What an unbelievable trip! It started back in the United States. We had been recommended to I Dream of Africa through a friend who had only met Christopher in passing on her safari, but she stood by that he seemed like a great guide and the people she met shared that as well. Christopher, the guide and owner, was very quick to respond via email to all of our questions, concerns and anything else that came up in the planning process. There were so many great things about this trip that it's hard to sum them all up here, but here goes:
1. Christopher - what a great guide he is! He has eyes like an eagle and can see things that are hard to see with binoculars! Not only can he see them and point them out to you, but he knows about the animals and their habits/lifestyle/etc. It’s not like listening to a television program, Christopher carries a passion in his knowledge that not only informs those listening, but shows his love and respect for the animals. Furthermore, he is a local guy. So not only does he know the area, but he can explain a lot of the culture and local life to anyone willing to listen. He takes extreme pride in his work and strives to deliver a phenomenal experience not just once, but every day that you are with him. He definitely took every step to make sure that we were all comfortable (group of 4), from the way that he drove over the rough terrain to the accommodations and start time each day. It was extremely comforting to arrive and be taken care of from the moment we stepped out of the airport.
2. Animals – amazing. I could leave it at that. Thanks to our guide we were able to see a lot of animals. Definitely a blessing between his eyes and timing, we caught some great action scenes and close proximity to all of the Big 5. I know people don’t always get this lucky, but it certainly was neat to see what we were able to.
3. Weather – we went during the beginning of rainy season, which was a gamble. It paid off. Rained almost every night, but no more than 5 minutes. Again, I think we were blessed with the weather – so be careful of when you go. BUT – the advantage to going this time of year (end of March) was that we saw baby versions of almost all the animals. Made for some great pictures!
4. Lodges – again we trusted Christopher on this. He set up all the lodges each night for us. It was a mix of lodges, a lot from the same company, which meant a lot of the same amenities. It worked out great. The staff was very pleasant at all the lodges. The food was definitely different then the fair we are used to here in the states, but good nonetheless. Our two favorites were Taragire Safari Lodge – great staff, great views and a unique experience. Kitela near Caratu – great property, gorgeous rooms and amazing staff.
It boils down to this. There were moments on the trip that we thought we’d seen it all or wouldn’t see something better, and Christopher would continue to surprise us with new information or pull around a corner just at the right time to see something new. When we go back (not IF), we will definitely use I Dream of Africa again. It’s nice to support a local business, but not at the cost of sacrificing any of the experience. I Dream of Africa and Christopher is the best way to do a Safari in Tanzania period. From the planning process via email to the day to day driving, I would highly recommend them to anyone no matter what!