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AAC Privately Guided Family and Solo Traveler trips with our Tanzania Guides (Jan - May 2016)


 

May Safari for the Bernstein Party Guided by Mkenda Emmanuel

 

I had the pleasure of guiding the Bernstein family this past May. These clients requested my service as their friends traveled with me in 2011 and recommended me. They had very high expectations as their friends had a great safari. The Bernstein’s began their safari in South Africa, where they saw a lot of things (except cheetah, black rhino and the great migration) so the pressure was on to show off the highlights of Tanzania!
 

   


Happily, the safari exceeded their expectations. It was a mixture of cultural experiences and great game viewing. They met with local people and observed their activities at the Maasai local market along the way to Ngorongoro. They saw lots of game including lion prides, rhinos, the migration, hunting lions, cheetahs and lots of hippopotamus.

 

In the Ngorongoro and in Serengeti, they enjoyed seeing a large number of animals gathered in one place –Something very different from what they experienced in South Africa.

 

  

 

MAY 2, 2016

 

The safari started by picking up the Bernstein’s from the Kilimanjaro airport. I met them after they cleared customs gave a brief introduction about the safari before heading to Ngorongoro Crater via Gibbs Farm where we stopped for lunch. On the way, there was a Maasai open market in Mto wa Mbu where we stopped and enjoyed seeing local people buying and selling cattle and other things.

 

  

 

I talked about the culture of Tanzania as we have almost about 120 different tribes. Many of them are found in Mto wa Mbu, known as the “mosquito creek town”. These people were attracted by the favorable environment for agriculture. However, Mto wa Mbu is also known as being one of the worst place for contracting malaria.

 

We discussed the other tribes living in traditional ways of life such as Datoga who live as nomads, Iraqw which emigrated here 2000 yrs ago and the Hazabe who live by collecting fruits and roots and hunting with bow and arrows.

 

At Gibbs, we enjoyed seeing flowers and vegetable garden followed by a delicious lunch. We departed for our lodge located on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater. On the way I gave a briefing about the caldera, that is the largest intact, unbroken wall and unflooded caldera on Earth. It is sometimes described as the Garden of Eden.

 

MAY 3, 2016

 

Today was our full day of game viewing In the Ngorongoro Crater. We saw lions, hippopotamus, elephants, rhinos and all the wildebeests and zebras. It was amazing. We also enjoyed a picnic breakfast and lunch on the crater floor which made our day even more breathtaking. We saw this huge male lion and a female – it was just as if you were watching a National Geographic film. Then we saw the rhino and a pride of lions …all before we had breakfast!

 

  

 

On the crater floor, we enjoyed seeing a golden shimmering color from flowers especially when the sun was shining. This only happens during this time of the year. In the evening as we were ascending from the crater, we enjoyed seeing a troop of baboons on the road. It was awesome to finish a day in this way.

 

MAY 4, 2016

 

Today we drove to the Serengeti via Olduvai Gorge. On the way, I talked about the uniqueness of the gorge as it was the first place to discover the oldest skull of human kind by the name Australopithecus Boizei dated 1.75 million years ago, and that shifted the original of human kind from Asia to Africa in 1959, 17th July.

 

Also we visited the “shifting sand” where the clients had a great time. This sand popped out from a live volcano few kilometers away in 1969 and moves about 17 meters a year. This sand is made of iron fire lings (hydro-carbonic irons) and can be attracted by a magnetic.

 

  

 

We continued to the Serengeti Serena Safari Lodge, our base for the next three nights.

 

May 5, 2016

 

This day was so special since the clients were looking forward to seeing cheetahs and we were thrilled when we saw four cheetahs at a close range. They entertained us by chasing a group of zebras and then climbing a small tree and posing on the termite mounds.
 
 

 

MAY 6, 2016

 

After an early morning balloon safari, we had a great day being in the midst of the entire migration as it has been said to be the world great show on Earth. It was awesome and magnificent! Equally as thrilling was the sighting of lions and cheetahs posing on the rocks.

 

   

 

MAY 7, 2016

 

This day we packed and moved to Four Seasons Serengeti Lodge in the morning. We saw leopards in trees, lions on the rock kopjes and many hippopotamus which were the highlights of the day as they were so entertaining.

 

   

 
MAY 8, 2016

 

Today once again was incredible to see the migration for the last time. We drove to Namiri plains where we saw unbelievable numbers of both wildebeests and zebras and lots of lions and cheetahs and we had picnic lunch between the migration and lions on the kopjes. 

 

  

  

 

We also saw tree climbing lions and two leopards posing in trees; all these cats are attracted by the presence of the migratory animals.

 

   

 


  

MAY 9, 2016

 

This was the end of our adventure safari. We left at 0800 hours and did a game drive en route to the airstrip so they could catch their flight at 1100hrs. The clients were very happy with what we saw in terms of game as well as their involvement in finding animals. The highlight of the safari – witnessing the great migration on the Serengeti.

 

  

 

 

 

March Safari for the Ashcroft Party Guided by Mkenda Emmanuel

   
These clients discovered AAC through Travel+Leisure magazine where they found out that AAC was chosen as the best family safari company of the year and they spoke to owner Mark Nolting several times before they booked so they had very high expectations.

 

  

  

  

 

The clients were very happy from the way I involved them in the art of finding animals as we were driving. We were able to find cheetahs – we saw one killing a gazelle and another time one was walking alone and it came directly to us and jumped onto the hood of our vehicle to get a better views of the plains. It was a great moment!

 

  

 

 

   

MAR 21, 2016

 

The safari started by picking up the clients from Arusha where I gave thorough briefing and going through the itinerary. I talked about safety, the use of seat belt on highway, using sealed bottled water for drinking and brushing their teeth, ensuring that all their valuable belongings should be very close to them and should not left unattended. Also we discussed about taking pictures of people especially the tribes which are living in traditional ways of life as they think that when you take pictures of them you are stealing their soul.

 

We started driving to Gibbs for lunch while and continued to discuss about my country including the history of Tanzania from colonial period until to date, economy and geology. We also talked about the Berlin conference which divided Africa in 1884 which resulted in the formation of the country Tanganyika (which became Tanzania after the union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar). Then about Rift Valley formation that created alkaline lakes which attract flamingoes and makes a good tourist attraction.

 

I talked about Mto wa Mbu, also known as Mosquito Crick Town, which is a good example of a town that depends on tourism and a cross pollination of different tribes.

 

They had lunch and after they visited the garden where they grow vegetable organically. They appreciated the efforts done by Gibbs for having such good operation and providing delicious food.

 

We continued to the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, whereby on the way we stopped at the crater view. The caldera is the largest intact caldera which is an unbroken wall and is one of the natural wonders of the world.

 

MAR 22, 2016

 

We started at six in the morning taking both a picnic breakfast and lunch. We were very lucky as we saw a huge pride of lions just as we arrived at the crater floor and a hyena eating from a buffalo carcass. Then a rhino crossed the road. It was amazing for my clients as they have been in Botswana but they did not see a black rhino. We stopped for our picnic breakfast at the hippopotamus pool. After the break we saw more lions and huge bull elephant with massive tusks almost the same length as its trunk. Such tusks are very rare to see due to poaching. Only wild elephants can have such tusks.

 

In the afternoon we enjoyed a picnic lunch at another peaceful site. After lunch we continued with our game drive where we saw more lions and rhinos (seven exactly). Seeing rhinos in the crater is very important and unique as this is the only place where you can see them in their natural habitat. Other places they were introduced or reintroduced.

 

  

   

 

MAR 23, 2016

 

Today we stopped at the Olduvai Gorge enroute to our camp in the Serengeti. On the way I gave a lecture of the site that is unique as it was the first place to find the oldest skull of human kind. On July 17, 1959 archaeologists Luis Leaky and Mary Leaky made this crucial discovery after 28 years of searching. We then visited the museum and the site where the first skull was found.

 

After Olduvai, we went to shifting sand and it was one of the highlights of their safari. When we arrived at the shifting sand, I told them that we have to treat with great care and respect as Maasai are worshiping – it means we have to approach with respect as we are entering the church. The clients were amazed by the fact that the sand is having magnetic effect and that they move 17 meters a year.

 

After lunch we had a game drive where we saw some lions and flamingoes and gorgeous sunset.

 

 

 

 

MAR 24, 2016

 

This was a great day as we saw a lot including a cheetah kill, mating lions and a pride of ten lions. It was great to teach my clients the art of finding game, as they were looking to find cheetah. We began our search of cheetahs and drove for about 30 minutes and then from a distance I saw two heads of something then when I took binoculars I saw two cheetahs. We followed them until they killed a young gazelle. It was incredible and awesome from start to finish.

 

After lunch we saw mating lions and some flamingos flying in the Lake Ndutu area as well as other general game.

 

  

  

 

 

MAR 25, 2016

 

Another great day! We saw a gazelle looking in one direction for long time and when we looked through binoculars we saw a cheetah looking at the gazelle then started coming towards us then continued coming and jumped onto the hood of the vehicle. That was an awesome sighting as we found it on our own (with no other vehicles around). We also saw a caracal and vultures landing on a dead zebra and a lion with good reflection in the water.

 

  

  

 

 

MAR 26, 2016

 

This was the last day where we had lunch with the migration surrounding us, some zebras drinking and lions in the tree. Also we saw small crocodile at Seronera river.

 

  

    

 

The clients were very happy as they could not believe the way we found all the animals they were looking for. We got them all!

 

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AAC Privately Guided Family and Solo Traveler trips with our Tanzania Guides (Oct - Dec 2015)

 

December Safari for the Walkowicz Party Guided by Wilfred Mollel

 

The Walkowicz’s were expecting to see all the animals, from the big five to the rare ones like pangolin. The overall experience was above and beyond their expectations.
 
We began the adventure when I picked them up at the Lake Manyara airstrip and then drove to Gibbs Farm for overnight. 
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The following day we left Gibbs Farm after an early breakfast and drove down to the Ngorongoro Caldera. We found a wide variety of animals like ostriches, warthogs and their piglets, rhinos, lions, buffalos, hippos, zebras, jackals, and different bird species.

 


 

On the 3rd day we visited Olduvai Gorge and a Maasai Village on our way to Olakira Camp. We saw a lot on the way. We arrived for late lunch, which was followed by afternoon game drive. We had the opportunity to see a pride of seven lions, and that was the highlight of the day. Then we drove back to camp for overnight.

 

 

The following morning we started the game drive at 7:00 am aiming to find some cheetahs. And we did! Then we came across a clan of hyenas feeding. Then vultures came before we got back to the camp for lunch. During the afternoon drive we saw herds of wildebeests, gazelles, giraffes, and four lionesses and their seven cubs.

 

 

Our second full day in the Serengeti we drove all the way to the Seronera Valley purposely looking for the leopards and perhaps a pangolin. We found a leopard, some lions on kopjes, cheetahs, jackals, clan of hyenas and many more.

 

   
 
Their safari ended on Day 6 when I drove them to the Ndutu airstrip for Air Excel flight to Zanzibar.
 
 
 

Safari Guide Pease Pty’s Report


Dec 6, 2015

I met clients at the Namanga boarder, after normal immigration formalities where I assisted them with VISA, road transfer to Arusha, our main conversation during transfers was about infrastructure and recent development of road expansion mainly at cities and national park. Lunch was served at Arusha Coffee lodge, after lunch they joined other clients and commence our safari driving to Lake Manyara via the Makuyuni road and Mto wa mbu village. Dinner and overnight at Lake Manyara Serena.

 

  

 

Dec 7, 2015

In the morning we had game drive at Manyara Park with lots of baboon. There had been some recent heavy rains and some roads were damaged. My clients liked birds a lot so we spent time enjoying watching wading water bird. The game drive was limited due to road condition and heavy rain. We had lunch at a lodge before driving to Serengeti. We are in short rain season in Tanzania and it had rained almost everywhere in the country. The road to the Serengeti is much better maintained than Manyara. We continued to the Serengeti Sopa for an overnight.


Dec 8, 2015

It was raining a lot today and the roads were very slippery and difficult to drive. Game viewing was more adventurous and was a real African adventurous safari. Luckily clients observed the migration around “Mawe ya simba” (in English means Lions Rocks) heading towards Naabi gate. Although the weather was not good, it was interesting to see to leopard and two male giraffe fighting.

 


 

Dec 9, 2015

This was last day in Serengeti and driving to Ngorongoro was very exciting with lots of giraffe enroute and six young lioness on the tree. Enroute to the Ngorongoro we stopped at Maasai Village. Dinner and overnight at Ngorongoro Sopa.

 

 

Dec 10, 2015

We had full day in the Ngorongoro Crater with a picnic lunche. The crater animals were very close to vehicles and this provided some exciting moments for them. They really enjoyed this scenery and also the flamingo at Lake Magadi. There were plenty of lions at Kigongoni, even a couple of them mating. Sub-adult lion cubs fell asleep under the cars while their parents enjoyed a quiet moment. Dinner and overnight at Ngorongoro Sopa.

