Africa VIP Travel
Africa VIP Travel
5
SafarisClimbing ToursNature & Wildlife Tours
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5.0
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Keke_Marie
Atlanta, GA73 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2015 • Friends
Summiting Kilimanjaro was never on my bucket list but a friend mentioned (in passing) she was going so I decided with 30-seconds of thought - that I would too. Why not? Had I researched what this meant, I probably wouldn't have gone - so I'm glad I didn't!

Our six-day trek was organized & executed by Africa VIP Travel. The guides & porters were awesome and the adventure was made as comfortable as possible by their great team. They did their best to provide great meals too. But, after a certain altitude, no food is appetizing :). I highly recommend this company...they aren't in Trip Advisor or I would, officially.

The hike is pretty grueling. I started training about five months in advance - running 50 miles or more a week & hiking with a backpack, on the weekends. However, I wish I had done much less running & added wall climbing and more lifting to prepare me for the hours of rock scaling and heavy pack. Our guide also told us we needed to be mentally physical...we laughed at that but after the first day, you get it. The hours are long, the terrain challenging, the cold brutal and silence deafening...even with the best of friends, after hours of trekking in the high altitude, you run out of conversation & energy to speak. Thank goodness I brought a solar charger & we had music for an hour or two each day. I highly recommend a solar charger unless you don't mind being in your head for hours & hours every day.

The altitude is tough but manageable if you prepare. We followed our guide's advice & took only 1/2 an altitude sickness pill every evening - the prescription says take two but I trust the guide more.

Be prepared! It is colder than you think. Silk long underwear was my savior - that and an awesome sleeping bag. Don't skimp on the bag. Also, our water purifier broke on day four but thankfully two of us brought iodine tablets & had enough to share. Boots: Make sure you get at least one size bigger & break them in (one of my friends didn't do either...that, along with not training was too much & she turned back after day 3). Also, mole skin - critical. Sunscreen too, especially on the hands! I did it, my friends didn't & their hands were fried. Finally: Energy bars in your backpack = critical. You burn about 6,000 a day & if you don't manage to eat, you will not make it. Towards the end, you are forcing yourself to eat, so make your choices full of calories.

YES - it's really challenging and so, so cold but totally worth it. I wouldn't have missed it for the world. I wouldn't do it again :) but am a better, stronger & more thankful person for having gone & made it. Good luck!
Written December 23, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JustinPere
Seattle, WA3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2017 • Couples
My wife and I did our Tanzania safari with Kambona and Africa VIP Travel and consider it our best travel experience yet (we travel quite a bit). Kambona was completely knowledgeable, kind, and fun, and his team helped make our week with them easy, safe, and memorable. You should see the safari photos we were able to take because of VIP Travel - really amazing. Each meal was wonderful, our lodgings and campsites were beyond comfortable, and we had whatever we needed to create the trip of a lifetime. We have recommended VIP Travel to anyone we know who considers Africa travel, and we even invite Kambona to our Halloween party every year in hopes he'll be able to make it!
Written August 21, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

healingspirityoga
Scottsdale, AZ2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2018 • Couples
Kambona and Africa VIP Travel was recommended to me by three different people and I'm glad that my boyfriend and I booked our trip with him. Our every need was met with support and smiles. Each day started with a sweet wake up greeting and hot coffee. And although I am afraid of drop-offs, Kambona got me over Baranco Wall successfully! His brother, James was our guide for a 3 day safari and we really saw everything. What an unforgetable journey! I recommend Kambona and Africa VIP Travel with no reservations.
Written August 13, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ginamar2018
Boise, ID4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2017 • Friends
My friend had climbed up Kilimanjaro with Kambona as her guide and climbed down with him as her friend. It was after this experience that Sarah invited me to return to Tanzania. When I arrived, I was welcomed with the warmest smile from Kambona. He said "Karibu," a Swahili word meaning welcome again. It is quite beautiful to travel in a country where a word such as Karibu is repeated time and time again by all with sincere meaning.

