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Predator Safari Njema with the KiliWarriors!

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Kiliwarriors

Author: linjudy
Date: 10/08/2007, 11:45 pm
I've read some nice things about this company in this forum, but mostly references to their website, or people who used them for climbing Kilimanjaro.

Any experience using them for a Tanzania safari?
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Author: PredatorBiologist (bgivenhawk@aol.com)
Date: 10/09/2007, 01:51 am
linjudy: I have not yet had the safari but I have worked very closely with Kiliwarriors to plan and be the operator for a small group safari that I am leading to Tanzania in February. As my reputation is at stake with the responsiblity of a group trip I chose very carefully and I can't imagine any outfitter in Tanzania with more intimate knowledge than Kiliwarriors. The go-safari.com and the killiwarriors.com sites are constantly recommended because they are consistently visiting camps and marking the exact locations and aware of their current conditions. Kiliwarriors knows which companies are good at moving camps to the best locations and if they do it at the correct times -- critical for the best opportunities of viewing the migration. They also can set up their own private camps that look to be excellent.

Beyond the incomparable knowledge to make the best plan there were three other factors that have lead me to work with Kiliwarriors:

1) in 2008 they will be utilizing new state of the art custom vehicles -- the best in East Africa. See link and look around the middle of the page for the prototype. http://www.kiliwarriors.com/safari_vehicles.htm
As it currently stands to have an open sided vehicle you have to be at a camp, I don't believe there are any that can take you on your entire safari circuit. These vehicles close for the long haul drives but can be open sided and pop-topped for wildlife viewing. They are also extended so you have extra room vs. the ones in camps. Since the bulk of your time is in a vehicle I think this is a huge factor that differentiates Kiliwarriors and it allows for an open sided experience without needing to depend on camps to have them (many don't) or pay extra for camp guides/vehicles.

2) The company has Maasai ownership.

3) Kiliwarriors safari operation is lean and meant for high quality trips rather than servicing a high volume of clients. Thus they only have a couple of guides and vehicles, ensuring that all are of the highest quality. Many operators are using 25+ vehicles and guides at times which means the quality can be quite variable. I want to know that I am getting the best guiding and that they are guides who have been well trained and know what they are doing rather than a last minute private contractor needed to meet demand.

At this point in the process I am a huge believer in the quality of Kiliwarriors safari operation. Come March I will be able to comment directly on the guiding and on the ground performance.
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Author: Feistybrit
Date: 10/09/2007, 01:45 pm
Hi there.
Just thought I'd let you know I have booked my very first safari with Kiliwarriors for my daughter and I next year. I paid the deposit in July.
Eben was very nice, very helpful and I am looking forward to my first ever safari.
I was very very nervous about who to choose and it was one of the most difficult decision, but in the end Kiliwarriors just felt right.

Sue________________________________________
Author: tripofalifetime
Date: 10/09/2007, 08:48 pm
I too recently booked a trip for September 2008 with Kiliwarriors. Eben was very responsive to my questions and seemed to try to understand what I was interested in seeing and doing rather than trying to force something already planned. ________________________________________
Author: toontowndoc
Date: 10/09/2007, 10:48 pm
We have just returned from a three week safari to Kenya ,Rwanda,and Tanzania,all organized by Kiliwarriors,and I cannot say enough good things about their organization!The itinerary was very well planned,I got excellent advice,and some special interactions with some communities we support in East Africa were expertly organized.Pricing compared to other large companies that we had previously booked with,was extremely competitive,and fully descriptive in terms of price breakdown for all components of our safari.We felt safe and well cared for at all times during our journey,and we particularly liked their emphasis on the use of locally based and staffed camps.When we met Eben's partners in Arusha,it was like being with family.I would not hesitate to recommend this Tanzanian-based company.If you wish any more information,please contact me at d.hastings@shaw.ca I do plan to post a trip report very soon!________________________________________
Author: Leely
Date: 10/10/2007, 12:46 am
Denbasking booked and traveled with them; search for her here. She had nothing but positive things to say about them and her trip. FWIW, I did a brief visit to a school with Wilbert, Eben's Tanzanian partner, an amazing, amazing guy. ________________________________________
Author: jenack
Date: 10/10/2007, 09:13 am
Eben booked my Kenyan portion of my recent safari. Incredibly knowledgeable, patient, and attentive to exactly what I was interested in. All transfers ran flawlessly, and each camp was prepared for us and what we were interested in doing.________________________________________
Author: 5221
Date: 10/13/2007, 09:21 am
Linjudy,