 

 

 

Dec 11, 2015

On this day we left the Ngorongoro heading to Tarangire National Park. We enjoyed lunch at Tarangire Sopa followed by an afternoon game drive. The game drive was good with the highlight being a baby elephant playing and two crown crane birds flying overhead, scaring the baby elephant. Dinner and overnight at Tarangire Sopa.

 

 

Dec 12, 2015

This was the last day of program, enroute to Arusha we saw a bat eared fox at Tarangire gate. Lunch was at Mount Meru Hotel, and continued via road transfer to Namanga. That was end of our adventurous and good safari.

 

 

 

 

December Safari for the Alpert Party Guided by Elibariki

 

Day 1: I met the clients at breakfast time for introductions and a safari briefing. We departed with a picnic lunch and drove to Tarangire for a game drive. We saw zebra, hundreds of wildebeest, elephant families, a harem of impala, Nile monitor lizard, banded mangoose, about fifteen giraffe - some drinking water in the water hole and some browsing on the acacia trees, pride of two lionesses, one of them trying to hunt zebra but with no success. After lunch, we continued on an afternoon game drive where we saw common waterbuck, dwarf mongoose, troop of baboons, yellow billed stork, white backed vultures, lilac breasted roller, white headed weavers, scattered elephant families and many of the same common animals. We then drove to Chem Chem for dinner and overnight.

 

 

Day 2: After breakfast we departed to the Ngorongoro Conservation area. On our way we saw giraffe, warthogs, territorial male impala, herd of impala, banded mongoose, lilac breasted roller, helmeted guinea fowl etc. Then we had lunch at Ngorongoro Crater Lodge and the afternoon at leisure.

 

Day 3: After early breakfast we departed with a picnic hamper for full day game drive in the crater. We saw zebra, a herd of wildebeest, Thompson and Grant gazelles, bachelor herd of buffalo, spotted hyena and black backed jackals eating left over probably by lion, juvenile lioness walking whilst looking for rest of the pride, male ostrich sitting on the nest and so many hyena packs. We also saw black rhino, another lioness of different pride, hippos, kori bustards almost everywhere, and a huge male elephant drinking water at Ngoitoktok.

 

   

 

Following our picnic lunch we continued on an afternoon game drive. Late afternoon back to the lodge for dinner and overnight.


Day 4: After early breakfast we departed to Lake Manyara Airport where the clients flew to Arusha.

 

 

 

 

The Dixon Family Safari Guided by Daniel Nyamoga

 

I met the Dixon Family at the Arusha Hotel for a safari briefing. Wwe started driving to Tarangire National Park, where we proceeded to Tarangire Safari Lodge but on the way we saw a lot elephants, impalas, waterbucks and zebras. We enjoyed lunch followed by an afternoon game drive. We had one of our best sightings - a pride of lions, calmly resting on a termite mound. We spent a significant amount of time with them and then drove back to the lodge after that.

 

The following day we had an early morning game drive, starting at 06:00 with a packed breakfast because we did not want to miss anything. We saw a very beautiful leopard sitting in a Baobab tree. We decided to drive back to the lodge for lunch and enroute we found a pride of lions crossing the road right in front of us. They headed to a large tree where they layed down in the shade. An afternoon game drive followed and this time the pride we saw earlier was very close to the lodge.

On Day 3 we had a vbusy day which began with a short game drive, followed by checking out of the lodge and driving to the orphanage center because they had some donations for the to children. After a memorable visit, we drove to Mto wa Mbu for a village walk. The clients enjoyed it as it gave them some interesting interaction with the locals.

Following a delicious bush lunch, we drove to Kisima Ngeda for dinner.

The next morning we started our day at 06:00 because we were going hunting with the Hadzabe bushmen. We met our local guide who took us to the bushmen. When we arrived we found them doing their morning preparations before going hunting. It was an exciting day and while we did not catch anything we enjoyed hunting with the Hadzabe and their dogs. We went back to their small village to practice using a bow and arrow. We drove back to the lodge for Brunch. In the afternoon we visited the Datoga tribe. It was very interesting how they prepare the meals, share their husbands, raise kids and making tools and so much more. That evening we went on a walk that ended up on a rock for some drinks while enjoying seeing the Sun setting down.

 

As yesterday was quite busy, today the clients wanted to relax a bit so we drove to Kitela Lodge, arriving in time for lunch. The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing. 


The next morning was a full day game viewing in the Ngorongoro Crater. Seeing a rhino was our big mission today and we got lucky as we saw a beautiful rhino just eating hardly 30 meters away from the road. It was an amazing sighting!! We thought that was the highlight of the day but we were totally wrong as we saw something else that as a guide was the highlight of the day a pride of lion trying to separate a buffalo from a herd. It was like a "Hide and Seek" game because the buffalo were chasing the lion as they were chasing the buffalo. It was a drama we rarely see. We drove back to the lodge happily.

This morning was a busy start for us as we were heading to the central Serengeti and Kati Kati camp. First, we visited the Oldupai Museum, Gorge and Shifting Sand before arriving in time for lunch.


In our afternoon game drive we saw something spectacular and I must admit that this was the highlight of the entire trip. A lion sitting next to a zebra carcass, half eaten with at least 20 hyena around him just waiting patiently. On our left side there was a herd of elephant grazing and slowly moving towards us before they came behind us and crossed the road. They were now heading towards the lion. They did not see the lion because the grass was very high. It ended up spooking the lion, who ran away. The hyena took the chance to claim the carcass, but when the lion saw that he decided to go back to the carcass and it became like a repeated drama.

This was another day of adventures. Our mission today was to look for more cats especially cheetahs. We started by seeing lion before we found the cheetahs. Watching them in the distance was quite nice especially with the morning light.

 

Our last we took a packed lunch so that we could spend more time out on the plains. We drove to Hippo pool to enjoy the hippos. The rest of the day driving around enjoying every moment. This was definitely another good day.


 

 

 

 

The Gifford Party’s Safari with Martin Mallya

 

 

 

Oct 2, 2015

Arrived Kilimanjaro International Airport with KLM, the Giffords were transferred to Lake Duluti Lodge where they spent a night.

 

 

Oct 3, 2015

In the morning we commenced the safari by driving to Maramboi Tented Camp in time for hot lunch. Afternoon game drive experiencing giant baobab and close viewing of lion lying under tree.

 

 

Oct 4, 2015

This was a full day game drive day with large number of elephant and guests were lucky enough to see tree-climbing lioness.

 


 

 

Oct 5, 2015

With packed picnic lunches we departed to Lake Manyara National Park for full day game viewing. During the drive they saw a flock of flamingos and a pride of lion eating a baboon. They were delighted to see Klipps springer and antelope standing on the rock. Late afternoon we proceeded to Ngorongoro Sopa for dinner and overnight.

 

 

Oct 6, 2015

This was second day at crater, despite the long day we had on previous day clients were keen to be at crater very early in the morning. We had our picnic lunch as usual. In the walls of crater we saw pride of lion along River Munge drinking water after a heavy meal of wildebeest. Exciting sightings also included black rhino, hyena and zebras. We returned to lodge for dinner and overnight.

 

 

Oct 7, 2015

On this day we drove to Serengeti via Maasai village and Olduvai Gorge. Lunch was served at Mbuzi Mawe camp, afternoon game drive with plenty of lions and cubs.

 


 

 

Oct 8, 2015

They were booked on balloon excursion, this was another day where they depart early from lodge, after balloon they had bush breakfast. We had 3 hrs. game viewing before having a hot lunch at Camp. After resting a bit we did another afternoon game drive.

 

 

Oct 9, 2015

We had full day game drive, crocodiles were along Seronera River, lions, lots of nice and beautifully birds such as lilac-breasted roller, little bee-eater etc. The whole day was spent on vast plain of Serengeti with plenty of exciting game drives. Returned to camp for dinner and overnight.

 


 

Oct 10, 2015

We spent this day around northern Serengeti, they were lucky to see leopard on the tree as well as lioness with cubs on a big rocky, lot of zebras and wildebeest. They enjoyed this scenery a lot and like the area so much. Returned to camp for overnight.

 

 

Oct 11, 2015

Unfortunately this was last day of Tanzania program, they checked out of lodge in time to connect with their flight to Mara.

 

 



Clients Trip Reports - January - March 2016


Premier Tanzania Safari featuring Asilia Safari Camps

 

Greetings Mark and Szilvia,

 

I wanted to thank Africa Adventure Company for putting together the most fabulous journey for my family. I know I sound cliche....but it really was the trip of a lifetime for all of us! All four of us have traveled quite extensively so pretty amazing that each of us felt this was their number one experience. Everything ran like clockwork, absolutely no glitches. The transport, accommodations, meals were all spot on and much more than we expected. I have to say what MADE our trip was John Bingo, our guide. He was incredibly knowledgeable (an avid "birder" like all of us), enthusiastic, personable, excellent communicator and teacher. I not sure how you matched John Bingo with me, Nani, Lucas, and Stephanie, but I can tell you we were a perfect team! The staff at the the Kimondo Camp and Namiri Plains were soooo kind and hospitable, definitely right up there as a highlight of our trip. Lucas studied a little Swahili before our trip so that added to our experience with the staff.....I’m writing to you at 4am...that’s how excited I am about letting you know how much we appreciate Africa Adventure Company.

 

 

 

Thank you again, Mahalo and Aloha,

Jill Loui, March 2016

 

 

 

Migration Private Safari to Tanzania

 

Dear Szilvia, Hillary, and The Africa Adventure Company,

 

We wanted to write you about how much we enjoyed our trip to Tanzania! We both wanted a good trip because our 2 sons and daughter-in-law were with us. The five of us didn’t have a good trip — we had a fantastic trip!

 

Szilvia, you had everything so organized for us, from the time we landed until we left. The Arusha Coffee Lodge made that first night very special and it was great for us as a day lodge before our long trip home.

 

We couldn’t have had a better guide than Hillary Mandia! He found so many birds and animals and could tell us facts and interesting stories. He was smart, patient, kind, fun, and very attentive. He made sure our trip was great! We felt privileged to have met him!

 

We were very pleased with the three lodges where we stayed (Tarangire Treetops, Ngorongoro Sopa and Pioneer Camp). Each was so different and interesting and our food was very good. The managers and staff were courteous and did all they could to keep us comfortable and happy. We enjoyed their “programs”, too.

 

While the scenery and game viewing in the parks were the top priority, we also wanted our next generation to get a taste of Tanzania itself. Szilvia’s selections, the Leaky excavations site at Olduvai, the lunch at Gibbs Farm, visit to the Maasai Village, and opportunity to bring our bin of school supplies and soccer balls to the children at Karatu Primary School did just that. We found Tanzanians to be very happy and friendly.

 

We very much appreciate AAC’s policies supporting African communities, conservations projects, and support of the local guides. After our wonderful experience with Hillary we chose to take advantage of the AAC offer to match our contribution for an educational scholarship for his youngest daughter. Due to logistics our other bin of school supplies and soccer balls were taken to an orphanage for disabled children that Hillary and his family support.

 

Szilvia and Hillary, thank you both for the wonderful memories you have given us and our family. We won’t ever forget this very special trip and the people involved in making it that way!

 

Sincerely,

Lee and Carla Jeffrey, Feb 2016

 

 

 

Private Great Plains Safari to Tanzania

 

Thank you, Lynne. I did give Ephata hugs from all of you as you requested! He is such a terrific guide. We had so much fun with him, especially seeing the countryside with him.

Highlights ~

- We loved watching the Maasai going about their lives and driving through the villages along our way.

- We had the entire Manyara Ranch Camp to ourselves! It was fabulous, although the game was scattered due to the rains. Allan, the manager was very pleasant and welcoming, the staff was wonderful, the food almost gourmet!

- The Serengeti Explorer Camp - The tents were wonderful, the game in the area was fantastic, and the staff always did their very best to please us. We had quite a bit of rain, but still truly enjoyed it. I remembered Jonas from 2 years ago. He has really matured and did a fine job taking care of us. I believe the manager, Jackson, was gone due to a family emergency and only arrived the day before we left.

- Thank you for the Amarula--we enjoyed every last drop!!!

- Ngorongoro was such an experience. We saw 9 different rhinos! We did not like all the vehicles at sightings, but we realize that is part of the experience. It poured down rain in the morning, but cleared somewhat for the afternoon. We were the first ones in and the last ones out that day! We saw a wonderful confrontation between a pride of lions and a herd of buffalo. Quite entrancing!!

- Lemala Camp was excellent. It was so close to the Crater and the service was perfect! We had a person, Major, assigned to take care of us and that he did! No one could have done more for us!.. We really respect the Masai men who escorted us to and from the tent. They were warm and friendly to us at all times.

