- Testimonials 2019&2020
- Testimonials 2018
- Testimonials 2017
- Testimonials 2016
- Testimonials 2015
- Testimonials 2014
- 2013 and earlier
Dan and Jill S.
SENE’s Kilimanjaro experience is second to none. The professionalism, the service, the food, the stay at Simon’s family farm in Mbahe, the guides — we were blown away by it all. Cannot possibly recommend SENE highly enough!
Linda T. & Rocco G.
It took me a year to decide which outfitter to choose. In the end I chose SENE because they are environmentally friendly, treat their porters with respect and take care of them not taking advantage of them. I did not want to summit at night and SENE is one of the few outfitters that has a day time summit option. In addition, I liked the idea of staying at the farm and meeting Simon. I am so very happy that I chose SENE! Amazing from start to finish. Thank you… Thank you!
John & Anette P.
Our experience on the climb far exceeded our expectations. We were welcomed by the perfect host at the farm. He was wonderful. We loved our 3 guides–they were kind, caring, ever-watchful, knowledgeable and professional. We also very much appreciated our cooks and porters–they worked very hard and were a lot of fun. The food was wonderfully fresh and healthy–of huge importance to us.
We also spent 4 days on safari with SENE and loved that as well. We peppered our driver with questions constantly and he was great–very knowledgeable and fun to travel with. He had a knack for getting the animals to pose for our pictures–don’t know how he did it, but our pictures are fabulous! We would highly recommend SENE to anyone climbing Kilimanjaro or taking a safari.
What an incredible trip! It will live long in the memory. I know Patrick has composed a longer response (which may or may not have already been sent), but I just wanted to record my thanks to everyone involved for a very very special experience.
Having returned and heard the odd horror story from friends who have tried the climb separately, it has reinforced what we suspected all along: We had the best Guide/Porter team on the mountain! I feel enormously fortunate.
In humble gratitude and in hope of meeting everyone again some day.
Well you have broken all records in appointing SENE to look after Jon and me for we can only describe as an unrepeatable experience!
Yes we got to the top, yes we did it good time and yes we cried at the top , so on all the standard criteria we achieved.
But we achieved so much more.
It is clear to us that most climbers fail through poor management by guides companies and support, you can clearly see that as you look at others groups on the trip.
We arrived at the summit on a cloudless afternoon with absolutely no body else in sight!
Timing was superb but so was the route ( up the western breach).
Given that the general success rate is about 35% , I bet SENE success rate is much higher.
It’s not just one man it is very very much a team effort, the management of which is outstanding.
The farm in which we stayed at the beginning and the end is as close paradise as I have ever been , you JUST MUST GO there! ( where else do you have waterfalls beautiful birds amazing wild life flowers etal ) at 1800 meters above sea level and views to die for.
Where else to you check out in to a field of beautiful cows and wander down the valley along a stream to your transport.
Simon and his team were the most stimulating informative helpful dynamic hardworking people we could wish to be with.
Simons business are manifold from touring to bees to safari to hotels to running to cycling to charity to Eco farming development to local empowerment to coffee to farming to teaching to mentoring , it is endless.
Talk about ultimate guides , this one should be top of your list!
So try to use him again , find out more about him, go and see him.
Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to experience so much more than just a fantastic climb.
The trip was great, the safari you arranged was the perfect finish. Our guide (Joseph?) was very nice and informative. Dinner at Rivertrees was fantastic and we got to the airport without issue. Thanks again for your efforts!
My trip was spectacular. I made it to the top after a slight change to the itinerary. It was decided that my asthma would make sleeping in the crater difficult and so I did the western breech, had lunch with the others in the crater, summited and then overnighted at Barafu. It was a long day and perfect. At the time, it seemed the hardest thing I had ever done and now, with some days of rest behind me, I think that is not true. It was definitely up there and still a wonderful accomplishment, just not the hardest thing I have ever done although I am not sure what that would be.
Can’t say enough good things about everyone and everything. I am in Arusha now, with limited wifi, so my ability to upload pictures is limited. However I HAVE SO MANY.
We love Joseph and Wilson and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF my porters. Please pass on my best regards and personal recommendation of all of them to Simon and the rest of the SENE management team. They deserve all the thanks for getting me up that mountain. Absolutely incredible. Thank you again so much for everything.
I don’t have a negative thing to say. The guides, the porters and the chef were all amazing. Honest was the perfect lead guide. He was patient, understanding, helpful, interesting, etc. I would give 5 stars across the board for the entire trek and to every single staff member that was there with us. Actually chalk up amazing to all of the SENE staff that we had met through out our trip.
Gerard was wonderful. He is a kind, happy, patient and informative man who is very good at his job. I would not be able to find a negative word to ever say about Gerard.
Rick & Bev B.
We think God led us in making a great decision. We had no prior knowledge of SENE, but we wanted to select a Tanzanian owned company and felt good about the description on the website. It also provided additional comfort to have a company with a US office.
We can’t say enough how well-organized and well-trained the SENE staff was. It made us feel comfortable and confident in tackling such a mind-boggling endeavor. If I ever come again, or if any of my friends ask me, I’ll tell them that SENE is by far the best choice!
Just a short message to say that we got back fine and miss you already. It was such a wonderful trip and I walk around and smile to myself telling everybody about the adventures. I am so glad that we got to share the experiences with all of you guys and I hope we can stay in touch.
Our safari was magnificent and we saw so many animals. We even had a herd of about 30 water buffalos grazing right outside our tent as well an elephant and a hyena pretty close to the camping site. It was so crazy that we were giggling ourselves nervously to sleep.
I had so high expectations, but the trip exceeded my expectations by far. SENE made it all happen for us, and I am very grateful. What an amazing crew we had on the mountain and on the safari!
Ayumwi was the perfect guide and I felt completely safe with him. He also made a very difficult decision to send a person down just a few hundred meters from Uhuru.
I especially enjoyed his knowledge on the fauna and flora of Kili and also his playfullness.
John took excellent care of us when we needed it the most on the last hard ascent. He really noticed how we were doing and helped one of us get down from the mountain when getting sick.
All the above points exceeded my expectation by far. The crew not only made us feel safe, they fed us with suberb food, they were always in a wonderful mood, singing and dancing us all the way up the mountain. I could not have been happier with them all.
I was very impressed that SENE brought the gamma bag to the mountain and I felt even more safe after the demonstration. I also appreciate that the crew showed that they took our safety very seriously by sending one down close to Uhuru.
Fresh food of super quality on the mountains. Better food than we eat at home. We all wanted to eat this kind of food always!
I could not be happier with SENE and the entire experience. I am praising your company to all my friends and many of them are interested in coming to Tanzania, so perhaps I will be able to send some more people to you.
The whole trip definitely exceeded my expectations without adoubt. A trip of a life time.
All the staff of SENE were absolutely fantastic starting at the farm and all the way to the summit.
Wilson and all the others at Simon’s farm were amazing. I can’t say enough about all the guides, cooking staff and porters on the climb. Not only were they a crucial part of our success to the summit but they all helped to make the whole climb such a great experience. The guides were unbelievable in helping us reach our goal and making the whole experience so memorable. Augustine was incredible as the head guide and he as well as everyone should all be congratulated for all their help, support and frienship.
On another note, I would very much like to send some clothing to be distributed amongst the guides and of course the other members of our support group. Can you please give me details how I may arrange this.
I ask only one thing in return- is there any way I can get a green/black SENE cap that all the guides wore. I only manageed to get a grey one and would really like a green as well.
Once again, thank you for everything and I can’t think of a better group of people than SENE to make my experience in Kilimanjaro so fantastic.
Hey tim, yeah the climb was about as flawless as it could be. Everyone made it to the top and all sene staff, porters, cooks, and guides made it an extremely unforgettable experience. I am making sure everyone knows who took us up the mountain safely and successfully. I will get some photos sent out to you this weekend for sure, Thank you and simon for all your help getting to the top!!
I am slowly coming out of my jet-lag fog and reading email.
I missed this last week or would have responded more quickly.
I want to thank you for helping us put together a truly wonderful trip. SENE was the perfect group for us to have this adventure with. From the moment we got off the plane in Arusha to the final day of Safari each and every SENE person was there to guide us and the best part was they always had a fabulous smile and friendly personality. A beautiful addition was the spirituality they all possessed and how it gently came through in our daily encounters. It touched us all in the most positive way.
Augustine was our lead guide and manager on the mountain and did an excellent job. I don’t know what we would have done without him. As you know already,David didn’t make it to the summit yet he was so happy to have had the adventure of a lifetime. The other four of us were bummed that he wasn’t with us at the finish line but life is so unpredictable. Peter and I went on for the Safari portion while the others departed for the US. It all went well and we loved the Plantation Lodge and the Tent Camp.