Yes they also do safari in Tanzania, try to speak to Eben and see what they can arrange for you, otherwise see with Tanzania Private Select, they are also small not big company and always note that the small companies do better for their clients, they have time to follow everystep of what you are doing and getting for your safari.

Please let me know if I can be of more help
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Author: linjudy
Date: 10/18/2007, 11:32 pm
Thank you so much for all the response!
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Author: Denbasking
Date: 02/12/2008, 04:41 pm

I was having trouble posting to the original thread but it has taken me so long to respond to this post that was not enough to stop me. Better late than never… I’ll have 4 posts to this thread momentarily if all goes well and then I do believe it will be out with the old client and in with the new ones since there are so many and my information is getting a bit dated – just as I am!

p.s. Asante sana Leely for chirping in for me, I was traveling at the time of this post.

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    Hi Predator I saw your post asking about your KW Guide over on David's thread (http://tinyurl.com/33m7eq) reminding me of this one and your post here which I had previously written some comments for you but moved on to something else and I forgot about it! Anyway, since you were so willing to give of yourself for some youth in Tanzania for me the least I could do is post what I have already typed out for you! I can speak to the KiliWarriors ground performance and a few other points you mentioned above that I’ve not previously covered including adding additional information about your Guide Gilliard and a picture so you can have a quick peek to see what he looks like before you meet him! Put the kettle on… Nah, it’s not that long and the tips aren’t necessarily for you and you can skip them -- just brought out from your comments.


    Predator said, “At this point in the process I am a huge believer in the quality of Kiliwarriors safari operation."

    Bill I think your instincts are spot on. If all is as it was in June 2006 for my safari, I think you’ll be happy with your decision. Just think about it from my side, when planning my trip I did not know a thing about traveling options in Tanzania or the existence of Fodor’s forum and I picked KW’s cold off the WildWildWeb!


    OVERALL

    Everything for me was just as I had personally gleaned and sensed the information and experience was to be from the KiliWarrior websites; Family Extraordinaire on the ground in Tanzania directly managing and carrying out operations of a small well run business offering distinctive private safaris. People, Performance, Service, Operations, Equipment, and Vehicles. ~ Quality. FUN. Professional. Knowledgeable. Smooth. Excellent. Safe & Cozy!


    GILLIARD

    I totally concur with David’s comments in his thread (http://tinyurl.com/33m7eq) regarding Gilliard Mollel as a top-notch safari Guide and as far as those particular critters you mentioned if they are still around; I am confident he will find them for you and your group.


        Gilliard knows “WHERE THE WILDTHINGS ARE!”


    And he knows all about the wildthings, the terrainthings, as well as the communities; including the diverse people, their different cultures, values, and habits.

    Gilliard has been a professional guide in Kenya and Tanzania for years and knows the parks very well. In fact, his education and guiding experience predates KiliWarriors (he began guiding in the 20th Century). He brought all that knowledge and safari expertise with him when he joined his brother Wilbert shortly before my 2006 Serengeti safari. Wilbert told me it took a long time to lure him to KiliWarriors. I am very glad he did and I think you will be too. He is a grand gentleman with skillz and quite good company as well. He also has many well-thumbed canvas covered field guides and will kindly share them!


    Game Drives: Upon my return, I read on the forum how several other safari goers who were in the Serengeti the same time I was, referred to how crowded it was with jeeps all bunched up looking at the same critter etc. Not the case for me, we crossed paths with other vehicles a few times sure, mostly near the human facilities when starting out for the day and from afar I saw that once in awhile, but my days were spent without another vehicle in my line of site! I also would have been horrified to have had to listen to a crackling radio as some said they had to endure while their Guide was asking where to locate animal activity! Gilliard did not use radio communication once; he knows the various places the animals are active or just hangout. I had fun chatting with Gilliard and he never let a learning opportunity go by but WE WERE IN THE SERENGETI and Gilliard and I both enjoyed human quiet! Perhaps Gilliard softly speaking making sure I take note of something, those were my favorite nature moments. I loved every minute.