 

 

Overall, we had a great time. The weather was a little too rainy to offer great conditions for photography, but we still managed to get some pretty good photographs. We truly enjoyed driving the countryside and getting to know Ephata better. We loved standing amidst the hundreds of thousands of wildebeests and we so enjoyed watching the newborn calves trying to stand up, then having to run with mama so quickly! We saw a stillbirth and saw many calves that had just been born minutes before we arrived. We saw a cheetah attempt a kill, which we had always wanted to see. The Serengeti is something everyone should see! Now we look forward to July when we head to Botswana, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

Thanks for doing a fabulous job for us, Lynne. We appreciate everything you and your staff do for us.
Darlene Knott, Feb 2016

 

 

 

Private Tanzanian Safari to Manyara Ranch Conservancy, Ngorongoro and Serengeti

 

Our trip to Tanzania was fantastic! We would all like to thank you for planning this dream vacation. All the materials you sent were perfect, we all felt very informed and packed the perfect amount. Thanks also for being so patient with all our last minute phone calls, everyone was very excited to “get this party started”

 

Our guides Emmanuel Mkenda and Davis Matafu were exceptional! We felt we had really hit the jackpot with these two. They were an encyclopedia of information, fun to be with, professional, patient with ALL our questions... (do female wildebeest not have beards?) and it was a joy to watch them work together and help the other guides. They went above and beyond to find what we were looking for and even making sure the jeep was parked in the perfect spot for the best photo. Everyday was an adventure and everyday we learned and saw so much more. They were genuinely excited for us to see everything we “found” They were amazing and we were very sad to see them go as they waved goodbye on the tarmac.

 

I loved the way our trip was organized and each camp/lodge was so very special in it’s own way. However, I do think part of our group would like to have stayed at the crater lodge the entire trip :} just kidding...

 

Arusha Coffee Lodge was a lovely place to land. We had a very nice dinner and people said… “why can’t we just stay here?”

 

Manyara Ranch is a jewel. We enjoyed meeting Alan and felt very special to have Charles Foley and Jon (mammal watching.com) Celebrities! We loved having the Maasai warrior join us on our game drives. We got stuck in the mud and that was a hoot watching everyone pitch in! We were in good hands with Mkenda and Davis. We didn’t see elephant, lion, cheetah or leopard at the Manyara Ranch which made going to the crater all the more exciting. We also loved the night game drive and the early morning walk with Allen.

 

Everyone loved Gibbs Farm-BEAUTIFUL and delicious lunch.

 

Ngorongoro Crater was amazing and the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge was a rose petal dream. The staff were all so very accommodating and we loved every minute of it. The special lunch down in the crater was a fantastic unexpected surprise.

 

 

Our entire group was thrilled to enjoy and see the culture. We stopped unexpectedly at a school on our way to the crater. The children were adorable. We gave them a soccer ball and pump and they were very appreciative. We also enjoyed our planned stop at the Maasai village. Everyone had something for the children and we were all pretty amazed to how they live. The hard sell for jewelry at the end was quite the eye opener as well :} We all came home with bracelets :} It was also great to see Davis interact with all the Maasai. He taught us a lot about their culture and traditions.

 

I’m glad we did the balloon ride. I had never done a balloon ride before so it was so very peaceful and fun to see the animals from high in the sky. But I have to add, the best part was when our balloon caught a baby zebra under its fabric as we landed. Everyone pitched in to raise the balloon and the baby escaped unharmed…you just can’t make this stuff up!

 

Our game drives in the Serengeti were phenomenal thanks to Mkenda and Davis. They would say, “what would you like to see today” and our wish was their command. We saw a cheetah make a kill, mating lions, lots of lions in trees…I could go on and on. I’m so glad we have 2000 pictures to remember all the wonderful things we saw.

 

 

The Serengeti Explorer Camp was also very nice. Venus worked very hard to accommodate. I also enjoyed eating with Mkenda and Davis. I’m sure they would have enjoyed a break from all our questions, but it gave us a little more time to soak up their wisdom and experiences.

 

Lake Duluti Lodge was the cherry on top. Delicious lunch and a very welcomed shower and nap. Perfect!

 

My group would always “cheers to Grace” at dinner thanking me for planning this fantastic trip but I know ALL the praise goes to Africa Adventure, Mkenda and Davis. YOU ROCK!

Grace O’Brien, Feb 2016

 

 

 

AAC Signature Group Safari – Primate & Plains Safari to Uganda & Rwanda

 

Szilvia,

 

It was a great trip!

 

We saw plenty of chimps at Kibale on my 2 walks. I would say some were within 5 feet. Kyaninga Lodge was very nice, food very good and the staff helpful. Only downside about a one hour drive to Kibale (and a very early departure because my 2 travel mates were doing the chimp experience). Maybe 50 people on the morning walk, broken into groups of about 8. Afternoon walk 2 people.

 

 

On the way to Mweya Lodge and Queen Elizabeth National Park we followed an elephant for about 10 minutes who was walking on the road. The following morning leaving the Lodge at 6:30 we saw a leopard on the road who then chased another leopard up a tree!...

 

Ishasha Wilderness Camp was really nice, sleeping there so nice with the river flowing by and seeing elephants and Cape buffalo about 20 feet away right outside the tent. We saw a lot of Ugandan kob, some topi and waterbuck. And we saw another leopard late in the afternoon. Food at the camp was very good and staff was good.

 

On our way out to Bwindi, Sula heard from another driver about lions in trees so we headed north and did see 3 lions in a tree a fairly good distance away so I was glad I brought my binoculars.

 

The 2 gorilla treks in Bwindi went very well. The first group was Mubare about 45 minutes in, one hour viewing, 15 minutes back. Forget the 7 meter rule, some gorillas walked by us about one foot away. I took the community walk that afternoon. The second group was Rushegura about 1 hour in, 1 hour viewing and 45 minutes back. Both treks involved crossing 2 streams, elevation changes - not very much.

 

The 2nd trek did involve going a near vertical slope of about 15 to 20 feet, but I had plenty of help. 7 people to Mubare and 5 to Rushegura. Gorilla Forest Camp also very nice, good food, nice staff.

 

Onto to Rwanda: border crossing went fine - police check, health check, leave Uganda, enter Rwanda. Money changers were at the border. Then to Jack Hanna's cottage which was a very nice place. Early morning rise to go to Volcanoes National Park. We went to see the Hirwa group. About 1 hr. 15 min. in, 1 hour with the gorillas, 45 minutes back. We were going up a gentle rise almost all the way to the gorillas, through a bamboo forest then we hit the vegetation where the going slowed down. One place again a near vertical 15 foot up slope, but had plenty of help. Hard breathing for me at about 8800 ft. above sea level. The trail started about 8200 ft. Our guide said this was am easy trek as the gorillas had come down the mountain. This group was pretty frisky. Daryl was tapped several times he thinks by the same gorilla. And a gorilla tapped me on the leg when I took a step back not knowing he or she was there. I saw the silverbacks on all 3 treks, 1 per group. There were some one month old babies also.

 

A unique safari being able to walk to see the wildlife and being able to get so close to the gorillas. We were anywhere from 4 to 10 feet away from the silverbacks and other gorillas would walk by us, less than a foot away. Not like your usual driving safari.

 

The guides, trackers and porters on the treks were great, always very helpful, determined to give us the best views possible of the gorillas and the gorillas seemed hardly to pay any attention to us. We saw 4 of the big 5, only missing the black rhino. On the whole, a wonderful experience. I am glad I went.

 

John Sedlak, Feb 2016

 

 

 

Private Migration Safari to Tanzania

 

During our Tanzanian safari in February, we followed the great migration. My husband chose The Africa Adventure Travel Company because they are US based and we did not want to wire money to an African Country. We felt more comfortable with the planning from this side of the world. I cannot say enough good things about this decision. They were thorough, very attentive to our wishes, and great at guiding us onto the right path in this unknown land. We had our itinerary in a timely manner. They send us books for reference. We had packing lists for clothing, bags, camera, etc. Once we completed the trip, I can say that the lists were on point. We needed nothing more and nothing less than what they specified. Once we settled with a company we felt comfortable with, we did no further research into what we needed. Their package not only included lists of items for travel, but also books and movies as a pre-trip education. Their recommendations for visas and travel expectation were very accurate.

 

- We were met at the gate by an AAC representative who expedited customs and visas. He then escorted us to our car and driver. We drove to Arusha Coffee House where we relaxed and recovered for 1 night. Our meals were included. Ambiance was charming, luxurious and clean. A great start to our trip.

 

- Hillary, our driver-guide for the entire safari picked us up the next morning.

 

- We drove to Tarangrie Park where we got to see tons of elephants, giraffes, birds, zebras, wildebeests, lions, etc.

 

- We stayed 2 nights at the Tarangrie Treehouse Lodge - great ambiance, open room up in the trees, comfortable and clean bed and bathroom, impeccable grounds, polite and helpful staff, managers, and butlers. The food was good and plentiful.

 

- We left this park and drove to Lake Manyara. We stopped at a Masaai village where we mingled with the tribe folks, asked questions, sat in a hut, bought some trinkets. - must bargain and/or walk away, but great trinkets. Only certain villages allow tourists so some people fear that this is a touristy place. It's a basic village made up of cow poop huts. They live very simple lives and it's hard to make this touristy. We loved it.

 

- In Lake Manyara we saw tons of elephants, baboons, flamingoes, giraffes, lions, zebras, hippos, buffalo, wildebeests. We stayed one night at Lake Manyara Tree Top Lodge. All I can say is Wow!! Luxurious room, hot and pressurized outdoor shower, amazing food, impeccable service, friendly staff, beautiful location and grounds. Beware of the bush babies that scream all night outside you open air room. Wish we stayed here an extra night.

 

- Next we drove to Karatu where we visited the FAME medical clinic - impressive. My husband and I are considering returning to volunteer at this amazing facility. We also drove through the village which was a great experience.

 

- We arrived at Ngorongoro Crater where we stayed at the Serena Lodge for 2 nights. The location and views from our room were stunning. The room was basic, clean, comfortable. The meals were combo buffet/a la carte and felt a bit herdish with all the tourists. The food was good. There was nightly entertainment.

 

- The crater experience was great - tons of baby animals from baby hippos, lion cubs, warthog babies, zebra toddlers, elephant babies nursing, to wildebeests giving birth in front of our car. This is the most vehicles we ever saw on our trip, and they were at most 10-15 cars ever at one point. And that was once or twice. The views are amazing, the animals are spectacular, and the drive is overall fantastic.

 

- We arrived in the Serengeti after finding cheetahs, lions in trees, tons of birds, and migrating wildebeests and zebras. Here we stayed at the Pioneer Camp for two nights. Again WOW. Breathtaking views from the lobby, our tent camp gave new meaning to “Glamping.” Service, people, food, amenities, were all spectacular. We had laundry service which took care of all clothing items. Every need was met plus more. A jewel in the middle of the Serengeti.

 

- Our game drives were full of animals and wonderful scenes. Yes we got to see all the key animals, various stunning birds, breathtaking scenery, and we had picnics in the bush.

 

- Then we drove to Migration Camp in northern Serengeti where once again we were welcomed in luxury and style for 2 nights. Our room was located in front of the hippo pool, at night we had a romantic dinner on the sunset deck, and we had drinks and danced while the soul of the Serengeti sunset unfolded before us. Again, the staff, amenities, food, picnics, people, and surroundings were stunning…We did a walking safari to the hippo pool and this is a must…

 

- Hillary our driver and guide was bar none. Incredible driving skills through rough terrain, rivers, mud, silt, pot holes, divers, grass, etc. His ability to spot wildlife was uncanny. We had the best views, got the best picks, and learned intriguing facts about various animals and wildlife. He spotted tons of birds and made bird watching fun. We even got quizzed on various species at the end. He is a kind and generous person who truly loves his country and what he does. He was full of energy, facts, and local history. We were so glad to have one person as our guide the emote trip. We felt safe and well cared for. Cannot say enough great things about Hillary.

 

We will definitely come back and bring the kids. Thank you to everyone who took care of us, who helped with the planning of the trip, who ensured our safety, and who spoiled us rotten on the Amazing African Adventure. Cheers to a great team!!!

 

Ana-Maria and John Temple, Feb 2016

 

 

 

Birthday Celebration Safari to Tanzania

 

Hi Szilvia,

 

Here's what made out safari an epic adventure that will never be matched anywhere:

 

YOU:

- Your patience and consistent responsiveness over the 2 months it took me to decide what felt "right"

- Your willingness to provide options, as well as your advice on what choices were best for us

- Your company's outstanding pre-trip materials (book, map, proposals, and especially the Journal) as well as all lists and recommendations. Even our guide admired the planning map, asking where we got it.

 

MOHAMED RASHID, our guide:

- We cannot imagine a better guide. His vision is probably 20/10 and he was so generous with his knowledge, answering endless questions. His English is amazing and he was so easy to understand. He is a delightful person, and he shared his personal history and the customs of his culture. We feel incredibly fortunate and privileged to have met him.

 

WILDLIFE:

- We saw every animal and bird that was possible. I told you we wanted babies, and we got plenty, including a giraffe and wildebeest with the umbilical cords still hanging, and 3 cheetah cubs about one month old. We also saw a cheetah take a gazelle, which I thought would be awful, but it was exciting. I know it is a survival issue, but it also showed us graphically how life can end in a moment.