All in all, we had a fantastic adventure and it exceeded my expectations. Bravo to you and SENE.
Thank you,thank you….I have nothing but glowing adjectives to express how truly exceptional this experience was and I can hardly wait to go back to Africa.
PS.the food was GREAT!
I have so many good things to say about SENE and the whole experience that I don’t even know where to start. The guides were excellent, professional, and extremely careful with us; the cooks and food were wonderful; the porters were hard working, friendly, and extremely good; the trip itself was amazing; I wish I could do it again!
Thanks for your email. Please extend my warmest thanks to everyone at SENE who helped make our trip such a memorable success. In particular, I cannot imagine a better set of four guides: Honest, Joel, and Eligi were amazing, and their confidence – and evident competence – were a huge part of why we absolutely loved our experience. (I am not forgetting Augustine, and once he slows down his English and gains some confidence speaking it, I am certain he will engender the same sort of trust and affection we had for the other guides.) The food, also! Wonderful!
Best regards, and thanks to you and Simon and everyone else at SENE. You are the best! (I know, I know: I have to say that on TripAdvisor. I’ll do it!).
Thank you Tim, and thank you for all your wonderful suggestions and advice and flexibility in helping us arrange an amazing trip! We definitely are hoping to return!
Tim, What an extraordinary adventure in Tanzania…………..
First of all , thank you for your expert help putting this trip together for us. We were very well prepared thanks to all the info we received from you. The entire trip ran very smoothly from pick up to delivery back to the airport. We felt very cared for.
Can’t say enough good things about the SENE organization……Simon, Augustine (our wonderful guide) , Jackson (guide), Wilson and many more wonderful porters, cooks helped us feel welcome and comfortable and helped us realize our dream.
We had an awesome climb to Kili….. excellent weather and the group really bonded and gave each other much encouragement. On summit day we will never forget the image of the sunrise above the clouds, the full moon, and the feeling of reaching the summit !!!!!!
Not just the climb but the entire trip was an experience of a lifetime. Feel free to include me if any reccomendations are need for SENE.
Still high from the climb and trip.
I’m fine and absolutely the experience met all of mine expectations and look back on a fantastic experience.
The climbing. I love it!! .. every details in the daily service. Like to get warm coffe/ tea in the tent in the morning, warm water to wash you with every day, , a separat toilet tent house,the delicous fresh vegetables and fruits, the excellent good listening main guide and assistent guides and all the porters.
With out a doubt. You were the best! Not a beat was missed. Thank you soooooo much.
Many memories were made. Attention to all details were there. All guides were very knowledgable and helpful. Food was great. The experience of being part of and embracing the African culture will never be forgotten. Thank you Simon…. for putting together the best group of individuals to make this the best adventure ever!
Can’t thank you enough for the fabulous time we had in Tanzania. Our experiences in Kenya were unforturnate, but all apart of the travel experience. Gerald was the best!!! He could not have been more accommodating and knowledgable. We identified at least 190 species of birds aswell as seeing the big 5. The trip meet all my expectations and thanks so much! We received a lovely album book for all the difficulties we had in Kenya and do appreciate their efforts to make it a good experience for us. All in all it was a fabulous experience and will surely pass on a good word to friends about Summit Expeditions! Thanks Tim.
Sue & Jim E.
All in all, an absolutely wonderful experience and trip! Now trying to get back on track with the 11 hour difference in time zone! Being back in 50 degree weather and looking a fir trees and domestic dogs and cats is a little surreal after being in 90 degree weather and looking at acacias, wildebeests and elephants! Will complete the SENE feedback form soon and send some the amazing photos Jim took with his new camera. He also has some short videos of lions, cheetahs, and birds if you’d like to have him send them. Again, asante sana for putting together a great trip!
We just made it back and we had such an amazing time! We loved SENE and loved our group that took us up on the climb and that gave us the safari.
In any case, please let me know if there is any sort of formal feedback or anything I can send you. We had a terrific time and are so appreciative of all your help in organizing and making such an amazing experience a reality. Thanks!
p.s. All items from Martha and Jolene were delivered and everyone was completely thrilled.
I am back in the states after a perfectly wonderful trip to Africa. I am so grateful that all went smoothly through the entire adventure. We made every airline connection, all accommodations were perfect, I didn’t get sick or sunburned or mugged or lost! And, I learned so much – both tangible facts and information plus different ways to be in the world. A fascinating opportunity!
The Safari was excellent. My driver was Jarrod, and it could not have been a better match. He was very personable, informative, knowledgable, relaxed. It was important to me to feel secure and comfortable traveling alone with a guide, and I had no fears at all. He was funny and eager to please me, giving me plenty of time to look and study, and then move on, as we had distances to cover each day. Great time manager! He also understood my “need” to shop at the end in Arusha, and was very helpful in arranging that – just before arriving at the airport.
All your help and advice made this trip possible and delightful. I am so glad that Doug Hardy encouraged me to contact you all. Thanks so much for making the connections with Shafiq, too. No kidding. Everything was planned and executed perfectly! To top it off, I got bumped to first class on the airplane home from Amsterdam to Boston. Not bad!!
Tell Simon that I was pleased with everything, and I will certainly recommend SENE to anyone interested in traveling to that part of Africa. Nice job, team!!
Thanks again for everything. It was a pleasure to do business with you.
Thank you very much for organizing such a great adventure. Everything went quite well. From the ride from Moshi to Ngorongoro to the driver and the hotel. The crater was amazing. We saw four of the Big Five. No one can ask for anything better than that, except for a glimpse at the elusive leopard, but that would be asking for too much. The whole setup, including the box lunch was perfect.
Kent S. & Kate C.
I can without a doubt say that our trip exceeded our expectations in every way, from the safari itself, the beautiful countryside that we saw and all the awesome people we met, including Joseph, Kiplet, Jared, Wilson and the staff at Simon’s.
I wanted not only to climb Kilimanjaro but to experience a part of Africa. Staying in Mbahe Village and working with SENE, a Tanzanian based company, I got both of those things and so much more. The guides and porters of SENE make this experience truly awesome. Epic Asante sana to them all. We were humbled by their strength, efficiency and friendliness. Without them I would not have made it, no doubt.
Hi Tim –
Yes, we are back and trying to get back into the swing of things.
Our trip was incredible, amazing, fun, hard, challenging and rewarding. My sister’s write up below provides a great summary of our adventure. To say that we were impressed with our guides and porters is truly an understatement. Their energy is unmatched and their attitudes are a shining example of what we should all strive for. I enjoyed meeting them all and felt true friendship in our group.
Our stay at Ras Nungwi was wonderful. Truly relaxing and we were sad to leave. I enjoyed going diving out at Mnemba Island. I’d never been diving in the Indian Ocean so it was quite a thrill. Lots of fish and big ones too! Unfortunately my dive videos don’t convey the beauty down there too well but it was beautiful.
Thank you, Tim, for all of your help in getting us ready prior to our trip and in helping us share our thoughts and photos afterward. Much appreciated.
If you ever consider climbing Kilimanjaro, wait till you can go with SENE! Far beyond my expectations, like being “carried” to the top.
I think SENE is great company, I have great felling about it and I was right, great people working in harmony.
Maria R., Hvitserk
The 4 ladies we had staying with you last week just dropped by the office, super excited about the whole trip, and very pleased with the stay at Mbahe, so thank you very much for looking after them!
I had a great time and would recommend you to all my friends.
Fabulous company! I felt safe the entire time hiking, and never once felt our group wasn’t in good hands. The staff catered to our needs (even dietary), and did everything to make sure we made it to the summit. Our fluid intake was constantly monitored, which I believe it why our entire group was successful while many other hikers suffered from altitude sickness.
The guides, the comradarie of the crew and clients. Alex’s (our cook) excitement and encouragment, one of the porters that was fist bumping us brought smiles to our face, porter Paulo always having a smile and a kind word, Jamse’s professionalism at the table and then willingness to cut loose while dancing/singing and while on the trail, Augustino’s perfect sentitivity and humanism, Augustino Jr.’s ability to laugh with us. Etc! The beauty of Kilimanjaro.
Ayumwi was the perfect guide for me. He knew I was into birding and he made an extra effort to help me see as many birds as possible along the climb. He also went out of his way to take pictures at the summit because I wasn’t able to do so myself.
Gerald was a great guide. He knew & loved the wildlife and country. His excitement and enthusiasm made the safari a lot of fun.
Dear Simon, Tim and everyone else at SENE,
Thanks very much for a great time on our run at the weekend! I really enjoyed the route through all the villages we passed, especially as that was my first time in rural Tanzania so very interesting as well as enjoyable.
