Emily and I can not express how wonderful of an experience we had using Dorobo. There is not one item I would change, except that we wished we could have stayed longer. Working with you and your office was easy and you answered all of our questions, which can be difficult to do through email. The safari itself was truly unique and special, which we had thought beforehand, but came to fully appreciate even more when we got there and even more so when talking about it with friends in Zanzibar. What you offer is truly an amazing experience for your clients. Dorobo should be very proud of the services they provide.
We had so much we would like to express, so I will try to break the safari components down concisely for you.
The transportation provided and arranged by Dorobo was excellent. The driver, Justin, from Kilimanjaro Airport to Katambuga house and Katambuga to Arusha Airport was prompt, professional, and very welcoming. Air Excel was easy to work with at the airports and there was not confusion in terms of where to go and when. Flying in the smaller planes was a fun experience in of itself, as Americans we do not get to experience air travel like this at all. On the safari, the truck was comfortable, reliable, and had plenty of room. Killerai is an excellent driver both on roads and off.
The accommodations arranged were fabulous. The Katambuga House was wonderful. The staff were warm and welcoming and the atmosphere was perfect after 20 hours of flights. The food was fabulous there as well. The mobile camp was great. The latrine was better than expected (thought maybe a hole, but you guys even had a seat!), showers were nice and unexpected, and the cots were comfortable. It was one of our highlights being able to go to sleep and hear hyenas, lions, and wildebeest in the surrounding area. The campsites that were picked out were all picturesque and wonderful places to overlook the wilderness and watch the stars. The evening fires were relaxing as well. We even felt slightly guilty, and out of place, for not helping setup or take down camp, as that is something we are very accustomed too! The Serengeti Wilderness Camp was lovely too. We called it glamping (glamour camping), but we were able to hear the same sounds, as the mobile camp, but it obviously did not have the same authentic feel as the mobile camp, though their attention to service and minimal impact on the environment is greatly appreciated.
The itinerary that you put together was just right! The length of time was perfect. The only regret is not staying longer, but we can only be on holiday for so long! We thought the walking days were perfect and if we had stayed longer, we would want more days walking. The game drive time was just right, as the other trucks and amount of people would have probably started to get on our nerves a bit.
Your staff is wonderful and very professional. Killerai is an excellent guide and driver. As a guide, he was able to answer all of our questions, never seemed frustrated, has a wonderful and jovial personality, and was accommodating for any requests we had. We were immediately able to joke around and he picked up on our rather sarcastic and satirical demeanor rather quickly. Emily even made the comment that when we woke up in Zanzibar on Sunday, that she missed having him around, because we felt he fit in so well with who we hang around with here in the States. Toroya was awesome as well. His ability to track and spot birds, insects, plants, and wildlife was something to behold. A true treasure of ability and an experience that I am glad that we experienced. Killerai translating some of his stories were greatly appreciated as well. The man has seen and done alot, and has more wealth to share than imaginable. James and Kippon were fabulous camp hosts and their attention to detail, like placing warm water in the basins in the morning and turning lights on for us near out tent, were totally unnecessary but appreciated dearly. The food they prepared was excellent as well, though we did find out that some of it was prepared by some of your office staff, so hats off to them too. It was always filling and delicious. It was also nice to be able to come into camp and have a cold beer. An experience one does not always get in that environment, but is greatly appreciated! The Dorobo picnics were great too, with the fresh veggies and fruits. We definitely did not go hungry! Though not employed through Dorobo, I do want to say that Kampinga from the Park Service was also very helpful on the walks, very friendly, and wonderful to have with us.
The safari itself was more than I expected. The walking portion was full of expectation and wonder. The scenery was beautiful, the animals were amazing to see from a different perspective and the curiosity about what was over the next hill or behind the next tree gave us a sense of how much of a treasure your parks truly are. We saw so much that one will never see from a car. Two of the more memorable moments including seeing three young male lions lying on rocks without a care in the world. Being able to see that so closely and the feeling that there was nothing in between you and the animals was something I will never forget. We were able to also come up on a wildebeest herd in the evening. We were so close to them we could feel the impacts of the sparring males. It was unbelievable to be so close to them and witness the males attempting to gather females into their groups. We were also able to see Dik Dik, Steinbucks, warthogs, clip springers and many hyraxes that one would not see from a car. Killerai and Toroya also picked up early on, without our asking, that we really enjoy birds, so they would point out many birds to us, either in flight or in vegetation.