 

LODGING AND STAFF - the entire staff everywhere was wonderful!

Tarangire River Camp - The new managers, Cliff and Lucy, are fabulous, and upgraded us to a gorgeous river view - great location. On Bill's birthday, the Maasai security team came out singing, stomping and clapping with a cake - everyone loved it.

Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge - You were right: best possible location and view and fine for our needs. Kind of like a Sheraton on another planet.

Serengeti Shared Explorer Camp - such a super surprise to be on Lake Masek. Jackson and his staff are fantastic.

Namiri Plains - the most luxurious and the best food, but we missed Mohammed so much. (This is where we scored the three cheetah cubs and also saw our only leopard.)

 

LUCK: We had blue skies daily. Mohammed said February was the best possible time to visit, but he had been concerned when there was unseasonable rain shortly before we arrived.

Although at first it was all about the animals, within a few days my thoughts encompassed patience, gratitude, cooperation, peaceful co-existence, courage and simplicity. I understand now that "life-changing experience" is not a cliché in regards to Africa.

 

Please extend our thanks to everyone on your staff who helped to operate this outstanding safari, and especially to Mark, who has clearly earned his stellar reputation.

 

Warm wishes,

Marjie Wells, Feb 2016

 

 

 

Group Explorer Safari to Tanzania including Lake Eyasi and the Serengeti

 

This was a very exciting and memorial trip and rates as one of our most favorite places we have visited. We must compliment you on your partnership with your ground operator, their drivers, camps and facilities. The trip exceeded our expectations both from the standpoint of all the pre-trip materials provided, the answers to all of our questions prior to leaving, the helpful guides as to what to bring and wear, and the summaries of each of the camp locations.

 

Our guide, Cosmas-Manangi, was excellent. He was attentive, professional, knowledgeable and all around a great team player working with the other guides so that every chance to see animals in actions was made possible. He was the first in line whenever a land rover got stuck in the mud and needed to be pulled out, or when a water truck broke down and blocked everyone from going forward, making sure that it was moved away so we could get through.

 

His ability to drive and spot wildlife was amazing. We never returned to camp after a day’s outing thinking that we had missed something. We were one of the lucky travelers that upon returning to our home, can brag that we were able to see all of the Big Five and so many other animals, besides the common, giraffes, baboons, zebras, wildebeest, impalas, various birds and lizards.

 

 

Each camp site had its own ambiance, and we enjoyed them all. The staff, the facilities, the food and the service was excellent. The last camp site was even more memorable because we could hear the lions and the hyenas walking around our tents, but still felt very safe.

 

The African Safari Journal and Field Guide was a real plus! Reviewing it before leaving on the trip gave us a good idea of what we would be seeing and then while on the Safari it was a good reference. Now that we are home we are using it again as a reference to properly identify and label our pictures. Our guide was so impressed with it, and since we had two copies, we left one with him.

 

All of your correspondence, contacts and follow-up material with us prior to leaving for the trip was a real plus. Everything went like clockwork. We would highly suggest that those traveling from the USA to Tanzania really plan a one day early arrival to help with the long flight and to see Arusha. For us it allowed Liz and me to meet friends of ours who are running a Massai School about 5 miles from the airport.

 

Sincerely,

George and Elisabeth Williams, Feb 2016

 

 

 

Chimp and Gorilla Explorer Safari to Rwanda

 

Ian,

 

Wow! Such a fabulous trip. We were very well taken care of throughout our 2 weeks. Thank you for your excellent planning! Overall we had a great experience...

 

The Giraffe Manor was unbelievable - having the giraffes come to our window in the morning and then poke their heads in at breakfast was incredible. The Manor itself is beautiful and the service and food were really good. But there is not a lot do aside from interacting with the giraffes a few times a day. The Karen Blixen Museum was nice and we enjoyed the elephant nursery but those two activities took only half a day. The guide and driver in Nairobi were excellent.

 

Onto Rwanda. We were met and driven to The Kigali Serena Hotel which was a really nice hotel -- nicer than I was expecting. Food, Service and rooms were all great. The next day, Sam, our driver (who was EXCELLENT!) drove us to Nyungwe Forest Lodge. The visit to the King's Palace and the museum along the way was fine... The Nyungwe Forest Lodge is stunning - beautiful architecture and grounds…

 

The drive to Lake Kivu was a mixed experience. The road was in horrible shape but we did get to see the spectacular scenery. Rwanda is an incredibly beautiful country. And it was wonderful to see all the people walking along the side of the road - many of them carrying heavy loads on their heads…

 

…Trekking to see the gorillas and staying at the Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge was the BEST part of the trip! I have nothing but glowing praise for the Lodge and the experiences trekking to see the Golden Monkeys and the glorious gorillas. Amazing to be able to get so close to these animals! We were blown away by the experience. The managers at the lodge were a lovely couple who were so welcoming.


Everything worked perfectly and the food was excellent. The only negative here was getting from the parking lot up to the hotel (especially given the altitude and after a day of trekking). Otherwise the experience was perfection.

 

 

Again, I have to tell you that our driver Sam (don't know his last name) was outstanding. Please pass along our praise to him. He was an excellent driver, answered the endless questions we had about Rwanda, gave us great advice in many situations and somehow arranged for us to get on the treks we wanted. He went above and beyond in all situations and we feel fortunate to have had him as our driver.

 

Thanks again Ian. Who knows we may be in touch again in a few years...I want to go to Botswana!
Skippy Banker, Jan 2016

 

 

 

Tanzanian Honeymoon Safari and Beach Retreat

 

Dear Alison,

 

Thank you for coordinating the perfect trip! It truly was wonderful from start to finish. We were thrilled with your decisions, from our guide to the accommodations. We appreciated how each stop on our itinerary was a unique experience and revealed the many sides of beautiful Tanzania. The progression from hotel to tent to farmhouse to tent to beach bungalow was spot on. The food, delicious.The sites, astonishing. Easily one of the best trips we have ever taken.

 

Highlights were seeing the majestic Baobab trees in the Tarangire, green from the recent rains, the "big five" and many,many other mammals, hundreds of bird species, three adorable lion cubs, a pride of lions devouring an enormous Cape buffalo over three days in the Serengeti, going for a sail on a ngalawa just off Zanzibar, and being treated to a candlelit dinner on the beach by Matemwe Lodge for our last night.

 


We would especially like to bring attention to our wonderful guide Wilfred. His extensive knowledge of birds, wildlife, botany and the landscape was really impressive and it turned our trip into a rich educational experience. He is responsible driver, great storyteller, has eagle eyes (spotting camouflaged wildlife, far away), passionate, and bright. His respect for the land and wildlife was contagious. We felt our safety was in good hands as well.

 

We felt very prepared thanks to your guide regarding clothing and tipping and other details — so thank you for that. The staff at each lodge was friendly and attentive.

 

Thanks again, Alison! We are grateful for the experience and the memories, which will stay with us for always.

 

Very best,
GillianBostock& Cameron Ewing, Jan 2016

 

 

 

Private Safari to Tanzania’s Tarangire, Ngorongoro and Serengeti

 

First, overall, it was a wonderful trip…

 

Tanzania is a country I loved. Somewhere along the line, they have done some wonderful things as a country. They have a big, diverse country, which is a blessing. Sometime, someone decided they would have no fences, which was brilliant. The landscapes, open, vast, beautiful are not marred by anything. The country, the people and its beauty, and the free movement of the animals has to be extraordinary.

 

I loved the Maasai people and how they have adapted to modernity, yet retained the essence of their culture. I know that isn't pure, and somewhat naive, but they looked pretty content to me.

 

Overall, what nice people. They don't appear to have any hang-ups, and are quite proud of their government. Somewhere in the past has to be some pretty good government. I also liked the successful experiment of relocating many tribes to one new community. I hope this experiment proves to be very successful. I always worry about tribal loyalties getting in the way of cooperation.

 

 

I liked very much the approach and pace of the trip. Two days at the Coffee Lodge in the beginning was exactly what we needed. I was really tired and non functioning when we arrived. and to end at the Coffee Lodge was smart because we left our extra luggage. By that time, I had filled my suitcase up with purchases.

 

 

Safari: Loved Little Chem Chem. They are doing it right. Loved Gibbs Farm, would have liked to have stayed there, but really it wouldn't work. Serena Lodge, fine with me…Staying on the western rim was the right thing. The Crater was something not to miss. Hardly could believe it. Coming out of the Crater, a whole herd of Cape Buffalo was walking out of the Crater, and crossed our road. I couldn't believe it.

 

 

The first mobile camp was a great introduction to tents. The luxury travelers among us loved it, but when reminded that it was a mobile camp, was then very appreciated.

Take care, it was a great trip.
Mary Lou Cagle, Jan 2016

 

 

 

Tanzanian Safari, Kilimanjaro Climb and Rwanda Gorilla Trekking

 

Mark and Saskia,

 

I just got returned yesterday from our Africa trip and wanted to touch base with you before I got lost in my life...it was Fabulous !!!...this trip was great!...the same itinerary as before in 2005 and I thought how could it get better...but more animals,superb accommodations and professional personnel...everyone had a great time and we have 20,000 pics to prove it.

 

So once again Mark, you made me look good...we want to begin planning for another trip in 2018/19.

 

Regards,
Paul Holbrook, Jan 2016

 



Supporting Conservation Efforts with Tourism


More and more travelers want to hear about the conservation and protection of East Africa’s wildlife. Specialist groups are always interested in meeting the local researchers in addition to the daily game drives. Several Serengeti and Maasai Mara camps offer participation to hear about the conservation projects and their pursuit of protecting the wilderness.

 



1. Serengeti Cheetah Project – Namiri Plains

Participate on an ongoing research and share an informative evening with one of the Serengeti cheetah project researchers. Participating guests are encouraged to take as many photos as they can of any cheetah spotted while on game drives. Upon return to camp, meet up with the researcher, where he/she will try and identify the photographed cheetah and explain the work that the project does and why it’s important to cheetah conservation. Continue the conversation over dinner where the challenges faced by all carnivores in the area are discussed.
 

 


 

 

2. Ngorongoro Lion Project – Highlands Camp
During your full day game drive into the Ngorongoro Crater, you will meet with Ingela Jansson, project researcher, for a picnic lunch on the crater floor and learn about the ‘soap opera’ of lion relationships in the area. Learn about the future project of having the lions move freely between the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater.

 


 

Learn about carnivore conservation and identification with the experts.
Go on an afternoon game drive with the project researcher and learn how lions are identified from their whisker patterns. Once back at camp, guests will enjoy a delicious dinner with the researcher where a discussion will be conducted about the challenges faced by all carnivores in the area.
 

 


 

Based in the conservancy is the Mara Cheetah Project following the likes of Imani, Nabiki, Nolari and Malaika.

 

Also follow Naboisho”s Elephants. Debuting in the US on April 24 on Nat Geo Wild, the Emmy-awarding filmmakers' latest documentary, “Little Giant” reveals the trips and tumbles of one sweet baby pachyderm’s Little E’s first year as it explores the 55,000 acre Naboisho Conservancy, adjacent to Masai Mara Game Reserve. Naboisho Camp was the launching point.
 
Follow the Topi Plains (Lipstick, the Breakaways (Scarface and Mornani) and Marsh Pride (Charm).  Many of the Governor's Camp guides contribute to the daily posts.
 

 

 



Top 10 African wildlife photography tips from Asilia Camps


If there’s one thing that makes a safari unsurpassed, it is the ability to capture amazing scenes and portraits of the rich wildlife. Unfortunately, for the average vacationer, professional wildlife photography is not a natural gift, and our wildlife snaps can resemble photos taken in a rush – all thumbs, shadows and harsh light.


To help you get the most out of your safari, and make sure that the moments you capture stand the test and can be proudly displayed on your mantelpiece at home, we’ve gathered the best African wildlife photography tips from our resident experts. Here’s what they have to say:


#1: Get out early and stay out late
#2: The lower the better
#3: Put your subject on the side and leave the center to a detail
#4: Look for the eye
#5: Action! Choose the correct shutter speed
#6: Be prepared for the perfect moment 
#7: Look for frames with the frame
#8 How to capture moving subjects
#9: Panning a shot
#10: Work with the environment

 

#1: Get out early and stay out late

 

– Roelof Schutte, Naboisho Camp Manager and Walking Guide

 

Get out early and stay out late! It’s all about the early morning and late afternoon light – the so called ‘’golden hour’’!

 

 

About this shot

 

Herd of wildebeest on the move at sunset – Taken in Mara Naboisho Conservancy. This image was taken very late, long after sunset and I had to wait for the still standing wildebeest to maybe run: And that they did, with dust flying up from their hooves … You have to be patient and stay out late! The herd is moving out of the darkness into the light with a dark sky looming and a treacherous night awaiting them with lions on the prowl.

