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Josh & Kate   –  
United States US
Visited: February 2019 Reviewed: Mar 9, 2019

Email Josh & Kate  |  20-35 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Unforgettable experiences provided by a company that made us feel like family.
5/5

For the honeymoon of our dreams in Tanzania, my wife and I set our expectations incredibly high. I'm so grateful that I can say those expectations were exceeded in droves. A month later, we're still re-living hundreds of unique and special moments from our trip, and we will be for a long time. Without a doubt, choosing Tanzania Choice Safaris (TCS) was the best decision we could have possibly made.

My wife was incredibly lucky that she knew Brenda through a mutual colleague at work, and we sought her out for an initial conversation about our honeymoon. Over a series of Skype calls, we got hours of one-on-one guidance on choosing a customized itinerary that met our preferences perfectly. Brenda carefully provided us with highly detailed proposals for each element of the trip, and after a few rounds of adjustment (we're a bit picky), our itinerary was set: an 8-day climb of Kilimanjaro via the Lemosho Route, seven days of safari through Tarangire, Ngorongoro (including the crater and the Ndutu Plains, and Central Serengeti, and four days in Zanzibar. More important than our itinerary was the realization that TCS was a family company that had made us feel like family, even before we had gotten to Tanzania.

When we arrived, exhausted but excited, at the Kilimanjaro International Airport, we were greeted by Brenda and Festo, our lead guide for Kilimanjaro. Almost immediately, they made us feel welcome and comfortable, and we knew we were in good hands. We took the drive to the Weru Weru River Lodge in Moshi, where we did a quick gear check with Festo and then got some rest. We slept well that night knowing that we were going to spend the next eight days with someone so personable, so knowledgeable, and so thoughtful. The next day, at Lemosho Gate, we got to know our 10 porters, cook, and assistant guide, all of whom were cut from the same cloth as Festo: upbeat, positive, attentive, and supportive. And that service orientation means everything when you're on the mountain. Each day of the hike was beautiful and different, and some days were truly challenging. When your appetite goes, or your head starts hurting, or you start having trouble sleeping (or all of the above), it makes a huge difference when you have people that are genuinely invested in your well-being. That was most apparent during some our toughest days, including a long and slow ascent from Barafu Camp to the summit, when we needed that support the most. I'm convinced that Festo and Augustine (our assistant guide) provided the key ingredients that enabled us to reach the top.

With much anticipation for both rest and wildlife, we transitioned to the safari portion of the trip. Our guide (and driver and navigator and wildlife expert and storyteller) Leslie, met us at the base of the mountain at Mneka Gate. Once again, we knew we were in great hands right from the start. We spent a night at the Weru Weru River Lodge that evening, and found a congratulatory bottle of wine and cold chocolate bars waiting for us in our room. What an awesome surprise from Brenda! The next day, we set out northeast to Tarangire National Park, and the week that followed, we'd make our way through Ngorongoro Crater, Ndutu Plains, and finally Serengeti National Park. To go into detail on each of these days wouldn't do them justice. Suffice it to say that each day was a unique and thrilling adventure. Leslie didn't just know each of these parks intimately from memory (no map, no GPS), he could identify the dozens mammals and hundreds of birds we encountered--from the rare bat-eared fox to the European roller--without hesitation. Leslie is also incredibly warm and has a great sense of humor. We spent hours with him during our days and ate nearly every meal with him at our table, and we loved every minute. I should also say that the accommodations selected by TCS were absolutely perfect. We were in bush camps every night, but far from roughing it. In-tent bathrooms and showers and comfortable beds made each night's stay a joy.

During the safari, thanks to Leslie, we saw each of the big five, we witnessed a lion kill a wildebeest, we saw lion cubs nursing, and we saw a handful of predators with fresh kills. And all of it was from a distance of no more than 50 feet, and usually much closer. We took more than 5,000 pictures on our little 25x zoom camera, and the images are breathtaking. The moment we confirmed that Leslie was truly special was during our lunch at Central Serengeti Visitors Center. Upon arrival, he was quickly surrounded by young guides-in-training at the Visitors Center like he was a living legend. We showed those aspiring guides some of the photos we'd taken, including leopard and rhinoceros, and they were blown away. Our drive back to Arusha from Serengeti was a bit bittersweet. We were excited to experience Zanzibar, but sad to leave our new friend. Leslie had taken such incredible care of us, and we had some amazing memories to carry forward.

After reaching the airport in Zanzibar, we were greeted by our guide, Khamis, who gave us a history lesson as we made the 1.5-hour drive to Nungwi. We checked in and said goodbye, and began our three-day "do-nothing" stretch along pristine beaches, at rooftop bars for sunset, and in gourmet restaurants. Our three-night stay at the Flame Tree Cottages was perfect. The hotel was small, close enough to the action but far enough to have some quiet. There was a pool, a beachside bar, and breakfast every morning on the patio of our suite. Though we stayed in touch with Khamis via WhatsApp, we asked for our space and that's what we got. He picked us up right on time on our second-to-last day so we could make the drive to Stone Town for a night in the city. We were lucky to have some friends visiting from Dar Es Salaam, so we spent the day with them and then ventured to the Old Stone Fort for Sauti Za Busara, the annual music festival. We hadn't timed the trip to be there, but the festival was a great bonus, and a perfect way to cap off nearly three weeks in Tanzania. The next day, Khamis met us in the lobby of the charming Seyyida Hotel, and we (reluctantly) made the drive to the airport for the 20 minute flight back to Dar, and from there, back home.

