contrast to Arusha, and the camp was more than pleasant. We were able to sleep well, travel through the National Park, and then get on a plane that flew us to the Serengeti and the Lake Masek tented camp.

Lake Masek Camp had been recommended and really met our needs. Our driver, who stayed with us the entire journey, drove to the Masek Tent camp from Arusha. In Tanzania, most of the Safari operators have their own vehicles, and your driver stays with you the entire time. The driver is not an employee of the camp site. Our driver-guide was really nice, accommodating, helpful, and was in tune with our need to move our vehicle into different positions in order to get the best photographic shot. And, often we just waited and sat watching the animals, and the driver was fine with this. We had a large amount of photographic gear, which was easily placed into the vehicles, and was readily accessible.

The camps that were recommended and chosen were very good, and the first one in the Serengeti was the Lake Masek tented camp. The accommodation was a large, clean, and nice tent with an outdoor shower. The tent was a short walk to the dinning area, which had indoor and outdoor places to eat. The food, breakfast and dinner primarily, were well done, sufficient in quantity, and very tasty.

Each morning, our breakfast was more than sufficient, and everything was ready so that we could get an early start on the day. This camp was chosen by African Dream Safaris, and was perfect for us. We stayed in camp for four nights, and the time spent in one camp, enabled us to travel around the Serengeti easily. When we traveled great distances, we were able to pack our lunches. Our driver named Francis was friendly, accommodating, helpful, and participated as needed as we decided our itinerary.

After the Serengeti, we traveled to the Ngorongoro Crater, and stayed in the only tented camp within the park, Lion’s Paw Tented Camp. The food was very good, and, despite being the only guests of the camp, our hosts were lovely, and accommodating. This was an excellent choice was made by African Dream Safaris, because, being inside the Park, enabled us to get up early, eat breakfast, and get down into the crater early. This really helped avoid the morning traffic of people coming from various sites outside the crater. We stayed two nights at Lion’s Paw Camp, and then drove to Arusha, stopping in an Iraqw village, and met an elder. We also stopped at Lake Manyara National Park which was lovely.

The trip was made easy, and the information supplied by African Dream Safaris, before we arrived, gave us what you need: contact numbers, items to avoid, the costs, how to tip, and what you should be aware of. The people, who represented the Africa Dream Safaris were friendly, verbal, approachable, professional, knowledgeable, and very helpful. We asked to find out about buying some appropriate African art pieces, and they got is to the Cultural Heritage Gallery in Arusha without problem.

I would without hesitation recommend them as a tour operator, which is knowledgeable, helpful, and their employees like what they are doing. The cost of this trip was more than reasonable, and do not be afraid to compare the trips prices. My wife would travel with them again, without hesitation.

Jerry and Myra D.
Wilson, Wyoming
Safari Dates: February 1, 2016 to February 10, 2016

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ADS Trip to Tanzania

After a few weeks of daydreaming of Africa and reviewing photos, we are finally settled back into our daily routines. We had the most wonderful and life-enriching safari organized by Africa Dream Safaris (ADS). It was, with no doubt, the best trip we have ever had in our lives. With less than a year of advance planning with Sharon Lyon of ADS, our trip came together without a single hitch or even the slightest problem. ADS delivered on every aspect of trip they said they would. Sharon provided excellent advice and discussed various last minute issues prior to our departure. She was always helpful and courteous.

Our safari began with flawless flights and entry into Tanzania. We had an extra day for shopping and night lodging. With a short flight to the Mara River – Kogatende Airstrip, we met our guide, Anglebert. He had us in the mix of wildebeest, zebras, giraffes, and hippos within fifteen minutes on the road. We cannot say enough positive and good things about Anglebert. We hit it off soon after our arrival and the fun began. He has a keen eye for spotting wildlife and for photography. He was always getting us into great positions for photographs. Besides deftly handling the Landcruiser over some pretty rough terrain, he was insightful about Tanzania’s animals, plants, parks, government, and the like. We came away with a great learning experience, especially with lessons in patience. We had the opportunity to view three spectacular and exciting wildebeest and zebra river crossings on the Mara River thanks to Anglebert.

We stayed at a mix of tent camps, tented lodges and permanent structured lodges during our sixteen days in Tanzania. We would say our best experience was at the ADS private camp, which we wished we had added a couple more nights. All of our camp and lodge accommodations were wonderful and the food and service was delightful. Most notable was the professional manner in which each camp or lodge treated us. Each place we stayed the staff knew our names as we got out of our vehicle. That kind of treatment made us feel truly welcomed! One special event for us was a night at the Crater Lodge when a visiting astronomer put on a show for the folks staying there. He pointed out so many stars, planets and constellations we thought we were back in college.

We tried just about everything ADS had to suggest or offer on this trip from the hot-air balloon safari to a Masai village tour. We had a walking safari with the Masai and a night safari – not at the same time, mind you! We had a private guided tour of the Leakeys’ dig site at Olduvai Gorge, thanks to Anglebert. We visited the F.A.M.E. facility and stopped at a local primary school to give away supplies to the students and teachers. All in all, this trip was rewarding and fulfilling.

Saying we saw many wild animals would be an understatement. Each day, which started at predawn, we were off and within minutes we would be looking at some animal. We took over five thousand photos and still had time to take in each moment of viewing with awe. One day we came upon a female cheetah and her two cubs with no one else around. We watched them watch us. They played all around the Landcruiser for about fifteen minutes before they scurried off. A short time later we came upon a pride of sixteen lions that had just finished eating a kill. Again, we were the only people around to see this event. Everyday, Anglebert was able to get us into a viewing situation that seemed to match or exceed the previous day’s experience. The best event was on our last day as we were leaving Swala Camp. Anglebert spotted a rare African wild dog that led us to a pack of fourteen dogs resting under trees nearby. We watched the dogs for about an hour. There was so much to see, and hear, and smell all the time that the entire experience was worth the cost of the trip. It was just plain magical!

Finally, enough cannot be said about the professional ADS staff with whom we had contact. A special thanks to Emmanuel for getting us about in Arusha. Thanks to Anglebert and Juliette for getting us into the Arusha National Park for a half-day tour before we left Tanzania. For those who are looking or thinking about an African safari experience of a lifetime, we would recommend talking to Sharon Lyon with Africa Dream Safaris.

Steven and Suzanne Olmstead
Cheyenne, Wyoming
Safari Dates: 25 Sept. thru 10 Oct., 2012

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