 

About Roelof

 

Roelof is an expert walking guide with over 9 years of experience. His career has been an outstanding, exhilarating journey taking him from the Zambezi Valley in Zambia and the Tarangire National Park in Tanzania, all the way to the windswept volcanic plains of Kenya’s world renowned Masai Mara at Asilia Africa’s Naboisho Camp.

 

Follow Roelof

 

Instagram: https://instagram.com/roelofschutte/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rjsinthebush

 

#2: The lower the better

 

– Pietro Luraschi, Asilia Tanzania Head Guide & Head Guide Trainer

 

When taking pictures of wildlife it is important to be as close to the ground as possible. An eye to eye angle will give the image a much more dramatic impact and will give the right perspective, helping to show the dimension of the animal. The other big advantage of shooting at a lower angle is that the background of the picture will be what is behind the animal and not what is below, and whatever you are taking a picture of will stand out much more.

 


 

About this shot

 

I tried to find this leopard for an entire afternoon, I could hear the bush hyraxes alarming but he would not come out. We waited and waited. Finally he came out, walking slowly on an elephant path. After positioning my car as best as I could, I got as low as possible (not having the door helps) and took this and other pictures until the leopard moved away, just before my entire body started cramping from the uncomfortable position! Regardless, little cramps are not a big price for a good picture.

 

About Pietro

 

Pietro’s passion for wildlife and people brought him to Africa and after 13 years of guiding this same passion still fuels his every step. He started as a resident guide and then moved into private guiding, exploring remote wilderness and untamed places.


Training and walking are his true love and even after many years of walking he is still enchanted by the feeling one gets following an elephant path. A trainer for years, he is still moved by the feeling of helping young people to fulfil their dreams. His role as the Head Guide at Asilia Africa brings all of these elements together.

 

Follow Pietro

 

Website


Facebook: Pietro Luraschi


#3: Put your subject on the side and leave the centre to a detail

 

– Lorenzo Rossi, Head Guide and walking guide at Kwihala camp

 

When you try to take a picture of something that looks perfect to your naked eye, but boring on camera, try to rethink and recompose the photo. Focus on a small detail and put it in the centre of the photo and leave the main subject on the side, preferably choosing it in a way the subject is facing the detail. By doing this, you will give “space” to your main subject which in turn will enhance the importance of the detail. Using the same subject but different composition will change your photography.

 

 

About this shot

 

I find it very difficult to take interesting photos when lions are feasting on a big kill, as everything looks too confusing. The “wakali” pride killed a giraffe in the night and we had been with them the whole day waiting for the perfect late afternoon light. This lioness was popping up from the other side of the giraffe carcass when I was trying to take a pic of another beautiful lioness, then the big paw of another one came up from nowhere…I simply recomposed the shot and that’s it.

 

About Lorenzo

 

Born in Italy in 1984, Lorenzo speaks Italian, English and Kiswahili. After graduating in engineering in Milan he decided to visit Tanzania and enjoy his passion for nature. He is a qualified Level 3 and First Rifle Trails Guide FGASA. He has been working at Kwihala in Ruaha since 2011.

 

#4: Look for the eye

 

– Tony Reumerman, Group Training Manager at Asilia Africa

 

Portrait photos are often one of our top shots as wildlife photographers and when an opportunity arises we make sure that we ‘Look for the Eye’. The eye of an animal is the ‘key to the soul’; the eye depicts the mood, the focus and the intent. For this reason it is vital that the eye of your subject is sharply in focus.

 

Key tips:

 

- Look at the animal, look at what it is doing and look for the eye.

- Take control of your camera’s autofocus and make sure that you focus on the eye; not the nose

   or the ear or the cheek.

- Ensure that your camera is on ‘one-shot’ autofocus mode for portraits and not on ‘AI servo’ mode

   as it can create focussing chaos.

- Look at the animal and understand what it’s looking at! This will enhance your image.

- If the animal is looking in a certain direction, don’t cut out the space that it’s looking into. Space has

   a lot meaning and if included, will enhance the photo and the story.

- Look for a glint in the eye, this makes for a way better shot than a dark or dull eye – the glint creates

   life!

 

 

About this shot

 

If you look at this lion portrait notice how the nose and ears are out of focus yet the right eye is the focus of the portrait, also notice the glint in the eye. Good luck!

 

About Tony

 

Tony is a well-seasoned guide, naturalist and photographer. He has spent over 20 years guiding and photographing in the African bush and savannahs of South Africa, Botswana and East Africa.

 

Presently he heads up the Asilia Training Team as well as conducting private photographic safaris. Tony’s book on the Okavango Delta is available on Okavango Field Guide


#5: Action! Choose the correct shutter speed

 

– Andrew Conway – Guest Experience Manager, Encounter Mara

 

When trying to capture wildlife in action, choosing the correct shutter speed is key! If the shutter speed is not high enough, the image will come out blurry and you have missed your perfect shot. Shutter speed will also affect the clarity and sharpness of your photo. Play around at home with your pet or passing cars to figure out the right shutter speed for moving subjects.

 

 

About the Shot

 

I took this photo with a shutter speed of 1/1000 of a second, ISO 1600, 100mm, f/14.

 

About Andrew

 

For Andrew, the African bush is where he feels most alive, most content, most happy, and most fulfilled. Born and bred in Kenya, Africa is his addiction, and his passion is sharing glimpses of his home with his guests. He has trained in South Africa with FGASA, Tanzania with Asilia, and KPSGA in Kenya. He is currently based at Encounter Mara, where he is part of the management and guiding team.

 

Follow Andrew

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/conwaysafrica
Instagram: https://instagram.com/conwaysafrica/


#6: Be prepared for the perfect moment

 

– Edward Selfe, Specialist Photographic Guide

 

As wildlife photographers, we often sit and wait for that perfect moment, sometimes inviting ridicule from traditional safari-goers who have long since moved on! Be sure to use that waiting time to best effect: take a shot of the scene and see how it looks on your camera’s screen. It doesn’t matter that the image is not the one you really want (it’s free to take a photo anyway!) and it will allow you to adjust your exposure settings so that the shot is exactly how you want it when the action happens – a few minutes spent ‘practicing’ always pays off.

 

 

About this shot

 

I waited for over two hours for this leopard to descend the branches and start his evening of hunting. Hoping that he would pause for a while on this comfortable horizontal branch, I positioned my vehicle and waited. While I waited, I took repeated shots of the dark Ebony branch (without the leopard!), adjusting the exposure to compensate for the very dark bark and background. I’m glad I did because this image required heavy under exposure to ensure the leopard subject was not too bright.

 

About Edward

 

Edward Selfe holds both Luangwa’s coveted guiding licenses. During 6 years of leading safaris he has taken many photographers into the bush, assisting keen amateurs develop their skills and helping professionals create award-winning photographs. Ed’s guiding style is one of ‘exploring with his guests’ and he loves discovering new areas, trying new techniques and reading the signs of the bush. As a highly skilled naturalist, he is interested in wildlife and photography and is the ideal guide for anyone with a passion for both.

 

Follow Edward

 

Website


#7: Look for frames with the frame

 

– Graham Springer, photographic artist and documentary cameraman

 

Using environmental elements to frame your subject can add an interesting compositional aspect to an image. This can serve to place the subject in the context of the environment in a creative way and can give a slightly more detached, voyeuristic feel to your image.


Sharp focus is not negotiable.

 

 

 

Images copyright of Graham Springer

 

About Graham

 

A photographic artist and documentary cameraman focusing primarily on the wild places and creatures of Africa, Graham has spent most of the last decade in the wilderness of northern Botswana working hard at creating a portfolio of images that represent the ineffable spirit of that remarkable place.

 

Follow Graham

 

Website


#8 How to capture moving subjects

 

– Greg du Toit, African Wildlife Photographer and Nikon Ambassador

 

If your subject is moving, it is critical to change your autofocus setting from ‘AF-S’ to ‘AF-C’ for Nikon, or from ‘One Shot’ to ‘Servo’ for Canon. Other camera manufacturers will have the same setting to change, but each will have slightly different terminology, so check your manual.


Keeping your moving subject in your viewfinder, pan with it while trying to keep the centre focus selector on its head. For as long as you have the finger depressing the shutter button halfway, your camera’s focus will track and even predict your subject’s movement. Every few seconds, it is important to remove your finger completely from the shutter button and to refocus your subject.

 

 

About Greg

 

Greg du Toit was the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2013. South African born and bred, he has lived and worked in four different African countries. Greg has written various books on wildlife photography, all which can be bought on his website


Autographed copies of his work are available at www.gregdutoit.com


#9: Panning a shot

 

– Paul Joynson-Hicks, Wildlife Photographer

 

My personal favourite, and not entirely mainstream is the ‘panning’ shot. Technically it’s very easy and it’s also great fun and you can have many weird and wonderful results.

 

How to Pan: You need a long exposure – I tend to start around 10/s (10th of a second) and to make your life easier put the camera onto ‘A’ mode, or Aperture Priority, so you set an aperture which will give you that low shutter speed. Then, as an animal is moving alongside you, simply take a bunch of photos following the animal as it is moving i.e. ‘panning’ with the camera. The effect you are looking for is movement and here is a pic I particularly love which hopefully gives that impression!


Problems: There is one small problem you might encounter if you try and ‘pan’ during the middle of the day when it’s very bright. You may well find that your highest aperture and lowest ISO still gives you too high a shutter speed.

 

Two things to do here:

 

  1. 1. Go and have a siesta and don’t worry about it, or
  2. 2. Put on a ND filter (neutral density) which removes light if you have one.
 
 

About Paul

 

Born and bred in the UK, Paul Joynson-Hicks, started his journey as a photographer as assistant to Angelo Valentino. Moving to Africa in 1993, Paul has lived and worked in Uganda and Tanzania and has published four photography books throughout his career. Paul’s passions extend beyond photography and he is involved in various charity projects.

 

You can find out more about Paul’s projects and buy prints at www.pauljoynsonhicks.com


Follow Paul

 

Instagram: www.instagram.com/pj_hicks


#10: Work with the environment

 

– Markus Coerlin, Safari Guide and Camp Manager

 

I find that a lot of people are always trying to find that clean picture environment where there are no branches in the way, no leaves and no shadows. It is of course true that the crystal clear image where the subject is bathed in perfect light are the images where one screams a “halleluliah” to the heavens, but more often the conditions are not all that great. More often I find it is the imperfections that are the things that make an image beautiful. Shadows are to animals what mascara is to models. Dust and rain create atmosphere. It is the branches and the leaves, the glare and the dust that often give the emotions to an image. Why not play around with them a little more?

 

 

About Markus

 

Markus has been working in safari and conservation for the past 12 years. He is a fully qualified safari guide who focuses mainly on walking and horse safaris. He has worked and guided in South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania and Kenya soaking up the rich diversity of the various flora and fauna. He has also managed luxury safari camps, run conservation and research projects as well as setting up horse safaris and community based activities and has been heavily involved in guide training. He is a qualified South African and Zambian safari guide.

 

Follow Markus

 

Website

Safarious
Instagram: https://instagram.com/markuscoerlin


Armed with these tips there’s no way that you won’t come back with a trophy shot from your next safari.

 

Do you want to get to the bush to start taking amazing photographs? The following camps provide some of the best African wildlife photography opportunities:

 

Kwihala Camp, Ruaha – A good all round photography location, remote Kwihala is raw beauty personified, with rolling hill landscapes, rocky outcrops and good game viewing. The Ruaha National Park area is renowned for it’s concentrations of predators and big game.

 

Namiri Plains, Serengeti – Known for spectacular predator sightings, Namiri Plains is located in the heart of big cat country and undoubtedly offers East Africa’s best cheetah viewing opportunities. The stark, epic landscape with endless plains completes the experience.

 

Sayari Camp, Serengeti – Set close to the banks of the Mara River, and boasting dramatic views out across the wide plains of the northern Serengeti, Sayari Camp offers unparalleled access to the greatest migration on the planet with great all-round wildlife photography opportunities.

 

Oliver’s Camp, Tarangire – Set in the secluded Tarangire National Park, Oliver’s Camp offers a highly diverse landscape with dry baobab woodlands and lush green swamps. Tarangire boasts large herds of elephant and buffalo and is the ideal all-round landscape photography destination.

 

 

 



Migration Update - Tanzania


 

The Migration Movement updated - April 11, 2016

 

We have reports that a couple of thousand wildebeest arrived between the centre of the Serengeti and Moru Kopjes.

 

 

 

The Migration Movement updated - February 29, 2016

 

The migration is around Kakesio and the Makao plains right now. Lots of of newborns witnessed.

 

 

 


 

There are huge herds of wildebeest still around Kimuma Hill and across to Ubuntu and Ndutu. North of there on the plains towards It’s still sunny and dry here and plenty of green grass so hopefully they will be around here for a bit longer!


