Ndarakwai Ranch, West Kilimanjaro

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Jan 23rd, 2006, 08:24 AM
  #1
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Ndarakwai Ranch, West Kilimanjaro

Patty over the weekend responded to my request about staying in the West Kilimanjaro region, she did some horse riding and what wonderful photos she took. So I looked up the website of Ndarakwai Ranch - www.ndarakwai.com. I emailed Peter Jones and he quickly responded to some questions, saying:

There are leopards and cheetah, and the occasional lion, but due to the human population they are largely nocturnal and thus rarely seen.

Most people use Ndarakwai as one part of their safari - in other words in combination with a visit to Tarangire or Serengeti. Its low-key, low volume, and great freedom to walk, visit villages, go for night game drives, etc - all things you cannot do in the Parks.

I took this from the website, it appears you are in good hands should you stay there:

Peter, a British archaeologist who worked as Dr. Mary Leakey’s colleague for eight years (1976-’84) at Olduvai Gorge in the Serengeti, had eschewed a life teaching archaeology at Harvard to live in the wilds of Tanzania. A safari guide fluent in Swahili, Peter had formed his own company, Tanganyika Films and Safari Outfitters in 1990. Margot, a writer and wildlife conservationist from Montana, had packed her Labrador Retriever, Zoë, and moved to Tanzania to start a new life with Peter and Erik.

Most importantly is the conservation work they do in the area, details of which can be found at http://www.kiliconservancy.org.

Please note I am not in any way affiliated with them but found their swift responses and helpfulness very reasuring and discounts are offered of up to 50% for children. Useful for me with a young family.

It would certainly make a change from "The Usual Suspects"

Matt
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Jan 23rd, 2006, 09:27 AM
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Matt

Thanks for the note about Peter and his good work at Ndarakwai. He is a very interesting guy and a real pleasure to meet and talk to!

There are many such excellent but "unknown" companies who are rarely mentioned on this board and elsewhere.

Hopefully we get more trip reports from people who did NOT travel with the usual East Africa tour companies - many who are just safari taxi services who pay their guides very little.

Folks may be surprised to learn that most guides earn less than $150 per month (some far less) plus $5-$10 per day allowance when on safari (which they must use to pay for meals, etc). The bulk of the safari income certainly does not reach the hardworking guides!
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Jan 23rd, 2006, 01:14 PM
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Yes, Eben, it was your photos from a past thread which made me think more about this. As I said in my email to him I found the rushing round of my tour somewhat overwhelming, though enjoyable. As an introduction to TZ it was fine but I want to really know somewhere. As it is my intention to return so I want this kind of tranquility that Peter can offers and that is hard to find elsewhere. The prices he charges certainly offer excellent value for money and a really intimate service that cannot be found elsewhere. Wouldn't it be great that his conservancy charity really makes a difference without the area becoming flooded with guided tours? I'm thinking of a trip over in September to spend more time with Maasai friends and I think to round things off a week relaxing here in one place with the elephant herds will be just right.

I really appreciate the efforts you go to in order to scope places out. Do you stay or just make brief visits? If it is work related, (and your website is a great resource) then what an amazing line of work you are in.

My best regards,

Matt
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Jan 23rd, 2006, 02:07 PM
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Hi Matt

Excellent idea! The West Kilimanjaro area is breathtakingly beautiful with few tourists. This is Maasai country and I cannot think of a better place to spend some time with them.

My mapping project is really part of a bigger project - my wife & I are filming a new "planning-your-own-safaris" series in East Africa and when we scope out new areas I post the GPS data/pics on go-safari.com where it can hopefully be put to good use by others!

With so much to see, I can stay only a night or two but we try to visit each area 3 or 4 times a year to experience the different seasons.

I do own a trekking company in Arusha which funds our filming project to some degree but mostly Carol & I are depleting our life savings to realize our dream of exploring all of East & Southern Africa!
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Jan 23rd, 2006, 06:03 PM
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Please report back on your experiences with Peter Jones. I first read about him in Conde Nast traveler.... gawd at least 15 years ago if not more. I think it would be extremely cool to travel in Africa with him. He was featured in a TV film with John Heminway in Africa as well. It was awhile ago but I still have it on tape! Go for it!
Sharon
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Jan 23rd, 2006, 07:09 PM
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Matt, please permit me a follow-up that is a divergence from your initial posting.

Eben: re guide wages, we discussed this once here but came away without much ability to find out which companies were better employers. Any new insights as to how we might find that out?
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Jan 23rd, 2006, 08:25 PM
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Thanks for the post Matt. Good idea ... it's great to get information like this, even if you haven't been there yet! And of course Eben and Sharon wouldn't have weighed in with further info if you hadn't.

I am now inspired to post what I find out about camel/ walking safaris in the not-so-far north of Kenya, which I am currently trying to research .... any contributions very welcome because I am starting from COMPLETE ignorance.

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