    Driving Skills: Gilliard is an excellent driver and you can read more about this in my testimonial (http://tinyurl.com/3breqa) on the KW website. Although I will add, there is not one driver I liked riding with through the streets of Arusha or any other populated area! Yet I do think I made the least amount of “squeaking noises” as Gillard called them while riding with him in the populated areas! People (flashes of brightly colored motion trails whizzing by) are everywhere very close to the vehicles and there are no defined shoulders! Scary.

    I will say Gilliard was ‘THE BEST’ possible guide ‘FOR ME’ at that moment in time, at that juncture of my travels through Africa. You only have your first time once; my experience traveling with Gilliard in the Serengeti will always be with me.


    The DRIVER: IMHO, what I know now, for me the driver in EA is the single most important human being. My Guide and Driver was the same person in this case but I think if one has Guides provided by the lodges etc. it is very important to have a transfer driver who is competent with a presence of strength and is respected by his fellow countryman. In other words, someone who handles himself confidently and can anticipate and nip in the bud potential ‘time delays’ and ‘annoying interactions’ with traffic police and other various people and officials. Before Gilliard, I can say all the drivers I had were very good, but I don’t think all of them would have had the personality or communication skills needed to pre-empt or diffuse any potential harassment. I can state from our experience with two police stops and other interactions observed that you will be in good hands regarding this with Gilliard. He is a smooth operator, highly regarded by his peers and I noted a stand down reaction to him as he puts folks at ease immediately. Priceless.

    It would be a REAL drag not to have a great Guide but I could rally and make the best of that situation but one has to get there safely! Driving is a rather LooseyGoosey situation there and a real problem is many of the drivers are unqualified and are clueless as to driving etiquette and the rules of the road. Many consider driving school a waste of time and most are self-taught drivers with a rather free spirit as far as legalities -- many acquire their driver’s license unscrupulously! The worst culprits are the public transportation drivers! The good drivers have it grueling enough negotiating the rough roads all day but having to be in a constant state of high alert for other drivers who drive to fast in general, hit bumps at a high speed and flip taking with them the unlucky ones nearby and watching out for those that overtake other vehicles on a blind curve must be exhausting! Nuts! The Municipal Council, Tanzania Road Authority (Tanroad), Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) and whatever the other governing bodies are have much work to do!

    Curious if the roads and driving conditions are like this in the other African countries you have been to Bill? Ask Gilliard about Arusha’s first traffic robot that was installed this past October! Apparently folks were so mesmerized by the newfangledthing that folks flocked by the thousands each night to observe it change colors and to document all the confusion and havoc it caused! No one passed along any instructions and many had never seen one before. They also neglected to include in the sequence flow one of the four roads at the busy intersection because it was not paved!

    TIP – FIELD GUIDEBOOKS and GIFT IDEAS: Not all the guides have field guidebooks so if you are like me and like to have them try and squeeze them in or ask your point of contact directly what will be available. Half my luggage was dedicated to medicine for a hospital so I did not have room to bring any with me, which has cost me dearly! Before KW’s, I was going through too much withdrawal not having field guides and maps at my fingertips when I was on safari in Tarangire and the Ngorongoro Caldara so I ended up buying them as a gift for my Guide at that time from the not so cheap “gift shop” so I could use them! This led into a meaningful after safari gift idea of continuing education classes to assist him in his desire to get a better job with a company that comes with these things and some of the schools enable you to pay them directly. I think Field GuideBooks would be a great gift as well to send to your Guide after your return home instead of bringing something up front before you know what he likes or needs. These are the extra gifts folks often ask about and not ones that would cut into the Guides tip earnings. One can get much nicer guidebooks at home that are not as expensive as they are from the NP gift shops!