I had a really nice stay on Mbahe Farm with Wilson and the team, I only wish I could have stayed longer. Such a great location, and waking up to a carpet of cloud beneath me was a novelty! I will definately be back – just a matter of when.
Wilson took care of me at Mbahe . . . walks, visitis with Mama Simon, company at meals, attention to my needs, and thoughtful copanion.
Gerald brought the Amboseli safari experience alive for me. He was patient and attentive to providing time to look and photograph. He was fun to be with and went along with my request to visit a remote Masaai village.
Tim — from planning to execution — put together a trip that fulfilled my wishes and requests. He . . . fit all the pieces together in an expert way.
I always felt cared for and watched over. I never worried where my next meal was coming from or who would be there to get me from one place to the next. Everything just worked out.
I have respect for the company’s values and the sensitivity shown toward their employees as well as the kind of welcome and service these employees offer visitors.
We have had an amazing trip. The climb as well as the safari exceeded our expectation. Even the mess tent came to be our favorite although we laughed at it to start with. I am happy to be a reference for both adventures and I have written a TripAdvisor review.
Thank you very much for setting things up for us and being so quick with all replies.
Happy camper 🙂
Thanks, Tim. Just got back about 9 hours ago. I will be responding to both you and Simon soon, as I have much to comment on and would like to get my thoughts together. For now, suffice it to say, it was incredible. Amazing. Wonderful. And the best part, for me–your team. Being around such wonderful people for 8 days. We have lots of pictures, which may take some time to work through, but we will share.
Greetings, my friends Tim and Simon,
SENE provides a unique, challenging, and unforgettable running experience for well seasoned trail runners of all ages. SENE’s guides and staff were simply amazing, and for me, one of the highlights of the adventure. The meals were varied, extensive, and delicious and kept our bodies fueled and ready. I highly recommend the Kilimanjaro Stage Run for runners seeking something new, different, and challenging.
Simon and Tim
Hope you are both doing well!!!
It has taken me a little bit to put into words, my experience in Tanzania so I apologize for this delay.
I was greatly appreciative and impressed by the service SENE provided us from the very moment we arrived at the airport. Often little things stand out.
I remember Joseph having water readily available for us for the drive to Moshi. A simple gesture as that set the tone I think.
There is to much to cover and in time it will soak in. Our stay in Mbahe was splendid and our dinners fabulous. Such an outstanding staff!
I thought meals might be a little different on the run being remote and all and again I was so thoroughly satisfied and to say the least your chef should be commended in keeping us well nourished with great food necessary to get us through the next days run.
I also can’t say enough about our guides. Even now I close my eyes and still smell the rainforest, the dirt, taste the dust and hear Manase say “Packs on”. There patience and knowledge and pacing were impeccable. I had plenty of time to shoot pics and still stay close to the group so a thank you to Robison and Ede who kindly waited many times.
I have put together a dvd for you to enjoy. Something short but that catches the essence of the run and beauty we saw in every valley and every face. You will receive it shortly in the mail.
Simon you have done great things and I am sure greatness will continue in your life and business.Thank you for sharing your life and Tanzania with me.
Tim your kindness cannot be overlooked and as a businessman I think Simon could find none better. Thank you for sharing your time with us.
If I can be of any help in promoting your event next year please let me know.
I certainly feel we can fill the cottages and trails to share the beauty of your run.
Best wishes for the holidays!
Great trek with a professional organization! The food on the mountain was outstanding and the crew was solicitous to our needs. Mbahe farm is such a wonderful place with fantastic food and the best coffee. Thanks SENE.
The interaction between the crew and the climbers was something I’ll never forget. The smiles, songs, passing “Jambo” greeting, card games, and laughs are what made this trip more than just an adventure vacation for me. I loved every single minute of my time in Tanzania thanks to SENE and the crew. SENE’s attention to detail and genuine care for all climbers made my adventure on Kilimanjaro something I’ll remember for the rest of my life! The guides, crew, equipment, meals, itinerary, attention to safety, and knowledge of Kilimanjaro made my climb the first class experience that it truly was!
Brigitte G. & Yoeri A.
Everything!!! The safari was great, also the lodges ( clean, very friendly staff, good food) and our guide Joseph was also excellent. The farm house was a nice stop over: Nelson was a very friendly host and the cook was friendly and made good food. The cycling, had a nice start: a hike to the mambo view lodge! It wasn’ t planned but a very nice thing to do. The cycling in the mountains was incredible. We really enjoyed the nature, the places where no much tourist will ever come. We could ride on quiet small roads. It was nice to have a small group and the sphere among us, Sebastian, Simon and Joseph was just like old friends! Mambo view lodge, Swiss lodge, Emau Hill camp were very good , Tent and food was good, but the shower/toilets in Nilo reserve were not so clean. Lunch during cycling was good. Joseph was really helpfull and always friendly and smiling.
The Capricon at least, was a perfect place to relax and to enjoy the impressions of Tanzania!
Also the flight to Moshi and the short stay in the hotel over there were a nice end of the great holiday! We really appreciated the changes SENE made in our itinerary, without any problems, caused by our missed flight due to the bad weather conditions.
This was a stand-out experience from start to finish! This trip was not just about accomplishing the climb, it was about experiencing and enjoying the culture of Tanzania. One of the key distinctions for us was SENE’s care for the environment: they adhered to the leave no trace policy and served very tasty organic food. I would recommend SENE to anyone who wants to have a successful climb and make memories that last a lifetime.
I was treated like a princess on the mountain. The camping experience was a pleasant surprise for a city girl as I had a superb SENE crew to take care of me! My guide Honest helped me in every possible way to reach the summit and admire a sunrise on top of the Uhuru Peak. Asante Sana!
Summit Expeditions & Nomadic Experience (SENE) was an excellent choice. They were very professional in all respects. Good guides, great food and good equipment. The guides and porters all seemed to have a good time and make us feel that our enjoyment was important. The food was exceptional–lots of fresh fruit, hot porridge for breakfast, hot soup for lunch and hot entrees every evening. SENE exceeded all of my expectations.
Our trip with SENE was beyond wonderful. The guides and porters exceeded our expectations. All three of us made it to Uhuru Peak with minimal altitude problems.
Linda & Larry E.
Thank you for one of the best trips we have ever taken. Our itinerary was extremely diverse and well thought-out. Our accommodations and food were excellent. SENE’s staff — at all levels — were punctual, professional, knowledgeable, warm and friendly. Everyone made us feel welcome and appreciated.
Cliff & Holly C.
I was treated like a princess on the mountain. The camping experience was a pleasant surprise for a city girl as I had a superb SENE crew to take care of me! My guide Honest helped me in every possible way to reach the summit and admire a sunrise on top of the Uhuru Peak. Asante Sana!
SENE put together an amazing experience, a once in a lifetime trip that I will always cherish. The entire staff is really friendly, knowledgeable and professional – I would not have done anything different and feel lucky that I was part of the SENE experience.
Brian H. (Posted to Facebook)
I am delighted to do anything I can to support SENE. I am sure that this group is second to none when it comes to creating the best experience to the top of Africa. From the meals to the extra special monitoring, I felt as though I had my mother and family physician there to make sure that I stayed in good keeping. I’m certain that with every expedition, they make the experience special in a way that leaves each climber feeling as though they are the only group on the mountain. Every accomplishment was a celebration with friends. A special thanks to Felix, John, Ayumi and others.
This was a very spiritual journey for me–much more so than what I was anticipating. The highlight of my trip was NOT summiting; rather it was the connections I made with the porters and guides and also the internal reflections of my life. The porters and guide were incredible: so happy, simple and so grateful for what they have (which isn’t much by our standards) and so full of life, chatter and laughter. Watching the local people was really an eye opener for me and I have vowed to be grateful for everything that I have.
We had a fantastic time on the trip! Your hard work and attention to detail really paid off. Everything went incredibly smoothly. All of our drivers picked us up like clockwork, and our guides were knowledgeable, thoughtful, and responsive. The hotels you picked were lovely. The Kili climb, while difficult (as expected), was amazing. The mountain was beautiful, of course, but the SENE guides and porters made the experience. What great people!
Anthea & Ian D.
Gerald would have to be the most knowledgeable and good humored safari guide ever! We had a WONDERFUL time. He obviously enjoys his job and enthused us with his passion. He said the Serengeti was his office! Each morning he would tell us that he “slept like a baby hippo.” Again, we saw other tour groups, and the trip with SENE was well-timed, without too much rushing around that others seemed to be doing. All the lodges were great – the new Kitela was fabulous to relax in after the climb – a good first choice. Then Kati Kati a real experience in the middle of the Serengeti. Finally Tarangire River Camp was lovely. There was no water in the river, but the views beautiful, the “tents” comfortable and the pool most welcome! The food everywhere was excellent. Thank you for organizing our Summit to Serengeti adventure – it really was the best adventure ever, and one we will never forget.
