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“9 Day Safari in Tanzania”

Duma Explorer - Day Tours
Ranked #7 of 271 Tours 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 older children, Activities for young children
1 review
“9 Day Safari in Tanzania”
Reviewed July 30, 2014

Duma Explorer organized our 9 day trip to Tanzania in May with Ebeneezer Emanuel serving as the guide.
It was a fantastic trip and Ebeneezer was an absolutely first class guide – we cannot recommend him more highly!
We began our safari in Tarangire, where we stayed in the excellent Mawe Ninga lodge in the central part of the park. This was followed by two days in Dunia Camp in South Western Serengeti, several days of wilderness camping in North Serengeti, and then several days in Olduvai Gorge camp and the stellar new Exploreans Ngoro-Ngoro property.
Every detail was carefully considered. The logistics were well planned. The camps were in lovely locations, with good staff and uniformly excellent food.
Our son-in-law had done some pre-planning for this trip, but we found Stacy from Duma Explorer to be extremely patient and flexible in customizing the itinerary to our needs.
The highest praise must go to Ebeneezer. His English was superb, he had a huge amount of knowledge of animals and birds given his years of experience and degree in biology, and he was a fountain of information about the country, it’s culture, and people. Ebeneezer’s patience, professionalism, and good spirits really made our trip a success. Thank you Duma!
Visited May 2014

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank Ed F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Denver, Colorado
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Great Kili Climb and Safari”
Reviewed July 29, 2014

Duma Explorer came highly recommended to us by several different friends and family members, and it is easy to see why. We were looking for a guide group that was able to facilitate a climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro, a safari, and all of the related travel logistics. Stacy Readal, the owner of Duma, was able to provide exactly that. We were picked up from the airport when our flight arrived and dropped off at the airport before our departure. Stacy took care of everything in between, including booking all the hotels and other travel arrangements. The only addiditional step we had to take was booking our own flights.

The Kili climb was great. We did the 7-day Machame (Whiskey) route. This was a very manageable hike and left me thinking that we could have done it in 6 days, but when on vacation, there is no hurry. The first 5 days of the hike were pretty easy - about 4-5 hours of hiking per day. The 6th day (summit day) was very challenging - about 12-13 hours of hiking. The 7th day was again fairly easy - about 3-4 hours of hiking. The equipment provided by Duma (tents, sleeping bags, mats, etc.) is all of very good quality. The food was pretty good, but not nearly as good as the food we experienced while hiking the Incan Trail in Peru. I have a feeling that this is due primarily to the fact that all the food has to be carried from the beginning of the Kili climb, whereas in Peru, they could acquire more supplies at various points along the trail. The guides were very knowledgable and friendly, and their english was adequate (much better than my Swahili). The porters were also quite friendly. Duma, unlike other guide companies, has a set list of the porters they use, instead of just randomly picking porters for each group. This means that you get a good, trustworthy group of people handling your gear.

A few pointers for those undertaking a Kili climb, regardless of which guide group you go with: 1) it is very, very, very cold on the summit. Bring many layers of long underwear, winter coats, hats, gloves, etc. Even if you only wear most of this on the day that you summit, you will be happy that you have it. 2) Those little hand warmer packets (that you can open, shake, and then put in your gloves) don't work on the mountain. They are oxygen activated and there isn't enough oxygen on mountain to make them work. 3) Camelbak type backpacks (with a water bladder built in) work great for every day except the summit day. It is so cold that the water will freeze in the tube and the mouthpiece of your Camelbak, no matter if you are blowing the water back into the bladder after you drink. You need to have at least 1-2 water bottles/person in order to have adequate water on the summit day. 4) while the porters carry most of your gear from campsite to campsite, a 20-30 liter day pack is perfect. Smaller than that and you can't quite get everything you need for the day, bigger than that and you're tempted to bring too much while hiking. 5) Having Candy and granola/candy bars is great. Bring plenty. Duma gives you a lot of food at meal-times, but if something isn't appetizing to you or you just want something that you're familiar with, having some packaged granola bars is great. 6) Make sure to have a fresh camera battery ready for the summit day and keep an extra one close to your body while you hike. A lot of people (luckily not us) found that once they reached the summit, their cameras had gotten so cold that the batteries were dead. There were no pictures for them on top of the world, which is too bad.

The safari was a great experience after finishing the climb. The Duma safari guide was very friendly, knowledgable, and willing to pretty much abide by any special request we asked for (within reason). There were a few times when it felt like he was just going through the motions (like a fishing guide that always goes to the same spots regardless of the timing, weather, etc.), but for the most part, we saw tons of animals without a significant break in-between. Finally, by all means, stay at the Chaka Camp for as many days as you can. This is one of the coolest places anywhere in the world that I have stayed (and I've been a few places). The Chaka Camp is also owned by Stacy (who owns Duma), but it is truly amazing. It is a luxury camping experience, but that doesn't adequately describe it. Yes, your room is a tent, but there is a king-sized, memory foam mattress in it, a very clean, functioning toilet, running water in the sink, a working shower, and electric lights and outlets. The views from the camp are incredible at sinrise and sunset, and the food is on par with a 5-star restaurant. Just stay there and feel free to thank me later.

A couple safari points: 1) it is very dusty, so bring a lense cloth to clean your camera lens. 2) We bought several extra batteries for our camera becaues we were worried about running out of power mid-safari. This is unnecessary as you can charge batteries each night, as well as from an outlet in the safari vehicle (be sure to bring the right adapter depending on where in the world you're coming from. A standard multi-adapter will work fine). 3) Three days of safari is probably plenty - definitely don't do more than four. We saw almost every animal we wanted to see in the first two days, so days three and four were just seeing those same animals in different settings and sometimes a little closer. 4) Don't go anywhere without your camera. You will see very interesting things in places you don't expect.