The driving portion was awesome too. We saw leopards, elephants, giraffes, huge herds of wildbeest and zebras, a cheetah, lions, 3 species of storks, crocodiles, hippos, babboons, vervets, and the list goes on. Killerai really knew where to go and allowed time for pictures and just viewing. We caught on rather quickly that many people on driving safaris see many organisms, but I think Dorobo stands out in one key area. Patience. We would joke with Killerai that every other truck would be using a radio and swarm larger animals. Killerai used prior knowledge and patience. I can not count the number of times that we may have been the first truck to a spot, then 10-15 trucks would come and go, and we would still be there, watching and waiting for something to happen. That is how we saw the cheetah. This is also how we saw lionesses go for kills, twice unsuccessfully. Emily and I appreciated the sitting and waiting. That was part of the experience. Not photo ops all the time, but just watching these beautiful animals in their surroundings, engaging in their behaviors. I hope all Dorobo guides use the patience, if clients are willing, that Killerai did, because people miss out on so much of the beauty of why we come to the park in the first place.
I know my feedback has been long winded, but I really can not express with how happy we were to use Dorobo. If anyone we know is coming to Tanzania, we will be directing them to you. I would love to come back and experience a different season or a different park, and your services would be the first contact to do so. You are doing something very unique and special. The walking component is fabulous and truly a great experience. Thank you for providing such professionalism and great staff. You also have an amazing guide and person in Killerai. We also hope that you aren’t giving him too much trouble for his beard!
The dust has settled, but the memories remain. I’d like to thank you and the Dorobo staff for a marvelous trip. We learned a great deal and enjoyed ourselves tremendously. In particular, I want you to know what a great job Simon and Olemaria did for us. They must be two of your best! Simon was a knowledgeable guide and terrific driver. Olemaria worked so hard — and what a great cook!
Thanks again for your trip planning and the efforts of your staff. Mitch USA
We would mention that in addition to all the other awesome traits Daudi has, his driving skills are also top notch. Having been with several driver guides on this trip it’s easy to appreciate how well Daudi handles rough roads, placing the car for good photos and generally being a safe, conscientious driver.
We are already looking forward to our 5th Dorobo safari at some point in the future.
Many thanks! Doug and Donna
My wife and I, and two friends, just returned from two weeks with Dorobo and can’t think of anything that could have possibly been improved upon—from the help we received devising an itinerary, to the accommodations and food, to our guide, Kisana, who is now a friend for life.
Our wish to dig deep into Tanzania—to experience the country as travelers rather than tourists—was wholly met. For roughly half of our time traveling, we saw no other foreigners, only the indigenous people. At every picnic lunch, in the remotest of places, we wound up being joined by people who lived nearby, and having the chance to converse with them (thanks to Kisana’s superb translation skills).
Even more meaningful, we spent two days in our own small camp with four Massai men as companions, and three days in a similar camp with four Hadza men and two Hadza women. By the time each of those visits ended, we had been privileged not only to meaningfully join these lovely people in their daily activities, but also to talk at length with them. Priceless is the only word that can describe the experience.
The rest of the trip was devoted to visiting national parks—Tarangire, Ngorogoro, the Serengeti—and Lake Natron. In the parks, Dorobo finds wildlife the old fashioned way—with the eyes of an eagle—rather than through the noisy radio contact that most safari outfits use. It made the experience far more authentic. Kisana was often the guide who found the leopard camouflaged in a tree, or the mating lions in the tall grass, which meant that we had them all to ourselves, rather than having to share them with five or six other vehicles.
Kimambo and James, the crew that set up our private camps and cooked in them, did a remarkable job, looking after us as if we were family, and becoming friends in the process. Their food, around a campfire, was unfailingly delicious.
A final word about Kisana: A gentle, quiet man with a good sense of humor, he was able to answer every question we had over the course of two weeks, We had hundreds of them, and learned more than we ever could have hoped for. We were so close by the end of the trip that we had our final lunch with his wife and family at their home in Arusha. Yet one more unforgettable experience, and one that we imagine is fairly unique to Dorobo.
We’re especially grateful to the Dorbo’s owners, the Peterson family. Their efforts, over many years, to safeguard land and ways of life are admirable . . . and pay handsome dividends for their clients.
