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“A fantastic trip, well-organised.”

Caracal Tours & Safaris Ltd
Ranked #63 of 230 Outdoor Activities in Moshi
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Caracal Tours & Safaris is a small scale safari company offering tailor-made tours & safaris varying from several hours to several days in Tanzania and Kenya. These include safaris to national parks, mountain climbing, walking tours, cultural tours and beach holidays. Together with you we will create the perfect tailor-made itinerary!
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Activities for young children, Food available for purchase, Activities for older children
Reviewed 28 December 2017

We (me and my girlfriend) went on a three-week trip with Caracal to explore different aspects of Tanzania. The trip roughly consisted of three parts:
- climbing Mt. Meru
- safaris in Tarangire NP, Serengeti NP and the Ngorongoro crater
- relaxing in Zanzibar

On arriving on Kilimanjaro airport, Ben was there to pick us up and drive us to the Honeybadger Lodge (two nights) in Moshi. The arrival was very pleasant, en we started our trip with a tour on a local coffee plantation. This was a nice activity to acclimatize a bit.

After this first activity, we started off on our climb to the top of Mt. Meru (Mariakamba hut 2x and Saddle hut). The crew that Caracal arranged for us was fantastic (one guide, two porters and a cook). We made it to the top and our overall feeling about this experience was very good.

After the climbing of the mountain, we drove a bit and did the safariing. We stayed in the (extremely lovely) Maramboi Tented Lodge near Tarangire NP (4 nights), (the also very nice) Kati Kati Tented Camp in the Serengeti (3 nights) and the Ngorongoro Farm House (2 nights). All of these accomodations are truly wonderful, and operated by lovely people. On the safaris, our guide Ben proved to be very experienced and skilled. We got to see all animals that we wanted to see and - more importantly - in very quiet areas, away from the bulk of the other jeeps that roam the parks. His knowledge about animals and nature is sheer endless.

After safariing we proceeded to visit the Maasai. This was - despite the fact that you are considered a rich cash-provider - an interesting experience. After this short visit (took about one hour) we flew off to Zanzibar. The flight was well organised by Caracal, and the taxi driver to pick us up was there. Be careful not to get scammed, as they (apparently) often try.

Our stay in Stonetown (two nights) in Hiliki House was disappointing (please read the reviews on this hotel by itself). The short version is: No drinking water available upon arrival, airco didn't work, safe didn't work, windows and doors are broken and on the second night we were surprised by a waterfall in our room when it started to rain outside. Only one of us got to eat breakfast, since the staff was not able to handle the amount of people in the hotel at the time. We would not recommend a stay at this hotel.

The rest of our stay in Zanzibar was again wonderful. We stayed for five nights at the Nur Beach Hotel in Jambiani Beach, were the staff was very friendly and as relaxed as we were.

We would most certainly advise you to travel with Caracal Tours and Safaris. We found ourself on a fantastic, mindblowing and well-organised trip with a great itinerary that came into being in a very pleasant way.

Thank Bas V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 5 September 2017

In August we got to live a lifetime experience on our Safari with Caracal tours.To start of with the extraordinary lodges that Caracal tours picked out for our family. Every lodge and tented camp had its own specialties. In addition to this our trip was made extra special by our amazing guide. He was able to give us a lot more information about all the animals than we expected to learn on forhand, as well as his great sense of humor. Besides teaching us about the country, the animals and its people, he also taught us a lot about the language of Tanzania, Swahili. He made us live the full experience of being in Tanzania. Beside being a great guide towards our family, he was a great person to everyone. When another Jeep was in need of help he was willing to help then, eventhough it was the warmest moment of the day.
Overall we had a marvelous adventure. Our trip and experiences are still discussed everyday and we would recommend this trip to anyone who wants to go to Tanzania.
Thanks a lot Caracal Tours

2  Thank juliaelizar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 September 2017

After reading the reviews of this company, I felt confident in booking our 19 day safari with them. We spent the first 6 days in Kenya where Caracal partners with a company called See Africa. Everything in Kenya was as expected or better than expected. It wasn't until we went to Tanzania that we began to have problems. We hadn't driven 15 minutes until Max, our driver/guide, began to stop the truck and check things outside. We thought maybe a tire was going flat. It wasn't the tire; it was the brakes. We had to turn around and go back into town to have them fixed. In order to slow down, he had to down shift as the only brakes he had was the emergency brake. The next day after a long game drive, we were heading back to the camp and the entire wheel came off the truck loosing some lug nuts. Fortunately the vehicle did not turn over and no one was hurt. Needless to say, we were not planning to get back in that vehicle as we did not feel safe. Ben, the owner of the company, did drive all night to bring us another vehicle so we were only 3 hours late leaving the next day. The new vehicle did run better than the first as it only had to be push started in the mornings; however, the insides were terrible. The seats were worn out, half the seat belts did not work, and the windshield was cracked in three places. On top of vehicle problems Max, our driver/guide, was not very informative. When we asked a question, sometimes we got an answer. His English was not great, so we never knew if he didn't understand us or he was just didn't know the answer. One day we waited an hour and 45 minutes to get in one of the national parks because there was a problem. We were told later it was a problem with the national park, but no one else seemed to have a problem. Max told us nothing during the entire wait. The day we were to go back to Kenya, we drove 4 hours to the border crossing only to find out later there was a much closer one if the guide in Kenya had known we were coming from Moshi. To be fair to Caracal, the places we stayed in Tanzania were what I expected or exceeded my expectations - except for the hotel in Moshi - the Hibiscus - it was a absolute dump, which surprised me since every place else had been so nice. Caracal needs to improve their vehicles even if it means charging a bit more.