The beauty of this trip is that I can remember so much of it, so vividly. That's probably because we were genuinely happy with everything, from start to finish. That only happens when you have a company, and a group of guides, that is so highly invested in your happiness as TCS. I would strongly recommend them to anyone with even a remote desire to visit Tanzania at any point. You'll be so happy you did!

Martin Rathjen   –  
United States US
Visited: February 2019 Reviewed: Mar 9, 2019

Email Martin Rathjen  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: 2-5 safaris

A 5 star operation with excellent hospitality
5/5

Tanzania Choice Safaris provided a truly fantastic and amazing climb of Kilimanjaro via the 8-day Lemosho Route! As a group leader of a larger group (22 people) it was very easy to work with Brenda, Kakasii and Festo (mountain guide) leading up to the trip. The pre-trip communication was professional, timely and very helpful. The in-country and on-mountain experience of TCS was awesome: abundant Tanzanian hospitality, with an amazing crew of assistant guides, porters and chefs. We were welcomed, encouraged, supported and enabled to the top of the mountain, and back down. Of our 22 climbers, 21 made it to Uhuru and one to Stella Point. Given the size of our group this was an overwhelming success, but even if we hadn't summited our group experience with Tanzania Choice was excellent! I highly recommend Tanzania Choice Safaris for your Kili climb (with a big or small group).

Kelly Kautz   –  
United States US
Visited: February 2019 Reviewed: Mar 6, 2019

Email Kelly Kautz  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Caring, professional, and exceeded expectations!
5/5

Tanzania Choice Safaris organized and provided an exceptional Mount Kilimanjaro climbing experience for our group of 22, as well as organizing a tour of area hospitals, schools and health related services and a delightful safari tour for our group of 9. All staff hired by Tanzania Choice Safaris were gracious and thoughtful regarding our needs - we were provided with everything we needed and more! After spending almost three weeks with Kakasii and his staff, we felt as if we had made many new friends! I highly recommend Tanzania Choice Safaris!

Brad   –  
Australia AU
Visited: February 2019 Reviewed: Feb 25, 2019

Email Brad  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Excellently organised
5/5

No safari experience could have been better.
Highly highly recommended.
Cannot praise these guys enough.

Matt   –  
United States US
Visited: February 2019 Reviewed: Feb 24, 2019

Email Matt  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Best way up the Mountain
5/5

TCS did such a great job equipping, feeding and staffing our 22 person trek up Kilimanjaro. Fresh pineapple at 15,000 feet!? Unheard of. All of our trek was under the watchful eye and and good nature of trail boss Festo Mtui. If you are so lucky to get Festo to lead your expedition, then you are REALLY lucky.

Well done Tanzania Choice Safaris!

Pat   –  
United States US
Visited: February 2019 Reviewed: Feb 24, 2019

Email Pat  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Exceptionally well organized, responsive send customer focused.
5/5

Exceptionally well organized, responsive send customer focused.

Jeff   –  
United States US
Visited: February 2019 Reviewed: Feb 23, 2019

Email Jeff  |  65+ years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Absolutely everything promised exceeded my expectations and my guide, Leslie, was extraordinary.
5/5

Tanzania Choice Tours provided excellent service. I was updated frequently, received clear instructions and every communication was helpful resulting in no surprises upon arrival. I was able to witness firsthand every animal including the elusive Spotted Leopard on two occasions for an extended period of time. I highly recommend Tanzanian Choice Tours and , if available, as for guide Leslie who was very skilled and knowledgeable.

Bob   –  
United States US
Visited: February 2019 Reviewed: Feb 23, 2019

Email Bob  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Outstanding attention to detail and truely caring!
5/5

We used them for a Kilimanjaro climb and a safari. They were very accessable for questions before our trip and our guides we're very knowledgeable about what to expect and any questions we had while on safari. I highly recommend them!

Gary   –  
United States US
Visited: February 2019 Reviewed: Feb 23, 2019

Email Gary  |  65+ years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Tanzania choice safaris was well organized friendly and comfortable
5/5

I was amazed at The number of details Tanzania choice safaris managed. We especially enjoyed getting to know all of our borders and guides. We feel like they have become friends for life. They took all factors in mind and made it possible for 21 of us to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. It was a massive effort and great fun. Everything they arranged was perfect for us. I highly recommend them.

Bryan   –  
United States US
Visited: February 2019 Reviewed: Feb 22, 2019

Email Bryan  |  35-50 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Once in a lifetime adventure executed to perfection !!
5/5

Our trip to Tanzania included a successful 8 day trek to the summit of Kilimanjaro (aka the "Roof of Africa") on the Lemosho route and a 2 day safari to Tarangire National Park - all with Tanzania Choice Safaris. From the pre trip planning forward, it was a fantastic experience. Brenda, Kakasii, Festo and Leslie designed a great itinerary and made themselves available throughout to answer all of our questions. Once on the ground in Tanzania we were treated like friends and family. The Tanzania Choice Safaris team went above and beyond to make this an experience of a lifetime. We came across many groups on the mountain and while on safari who had paid far more but were having a far less satisfying experience. If you're planning an ascent of Kilimanjaro or a safari, look no further than Tanzania Choice Safaris, you will not be disappointed.

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