It is difficult to imagine a better introduction to Tanzania. Jim USA
Wow….we were so impressed with our friend Daudi. Aside from being a careful and courteous driver, he was also very knowledgable about the history of Tzu, the animals, the plants…all around an impressive young
Thank you so much for allowing him to accompany us on our journey. This was my 26th mission, and even though I say it may be my last…..my daughter is now talking of when we should return. And I guess I always say, age is just a number….so, we may be arranging another trip with you.
Please ask Daudi to greet Charlie for me……another nice man!
Thank you from Minnesota Six !
Just want to thank you and Dorobo for putting together a phenomenal safari! I can’t imagine a safari that could be much better. All the members of the group were extremely happy. Killerai and Kisana were excellent guides, and both were extremely attentive and caring. I would be honored to have them along as guides again one day. I am already in the beginning stages of planning for February 2019!! For most of the group, this was a once in a lifetime trip, so the fact that it went so well was really important. A couple of them intended for it to be once in a lifetime, but have already indicated they will come back with me again. When I come back next time, Ngare Sero is definitely where I want to spend the first and last nights again. Great place to rest before the start and rest at the end! My wife and my daughter and her husband will likely come along on that trip.
I just wanted you to know that we had a fantastic trip, in large part because Simon was such an amazing guide. I’m so glad that he was chosen to be our guide! Loma and Watuni were also great, and made the camping portions of our trip very special.
Thanks to you and your staff for all of your work on our trip,
You can really see my limitations as a photographer and a really bad video taker! But I hope you get an idea of the things and people Suzy, Sam, Emily and I saw. The tour company we used (dorobosafaris.com) was excellent as they specialize in cultural exposure as well as taking you far away from civilization to see just about every animal possible. We spent about half of the 20 day trip in the remote wilderness where we saw no other tourists: 3 days with the hunter-gatherer Hadza tribe hunting, digging and eating roots, collecting honey, making arrows and singing. A highlight for the 4 of us was visiting their little schoolhouse and delivering soccer balls and some meager school supplies to about 50 kids. These kids literally have nothing but the clothes on their back but are happy and very friendly. We sat around asking them a million questions and listened to them sing songs (in the videos).
ALL Tanzanians are some of the friendliest and open people I have ever met.
We also spent 2 days with 4 Masai as our guides, climbing a small mountain called Oldonyo Sambu and spent the night listening to their stories, laughing and learning their dances. A highlight for me was sitting around the campfire making 4 Masai laugh at my circumcision jokes through his interpretation. Not easy!
The other days consisted of game drives through Tarangire National Park where we saw hundreds of elephants, 4 leopards, black rhino and about 50 lions, to Ngorongoro Crater which as one of the largest concentrations of animals anywhere, to the Serengeti for wildlife walks (where we always had guards with AK-47s and elephant rifles).
The guides make the difference and our guy Douglas was the best. He is a world class bird expert and knows over 1000 birds by sight, sound or silhouette. He also had amazing personal connections to local tribes that let us into their homes (Masai bomas).
On most nights we were visited by lions, leopards, hyena, jackal and hippos…right outside the freekin tent! We had a few less-than-restful nights, but there was never anything to fear, as long as you stayed in the tent! You can see some of the day-after footprints in the pics. Every night and morning was an orchestra of animal sounds; both feathered and furry (oh and hippos and elephants.)
And finally, this trip had quite an impact on my 2 teenagers as well, as they got to see and spend time with people with literally nothing (especially NO SMARTPHONES!), being happy and healthy. We now have a family saying: “would the Hadza worry about that?”…with the answer always being “NO”. This applies to me too!
Its hard to cover everything that happened without writing a book..Let me know of you have any questions!
I just wanted to send you my own message of thanks for the wonderful safari you organized for us. Douglas was a superb guide! -a great person and an excellent birder. We saw 305 species of birds! thanks to Douglas. And when you are looking for birds you tend to see everything else, so of course we saw all the expected mammals and even some rare ones (like Serval Cat and Caracal!)as well as lovely butterflies, flowers, chameleons and tortoises, etc etc thanks often to Douglas’s good eyes. The camp staff was great, the food was excellent. Visiting the Iraqw and Hadza were definitely high points of the trip. We enjoyed Kiota Nest too. Flora was a delightful hostess and excellent cook. We are eager to return next year for a walking safari in the south of Tanzania (assuming I won’t make everyone go too ‘pole pole’ with my short legs and old body…) I also thank you for your understanding when we had to cancel our original dates for October in order for me to have back surgery. Without that I could not have enjoyed such a trip. Finally I commend you for all your efforts on behalf of the Hadza and thank you for our privilege of visiting with them.
