Sort By: Date Most Helpful Rating 11-20 of 47 Reviews
Mahendra Sagar   –  
United States US
Visited: February 2018 Reviewed: Feb 24, 2018

Email Mahendra Sagar  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: 2-5 safaris

Excellent Budget Joining Safari, Good Driver/Guide, Excellent Service

I contacted MJ Safaris based on reviews here and Jackson Lyimo promptly responded to my questions and provided info. Jackson provided a bit of discount to bring the price down to $950 for 5D/4N safari, including pickup from Moshi in a local bus/shuttle and drop-off to KIA airport at the end of safari. I paid a deposit via Credit Card and the remainder at the beginning of Safari in Arusha (in both cash $ as well as Tanzania currency).

This was a budget joining safari meaning people join as and when they are ready to start their safari. On the first day, we were only 2 but the remaining 4 days, we had a full house of 6. The accommodation on all 4 days was basic. First day in Panorama Camp, we had an African Igloo Hut while the remaining 2 nights in Serengeti and one on the Ngorongoro Crater we had our own tents that were carried on top of the safari vehicle. A cook was with us all five days who would make food and you could get vegetarian food - but do specify your requirements so they can buy things in advance in Arusha - once you are in Serengeti, there is nothing you can get anywhere (Hint: buy your own food in Arusha before the safari starts).

Our driver/guide Emmanuel was courteous and helpful and could spot all kinds of creatures. We were very lucky to see Cheetahs over 7 times and a Rhino up close! That was the highlight of the trip. If you want to see wild creatures in their natural habitat, this safari is a must. We also visited a Maasai Village on our way out of Serengeti and that was another highlight of the trip.

Again, since this was a budget joining safari, no matter who you book with, you might join the same group! However, MJ Safaris was a trustworthy and reliable agency that provided all the services they promised and I have no hesitation in recommending them highly.

A final note: a Chinese girl on our safari paid only $800 for the exact 5d/4n safari but she came at the last moment so if you can join at the last moment, you might be able to get the best prices!

Raphael Rochon   –  
France FR
Visited: February 2018 Reviewed: Feb 15, 2018

Email Raphael Rochon

"This company met my expectations"

Jackson from MJ Safaris was prompted to answer my questions from day one. I had an amazing time in Tanzania, got myself a private 6 days game drive, and glad I did, more freedom in terms of photography. Thanks to my guide Jimmy, we were able to see the big 5. Amazing scenery and beautiful fauna. Good food cooked by my private chef.
Hakuna Matata, they will take good care of you, get ready for a complete and total escape...

Rahul   –  
United States US
Visited: March 2017 Reviewed: Apr 7, 2017

Email Rahul  |  20-35 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

An honest review by a solo traveler doing a budget safari

This is my honest review as an American solo traveler doing a budget safari (as a student who's on a budget). I thoroughly cover pros and cons and encourage anyone seriously considering MJ to closely read this. In summary, MJSafari is an absolutely phenomenal operator for the value you end up getting for $190-$200/day, and you can rest assured it is reliable and solid. Best of all, you can pay with credit card (they prefer cash but if you don't want to carry all that cash with you traveling abroad, you can pay in advance (it's like 3% extra with card, which is fine)).

I'm pretty risk averse and spent more time than I'm willing to admit looking for the right operator. I saw a high amount of good reviews on Safari Bookings; I was also already in Tanzania and so was able to call Jackson (the point of contact) who was extremely helpful answering all my questions. I did a 5 day/4 night group safari through Ngorongoro, Serengetti, Tarangire, and Lake Manyara in March. For most of you all reading this, you'll probably end up emailing him a bunch if you're not already in Tanzania.

I did a budget-joining safari where I was a solo traveler and joined a group already set to travel. MJSafaris also offers private safaris, and I can't comment on those; they might cost more since it's your own jeep, but your experience will be better and you have more flexibility with your schedule and how long you spend in each park. Even if you're looking to do a private safari, I would still recommend MJ based on my experience with their group safari

First off, with safaris, you need to understand the nature of a "budget joining safari." It's not necessarily one big company. This is a few different companies that pool their staff/jeeps together so that they give you the flexibility of joining a group safari on any given day and any given itinerary. This is extremely useful if you're a solo traveler and want to visit 4 locations, even as 5 other people in your very same jeep want to only visit 3 (this was my case: I was traveling with a group who had just summited Kili with MJ; after we all saw 3 parks together, they left back for Moshi and I saw Lake Manyara with just one other person. If you look below and see a review by Marcia K, that's the group I joined :) ). Only a budget joining safari will let you see any # of places you want, starting on any given day, without paying a ridiculous sum of money.

If you try to book your VERY own safari itinerary with other companies, you will be paying substantially more since it is private. For a 5 day safari, that can mean the difference between paying $900-$1000 vs $2000-$3000. Though at the end of the day, you are visiting the same exact locations as the other companies. Your jeeps are next to their jeeps and you're watching the same animals. Even as some people say you get what you pay for, I really didn't see the need to pay 2-3x more money considering what I got with MJ. Save your money.

