Tanzania Choice Safaris
- Located In:
- 5-10 employees (Founded in 2007)
- Member Of:
- Tanzania Association of Tour Operators
- Tour Types:
- Custom mid-range & luxury tours that can start every day
- Price Range:
- $400 to $1,200 ppper person per day (USD, excl. int'l flights)
Average User Rating
Email Monica | 35-50 years of age | Experience level: first safari
The most amazing Virtual Safari I could have imagined!
Brenda and her wonderful Husband created the most amazing Virtual Safari experience for the company where I work at here in California. In these Covid times, in person gatherings has not been a option. Thankfully Tanzania Choice Safari's has these fantastic virtual events where we can come together safely and see the most incredible creatures from the comfort of our own chairs. Not only did I feel transported to another place, I was amazed by how much I was able to see and learn about the animals and culture of Tanzania. Their personal experiences as a Tour Guide made it even richer! I totally recommend this experience to anyone and everyone who is interested in Safari's and especially those who cant make it to Tanzania in person. Thank You Brenda and family for an amazing experience I will never forget!
Email Chad Brekke | 50-65 years of age | Experience level: over 5 safaris
A World Class Safari Experience Combined With Authentic Local Flavor
I serve as the senior pastor of a large church in Minnesota and have been bringing groups to visit Tanzania for many years. Kakasii Kimaro is always my first choice as a driver/guide. If my group is large and requires several vehicles, Kakasii is always the lead driver in the group as he is widely respected by both his clients and colleagues. Over the years, I have spent hundreds of hours with Kakasii at the wheel and I consider both his driving and safari guiding skills to be unmatched.
The value added in working with Tanzania Choice Safaris is the unique combination of Brenda's attention to detail and communication during the booking process and the deep connection to the local communities Kakasii is so eager to share. On my most recent visit, Brenda had suggested that rather than spending our last couple days prior to our departure in a hotel in town, we may enjoy staying at a unique Maasai Lodge which I had never heard of before. Proceeds from the lodge go to support outreach to the local Maasai people, including a primary school. Our experience at that lodge was a highlight of the whole trip. We enjoyed an authentic experience among the local Maasai people. That opportunity may never have been suggested without the personal attention afforded by this unique local company (TCS).
A gifted safari driver/guide makes all the difference and Kakasii is blessed with instincts born of loving the land of his birth. I could not count the number of times Kakasii has taken the route less traveled while out on safari, which resulted in close encounters with magnificent creatures. Sitting next to a lion pride with our engines turned off as ten small cubs take turns stalking their mothers tail. Following a hunch derived from some fresh tracks to find ourselves parked alone next to two large male lions feeding on a rare giraffe kill due to drought conditions diminishing more usual lion fare. Sitting in the midst of a large group of elephants, so close we had to duck as they joyfully splashed in the mud! I could fill many pages with Kakasii led adventures of a lifetime!
And yet, none of those experiences out in the breathtaking beauty of Tanzania's wild national parks can compare to the people of Tanzania. Whether in the bustling cities or rural villages, the people of Tanzania are joyful, intelligent, and welcoming. Tanzania Choice Safaris are perfectly positioned to help you experience the full breadth and depth of one of the most amazing places on earth. And if you are blessed to explore the region with Kakasii as your guide, you will find you are greeted as long lost friends everywhere you go!
The Most Amazing Experience of My Life (except maybe childbirth...they're neck-and-neck)
I cannot say enough about how wonderful, amazing, fantastic, perfect, and awesome our trip was. Brenda worked with us for months to plan the perfect 40th birthday/15th wedding anniversary trip and wowzers did she nail it! Every part of our trip went so smoothly. I thought I had planning and organizational skills, but Brenda makes me look like a toddler hyped up on sugar. We stayed in several accommodations throughout the 10 days we were in Tanzania, and each one was great. Brenda took a lot of care in making sure the hotels and camps met my and my husband's personalities and wishes. It's obvious she and Kakasii spend a lot of time scoping locations to ensure client satisfaction.
Kakasii is an absolutely amazing guide. His 23+ years of experience driving and guiding safaris were immediately evident. We saw over 50 species of birds and animals, all of which he knew by sight. Kakasii's mixture of patience, which encouraged us to take our time so we could have a richer experience, and excitement is one of a kind. Despite his years of experience as a safari guide, Kakasii's sense of wonder hasn't waned and is contagious.
Our time spent with Brenda and Kakasii, along with the rest of their family and staff, developed a working relationship into a friendship. We are so grateful to everyone at Tanzania Choice Safaris for their help in planning and executing a trip of a lifetime.
Email Alison J. | 50-65 years of age | Experience level: first safari
Incredible Experience with Tanzania Choice Safaris!
From the beginning of planning for safari Tanzania Choice Safaris was outstanding. From planning what would be best for us given the time of year and our interests it was a perfect experience. We went to 3 parks, all different, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater, and Serengeti. Plus Olduvai Gorge, not to be missed if you love history. The accommodations were above expectations.
Leslie was our guide, he was personable, knowledgeable and quickly figured out what worked for us. Other guides often sought him out for advice when we made stops.
