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- 2013 and earlier
Marianne Z. (Sep)
My daughter and I had an amazing trip! The Serengeti makes you feel like you are in a movie surrounded by many and every animal imaginable. Kilimanjaro is beautiful! Our guides became our friends, and were extremely knowledgeable. We never worried about our safety or health! The entire trip flowed without worries! We would recommend SENE to all our friends, family and anyone seeking a great experience and adventure in Africa!
David B. (Sep)
In short, everything was perfect. I think that you exceeded the groups’ expectations, especially with the hotel picks. They just kept getting better and better.
Nick P. (Aug)
We would thoroughly recommend SENE. We had an excellent vacation climbing Kilimanjaro with wonderful guides and porters and delicious food. We then had a perfect safari with our expert guide Paschal. A holiday of a lifetime! Tanzania needs to bring the cost down (not within SENE’s control, I appreciate). The cost of a vacation in Tanzania seems very high compared with other parts of the world.
Cooke H. (Aug)
One of the best trips of my life! Fantastic organization that works with its clients and strives to enhance the livelihood of the Tanzanians.
Chris B. (Sep)
Hello Tim and Simon,
We just arrived home from our trip last night and I wanted to send you both a note to thank you for the wonderful experience.
I cannot imagine it being any better. I simply can’t. From the moment we arrived we were in awe of the treatment we received from every single person we met.
I must admit the logistics of such an extensive tour, in so many different locations, from our arrival and time up the mountain to our time on Chumbe Island, and finally our multiple stops on our safari, had not really been appreciated before I experienced it. The amount of work and effort that you and your team must have gone through behind the scenes is truly amazing and your entire team is to be commended for the flawless execution from beginning to end.
I must make some special note of some very special people.
Upon arriving on the Simon’s farm we were introduced to Wilson. Truly a beautiful soul who became our teacher in preparation for the mountain on the first couple days before our climb. The approach that SENE takes by having us arrive on the farm and be greeted by such a warm and welcoming caretaker is a unique and wonderful approach to allowing us to rest from the long flight that we appreciated from the moment we arrived. We loved our time with Wilson and are very happy to have had the pleasure to spend some time with him and the others on Simon’s farm.
Our guides on Kilimanjaro… Jackson Mtui and Manase Lyimo truly were inspiring and I can’t say enough about them. They were always there to make us smile and laugh when times were particularly tough, teach us about our surroundings and encourage us all the way up the mountain no matter what the conditions, our mood, how tired they were, we were, whatever… I’ve travelled to many, many places around the world and had opportunity to meet lots of people along the way. This was different. These people became friends and I really hope to keep in touch with them for a long, long time to come.
Our entire camping crew and porters… In my life, I have never, ever seen a harder working crew of people. I literally wept when I arrived at camp on the second day, after a very tough 6 hour hike, when I was greeted by them singing songs and cheering us on. You had told me before we arrived how hard they worked but I simply was not prepared for what I saw and I don’t know if anyone could ever appreciate it unless they experience it for themselves just how much they do for us and how difficult their job is. My family and I will forever be changed by this experience and I am grateful to each and every person that put their heart and soul into getting us up that mountain.
Our safari driver Paschal… He is truly a fantastic guide. There was not a plant, bird, or animal that he did not know instantly and that he couldn’t speak about in great detail. He knew exactly where to go in order to make sure we saw everything possible and believe me we did… in many, many cases up close and personal!! From a wildlife perspective I don’t think the tour could have been more complete. From the excitement of lions, leopards and cheetahs on the hunt, seeing herds of hundreds zebra, wildebeest, buffalo, elephant and giraffe migrating across the Serengeti, Rhinos in Ngorongoro Crater, hippos sunbathing in mud pools, crocodiles slithering through swampy waters, and green mamba tree snakes hanging from the branches of an acacia we experienced it all. All of this was made possible by Paschal’s keen eye for finding hidden sites and his incredible knowledge of the surroundings. We’ll never forget him and you should know he’s a spectacular guide for anyone who appreciates learning about the beauty of the wildlife and landscape we were there to observe.
I could go on for hours but I’ll leave it there. We truly do appreciate everything that SENE did to make this by far the greatest experience of my life and that of my family’s. You have set the bar impossibly high for any other tours that we may take in the future as we visit other places around the globe. That said, my wife is already poking me to make another trek up the mountain so we might be contacting you again in the not so distant future.
Thank you, so very much.
Sheryl S. (Jul)
Incredible experience made all the better by the expertise, kindness, professionalism and camaraderie of the SENE guides, porters and cooks. You could not be in better hands. Thank you Felix, John and Menasi.
