Good Earth Guides

Old Nov 2nd, 2006, 02:06 PM
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Good Earth Guides

Has anyone had a good experience with a particular Good Earth Guide in Tanzania? We are looking for a reference for our next trip to Tanzania. Thanks
Cheers,
cj
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Old Nov 2nd, 2006, 03:31 PM
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I would highly recommend NOT using 'Ben'.
We could not have had a poorer guide. I have not had a chance to email Good Earth with all the details, but they had several emails from Tanzania as our journey unfolded. He was late the first day, then could not find Swala (our first stop - He finally called to get directions). He was not a good game spotter, had us miss part of our only full day at Ngorongoro Crater due to his missing errors in his paperwork at the Ngorongoro gate. He was an erratic poor driver. He was not open to reviewing plans for the next day of travel. I am still so angry at his performance, I am waiting until enough time passes to contact Good Earth. (Now home 1 1/2 weeks). We had excellent guides in Kenya, and South Africa, so I know they exist.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2006, 03:51 PM
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Thanks Sandy,
sorry to learn your guide was so bad. If we do use Good Earth, we will certainly not use Ben. I can understand your frustration. We are trying to secure a good guide and a good vehicle. Our last safari (with Kibo) had a great guide but a run down old Land Cruiser (really worn out). I just don't trust them anymore and so need references for another operator with first rate vehicles and guides. Any suggestions are welcome.
Cheers, CJ
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Old Nov 2nd, 2006, 04:34 PM
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We had an excellent guide in Tanzania from Good Earth Tours--his name was Abdul and he couldn't do enough for us and he was an incredible animal spotter.

Request him and you will have an excellent adventure!
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Old Nov 2nd, 2006, 04:41 PM
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We had Saidi in Nov. 2005 and he was fantastic. His vehicle was not the latest and greatest but it was perfectly fine (did have a pop-up roof with canvas cover and he did have in the vehicle beanbags, extra seat cushions, a great bird reference book, and a large cooler for keeping drinks cold), and he was terrific at spotting and also just wonderful to be around.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2006, 04:43 PM
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sandy222 -- I hope you tell Narry and Ndashy everything so they don't use Ben anymore -- that is just terrible!
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Old Nov 2nd, 2006, 05:40 PM
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Than you Busybee and Lisa. I have a question for all three of you (Sandy, Lisa, and Busybee), did Good Earth ever change your planned lodge or camp acccomodations during the safari. The reason I ask is that one report, on this forum, someone mentioned that they were undable to stay at one of their reserved accomodations (I believe it was a Serena property?). We have spent a lot of time selecting certain properties and I would not like to be switched or bumped because of thre relationship between the ground operator and the lodge or camp. Thanks again to all that replied.
CJ
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Old Nov 3rd, 2006, 04:37 AM
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We used Good Earth for our Adventure this past June/July. We had Rafael for a safari in Lk. Manyara and Tarangire. He was the absolutely BEST guide we had. He was very informative about every aspect - from animals, birds, plants and culture. He could spot any animal so easily. He really took the time to teach the kids we had with us, while being so professional with the adults.

WE also had Abdul and Aaron for our trip to the Serengeti (We did different trips, some of us went on safari with Rafael while some climbed Kili, then we all met up, 10 pp and went to the Serengeti). Abdul and Aaron were at the Grumeti Air strip waiting for us when we arrived and never missed a beat. We realy enjoyed both men, but I will have to say that the kids enjoyed Aaron more, he liked to kid around with them!
All in all, I would have to say that our favorite was Rafael, though.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2006, 05:02 AM
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Well, you could always use Roy Safari's and request a new vehicle w/AC and a good guide.

You won't find many complaints about this outfitter.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2006, 05:12 AM
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We just returned from a trip in September with Good Earth Tours. I had thought they did a great job with the safari. Our guide, Good Luck, was very accomodating, friendly, and quite good at finding a wide variety of game. You had asked if they switched the lodges on us - Good Earth never did, but the Serena property in the Central Serengeti tried to do so. Good Luck told us that he had the vouchers for the Serena that night, but that Serena lodges were trying to move us to a different lodge - apparently good quality, but as it was 6:30pm (when they first told us this)and the other lodge was 90km away, we weren't too keen on changing (we ended up not needing to go, thanks to some wonderful folks on another tour who agreed to share a room). I don't think Good Earth had any control over that situation.

However, I'll say we did have a problem with them on our Kilimanjaro trek (which I have addressed with Narry). They switched a portion of the route we were taking to the summit. When we met in the hotel before leaving, we brought up the route change, which the Good Earth Rep said we could still do, just talk to our guide. Needless to say -- the guide had no clue that we had a different route planned and agreed to. On a side note, I was really pleased with our guides on the Mountain - Ian and our asst guides Buddha and Bariki were great.