I just wanted to let you know how pleased Dona and I were with our trip last month. We were delighted with Douglas as a guide — he was perfect.
His knowledge of local history and politics, the Tanzanian environment overall, birds in particular but other aspects of natural history as well, is outstanding. His rapport with everyone we met, bumped in to, or had to ask questions of was excellent. His patience with and tolerance of my worse than lousy memory was herculean. I would trade a lot for his excellent eyesight. I fear we may have worn him out. Ole Maria and Lomnyaki did a great job with camp and food. I hope we did not insult them by not overeating — we were stuffed, and generally don’t eat as much as some.
The high point of our trip was our day with the Hadza. Our favorite camp, including the fancy tented ones, was the Yaeda Valley one. Our favorite non-Dorobo place was Kiota Nest; Flora was a wonderful hostess and we did not feel “over served”.
We all had such a terrific experience with Dorobo.
– treating us to the joy of going on safari with Daudi. He’s a remarkable man, and we feel privileged to have had time with him.
– the thoughtful provision of excellent gluten-free food for Shirley and Maggie throughout the trip.
– the wonderful time with the Hadza. It was the highlight of our trip!
– the gracious hosting of the mobile campsite while we were with the Hadza. It was dialed in very nicely.
– the seamless pickup when we arrived back in Arusha and lunch at Shanga.
I could go on and on. We hope someday to come back and enjoy more time there.
On behalf of Ruth and myself we just wanted to say thanks and well done for making our first trip to Africa (hopefully not our last) so memorable and successful. Special thanks to Mika and Joshua for being such great guides on our walking safari. Their resourcefulness, care and knowledge of the flora and fauna made it such a fantastic experience. We always felt safe (except for the momentary elephant charge – just provided some additional story telling material) yet were able to experience the bush unlike a drive around safari. We would be remiss if we did not include the camp staff at both Kitumbeine and outside Tarangire. The camp preparation, cooking, and operation were amazing. Please express our appreciation to all. Any future trips to Tanzania by us or friends will include Dorobo. Thanks again.
Steve & Ruth Sweetser
I had very high expectations for this trip as it’s one I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Our experience surpassed my expectations. The itinerary you put together was excellent as it gave us such varied and wonderful opportunities…..the different accomodations and most meals were excellent, the safari locations were beautiful and fascinating, the wildlife complied with our wishes and gave us a tremendous show!, our time with the Hadza people was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that taught us a lot and confirmed our respect for their culture….in particular, I have to mention that Simon could not have been a better guide. He is kind, knowledgeable, patient and easy-going and he certainly was significant in making our trip what it was.
Sue & Tom Omstead
I am certain that I speak for our entire group when I tell you that Killerai was the best guide anyone could ever imagine. His boundless enthusiasm was contagious, not that we needed to get pumped up, but it only highlighted our delights. He is so full of energy, respectful, knowledgeable, patient and funny. He is so polite that he even laughed at all our teasing and merger attempts at humor. By the end of the trip we were saddened to say goodbye to him and I wanted to adopt him….. not that he would have wanted that. All during the trip we constantly commented that Killerai made the trip wonderful. The consensus was unanimous that Killerai was the reason our trip was so fabulous. He is a true gem and we were all thankful to have spent so much time with him.
We want you to know that we had a great safari. Please pass our thanks on to James, Tino, Johnny, the Maasai guys who guarded the camps, and especially our new best friend in Tanzania, Kisana.
Kisana is really a remarkable guide. His ability to spot the most hard to see animals and birds amazed Cathy and I, and he was always very helpful and considerate. He was also a good companion and an outstanding ambassador for Tanzanians.
Finally, thanks to you to for arranging a fun, interesting, and memorable safari for us. We will definitely be recommending Dorobo to everyone.
Well, Coby and I are back home in the States, still talking about what a remarkable time we had. We just want to let you know how incredible both Alex and Kimambo were in working with us. They were a major factor in making our trip so memorable. As you know, they are knowledgeable, great at their jobs, pleasant, patient, and fun to be with. They worked to make sure our enjoyment and safety was their first priority. How fortunate we were to have such terrific people with us. Thank you.
I just wanted to email a quick thankyou to you and the team for making our trip to Tanzania so amazing and special.
