Testimonials 2014

Fabienne D.
We had an absolutely life experience on the roof top of Africa. We love our guides Felix and Manase…both very focused on our well being and performances. We can only say great things about SENE family.  Reaching the Uhuru point was very hard but amazingly beautiful as the sun came up. It was surreal. We felt very good thru everyone of our hike , no pain just tired at the end of the day.
The safari in the south Serengeti was perfect…we saw so many animals …it was endless and very private which we love. Our camp was great and the food was fantastic! Pascal our driver was very nice ..maybe a little nervous at time concerning the rain and the road…but everything went extremely well! He was very good trying to find the rare animals, the Leopard and Cheetah… after a long day traveling we loved the farm and the crater …we were spoiled again with lots of animals and a really relaxing place to stay.
This is a perfect combination Hike and safari.
The only problem we had  was to pay the fees for the park in south Serengeti ,they made us come back 4 times to the airport …I was a little unhappy about the nonsense of the situation and the waste of time…We finally ended to pay our fees at  another airport on our way to the farm…and it went well.
We will always remember our time with everyone we met.
Nothing is easy in Tanzania and you made it flawless. Thank you for everything.

Jim B. & Sue C.
Simon’s Company is tops because it is managed and staffed by Tanzanians who are concerned about their country’s values, environment, independence and long-term self-reliance. These values guide the choices of experiences they offer. The combination of the Mbahe Farm, Kilimanjaro day hike, Seregeti/Manyara Safaris, Olduvai Gorge/ Ngorogoro Crater, Usambara Bike Adventure, and snorkling at Pangani in the Indian Ocean was an experience of a lifetime; we can never fully explain how meaningful it all was.

Kathy M.
Hi Tim, Sorry to take so long in providing feedback on our trip to Tanzania. On return we hit the road
running and finally just manage to catch-up with work commitments. Doesn’t pay to be on holiday for too
long!  We all had a tremendous trip. There was not one element we would change. All the travel arrangements went to plan. There was never a stage where we wondered what was happening.
Zanzibar was brilliant and of course the Lemosho route to the summit of Mt Kili the most amazing experience. Augustine & John and his team looked after us expertly. I have some photos that I took on
the trip ready to post on to them.  Thanks again for your your superb organisation.

Sean D.
We had a wonderful time – thank you all so much!!!  Wilson, Johanah, Saidi, and the rest of the crew were so great.  We loved the time at the farm and do wish we could have spent some more time there just relaxing.  It is a beautiful place and the food was amazing.  It was raining the night we arrived (which was fine – it made the walk up more interesting 🙂  ) but by the next morning it had stopped and it was just beautiful.  We had such a nice time (and picked up some coffee to take home as well).
Then the safari and our time with Gerald was again so wonderful.  He is such a nice and fun guy.  Thank you so much for sending him our way.  We had such a blast with him and visiting the parks.  Again the food was amazing (so much of it at every place) and all the lodgings were great – we especially loved the Kati Kati camp in the Serengeti.  Oh, we all also loved all the “welcome juice” we got at each place – something we may start implementing at our own house.  Gerald did a wonderful job on the safaris getting us out there to see the animals but being sensitive to the status of the kids.  He really helped make this trip a once in a lifetime experience.  As much as it was great seeing all the animals, I do believe as time passes the thing that we will remember the most are the people – in particular the crew at Kati Kati, Wilson, and of course Gerald.
I cannot imagine a nicer experience.  One thing we noticed during the trip was all the other tour operators.  In talking with Gerald (who was always very professional) and from our own observations of some of the other larger operators, we definitely made the right choice going with you.  As we share our experience in Tanzania, we definitely include SENE as a key part of the wonderful experience we had.  I really don’t think it would have been the same without you all.
Thank you for all your work in coordinating this.  Thank you to all the folks at the farm – especially Wilson.  And thank you to Gerald again – he really has made a lasting impact on our whole family.

Gauri & Yogi P.
We had an amazing time and are recommending Tanzania and SENE to all of our friends. We had a wonderful time with Wilson and the guys at the farmhouse and with Joseph on the safari.
Our only constructive feedback has to do with some payment hiccups we had while in Tanzania. First happened while at the gate of Kilimanjaro. Our guys didn’t have the money for the entrance fees so we waited 1-1.5 hours until someone came from Moshi with the money.  Next incident happened at the entrance of Lake Manyara. Again there was not enough money so we ended up charging the entrance fee on our credit card and getting reimbursed later in the trip.
Other than that, everything was great. Thank you for working with us over the past 2 years to make this trip happen. We’re so glad we finally got to do it!

