Africa Travel Resource

Old Jun 29th, 2006, 09:20 AM
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Africa Travel Resource

I'm intending to book a trip with Africia Travel Resource for a Kilimanjaro climb, followed by some time out on Zanzibar. To date they've been very helpful and accommodating. Prior to making my deposits I'm hoping that someone can provide input on, specifically, their Kili. climbs.
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Old Jun 29th, 2006, 09:38 AM
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No experience with ATR on kili climb, only on safari...not very impressed.

Here are some other options:

http://www.kiliwarriors.com/
http://www.tusker.com/
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Old Jun 29th, 2006, 10:02 AM
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Which climbing outfitter does ATR use?
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Old Jun 29th, 2006, 10:34 AM
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Patty,

It stands to reason that they would use MKSC for the climbs.

MKSC, as a ground handler, was very weak in comparison to Nomad. For the unfamiliar, I did half of my Tanzania trip with MKSC as my ground handler and did not have a good experience and the other half of the trip with Nomad where I had an excellent experience.

MKSC is ATR's ground handler of choice, but once I switched over to Nomad camps, I was then transferred to a Nomad vehicle and guide.

Here is MKSC's website:

http://www.tanganyika.com/
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Old Jun 29th, 2006, 02:07 PM
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I concur with Rocco. I was on an ATR safari in January and was not impressed with their ground carrier, MKSC. The vehicle was in terrible condition, and the guide, while pleasant, showed no enthusiasm whatsoever and did not go out of his way to take us anywhere but to the next camp. Like Rocco, we also did part of the safari with Nomad, and everything improved significantly as soon as we were transferred to Nomad.
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Old Jun 29th, 2006, 10:00 PM
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Rocco and Leann will you share who your guide was with MKSC? This will help.

Tracie - Mt. Kili climb it a very unique and specialized type of experience. Would think about guides and companies who specialize in this area. Seems like there'd be decisions to make regarding which route/trail you'd want to travel,etc which may influence your choice for this experience. Unfortunately, I also do not have experience on Mt. Kili climb. ATR was very accommodating for me. Have you asked ATR for contact points or references from clients who've gone on Mt. Kili climb with them? Might try that.



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Old Jun 30th, 2006, 03:48 AM
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Our MKSC guide was Simon, a pleasant enough fellow, but he didn't do much to keep the vehicle clean and appeared to think his job was to transport us from one camp to another rather than to take us on game drives. He completely bypassed Olduvai Gorge on the way from Ngorongoro to the Serengeti. At one point we were watching a leopard in a tree when his cell phone rang, and he took the call. I must say it detracted mightily from the wildlife experience.

In all fairness though, I must mention that Lenny at ATR was very helpful in planning the safari. He answered my emails promptly, called a few times so we could discuss it, and kept reworking the itinerary until we had it the way we wanted it. My only problem with ATR is their choice of ground handler (MKSC), but I think that is the way they keep their costs down. Also, they push Olduvai Camp and Ronjo Fly Camp, in an effort I believe to keep their costs down.

Leann
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Old Jun 30th, 2006, 05:46 AM
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ATR uses "The African Walking Company" for their Kili climbs.
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Old Jun 30th, 2006, 06:16 AM
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Ditto on what safarilover said. I am not going to mention my guides name...believe it or not I have forgotten it, and that is pretty bad since this is only four months ago and he is the first "private" guide that I ever had, and it was for seven nights. However, if you want to know badly enough you may look up my trip report.

The point is, however, that he was just not passionate about his job (despite being very knowledgable) and he made very little effort to keep the vehicle clean and arrived (probably through no fault of his own) in a vehicle in bad disrepair. I reported this immediately to Petra, ATR's person on the ground in Arusha who you will likely meet, but she brushed aside my concerns and then wanted to charge me an extra $150 per day for a vehicle in proper condition (assuming that their Land Cruisers are in any better condition than their Land Rover 110's).