Killerai was incredible – he really did work so hard and was never without a smile. The children (Jamie especially) hero worshipped him.
The highlight of the trip without doubt was our time with the Hadza. It was a wonderful experience and we felt priveleged to be able to spend time with such an amazing people. I wish we could have had longer with them, we have so much to learn. I have some fantastic photos of our time with them, and if you think appropriate would like to send a couple to them via you – either by email or post.
The game drives at the end were fantastic – we saw some amazing sights and the children never got bored, but believe it or not they all three agreed that they preferred camp (and food!) with the Hadza than the lodges.
My wife and I recently returned from a three week birding safari in Northern Tanzania with your company and we want to thank you directly for such a fantastic trip. It was an experience that we’ll never forget! Your itinerary was well thought-out, allowing us to enjoy a number of different habitats and associated faunas. Throughout the trip, your attention to detail was outstanding. Even a minor problem with the Land Rover was resolved quickly and efficiently.
We also want to thank our two guides, Killerai and Douglas. Both were absolutely terrific! They were personable, articulate, knowledgeable, and extremely resourceful. Their birding skills were top notch and both were able to provide insight to the local culture. Their knowledge of wildlife behaviour was invaluable. They made the trip!
We’ll certainly recommend Dorobo to our friends and acquaintances that are thinking of a safari. We hope to travel with you again!
Allen & Della Wells
I wanted to tell you how much we enjoyed our safari with Dorobo. My husband and I really appreciate your recommendation to focus on Tarangire and spend some time camping just outside the park. We learned a great deal from Simon who impressed us with both his range and depth of knowledge. We found him, his assistant and our massai host, Paulo, entirely pleasant and great fun to be around. This safari was the perfect way to end our trip, which had us on the top of both Mt. Meru and Mt. Kilimanjaro.
We completed our Tanzania safari visit a couple of weeks ago, and are still raving over the great time that we had. We wanted to feed back to you how wonderful it was – a couple of ‘bumps’ here and there to be expected, but overall, an amazing experience for my wife and I and our friends Richard and Lorelei Jenkins.
I wanted to let you know how impressed and thrilled we were to have Kisana as our tour guide. He looked after everything possible for us, is extremely knowledgeable about all the animals, birds, flora and fauna, as well as the geography and history of the people and areas we were in. We saw so much on this visit (I took ~ 4000 photos myself, not counting the others in our group), and I believe we experienced more than anyone else who could have been in the same areas as us – as learned from talking to others who were supposedly doing the same types of tours – but they were so impressed by what we saw / our pictures and experiences. After a couple of days, we weren’t sure what else we might see, but it got better every day – always something different (different animals / birds / scenery / ‘animal activities’)! And Kisana was key to making it happen – he always knew where to go to find the most interesting sights – and he said that he saw a lot of things that he wouldn’t normally see, that our safari was one of the best he had had in his 7 years. We saw and learned so much!
Overall, we enjoyed all of the parks we visited – good to have 3 days in Tarangire, and almost 2 days in Ngorongoro Crater. Arusha was our first park, and good beginning. Lake Manyara was interesting, but a ½ day there was enough – not quite as much as the other parks, but still interesting. We didn’t get into Serengeti Park, so not sure how much we might have missed but would likely include that in a longer tour. Overall, the timing was good for us: 7 days on safari / 9 days total in Tanzania was about right to have a great experience.
We really enjoyed our visit to Tanzania, saw so many things we could have only dreamed about before (maybe read about in National Geographic magazine), and truly a wonderful experience.
Thanks again for helping to put this together, and again, our regards to Kisana for sharing so much with us and giving us such a wonderful tour of ‘his world’.
Graham Carruthers & Patricia Sullivan
We can’t speak highly enough about our experience with Killerai. His infinite knowledge about the wildlife, about the “African experience” with respect to the values and the way of life from a native’s perspective, his ability to connect on a variety of levels with a variety of individuals (both adults, teenagers and kids) as well as his kind nature and keen sense of interest and commitment to ensure that we took away the most positive experience possible, all contributed to a most incredible Safari experience. Shelly and I (and as I’m sure you have or will hear from Gary and Linda as well) had an absolutely incredible trip which really “came alive” as a result of Killerai’s talents and abilities. He is a tremendous ambassador for your organization and we will treasure the time we spent with him.
Please pass along our thanks and appreciation to him and to your entire team (including Peter and all those other individuals who assisted with the setup of our campsite in the Yaeda valley) for making our trip such an outstanding experience.