So, I'd recommend you get a final, confirmed itinerary from Narry shortly before you go and make sure that the office in Arusha has the same copy. That would help avoid the problem we had. But I was really pleased with our guides.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2006, 07:18 AM
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They never tried to change our accommodations, everything was exactly as we planned. There was a little confusion one morning about whether our flight to Lobo Airstrip in Serengeti was leaving from JRO or Arusha, but it all worked out in the end.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2006, 08:53 PM
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Hi,

I travelled with Good Earth in October 2005. Kisali was my guide and I was very pleased with him. The acommodation wasn't changed, but the order of the itinerary was, presumably so that I could stay in the Manyara Serena as booked. Anyway, the change didn't make any difference to my enjoyment of the trip and I got to do a morning drive in Manyara.

I've been emailing Narry about an itinerary for 2008 and he has made many helpful suggestions regards the order of the itinerary and the accommodations.

Cheers,


Pol.
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Old Nov 4th, 2006, 02:28 AM
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We had Joseph as our guide during our safari in August with Good Earth. He was wonderful as a guide and especially great with kids. Our accommodations were switched one day- from Serengeti Sopa to Migration camp. Since it was an upgrade we didn't conplain.
On the whole, we had no problems and were quite happy with our guide and Good Earth.
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Old Nov 4th, 2006, 08:45 AM
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Thank you all for your replies. We are tr ying to get a feel for the company. We have never been "bumped" from our agreed accomodations and it is somewhat disconcerting to learn that this sort of thing is going on. I just wonder whether we have been fortunate in the past or Good Earth has a problem with the operators of some of the lodges and camps??
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Old Nov 8th, 2006, 04:09 PM
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Good Earth was terrible with changing hotels. I did extensive research and knew exactly where we wanted to stay (it was a private safari) but of our 9 hotel nights, they changed 5 of the hotel nights (3 out of 5 hotels)after we arrived. In one instance they upgraded us but the following night we were downgraded to tents with no electricity and no water. I called the local office in Arusha and they were not helpful at all when I voiced my disatisfaction with the rooms. It seemed like the old "bait and switch" that tour companies are sometimes known to do. We made our reservations 9 months ahead and when I complained about the tents and demanded we be put in the hotel we booked-- guess what-- there was plenty of room at that hotel!! Good Earth was trying to make up for the upgrade of the night before. (To us it was not an upgrade--we all got food poisioning!!)

That was our experience with Good Earth!
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Old Nov 15th, 2006, 09:55 AM
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Just back yesterday from our safari with Good Earth. We spent one day in Arusha getting over the travel fatigue, and had Raphael for that day doing a city tour and some shopping due to Delta loosing our luggage. He was wonderful. The next day to begin the safari we were met by Abdul as Raphael had a minor car accident the night before with his wife breaking an arm. Abdul spent the 10 days with us and was great, eagle eyes, eager to provide whatever we wanted. Between the two of them my only comment would be that Abdul took a couple days to get to know whereas Raphael seemed bubbly from the beginning. Abdul was highly ethical, a careful driver, had all the paperwork in order, etc. One additional thing which impressed me about GE was after the safari was over, spending a half day in Arusha awaiting the outgoing flight, a representative from the office came to do an exit interview asking questions about what was good/bad and for feedback about everything. By the way our vehicle was a brand new (3 months) Land cruiser.
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Old Nov 15th, 2006, 01:27 PM
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Thank you both (Busybee and Pjtoafrica):
these, two very different experiences do give us pause. Sorry to learn that Busybee had such a bad time with switched accomodations. We spend much time selecting just the right places and the last thing we expect is for them to be switched. No excuse for this sort of treatment. On the other hand we were happy to learn that ptjoafrica had such a good overall experience. Game sightings are to some extent chance events, lodging should not be such. We will probably use another tour operator and ground handler (one we have used with success in the past) rather than to try Good Earth. There is just something going on there that we don't understand. In any case, The cost differences are just to small, to make the gamble and the risk of some essential component of safari to turn out poorly. In other words, the guide, vehicle, and accomodations should not be less than promised. Game viewing is partly luck and partly planning. Other than that, and the weather we don't want any surprises.
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Old Jul 16th, 2007, 12:58 PM
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I don't know how many of you read another post about Good Earth guides from the same sandy222. Except for the name, Ben in one and Christopher in another, it was the same story. Sounds fishy to me. I plan to ask Narry for an explanation.
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Old Jul 16th, 2007, 03:53 PM
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wandotraveler.
You are right in pointing out my errors. In one post I mentioned Christopher, in another I mentioned Ben. My mistake. Christopher was our guide in Samburu, and he was excellent. He was not an employee of Good Earth. I re-read the post that mentioned Ben, and it was not only accurate, but left out many problems that were not mentioned. When we called the Good Earth Arusha office asking that Ben be replaced, we were ignored. I could never recommend Good Earth. But, my apologies for naming a guide that was from another part of our trip, and that was a good, kind guide. Sandy
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Old Jul 17th, 2007, 12:47 PM
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I know this is an old post, but we just returned from a Safari with Good Earth. I couldn't imagine anyone doing it better. From the very start they were great. We had absolutely no problems. Everyhting went as smooth as can be, including the arranging our two pickups in Nairobi with another outfitter.

We had Goodluck as our guide and he was great.

I'd say book with them and you can be pretty sure everything will work out.

Duane
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