We saw amazing animals and scenery.
I plan to book again with Tanzania Choice Safaris!
Email Josh & Kate | 20-35 years of age | Experience level: first safari
Unforgettable experiences provided by a company that made us feel like family.
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!
Email Mike | 50-65 years of age | Experience level: first safari
Guide Kakasii is an enthusiastic and skillful safari professional who made our experience fabulous!
When my 78 year old father wanted to check off a safari on his bucket list, and my mother refused to go, I stepped in to help. I researched exhaustively, learning as many of safari ins and outs as possible. I networked with people whose views I respect, including an American living in Tanzania working for a mission. I had a Skype session with Brenda at Tanzania Choice Safaris, and ultimately chose them with Kakasii as our guide for a 10-day custom safari. In a nutshell: BEST. DECISION. EVER.
Guide Kakasii and his wife Brenda at Tanzania Choice Safaris are top notch people offering a spectacular safari experience. Are they right for you? It depends. Do you want a personable, knowlegeable, and experienced guide who will tailor your trip to your desires? Do you want to get up and at 'em in the morning and make each day count? Do you mind getting of the main roads and driving longer to achieve a better experience? Do you want your experience cut short or diminished because of some company-mandated mileage and/or diesel limits? (Ask! Because most do this!). Do you want good value in your lodging and food choices?
When you hear Kakasii exclaim "I love my job" in his accented English, you know right away it's genuine and his enthusiasm is infectious. He's a relationship builder and you will discover everywhere you go that he is liked and respected. Those relationships matter. Guides who've built relationships talk with other guides. If one has spotted a leopard in a tree, he'll tip off his friends. Kakasii takes advantage of experience, intuition, and tips from other professionals to bring you to the most wildlife in the time you have allotted for the trip. Nothing is guaranteed, of course, because it is, after all, wildlife. But in our 9 night safari we saw everything. We started with the Big 5 and surged right past that to see things like leopard tortoise, serval cat, mongoose, dikdiks, elands. My father stated elephants as a favorite and we spent intimate time with dozens of elephants in 2 different parks. My nephew said lions was his wish and we encountered many lions in 3 different parks, many very close up, including a dramatic standoff between a lioness with 3 cute small cubs and 3 other lionesses. But maybe best of all, on our Ngorongoro Crater day Kakasii suggested we get up very early and get underway before most other safari groups. It was a brisk 45 degree morning. There were buffalo right outside our lodge. We proceeded down to the crater bottom and I could tell Kakasii was on a mission. 20 minutes later we rolled to a stop and in front of us was a single black rhino-- the last animal on our list and maybe the most emotional. Almost brought tears to my eyes. We watched it for maybe 25 minutes before it slipped out of sight into a slight gully 300 yards away. Trip made right there.
In addition to the flora and fauna of Tanzania, Kakasii also can add whatever cultural experiences you wish. We visited a Masaii village where my son and nephew participated in a welcome dance before we toured the village. Want to bring home fresh Tanzanian coffee? Kakasii knows a coffee farm where you can get 1 Kg of beans of your choice for a modest 250 TZ Shillings (about $9). Already bought all of the souvenirs you need? You don't need to stop at any souvenir stands like the other drivers will force you to do.
If you are truly interested in making what is likely a once in a lifetime safari trip the best experience it can be, then you need to speak with Tanzania Choice Safaris before you book with some other company. Tell them Mike from Iowa sent you.
My biggest dreams came true in one day, and we even stopped for tea.
I used to sit at the window sill of my childhood home dressed head to toe in cheetah print with my collection of stuffed monkeys by my side and watch the various animals (dogs and the occasional garden snake) play in my backyard with my binoculars. Flash forward 14 years and I was sitting in the safari truck (with a less flashy outfit and without my monkey collection) watching multiple elephants cross right in front of our truck. My adventure with Tanzania Choice Safaris far exceeded my wildest dreams. Kakasii our knowledgeable and thoughtful guide was more than happy to stop whenever requested and knew the name of every animal we saw no matter how small. He timed our adventure perfectly, and we were able to watch a lioness prowl up to a zebra and lung at her. However my highlight of the day was his perfect timing when it came to seeing the elephants. At the beginning of the trek we saw them in a distance and had asked if we would be able to see them closer up. His response was simple "Pole Pole" or slowly slowly. Through patient timing we met the elephants right as they crossed the road. They were within feet of us. AND ALL THIS HAPPENED BEFORE LUNCH! Lunch was also amazing we stopped at Hippo Pond and set up a picnic complete with hot tea. I cannot recommend Tanzania Choice Safaris enough.
