If I could give a rating of more than 5 stars, I would give Adam Nkinde and his crew at Wilderness first Travel, a 10+. We did tours to Arusha National Park, Tarangaraire, Ngorongoro Crater, and the Central and North Serengeti with them. Not only did we stay at top notch places, but Adam is an expert animal spotter. Every day with him was awesome, and it was hard to believe that the next day would be better and it was! We saw elephants in Arusha National Park, which are rare there, hiked to a waterfall and had awesome views of girafffes, cape buffalo, wildebeests, wart hogs and baboons from above, all while staying at the awesome Kili Villa, a beautiful spot to ease into our trip with our gourmet cook Chepi, beautiful accommodations and a campfire outside to sit by and watch the stars. Every day, Adam took care of every detail, from planning the day's game drive, arranging box lunches, having a table cloth and camp table and chairs to have our lunch outside, and choosing awesome places to stay.
From there we went to Tarangaraire National Park and to the shores of Lake Manyara, where we saw a multitude of animals - at one point seeing over 70 elephants process in single file to a watering hole, one walking close to us to check us out and scratch her back on a tree. We saw many zebra, wildebeests, impala, ostriches, mongoose, velvet and blue monkeys, and giraffes. We also saw our first lions up in a tree - unusual behavior, but probably cooler on a hot day. We came upon a mother cheetah who was planning a hunt, with her baby. We stayed at Marmboi - a luxurious tented camp, which was welcoming, clean, had great food, internet, and surrounded by animals. A hike to the lake where we saw a hughe ostrich nest, thousands of flamingos, gazelles running, zebra and wildebeest, with our Masai guide was a highlight.
Next we traveled to Ngorongoro Crater where we stayed at the Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge along the rim of the crater. We had stunning views, wonderful sunsets, excellent food, and saw traditional Masai dances. In the crater we spotted many animals, a large pack of hyenas harassing 3 lions with a kill, finally forcing them off, 3 rhinos ( a Mom and a baby), and lots of lazy lions lolling on their backs in the hot afternoon son. Another awesome day!
In the Central Serengeti, Adam took us to the Four Seasons, Serengeti. The hotel was luxurious and the people did anything we wanted for us: hibiscus ginger tea with a cool towel as you arrived, personal attention, exceptional meals. Along with that Adam"s game drives never failed to amaze us. We continued to see more animals Including hippos and corcodiles, have wonderful lunches in the bush, and a sunrise balloon ride where we saw giraffes, hippos going back to the river, zebras, wildebeests and cape buffalo.
Finally we ended in the Northern Serengeti where we felt that we had seen everything - however Adam did not disappoint! On the way we stopped at the olduvai Gorge, where we listened to a talk about archaeolgical finds dating from 3.6 million years ago, and visited their informative museum. In the park, we found lions mating on a kopje, 3 separate leopards, and herds of zebra and wildebeest migrating across the stunning Mara River. At one point we waited and watched thousands of wildebeest, run and mass together, anxiously deciding where to cross. Finally, they did and it was amazing to watch their frantic and energetic crossing - a triue highlight and a very exciting end to our trip. We stayed at the Lemala Kuria tented lodge. We had a luxurious tent, attentive service, wonderful meals.
It all made for a trip of a lifetime! Thanks, Adam, and the Wildrness First Travel team for terrific planning and execution of our dream trip.