During my time with Kambona, I learned so much more about plants, animals, culture, and life than I could ever imagine. The animals that we saw were incredibly beautiful and Kambona took the time to find spots where I was able to take amazing photographs. Conscientious, caring, and considerate, Kambona made sure that our basic needs plus so much more were met. While we were on safari, camping, or walking through town together, Kambona was a brilliant guide with a vast amount of knowledge that he readily shared. If you are thinking about traveling or taking a holiday, I would strongly recommend contacting Kambona with Africa VIP Travel for a once in a lifetime experience.
Written August 6, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ddzinger
Phoenix, AZ4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2018 • Friends
Our Kilimanjaro adventure lives in our hearts like it was only yesterday. Our main goal was to do the climb, but I am thankful we combined it with the safari, as both were equally impressive in their own ways.
Kambona and his team are what made this trip so perfect. We had the good fortune of meeting him at a presentation he gave in Phoenix, and we immediately felt that this was the man we wanted to guide us. He has assembled a solid and knowledgeable group of guides that enrich your experience of the land and the people. The simple fact that he grew up amongst the Masai tells you that he has a connection with people that no western tour operator can hope to reproduce.
His deep knowledge of the mountain, of the savannah, the plant and animal life helps you to see a deeper texture in what Tanzania has to offer. His staff is committed to show you all the wonders of the wildlife... I have to laugh every time I think of our driver James exclaiming, while driving, that he has just seen a Cheetah, and the rest of us see nothing but endless, unbroken grassland until ten minutes later when we are parked just a few yards away from a serene mother with her two cubs eyeing us suspiciously...
How would one know what to pack for a trip like this? Kambona does a terrific job at outlining exactly what you will need, nothing more and nothing less, to be comfortable and warm both out in the wilds and on the roof of Africa, I was happy to find it was indeed exactly as he had said.
Safety is a big priority, and he has covered all bases, much more so in my opinion than some of the larger companies. The camps were set up by the time we arrived and the food was usually exellent, specially considering the challenges of a moving camp on the mountain! I will never forget the carboload dinner in Barafu the night of the final ascent! French fries and mashed potatoes, my favorites! The safari tents were great, and felt very secure, even with the sounds of lion roaring nearby at night...
My daughters (at 24 and 25) were a bit skeptical about the physical challenges, but managed it with ease, and now have an incredible story to tell for many years to come.
I would absolutely recommend Kambona and Africa VIP travel to anyone considering the Kilimanjaro hike or a safari or both!
Written August 1, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ejberry2018
Seattle, WA1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2017 • Couples
Kambona is a true gem. He was recommended to us by a very experienced international traveler and climber who has done many trips with him in East Africa and in the United States. Everything was first class. Kambona asked detailed questions over email about what we wanted to see. My husband and I were traveling alone and wanted privacy, luxury and adventure. Kambona put together a great team. We visited all of the highlights in Tanzania, including camping in our own private camp in the Serengeti for four nights. The meals were excellent. Kambona is very knowledgeable about everything, even star-gazing at night! I cannot recommend African VIP Travel enough for your Kili and Tanzanian adventure.
Written July 30, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

C6400QCsusanf
Phoenix, AZ1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2017 • Friends
Africa VIP Travel is outstanding. Kambona and his staff helped us plan a Kili climb and safari for 4 50-something parents/friends and 5 20-something kids. The advice and directions on gear, medical plans and training were thorough and helpful. Once in Tanzania, it was even better.

After a day to recover from the lengthy flight with a short safari near Arusha, we started up the mountain. We were guided at a pace that moved us along without the least-fit ones losing breath and enabling us to enjoy the lush rainforest and the climate zones above with their interesting and unique plant life and beautiful vistas. Our tents were roomy and pleasant, and we were greeted each morning with bowls of warm water to wash and hot coffee or tea at the tent flaps.

I was skeptical about food on the mountain, but Africa VIP served VIP meals. We had delicious hot cereal for breakfast and soup for lunch and dinner. We had bread and fruit at every meal, meat for those who wanted and delicious alternatives for the veggies among us. Our appetites declined as we went higher, but the food enticed us to keep getting the calories we needed. At 15,000 feet on summit eve, we even got hot, fresh french fries. I don't know how they managed, but it was wonderful.

Our guides were friendly, spoke fluent English, and had lots to share. They were so helpful - for example, one carried my day-pack on the last day when it seemed so heavy and another took my daughter's arm for a lengthy steep period coming down when she was slipping. We had an entire entourage with not only guides and cooks, but many porters carrying our tents, packs, food, kitchen supplies, and two clean chemical toilets enclosed in little tents (altitude meds are diuretics). Our porters had warm jackets and we learned they were paid better than most. I like the fact that Africa VIP Travel is Tanzanian-owned, and our money stayed in-country.

