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Kilimanjaro tour operator

Toronto, Canada
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5 posts
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Kilimanjaro tour operator

Hello everybody,

I am planing to climb Kilimanjaro via Machame route in September 2014 and to do 5 days safari after the climb. Any recommendations which local company to use for that?

Thank you very much in advance.

1. Re: Kilimanjaro tour operator

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Removed on: 30 January 2014, 12:08
Edinburgh, United...
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2. Re: Kilimanjaro tour operator

Hi,

Please make sure to go with a company that supports (or who uses a ground team supporting) the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project. This ensures that your porters (who make the climb so fun and look after you all of the way) are properly paid and get a good deal. Plus, anyone who's put enough thought and effort into their staff is more likely to have considered the other details too and offer a better quality climb, making it more fun for you too!

KPAP have a list on their site of registered local supporters, or if you are booking in your home country make sure to ask your tour company about their ground crew.

Alexandra Matts- Travel Director- Extraordinary Africa

Kaiserslautern
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2 posts
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3. Re: Kilimanjaro tour operator

Hi Action65, my son and I are back last week from climbing with S.E.N.E (Summit Expeditions and Nomadic Experiences). We first did Mount Meru, which I highly recommend as it is a beautiful mountain, challenging climb and provides great altitude acclimatization (equals no need for the diuretic Diamox). Then we did the Macheme route for seven days (again, pay for the extra day as insurance against altitude problems).

I made a point of looking around at other guiding services, and here our my observations.

Guides and Crew: SENE was great, but we also saw plenty of other professional organizations as well. We did run across some people who were less than happy with their guides (sent ahead on the first day on Machame and had to wait at Machame camp for the guide to catch up). Or you have to wait a good while for your crew to set up camp. With SENE and most providers the camp was usually set up by the time you arrived. The unhappy people generally went with a cheaper tour operator - which isn't to say you will be unhappy, but there is a higher percent chance.

Food: SENE's food on the mountain was excellent. Having boiled my own snow to cook Ramen noodles, having hot soup or fresh fruits and veggies or popcorn when we arrive was a great luxury. At Meru everyone ate in the same camp hall, so it was easy to compare food. Most tour companies provided the same quality of SENE. The only fault I really saw was some tour companies provided white packaged bread (think Tanzanian Wonder Bread) instead of the brown bread we and most others received.

Equipment: our kit was fine. We slept in Mountain Hardware tents of good quality. Mess tent was fine and the tables had tablecloths. The most posh kit: Thompson Safaris or Tusker Trails, but they are more expensive as well.

Mbahe farm: the best part of SENE, and what clinched the deal for us, is the stay at Mbahe farm, Simon Mtuy's farm on the slopes of Kilimanjaro. It is a lush paradise, with a river and waterfall going through the property. The food was nothing short of excellent - the coffee was fresh roasted from their own beans and went down well with their fresh banana bread. Push, you have your end-of-climb party at the farm, rather at the gate like we saw with other operators. This makes the event much more intimate. Staying at the farm does save you from paying for a night in a hotel before and after your climb. One drawback: it is by Murangu gate which makes for a longer drive to Machame than if you stay in Moshi. Not a show stopper, but frankly driving in that area sucks.

Bottom line: check out SENE. They are not the cheapest, nor the most expensive, but they do have plenty of happy customers. (And they are partners with KPAP - see above)

Calgary, Alberta
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102 posts
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4. Re: Kilimanjaro tour operator

I'm in the process of researching companies for the Machame route also in Sept, 2014. I have been looking at Brothers Kilimanjaro and so far have had one email correspondence with them. They are a locally-owned company and seem to have great reviews (which many of the companies do, however, the one difference I have found so far is that they appear to have an absence of negative reviews). I'll be doing it myself or possibly with a girlfriend from Texas (I'm having a really hard time garnering interest amongst my friends, ha, ha). Do you have a group that you are doing it with already? I would prefer to join a group (even if my friend goes) rather than do a private climb. However, I think I would prefer to add on one extra day in order to assist with acclimation - and, unfortunately, there may not be too many groups to join that are doing the same. My intent is to also do a safari following and then a few days in Zanzibar. Brothers Kilimanjaro also offers safaris and trips to Zanzibar, however, at this point I've really only focused on reviewing the Kili climb itself with respect to which company to use. If you have since narrowed down your search to a specific company or two, I would be interested in hearing about them (whether for Kili or a safari).

Nairobi
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5. Re: Kilimanjaro tour operator

Outsourcing is very common amongst tour companies. So when you book PLEASE make sure you ask your booking agent the Tanznaia/Kilimanjaro tour operator’s name. ABRAHAM SHAIDI owns a company called Sandland Tours and Safari, the web address is http://sandlandsafaris.com/. But BEWARE he also does business under other names. People please BEWARE, BEWARE, BEWARE, BEWARE! This man robbed me LITERALLY!

Edited: 20 January 2014, 11:03
6. Re: Kilimanjaro tour operator

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Removed on: 30 January 2014, 12:08
UK
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28 posts
19 reviews
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7. Re: Kilimanjaro tour operator

Most important thing is to use an outfit who fully support KPAP and pay fair wages to all their crew- there are some real horror stories out there. Check out this video https://vimeo.com/27746760 which is an amazing documentary by some American postgrads.

I climbed with a UK outfit that KPAP recommended to me called Private Expeditions. but they will be more expensive than the local firms.

Washington DC...
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8. Re: Kilimanjaro tour operator

We went with Zara and were happy with them. They are one of the larger companies and many travel agent type companies will pass their customers to Zara. We booked directly with them for 8 day Lemosho route.

9. Re: Kilimanjaro tour operator

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Removed on: 30 January 2014, 12:14
Fort Lauderdale...
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2 posts
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10. Re: Kilimanjaro tour operator

I am thinking of September myself and am considering 2 or 3 operators including Tusker. However I think I am going to take the Lemosho route and take the extra day acclimatizing. It seems to be the best route as most people that don't make it don't make it due to going to quickly and not acclimatizing.

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