Climbing Kilimanjaro with SENE is an experience way beyond just bagging the peak. While they know how to get clients up there safely and successfully, a SENE trip also brings clients together with Tanzanians to form a team, almost becoming diplomatic endeavor!
We had an incredible time on our Kilimanjaro trip. Loved the entire experience. Great weather, guides, staff, the farm, food, accommodations – everything surpassed any expectations we had. I did extensive research before selecting SENE and was not disappointed.
I was extremely happy with every aspect of our trip. The attention to detail added to our success and enjoyment of this adventure. We loved Honest and the rest of our guides for the climb. This was the trip of a lifetime! We will recommend SENE to anyone looking for a Tanzanian adventure. We completed the Lemosho route, a safari and Zanzibar. I recommend it all!
We had a lovely trip! Gerald was a great guide, knowledgeable and friendly, and a great driver, and we enjoyed him and the parks very much. I would wholeheartedly recommend SENE to others for safari.
Ankur and Sangeeta B.
We had a marvelous time with SENE and recommend them to anyone who wants to climb the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. They will get you there with their positive spirit and approach.
Simon and his team are true experts and have an extremely professional organization. We had a perfect experience from our first contact in planning the trip through our return home. Everyone we had contact with (especially our guide) had great working knowledge and delivered it in a way that makes Tanzania come to life. They think of everything and provide it all for a competitive value. We will use them again and highly recommend them to our friends.
Michelle H. and Stephanie W.
SENE’s trip to the top of Kilimanjaro far exceeded our expectations. It all began as we approached the Mbahe farm and saw that we were staying in paradise. Walking up the hill amidst the lush tropical vegetation, we paused to view beautiful waterfalls and soak in the pleasant sound of rushing water as we were greeted by friendly neighbors that passed along the way. The welcoming staff was so helpful and accommodating that it truly felt as though we were in a home far away from home. The owner of Mbahe farm, Simon Mtuy was a gracious host with a gregarious personality that reminded us of the older brother we’d always wished we’d had. The healthy food was absolutely delicious and fresh, right out of the garden. The aromatic coffee and cashews were raised and roasted on site. Much to our delight, the staff accompanied us for a visit of a local school, where we met the teachers and enjoyed time with the school children.
The Machame route that was chosen for our 14 lady team to climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro was well maintained and easy to follow. We enjoyed hiking through a variety of ecosystems. The knowledgeable guides explained many nuances of the varied vegetation and wildlife along the way. Each night displayed millions of brilliant stars in the vast African sky. As we climbed in altitude, we were able to witness a gorgeous sunset above the clouds, unlike any we had ever seen before. It was amazing to realize that we were actually climbing to a higher altitude than our flight from Kilimanjaro to Nairobi.
Throughout the entire climb, we felt safe and well cared for. SENE’s guides and porters were extremely attentive and helpful; supporting us through the difficult physical challenges caused from hiking at such a high altitude. They were both professional and fun. Of the whole trip, we were most impressed with SENE employees’ fine character and work ethic. SENE is a company that provides an excellent service for its customers with a cohesive team effort throughout the entire process. We have thoroughly enjoyed our experience with SENE and highly recommend it to anyone who is considering climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
I am forever grateful to SENE for running a perfect trip, from the food to equipment, to their kindness and thoughtfulness. I will never forget the most caring and wonderful group of porters, cooks, and guides a Mt. Kili hiker could ever ask for…asante sana!
John R. M.
SENE is, in my opinion, the best operator for Kilimanjaro climbs in Tanzania. The team is outstanding and all questions were answered with prompt responses. SENE is very easy to communicate with which makes a huge difference when planning your climb. The guides, porters and all the staff at Mbahe farm were great; it made the whole experience such a pleasure and I thank you all for a great experience.
Patty and Bill F.
A terrific company with wonderful staff. A great way to experience Kili and Tanzania.
Picking a great company to handle safari planning is critical to the success of a trip. SENE, as we constantly realized, was an excellent choice–knowledgeable, highly competent and reliable people. Everything worked smoothly, and our guide (an important component of a small private safari) was excellent. Working with the American representative, Tim, was a pleasure and worked very well. In all, we were delighted with our choice to go with SENE, a Tanzanian owned company (also important to us).
The level of attention paid by Simon’s company; from being picked up and driven from the airport with the owner himself (and a driver); to our celebration party at the end of the climb, every moment we felt safe, taken care of and spoiled. Our guides Wilson and Augustine customized each days walk to maximize our acclimatization see as much scenery and prepare for summit day and included bonus walks to the Shira Cathedral and Moir Huts (which were not part of our original itinerary . With their help, we reached the summit without Diamox. Read the SENE website – they deliver what they promise and offer a unique Kilimanjaro experience. I recommend them wholeheartedly.
This trip was more amazing than I ever imagined it would be! I think the biggest highlight for me was reaching the summit of Mt. Meru which I could not have done without the wonderful SENE team! My guide told me when we started that they were dedicated to helping me achieve my goal of reaching the summit and they certainly were! Asante sana!
An organization which I can highly recommend and follows ethical principles in the treatment of its staff.
SENE…I’m not sure whether to call to it Summit Expedition or Simon Expedition…Your staff is amazing. The unity among your staff is something that I have never seen before. Everyone seems so happy and giving. I am sure that you keep your staff quite happy as well and that is why they seem to stay with you for a long period of time. I keep seeing the images of the mountain and smiling faces of your staff in my mind.
Hello Simon and Tim,
Wow, I had such a wonderful experience in Tanzania. And the key to my great experience was SENE. I can’t say enough about the service that SENE provided. You truly exceeded my expectations. Having the residential compound on the mountain is a huge advantage over the other companies. Everyone connected with SENE was great and I felt very safe and cared for. Plus, you got me to the top of the mountain. Thanks so much!
The experience was outstanding. The guides and porters were the best and they made the experience one that will never be forgotten. SENE knows how to make your dreams a reality. From the logistics of preparing for the trip to the actual climbing of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the experience couldn’t have been better. This is a quality operation run by quality people.
[Our guide] Gerald knew what to do and how to drive and keep us safe; Always answered our many questions; Knows his stuff; Assisted loading and unloading our gear; Very friendly and open; the Best–very positive and friendly; You couldn’t find a better host or naturalist–and good in driving in mud and water so as not to get stuck!
SENE is top notch! You could climb the mountain with any group, but with SENE you get a full cultural experience before and after the climb. Mbahe Farm and Village as well as Simba Farm are not to be missed. And the celebration dinner and party after the climb is a great way to say thank you” to all the great staff who helped you accomplish your dreams! If at all possible, do the Lemosho/Shira/Crater route–plenty of acclimatization time and no midnight ascent like from Barafu. Crater camping right next to the Furtwangler Glacier was quite an experience!
I just wanted to drop you a brief email to put on record that I have really enjoyed my time with Simon and his team. We started our trip with a primary focus, which was the summit. We ended the trip with the strong feeling that summit was just “part of the story” but there were many more important/rewarding aspects in our trip. In particular, we had the chance to get to know the people and the local culture; we connected with the nature and the beauty of the mountain. The three guides (Emanuel, Augustine and Francis) have been super and in general, all the team members were very friendly, professional and honest (they returned several items that we forgot at the camp). By a technical standpoint, we went up the Western Ridge, which I think it is much more interesting than any other route, and we are glad we have done it, although I wouldn’t recommend it for your average tourist coming to Tanzania without any previous mountaineering and climbing experience.
Making it to the top on the Kili Climb was the highlight! Your entire team (porters, guides cooks etc…) were awesome. They made us all feel so comfortable given the nomadic surroundings we found ourselves in. Their genuine joy and desire to make our Journey memorable was truly recognized and appreciated!”Curt W.
“Simon and crew are Great. If I ever come back it will be with this group!”Linda C.
“For a completely enjoyable, exciting and cultural summit and safari experience, you won’t do better than SENE. The dedication and service attitude of each and every employee, whether guide, porter or cook was the best I have seen anywhere and truly an asset to SENE!
I would highly recommend SENE to anyone….their level of service, and concern for health and safety on the climb were exceptional. Their attention to the details sets them apart from other groups….every detail from transportation to accommodations to meals was taken care of so I could concentrate on enjoying myself and my vacation.”TJ
“The whole trip was one big highlight. From the moment I stepped off of the plane it was an experience I will never forget. SENE helped create one of those special experiences I hope to share with my grandkids one day.”Ken C.
“You are in Good hands with SENE, an amazing experience in every detail.”Janet S.
