We have been back from our Safari nearly two weeks and have yet to come down from our emotional high. We have been trying to find the right words to describe the beauty that is the Serengeti - it is truly a unique place in this world, filled with magnificent animals and incomparable landscapes.
There were so many memorable encounters on our Safari, but it started with the warm greetings of our host, Zubeda. She was a breath of fresh air after a long flight. She ensured we got situated, comfortable, and then knew the plan for our next 9 days. After our layover at the Arumeru River Lodge in Arusha (which was an incredible experience in itself; beautiful grounds, a warm and friendly staff, great food, and our first introduction to the nature of Tanzania on a forest walk with Daniel - a Masai Warrior) we flew into the bush and met our guide, Adam.
We couldn't have hand-selected a more professional, accommodating and knowledgeable guide. By the end of our Safari, Adam had opened our eyes to so many things by inviting us to appreciate the smallest details in nature in addition to the biggest and most obvious. Plus, we just had a lot of fun and laughs along the way!
Some highlights from our trip include:
Coming face-to-face with an impressive, male bull elephant as he crossed the road in front of our land cruiser
Stopping to witness an ant colony going off to hunt for food
Listening to the sounds of the Serengeti wilderness outside our tent, particularly the hyena who came into camp and who's calls were as loud as a fire station's siren
Witnessing a small pride of lions waking up at dusk, preparing for their night ahead
Our first exposure to the Grumeti River: watching the crocodiles and hippos in the water while seeing the great-winged Maribu storks take flight overhead. We felt like we were taken back in time by millions of years
Meeting the Masai tribe, learning about their customs and taking a walk with Luca, one of the warriors Baboon troops, giraffe herds, elephant families, a leopard and her cub, cheetahs, hyenas, rhinos, endless zebra and wildebeest herds, cape buffalo, antelope, gazelle, lizards, birds, snakes, and the list goes on and on...
The experiences we encountered on our trip felt almost surreal at the time, but we now have so many incredible and vivid memories that will always remain dear to our hearts. However, it was not just the natural beauty of the environment which we'll remember so fondly, but also the people we met along the way. The care and thoughtfulness of the ADS team had a huge influence on making our trip special.
Never before have so many people made us feel so welcome. From the early planning stages to our welcome home, every detail was carefully planned to accommodate our best interests. It would seem that only family or friends could be so thoughtful, but each and every member of the ADS team treated us as such, and for that we sincerely thank you. Rest assured that we will go back again someday, but until then we will remain advocates for ADS and serve as ambassadors for the country of Tanzania! Thank you so much for making our experience so incredible!
Nandi and Mason O.
Lewis Center, OH