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Mar Tours, Zara, Uhuru Expeditions or DETASA?

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Mar Tours, Zara, Uhuru Expeditions or DETASA?

Hi,

I am planning my Kilimanjaro trek and safari to Tanzania and have gotten quotes from a lot of companies. I have narrowed it down to the ones above and wanted to get some feedback from people who have used them.

DETASA is more expensive than the other companies in my list but they seem to have great equipment and the safari lodges sound wonderful. Innocent (the owner) has been great and I have heard wonderful things about them.

I wasn't able to find much on Mar Tours and some people like Zara and others did not have a good experience with them. Can anyone speak to that?

Someone also gave a glowing review of Uhuru Expeditions and they seem like a reputable budget company. Anyone used them?

Thank you in advance for your help!

P.S. I am open to suggestions for other companies. These are the best I have found so far in the range in which I wish to spend. Thanks!

Los Angeles...
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1. Re: Mar Tours, Zara, Uhuru Expeditions or DETASA?

I used DETASA for my climb in February (you can find my review under my name, but in short, Innocent is great, as is everything else about DETASA). I would definitely go with them unless you really can't spare the extra expense. DETASA isn't cheap, but you're getting a first-class climb for a much better price. I don't like to waste money, but I was spending a lot in any event and I felt that the extra money would maximize my chances of making the summit.

I've never read a bad review of DETASA (unlike Zara, which was totally unappealing to me). I'm sure there are lots of good lesser-known companies, but I would be reluctant to take a chance with a company you can't find much about. You should ask for references, and talk to them on the phone in order to ferret out any BS or funnybusiness. Good luck.

2. Re: Mar Tours, Zara, Uhuru Expeditions or DETASA?

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3. Re: Mar Tours, Zara, Uhuru Expeditions or DETASA?

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4. Re: Mar Tours, Zara, Uhuru Expeditions or DETASA?

Hi there,

I'm going alone. Could you tell me more about Mar Tours?

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5. Re: Mar Tours, Zara, Uhuru Expeditions or DETASA?

We did our Kili climb + safari with Amani Afrika. We did a lot of research before choosing them. They were referred to us by volunteers who live in Arusha as they know the owner of the company personally. While researching Zara we learned from other travellers that things are generally fine until something goes wrong. I guess it's hard for big companies to give you personal attention when things do go wrong.

The owner of Amani was a guide himself before he started his company. He'd call the guides while we were on the mountain to make sure that we were ok. For us, he joined us on day 4 of our climb to give us more supplies (e.g. warm jackets) as many of us fell sick because of the altitude. (He did a 24-hour run up and down the mountain to raise funds for his NGO before so it's easy for him to just "stroll up the hill".) We were very happy with our team of guides and porters. All 8 of us made it to the top.

We didn't pay much then cos there were 8 of us in the group to share the Kili + safari costs. Make sure you find a reputable company that doesn't cut corners. On the stretch before Stella Point, we saw many trekkers being abandoned by their guides. I guess for the companies that do big groups, they don't hire enough guides so some people get left behind (if they are part of a group of strangers.) Don't be afraid to ask for references from the company before you commit. It's no joke to get sick on the mountain and not be cared for. Same thing for safari. Some companies place a mileage cap on the vehicles. So it's wise to do some research and see what you are really paying for.

All the best in your search!

6. Re: Mar Tours, Zara, Uhuru Expeditions or DETASA?

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7. Re: Mar Tours, Zara, Uhuru Expeditions or DETASA?

Hi there, tell me more. Which country are you from and what did you do in Tanzania?

8. Re: Mar Tours, Zara, Uhuru Expeditions or DETASA?

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10. Re: Mar Tours, Zara, Uhuru Expeditions or DETASA?

While on my trip, I met many people.  And across board Zara was always met with high praise.  I didn't use them but I herd the higher price was worth it.  