“Certainly the experience of meeting Simon and staying at his home was inspiring far beyond our expectations. Everything about it, the warmth of hospitality, meeting Simon’s parents, witnessing the marvelous use of land and resources and willingness to share all with others was a learning and spiritually moving experience. I am truly grateful and will surely share that gift of hospitality I received with others I am working with in mission.
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro was an experience like no other. To have people constantly on your side and looking out for your well being helped me feel comfortable with my decision to chose Summit Expeditions and Nomadic Experiences as a tour company. I enjoyed the people (their energy and spirit) and I loved the food (delicious, flavorful, and inspiring). The crew really did provide a superior service! I will definitely choose SENE for a Safari the next time I visit Tanzania!”Summer S.
“From start to finish, the ENTIRE trip was an incredibly positive experience. My best friend climbed Kili a few years ago and had a miserable experience – and therefore tried to talk me out of this trip! In addition, I read a lot of books/stories so I was prepared for the worse case scenario.” Instead, I got the BEST case scenario. I cannot say enough good things about Felix and SENE. Above all else, I appreciate his suggestion to change the itinerary so that we went to Moir Camp (rather than spend 2 days at the Lava Tower). I loved the fact that our camp grounds were never crowded and I always felt like we were a bit off the beaten path, and therefore having a more personal experience. The crew was fantastic and the food was terrific and all of the accommodations were outstanding. I have NO complaints!
If you’re interested in climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, you are guaranteed to have a phenomenal experience with SENE.
Love him, love him, love him! Gerald made our trip. He was fun, very knowledgeable, kind, patient and did I mention knowledgeable. Every day with Gerald was filled with once in a lifetime moments. He was amazing at sighting animals and predicting their behavior. I could write on and on about the amazing moments he created for us! We loved spending time with him. He also taught us so much about the different cultures throughout Tanzania, including information about his own family and experiences. Gerald is a walking encyclopedia when it comes to animal behavior. His interactions with everyone we came in contact was positive and fun-loving. Everyone knew him and he could get even strangers laughing within one conversation. Gerald made our trip over the top- we feel so fortunate to have gotten to spend time with someone as wonderful as him!
Paschal was a wonderful person to spend the day with. He was kind and patient not only with us but all the people we met and spoke with. Whenever Paschal stopped and spoke with people, you could tell that they enjoyed seeing him and he would share with us what they were discussing. His laughter and happy nature was wonderful to be around. Paschal was very humble about his english fluency. His vocabulary was amazing. We also felt very safe in his company. He had a wonderful attitude and gave the impression that he really enjoyed walking around with us in the village. We learned so much about the area, culturally and physically. We loved sitting and talking with him at dinner and breakfast. He was entertaining and very knowledgeable about Tanzania and the US. In many ways Paschal knew more US history than we did. He is a very intelligent, interesting person to spend time with.
We worked primarily with Tim for planning our trip. He was kind and patient with us. We first contacted him a couple of years ago. Time spent a lot of time speaking with us (on the phone and through email). We were unable to take the trip back then but remembered his kindness and patience. So when we started to plan again we were quick to contact him. We always felt he was honest and fair in pricing. He made great recommendations for our itinerary.
Gerald is an stellar guide and was perfect for our group. He was patient, always allowing us to stop to take pictures when asked, and sensitive to our needs/feelings throughout the trip, and extremely knowledgeable about the plants, animals, and history of the surroundings.
Daniel, the security guard is great. When I went down to the waterfall to explore he checked on me several times to make sure I was okay. He later joined me for a walk around the area and took some pictures for me.
The service provided by SENE is stellar. The company relies on extremely knowledgeable and friendly guides and local insight into the history and customs of the communities in which it operates to provide guests with exciting and environmentally-friendly trips through some of the most scenic parts of Tanzania. Our stay at Mbahe Farm was peaceful and restorative and I found myself longing to stay for an additional week. Our safari trip was exhilarating and we were able to experience wildlife in some of the most beautiful surroundings I have ever seen. I highly recommend SENE!
Book your trip with SENE! I did a lot of research and based on the trip we found the best! The guide was knowledgeable and a pleasure to be with. We chose to do a 2-person safari with a focus on wildlife, photography and culture. We could not have been happier with our trip. SENE will help you to customize a trip based on your interests and group size. Don’t miss the Serengeti tent camp, Lake Eyasi lodge, running with the Hadzabe or taking the time to get to know the people in Simon’s village.
We knew two people who had done SENE trips and they highly recommended the company. We were able to get a custom trip for the two of us for the same price as a 12-person trip where we lost the ability to chose where we wanted to be and how long we wanted to watch wildlife.
Just wanted to let you know that the climb was excellent and I made it to the top. Francis, Felix, Kiplet, and the rest were terrific. I had an excellent experience with SENE. The guides, cooks, and porters were fantastic, very knowledgeable and supportive of me as a solo female client. I highly recommend SENE for all northern Tanzanian adventures. SENE provides the perfect combination of being a Tanzanian enterprise with North American support for pre-departure advice and logistics.
We arranged a Kili climb and Safari through SENE on relatively short notice. All of our expectations were met or exceeded. From the planning phase completely through to airport drop off, everything came off without a hitch. All staff, from Simon on down to the youngest porters were exceptionally gracious, competent, and truly interested in our trip being completely successful. Our guides, Ayumwi and Fredric, did an exceptional job of seeing to all of our needs during the climb. Their experience came through as we all successfully summited. I would not hesitate to strongly recommend SENE to anyone interested in a first class trip to Tanzania!
The climb was truly awesome and I can’t say enough positive things about SENE–without a doubt, top notch.
What can I say, but FABULOUS! I just got home from the safari and have fallen in love with Tanzania…especially the people (what can be more important than that, finally?….) I enjoyed every moment, which has probably changed my life forever. I can’t imagine not seeing Simon again, and the farm. I did manage to summit Mt. Kili (with the help of my crew of 27!)….incredible. I was in even better shape then I thought I was! Every minute of the climb was a dream. What can be more memorable and inspiring than being welcomed by the crew singing the Mt. Kili song and giving us the high 5 each afternoon. So, I’m forever indebted to Simon and his team for making this such an unforgettable experience. Please thank him and his crew again for me!
SENE is an incredible company that is committed to making your trip into an experience. They are quick to accommodate to your needs and want you to succeed.
Mbahe village is an amazing place and offers something additional to just the climb. This is a must do part of the trip!! Absolutely lovely.
Doug H. (Research climb)
SENE is an outfitter for people seeking more than just a summit certificate. Your money stays local and truly supports the staff and community; in exchange, you receive a safe, healthy and fun experience. Simon’s holistic view of adventure tourism, including environmentally-responsible practices, and happy staff.
This was a really great trip, although we were both rather exhausted after a week of hard work on the summit glaciers. I’m most happy with the team spirit shown by our porters, but the quality of food was certainly another big highpoint! Working with Francis afterwards to divide up the tip in a manner that I wished was also pleasant… I appreciated his flexibility. Simon helped by getting some nice modifications to a couple frame packs, to carry the ice boxes, and Tara’s help with the freezer was invaluable.
If you are looking for a great African experience, run by African guides, but with the safety and comfort of Western standards, go with SENE. From the great experience of staying in the Mbahe Village to their on-mountain professionalism, the folks at SENE are really the best in the field. You can go with more expensive outfitters, and still not get the service, safety and comfort of SENE. Simon has put together a world class trekking company.
Better on mountain marketing! Tell the world what a wonderful outfit you have. Several people on the mountain wanted to know who you were, since we were clearly getting better service.
Now, about SENE. The experience of staying at Simon’s family farm house in the Mbahe Village was priceless. We did several acclimation hikes around the village, and met the people and schoolchildren of the village. What a rich experience. You still had the Western comforts and safety, but you witnessed the culture up close and personal. This experience almost trumped the actual climbing of the mountain. As we walked around the village, we met some of the crew for our trek – porters and cooks. A majority of Simon’s crews come from his village, which creates a family atmosphere among the crew. One of our lead guides was Simon’s older brother, Felix. Also, we had several cousins along as porters and kitchen staff.
- All 3 guides carried trash bags on the outside of their packs, and along the trail, every day, they would pick up trash – any and all trash. They would scamper off the trail, and pick up trash. During the entire 7 days on the Machame route, I never saw any other outfitter staff nor guide pick up trash, even when their own clients “accidently” drop a wrapper.
- Every evening when we came into camp, the staff sang a welcome song to us. They included you in the dancing and singing, which helped your muscles de-compress. Clients from other groups would wander over and take pictures of our group. A nice touch.
- There was no elitism among the staff. The guides and cooks and porters were like family, well, I guess since they are family, that helps. But I witnessed other outfitters where there was a clear pecking order – guides to cooks to porters. As a result, as clients, we never felt the porters were mistreated. We would interact and talk with all of them. Interesting, the guides also carried their own heavy backpacks. No porters were hired for the guides, unlike other groups.