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    EQUIPMENT

    All equipment was just “as seen on their website” and of good quality with appropriate selections for the level and style of activity. I did have a suggestion to Eben when I returned about a preference for hard and soft action packers for some storage options. It is neither here nor there, he asked, I told him. The only different item that I never got around to mentioning is the shower I used was a different style than what I see on the web. I can say for sure I like what I had much better! The one I used appears to me as larger using heavy tarp instead of nylon and had window vents, nice! This had an open top, which is my preference. I had an evening shower in the in the Serengeti with a view of the Stars in the Southern Hemisphere… how cool is that. Ooh I did have a suggestion here and that was to color code the shower poles for at a glance mindless set up. I have found over the years little things like this expedite the process if you run into an after dark setup situation or when breaking camp and repacking equipment. All was good.


    Vehicles: Quality, well maintained. The Kiliwarriors consider this a priority. I was so thankful for the KiliWarrior vehicle when we rendezvoused after my first two weeks in Tanzania. It was a quality of life changing experience, I kid you not! I added a PIC of the jeep I was in quite a bit, I have questions as to WHY it was designed this way; that the seat was so high and/or the window was too low and one had to hunch over to see the view! It was painful. It made no sense to me but I suspect touring was not its intended purpose.

    Anyway, Gilliard really likes his jeep and seems to know all about these vehiclethings intimately down to every purr or creak it makes that were always out of my hearing range! I note Bill your mention of even nicer ones will be available when you’re with them! Sweet! They sound fancy!


    TIP - VEHICLES: IMHO, what I know now, for me the vehicle in EA is the single most important piece of equipment. What I would personally tell my loved ones and help make happen for them -- first things first, safe reliable transportation and carry drinking water at all times. I always have a bottle of water in my control no matter where I am regardless of the caliber of service being provided. I had no say in decisions for the first part of my trip as all was pre-arranged by a friend but was on my own to figure out my needs for the rest of my travels. I felt I was on to something with the descriptions and education regarding this topic on the KW web site and it turned out to be a good find. Now, everyone is not going to travel with the KW’s but I would use their site for an understanding of the needs to consider and then really investigate whether or not your outfitter/tour company has more than adequate vehicles and support resources if there is a problem. Including that competent driver I mentioned! I think in the parks all will be fine but there are certain areas in any country where one would not care to break down and there are more of those places in EA with an infrastructure lacking more than most visitors are accustomed (I researched obsessively about the area and was prepared intellectually -– I thought; I still can not wrap my brain around it all). I’m pretty savvy when it comes to wilderness and urban survival skills and have a great inner magnet but I have no ego or qualms admitting I would be very scared and unprepared to handle myself if stranded in rural or iffy populated areas of EA! Put me in the center of some forest with creepy trees that throw apples at me any day; but not in EA! Not yet any way!!

    After considering the safety of the vehicles, each feature that enhances the safari experience from comfort to details regarding animal viewing and photography are critical for a quality safari experience. You live in the vehicle. Crime, animal attacks, malaria, burrowing worms in my feet, or whatever pales in comparison to me. The vehicle is your shield, your first line of defense. One should never consider the vehicle details idle chitchat when planning their trip, take heed, do not assume because you’re paying for a luxury safari your vehicle will be up to par, your vehicle needs in EA are critical and cannot be assumed like in the USA, which is what I can speak to. This is a detail to look into even if is it not natural for you to do so. I would leave as little to good luck regarding vehicles as one possibly can! Back to you Bill, sawa sawa!


    <font color=“#663300”>GROUND PERFORMANCE

    Schedule: Coordination and timing of everything was flawless.

    To be factual, they were a tad slowed up getting to me for our initial rendezvous point in Karatu. Wilbert kept me posted on their progress getting to me and I was fine where I was. Honestly, I don’t recall how long the time delay was so it couldn’t have been too long. It was due to the presidential motorcade or some such. Hakuna Shida!

    Then Gilliard and Solomon pull up and spring out of the jeep looking healthy, agile, strong, and stylin’ n’ profilin’! Okaaay… this is actually going to be a lavish experience in a nice bubble from reality. Note to self: adjust brain –- check! They even look like “cool dudes” then I think, ooo I feel bad for these young men that have to spend an ENTIRE WEEK with this old lady and fake that they are having fun and probably wishing they had not drawn the short straw! Now this too is running in the back of my mind all week as are some thoughts of my earlier experiences. I’m wishing I had my cool sons with me, and then these guys would have fun. I told them so. I knew right off even before we were out of Karatu I was going to like them and that my sons would have as well.