Zach M. (Aug – Kilimanjaro Stage Run)
The whole trip was the highlight, friendly group of people both from SENE and the others on the trip. It will be a difficult challenge to beat from a point view of the experience and the views.
Chrissie J. (Aug – Kilimanjaro Stage Run)
Being someone who’s life is only partially focused on running, I suspect less so that some of the rest of the group, my passions spread wide to wanting to experience Tanzania, the mountain, the geology, ecology, ecosystem, people and photograph the splendid beauty. My running ability was in no doubt in terms of endurance and distance, but in terms of pace I was a bit behind the curve, often as a result of my desire to feed my other passions aside from running, but then the running speed wasn’t necessarily there to catch up. The guides made every effort to cater for this which I appreciated greatly, but it took my own character to not become disheartened by the continual chasing. I think I managed this, but runners looking to complete the exercise may benefit from a concept of the pace if this could be considered some how to allow them to choose if they’re still up for the challenge.
Angie H. (Jul)
Our experience was AMAZING. Joseph was a great driver and was sharing a lot of info from the airport to the farm. The porters were so helpful with all of our luggage getting up to the farm and back down.
Wilson was the best! He was very tolerant of our kids in transition (adjusting to the food, jet lag, new to taking the anti malaria pills, etc…). He was so knowledgeable, patient, friendly, warm, and caring. He really made the stay comfortable…especially coming directly from the states.
Marie, Xavier and Paul C. (Jan)
Nous voilà rentrés (à regret!) depuis une semaine déjà et la Tanzanie est un bien beau pays. Peu importe que nous n’ayons pas atteint le sommet, la balade en soit était superbe, on en a pris plein les yeux, et ça en valait la peine. En tout cas, toute l’équipe a été vraiment adorable, et peut-être reviendra-t-on un jour…
N’hésitez pas à donner notre contact à de futurs clients, nous n’avons que du bien à dire!
PS- Même les repas étaient fantastiques ! C’était presque trop.
Jody C. (Jul)
We had a great last dinner tonight. Kim was surprised by her birthday cake and song.
Everyone is wowed as always. Joseph and Gerald make the best team ever.
Karina K. (Jul)
Thank you for all of your efforts for our trip! Alexis and I had an absolutely amazing time. We loved our entire climbing crew and made some amazing memories. Augustine, Immanuel, Venice, James, Paulo, Martin, Reimi, Godlisten, Ana, Podensiana, Immanuel, etc. etc. etc. were all fantastic–especially our head and assistant guide! Thankfully Alexis’ Kenyan Swahili has gotten pretty strong, so it was a great crash course for me during the week as Augustine, Immanuel, and the rest of the team showed a strong commitment to teach me as much Swahili as possible. You’ve probably heard many times from climbers about their great experiences with Augustine, and we certainly had a great time! He was an absolutely fantastic and attentive guide. Immanuel was a perfect assistant guide–so attentive, fun, and a great disposition to be around. Everything was perfect. A few instances where the SENE staff went above and beyond:
-A former SENE client (I believe?) Jody Colman, greeted Augustine and Wilson on the night before our climb and invited Alexis and me out to dinner, which was so thoughtful and spoke to SENE’s quality.
-Our fantastic safari driver, Pascal, was able to arrange getting back my gaiters after I accidentally left them under equipment in the SENE car after the climb. He arranged with another car headed to Lake Manyara to bring them–I’m amazed he was able to track them down and return them when we were hours away from Moshi!
-You have been so helpful will all the questions and concerns we had–thank you so much for your quick responsiveness to everything!
Not sure if I’ve mentioned this, but I told Augustine that I picked SENE by researching every company that was a member of the porters association, evaluating their reviews and quotes, and compiling all the information and ranking them (a bit overkill, I know! I have a Google doc to prove it.) I settled on SENE because it was Tanzanian-based with local US contacts, had a strong commitment to porters rights and well-being, and was committed to positive environmental impact. Needless to say, I’m recommending SENE to all my friends who now want to climb. It was reassuring to notice that our porters were properly outfitted and seemed happy and that they were enjoying their time together.
The only suggestion I would have following the climb would be perhaps providing an opportunity, maybe a group dinner or something one night on the mountain, for climbers to get to know the entire crew a bit more. Alexis and I were keen to learn and remember everyone’s names, and thankfully her Swahili flashcards were an easy medium to spend some time connecting with everyone during downtime. Not sure that all clients would be interested, but perhaps having the head guide offer it as an option would be nice. Spending time with our crew during the climb was one of the highlights of the trip, and we even got to see two of our porters down in Moshi after the climb and are happily staying in touch with everyone we can.