- The safety touches were important – Gamow bag, oxygen canister, advanced large first aid kit. These weren’t optional, but just part of the group equipment. Prior to summiting, the guides gave a demonstration of the equipment, when and how to use it. In addition, SENE uses the Katadyn expedition filter for all of their water use on the mountain.
- As most outfitters on the mountain now, the food was great, plentiful, and fresh. Nothing like having fresh fruit and vegetables at 15,000’.
- With Simon’s personal US and UK experience, he knows what Western clients want and need. He knows how to make you comfortable, while not cheating you of the great African experience it is. The guides spoke impeccable English, which is truly amazing.
Several disappointing aspects of Kilimanjaro. First, the American and British trekking companies who bring along a Western guide. We witnessed several of these outfitters and the clients would always gravitate and socialize with … the Western guide. This is only natural, of course, since you are paying a premium to have the comfort of a Western guide. All of the Western outfitters, of course, are subcontracting to one of the local outfitters, but they hide this from their clients. It was sad to see the clients barely even talk with or socialize with the African guides and porters. Please try to encourage everyone to save money and go with a Tanzanian outfitter – there are many good ones.
I HAD A PHENOMENAL TIME AND WOULD RETURN WITH SENE TOMORROW!
The climb was awesome! It was so fun to come into camp and have my tent set up, as well as the singing that I already mentioned. The hiking each day was pretty easy and I was rested and ready to go each morning. The morning tea was nice, too! The porters made it fun, the food was delicious and artfully presented, overall really, really, fun.
Gerald made extra efforts to do what we were looking for on the trip. He had an extremely pleasant manner about him and worked very hard to keep a positive vibe on the entire trip. Extremely knowledgeable about all the animals, plants, everything. He can see an ant from 2 miles away. It amazing me how much he could find for us to see on the trip. Truly the best guide out there!
SENE is a Tanzanian-owned company who give absolutely superb service. It was a pleasure to support a locally owned business whose level of service is highly competitive with the big offshore-owned companies. In turn, SENE supports other good causes in their community such as an NGO for HIV victims and a tree-planting programme.
The trip was absolutely fantastic. The climb of Kilimanjaro, especially last few days going up, was hardest thing I have ever done, but I did make it to the top, with the other two women in the group! One was fire jumper (25) out of Bend, OR, who was in such unbelievable shape (same physical requirements as men for that job) she was running circles around us. The other was German woman (37) who had run the Kilimanjaro marathon 3 days prior to going on the climb. Considering that I celebrated my 67th during the safari, I kept pace with them very well and even did better than both on the downhill (at least I had no after effects while the fire jumper complained about her knees a couple of days). Your speed in doing anything at 19,000+ feet certainly slows down. Just getting ready for bed in the tent was a major chore. We camped at the crater camp at 18,500 feet.
The safari was amazing. We saw all the big animals in large quantities, witnessed hyenas devour a wildebeest that had been killed by lions just before (lions had their fill because there were two other kills within 200 ft), with vultures and storks to participate after, enjoyed watching den of 4 lionesses and 12 cubs for nearly 2 hours, saw mother cheetah with 4 cubs, leopard with kill in a tree, lots of elephants (with several very small ones as well), zebras, ostriches, 100’s of thousands wildebeest and even couple of rhinos. Of course also lots of antelopes and other similar animals.
The organization I went with has clients stay a couple of nights at guest cottages at the farm of the owner in small village at the foot of Mt Kili, which was great to get to know how people live and work and kids go to school. I have about 1000 pictures and great videos, but won’t have chance to sort them for a couple of weeks. It will be hard to cull them.
Have you signed up with a group yet? I can certainly recommend SENE (Summit Expeditions and Nomadic Experiences) if in Tanzania.
John was ebullient in his praise of Simon Mtuy’s SENE guide company. Please know that each member of our crew is just as convinced as John as to the superior experience offered by Simon’s company. Rather than bore you with the minutia of my analysis of SENE versus other guide companies, please accept the following statement as the bottom line conclusion from my analysis: If you want to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, pick any guide service. But if you want to experience Africa, Tanzania, and its people, as well as climb the mountain, SENE is your best choice. In addition, when you compare the experience with the cost of the SENE service, the value proposition is overwhelming.
Experiencing the culture and friendliness of the people in Mbahe Village. The food, both at the farm and on the mountain. The energy and happiness of Simon and everyone in his family. Pascal, his big smile and his animated way of telling fascinating stories.
The extra days spent around the Mbahe farm house, touring the nearby villages, the trip to the Moshi market with Simon, the song and dance welcoming us into camp, and reaching the Roof of Africa. I also really appreciated spending time around the guides and porters–we really had a wonderful crew. I thought it was really great to see them pick up trash along the trail. It showed they have a lot of respect for the mountain and the people on it. I didn’t see any other guides on the mountain aside from SENE do this.
Any number of guide services can likely get you to the top of the mountain, but don’t cheat yourself out of a true African experience. The time we spent with SENE at the farmhouse and in the villages around Kilimanjaro will remain every bit as memorable as reaching the summit. Their guides are knowledgeable and friendly, the food is fantastic, and the overall experience is outstanding. SENE truly made this the experience of a lifetime.
Donnie & Roger J.
Our entire trip exceeded all expectations. Every day brought new and unexpected experiences or discoveries. Our accommodations were more than satisfactory at each location and the food was delicious. We haven’t eaten so well since…who knows when!
Our guides were absolutely outstanding. Their knowledge of the wildlife as well as the culture and environment kept us intrigued. However, beyond that, we found that their intellects and education were amazing. We had long, extended political discussions as well as fits of joyous laughter. They were so much fun! Gerald’s warmth and humor is contagious. We love him. Pascal has so much knowledge along with a twinkle that kept us smiling. Both were organized, punctual, and yet sensitive to our needs. What a pair!!
The last few days at Simon’s farm were “frosting on the cake.” We felt the passion Simon has for his country, family, and village. Meeting his parents and seeing their love for family warmed our hearts. We can see the love and respect Simon has for the people who work for him and the love they feel for him. By visiting his village, the school, and meeting his friends and employees, we caught a glimpse of the culture and life in Africa. The people seem full of joy in the simple life that they lead. Certainly gives us pause for thought. Also, it was a privilege and honor to meet Simon’s wife and son.
We thank you for a life-changing experience.
The passion of Simon for his country, the mountain, and his people made us want to travel with him and also spend our money on the Tanzanian economy. In comparing companies during our search, Tim’s attention to our needs and the wealth of helpful information made a huge difference. Flexibility in planning the trip; ability to have a small group; cost; personal, sensitive, and quick responses to questions without sales pressure.
If I have to summarize my experience with SENE in one word – it would be AWESOME”. Simon and his people are amazing human beings and I think he has a unique quality of spotting and hiring stellar people. Right from young Farm House Manager Amelia to seasoned Guide Mr. Ayumi; every person was friendly, knowledgeable and extremely helpful. I cannot imagine being with any other group on this hard of a hike. If someone from my friend circle every goes to Kili, be sure that they will go with SENE.
I kept saying that SENE always exceeded my expectations. An experience of a lifetime.
You are the BEST!!! Do not change anything!
Our guide–Gerald! Seeing the big cats–lions and cheetahs. We did not expect to see so many animals, so many varied species but certainly my expectation was not to see the number of cats we did which was amazing. Possibly we were lucky but I think this involved more than luck. The Balloon flight over the Serengeti was also an amazing experience and I would highly recommend this to anyone.
If I am ever asked about my trip to Tanzania or African safaris without a moment’s hesitation I will convey my amazing experience with SENE and recommend that any prospective traveler make contact with SENE. The professionalism and friendliness of SENE in all dealings was a stand out.
I liked the fact that the company was started by a local, who had local knowledge and a love for the great country. SENE’s mission statement meant a lot to me. I was Impressed that SENE was trying to give back to Tanzania and in particular the Kilimanjaro region and to bring the wonder of this region to visitors from around the world.
Going to the farm is like coming home. I think the ONLY way to experience the real Africa is to stay at Mbahe Farm House for several days and spend time in the village and at Mbahe Primary School. My life has been changed forever by all that I experienced here. If I had climbed the mountain and then hopped on a plane, I could have told my friends at home about my accomplishment…PERIOD. Instead, I continue to share my newfound passion with many and return each year with friends and colleagues.
SENE shows you the REAL Africa–the people, the culture, and everyday life. Being able to be part of the culture–not just a tourist. Going to the farm is like coming home. Staying on Simon’s farm and getting to know the villagers has truly changed my life. An adventure with SENE shows you more than just a mountain!