Camelia W.
As a long distance runner, I was drawn to the company after reading about Simon’s achievements. I also read some glowing reviews on TripAdvisor. SENE offered everything I wanted on the climb so it was quite an easy decision.  The whole crew was amazing.They took such great care of us on the mountain. There was always someone ready to help us out with anything we needed. I did not see a more professional crew than ours on the mountain while we were there.  We couldn’t have asked for a better leader than Ayumwi. His knowledge, experience and leadership were key to our success on the mountain.  I was absolutely amazed with the quality of the food I received on the mountain. The two chefs deserve a triple A+. We also appreciated their help on the Barranco Wall. The group effort made it so much more enjoyable.
[At Mbahe] We stayed in Room 1 which honestly, I thought could use some updating. The bathroom was a bit dated. The bed was also right next to the dining area. Other than that, we had a lovely stay at the farm.

Otis S.
“Thank you for the well wishes! Yes, our entire team of 7 reached the summit. Our lead guide was Honest.  We did have a surprise of a 14+ hour trek on summit day, but it worked out.
I was quite please with my safari guide (Paschal). My major regret was that our vehicle was not equipped with a radio (it seemed all the other vehicles had one). As a consequence, we could not get to the “hot spots” as fast as others, but we did manage.
I’m still recovering from the experience. Needless to say, I will forever be changed (and I believe for the better).”

Carol S.
“We had a great time on safari and once we were up and around the crater rim to the other side, we missed seeing all the animals.  Our favorite camp was TWC’s Bolongja site as it was set near a small river.  Gerald took fantastic care of us and is an excellent game spotter.  We definitely got plenty of leopard and cheetah shots (I think the tally was 4 leopards, 3 cheetahs)!  I thought the night game drive was a waste of time as we saw plenty of animals during the day and it was not so much fun to see them with poor lighting (especially after a long game drive during the day).  I regret that we didn’t do the bush walk instead as we all could have used the exercise after the long drive from Mbahe to Oliver’s and a long morning game drive.  Even the host at Oliver’s said she wished they would discontinue the night game drive.  The kids enjoyed seeing all the baby animals, from hippos, to giraffes, to elephants to zebras.”

Doug H.
“Hello Simon!
I arrived home the night before last, and am now sitting at my desk watching the first sun hit brilliantly-colored Vermont leaves… while drinking a delicious cup of your coffee. Very different from that memorable morning I sat on your new terrace after our climb and enjoyed the warm sun (i.e., outside)!
Anyways, thank you for all you did in association with my trip:  the new phone number, joining us for 3 days, the runs and hospitality at your house, great deal on a safari, etc. – all very much appreciated. Although it was not always evident in my teenage Elise, I think the whole experience will forever be a memorable and formative one for her. Special thanks to Manase for his efforts; I highly recommend him for any future group with teenagers!
Thanks once again!”

Tommy G.
“Hi Natalie and all at sene.
We have just arrived back yesterday, me to london, and Caitriona to Sydney.We have both returned with special memories of our trip to tanzania, and in particular our time spent with your team.
Sene  have lived up to our expectation of what we expected, and in some cases surpassed them, an de would like to send our sincere thanks to everyone there involved in our trip. Forgive me for a mention of a few individuals that went ‘above and beyond’ on behalf of Sene, but please convey our specific thanks to them if you can.
Ayumni our lead guide was incredible, and I would recommend him to any party without hesitation. He is experienced, patience, and has unequalled respect for client and mountain ensuring safe and successful climb, and my success was in a great part due to him.
David, the water man, and the oxygen carrier, is an unsung hero, has unsurpassed interpersonal skills, and has loads of talent that needs to be developed. Again my success was due to his excellent skills, please convey this special thanks to him.
A young porter john, came back most evenings to meet the client party and guides, to carry the backpacks on the last stretch, without notice. This is the type of person that’s makes the difference to clients, and again special thanks.
Venis, Frederick and emmanual, worked together as a team in the kitchen, and provided second to none service, very professional, and efficient.
Wilson was the perfect host, chatty, experienced, put the clients at ease, and prepared well for e climb.
From my first email to you Natalie! You put us at ease in the process, gave us any and all information we wanted, and made the preparations so easy and clear. Your ease of dealing with clients is commendable and again makes all the difference.
Sincere thanks from Caitriona and I.”