Let me now explain the trade offs. For instance, some mornings, you may want to be in the jeep as early as possible, and you may be told to be ready by 8 AM to start your 2 hr journey to the next park, but you may not actually get on the road to the next park until 9 AM. You'll see some reviews below get irked by this. If you pay 2-3x the money for your own safari, then you can tell your safari operator to start whenever you want (e.g., before sunrise) and create your own custom itinerary. For me, it was a trade off I was completely fine with given the money I was spending. $190/day is actually a really good deal, and we saw some incredible stuff on the game drives. And don't worry, you will still do some sunrise safaris: we did one in Serengetti, which was awesome. But generally speaking, with a budget joining safari, things will be a bit more chill with the staff; they may start the safari later than you want, but not by that much. You still get to see things for a good amount of the day. And it does not hinder your enjoyment (particularly if you know to expect it). I'm just objectively covering pros and cons here and want to make sure people reading these reviews understand that you're not completely controlling the itinerary (like on my safari we spent 1 day in Serengeti, which was awesome, but if you want to spend 2-3 days in Serengetti, then you may not be able to do that unless you arrange for your own private safari, which is pricey).

They have a lot of drivers; from the ones we had experience with, the best ones are Nelly and Tony. Try to request either of them. Nelly is the best in my opinion. Spotted animals with eagle eyes, talked about the animals a lot, etc.

If you're still reading this massive wall of text, you might be like me and be a bit hesitant as to what to do: you're about to make a big decision and spend a lot of money in a foreign country. I can absolutely assure you MJSafaris is a solid company to commit to. Like I said earlier you can pay with credit card. Even though it's 3% extra I prefer this b/c if something super unexpected happens, you can always dispute with your credit card company (it's like an insurance mechanism, though MJSafaris is a pretty well established and reliable company so you don't have to worry about that; still, I prefer for things to be documented in paper that I paid, without bringing a titanic sum of cash abroad).

I had read some of the rare 1 and 2 star reviews below and certainly had some concerns (again, it's a budget joining safari, so there might be an occasional hiccup; you have to prepare for it potentially happening). I did not experience any problems at all. Jackson was also extremely, extremely gracious to give me a complementary ride BACK to the airport from my hotel in Moshi since I spent a night there after my safari (it's normally $40 by taxi and he could have easily charged me, which he didn't, and so I still tipped the driver $15).

Even as you look at other reviews for other companies and are still debating which company given that it's a fairly big decision, I can attest that this is a well established company you can trust--one that will give you an excellent value for the money you spend, particularly if you're a solo traveler, or even if you're a giant group. Safe travels and good luck with your decision. And to MJ Safaris if you're reading: thanks for a great experience!

Natasha   –  
Canada CA
Visited: December 2016 Reviewed: Apr 1, 2017

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

Had a great time and great experience!

I my first time to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro and I was provided with a perfect team and guide ( Bariiki), by Jackson. Everything was very organized - we did the Marangu route for 5 days. It wasn't the first mountain I've climbed, but it was the first mountain I've climbed with a guide, and it was a great experience - I enjoyed it very much. It was such a good experience that half a year later I came back with my family and we hired Jackson again to climb mt. Meru. Luckily we got Bariki as our guide again and it was an amazing trip. I am very satisfied with this agency and highly recommend it to others.

Marcia K   –  
United States US
Visited: February 2017 Reviewed: Mar 24, 2017

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

100% recommended!!!

I had an awesome experience in Tanzania thanks to Jackson and Trekking Hero/MJ Safaris. I was so happy since the first day I contacted Jackson by email until the last day they dropped us off in the airport in Moshi. Jackson and his team took care of us everyday. I hired his services for a 7 day-climb of Kilimanjaro via Machame route and a 4 day-budget safari (Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Tarangire parks). We were a group of 8 people and once in Moshi we joined 5 more people so we were a big group to take care of. All of us reached Uhuru peak, the food was delicious during the climb and they were so attentive and helpful. We decided to climb Kili in 6 days instead of 7 days after the group, guides and porters agreed we were ready to do in 6 days. There was a lot communication and friendship between everybody. That gave us an extra free day in Moshi, to do some shopping, relax with a massage, sightseeing the town and checking a marathon. During the safari, we saw so many animals and I took so many pictures. The drivers had so much knowledge about the animals and their habitats. This was a budget safari that overpassed my expectations about food, customer service and lodging. They really took care of us specially the first night when it started raining before setting up the tents. The guides were so diligent and patient with all information and logistics of the safari trip. I am glad that I chose Jackson and his company to experience Tanzania and I would totally recommended to my friends and strangers.