Leonard is incredible!!!!!!! Leonard is the best cook!!!!!!!!!
Everyone LOVED Felix!
John & Kristin R.
Gerald became everyone’s friend on this trip, thanks to his superb training, knowledge, and friendliness to us all. He was genuinely enthusiastic about his country, the national parks, wild life, conservation issues. We loved the time we spent with him and are very fortunate to have had him as our guide and travel companion.
SENE provides a great experience which I would not hesitate to recommend to friends who have a strong spirit of adventure, deep curiosity and interest in non-western cultures and in the world of nature. Great value for money.
I really appreciate the comprehensive program that was in place so that we all would be as prepared as possible to make the summit. There were times when walking pole pole” felt super-tedious and times when I wanted to rest when Ayumi ‘suggested’ climbing another few hundred feet after we arrived in camp for the night, but I realize now that the cumulative impact of all of that was that we all made it to the summit easily.
We had an incredible time. I have done some guiding in my past, and from my POV, just wanted to let you know how much I appreciated and was impressed by SENE; all of the guides and crew were just phenomenal. Truly an amazing experience that I am missing and savoring daily.
[Porters] ALL were amazing and always upbeat, esp. during dancing. Really enjoyed our interactions with them and the time we got to share. Our interactions with the porters (learning names, singing songs, dancing) really made me happy and proud to have chosen SENE.
Felix led us skillfully and had full command and respect from everyone. He knew so much and was a great teacher. Went above and beyond the expected — carried my day pack when I was suffering from altitude sickness until he himself got sick. Friendly and fun. Positive. I LOVE FELIX!
Great attention to health, felt at ease due to the daily multiple checks on levels of oxygen, etc. LUXURY!! Better food and accommodations than I’d had in Dar es Salaam! AMAZING FOOD! GOURMET AND DELISH! Unbelievable variety! Everything was great. I felt like we were in a luxury camp, it was so nice!
I am so glad to have experienced the mountain with SENE. Priceless experience.
When choosing a climbing company, it was hard to differentiate among the different groups and I didn’t think it would make much of a difference which group we went with. But luckily, my fellow climber made the decision to go through SENE and I am so thankful. While on the mountain, we were the only group to be greeted at the end of every day with song and dance and the only ones to really know and interact with our porters. I always felt safe and trusted my guides completely. They took great care of our health and fed us amazing, gourmet food that was better than I got during all my two months in Tanzania. The only reason I was able to successfully reach Uhuru Peak was because I went with SENE and went with a selfless amazing guide (Felix). THANK YOU SENE! I would highly recommend this company for your Kili climb!!
The Kilimanjaro ‘climb’ is an honest to goodness FUN Expedition where you can enjoy every day of the trip.
Great job! If Simon ran Tanzania like he runs these safari’s TZ would be a world power!
Simba roars in the Savanna, Kilimanjaro and SENE roar in my heart!
The guides were very knowledgeable and helpful. The greetings at the camps at the end of the day of hiking (dancing and singing) were fun and a good way to unwind. It was obvious that much thought and planning had gone into making the Kili trip as comfortable and accommodating as possible.
My experience in Mbahe cannot be summed up in sentence or two. What a life changing experience! My heart has forever been touched. Thank you to Simon for his amazing hospitality – his wonderful vision for the children of Mbahe Primary School.
The trip was absolutely outstanding. It far exceeded all of my expectations. I just can’t say enough. Thank you, thank you. What a trip!
Felix and his staff were incredible!
Kili, Day 9, 14 Jan, my birthday. The crew made me a cake – hard to do with no air to help a cake to rise — and sang “Happy Birthday.” I very much enjoyed the porters. We attempted to speak in English and I learned several words of Swahili. The effort to celebrate my birthday at 14,000+ feet was just tremendous.
Felix just knew what to do. He advised and cajoled. He joked. He laughed with us and about us. There were no awkward moments. The co-guides really supported us and Felix. They followed his direction. They helped with our packs, walking sticks, trash, etc. They advised about approaches to take on the trail. That I made the whole trip. I was unsure as to my ability to make the climb, as the least fit and trained of our group. But we bonded, the guides and porters took care of us, and there was great camaraderie. The dances at the end of each day made our tiredness melt away.
The mountain was brilliant. It could not be conquered…. it could only be embraced. I cherished our shared time, giving Kili the respect, care, nurturance and consideration I would a treasured friend. On the night (daybreak) of the summit, I was used up. In a sense, I became one with the mountain and what took me to the top was much greater than me.
The mountain brought together new friendships that exposed the best of humanity. Never a whine, never a complaint, just helping hands extended in all directions. The group became more important than the self. There were no heroes, no winners or losers, just 10 very different and unique men and women…. at their very best.
The mountain was a life source for the 30+ porters and guides who thanked us daily for giving them the opportunity to provide food for their families, schooling for their children. They carried bags, barrels, buckets. tents, on their backs, shoulders and heads. They moved quickly, passing us early on the trail each morning. They set up camp long before we arrived and then filled their hours picking up litter left behind by climbers and crew of other companies. They met us with song and dance as we neared each camp, lifting our daypacks from aching bodies, giving us high 5’s, guiding us to an inclusive circle of music and movement. They made it all happen, and with every challenge of every day…they smiled, our eyes and hands connecting with joy.
The mountain was what brought us to Tanzania, but it was only a backdrop to the total experience of living with the Chagga people in the village of Marangu on the Mtuy farm, carved into the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro. I walked with children along the creeks and waterfalls, was beckoned into shacks known as home, marveled with appreciation as women proudly pointed to their lush gardens, newborn goats, bright fabrics, or young child. Old men shared their banana beer, passing the long handled gourd from one to another… to me. I sipped, acknowledged the welcome, and handed it back. I walked through the school with its classrooms of bare walls, open windows (no glass) and lanterns for light, supplies that were limited to a pencil and a small book of blank paper. Desks covered the floor, seating boys and girls in uniform (and some without). Young faces filled the room, hungry to learn, eager to share. In this village was a feeling of hope and possibility. Under the influence of Simon Mtuy there is a sense of empowerment that is slowly replacing hopelessness… the kind of deeply felt (and not always acknowledged) hopelessness whose roots are nourished by short term generosity of the world’s rich…. leaving the Tanzanians dependent, and the rich filled with the foolish belief that they are ‘helping’.
Three Big Highlights: 1) Simply experiencing the culture, the country, the people. The time in Moshi was eye-opening; walks around the village allowed for interaction with real people in their real environments; the time at the school had a huge impact. Along with that, the discussions around the table and on the trail provided more insight to social and political structures, challenges, and dreams. I may have been quiet, but I was soaking it up. Still pondering; still processing. 2) Interaction with climbers, guides and staff on Kili. To me it was humanity at its best. Hikers supported each other, shared, and put others’ needs before their own…over and over and over. Porters and staff were obviously valued, respected and taught to be their best with high expectations coupled with appreciation. The KIND in mankind stood out to me. 3) I have always been athletic; I have never been an athlete. This was my first experience with being totally used up, and finding a strength bigger than me to push on. I came home from Africa knowing a part of me that I had no idea existed. Without SENE and those who were in front and behind me, it would not have happened.
Hello Simon: Arrived back in the States last evening and I wanted to share with you my thoughts regarding the safari and Gerald. You have a real asset in Gerald. He was always on time, knew what the schedule was and effectively communicated each day’s program with us. He was very knowledgeable concerning the wildlife and answered our questions in a courteous and professional manner. He was well organized and of good humor. All in all, I was extremely impressed with the way Gerald cared for us and was able to find the wildlife for our viewing. Bottom line: Gerald is a real professional and a highly competent safari guide. You are fortunate to have him. May your business continue to grow and prosper. Give my best to your brother Felix. He too is an extremely valuable asset. I think I expressed my feelings of Felix the night of the celebration dinner, therefore I will not attempt to do so again. Suffice it to say Felix is an incredible mountain guide, probably one of the best I have ever run into.
Testimonials 2006 and earlier
My trip to Tanzania and especially to Kilimanjaro was one of the best experiences I have had. The mountain, the sky, the animals, the people are unlike any experience I can recall. Simon’s strength as a leader and warmth as a human being added to the beauty of this trip. I hope everyone can capture the magic of this wonderful place at least once!
