Myself and my wife, we had wonderful 12 Days Safari with Duma Explorer.
Here is our detail review
--Tour Operator::: Stacy is the owner of Duma Explorer. Starting from planning phase and until the end of our trip Stacy was prompt. She offered all the help that she could. Due to personal reason we thought of cancelling our trip. Even then she was ready to help in cancellation. Fortunately we did not have to cancel our trip. Stacy even provided us Internet Dongle and recommended us on Internet and Phone SIM so that we can remain in contact with our parents, friends and relatives. In short our safari experience was very pleasant and we are glad we chose Duma Explorer.
--Tour Guide::: Kawaga Mohamed was our Safari guide. He is very polite and never tired of answering our questions. He is very good in spotting animals and birds from far distance.... looks like he has hawk like eyesight. He is a very good,skillful and safe driver.I always wonder how he can remain cheerful in spite of driving all day long and that too on a gravel and uneven roads. I would recommend him to everyone.
--Safari::: We saw everything, lots of animals… thousands of wildebeest, Zebras. Also, many Lions, Leopards and Cheetahs with cubs. And, many more birds. Amazing part of African Safari is that you are observing all these animals and birds in their natural habitat- in their own territory, and so the animals are so fearless and expressive.
Our Safari Itinerary in the beginning of June:
• Arrive in Arusha (Kilimanjaro JRO Airport),
• One day to Arusha National Park – thick jungle and many animals, walking Safari experience
• One day in Lake Manyara National Park- thick jungle and many animals and birds,
• Two days in Western Serengeti – Wildebeest Migration, Zebras and many more animals and birds
• Two days in Central Serengeti – Lions, Leopards, Cheetahs and many more animals and birds.
• One day in Ngorongoro Crater – Rhino , Lions and many more,
• Two days in Tarangire National Park – Birds and some animals. (June is not a good time to see animals in Tarangire.)
• Tips --- We recommend doing Tarangire in the beginning. Keep Serengeti and Ngorongoro for the last. Serengeti and Ngorongoro are the best for animal viewing. Other recommendation - Go early in the morning. Afternoon Lions and Leopard and most of the animals are sleeping. One day is enough for Tarangire. You may want to give two days to Ngorongoro. Since there are only 20+ Rhinos in Ngorongoro park, there is no guarantee that you will see it on day one.
--- Lodging::: All lodgings are well chosen by Stacy of Duma Explorer. We stayed: two nights in Ahadi Lodge in Arusha . One night in Kirurumu Tented Lodge near Lake Manyara National Park. Two nights in Mbalageti tented chalet in Western Serengeti. Two nights in Chaka Camp in Central Serengeti. One night in Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge and one night in Ngorongoro Farm House. Two nights in Tarangire Safari Lodge in Tarangire National Park. All lodges were wonderful; especially we liked Chaka Camp, Sopa lodge at Norogoro Carater and Norogoro Farm House.
I would like to write something about Chaka Camp.
Chaka Camp::: It was the best. We stayed two nights at Chaka Camp. Our experience was pleasant and joyful. It is in the Jungle surrounded by beautiful savanna. Large tents, large beds, Hot water. Food was delicious. One night we requested for African Food and we were served delicious African Pilau and Kachumbari Salad. All Staff was always attentive and their every action was giving us feel of being at home.
---Internet and Phone SIM Card::: Stacy recommended us to use Airtel for Internet. It worked everywhere except in Mbalageti, where nothing works. I had my laptop with me. We bought dongle for 30 thousand shilling and added 3GB data for additional 30 Thousand shilling. Another SIM card we bought for our phone for 2Thousand shilling and added re-charge (minutes) for 40Thousand shilling. Both internet and phone lasted for 12 days. We made international calls several times. Airtel Internet has two options GSM and WCDMA. GSM gives just 384KB bandwidth. WCDMA gives 7MB bandwidth. Make sure to configure it for WCDMA when there is better reception available. We were able to upload all our photos to Facebook while on Safari. To make international call from Tanzania dial “+” country code and phone number. You need passport or Driving License to get Internet or Phone SIM. You can get it activated in 30 minutes in Arusha Airtel head-office/shop in downtown.
---Money::: We converted US$200 to shillings that lasted us throughout. ( Conversion $1=@1632Tsh) We tipped everywhere in shillings during Safari. At the end we tipped our Tour Guide in dollars. We bought souvenir with mix of dollars and shillings. Please note we don’t take alcoholic drinks, so no money were spent on drinking.
--Once again, I would like thanks Duma Explorer, its owner Stacy and our Tour Guide Kawaga for making our Safari joyful and memorable.