Ali Asgar Hanif   –  
India IN
Visited: February 2017 Reviewed: Mar 24, 2017

Email Ali Asgar Hanif  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Amazing trip and a wonderful experience

We 2 couple had visited Ngorongoro & Lake Manyara and our our was operated by Mr Jackson Of MJ Safaris & Adventure.
We had a very satisfying tour , though our tour was short we had a very wonderful experience. We had a very fair dealing with Mr Jackson as he was quite cooperative and a very reasonable man.
If ever I or my friends have to visit this place , I will do it through Mr Jackson. My trip was tailor made according to my budget and likening , as such I found him very flexible.

Whatever place he had selected for our stay was quite comfortable and service oriented. There was no extra demand from his side I only paid him the amount that was quoted by him.

Sandra   –  
Canada CA
Visited: September 2016 Reviewed: Mar 23, 2017

Email Sandra  |  20-35 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Amazing adventure 5 star from top to bottom

Before we went, my husband and I contacted many budget safari tours, and Jackson from MJ safaris was always proactive in answering all our questions and provide valid answers. We felt very reliable and we booked with MJ. The trip was so amazing and it was a once-in-a-life time experience. Both our tour guide/driver and chef are so professional. Our tour guide is majored in zoology in university and he knew the animals, we ended up seeing a leopard very close by, just crossing in front of our jeep, because our tour guide knew that it was going to rain and the leopard would go down the tree from far away, so we listened and he was right.( It is rare to see a leopard closely. ) we also saw a cheetah hunting for an impala, elephant herds crossing in front of our jeep. Female ,male and baby lions close by and a male lion laying right behind our jeep... There are so many breathtaking moments, you name it...The accommodations were very well organised as well, the guide and chef set up our tent every time, so it is worry free. All you need to do is enjoy the scenery. it was a private tour for me and my husband, the jeep is a nearly new land cruiser. (Never had any problems during the tour), driver had very good driving skills and drivels super safe. The chef cooks delicious meals, and my husband and I heard that Masai lamb is much more delicious than regular lamb ,we bought a live one on the way, and the chef BBQ , stewed and stir fired and made curry rice for the us under very limited cooking conditions. Very delicious. The staff tried very hard to make your trip a perfect one and it was a perfect trip for us for sure. Also I need to mention, they were very very punctual, never late for our tours.. I highly recommend MJ safaris and adventure to our friends and family.Lastly, we met a group of people from the U.S., Australia and New Zealand who did mount Kilimanjaro climbing with Mj safari, they had very positive experience as well. So go ahead and book with confident !

Philip   –  
Netherlands NL
Visited: February 2017 Reviewed: Mar 22, 2017

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

Great tours with a wonderfull staff!

MJ Safaris organised for us (2 people) our Kilimanjaro-climb (Machame route) and 6 days safari (Arusha NP, Ngorongoro, Serengeti and Lake Natron with the climb of Ol Doinio Lengai) for a good price. Both trips were excellent, thanks to a very skilled, motivated and friendly staff. We enjoyed it fully and had no
complaints at all. I can certainly recommend MJ Safaris!

Glenda   –  
Italy IT
Visited: December 2016 Reviewed: Mar 22, 2017

Email Glenda  |  20-35 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Indimenticabile! Amazing!

Un grande grazie per questa esperienza davvero indimenticabile!
Thanks for this amazing experience!The trip was well planned and the food was so good!We were in 8 and the jeep was big enought! What an I say? just thanks!

Damian   –  
United Kingdom UK
Visited: January 2017 Reviewed: Feb 16, 2017

Email Damian  |  20-35 years of age  |  Experience level: 2-5 safaris

The review below is the personal opinion of Damian and not that of SafariBookings.
Avoid these guys!

I have never written an online review but feel I should.

As soon as I paid my deposit communication suddenly went very quiet and I had to send several chaser emails to find out what was going on.

Finally a day before we were due to start I received an email 'Pick-up at 6.30am'. 6.30am came and went and at 7.30am I finally received an email response saying 'Call driver 07xxxxxxx'. Not even an apology. You can imagine how stressful this was morning was! When I spoke to the driver on the phone he explained that one of the guests on our safari had a delayed flight and was waiting at the airport. When I met the others they said they all arrived the previous day! Other than that, they hadn't prepared the vegetarian option for lunch which I had requested.

The second day brought more dramas. After being told to wake up at 7am for an 8am start we were all extremely frustrated to find the driver had disappeared. He eventually came back at 10am and explained that his boss hadn't put the funds on his company card. We missed out on 2 hours in the Ngorongoro crater because of this.

We were promised extra time in Serengeti to compensate for this but on the 3rd day exactly the same thing happened! The driver even asked if anyone could pay the balance on their card and that his boss would refund through the web!

I know they offer extremely cheap packages but no saving is worth the stress of waiting around to get into a park on a once in a life time trip. Pay a little bit more and avoid MJ Safaris."

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