I put together this trip for my family and friends for a total of 11 in our party. I have done quite a bit of traveling, and I have to say, this trip was incredible from an organizational stand point. We had absolutely NO problems (Hakuna matata!) for 23 days. From the moment we arrived, to the day we left, we were totally comfortable, safe and well fed! All of the many details of the trip for 11 of us were so well taken care of.We started with lovely accommodations at Simon’s village, wonderful food, and Simon took care of all the details of the climb to make sure we had all the gear we’d need in case we didn’t have something. He was able to lend extra water bottles, hiking sticks and other provisions that were needed to make sure everyone had what they needed for the trip. DO check over your list of what Simon recommends to bring! He was RIGHT! The only thing I didn’t need was my rain poncho-and that’s a good thing! We really did use everything else he suggested. I would suggest bringing along extra things for the porters if you have extras that you don’t need.The porters were awesome as was the cooking staff and all the staff for the climb. It is a little daunting to see so many porters carrying your stuff! We didn’t think we’d need to have all that stuff carried for us, but we were pretty happy and glad we trusted the organization to Simon. After questioning the need (of porters carrying all that stuff) before the trip, I wouldn’t change a thing about what they took and about what we carried! The climb was perfectly paced, though we thought we could do it faster, we were happy to have the extra time to acclimatize. Especially after we reached the top and saw all the really horrible-looking people coming up the wrong side! WE did it the right way! THANK YOU, SIMON! You’ll see what I mean!Next, after a great climb and recovery at Simon’s village with the TOP 10 SHOWER of all times, we went on the game safari. Simon’s choice in itinerary, guides, and time out on the drives was perfect. He was also always very willing to accommodate special requests. We wanted to do some more shopping, and he arranged for us to go to some good places. Don’t forget that you need to bargain and don’t buy stuff at the real touristy spots. Also, if you’re going to Stonetown, you can get just about everything we found at the shopping spots on the safari for a lot less and you don’t have to carry it as long. We saw so many animals on safari and enjoyed our camping experience, though getting to Gibb’s Farm was a wonderful treat! We even got to meet the bush babies that come to visit every evening. The food on the whole trip was fresh and wonderful. Even on the climb we had fresh fruits and vegetables at every meal with the best soups ever!The last part of our trip with Simon was the trip to Zanzibar. I would avoid the long tour at the museum, though it was an interesting place. I think we were all too tired to appreciate the blow-by-blow and would have been happier to wander through at our own pace, just reading the signs instead of having everything explained. The Matemwe Bungalows were a perfect way to wind down and relax with gorgeous accommodations and wonderful food.Simon was an incredible leader on the trip. He took individual concerns into account (food preferences, how we were feeling, and any needs we had) as well as having a fun sense of humor. We didn’t see any other people for the first several days of our climb and when we did, we KNEW we had made the right choice in having Simon put together our trip! My husband even left his glasses and when they were found, Simon had them sent back; something we really didn’t expect to happen!
Within a few quick downhill steps the peak of the African continent is lost, leaving in view only the last just-passed outcropping. Then one begins to reminisce: We’re returning to that humble, nurturing village environment after passing through so many different thermo climes. We’ve wondered at the mystery of the rainforest, passed through the moorlands, climbed into the arid upper reaches where we’ve been beak to nose with eagles soaring to the heights we pursued one step at a time. We’ve been dazzled as we walked on ashen sands beside glacier ice walls and witnessed rainbows by starlight surrounded by ice crystals suddenly strewn across the landscape. Who could have imagined the solitary sleeping bag musings that occur at 18,000 feet while awaiting the dawn ascent the last 1,200 feet to the peak after sleeping in the crater of the volcano. And yet, the reality of the experience continues for two days of descent to the beauty of Simon’s lodgings perched high on the flanks of the mountain just short of the jungle. Dawns spent on the veranda viewing through banana palm leaves the sun’s rise from the desert floor, up through the clouds below. The entire breadth of the mountain completed on foot over 9 days in accommodations carried and assembled by amazingly agile and gracious porters solicitous of our comfort all the way. So brief was our stay but so lasting has been the thanksgiving for the experience.
I want to let you know that when my daughter Nya and I returned from our journeys to Tanzania and Zanzibar and friends and colleagues asked about our trip, It was perfect!” was my immediate response. For me to say that the trip was perfect, they knew that it had to be some kind of wonderful!It is very easy for me to identify what made our travels with you so grand. First, all the planning that you had done resulted in our trip having a perfect balance with time in your village of Marangu, time on safari and time in Zanzibar – in Stone Town and on the gorgeous coast. For me, the heart of the trip was our time in your village, meeting your family and friends and enjoying the totally relaxing atmosphere with Kili in view! Village life also included drinking the best coffee that I have ever had made from your plants and such delicious food prepared by you and your staff. I can truly say that I had the best cream soups of my life in Marangu.I know that you did considerable work preparing for our trip, which resulted in everything flowing so smoothly. What is most memorable for me is how each day your graceful and relaxed manner, along with your incredible sense of humor, which I adore, resulted in our feeling absolutely comfortable with whatever our schedule was for that day.I will always be so thankful to you for all the wonderful African memories that you made possible.
Thanks for a wonderful trip!SENE and its founder Simon Mtuy provide an exciting, imaginative, culture and adventure filled experience to Africa. Whether walking with Simon through his Chagga village on the shoulder of Kilimanjaro or talking with the Masai in their village outside the Serengeti, life is truly African as lived by its people.SENE’s selection of climbing routes on Kilimanjaro (we did the beautiful, less traveled nine day route across the Shira Plateau), climbing pace and acclimation strategy, endless selection of fresh wholesome foods, medical support, and guide commentary and camaraderie provide a perfect blend of challenge, safety and comfort on the mountain. Just to be extra safe, all members of the team (clients, guides and porters) are checked twice each day to see how well they are acclimating to elevation and for any signs of mountain sickness. This just takes a few minutes but means that everyone stays well or illness is caught early so that the serious stuff in the big medical bag is never needed.Safety and well being is built into Simon’s trips and nothing is left to chance. The medical kit meets the highest standards (Gamow bag, oxygen, altitude medicines, etc.). Simon Mtuy is a Wilderness First Responder and his guides recently took a 5-day wilderness medicines course similar to that taken by US guides.Simon, good luck with your business of providing a true African adventure. I will highly recommended SENE Inc, without reservation.
I have not taken the time to thank all of you for what turned out to be an incredible trip—just not the one I thought it would be. For twenty years I wanted to go to Africa to see the animals. For five years I wanted to go to Africa to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. I went to Africa and discovered the people!
Dear Simon:As promised, enclosed is a copy of the article about Reed in our local newspaper.
TestimonialsReed’s Testimonial: Reed, age 12, said in a paper that he wrote for school—’We had a party that night (after the climb) with all of the porters and guides. It was at the party that I realized that I couldn’t have done the climb without them. We were like a team. Our guides and porters, led by Simon, were caring, friendly, smart, and incredible people. All of them each carried between 40 to 60 pounds of gear each day. We carried maybe 10-20 pounds each.This trip also gave me a lot of confidence in myself. It meant a lot to me knowing that I was one of the youngest people to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. I will always be proud of this accomplishment and never forget the people of Tanzania, Africa.’Family Testimonial: Our family, Reed (age 12), Alison (age 14), Derry (age 50), and Bob (age 54), had an incredible experience in Tanzania with Simon and S.E.N.E. Simon and his extended family were perfect hosts, incredible guides and porters, and most of all good friends during our stay in Tanzania. The route up to the top of Kilimanjaro was amazing—it was challenging and yet safe. Simon really understands the extreme effects of high altitude and allows plenty of time at the right elevations for adequate acclimatization. Simon and his guides, Felix and Morris, are experienced, well-prepared, and fun to be around. We had three excellent meals each day with much variety to each meal. The tents were always setup and ready when we got to camp. We were also given luxuries like warm water to wash before each meal and hot water bottles to sleep with each night (even at 18,500 feet elevation.) It was the experience of a lifetime for our family and would not hesitate to strongly recommend S.E.N.E. to anyone.
Wendy F. & Gary T.
A journey to Tanzania is likely to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so we wanted to make sure ours was as special as possible. Fortunately, I had met Simon Mtuy from the village of Marangu through friends and was confident in leaving all of our safari arrangements to him.It’s a long flight and how nice to see Simon’s smiling face at the Arusha airport! The rest of the week was full of pleasant surprises. Watching the animals and birds in their native habitat was an indescribable thrill, and the landscape was breathtaking.But there were so many unexpected bonuses. The sojourn in Marangu was a special introduction to a beautiful place, friendly people, and fascinating culture. The food prepared for us throughout the week was wonderfully fresh and tasty, from Simon’s homegrown coffee to Swahili stews. Our guide Gerald was a fount of knowledge on everything from obscure bird species to the geology of the Serengeti. And the glimpses of the culture from Northern Tanzania—local schools, the city of Arusha, Maasai cattle herders, etc.—were fascinating.Nomadic Experience, Simon’s company, was wonderfully flexible in customizing the trip to fit into our time frame so that we saw and experienced his country in some depth as well as hitting the highlights of the safari circuit. For Northern Tanzania, this is the way to go!