Kevin S.
“SENE provided a great tour of Tanzania. We got to experience not only the typical Kilimanjaro climb and safari but also had a great introduction to the people and lifestyles of Tanzania. A day at the Mbahe guest houses is eye opening and instructive.”

Chris M.
“I was the only client, but Augustine was very helpful. He assisted me in clearing my sinsuses. I enjoyed his company. Everyone was very kind and always smiling. If we are speaking of Wilson, he did a great job explaining everything and showing me around the area. Meals were not my favorite time. The tent was very uncomfortable. The food was a little repetitive, not much meat, too much porridge. The red chair did not let me sit at a normal height to eat, dining tent too small and sloped ceiling and patched enough. My tent and zippers replaced, rips and tears in the screen and broken poles. The water filter voided more water than it filtered until Augustine fixed it on one of the last days. The kitchen tent was inadequate for cooking. When you compare the gear with other tour companies, it makes you wonder why. I never knew the itinerary was flexible and probably didn’t know enough to change it anyway, however Camp Moir is not a pleasant location. We went there instead of two days at the Lava Tower. One of those days could have been deleted.
I liked the route and the health checks + the chamber.”

Amy D-B.
“Hi, Tim!  We had an absolutely phenomenal time, and I’d be happy to complete your survey and send you some comments and photos.  I’m just back to work today, though, and I’m pretty snowed under, so it may take me a week or so to get around to it.  In the meantime, here’s a quick photo of Allison and me at Uhuru Peak.  Many thanks for all of your help and advice!”

John M.
“SENE is a very professional company that offers unique trips because of the Mbahe farm experience and being TZ owned. Tim and others worked with us to customize our trip. I suspect it was out of normal procedures, but it worked well.
Make sure equipment is cleaned and repaired. Possibly replace a bit sooner. SENE tents looked a bit tired compared to some other companies on the mountain at same time.”

Anonymous
“Amazing experience. Just in to Moshi and back from an amazing summit up Kili.  Thanks again for helping make this happen.”

Rebecca R.
“Everyone was terrific. Kiplet is a FANTASTIC chef and all kitchen crew did a fantastic job. Food was way better than expected. David was a joy to have around!  It’s not just making it to the top of Kilimanjaro that’s fun, it’s doing it in style! We received excellent care and attention from the staff and crew. Our guides on trek and safari were absolute professionals – they were experts on plants, animals, history everything. They knew how to keep us safe, entertained, motivated and having fun. Having the right crew makes an enormous difference to the experience. I recommend SENE without hesitation.”

Dave M.
“Simon:
My family arrived home yesterday.  I wanted to thank you for everything that SENE did for us in Africa.  We had a wonderful time.
The guides and entire mountain crew were outstanding.  We were sorry that you were ill and couldn’t join us at the top.  But we developed great confidence in the whole guide team and knew that we were in very good hands.
The safari guides were also excellent.  Their knowledge level and ability to explain even very complicated things to us in English was very impressive.
We also were very fond of Wilson.  He did a great job of getting us ready for the climb and had everything at the farm very well organized.
I hope we see you at some races in Northern California before too long.”

Linda T.
“Rocco and I loved staying at the farm again. It is so beautiful there and so peaceful. The staff is always excellent. Wilson is always very attentive and goes out of his way to pamper us! And of course every meal prepared by SugarRay is OUTSTANDING!! We have no complaints. And as always Tim you provide excellent customer service!!
As a side note, we really loved the upgrades to the farm such as the new outdoor sitting area and the beautiful sage green color now on the bedroom walls. Very pretty indeed.
We thank SENE for everything and would love to visit yet again.”

