Tanzania - private guide with vehicle

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Jan 20th, 2015, 06:10 AM
  #1
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Tanzania - private guide with vehicle

Hello,

We are coordinating 3 families across 3 continents to meet and travel together in Tanzania and were hoping to find some recommendations on private driver / guides with vehicles.

We will be there for two weeks - late July / early August.

If you have personal experience with anyone, I'd love to see your review / hear your feedback. Searching hasn't turned up much (yet).

Thank you in advance for your time!!
BinVa is offline  
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Jan 20th, 2015, 07:20 AM
  #2
 
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I saw your question on another post regarding Felix. Indeed we had a wonderful time in Tanzania with Felix
and we highly recommend him and can provide you with contact information. You can deal with him directly or via a US based safari planner who uses him.

E Mail me at

eseibertca AT yahoo DOT ca
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Jan 20th, 2015, 07:33 AM
  #3
 
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There are at least 1,000 local tour outfitters in Tanzania that can assist you. You can check a site as www.tatotz.org (or .com) for list.

You can also check Trip Advisor.com/forums - select Tanzania and on the main page, right side, bullet #4, select 5-6 of those shown, send individual emails to each detailing travel dates, f people, for how long, where you wish to visit (areas); if children will be included provide their ages (discounts might be available) and which might be sharing with parents or together. IMPORTANT - include your estimated budget, realizing that your time of travel is 'peak' season at the highest prices whether you choose to stay at lodges or tented camps. On receipt of replies, review/compare. If none meet your wishes, send to another 5-6 outfitters.

There are many tour operators located in the US and UK that can do likewise, but know they all use an outfitter in Tanzania (it's the law)... and while some feel rates from those outside of TNZ are higher priced (as middleman), this isn't always the case... some can be as competitive as those in-country.

Good luck!
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Jan 20th, 2015, 09:44 AM
  #4
 
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My first question is why are you going to Tanzania this time of year? The best part of the migrations will be up on the Mara in Kenya. You will have to go to the far north of the Serengeti to get a good animal count of Zebra and Wildebeest. Also, kids absolutely love Lewa Downs and all the activities on offer in Kenya. You could also go to Ol Donyo, Sabuk, or Sarara for a third location.

We use Felix a LOT in Tanzania. He personally guides all the safari consultants from our company when they go to Tanzania. He is exceptional if available. The reason we use him for our own staff is that sometimes we need to see 2-3 safari lodges per day and he knows the Serengeti better than anyone I know. In Kenya, we use Stanley Kariithi as our go-to private guide. We also use some of his colleagues. Stanley personally guided me on my last trip to Kenya in Mar 2014 and showed me over 30 lodges in 3 weeks!

Keep in mind, some lodges do not allow private guides to drive the lodge’s vehicles or drive the guide’s own vehicles on their private concessions so in some cases you may just be better off using game drive packages. The private guide can always go with as a host.

Guys like Felix are useful when going a multi-lodge itinerary on the Serengeti. Guys like Stanley are most useful when stating in the Mara National Reserve at places like Intrepids etc.

Keep in mind a good tour operator can also string the trip together using game drive packages at multiple lodges so you don’t really need a private guide in that case.

Also agree with Sandi that it would likely not save you any money to book a high-end guide (one used to dealing with upscale American clients) with a company in Tanzania – you could book with a US or UK based company. Sadly, companies all over the world will overcharge clients if they think they can get away with it. The best guides often get the majority of their business from overseas tour operators and don’t like to poison that well. A good US based company could also solve the air puzzle for you and book everyone’s flights to lift that burden from you.

Good luck,

Craig Beal – owner – Travel Beyond
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Jan 20th, 2015, 09:54 AM
  #5
 
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One of the other guides we use in Kenya is Henry Miwani. In fact, Henry and Stanley are taking a group of 14 next summer for us on an early July safari. This is one of those situations I alluded to above where the lodge has a game drive and FB package. We use the full board (FB) package to pay for the accommodations but hire our own guides to the game drives (Stanley and Henry) since the lodge is in the Mara Reserve (the public part of the park). You should be able to google these guides but keep in mind they don't work directly with clients so you can only book them through professional tour operators/safari agents. I think Felix runs the same way? You then need to actually google the tour operator to find reviews on them since they are the business entity that you will be handing your money too.

I hope this makes sense.

Craig Beal - owner - Travel Beyond

For the record, I endorse Felix, Stanley and Henry.
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Jan 20th, 2015, 09:57 AM
  #6
 
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Craig - so happy to hear your endorsement of Felix! We've stayed close since our safari - we share a birthday and we always text each other that day - his usually has a picture of a lion!