    Official Business at park entrances, check-in at lodge etc; all administrative stuff was thoroughly prepared and organized moving us along without any glitches. Gilliard again was a smooooth operator, no problems.

    Mobile Camps:

    Vehicle was packed; unpacked and repacked efficiently (this drives me crazy if not done well).

    Camp set-up, Performance working the camp - Break camp. Smooth.

    REPEAT

    Vehicle was packed; unpacked and repacked efficiently.

    Camp set-up, Performance working the camp, Break camp. Smooth.

    REPEAT

    You get the idea…


    Vehicle: Fueled, stocked, and clean at all times.

    I find this a bit of a mystery really. I make an effort not to preoccupy myself about these things and just try to enjoy myself but one does take note when you are familiar with a particular business; camp operations for all sizes n’ styles and outfitting expeditions of the adventurous kind are a big part of my background. So, I do notice the cleaned up jeep all the time inside and out but I never see it GET cleaned and I am never unattended (really!) so it puzzles me! What's more, I never thought about the fuel needs until after I was home and read a report how folks were miserable with their Guide because they were taken on all his trip errands including food shopping and fueling the vehicle! Well, I never sat at a gas station once in Tanzania and that is slick to remove something like this from my mind that I would normally keep a watch on! I really was on vacation! I think not being responsible for anyone else really just left me way out there with my thoughts or I'm just plain slippin'!


    FROM MY OBSERVATIONS, I feel confident that the quality of the operation would be of the same caliber for the camp scenarios and other activities that I did not personally experience with them such as a walk in the Highlands or trekking up Mt. Kilimanjaro.

    It is impossible for me to believe that there would be any deviation (of any note) and not be exact replicas of their Camps, amenities, and equipment representations on the website. Although I was only one client and two staff on my safari, much of the same stops are pulled out; behind the scenes staff required for pre-work, the core bulk of equipment needs for set-up are the same required for larger excursions. I sense that each layer of expansion; staff & staff performance, equipment, and all amenities would be of the same caliber.


    Culture Visits: Having spent the first couple of weeks with folks from the Maasai, Chagga, and Iraqw tribes before I was with the KiliWarriors I had no need for what they offer as far as cultural experiences and therefore cannot speak to what these experiences are like with them. And now that I think about it we’ve never had any conversations on the topic. No clue there but “all safari all the time was great for seven days!” ((h))

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    STRENGTH OF A FAMILY

    The Mollel family is very close and they truly live ‘all for one and one for all’ – solid. When their father passed away, Gilliard, the oldest son, went to work supporting the family with a priority of keeping everyone in school. Next, Wilbert, when he finished school then he went to work and on and on with each sibling. One can readily see this work ethic, their commitment and love for each other, the delightful way they enjoy and share their culture, and their sense of community are what they brought as a family to help create KiliWarrior Expeditions.

    It takes everyone in a company to make things work, but when Eben met Wilbert on that trip he describes online and subsequently Wilbert’s family; he struck tanzanite -- no doubt about it! Hmmm…I should ask him to pick some lottery numbers for me. They all just ooze humble charm and charisma and I can see why Eben likes to be with them; everybody does! We all can only hope a bit of this “Mollel Magic” stuff rubs off on us just a wee little bit!

    I’m not making this up, I tell ya!!!! IknowIknow we all feel this way about our experiences; EA is abundant with gracious and magical people…

    I strongly ENCOURAGE folks to rotate and try different jobs to experience growth and freshen up perspectives etc. however, if that fails I’m a believer that it is good to just move on and that everyone is “replaceable” (including me) regardless the position or company. Not anymore! I take it all back; Tanzania is lovely, KiliWarriors are a great organization but the Mollels are the “asset” and are not replaceable!

    You and your group will not be treated like honored guests; you WILL BE honored guests and welcomed marafiki. They really enjoy meeting, learning, sharing, and getting to know everyone.