Martin B.
“Hi Tim
I am finally back, back in Canada and back in the saddle. South Africa was wonderful, quiet and laid-back but exactly what was needed after Kilimanjaro.
Without a dought the whole Tanzania experience was awesome, unforgettable and exceeded my expectations by far. I have learned so much about myself, from myself and from the others, will probably have an effect on the rest of my life.
I can’t think of a single aspect of the trip that I would want to change, good the way it was. The stay on Mbaye farm, the transport, the food, the guides, the staff, the equipment all made it an unforgettable experience. We were also very fortunate to have a awesome group of hikers together, everyone contributed in their own unique way to the fun and success of the group.
Thank you so much for everything, SENE was a great choice.”

Jenny B.
“We had a wonderful time. Thank you”

Anonymous
“Great group overall. David who came to the summit was really supportive. Alexander was just a delight. Christopher the cook did a great job and Freddy very helpful”

Allen L.
“Honest was a awesome guide and very professional. his abilities & experience were very assuring and lead us well throughout the climb & hike. we’d desire to have him as our guide again!
SENE staff, experience, attitude, equipment & strive for excellence are a winning combination! Excellent organization that puts clients first in every way! I strongly recommend you book with SENE to assure your success & satisfaction on your trip & time in Tanzania.
Recommendation from Dr. Scott J. (running friend of Simon’s)… after we did our research it was easy to pick SENE over the other outfitters… we made the right choice.”

Per H.
“I am now in Oslo, waiting for the final flight to Tromsø to take me home. As always, it is going to be good to get home, but I had a great time in Moshi, and the ride with Simon was the definite highlight of the trip (although the meetings were productive and good, as well).
We were (at least I was) lucky because it was overcast and cloudy most of the time, so temperatures were perfect for bike riding, even for a Norwegian. We didn’t get to see the peak of Kilimanjaro, but I got a couple of glimpses of the peak on Monday and as we went to the airport on Friday afternoon.”

Anonymous
“Great guides and crew– had an amazing time!”

Ava H.
“Hi Tim,
Sorry for the delay but I just got back from Tanzania!  Everything about our climb and trip was great, from the guides and crew to the accommodations/food/camping equipment– everything.  And I really appreciate how prompt you were with me missing my flight and getting everything back on track.  I could not have asked for a better experience and will definitely be recommending SENE.  Thanks again!”

Harriet K.
“As an 86 year old woman, I enjoyed every minute of the trip. I don’t need a cane or other help, but the trip we did would have been manageable even if I had.
It was just an incredible trip. I loved every minute. Even when we were waiting at the airport for a ride, I wasn’t upset. One glitch, pick up in Arusha was very late. We had to take a taxi.
1. vehicle would have benefited by a roof. 2 The tent floor sloped and as an oldish lady I felt as if I were on a sailboat!”

Gaby I.
“Hi Tim,  While we are still sorting and reviewing our pictures (~4,500 of them) from one of the most powerful experience we have ever had, here is a very small sample (more to come).  The picture with Ayumhi on its own represents our great admiration to this special person. Without his leadership and unique personality we would not have made it.”

Dave B.
“Thanks for the info – running with Simon was a great treat!! He is a remarkable and inspiring guy. I really enjoyed it.
THANK YOU SIMON!!
I look forward to having another opportunity in the future to come experience the new trail network Simon is working on developing.”

Magda B.
“All the SENE crew on the route starting from guides: Ayumwi/Gody/Augustine, our Chef, the porters, the camping crew, were super professional and super friendly. From day 1 I felt we were one team/one family. They were calling me ‘Dada’ – and I truly felt that they were taking care of me as if I was their Sister. Everything worked like clockwork. I am well impressed having experience in business process management how the whole operation worked so well. What is more – I could feel each member of the crew were proud to be taking us up the mountain and ensuring we had the best possible experience. My big respect to all for their efforts!”

Kat P.
“Well..where do I begin? I had a fabulous time in Tanzania, thanks to SENE. Everything went so well. What a great team! Joseph met me at the airport and we were together until we met my sisters at the bottom of the mountain.  I did go to the Farm for lunch and met Simon and Wilson. The remaining 24 hours went very well. We were well taken care of and really enjoyed great conversations with Simon (like minds!).”

Christine C.
“My trip was fantastic.

It was such a great feeling to have made it, and even better the next day to see familiar faces and to be able to give them all a decent batch of gear. Simon was there and he was kind enough to invite me to go with him while he had his coffee graded. Got to meet Tara and sample some homemade Mtuy yoghurt!

