I would like to start with saying that our family trip to Tanzania was a surprise gift to me, Haley and Harper from my husband, Greg. Greg's search for information about safaris in Africa began on the Internet. He spoke with many different companies, including Africa Dream Safaris (ADS). When he spoke with Michael, he learned that on a safari with ADS, seeing and learning about animals was the top priority. This suited our family extremely well. He was also drawn to the idea of having a private safari...so, he chose to book with ADS. Michael assisted him with making decisions about the itinerary that would have been difficult to make on his own, never having been there. Michael's guidance proved to be exemplary!
My first review of the itinerary that Greg and Michael had put together showed many spectacular things! It also showed many hours of game driving...which, at first, I was hesitant about because of the kids (who were 11 and 13 at the time of our safari). We bought many of the recommended books (Lions Share was my favorite) and learned a little bit about the Serengeti prior to our trip.
Even with all the preparation about wildlife, nothing could possibly prepare us for the grandeur of the Serengeti. It is simply breathtaking. We saw more wildlife than I could have possibly imagined. We saw life in its most basic, natural sense. At every turn, if we just stopped for a moment to take a look around, there was always, always something there.
Having John for our driver-guide made our trip. He would spot things and tell us what he knew about that animal or bird. He was extremely knowledgeable. He was an excellent driver (driving on dirt roads can be rather tricky...especially after a rain). He was always ready and waiting for us at 5:30 a.m. to head out for the day. I never once felt that I couldn't trust him to keep us safe. He had a wonderful sense of humor, too!
As for the accommodations and food, well, all I can say is both were beyond our expectations. The accommodations were unique and beautiful. We stayed at Migration Camp, Mbalageti, Private Luxury Camping (that is an experience that I will never forget), and Swala. Each one is so luxurious; it's hard to believe you're out in the middle of the Serengeti! Listening to all the sounds at night came to be one of my favorite things (and what I miss most being home). There were many nights we could hear lions passing through, calling to each other! There is NOTHING like it! The staff at each lodge were always very welcoming and extremely helpful. The food was delicious. There certainly was no shortage of food. It was all exquisitely done...truly fine dining.
One thing I would like to mention, and I don't remember now exactly how it all started, is our daughter collected school supplies from students at her school for students in the Poli Village. We brought 150 pounds of much (and I can't emphasize that enough) needed school supplies. It was a wonderful experience to meet with the Chairman of the village, the school director, a couple of teachers, and many students.
All in all, I would say our trip to Tanzania was a life experience I will cherish. Michael and the team (both here and in Tanzania) made our trip so easy and carefree. All we had to do was show up. Everything was taken care of. We had nothing to do but enjoy our short time in Tanzania.
Cyndy H. Family
Palos Verdes, CA