Conclusion: Duma Explorer made a very logistically challenging trip seem very easy. They took care of everything and it all went exactly according to plan. Stacy is extremely quick and accurate when returning e-mails, so don't hesitate to utilize her as a resource while you're in the planning stages.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Christopher L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland, New Zealand
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“7 day northern circuit camping safari”
Reviewed July 26, 2014

We had such an amazing time on safari with Duma. We took a private safari, mostly camping but with one night splashing out at a tented camp. Our itinerary was therefore a bit customized and Stacy was very helpful with this and we loved the camp she recommended, Mbugani in the western Serengeti. In June, travelling through the western corridor allowed us to see part of the migration.
7 days was a great timeframe for us, as it was not rushed and we got to see so much each day. We went game driving every day, some times in more than one park. There were a few long drives, but we were comfortable enough and more than happy to do those. We visited Tarangire, Manyara, Serengeti and Ngorongoro.

We had an excellent guide and cook, Tumaini and Remmy. Remmy's food was right up there with the luxury camp, especially considering the limited facilities he had. Both guide and cook were up in the early hours of the morning allowing us to get going for those hours where animals are more active, resulting in some of our best sightings. Our camping equipment was good quality and we had a trailer, meaning plenty of space inside the vehicle and no gear loaded on the roof.
Altogether a very unforgettable experience asante sana Duma.

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
Thank amilayse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“8 day safari to North Tanzania in July”
Reviewed July 21, 2014

North Tanzania on a 8 day safari with Duma Explorer is not for the timid or for the unseasoned traveler. It takes a lot of energy just to get there and the travel from one area to another on the Tanzanian "roads" is rough. We did Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, Ngorongoro Crater and the last 4 days in Central and then Northern Serengeti, staying in a mix of lodges and tented camps recommended by Duma.
Given all of the conditions, my opinion is that Duma did a first rate job in all aspects which they could control: the guide assigned to us (Michael) was extremely knowledgeable, professional, sensitive to our needs, flexible in our daily agenda, and always in good humor. The itinerary put together for us was well conceived. The Land Cruiser provided inspired confidence that we would get to our various destinations.The accommodations (which will be reviewed separately) met my expectations.
I liked Duma and the way it conducted its business with me, and would have no hesitation to use them again. If you go to Tanzania, I don't believe you can do better.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Julkul2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angels
Level Contributor
39 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“"Nzuri sana" Fabulous Safari Company Our 50th Anniversary trip”
Reviewed July 13, 2014

We love to travel, and a Safari was our Dream for our 50th anniversary. When my 2 brothers heard we were planning to go on a Safari they decided to come with us.
I began researching safari companies, 15 in total. I narrowed it down to 4.
But Stacy at Duma was a winner hands down.
Stacy, who is the owner and lives in Tanzania was Fantastic. I gave her my itinerary of parks and accommodations, and dietary requests.She customized it to perfection.
She was professional, prompt with responses and sooo accommodating.
We stayed in Selous at Lake Manze Camp.A few minutes after we left our plane, on the dirt field, we were greeted by lions. On our way to the Camp we saw elephants, gazelles and giraffes. What a way to start our Safari. The tents were clean and the staff friendly. The water safari with crocodiles, hippos ,elephants and the birds, oh my, was calm and vivid and beautiful. We went fishing for our dinner with a masai warrior. Fishing and the water Safari were a highlight. For my Birthday elephants marched behind our campfire. What a gift.
We flew to Lake Eyasi stayed and went on a hunt with the Hadzabe tribe. We woke up at 4:30 and ran with the warriors and their bows and arrows to hunt monkeys. They caught 2 and brought them back for breakfast. We had bought Rice and each family got a cup of Rice. To visit this tribe was a true anthropological and cultural experience.
We stayed at The Planation Lodge outside the Ngorongoro Crater. Lovely grounds, rooms, and delicious food. Maria at the front desk made sure we had vegetarian options.
The Crater was a little disappointing, as so many visitors want to view this amazing abundance of wildlife. There were literally jeep traffic jams.

But the Serengeti made up for this.
Our camp, Camp Chaka, (It is a Duma camp) was a true Safari experience. The tents are lovely with well appointed textiles and accessories. The food is gourmet. The campfire at night gave us a chance to exchange stories with fellow guests. The Serengeti was magnificent. We went on game drives and saw all the animals we had hoped to see. Lions, a whole pride, Elephants, wildebeests, zebras etc.. A highlight of our time in Serengeti was a balloon ride. Although we only saw a tail end of the migration, we saw enough wildlife to last a lifetime. It was so serene floating quietly above the tree tops and gazing at the birds and the wildlife below.
Our guide Shange was professional and knowledgeable. As we all warmed up to each other, we had a great time.
At this point, we realized we had no time in Stone town. We called Stacy, and within a day, with short notice she was able cut our Beach experience in Zanzibar at Echo Beach Hotel, which was fabulous, to 3 days and we got to stay in Stone town. We had time roam the town, visit a spice farm and take in all the architecture, culture and views.


We have only praise for the fabulous(Nzuri sana)Safari with Duma Explorer. Stacy went over and beyond to make our 50th Anniversary trip a Dream come true.

P.S. See the article in Wall Street Journal July 5th

Visited June 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank lovetravelLosAngels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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