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trip report: tanzania and kenya

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just returned from incredible safari in Tanzania and Kenya. My husband, a friend and I booked through AfricaDream Safaris. Absolutely wonderful. Transfers were all taken care of at Kili airport so there was no waiting, stayed in Ameru River Lodge (very nice, but we were only there overnight) first night then up early next morning to fly to western Serengeti and start our safari. Had our own private Land Rover and the best guide (very experienced) in the area. Elephants, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, lions...everything on the very first day! Stayed at ultra-luxe Kirawira tented lodge for 2 nights. Did not want to leave. Tent has wood floor, all bathing ammenities, beautiful view of the Serengeti from the hill. Breathtaking. Up early for game drive, all day with picnic lunch. Then the next day to central serengeti, stayed in private luxury camp. Tents with camp toilet, bladder shower with hot water, showering outside (but in private). Beautiful setting, only disappointment there was that the migration had already passed: hard to plan exactly where they'll be a year in advance. But the service and food were great. Spent 2 nights there, exploring the central and southern and eastern plains, then on to the Ngorongoro crater. Stayed at the Serena Lodge. Nice place, beautiful view, service a little spotty (friend had trouble with phone in room that was never resolved). Food is good. ***I'm a vegetarian and never had any problems with food selection.***Spent 1/2 day then 1 whole day in the crater. Do not miss this place!!!! Rhinos, lions right next to the road; sleeping in the road, everything. It is beautiful, extraordinary, words can't describe how special. After the crater we packed up and went to Lake Manyara for the day and found the Blue monkey! Lots of great birds, too. Then on to the Plantation Lodge for the night. Beautiful place, very peaceful, good food, again. Next morning long drive to Arusha to the airport to fly to Nairobi for the next part of our safari. This part was handled by CC Africa. Stayed at Kichwa Tembo tented lodge. Service is warm and friendly and professional. Beautiful tents with wood floors, and regular bathroom facilities, shower inside. Hot water. Great game viewing, although this part of the safari was not in a private vehicle, it still wasn't bad, shared with 2 people sometimes but we had the vehicle to ourselves often. Once again, lions, zebra, etc. Rhino and leopard, again, cheetah. Never saw an actual kill but saw the aftermath. Actually saw crocodiles with a zebra in the Mara River.
I would whole-heartedly recommend ADS to anyone who was going on safari for the first time, (that was us) because you are spoiled with the accomodations, taken care of from start to finish, have excellent guides, great food, and it is all with little or no worries. We can't wait to go back. We'll probably try to go a little cheaper but with the same operator because they did a great job.

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