Beautiful Mikumi and Udzungwa spot but choose another operator
We highly recommend to go to Mikumi and Udzungwa, but not with these folks.
Here is an excerpt of what we sent to the tour operator:
Our guide was great and both parks are stunning, however we are mostly disappointed by the trip.
First of all, the way to Mikumi was 8 hours. We could see on the map that it was not close but we expected 4-5 hours top to get to an activity. It was instead 8-9 hours both ways, which on a 3 days Safari is a lot of time spent travelling. Knowing that beforehand would have greatly impacted our decision to do this trip.
This also meant that we arrived late to Mikumi national park and did only about 2 hours of game drive, but still had to pay the 82.60 USD entrance fee, which we paid again on the second day.
At the end of that first day, the lodge was comfortable but we had no running water for the sink, shower and toilet.
On the second day, the last minute change to stay in Mikumi and not do the planned hike to a waterfall meant that we did a game drive for the entire day, this was really disappointing since we chose this Safari for the hikes and activities on foot, but after two days we only sat in the Jeep, which again would have make us greatly reconsider taking this trip in the first place. Now another important point is the fact that the park was being torched to leave soil for the new grass. Because of this, the park was somewhat empty due to animals running away from the fires. This is a yearly event which we did not know would happen as outsiders, but we would have expected you to warn us when we did the booking at that time. Especially since we were spending much more time in Mikumi. So for the second day we rolled in circles for hours looking at the same few antelopes and zebras. It got to such a point that at around 4pm we simply told the guide to go to the hotel. We would have done it much earlier but we wanted to be respectful of our guide who tried so hard to find something interesting.
On the third day, we finally got out of the car to do a hike, but looking at all the available hikes in the beautiful Udzungwa (94.40USD) we felt like we missed a great opportunity to hike more. That last day finished late, at around 9pm we were dropped at Dar but we did not have any diner along the way, leaving us to wander in Dar after dark for food.
As for the money, we were also disappointed that you did not told us before that the park fees were to be paid by credit card. We withdraw a lot of extra chillings which we did not use in our remaining days in Tanzania and which we cannot convert in Canada. Around 200,000 unused chillings which were withdraw with a 15,000 fee, and then converted in USD at the airport again at a large fee. Also, the entrance fees were supposed to be around 80 USD per day, but the last lark ended up being a total of 259.60 USD (not 240 USD)
Finally, there were a few other points in the description of the tour, such as a visit to the Masaii and a python in one of the Mikumi lake, which apparently did not exist according to our guide. We choose your tour among other reasons for that and did not visit the Madrid village.
Overall, the guide and parks were great, but the whole management of the tour is simply sub-par.
From there we would have written a 2-3 stars above, but the response of the operator was aggressive and accusing us of lying, which is pathetic since all of the promises were clearly written in an email, so we had proofs.
The last email we received mostly stated that since the tour was a budget one, it was okay to offer the minimum and cut on what they deemed unnecessary. So if you don't like being played with, I recommend choosing another operator.