Now with that said here is my Uhuru experience.   But the rep I found out afterwards is that they do volume and hire whoever.   So I wish I did my homework before. And not after my bad experience. Here is is:

I too have a horrible WORSE traveling experience of my life with Uhuru and its commissioned associates. They are a churn it up and churn them out type of crew. I will give some context to me as well: I am a very laid back female. I was on the road in East AFrica for 5 weeks and in that time, I had great fun even when things didn't go way I had planned. But only the 4 days out of my 5 weeks on the road in AFrica were just simply AWFUL. These were the 4 days I booked with Uhuru Tours and Bush Adventures (they were in this together as they broker/ co-op package) Simply AWFUL. DO NOT BOOK EITHER OF THEM IF YOU WANT TO AVOID SCAM AND AWFUL TIME.

UHURU TOURS sold me a safari package in Kilimanjaro and Moshi that was absolutely a completely lie. They had brokered part of it also to BUSH ADVENTURES owned by a guy named "URASSA"; And it just spiraled down from there. Here is my story as I wrote my complaint into the tourist board.

1) Our driver was HIGH from around noon to end of day during our Taragire safari drive.

2) Our driver was HIGH from morning to about 2:30 during our Ngorongoro crater safari drive. This was really disturbing especially during the precarious descent into the Ngorongoro crater b/c we were driving along a cliff side. Because of the 5 people in our my group, I was the one sitting in the front, I was really scared b/c I was the one who directly saw how badly his eyes were glazed over. However, the entire group was aware that our driver was high and was very irritated at how he would speed through without stopping or even explaining about the animals on the crater floor. He was just in a rush to cover as much ground via the car and get out of the crater. He was always on the phone talking to his friend (these were not business calls all the time) and couldn't care less that he was taking a tour around. This entire day was bad b/c we had told our driver we wanted to be at the gate by 6am and do the descent during the sunrise and see the animals in the early morning. HOwever, he woke up late, then he had his smoke before we left. We left the camp at 6:15 instead of getting to the park at 6am. Then b/c he didn't have his paperwork prepared, it took a good 1 hour and 45 minutes for us to get into the park. By time we got into the park, it was around 9am.

3) In the afternoon, the group broke our driver out of his high by telling him that we didn't think he was doing his job right and that he was passing animals when we'd ask him to say stop. He seemed to jerk out of his high lethargic state after that, but we only had half hour or so before end of our safari.

Now from here in is where the most serious infractions happened. Yes, can you believe the above wasn't even the worse of this or I may not even bother warning everyone?

4) When the driver dropped me off, I inquired about my permits for the next two days that I would be at the NGO wildlife lodge. He told me that Urassa from Bush Adventures would be taking care of that and he was "100% sure of this." So that evening I started texting and calling Urassa to ask him about my permits. I NEVER GOT A RESPONSE. THEY NEVER GOT MY PERMITS SO I SPENT TWO VERY EXPENSIVE NIGHTS ($400) AT THIS NGO LODGE AND COULDN'T LEAVE THE PREMISES.

5) WHEN IT WAS TIME TO LEAVE THE LODGE WHERE I WAS LEFT TO DO NOTHING BUT SIT THERE IN MY ROOM FOR TWO BORING AND VERY SAD DAYS, Bush Adventures/Urassa NEVER PICKED ME UP TO GO BACK TO TOWN. I was deserted without any call backs. I had to hitch a ride out with another safari crew to get back to Kilimanjaro.

And only way later that day did Urassa text me lamely that he would come get me. I hadn't heard from him prior to that when I asked if he was even picking me up as per my booking.

6.) Also, they were supposed to also supply me a ride to the airport. Suprise: they never showed up.

7) Not only did they not deliver on half of what was supposed to be in my package, they took off with my monty. I had paid everything up front (as they required like most around TZ.)

DO NOT USE BUSH ADVENTURES. DO NOT USE UHURU.

THEY ARE UNFIT FOR BUSINESS.

I WANT TO MAKE SURE NO ONE HAS THIS KIND OF EXPERIENCE WHICH IS WHY AS BUSY AS I AM, I AM MAKING THE TIME TO POST THIS.