Frank G. (Jun)
I’ll write in more detail when I have a keyboard handy, but short version is: Wow, exceeded our lofty expectations, loved everything, couldn’t be happier, and thank you!
Kyle K. (Jun)
There are a lot of tour companies in Tanzania and Africa. I was overwhelmed with the options, particularly since I was not limited to any particular country for my 1st safari experience; my final destination was Rwanda to visit family, and I knew I would need to safari somewhere else to see wildlife in numbers. Tanzania has a great reputation for wildlife and was a strong option, as was Zambia, S. Africa, and Kenya. A colleague recommend SENE from a prior experience. After communicating initially with Tim and receiving his candid feedback and recommendations, and learning of his experience traveling with his own young kids in Tanzania, I knew we could organize an exciting and comfortable adventure. I also found the cost to be within the range of locations I was considering, particularly in S. Africa.
Scott F. (Apr)
Bradley and I just returned to Nairobi after a fabulous and extraordinary week in Ngorogoro and Serengeti. We can’t thank you enough for the excellent safari itinerary you provided, our expectations were far exceeded. Joseph was an outstanding and wonderful guide, we truly enjoyed spending the week with him, we’ll miss him. His excellent knowledge and passion for all aspects of the adventure, from the animals to the landscape to the history and so much more, really made the experience one we’ll never forget. Having someone like Joseph provide us our very first introduction to Tanzania really made all the difference, we can’t thank him enough.
Jeff S. (Mar)
I’m sure I could speak for everyone when I say that our Kili was absolutely incredible. It was by far my favorite mountain experience. I’d especially like to highlight all the SENE guides who were always professional, friendly and considerate. I will recommend your company to anyone who is interested in either Kili or the local safaris. Thanks so much for an exceptional trip!
Lynette V. (Feb)
Never felt safer or better taken care of on these trips and this is my second trip with SENE.
Libby & Les C. (Feb)
First of all, it was a wonderful week full of experiences we could only imagine. The stay at the Mbahe Farmhouse was fantastic and Wilson provided us with a very insightful discussion and tour not only about the village, but American politics as well!
The tented sites were warm, welcoming and comfortable. The Ngorongoro site prepared a wonderful surprise dinner for us and we quickly felt welcome.
Pascal, our guide/driver, was excellent. He was very conscientious about trying to find opportunities to view the wildlife. It was a pleasure to travel with him throughout the week.
We have several constructive comments.
We were the only guests at Mbahe. Because of our great time at the Farmhouse, we thought we were about to leave a generous tip for the staff. Wilson (politely) explained that it was insufficient for the whole staff. I was left with the opinion that had we not been the only guests for those two nights, your tipping recommendations would have been sufficient. However, as the only guests, we should be expected to cover the entire staff ourselves. Because of the great service, we did so, but we felt that it was unfair for us to tip the 8 to 9 people we interacted with (e.g, 4 baggage carriers, maid, Chef, waiter, Wilson, etc).
We were prepared for dirt roads, but the access to the Farmhouse was paved with boulders! A “heads up” to future guests of our age and experience might be welcome!
Our tent at the camp in the Serengeti National Park had some water problems. While not severe, not being able to flush the toilet for one or two nights was a little much!
Regarding the itinerary you prepared, our guide suggested that because of the limitations of the permits required to enter and stay in the different Parks, the schedule should be coordinated to insure minimum disruption. For example we stayed three consecutive days in the Serengeti park, rather than go to Ngorongoro then back to Serengeti. However to get to the south area of the Serengeti required us to travel through Ngorongoro. Our guide stopped at the ranger station to see if he could get permission to simply transit through the Ngorongoro area but was told it was at his risk, because a permit was required!
Again, we were very happy and satisfied with the whole week, and didn’t let these minor annoyances spoil our adventure.
Maria G. (Jan)
By all accounts it was an amazing experience. What a joy to meet Simon! He is a ball of energy.
Curt H. (Jan)
I want to thank you and the SENE TZ staff for an outstanding experience. Felix and all the staff went above and beyond to make our climb enjoyable and very successful.
Jane B. (Jan)
Hi Tim– it was an awesome experience with SENE. I’ll respond more when I return. I’m in South Africa now visiting some friends….but I believe all of us would agree that SENE was over the top.
Glenda M. (Jan)
My sons had a great climb! They got altitude sickness (mostly the youngest, Jack) at about 17,000 feet on the morning as they were heading to the top and so they turned back. BUT they were fine with that decision and loved the whole adventure. They really liked Felix, all the crew on the climb and everyone down at the farm. So I just wanted to thank you for all your help!