 

 

The Migration Movement updated - February 01, 2016

 

 

Rain on the plains: The New Year started for our grunting gnu's with a rather prolonged dry spell which persisted through most of January, and that meant that the bulk of the migration herds moved towards Kusini and Maswa. However, reports from our guides in the Serengeti is that it has now started raining again, and the southern plains are full of wildebeest. The herds are spreading from Piyaya, Barafu, Golini and over the triangle between Naabi and Ndutu, through to the Ndutu marsh, Matiti and all the way out towards Kusini. It really is an incredible scene out there, check out these pics taken by our guide Ian Kiwelu.

 

 


It is raining almost daily at the moment, which does make game drives in some areas a little interesting, but it has brought the wildebeest back to where they should be - happy days.


 

_____________________________________________________________________

 

 

I am with clients between Lobo and Bologonja and we bumped into the eastern herds, they should be heading across the Sand River soon into the Mara, they are moving slowly because of all the grass and water which is great for the lion in the area.

Emmanual Mkenda, Ranger Safaris Guide

 

Guests came back reporting that they had enjoyed huge numbers of wildebeest not too far from Four Seasons on the way to Lobo - I assume near Mbuzi Mawe. They said the had also see quite alot of males preparing for the rut and butting heads. 

Oli, Four Seasons Lodge

 


 

Drivers coming in today report huge zebra numbers out on the plains around Naabi hill, and large (several hundred at a time) groups dotted around Triangle between Naabi and here, and out on Caracal Plateau, Olduvai and Twin Hills plains so still many around.

Ndutu Safari Lodge

 

We have an update this week from in the Western Corridor of the Serengeti. The guides took a drive to the central Serengeti to see the migration which was a remarkable sighting for our clients.

Asilia Ubuntu Camp



Uganda and Rwanda News


Giraffes on the move in Murchison Falls NP - Uganda

 

Twenty Rothschild's giraffes in Uganda's Murchison Falls National Park have been translocated across the Nile River from the northern to the southern sector of the Park. This means improved game viewing for CAS preferred properties Bakers Lodge and Nile Safari Lodge!

 

   

 

Early Monday 01 February, six Rothschild giraffes left the northern side of Murchison Falls National Park to go to a new home across River Nile into the southern part of the same park. This batch was the last of the total giraffes moved into the new home.

 

The exercise was successfully carried out by an all Ugandan team from the Uganda Wildlife Authority and the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC). On site with the local team was a film crew from the BBC who for the last three weeks have lived, worked and laughed with the local rangers and vets.

 

   

 

Two other giraffes have been moved to the Uganda Wildlife Education Centre (UWEC) better known as the zoo, in Entebbe.

 

   

 

The translocation of the giraffes was a very successful one with no loss at all. This is a record considering it is the first all Ugandan crew translocation, and in general worldwide, there is a high probability of wildlife loss during this very delicate exercise.


 

 

New Gorilla Habituation Experience in Bwindi - Uganda

 

We are excited to announce that a gorilla habituation experience is now available in Uganda! Two gorilla families are being habituated in the Rushaga sector of southern Bwindi and for the first time ever, visitors can participate! Groups are limited to four pax, trekking with the researchers and spending 4 hours with the gorillas! Permits cost $1,500 and will go fast.

 




Clients Trip Reports - January - March 2016


Premier Tanzania Safari featuring Asilia Safari Camps

 

Greetings Mark and Szilvia,

 

I wanted to thank Africa Adventure Company for putting together the most fabulous journey for my family. I know I sound cliche....but it really was the trip of a lifetime for all of us! All four of us have traveled quite extensively so pretty amazing that each of us felt this was their number one experience. Everything ran like clockwork, absolutely no glitches. The transport, accommodations, meals were all spot on and much more than we expected. I have to say what MADE our trip was John Bingo, our guide. He was incredibly knowledgeable (an avid "birder" like all of us), enthusiastic, personable, excellent communicator and teacher. I not sure how you matched John Bingo with me, Nani, Lucas, and Stephanie, but I can tell you we were a perfect team! The staff at the the Kimondo Camp and Namiri Plains were soooo kind and hospitable, definitely right up there as a highlight of our trip. Lucas studied a little Swahili before our trip so that added to our experience with the staff.....I’m writing to you at 4am...that’s how excited I am about letting you know how much we appreciate Africa Adventure Company.

 

   

 

Thank you again, Mahalo and Aloha,

Jill Loui, March 2016


 

 

 

Migration Private Safari to Tanzania

 

Dear Szilvia, Hillary, and The Africa Adventure Company,

 

We wanted to write you about how much we enjoyed our trip to Tanzania! We both wanted a good trip because our 2 sons and daughter-in-law were with us. The five of us didn’t have a good trip — we had a fantastic trip!

 

Szilvia, you had everything so organized for us, from the time we landed until we left. The Arusha Coffee Lodge made that first night very special and it was great for us as a day lodge before our long trip home.

 

We couldn’t have had a better guide than Hillary Mandia! He found so many birds and animals and could tell us facts and interesting stories. He was smart, patient, kind, fun, and very attentive. He made sure our trip was great! We felt privileged to have met him!

 

We were very pleased with the three lodges where we stayed (Tarangire Treetops, Ngorongoro Sopa and Pioneer Camp). Each was so different and interesting and our food was very good. The managers and staff were courteous and did all they could to keep us comfortable and happy. We enjoyed their “programs”, too.

  •  

While the scenery and game viewing in the parks were the top priority, we also wanted our next generation to get a taste of Tanzania itself. Szilvia’s selections, the Leaky excavations site at Olduvai, the lunch at Gibbs Farm, visit to the Maasai Village, and opportunity to bring our bin of school supplies and soccer balls to the children at Karatu Primary School did just that. We found Tanzanians to be very happy and friendly.

 

We very much appreciate AAC’s policies supporting African communities, conservations projects, and support of the local guides. After our wonderful experience with Hillary we chose to take advantage of the AAC offer to match our contribution for an educational scholarship for his youngest daughter. Due to logistics our other bin of school supplies and soccer balls were taken to an orphanage for disabled children that Hillary and his family support.

 

Szilvia and Hillary, thank you both for the wonderful memories you have given us and our family. We won’t ever forget this very special trip and the people involved in making it that way!

 

Sincerely,

Lee and Carla Jeffrey, Feb 2016

 

 

 

Private Great Plains Safari to Tanzania

 

Thank you, Lynne. I did give Ephata hugs from all of you as you requested! He is such a terrific guide. We had so much fun with him, especially seeing the countryside with him.

 

Highlights ~

 

- We loved watching the Maasai going about their lives and driving through the villages along our way.

- We had the entire Manyara Ranch Camp to ourselves! It was fabulous, although the game was scattered due to the rains. Allan, the manager was very pleasant and welcoming, the staff was wonderful, the food almost gourmet!

- The Serengeti Explorer Camp - The tents were wonderful, the game in the area was fantastic, and the staff always did their very best to please us. We had quite a bit of rain, but still truly enjoyed it. I remembered Jonas from 2 years ago. He has really matured and did a fine job taking care of us. I believe the manager, Jackson, was gone due to a family emergency and only arrived the day before we left.

- Thank you for the Amarula--we enjoyed every last drop!!!

- Ngorongoro was such an experience. We saw 9 different rhinos! We did not like all the vehicles at sightings, but we realize that is part of the experience. It poured down rain in the morning, but cleared somewhat for the afternoon. We were the first ones in and the last ones out that day! We saw a wonderful confrontation between a pride of lions and a herd of buffalo. Quite entrancing!!

- Lemala Camp was excellent. It was so close to the Crater and the service was perfect! We had a person, Major, assigned to take care of us and that he did! No one could have done more for us!.. We really respect the Masai men who escorted us to and from the tent. They were warm and friendly to us at all times.

 

 

Overall, we had a great time. The weather was a little too rainy to offer great conditions for photography, but we still managed to get some pretty good photographs. We truly enjoyed driving the countryside and getting to know Ephata better. We loved standing amidst the hundreds of thousands of wildebeests and we so enjoyed watching the newborn calves trying to stand up, then having to run with mama so quickly! We saw a stillbirth and saw many calves that had just been born minutes before we arrived. We saw a cheetah attempt a kill, which we had always wanted to see. The Serengeti is something everyone should see! Now we look forward to July when we head to Botswana, South Africa, and Zimbabwe.

 

Thanks for doing a fabulous job for us, Lynne. We appreciate everything you and your staff do for us.
Darlene Knott, Feb 2016

 

 


 

Private Tanzanian Safari to Manyara Ranch Conservancy, Ngorongoro and Serengeti

 

Our trip to Tanzania was fantastic! We would all like to thank you for planning this dream vacation. All the materials you sent were perfect, we all felt very informed and packed the perfect amount. Thanks also for being so patient with all our last minute phone calls, everyone was very excited to “get this party started”

 

Our guides Emmanuel Mkenda and Davis Matafu were exceptional! We felt we had really hit the jackpot with these two. They were an encyclopedia of information, fun to be with, professional, patient with ALL our questions... (do female wildebeest not have beards?) and it was a joy to watch them work together and help the other guides. They went above and beyond to find what we were looking for and even making sure the jeep was parked in the perfect spot for the best photo. Everyday was an adventure and everyday we learned and saw so much more. They were genuinely excited for us to see everything we “found” They were amazing and we were very sad to see them go as they waved goodbye on the tarmac.

 

I loved the way our trip was organized and each camp/lodge was so very special in it’s own way. However, I do think part of our group would like to have stayed at the crater lodge the entire trip :} just kidding...

 

Arusha Coffee Lodge was a lovely place to land. We had a very nice dinner and people said… “why can’t we just stay here?”

 

Manyara Ranch is a jewel. We enjoyed meeting Alan and felt very special to have Charles Foley and Jon (mammal watching.com) Celebrities! We loved having the Maasai warrior join us on our game drives. We got stuck in the mud and that was a hoot watching everyone pitch in! We were in good hands with Mkenda and Davis. We didn’t see elephant, lion, cheetah or leopard at the Manyara Ranch which made going to the crater all the more exciting. We also loved the night game drive and the early morning walk with Allen.

 

Everyone loved Gibbs Farm-BEAUTIFUL and delicious lunch.

 

Ngorongoro Crater was amazing and the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge was a rose petal dream. The staff were all so very accommodating and we loved every minute of it. The special lunch down in the crater was a fantastic unexpected surprise.

 

 

  

Our entire group was thrilled to enjoy and see the culture. We stopped unexpectedly at a school on our way to the crater. The children were adorable. We gave them a soccer ball and pump and they were very appreciative. We also enjoyed our planned stop at the Maasai village. Everyone had something for the children and we were all pretty amazed to how they live. The hard sell for jewelry at the end was quite the eye opener as well :} We all came home with bracelets :} It was also great to see Davis interact with all the Maasai. He taught us a lot about their culture and traditions.

 

I’m glad we did the balloon ride. I had never done a balloon ride before so it was so very peaceful and fun to see the animals from high in the sky. But I have to add, the best part was when our balloon caught a baby zebra under its fabric as we landed. Everyone pitched in to raise the balloon and the baby escaped unharmed…you just can’t make this stuff up!

 

Our game drives in the Serengeti were phenomenal thanks to Mkenda and Davis. They would say, “what would you like to see today” and our wish was their command. We saw a cheetah make a kill, mating lions, lots of lions in trees…I could go on and on. I’m so glad we have 2000 pictures to remember all the wonderful things we saw.

 

  

 

The Serengeti Explorer Camp was also very nice. Venus worked very hard to accommodate. I also enjoyed eating with Mkenda and Davis. I’m sure they would have enjoyed a break from all our questions, but it gave us a little more time to soak up their wisdom and experiences.

 

Lake Duluti Lodge was the cherry on top. Delicious lunch and a very welcomed shower and nap. Perfect!

 

My group would always “cheers to Grace” at dinner thanking me for planning this fantastic trip but I know ALL the praise goes to Africa Adventure, Mkenda and Davis. YOU ROCK!

Grace O’Brien, Feb 2016

 

 

 

 

AAC Signature Group Safari – Primate & Plains Safari to Uganda & Rwanda

 

Szilvia,

 

It was a great trip!

 

We saw plenty of chimps at Kibale on my 2 walks. I would say some were within 5 feet. Kyaninga Lodge was very nice, food very good and the staff helpful. Only downside about a one hour drive to Kibale (and a very early departure because my 2 travel mates were doing the chimp experience). Maybe 50 people on the morning walk, broken into groups of about 8. Afternoon walk 2 people.

 


 

On the way to Mweya Lodge and Queen Elizabeth National Park we followed an elephant for about 10 minutes who was walking on the road. The following morning leaving the Lodge at 6:30 we saw a leopard on the road who then chased another leopard up a tree!...

 

Ishasha Wilderness Camp was really nice, sleeping there so nice with the river flowing by and seeing elephants and Cape buffalo about 20 feet away right outside the tent. We saw a lot of Ugandan kob, some topi and waterbuck. And we saw another leopard late in the afternoon. Food at the camp was very good and staff was good.

 

On our way out to Bwindi, Sula heard from another driver about lions in trees so we headed north and did see 3 lions in a tree a fairly good distance away so I was glad I brought my binoculars.