Eric Grove & Shelly Shapero
I am now finding the time to write to say thanks for our amazing safari with Alex. We simply cannot put into words the impact that our trip had upon us. Everything -the landscape, the animals, and especially ALEX – was perfect. Our meeting with the Hadza people was the most profound experience of all. Thank you so much for your support in all that we did (and to Lisa too!) – and a hug to Alex for all his time, wisdom and sharing. We have made a donation to the Dorobo Fund as an expression of our thanks and recognition of your work in Tanzania.
The whole clan had the time of our lives and only wondered when we hit KIA where Mika and Simon were to answer our questions and tell us what to do. Although we of course coped, we really missed them. I believe the most telling reflection of our adventure was around the campfire on the last night where many of the younger generation recounted what they liked best and it all had to do with the people and cultures rather than the wonderful birds and animals we viewed. When son Clark was asked this morning if he would go back, he said “tomorrow” and then wondered if he could go on an exchange program when he got older “to help the kids”. At any rate, our adventure far exceeded all expectations and it was largely due to the kindness and leadership of Mika, and Simon. At first some thought that Simon and Mika couldn’t possibly REALLY know as much as they did but well, then it became clear that they weren’t making anything up!
This trip was a gift. Not many people get to “embed” with the wonderful Dickie clan for the adventure of a lifetime! We are so grateful to Mika and Simon for our introduction to Tanzania and its amazing cultures and wildlife. Fortunately, I can still close my eyes and take myself “back” to that endless horizon and that sense of peacefulness. (It may be my new spiritual practice!) I have learned so much and, thanks to Simon, am noticing every bird that crosses my path here at home with intense interest! . Mika led us expertly on our walks, climbs, drives and conversations around the campfire. We greatly miss him, the wonderful and wise Simon, the delightful and talented Peter, and all of the others who we had the privilege to spend time with these last two weeks.
In January you organized a trip for us to the Hadza-people. A too short, but surely a unforgettable trip. I want to tell you that you and your staff did a real great job. I’m still quite impressed not only by the people we visited and the things we experienced being with them, but also by the quality of the service your staff provided us with. The next time I’m back in Tanzania for a safari I’ll surely ask you to organize our next hike.
Our thank you has been delayed and really how does one say thank you for such a tremendous experience. You set up the perfect itinerary and Simon and Abraham were simply stunning hosts and teachers and friends. Thank you for the amazing work you do—a ministry of conservation and culture for sure. We learned tons. We have and will continue to sing your praises.
So, once again, thank you from the bottom of our hearts
Jill & David Engelstad
Our trip was well beyond our expectations. I have been trying to describe it to folks and the only word that seems adequate is “glorious”! It went well beyond our imagination, our expectations, and at times it was beyond our ability to comprehend and internalize. Yet it was so grand.
We were overwhelmed by the vastness of the country, the friendliness of the people and their welcoming spirit, the land (full of volcanic rock, quartz, and acacia trees that always clawed at your legs), the animals (unbelievable) and by the end of the trip we treated far to many species as common as we do our own deer and antelope! I would have loved to have sat with God on the day he decided to paint the birds, his palette had no limits!
However, it was Killerai, Lomnyak, & Gideon (at the end) who made this an extra special event. They were warm and welcoming, and the chemistry between us was wonderful. We became good friends. We never felt that we we were in danger (maybe once or twice but not beyond the moment) or were placed in unsafe situations without options to withdraw. Killerai has eye sight better then any I’ve met, he is calm and collected, quick with a laugh and smile, very knowledgeable (plants, animals (behavior), birds, and reptiles) and his acumen is without question and beyond his years. We trusted him.
The cooking was wonderful and I have gained a new appreciation for the use of curry! Lomnyak is a wonderful chef. He is also a great “tsetse fly” barometer, to his distain. We had to ask him to make less then more as our eating habits were perhaps less then others. I must also compliment the Kilimanjaro lager, how refreshing after a long hot trek.
Lastly, we would like to thank you for planning an experience of a life time for us. Oldoinyo Sambu, what a hike and Poulo read my ability like a book! The Yellow Billed Storks rookery reminded me of hospital nursery, wa, wa, wa,… near Lake Manyara whose Cranes I have had as ornaments on our Christmas tree for years now. I loved the noise that flowed from their wings.