    Predator said, “I have worked very closely with Kiliwarriors to plan and be the operator for a small group safari that I am leading to Tanzania in February. As my reputation is at stake with the responsibility of a group trip I chose very carefully and I can't imagine any outfitter in Tanzania with more intimate knowledge than Kiliwarriors.”


    Bill, your good reputation shall remain intact and all of you will be in good hands with any of the Mollel family members, their extended staff, and any additional contacts with a particular expertise they choose based on your safari needs. I believe that you all will also enjoy a non-commercial experience in Tanzania with them; they don’t even have signage on their vehicles, which I really liked.

    When I saw a post a while back that you were going with the KW’s I thought it was a great client-company match up! I had no clue when we corresponded a bit about our projects last April that when you mentioned your trip in February you were going to be with the KiliWarriors!

    If you do not mind sharing is this a work related excursion with a particular goal or for pleasure with friends that you are hosting?

    I have to admit, when thinking of you and your safari my excitement was more about the advantages for the KiliWarriors! I knew you’d be taken care of but I think they will be thrilled with the chance to spend time with one who is going to bring so much to the table! Quite a coo for them I think! It’s always great fun to have a client that shares ones interest deeper than the average bear! I’m sure Gilliard and the others will enjoy soaking up all they can from you and thoroughly enjoy this opportunity; pursuing interests, continuing education and balancing those with the needs and time demands it takes to earn a living in the tourist industry is almost impossible! I predict a whole lotta mentoring of the extraordinary kind going on from both sides on this safari!


    PB -- You are already a Big Hit in Tanzania!

    So if something goes wrong and you lose your reputation :S- all is not lost as you are already popular in Tanzania! I can tell you that young and old alike, folks are amazed and thankful that you and others are willing to come and share your knowledge and spend time with them! And a couple of young adults were very excited at the chance to meet you in particular as they would love one day to be doing research out in the field! However, as predicted February was too soon. But next trip as you said and I never forget a good resource for any organization and especially a good direct contact resource for youth and young adults! Thanks so much!

    Performing service outside of the church and unrelated to basic needs is not a concept or luxury most I’ve come across in TZ can fathom. Especially the thought of someone like you from the USA using or extending their vacation to do so! I tell them there are many folks out there who do this all the time but in truth it is all very selfish in a way because we get more than we give in the exchange! I am having a bit a good luck successfully building up a small network of local resources there to work with folks that can help ease the daily obstructions as we explore ideas. It takes so gosh darn long to get things accomplished there and these folks have to deal with so many stumbling blocks to accomplish the smallest task. But I am still having great fun and enjoy the unique challenges as I mentioned back in April. I get a lot of help from many mentors, am learning much, and spend a lot of my time laughing and being laughed at I might add as many of my ideas and systems are not very transferable! Sooo funny!

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    WaitWait, there’s just a little more to the story Bill that will be of interest to you!


    The “MEN from SEKEI” after the Safari…

    Gilliard and Wilbert for a while there had been two of my mentors contributing and sharing a treasure trove of all sorts of knowledge of the Tanzanian kind. I learned from them much about their culture, traditions, customs, and what life is like in general there, which is my top priority.

    At different times, with both Gilliard and Wilbert, I had long stretches where we settled into a routine of consistent contact, dedicating a moment or so from their busy lives to me and my pursuits in EA. Usually ready to answer questions from a list I’ve sent or saved up or sometimes just checking in on me or letting me know all is well with them – safely assuming I would worry about them. Wilbert told me once, “I know Mums!” We never reminisced about my trip once and I never asked those questions that left me curious on certain aspects of my time with them. But we covered lots of diverse information and methinks many tests! Perhaps they had offered me their fast track or accelerated course from those who live between two worlds so well! Of course, I’m slow and still thinking on and am challenged by some of our discussions. Some information about the Maasai they passed along I cannot find documented anywhere! This really bothers me thinking how much is going to be lost and never known from people and their cultures everywhere because they just know and live it. Nothing new about this topic I suppose… *sigh* But I’m still looking, I haven’t given up!