 

The 2 gorilla treks in Bwindi went very well. The first group was Mubare about 45 minutes in, one hour viewing, 15 minutes back. Forget the 7 meter rule, some gorillas walked by us about one foot away. I took the community walk that afternoon. The second group was Rushegura about 1 hour in, 1 hour viewing and 45 minutes back. Both treks involved crossing 2 streams, elevation changes - not very much.

 

The 2nd trek did involve going a near vertical slope of about 15 to 20 feet, but I had plenty of help. 7 people to Mubare and 5 to Rushegura. Gorilla Forest Camp also very nice, good food, nice staff.

 

Onto to Rwanda: border crossing went fine - police check, health check, leave Uganda, enter Rwanda. Money changers were at the border. Then to Jack Hanna's cottage which was a very nice place. Early morning rise to go to Volcanoes National Park. We went to see the Hirwa group. About 1 hr. 15 min. in, 1 hour with the gorillas, 45 minutes back. We were going up a gentle rise almost all the way to the gorillas, through a bamboo forest then we hit the vegetation where the going slowed down. One place again a near vertical 15 foot up slope, but had plenty of help. Hard breathing for me at about 8800 ft. above sea level. The trail started about 8200 ft. Our guide said this was am easy trek as the gorillas had come down the mountain. This group was pretty frisky. Daryl was tapped several times he thinks by the same gorilla. And a gorilla tapped me on the leg when I took a step back not knowing he or she was there. I saw the silverbacks on all 3 treks, 1 per group. There were some one month old babies also.

 

A unique safari being able to walk to see the wildlife and being able to get so close to the gorillas. We were anywhere from 4 to 10 feet away from the silverbacks and other gorillas would walk by us, less than a foot away. Not like your usual driving safari.

 

The guides, trackers and porters on the treks were great, always very helpful, determined to give us the best views possible of the gorillas and the gorillas seemed hardly to pay any attention to us. We saw 4 of the big 5, only missing the black rhino. On the whole, a wonderful experience. I am glad I went.

 

John Sedlak, Feb 2016

 

 

 

 

Private Migration Safari to Tanzania

 

During our Tanzanian safari in February, we followed the great migration. My husband chose The Africa Adventure Travel Company because they are US based and we did not want to wire money to an African Country. We felt more comfortable with the planning from this side of the world. I cannot say enough good things about this decision. They were thorough, very attentive to our wishes, and great at guiding us onto the right path in this unknown land. We had our itinerary in a timely manner. They send us books for reference. We had packing lists for clothing, bags, camera, etc. Once we completed the trip, I can say that the lists were on point. We needed nothing more and nothing less than what they specified. Once we settled with a company we felt comfortable with, we did no further research into what we needed. Their package not only included lists of items for travel, but also books and movies as a pre-trip education. Their recommendations for visas and travel expectation were very accurate.

 

- We were met at the gate by an AAC representative who expedited customs and visas. He then escorted us to our car and driver. We drove to Arusha Coffee House where we relaxed and recovered for 1 night. Our meals were included. Ambiance was charming, luxurious and clean. A great start to our trip.

 

- Hillary, our driver-guide for the entire safari picked us up the next morning.

 

- We drove to Tarangrie Park where we got to see tons of elephants, giraffes, birds, zebras, wildebeests, lions, etc.

 

- We stayed 2 nights at the Tarangrie Treehouse Lodge - great ambiance, open room up in the trees, comfortable and clean bed and bathroom, impeccable grounds, polite and helpful staff, managers, and butlers. The food was good and plentiful.

 

- We left this park and drove to Lake Manyara. We stopped at a Masaai village where we mingled with the tribe folks, asked questions, sat in a hut, bought some trinkets. - must bargain and/or walk away, but great trinkets. Only certain villages allow tourists so some people fear that this is a touristy place. It's a basic village made up of cow poop huts. They live very simple lives and it's hard to make this touristy. We loved it.

 

- In Lake Manyara we saw tons of elephants, baboons, flamingoes, giraffes, lions, zebras, hippos, buffalo, wildebeests. We stayed one night at Lake Manyara Tree Top Lodge. All I can say is Wow!! Luxurious room, hot and pressurized outdoor shower, amazing food, impeccable service, friendly staff, beautiful location and grounds. Beware of the bush babies that scream all night outside you open air room. Wish we stayed here an extra night.

 

- Next we drove to Karatu where we visited the FAME medical clinic - impressive. My husband and I are considering returning to volunteer at this amazing facility. We also drove through the village which was a great experience.

 

- We arrived at Ngorongoro Crater where we stayed at the Serena Lodge for 2 nights. The location and views from our room were stunning. The room was basic, clean, comfortable. The meals were combo buffet/a la carte and felt a bit herdish with all the tourists. The food was good. There was nightly entertainment.

 

- The crater experience was great - tons of baby animals from baby hippos, lion cubs, warthog babies, zebra toddlers, elephant babies nursing, to wildebeests giving birth in front of our car. This is the most vehicles we ever saw on our trip, and they were at most 10-15 cars ever at one point. And that was once or twice. The views are amazing, the animals are spectacular, and the drive is overall fantastic.

 

- We arrived in the Serengeti after finding cheetahs, lions in trees, tons of birds, and migrating wildebeests and zebras. Here we stayed at the Pioneer Camp for two nights. Again WOW. Breathtaking views from the lobby, our tent camp gave new meaning to “Glamping.” Service, people, food, amenities, were all spectacular. We had laundry service which took care of all clothing items. Every need was met plus more. A jewel in the middle of the Serengeti.

 

- Our game drives were full of animals and wonderful scenes. Yes we got to see all the key animals, various stunning birds, breathtaking scenery, and we had picnics in the bush.

 

- Then we drove to Migration Camp in northern Serengeti where once again we were welcomed in luxury and style for 2 nights. Our room was located in front of the hippo pool, at night we had a romantic dinner on the sunset deck, and we had drinks and danced while the soul of the Serengeti sunset unfolded before us. Again, the staff, amenities, food, picnics, people, and surroundings were stunning…We did a walking safari to the hippo pool and this is a must…

 

- Hillary our driver and guide was bar none. Incredible driving skills through rough terrain, rivers, mud, silt, pot holes, divers, grass, etc. His ability to spot wildlife was uncanny. We had the best views, got the best picks, and learned intriguing facts about various animals and wildlife. He spotted tons of birds and made bird watching fun. We even got quizzed on various species at the end. He is a kind and generous person who truly loves his country and what he does. He was full of energy, facts, and local history. We were so glad to have one person as our guide the emote trip. We felt safe and well cared for. Cannot say enough great things about Hillary.

 

We will definitely come back and bring the kids. Thank you to everyone who took care of us, who helped with the planning of the trip, who ensured our safety, and who spoiled us rotten on the Amazing African Adventure. Cheers to a great team!!!

 

Ana-Maria and John Temple, Feb 2016


 

 

 

Birthday Celebration Safari to Tanzania

 

Hi Szilvia,

 

Here's what made out safari an epic adventure that will never be matched anywhere:

 

YOU:

- Your patience and consistent responsiveness over the 2 months it took me to decide what felt "right"

- Your willingness to provide options, as well as your advice on what choices were best for us

- Your company's outstanding pre-trip materials (book, map, proposals, and especially the Journal) as well as all lists and recommendations. Even our guide admired the planning map, asking where we got it.

 

MOHAMED RASHID, our guide:

- We cannot imagine a better guide. His vision is probably 20/10 and he was so generous with his knowledge, answering endless questions. His English is amazing and he was so easy to understand. He is a delightful person, and he shared his personal history and the customs of his culture. We feel incredibly fortunate and privileged to have met him.

 

WILDLIFE:

- We saw every animal and bird that was possible. I told you we wanted babies, and we got plenty, including a giraffe and wildebeest with the umbilical cords still hanging, and 3 cheetah cubs about one month old. We also saw a cheetah take a gazelle, which I thought would be awful, but it was exciting. I know it is a survival issue, but it also showed us graphically how life can end in a moment.

 

LODGING AND STAFF - the entire staff everywhere was wonderful!

Tarangire River Camp - The new managers, Cliff and Lucy, are fabulous, and upgraded us to a gorgeous river view - great location. On Bill's birthday, the Maasai security team came out singing, stomping and clapping with a cake - everyone loved it.

Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge - You were right: best possible location and view and fine for our needs. Kind of like a Sheraton on another planet.

Serengeti Shared Explorer Camp - such a super surprise to be on Lake Masek. Jackson and his staff are fantastic.

Namiri Plains - the most luxurious and the best food, but we missed Mohammed so much. (This is where we scored the three cheetah cubs and also saw our only leopard.)

 

LUCK: We had blue skies daily. Mohammed said February was the best possible time to visit, but he had been concerned when there was unseasonable rain shortly before we arrived.

Although at first it was all about the animals, within a few days my thoughts encompassed patience, gratitude, cooperation, peaceful co-existence, courage and simplicity. I understand now that "life-changing experience" is not a cliché in regards to Africa.

 

Please extend our thanks to everyone on your staff who helped to operate this outstanding safari, and especially to Mark, who has clearly earned his stellar reputation.

 

Warm wishes,

Marjie Wells, Feb 2016


 

 

 

 

Group Explorer Safari to Tanzania including Lake Eyasi and the Serengeti

 

This was a very exciting and memorial trip and rates as one of our most favorite places we have visited. We must compliment you on your partnership with your ground operator, their drivers, camps and facilities. The trip exceeded our expectations both from the standpoint of all the pre-trip materials provided, the answers to all of our questions prior to leaving, the helpful guides as to what to bring and wear, and the summaries of each of the camp locations.

 

Our guide, Cosmas-Manangi, was excellent. He was attentive, professional, knowledgeable and all around a great team player working with the other guides so that every chance to see animals in actions was made possible. He was the first in line whenever a land rover got stuck in the mud and needed to be pulled out, or when a water truck broke down and blocked everyone from going forward, making sure that it was moved away so we could get through.

 

His ability to drive and spot wildlife was amazing. We never returned to camp after a day’s outing thinking that we had missed something. We were one of the lucky travelers that upon returning to our home, can brag that we were able to see all of the Big Five and so many other animals, besides the common, giraffes, baboons, zebras, wildebeest, impalas, various birds and lizards.

 

 

 

Each camp site had its own ambiance, and we enjoyed them all. The staff, the facilities, the food and the service was excellent. The last camp site was even more memorable because we could hear the lions and the hyenas walking around our tents, but still felt very safe.

 

The African Safari Journal and Field Guide was a real plus! Reviewing it before leaving on the trip gave us a good idea of what we would be seeing and then while on the Safari it was a good reference. Now that we are home we are using it again as a reference to properly identify and label our pictures. Our guide was so impressed with it, and since we had two copies, we left one with him.

 

All of your correspondence, contacts and follow-up material with us prior to leaving for the trip was a real plus. Everything went like clockwork. We would highly suggest that those traveling from the USA to Tanzania really plan a one day early arrival to help with the long flight and to see Arusha. For us it allowed Liz and me to meet friends of ours who are running a Massai School about 5 miles from the airport.

 

Sincerely,

George and Elisabeth Williams, Feb 2016

 

 

 

 

Chimp and Gorilla Explorer Safari to Rwanda

 

Ian,

 

Wow! Such a fabulous trip.  We were very well taken care of throughout our 2 weeks.  Thank you for your excellent planning!  Overall we had a great experience...

 

The Giraffe Manor was unbelievable - having the giraffes come to our window in the morning and then poke their heads in at breakfast was incredible.  The Manor itself is beautiful and the service and food were really good.  But there is not a lot do aside from interacting with the giraffes a few times a day.  The Karen Blixen Museum was nice and we enjoyed the elephant nursery but those two activities took only half a day. The guide and driver in Nairobi were excellent.

 

Onto Rwanda. We were met and driven to The Kigali Serena Hotel which was a really nice hotel -- nicer than I was expecting. Food, Service and rooms were all great.  The next day, Sam, our driver (who was EXCELLENT!) drove us to Nyungwe Forest Lodge. The visit to the King's Palace and the museum along the way was fine...  The Nyungwe Forest Lodge is stunning - beautiful architecture and grounds…

 

The drive to Lake Kivu was a mixed experience.  The road was in horrible shape but we did get to see the spectacular scenery. Rwanda is an incredibly beautiful country.  And it was wonderful to see all the people walking along the side of the road - many of them carrying heavy loads on their heads… 

 

…Trekking to see the gorillas and staying at the Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge was the BEST part of the trip!  I have nothing but glowing praise for the Lodge and the experiences trekking to see the Golden Monkeys and the glorious gorillas.  Amazing to be able to get so close to these animals! We were blown away by the experience. The managers at the lodge were a lovely couple who were so welcoming.


Everything worked perfectly and the food was excellent.  The only negative here was getting from the parking lot up to the hotel (especially given the altitude and after a day of trekking). Otherwise the experience was perfection.