Joseph is the ultimate driver and was a great companion for the week. It was something to have Babu’s Camp to myself, but then to learn later that we also had Mkomazi all to ourselves was something else! Loved seeing the Wild African Dogs. Truly special.  Was so excited to manage one lovely portrait of a Vervet Monkey and while it was challenging to capture the dog images (they’re in an enclosure that has two sets of fences), I love some of the images.  Mambo View Point is such a singular place. We experienced two intense thunderstorms while there. Very exciting!  Thanks so much for the recommendation for these experiences. They were perfect for the amount of time I had and just wonderful.

We hope now to get back in 2018 for a family safari if not sooner!”

Daniela E., Safari-Insider
“Hi Simon, hi Tim,
As far as the climb is concerned – everything was great. She said to me that the climb was perfect, she could not have wished for more. Thanks a lot for taking good care of my client!”

Kaj P.
“I was impressed with the leadership, experience and wisdom demonstrated by the lead guide Ayumwi during our expedition. His knowledge of the mountain and its conditions were instrumental in our success to reach the summit, even with the nasty weather conditions we experienced on the day of the ascent. Ayumwi was well supported by his two assistant guides – I think the whole team appreciated their enthusiasm and positive attitude while guiding us. Overall, I cam away with a good appreciation for the service and leadership shown by our guides.
I was particularly impressed with the way the guides insured we had good camp sites with privacy, even when the campsites were crowded.”

Randi J., Anne C., and Ann-Kristin P.
“As you may have heard there was a misunderstanding on the day we came down from the mountain. The three of us had packed a bag with equipment to Joel and his team. While packing this bag unfortunately Ann-Kristin ‘s cell phone disappeared. One of us managed to put this in the bag by a mistake. We would like to emphasize that this was solely our fault. Joel found the phone in the bag and contacted us as soon as he could, so we could pick up the phone in Moshi before we left for the airport. Thanks to Joel the phone came with us home, but we got the impression that he was afraid to be blamed for this, so again, he is completely innocent, this was solely our fault. We were exhausted after the trip and unfortunately this happened. We want to thank Joel for his resourcefulness so that the phone came back. He and his team was also a wonderful companion for us.

We were incredibly well taken care of and learned a lot on this trip. We could not have dreamed of having a better week in the mountains with these great people, every one of them. Thanks to those we have had a wonderful memory for life on the way to Kilimanjaro. And finally we reached the top all three of us, and we thank Joel and his team for that.  This great gang of 20 men who were with us this week, we warmly recommend to everyone!”

Darin L.
“The SENE team on the mountain was excellent. A great group of guides, porters, and cooks. Joseph the driver was also excellent.”

Michelle B.
” I think its safe to say on behalf of all of us we had a GREAT experience working with SENE! Your team was extremely professional, warm, and welcoming at each and every point of our experience.
Meeting Simon was such a treat as his smile is contagious and he too exudes positivity and care in making sure our adventure was safe and sound. The team at the Mbahe farm made us feel at home, and Wilson especially takes extreme care in making sure all guests are comfortable and pleased.
Joseph, our Safari & Bushman experience guide was awesome! He’s like our big brother who took care of us, and made sure we saw everything possible during our few days together.
I’ll save the rave reviews for the other sites, but have to say we had a fantastic experience with SENE and would highly recommend them to others in the future!!
SENE provided such a warm welcome throughout our entire trip; they made us feel like we were home although we were thousands of miles away. Thank you for helping us live out a trip of a lifetime!”

Steve B.
“Yes we had a fantastic climb. We managed through 2-4 feet of snow that night and then when we woke up we had clear sky’s. We made it to the summit at noon. We both got second degree burns to our faces. I would suggest you tell future climbers to bring zinc cream for the summit. “

Randy A.
“SENE was highly recommended to us by two friends who climbed with you in 2012. I take internet reviews somewhat lightly since it’s easy to fake them. Word of mouth speaks much more loudly. With friends who had a great experience with SENE I had confidence that we would find much the same. It proved to be true.