    Wilbert took a particular interest in sharing ideas in a component of one program and really claimed it, liking any ideas for serving youth in the community often asking, “How is OUR program going?” That was great!

    That’s when I really started to get to know Wilbert even though he’d been in touch following up several times just asking how I was and wishing the best for my family. Then he started mentoring my son, Gem, during his school breaks when home from attending the University of Dar es Salaam (Gem is very involved and one of the main reasons for the projects and happens to live in the same village as Wilbert). When Wilbert was available, Gem would go to his house with a list of his own questions for Wilbert. Together, they would keep me on my toes; collectively working on files I had sent them and take great care and think things through, ask questions, then send them back with very creative thoughts and brilliant additions! And that meant they were ready and available for a response to the file they sent me and they meant now – we want your review and more information and we are in the internet café with electricity now. Love it!

    I’m sure you and many others here are familiar with the various contact routines and procedures for communicating with friends and coworkers in Africa as many others in my life now too have been learning and enjoying right along with me all this contact with folks in other countries. My sons here and their gals, husband, parents, along with many friends in Tanzania, those living in diaspora and a few Fodorites here and there; many have chatted with each other and can even recognize the individual beeps and ringing tones for everyone from my “Africa mobile” and from the computer’s chat programs and all knew when it was Gilliard or Wilbert beeps -- I would be dumping their call to take theirs! Lots of Fun! I’m sure they’ve been off guiding and advising numerous others since when I was lucky enough to be spoiled by them for a time!

    Their hospitability and generosity that was extended to me and my projects beyond my safari even though unrelated to their work certainly reflects well on KiliWarrior Expeditions in my book. They are great citizens of the world and I am very grateful to these men, both sharing their valuable time and knowledge with me; some curious lady in Pennsylvania!

    Bill says, “Come March I will be able to comment directly on the guiding and on the ground performance.”

    Good, the more the merrier. You know a business must be doing something right when a couple Fodorites (competing companies--just a guess) feel compelled or inspired each time I post a mention about KW’s to contact me; a former client from long ago! If this is what they are going to spend their time doing, judging by all the new KW clients and future posters in this thread the competitors are going to need a form letter! Terrible, terrible what a little enthusiasm and happiness turns some people into! I thought I’d take this time to thank them for their fan mail but perhaps I’ve finally shaken them off this time having given up reading this long post!

    Looking forward to reading about your exciting trip experiences in March.

    Safari Njema! Please greet all for me,

    Den

    p.s. Congratulations to you, Mrs. PB, & Ashley and a warm welcome to the world for your new cub Leo! Precious snaps of all you by the way from a long time ago! Enjoy as it all goes so fast and Leo might be the size of my youngest cub when you return! Here are a few snaps (http://tinyurl.com/2xewu3) of my cub (don’t recall when the stripes started to appear) and your guide Gilliard as well.

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    Wow Den, thank you so much for posting all that detail! It was immensely enjoyable for me to read and unbelievably I am now even more thrilled to be leaving in a day and a half.

    Your compliments humble me and I will be very excited when I can help with your great efforts. Whenever my next trip to Tanzania materializes we will schedule it. I can't wait to work with your young adults and the extra time is allowing me to make some progress on research related things that perhaps will be of additional benefit when I do meet them. On this trip I will have the privilege of visiting two school projects and delivering 50 lbs of supplies to them. One of them at Usa River is working on a vocational project too so I'm sure you will want to hear about that when I return.

    I cannot wait to know Gilliard and the other KiliWarriors staff and I am sure that I will certainly benefit greatly learning from them and working as a team to lead my group. It is a group of 8 clients who have simply tasked me with the low expectation of just making their dreams of the most amazing vacation experience ever come true, 7 of them will be Africa first timers. I'm pretty sure what we have in store will meet and hopefully exceed their desires. I did not know any of them previously but over the last year and a half I have come to know them quite well and as 6 live near me we have shared preparation dinners and friendships have already developed for me. It is an extremely fun, enthusiastic group and I am looking very forward to serving them.

    Those photos are hilarious! Definitely a long way to go for my little lion cub to approach your full size tigger. Gilliard's USA tour had me in stiches.

    Thanks for the great send off, I am very appreciative!!!!

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