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“Fantastic trip, perfect organization, everything went smoothly”
Review of Duma Explorer

Duma Explorer
Ranked #12 of 642 Outdoor Activities in Arusha
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Based in Arusha, the gateway to Tanzania's famous national parks, Duma Explorer was founded in 2004. Owners Stacy Readal, an American, and Hezron Mbise, a Tanzanian, live permanently in Arusha and bring more than four decades of tourism and business experience to Duma Explorer. Our highly personalized safaris and treks offer a unique window into the landscape, wildlife and culture of this extraordinary region. Safaris Each of our safari guides has at least ten years of experience as a safari guide in Northern Tanzania, ensuring that you will be guided by skilled tourism professionals throughout your trip. Mountain Climbs Our passionate and highly trained mountain crew totals 150 people, including guides, cooks and porters. Many of our guides began their careers with us as porters in 2004. Our mountain guides each have a minimum of 7 years of experience hiking Kilimanjaro. Duma's chief guides and most assistant guides are Wilderness First Responder certified. Duma is a proud partner for responsible travel with Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project. Duma is one of only a few companies to qualify for partnership and it regularly meets all the requirements of fair treatment of porters. Our equipment on Kilimanjaro includes Mountain Hardwear Trango 3.1 sleeping tents, Marmot and North Face mountaineering mess tents, tables, chairs, extra thick mattresses, toilet tents and emergency oxygen.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed July 23, 2013

I just returned from an 8 days safari with DUMA and everything has been just PERFECT! I had of course asked several agencies for a quotation and had shortlisted 3 including Duma but I had the impression that, compared to the other quotations I had received, it offered a very good value for money. Although the price was slightly higher than the others (something like 200$ on the total amount which is nothing if you consider we were 4 and travelling for 8 days) the accommodations were all inside the parks which really makes the difference since the last thing you want is wasting time driving in and out of the parks every day (while many agencies book lodges outside since they are far cheaper) and it offered 8 full days safari while others were 7 nights/7 days with no activities on the last day. Besides Duma was the only agency which suggested a much more interesting itinerary which included the North of Serengeti in addition to the standard Taragire/Seronera/Ngorongoro tour. This is a beautiful area, not crowded at all, with a fantastic landscape, lots of animals to see and, above all, gave us the chance of seeing the migration, which was fantastic!. During the trip arrangements, Stacy always answered promptly to all my e-mails and questions and she even took the time to come to meet me at the hotel when we started the safari . The driver/guide, Sifuni, was really fantastic. He has been a real pleasure to be with since he is a very reliable, competent and nice person who really pampered us (and especially our kids!) during the whole trip. As I mentioned all the accommodations suggested were great but we particularly loved our stay at the Chaka camp which is their brand new camp in Central Serengeti. It is beautiful and the service is just great: wake up with coffee in bed (and chocolate for the kids) at 5.30 a.m. has been a real treat for us and really made a difference for such an early start!
Finally they assigned us a big car (although we were just 4) which made it easier for our children to cope with the long hours of driving since they had more space to move a bit and to play. I have been extremely satisfied with my choice and I would definitely recommend to use them!!!

Thank maviflo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"chaka camp"
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"stacy readal"
in 17 reviews
"day safari"
in 57 reviews
"ngorongoro crater"
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"central serengeti"
in 17 reviews
"off road"
in 8 reviews
"circle of life"
in 3 reviews
"kili climb"
in 7 reviews
"one night"
in 8 reviews
"excellent communication"
in 3 reviews
"planning phase"
in 3 reviews
"responded promptly"
in 3 reviews
"game drives"
in 11 reviews
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in 9 reviews
"spotting animals"
in 9 reviews
"two nights"
in 6 reviews
"excellent safari"
in 9 reviews
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Reviewed July 19, 2013

My sons (ages 10,13) and I took a safari to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater with Duma Explorer. Communication with the owner, Stacey (an American married to a Tanzanian) was very good from the beginning emails to her post-safari visit at our hotel. Our guide and driver, Mallese, was experienced and knowledgable. He was an expert at spotting wildlife where we saw nothing. The only animal that we didn't see on our safari was a rhino. Our cook, Gideon, made simple, but very tasty meals without a proper kitchen. He also was pretty good at changing flat tires. (We had two; when you see the roads, you'll be surprised it was only two.)