The Ngorongoro Crater, woke the guard to get in, Cheetah’s, Rhinos (4), Lions, Jackals, etc, etc, etc, etc … “wonderful!
The Serengeti, what a wonderful four days. We loved it! The trekking, the evening experiences (lions in camp) and elephants, cape buffalo, leopards, all to wonderful and exciting!
Thank you again for your kindness and matching us to Killerai, Lomnyak and Gideon (great team, well oiled!). They were the best!
Others may see Tanzania from the back of a truck or jeep but few will be touched by the land, the people, or experience it touching you, as it did us, unless they travel through on foot. Smelling it in the morning, sweating under the sun, resting in the shade of an acacia tree, watching a sun rise/set, alert and listening with your entire body to the sway and mood of the ‘Land” as the wind blows gently across the plains and kopjes. How rich and extravagant we feel to have experienced Tanzania.
Many many thanks!
Gary & Maggie Martland
It’s been just over two weeks now since a group of 13 University of Colorado students returned from a global seminar in Tanzania. I was lucky enough to be a part of that group of students.
For many of us, the return to America has been bittersweet. True, we missed our friends, our families, our showers and our beds. But now that we’re home, we find ourselves confronting the traveler’s dilemma: how do you relate your experiences abroad to those you left behind?
The transformation back into mainstream society has been both sudden and residual. How quickly our bodies fell right back into the motions, juggling summer classes, summer jobs and research papers, but how slowly our minds are now lagging behind.
We spent 13 days in the bush, 13 days camping with indigenous groups. Sure, we managed to sneak in a few game drives here and there, but I don’t think any of us would call our trip to Tanzania a “safari,” as a story by the Colorado Daily did earlier this year.
And while the hiking, backpacking and “outdoorsy” aspects were a big part of our trip, that’s not why we were there. In fact, the student that was pictured in the article, Wisdom Amouzou, had never been camping before in his life. Camping came as a total surprise to him: he didn’t realize that’s what we would be doing until seven days before our departure.
We were there for a once in a lifetime, hands-on learning experience, and that’s exactly what we got. Completely taken out of our university element, we were no longer worried about memorizing facts just to pass an exam. We were living with the people whom we had read so much about, whose cultures were at one time entirely foreign to us. We were guests in their homes: in the bush; we were gathering tubers with them; making arrows with them; hiking with them; running relay races with them.
The days were long, and often hard, but they were some of the most rewarding experiences I will ever have in my lifetime. I can also safely say that I learned more in the few nights spent with these people, sitting around the campfire, asking questions and opening discussions, than I have in my entire lifetime as a college student.
Time moved slower there, and the days were never something that people felt they had to get through. In Tanzania, I met some of the happiest people I have ever known.
Thousands of miles away from America, many the livelihoods of many indigenous people are now being threatened by impeding forces of globalization and Westernization. But who’s to say that our way of life is any better than theirs? That we are any happier than they are?
I can assure you that I am not.
It’s been two weeks since our return, and I’m not sure if we will ever be able to come up with any sort of real solutions. What we can do, however, is choose to share our stories and our experiences within our own communities. We can hope that what we saw will have an impact on at least one other person, and perhaps ideas will spread.
Although I have high hopes of sparking interest and generating discussion, I must admit that I am writing this letter for another reason: to expel any preconceived notions Boulder might have of a safari-esqe global seminar in Tanzania. Our experience was far from a safari, and to be honest, I’m not so sure there is a word that could encompass what we were a part of there.
My mother and I did a trip with Killerai back in September. I had intended to write you right when we got back to tell you what an excellent guide he was, but it slipped my mind until now when I was looking at the pictures again and relaized I had never written you. He was great! Professional and courteous, so sweet to my mother who is older and hard of hearing. He was always early to pick us up, out waiting. He accommodated us in stopping to buy presents for family at home. We saw the animals we specifically wanted to see. He was so knowledgeable about the ecosystems and ways of life for the different animals. We noticed that he was always looking for animals, always noticing things. He was a very interesting person to talk to and answered all our questions. I could go on and on. He made our trip amazing, we felt so happy and joyful on our safari. The whole experience was much more than I could have imagined- Thank you! And please let him know how great we thought he was and how much we appreciated him!!!