Email Kelly Bowers | 50-65 years of age | Experience level: first safari
True pros made for an extraordinary trip
Tanzania Choice has been in business for 15 years. They know what they are doing, every step of the way. We didn't encounter *anything* that they didn't have a (good!) answer for. It is locally owned and operated and it is clear that they *love* their work and they love sharing the land and the parks with you. Our guide -- business owner, Kakasii -- was an extraordinary source of information and always cheerful and optimistic. He can find animals everywhere! He spotted a leopard, up in a tree, in the shade, probably 200 yards awhile while driving past. I couldn't find the leopard without binoculars! He can tell you the name of a bird that just flew by that I barely glimpsed. We overheard other groups talking in the evening about what they'd seen and done that day and we'd always seen more and had better experiences. He just *knows* these parks and these animals. He and Brenda -- his wife and co-owner -- excel at what they do and take a huge amount of professional pride in their work. I can't say enough good things about them and about the experience.
Email Charlotte Ward | 20-35 years of age | Experience level: first safari
I cannot put into words how truly wonderful my experience was with Tanzania Choice!
I arrived in Tanzania having booked my trip with a different tour provider... which did not exactly go to plan! I had planned to climb Kilimanjaro and do a short safari afterwards before heading home. However, upon arrival it soon became clear that what i had been promised was not going to materialise. Luckily, I was put into contact with Brenda from Tanzania Choice who quickly arranged for me to meet her & helped me to organise a brand new itinerary within hours! I could not have asked for a more professional service who tailored the trip to my every need under such short time pressures. The service was not only professional but also personal and helped to calm my nerves after a very stressful first day in Tanzania. I met my Kilimanjaro guide, Festo, within a few hours of being in Brenda's company and I knew instantly that I had made the right decision to change my tour provider. Festo was an insightful, knowledgable and truly amazing guide. As a 21 year old girl climbing the mountain alone, i was very nervous and apprehensive about the trip but I felt at ease in his company and trusted him completely. He is an expert at what he does and his knowledge of the mountain is second to none. He always has a smile on his face & knows exactly how to cheer you up when motivation to keep climbing is waining! I managed to reach the top and had an incredible time along the way. I chose to do the Marangu route which has wooden huts instead of tented camps & I really recommend this route, especially if you are climbing alone. Whilst some say it is a touristy route, it was in no way overcrowded and I got the chance to meet people from all over the world and make lasting friendships. My team on the mountain were unbelievable! The food they provided was delicious, and believe me... food becomes extremely important as your energy levels deplete! An extra bonus was that every day i was woken by hot coffee which is not a service many others enjoyed. I felt so well looked after and I couldn't have done it without my team behind me. After my climb, i chose to do a 2 day safari in Taranguire staying in the Sangaiwe Tented Lodge. The lodge was simply beaaaautiful! I felt like i was in a 5 star hotel, everything was immaculate and the service exceptional. The resort is unspoilt and peaceful but well equipped with a stunning swimming pool to cool off in after a hot day on Safari. Kokassi, our guide, was much like Festo in that he was so knowledgable and insightful about the park and the animals which inhabit it. It's like he has a 6th sense for the animals, finding lions and cheetah in the depths of the park where nobody else was! I saw millions of elephants, zebra and giraffes - all in touching distance! The food on the trip was amazing and every lunch time they would lay out a table cloth and provide hot coffee, which is just a special touch that many companies do not provide. Tanzania Choice gave me a 5* experience and i would not even look at another company if i were to return to Tanzania. Brenda and Kokassi are lovely, genuine people and really became my family whilst i was out there. My initial experience of Tanzania was quickly changed after meeting this family. I miss them very much & would recommend them to anyone!
Email plumefeathers1 | 50-65 years of age | Experience level: first safari
Magnificent, profound trip made possible by amazing TCS owners, guides and drivers!
TCS helped LJ, MJ & DJ accomplish an ambitious, jam-packed itinerary - accommodating all of our interests into a magnificent, thrill-of-a-lifetime trip. Cousins Noah and Leslie were our expert drivers/guides around Arusha, our home base in between safari drives and private trips to Dar-es-Salaam and Mbeya. Owners Brenda & Kakasii were top-notch in assisting with all of the TZ in-country flights and navigations! Our First Safari: Great Rift Valley flyover from Arusha to the remote Heritage Camp to see the Great Migration at the Mara River. Expert Guide Victor picked us up at Kogatende Airstrip and away we went, including 2 migration crossings in 2 days! He had fantastic radio communication w/fellow guides and "intuitive expertise," locating animals in remote locations after morning kills: a pride of lions resting on rocks, a lone leopard up in a tree, a weary cheetah with extended full belly within close site of vultures fighting and feeding off the carcass. Victor was amazing, sharing all of our joy and excitement for animal and bird sitings! Our second drive was led by kind, wise Guide Joseph, equally adept at finding animals and birds. This intermediate birder added over 75 TZ birds to her life list as well as seeing the 'Big Five'! Excursions with Joseph: Oldupai Gorge Museum visit, including a drive down to see the actual site of the Leakey's archealogical dig; drive out to Shifting Sands; drive into Ngorongoro Crater and an added drive to Tarangire National Park, graciously arranged by Brenda. While at our accommodations in Ngorongoro Conservation Area at the hillside Tortilis Camp nestled amongst Maasai villages, we were treated to song and dance by the whole staff. The warm TZ people at Heritage, Tortilis and TCS made our experience so rewarding and enriched our lives with their expertise in animals, birds, geology, culture and life!!!
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