“My husband and myself were looking for a private guided tour where we could create our own itinerary. After doing some research, I found that most companies could only arrange group tours where you are on a tight schedule and could be stuck with strangers who you would never want to travel with. The other extreme were these super high-end luxury companies that could offer a private safari with over the top amenities but perhaps not as focused on guiding expertise depending on who is guiding your safari.
I then found “I Dream of Africa” www.idreamofafrica.com through a family friend who is a veterinarian and works with animals. His circle of colleagues had used I Dream of Africa. I Dream of Africa is a local Arusha based company. For us, it was important to support a local company. Most Tanzanian safaris are run by companies who operate out of other countries and very little money goes back into the local economy you are visiting.
I corresponded through email with Christopher who owns and operates the company. We went back and fourth on creating a custom safari. Christopher, was our guide and driver throughout the 10 day safari (Lake Manyara, Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Tarangire). He has been guiding for over 15 years. He shared so much knowledge about the wildlife and environment. He was always on the lookout for animals and could see things out in the distance instantly. Christopher knew exactly how to approach the animals in a safe and respectful manner.
What really made our safari so special was that Christopher took us to remote places in the Western and Northern Serengeti. In some of these remote spots, we did not see another vehicle for hours! We had the place to ourselves. For us, it was so pleasant not having to listen to someone in another vehicle talking so loud they scare the animals. This is usually the case if your tour only stays in the crowded Central Serengeti where most tours operate. Also, another advantage to having a private guide is that you can stay in one spot as long as you want. For us, it was incredible not only to get an amazing photo but to watch/study an animals behavior in their environment. For example when you see a cheetah protecting its new kill and then watch scavengers starting to surround the animal over the course of 45 minutes – that is fascinating to watch what happens and photograph. Or watching a wildebeest get taken down by a crocodile while drinking river water ….several times. Both of these experiences happened on our safari.
The accommodations Christopher booked for us were superb. I had requested smaller lodges and mobile tented camps but he can also arrange budget accommodations too. The mobile tent camp in the northern Serengeti was the highlight. It was sublime to be out in the middle of nowhere listening to lions roar only several hundred feet away.
If you are looking for great guiding and interested in learning about the environment and wildlife then I believe you will have the most amazing experience with Christopher.”