 


 

Again, I have to tell you that our driver Sam (don't know his last name) was outstanding.  Please pass along our praise to him.  He was an excellent driver, answered the endless questions we had about Rwanda, gave us great advice in many situations and somehow arranged for us to get on the treks we wanted.  He went above and beyond in all situations and we feel fortunate to have had him as our driver.

 

Thanks again Ian.  Who knows we may be in touch again in a few years...I want to go to Botswana!
Skippy Banker, Jan 2016

 

 

 

Tanzanian Honeymoon Safari and Beach Retreat

 

Dear Alison,

Thank you for coordinating the perfect trip! It truly was wonderful from start to finish. We were thrilled with your decisions, from our guide to the accommodations. We appreciated how each stop on our itinerary was a unique experience and revealed the many sides of beautiful Tanzania. The progression from hotel to tent to farmhouse to tent to beach bungalow was spot on. The food, delicious.The sites, astonishing. Easily one of the best trips we have ever taken.

 

Highlights were seeing the majestic Baobab trees in the Tarangire, green from the recent rains, the "big five" and many,many other mammals, hundreds of bird species, three adorable lion cubs, a pride of lions devouring an enormous Cape buffalo over three days in the Serengeti, going for a sail on a ngalawa just off Zanzibar, and being treated to a candlelit dinner on the beach by Matemwe Lodge for our last night.

 


We would especially like to bring attention to our wonderful guide Wilfred. His extensive knowledge of birds, wildlife, botany and the landscape was really impressive and it turned our trip into a rich educational experience. He is responsible driver, great storyteller, has eagle eyes (spotting camouflaged wildlife, far away), passionate, and bright. His respect for the land and wildlife was contagious. We felt our safety was in good hands as well.

 

We felt very prepared thanks to your guide regarding clothing and tipping and other details — so thank you for that. The staff at each lodge was friendly and attentive.

 

Thanks again, Alison! We are grateful for the experience and the memories, which will stay with us for always. 

Very best,
GillianBostock& Cameron Ewing, Jan 2016

 

 

 

Private Safari to Tanzania’s Tarangire, Ngorongoro and Serengeti

 

First, overall, it was a wonderful trip…

 

Tanzania is a country I loved.  Somewhere along the line, they have done some wonderful things as a country.  They have a big, diverse country, which is a blessing.  Sometime, someone decided they would have no fences, which was brilliant.  The landscapes, open, vast, beautiful are not marred by anything.  The country, the people and its beauty, and the free movement of the animals has to be extraordinary.

 

I loved the Maasai people and how they have adapted to modernity, yet retained the essence of their culture.  I know that isn't pure, and somewhat naive, but they looked pretty content to me.

Overall, what nice people.  They don't appear to have any hang-ups, and are quite proud of their government.  Somewhere in the past has to be some pretty good government.  I also liked the successful experiment of relocating many tribes to one new community.  I hope this experiment proves to be very successful. I always worry about tribal loyalties getting in the way of cooperation.

 


 

I liked very much the approach and pace of the trip.  Two days at the Coffee Lodge in the beginning was exactly what we needed.  I was really tired and non functioning when we arrived.  and to end at the Coffee Lodge was smart because we left our extra luggage.  By that time, I had filled my suitcase up with purchases.

 


 

Safari:  Loved Little Chem Chem.  They are doing it right.  Loved Gibbs Farm, would have liked to have stayed there, but really it wouldn't work.  Serena Lodge, fine with me…Staying on the western rim was the right thing.  The Crater was something not to miss.  Hardly could believe it.  Coming out of the Crater, a whole herd of Cape Buffalo was walking out of the Crater, and crossed our road.  I couldn't believe it.

 


 

The first mobile camp was a great introduction to tents.  The luxury travelers among us loved it, but when reminded that it was a mobile camp,  was then very appreciated.

 

Take care, it was a great trip.
Mary Lou Cagle, Jan 2016

 

 

 

Tanzanian Safari, Kilimanjaro Climb and Rwanda Gorilla Trekking

 

Mark and Saskia,

I just got returned yesterday from our Africa trip and wanted to touch base with you before I got lost in my life...it was Fabulous !!!...this trip was great!...the same itinerary as before in 2005 and I thought how could it get better...but more animals,superb accommodations and professional personnel...everyone had a great time and we have 20,000 pics to prove it.

 

So once again Mark, you made me look good...we want to begin planning for another trip in 2018/19.

 

Regards,
Paul Holbrook, Jan 2016



10 Amazing Romantic Getaways


 

 

10 Amazing Romantic Getaways

 

Our resident experts at AAC tracked the most romantic properties in the African bush (it’s a tough job, but someone has to do it), and created this lovers list of the 10 dreamiest destinations in Africa.

 

Elephant Star Beds – Abu Camp, Botswana

The stars form the canopy over your bed and the rumbling snores of elephants are your lullaby when you overnight on this unique platform overlooking the boma where elephant slumber. Don’t worry about creature comforts out amongst the creatures, there’s a plush double bed and even an open shower with the same incredible views, says AAC senior consultant Kyle Witten. Don’t worry, the elephants won’t spy on you.

 



Elephant Camp, Zimbabwe

Located on a private concession on the Zambezi Gorge. Twelve luxury suites feature private viewing deck and plunge pool, air-conditioning, mini-bar and en suite bath with indoor/outdoor showers. Two complimentary transfers to Victoria Falls town are included daily. The main lounge area invites you to enjoy the views of Victoria Falls’ spray and the gorges which separate Zimbabwe and Zambia. Meals are served in the open-air dining room.

 



Angama Mara, Kenya

High above a game reserve where some of the most memorable scenes from "Out of Africa" were filmed, is the newest and most dramatic safari lodge in Kenya, Angama Mara. The camps name is Swahili for ‘suspended in mid air,” and couples will feel like they’re literally walking on air at this intimate tented camp with luxury comforts such as deep soaking tubs with views over the Great Rift Valley, on one of the most scenic locations on the entire continent. A short ride away from this serene perch is Governor’s Balloon Safaris, a flight of a lifetime that soars high above the Mara, then comes back to earth with a champagne picnic for two. This is Mark Nolting's most recent honeymoon choice.

 

 


Mombo Camp, Botswana

Located in a remote corner of Botswana’s Moremi Reserve, Mombo is world famous for combining 5-star luxury accommodations with epic “big cat” sightings. The camp is being completely rebuilt with eight decadent suites, private plunge pools and thatched salas, offering the most romantic place in Botswana. Arguably the best game viewing in Africa, explore the region with morning and afternoon game drives. Large prides of lions and majestic leopards complete the iconic safari experience.

 

 

Lion Sands Kingston Tree House, Sabi Sand, South Africa

Think tree houses are just for kids? AAC’s Kollin Buchholz and Cinthia Liza say this tree top aerie at Lion Sands' will easily change your mind. There are few more romantic ways to sleep out under the great African skies than in an elegant canopy bed up in the tree branches, a gourmet picnic full of delicacies tucked way for you to nibble as you the evening skies unfurl---Just the stars, you, and your loved one.

 

North Island, Seychelles

We can’t name all the famous couples who’ve honeymooned here (cough cough--- Prince William and Kate; George Clooney and Amal – cough cough), but let’s just say that this lush island might just be the most romantic, private, and sexy spot in the world with miles of pristine sand, unique sea life, and service that makes every couple feel like visiting royalty. Each of the 11 very secluded villas have interrupted vistas over the azure Indian Ocean and the silky sand. Meals can be served in your private dining room or a table for two can be set anywhere on the island--each one a decadent, and decidedly romantic, surprise. Alison Nolting, senior consultant, honeymooned in the Seychelles (does that make her famous too)!

 

 

Serengeti Explorer Shared Camp, Tanzania

A seasonal camp where unspoiled Africa exists; where the special privilege of absorbing the, majestic grandeur of the African landscapes and its wildlife is still possible. From the moment you are met by your host/guide he will make you feel that you are on a real wildlife experience. The philosophy is to help you experience the bush in addition to viewing wildlife in one of Africa's top wildlife reserves. The seasonal mobile camp may move about three to four times a year.

 



 

Azura Benguerra, Mozambique

Mozambique’s finest eco-boutique retreat is located on Benguerra Island. Azura was built entirely by hand in partnership with the local community and has just 16 luxury villas, providing you privacy and pampering.. Each beachfront villa has a private bathroom with an indoor/outdoor shower, pool, air-conditioning, private sun deck, mini-bar and butler service.

Dining at Azura is a feast for the senses. You have several options such as the main restaurant with magnificent views or a picnic in a secluded spot and the most romantic choice, a candlelight dinner on the beach. The chef’s signature dishes combine the finest of Mozambique’s natural produce and seafood with International flair.

 

 

 

The Palms, Zanzibar

A family owned luxury resort that provides personal service and a range of beautifully appointed facilities reflecting the warmth and character of the local architecture. The Palms is located along a pristine white beach on the east coast of the island and consists of 6 luxurious villas. Each of the elegant villas features a bedroom, living room, en suite bathroom, Jacuzzi and private terrace overlooking the Indian Ocean. There is a pool, dining room, evening bar and pool bar and massage facilities.

 

 

Manafiafy, Madagascar

Six chalets are nestled into the forest overlooking the beach.. The rooms are spacious with enormous windows and sliding doors at the front leading to a terrace with plenty of sun loungers, a shower and a hammock. The food at the lodge is superb – freshly caught fish and shellfish including crab, lobster and oysters are often served, along with a delicious selection of salads and excellent, freshly baked bread. Breakfasts are a treat with warm, fresh pastries and a large selection of fresh fruit.

 

 

 

10 Amazing Romantic  Getaways


 



Top 10 Stories in 2015 from the Asilia Camps in Tanzania and Kenya


Our Top 10 stories of 2015

 

From darling baby elephants to the latest breakthroughs in conservation, we rounded up the year’s most loved stories from our blog.

 

 


 

 

1. The story of Little “E” – http://blog.asiliaafrica.com/little-e/

 

2. Top to African wildlife photography tips – http://blog.asiliaafrica.com/top-10-african-wildlife-photography-tips/

 

3. Bob and Gina Poole answer your elephant questions – http://blog.asiliaafrica.com/bob-gina-poole-answer-your-questions-remaining-questions/

 

4. Gina Poole meets Big Mama, the elusive Elephant Matriarch –http://blog.asiliaafrica.com/leading-from-behind/

 

5. Tanzania’s Best Kept secret – http://blog.asiliaafrica.com/olivers-camp-little-olivers-tanzanias-best-kept-secret/

 

6. Celebrating 5 years of pioneering conservation at the Mara Naboisho Conservancy – http://blog.asiliaafrica.com/conservations-future-naboisho-story/

 

7. Your career as a Walking Safari Guide starts here – http://blog.asiliaafrica.com/calling-all-aspiring-walking-safari-guides/

 

8. We ask our fans what are their top lion movies – http://blog.asiliaafrica.com/top-10-lion-movies/

 

9. Take bush adventure to a whole new level with fly camping – http://blog.asiliaafrica.com/what-is-fly-camping/

 

10. Catch the greatest show on earth, the Great Wildebeest Migration – http://blog.asiliaafrica.com/greatest-show-on-earth-great-migration/



Elephant Conservation with the Help of Google Street View


Elephants in Kenya's Samburu National Park just got a high-tech assist to help keep them out of the harmful path of poachers and let people around the world help in conservation efforts to keep them safe.

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Google Street View, working with Save the Elephants, has recently launched interactive "maps" of the park (Google's first Street View efforts in Kenya), allowing viewers to take a virtual safari in the conservancy: https://www.google.com/maps/streetview/#samburu-kenya.




It's an incredible opportunity to get an up-close look at the elephants who make their home in this remote park; users can zoom in on the elephants as they bathe in the mud, drink from a watering hole, and look for food.

 

The Google project aims to tell the amazing stories of the elephant families in the park. Two of the main families of elephants captured by Street View are the Hardwoods and the Spice family who have been identified by the shape of their tusks and tears in their ears.The STE website offers background "Story Spheres" so readers can learn more details about the elephant families: http://savetheelephants.org/about-elephants/storyspheres/

 

The initiative was launched together with the charity Save the Elephants (STE), which works to promote wildlife conservation and was headed in part by Kenyan conservationist, BBC TV presenter, and wildlife-filmmaker, Saba Douglas-Hamilton, who is the Chair of Save the Elephants' Advisory Board and runs Elephant Watch Camp. 

 


Saba Douglas-Hamilton was there and later took her kids to visit the young elephant at the Sheldrick's orphanage. 

 

Samburu is an arid, rugged and savagely beautiful area of Kenya protected as the Samburu National Reserve and the Buffalo Springs National Reserve, together covering an area of about 187 square miles. With less than 12 inches of rain a year the wildlife depends for its very existence on the Uaso Nyiro River, whose headwaters rise in the Aberdare Mountains, 185 miles away. The area is very scenic with hilly crags and trees, which follow the river courses and more vegetation of scrub desert, thorn bush, riverine forest, and swamps.   



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