Some of the group developed altitude sickness, but with Kambona's route, care, and own regimen of diamox, everyone was well by summit day and we all made it to the top. It's a long, slow trek from 15,000 to 19,430 on summit day (bring an iPod - it helps). We all walked slowly and steadily, getting to the crater crest at dawn, and then to the peak at 7:30 am. It was absolutely exhilarating.

The day after we made it back down and reveled in hotel beds and hot showers, Africa VIP Travel drove us across Tanzania to the Serengeti. We stayed in tents that Kambona designed with little compartments for showers and chemical toilets. The inside toilet was so welcome at night when we awoke to lions roaring just outside the tents - going out was not an option. The food was excellent here too, including a great veggie casserole baked in a Dutch Oven.

We drove all around the Serengeti and our guides found herds of zebra, antelope, wildebeest, elephants and giraffes, among others. We saw leopards hanging from trees, a mama cheetah and her cubs, a river full of hippos, and so many more interesting and exotic animals close enough to observe and photograph clearly. On the way back to Arusha, we spent a full day in the Ngorongoro Crater, where the animals are more densely packed. Lionesses and their cubs wandered on the road just below us, and lions with shaggy manes sauntered by - incredible. Our hotels near the crater were excellent, and a sharp contrast to the Masai village we visited.

On the mountain climb and on the safari, Africa VIP Travel provided outstanding guides and staff of drivers, cooks and porters - friendly, knowledgeable, and so helpful. We could not have asked for more.
Written July 25, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

cclevenger3
Lafayette, CO1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2018 • Friends
Kambona is a wonderful guide and leader: strong, honest, knowledgeable, funny, accommodating, and safe! Our trip was truly wonderful, and Kambona played a huge part of its success. It is a true testament to him (and the team he assembles) that 3 members of our party quickly used him as a guide on a second trip. Given the opportunity, we will also become repeat customers. Kambona is a rare person with exceptional qualities. He is a first-rate guide. I highly and without reservation recommend his services.
Written July 24, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Phoenixsam
Phoenix, AZ6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2018 • Couples
Kambona Mollel was recommended to my girlfriend and I for climbing Mt Kilimanjaro and taking a safari. We chose a seven day route to the peak of Mt Kilimanjaro and Kambona and the rest of his team didn’t disappoint. Between hot coffee served first thing in the morning inside our tent, three hot meals a day, descriptions of what we were hiking through, and hand holding as necessary we had a wonderful experience, and for me a successful summit of the mountain. We followed up the climb with a three day safari in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, led by Kambona’s brother, James. James was incredibly knowledgeable about the wildlife and had tremendous eyesight to spot animals we couldn’t initially see. We spent three nights fixed tent camping in the Serengeti where the hosts were super friendly and accommodating, and we met many other travelers from around the world. 100% recommendation to use Kambona and Africa VIP Travel for either a Mt Kilimanjaro climb or a safari.
Written July 20, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

mrmgsm
Madison, WI1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2018 • Family
In February 2018, we traveled with Kambona Mollel of Africa VIP Travel on our 3rd 'trip of a lifetime' 10 day safari in Tanzania, all with Kambona. Our safaris in 2007 and 2010 created so many wonderful memories that we knew we'd return. After our 2010 trip, we wanted to return to share the experience with our young grandson. However, Kambona suggested that we wait until our grandson was old enough to not only enjoy, but also to remember his adventure. Trusting Kambona's advice, we waited and returned in 2018 with our 11 year old grandson and his parents. Once again, Kambona and his staff provided an experience we'll never forget! The level of service, knowledge about the animals and parks, the accommodations and the food...everything says 'quality' and 'hospitality'. They also shared the love of their country and their Maasai culture throughout the trip. We always include 3 nights of tent camping in the Serengeti...we believe it's a MUST to fully experience the wonders of the Serengeti. There is absolutely no hesitation in referring our traveling friends to Kambona. They always return with positive experiences and we receive many thanks for helping them find the guide to take them on their personal 'trip of a lifetime'. Our trips have included Manyara, Ngorongoro, Serengeti and Tarangire parks along with Arusha area school visits.
Written July 12, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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