Here's a nice pic of him

http://lizandrichardsa.typepad.com/....7621ad7970c-pi
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Jan 20th, 2015, 01:00 PM
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We were in Tanzania in late July/early August and had a fabulous time. We saw 4 leopards, 4 colobus monkeys (Arusha NP),6 rhino, 9 cheetah, lots of elephants (Tarangire NP is wonderful), lions, gazelle, hyenas, ostrich, eland, giraffe warthog, baboons, wildebeest, etc, etc. We saw the Great Migration crossing the Mara River twice in Northern Serengeti, Tanzania. And the firds--amazing!
Our tour company was Easy Travel--and they were beyond wonderful. Request Emmilian as your guide; I can't imagine anyone better.
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Jan 20th, 2015, 02:39 PM
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Hi Abram,

Just so people are not confused, I did mention above that the great migrations are able to be seen in the north of the Serengeti in July/August like you did. Good stuff.

Elizabeth - sadly that is not our Felix! We are trying to find where we have his surname written down but I am leaving for Africa tomorrow so may not repost.

Craig Beal - owner - Travel Beyond
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Jan 20th, 2015, 08:14 PM
  #9
 
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Roy Safaris, Arusha. http://www.roysafaris.com/
I've been with them once in 2011 for 3 weeks. My friends and good photographers have been with them 4 times. They will customize your safari any way you like. And their prices very reasonable.
FWIW - here are a few photos from my 2011 safari in TZ with Roy Safaris -
http://tomgraham.smugmug.com/SAFARI2...7383&k=L4qnBn5
Photos from several other safaris also there, just click back to tomgraham.

regards - tom
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Jan 21st, 2015, 08:57 AM
  #10
 
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Tom - is Roy the guide or is this a booking agency that subs everything out?

Craig Beal - owner - Travel Beyond
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Jan 21st, 2015, 11:06 AM
  #11
 
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"If you have personal experience with anyone, I'd love to see your review / hear your feedback. Searching hasn't turned up much (yet)."

Planning #4 to Tanz with George through The Wild Source, where George works now. My last Tanz trip George worked with The Wild Source and I followed him there. The Wild Source is biologist owned with offices in US and Arusha.

George's skills and work ethic are tremendous. He's just a really good guy too. He has an enthusiastic following, including Nat Geo and other pros. The Wild Source puts no limits on miles either, so you have more flexibility.

I'm sticking in links to these reports so you can see the kinds of sightings George helped make possible.

This report is Sept. The part with George does not appear until post #49 on page 3
http://safaritalk.net/topic/7679-nor...anzania/page-4


This is a March trip-all George
http://safaritalk.net/topic/10939-ta...daily-weather/


This is a Feb trip with George at The Wild Source
http://safaritalk.net/topic/12456-th...zania-mid-feb/


Many good options out there for a great trip for you. I happen to like George.

Have a wonderful time!
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Jan 21st, 2015, 11:47 AM
  #12
 
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BinVa - re atravelynn's post above re the Wild Source - they do use our guide Felix Mollel - link to a tour on their website - Felix is on page 9

http://www.thewildsource.com/pdfs/bi...-migration.pdf
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Jan 21st, 2015, 07:56 PM
  #13
 
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---- Tom - is Roy the guide or is this a booking agency that subs everything out?
Craig Beal - owner - Travel Beyond

No one there named Roy. The owner operator is named Sanjay. He also owns the African Tulip small hotel, Arusha. When safaring with "Roy" the African Tulip is great rendezvous location and starting point. He will also give you a half-day rate to after safari shower, clean-up, repack before heading to airport.

His safari vehicles are custom modified Toyota small trucks (pick-up). Designed for the photographer. One or several guest in each vehicle. When I went in 2011 there were 6 of us in 3 vehicles. He is also used by professionally guided photography tours.

More details on my Fodors safari report, itinerary, costs, what I liked and not so enthused about, safari TZ 2011 -
http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...-tanzania-.cfm

Happy to answer any questions here or at my email, see my profile for email address.

regards - tom
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Jan 23rd, 2015, 06:59 AM
  #14
 
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Felix and George in the same place! That's wonderful to know.
Elizabeth_S!
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Jan 23rd, 2015, 10:34 AM
  #15
 
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Roy Safaris is a full-service in-country TNZ outfitter. Provides itinerary (as client's wishes, with suggestions as required), books hotels/lodges/camps; provides guide/driver, arranges any internal flights.

They have been in business about 25+/yrs and most of their guides have, likewise, been with them 10+/yrs... some even close to 20/yrs.

The company and guides know their business and are an excellent resource.
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Jan 29th, 2015, 05:50 PM
  #16
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Thank you all so much for your valuable insights!
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Jan 31st, 2015, 05:58 AM
  #17
 
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I spent a month in tanzania with a private guide. I used African brothers who was wonderful would be happy to give you the info,
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