As part of your safari, I would suggest doing a day in Lake Eyasi with the Hadzabe tribe. We hunted with the men for 2+ hours. It was a very memorable and authentic experience. Our afternoon visit with the Datoga tribe was less authentic, more touristy.

There's a tremendous amount of driving on safari. It may not be appropriate/comfortable for very young children. If your budget will allow, consider flying to Serengeti directly. You'll save hours and hours on the road.

Safari camping can be challenging. Our first campsite did not have running water; instead we used a bucket of water for washing. I mentioned this fact to Stacey, and she said that she won't be booking that campground in the future. The campground in the Serengeti had better facilities. Do take seriously the warnings about not leaving your tent after dark. I met two African Buffalos during a late-night pit stop outside our tent. Yikes! Camping and being held hostage inside the tents at night was my least favorite part of the safari. If I had it to do over, I would have opted for lodges. The accommodations at the Crater, Rhino Lodge, were good, but Gideon's food was better. The post-safari accommodations at Outpost Lodge in Arusha were adequate.

Overall, I'd highly recommend Duma Explorer. They delivered on all they promised.

To see photos from the safari, you can check out our blog at www.aroundtheworldin72days.com.

1  Thank Shellie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 3, 2013

Myself and my wife, we had wonderful 12 Days Safari with Duma Explorer. Here is our detail review
--Tour Operator::: Stacy is the owner of Duma Explorer. Starting from planning phase and until the end of our trip Stacy was prompt. She offered all the help that she could. Due to personal reason we thought of cancelling our trip. Even then she was ready to help in cancellation. Fortunately we did not have to cancel our trip. Stacy even provided us Internet Dongle and recommended us on Internet and Phone SIM so that we can remain in contact with our parents, friends and relatives. In short our safari experience was very pleasant and we are glad we chose Duma Explorer.

--Tour Guide::: Kawaga Mohamed was our Safari guide. He is very polite and never tired of answering our questions. He is very good in spotting animals and birds from far distance.... looks like he has hawk like eyesight. He is very good driver.I always wonder how he can remain cheerful in spite of driving all day long and that too on a gravel and uneven roads. I would recommend him to everyone.

--Safari::: We saw everything, lots of animals… thousands of wildebeest, Zebras. Also, many Lions, Leopards and Cheetahs with cubs. And, many more birds. Amazing part of African Safari is that you are observing all these animals and birds in their natural habitat- in their own territory, and so the animals are so fearless and expressive.
Our Safari Itinerary in the beginning of June:
• Arrive in Arusha (Kilimanjaro JRO Airport),
• One day to Arusha National Park – thick jungle and many animals, walking Safari experience
• One day in Lake Manyara National Park- thick jungle and many animals and birds,
• Two days in Western Serengeti – Wildebeest Migration, Zebras and many more animals and birds
• Two days in Central Serengeti – Lions, Leopards, Cheetahs and many more animals and birds.
• One day in Ngorongoro Crater – Rhino , Lions and many more,
• Two days in Tarangire National Park – Birds and some animals. (June is not a good time to see animals in Tarangire.)
• Tips --- We recommend doing Tarangire in the beginning. Keep Serengeti and Ngorongoro for the last. Serengeti and Ngorongoro are the best for animal viewing. Other recommendation - Go early in the morning. Afternoon Lions and Leopard and most of the animals are sleeping. One day is enough for Tarangire. You may want to give two days to Ngorongoro. Since there are only 20+ Rhinos in Ngorongoro park, there is no guarantee that you will see it on day one.

--- Lodging::: All lodgings are well chosen by Stacy of Duma Explorer. We stayed: two nights in Ahadi Lodge in Arusha . One night in Kirurumu Tented Lodge near Lake Manyara National Park. Two nights in Mbalageti tented chalet in Western Serengeti. Two nights in Chaka Camp in Central Serengeti. One night in Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge and one night in Ngorongoro Farm House. Two nights in Tarangire Safari Lodge in Tarangire National Park. All lodges were wonderful; especially we liked Chaka Camp, Sopa lodge at Norogoro Carater and Norogoro Farm House.
I would like to write something about Chaka Camp.
Chaka Camp::: It was the best. We stayed two nights at Chaka Camp. Our experience was pleasant and joyful. It is in the Jungle surrounded by beautiful savanna. Large tents, large beds, Hot water. Food was delicious. One night we requested for African Food and we were served delicious African Pilau and Kachumbari Salad. All Staff was always attentive and their every action was giving us feel of being at home.