I will be the first to credit ATR for running a very professional organization in London for the bookings, but the end product fails miserably when in the hands of MKSC, and ATR should do something to address the problem. My guide, as well, received at least 3 - 4 cell phone calls per day, many from MKSC who obviously never stops to think that their clients don't want to hear cell phone conversations on their private game drives when they are supposed to be enjoying private guiding!
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Old Jun 30th, 2006, 06:46 AM
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thanks rocco. all links/information point to african walking company for their kili climbs. no mention what so ever about mksc. i have asked for references but often the bad experiences aren't shared as readily as the good ones.
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Old Jun 30th, 2006, 07:23 AM
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Just back and will have a (controversial?) report up sometime. But wanted to say we very much enjoyed our MKSC guide Edward, recommended by bat on this forum. I can't speak to other guides as we didn't use them. However, Edward is gearing up to retire soon, so he may be off the market. Also, just because we clicked with him doesn't mean others would. We ended up sharing a lot of laughs and he "delivered" everything. Our Nomad experience was a bit anomalous; I'll get to that in my report.

We also had the good fortune to meet Wilbert from Kiliwarriors in Arusha--a fantastic guy. If I were to climb Kili, I wouldn't hesitate to book with them. Just a great person, and they care very much about the mountain, their climbers and those working on the climb.

I wouldn't necessarily use ATR again unless I could have Edward as our guide. I didn't think their customer service was all that great. Frankly, the little Arusha-based company we used last time was more responsive to our needs. You live and learn, I suppose.
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Old Jun 30th, 2006, 10:02 AM
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Leely!
Karibu nyumbani. My sincere condolences for being back.
Iím looking forward to a very controversial report.
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Old Jun 30th, 2006, 10:22 AM
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Welcome back, Leely! Can't wait for your report, particularly the controversial parts
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Old Jun 30th, 2006, 01:03 PM
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Yes Leely welcome back have you started planning your next adventure yet??!
J
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Old Jun 30th, 2006, 01:11 PM
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Thanks, Leely - very much looking forward to your report - all parts.
Welcome home.
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Old Jun 30th, 2006, 01:29 PM
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lovetodiscover,
You'll have a great trip; just make sure you push to get what you want from ATR. We had a wonderful time, but I wish I had been a little more insistent on a few points--not in my nature, really, so I'm not wild about having to do that with an agent/operator.
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Old Jun 30th, 2006, 01:45 PM
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Thanks, Leely. Been getting more concerned, after I'd already weighed the feedback on the board and made my own decisions. Look forward to your "issues" descriptions so can cover the bases from my end. Nick worked my itinerary and was incredibly patient and creative in his approach and very well informed due to his experience and personal travels.

The "guide" selection is my open issue. Helps to know Edward was good. Maybe he will be there through the end of 2007.

Will be using Nomad at Mahale and little surprised about Nomad being anomalous given all the accolades from Rocco and some others.

Waiting with anticipation...
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Old Jun 30th, 2006, 02:02 PM
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Leely

Likewise waiting with anticipation to hear your comments re Nomad. They were so much better than MKSC and Ronjo that our initial impression of them was that they were excellent. However, our experience at Mwagusi (Ruaha) and Sand Rivers Selous in southern Tanzania were far superior to Nomad.

Leann
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Old Jun 30th, 2006, 02:10 PM
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Tracie - you might also think about Mountain Travel Sobek (MT Sobek) since they have a long history with Mt. Kili climbs.

You're probably thinking about this already, but I'd want to know what type of evacuation protection/support is offered and provided enroute. Oxygen needs, guides training/expertise in emergencies etc. If it's group understanding if the entire group returns or just a portion if some have to break off before reaching the summit.

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Old Jun 30th, 2006, 02:11 PM
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Welcome home Leely.
Looking forward to your report which at this time will probably be posted ahead of mine. Yup, not near having started. Bad girl, moi!
Have a Happy 4th!
 

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