I really want to emphasize that we had a truly wonderful trip to Tanzania and were especially appreciative of everything SENE did to make the trip a great one.  We very much appreciated Simon picking us up in Moshi, having a chance to be introduced to Tanzania through his eyes, and learning about all of his efforts to improve peoples lives and the environment around Kilimanjaro.  We had exceptional guides, especially Augustine Ndirengo, from whom we learned a a tremendous amount of about Tanzania. Likewise, we a really great crew who were always warm, friendly and constantly supportive.  And, as I said before, we really appreciated your personal attention to all the details of the trip.

After having spent a lot of time in mountains, both Deb and I left for Tanzania thinking of climbing Kilimanjaro as another mountain experience.  Instead we found that it was much more of a cultural experience that happened in a mountain environment – and because of that it was richly rewarding in ways that we hadn’t anticipated.

As we’ve talked with friends about our trip I’ve already had three people ask who organized our trip and have sent them to SENE’s web page.

Thanks again for a great trip.”

Jim R.
“Highlights
1. Rural start and finish at Mbahe. Great way to interact with local villagers.
2. Simba Farm…Totally unexpected and welcomed.
3. Agroforestry (potatoes and carrots growing under pine plantations) above Simba farm…literally amazing.
4. The camps, especially the higher ones.
5. The summit.
6. The camp celebrations by the crew (singing and dancing).
7. The farewell dinner…a nice touch.
8. The safari.
9. The food on the climb…it was really good.
10. The night at the 5 star resort on the first night of the safari.
11. The wilderness camps on safari…unexpected and very nice.
Disappointments None.”

Mozella A.
“Dear Tim,
Just a quick note to say a huge thank you to you for being the portal/voice that helped us make it through to SENE and our fantastic journey! Your advice, information and encouragement were a vital part to our standing in ‘yes’!

The team was phenomenal — we were so very pleased with Joel, John, Alex our chef and Kenja, our server and can do person was an absolute star. And of course it was great to meet the famous Wilson and hear his pre-climb briefing and advice…we certainly took his words to heart as well.

The roles everyone played and the manner in which they fulfilled their responsbilities to us were key factors in our enjoyment, feeling of support and ultimate success.

We did it and it was a beautiful, though very challenging route. I’m not sure I agree with the description of the route being a ‘gentle’ ascent, however, that’s all relative :))”

We felt highly supported, safe and well informed regarding what it took, each day, to enjoy what was ahead of us and ultimately to reach Uhuru Peak. Joel was excellent and we highly recommend his skill set as a key part of the SENE company ethic.

John was caring and able to perform leadership duties as assigned by our head guide. He was always pleasant and again, we felt a keen sense of being looked after and that our goals and comfort were his/their primary concern.

Simon Mtuy has assembled a first-class team that have been well-trained to deliver the kind of experience that he has envisioned for his clients. Simon’s vision comes through clearly in every well thought out detail required to make any journey a success.

The SENE team was great fun! Kenja’s role was invaluable – he deserves many stars. The pre-climb briefing added a great sense of preparation for us. Wilson is clearly experienced and gave us hope and faith that we too could achieve our dreams. It is clear that the grand vision that Simon has shared amongst his staff is being played out very well. Simon’s sense of adventure coupled with consciousness, sustainability, service and a deep caring for the people being served makes his offerings stand out amongst a crowded field.

SENE’s web site is compelling and I was significantly impressed by Simon, his story and his vision. I loved the fact that his was a Tanzanian owned company and that he is so passionate about what he does for all the right and inclusive reasons.

Tim was a wonderful, warm and highly informative introduction to the company. He was encouraging, available and willing to make sure we were able to map out just what we wanted. He was flexible and willing to work with us. I’ll never forget him telling me that you “WILL” get over the Great Barranco Wall!

We mattered to SENE – from the moment we made our first phone call to inquire more deeply into their services right through to our summit on January 10, 2014 and safe return to the Mbahe Farm. Each member of his team served a specific purpose that made our journey truly memorable.

Simon Mtuy’s vision of service and sense of giving back to help create a sustainable and responsible community is stellar and I highly recommend his company to those looking for the perfect fit!”

Rachel H.
“Honest (guide) and Manase (assistant guide) were both very professional, respectable, and pleasant throughout the whole trip.  Very knowledgable about the area and the mountain, were able to answer all of our questions. Always offered help and were concerned with our well being and progress throughout the hike.  Yes it was designed very well. The guides were well informed and familiar with the routes for the following days and kept us updated with our progress and plans.”