---Internet and Phone SIM Card::: Stacy recommended us to use Airtel for Internet. It worked everywhere except in Mbalageti, where nothing works. I had my laptop with me. We bought dongle for 30 thousand shilling and added 3GB data for additional 30 Thousand shilling. Another SIM card we bought for our phone for 2Thousand shilling and added re-charge (minutes) for 40Thousand shilling. Both internet and phone lasted for 12 days. We made international calls several times. Airtel Internet has two options GSM and WCDMA. GSM gives just 384KB bandwidth. WCDMA gives 7MB bandwidth. Make sure to configure it for WCDMA when there is better reception available. We were able to upload all our photos to Facebook while on Safari. To make international call from Tanzania dial “+” country code and phone number. You need passport or Driving License to get Internet or Phone SIM. You can get it activated in 30 minutes in Arusha Airtel head-office/shop in downtown.

---Money::: We converted US$200 to shillings that lasted us throughout. ( Conversion $1=@1632Tsh) We tipped everywhere in shillings during Safari. At the end we tipped our Tour Guide in dollars. We bought souvenir with mix of dollars and shillings. Please note we don’t take alcoholic drinks, so no money were spent on drinking.

--Once again, I would like thanks Duma Explorer, its owner Stacy and our Tour Guide Kawaga for making our Safari joyful and memorable.

Thanks,
We-are-one

3  Thank OneWeAreOne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 29, 2013

We returned Thursday June 27, 2013 from a Northern Circuit, 5-day safari with Duma Explorers. The trip was wonderful, the staff excellent and the accommodations exceeded all our expectations. I will review each facility separately in other postings but if you are scheduled into the Outpost Lodge in Arusha, Nysa Lodge in Mbo wa Mute (Mosquito River), Chaka Camp in the Central Serengeti or Country Lodge in Karatu you will enjoy yourself.

We saw abundant animals close up on our Toyota Landcruisers. The only one we had a bit of a problem finding was the rhino--these are rare now in northern Tanzania. The roads were rough, the dust everywhere and the nights surprisingly cool but that's what makes it an adventure!!!

Thank appecruzer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 8, 2013

We had an AMAZING time. The Duma team and experience was outstanding!

First, it should first be noted that the Duma owners are a great team and provide great service. Stacy (originally from the U.S.) handles communication & marketing. Her husband, Hezron, (originally from Tanzania) handles the safari and guide logistics.

We connected with Stacy and asked for a safari tour via email. We had a tight schedule, but Stacy managed to create a trip that visited the areas we wanted at a pace that was not too rushed.

The safari itself was outstanding. It's just a completely different world that is hard to describe. Hundreds to probably thousands of animals (when you count those in the great migration) following along in our direction. We saw lions, cheetahs, giraffes, elephants, zebras, hippos, tons of wildebeests, many types of birds. Leopards were hard to find given our short window, but we did see one.

Just as important, our guide Raymond, was phenomenal. He had: a great personality, was funny, and super knowledgeable. Lastly, he wasn't afraid to drive right up to the animals. That lion was a little scary at first! I know that all of the Duma Explorer guides are great, but we highly recommend Raymond!

A note on where we stayed. All of the lodges and hotels we stayed at were very nice. Much better than expected. The Duma Explore tent camp is a 5 star tent setup. We were shocked at how nice it was.

Regarding food, we are from the US and were pleasantly surprised by the food. It was a very good mix of the basics: meat, fish, vegetables, etc.

A big trip to Tanzania can be intimidating at first, but I encourage you to take Stacy's advise on the itinerary and places to stay. It was a trip of a lifetime, and we highly recommend Duma Explorer to organize everything for you.

1  Thank SFCA_Trav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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