1  Thank teachPulaskii_VA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marion S, Director of Sales at Caracal Tours & Safaris Ltd, responded to this reviewResponded 5 September 2017

Dear teachPulaskii_VA,

We are sorry to hear that your safari was not according to your expectations. Yes, you had bad luck that your Tanzanian safari started with a small breakdown. Although we have not had large breakdowns in previous years, it is obvious that this can happen in Africa considering the bad roads. Unfortunately, you had that bad luck. As this breakdown was fixed quickly, we decided not to send another car. However, when the same breakdown happened again the next day, we immediately rerouted our other car for rescue which arrived around nine in the morning to take you to your next destination. To arrive earlier was not possible as it is not allowed to enter the parks after six pm. These are things that we cannot influence.
We are not aware of any seat belt problem and have checked that these days, but they are working fine. In addition, the windshield of the car has three stars, but no cracks. So, we believe, these are no major issues. We have repaired the wheel that had trouble with the breakdown and placed another windshield, so the cars are fine now. We are considering to change the seat covers, but in other ways the seats are perfectly fine too. Nevertheless, we will take your recommendation to continue improving our vehicles.
When it comes to your guide Max, we are very surprised. We always get good reviews about him, especially since he started working for us more regularly since last year. He is very knowledgeable and talkative as also judged by other guests. Furthermore, as I told you before, the waiting at the park entrance of Lake Manyara National Park was out of our control. At that time, we immediately contacted the bank and they also confirmed there was no problem on our side but on the side of the park. They confirmed to us that this issue often happens at that specific park gate with different partners. So, this is something we can't help. We will instruct Max however, that in such case he should be more informative of what is going on.
Lastly, the issue of crossing the boarder to Kenya. The route you took through Namanga is definitely the only safe route. We are not aware of another boarder post closer to Moshi, unless it is on the other side of the mountain at Tarakea (which is still a three hour drive from Moshi to the boarder), but that area is not safe for foreigners to travel through. As we want the highest level of safety for our guests, we can never choose to take such a route. We will follow up with See Africa in order to prevent such miscommunication in the future.
We will take all your experiences into consideration for improvement of our company and especially the vehicles.
Thanks for your review and travelling with us.

Marion

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 August 2017

In July 2017 we (a family of 4) went to Arusha. From there we wanted to visit some National Parks and so I contacted Caracal Tours & Safaris, a company that I had found on the internet. The contact was very pleasant. After we had submitted our wishes, Marion suggested a six day safari with a visit to Lake Manyara, Serengeti NP, Ngorongoro Crater and Tarangire NP. We chose to go camping (basic campsites, good, but sanitary facilities not always clean). Caracal arranged the camping gear for us: 2 man dome tents, field beds with extra mattresses, pillows and sleeping bags. We slept very well, although it was very cold at Simba campsite at the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater.

Ben was our guide/driver and Albert our cook. We really enjoyed our trip: the beautiful nature and so many animals, some of which we saw really close to the car! While driving, Ben spotted many different animals, often long before we saw them. He usually knew exactly which animals we saw and if he did not know, he looked it up in a book. We saw many big animals, but also smaller ones like rock hyraxes, African fish eagles and a dwarf mongoose. On route we could stand still as long as we wanted and had plenty of time to take pictures or simply enjoy the view. Exceptionally beautiful were the hunting lions, the cheetah with cubs and the sunrise over the Serengeti.

Our meals were fine as well. Every morning a good breakfast (toast, peanut butter, jam, honey, eggs, sausages, pancakes, fruit). In the afternoon sometimes a picnic, sometimes lunch at the campsite. And in the evening a nice meal with soup beforehand. (I'm not a lover of soup at all, but they were all delicious!) And as far as I know, all made on a single burner cooker!

Marion, Ben and Albert, thank you very much for this fantastic unforgettable trip.

1  Thank ageethbacker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 11 July 2017

We wanted to combine a visit to our daughter who was doing an internship in Tanzania with a safari/beach trip. She had arranged her trip through Caracal Tours & Safaris, so it seemed the most logical choice to do the same. All mails and questions were always answered promptly, even though Marion was about to give birth to their second child. Marion prepared a schedule that made it possible for our daughter to join us for the latter part of the safari. We went on the 6 day trip and were really impressed by Ben's eagle eyes and knowledge of all animals and especially birds. We saw the big five, thanks to Ben who seems to be able to spot a canary at a 5 mile distance. He is a very skilled driver who is capable of simultaneously driving and having a conversation and even then spot animals miles before we did. Also his sence of humour and the sometimes philosophical discussions we had during our trip were really great! But beyond all this, they have been a tremendous help when our luggage got lost, they kept in contact with the airport and Ben spent hours to retrieve our bags when they finally arrived and the only comment was: that is al part of the job. We slept in really diverse but all very nice locations and had a wonderful time! After the safari on December 24th, Ben drove us to our next destination and we still feel a little bad that that even made him miss Christmas eve at home, because he had to drive all the way back again all by himself (abt. 8 hour drive!) luckily he was back home again on Christmas morning. In addition to that, they have been really great to my daugther and her friend, helping them in many many ways, for which we are really thankful. All in all, an experience that exceeded all our expectations!

1  Thank wwwvw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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