Oct. 8-15th we were on Safari with Dorobo, along with our daughter, Chelsea and son-in-law John Lane. This was truly the most amazing adventure!! We spent time with the Hazabe and journeyed across the Serengeti. Surreal!! It could not have been any better!! Our guide, Douglas, was incredible! His promptness, honesty, skill, broad knowledge (of nature, environment and culture), and problem solving made this trip everything we could have possibly asked for and then some!! He will be highly recommended as will Dorobo to all our friends! Thank you greatly for making this opportunity so exceptional and memory filled! My only hope is that we may travel with Dorobo again.
Our guide/drive Daudi was excellent and we really enjoyed getting to know him, he was prompt, friendly, worked hard to ensure we were satisfied, and his knowledge of animals/birds was impressive.
We were lucky enough to see all the animals to include the lion, cheetah, leopard, and black rhinos. Weather was good the whole time and we didn’t have any health issues, all-in-all a success.
I wanted to thank you for such a wonderful holiday. You gave us exactly what we asked for, just right. The whole holiday went without hitch, everything on time, military precision. We saw so much, more than we expected, even a lion hunt and a cheetah hunt. And you gave us two guides who were simply outstanding. Douglas and Simon are absolutely top class, so knowledgeable on birds, animals and plants and about the Country and its people. And they are so generous with time, wonderful humour and manners, just plain good company, they made the holiday. I think Mkomazi was the 51st park/reserve I have visited in Africa; Douglas and Simon are the best I have ever had the fortune to have had as guides.
Now that we’ve settled back in at home, Clay, Michelle, and I wanted to write you a note to let you know how exceptional we found the program with Dorobo. We are still raving about the entire experience to colleagues and friends. The combination of genuine community-led interaction and exchange with some traditional safari activities was really ideal. Thank you for your guidance and suggestions in planning the trip to help us strike that balance. We felt incredibly fortunate to interact with the communities that we did and to contribute to a program with much more valiant ambitions than those of commercial safari companies. From our time with the Hazda and the Masaai, it was also clear to us what an important boost the community accounts were. We worry for the Hazda; their existence struck us as so fragile, I can’t underscore how essential the programming that Dorobo and UCRT are carrying out with them seems to be to their livelihood.
Kisana was a fantastic guide; it was a true pleasure to spend day after day with him. His uncanny ability to spot or hear a bird from a hundred yards away, immediately identify it, and then find it in his reference guide made us budding bird enthusiasts incredibly happy! He was also very attentive to our needs and energy levels. We loved your wife’s cooking as well as Habibu’s – nothing we tasted at any lodge could compare to the delicious food they prepared! Zena was so curious and knowledgeable – we hope he is able to achieve his professional goals and become a guide one day. Please also extend our thanks once again to each of them.
Katie, Clay &Michelle Skartvedt
We just finished our safari and had an incredible time. Kisana is an amazing guide and wonderful human being – we are SO happy to have been paired with him. He went out of his way to make sure we were always comfortable, and always made sure to share his incredible wealth of knowledge. He could be a professor! We’ll make sure to let any friends or family who travel here know about your organization.
Firstly, I want to thank you for the great vacation we just experienced in Tanzania – it definitely ranks as one of the best that we have had. The program that you arranged was exactly what we were looking for – a mix of time in lodges, camps, tenting, hiking and driving. We were thrilled with the animals that we saw – not just the number of species, but quality of the sightings (proximity, setting) and the great explanations of their activities, habitat, interrelationships and other interesting facts. All of the staff were friendly, helpful and professional. We really appreciated the willingness to accommodate special requests that we had (like to stop in to see a school or visit the homes of the Iraqw).
By far the most important factor in the success of the vacation was Simon. You are an amazing young man and we feel so fortunate to have had you as our guide. Not only do you have the knowledge and experience, but you are able to communicate these in ways that are interesting and engaging. Your enthusiasm, patience, organization, customer-focus and story-telling (especially when acting out animals) all added immensely to our understanding and enjoyment. Your ability to identify the animals (especially all the birds we saw) was exceptional.
We have already (and will continue to) recommend Dorobo to our friends.
Killerai was a superb guide – he was very personable, easy to talk with, spoke great English, was funny, and really worked to accommodate our needs and wishes. We were impressed by his extensive biological knowledge, not to mention his great driving skills, timing, navigation, and other knowledge (such as Maasai culture, geology, history, etc). He gave us a great experience and we are grateful. If I were to come back with my family, I would request him again.
Wanted to tell you what an absolutely great safari we had with Killerai. He is such a warm, friendly, jovial person. We had so much fun with him and he went out of his way to please us. And he’s such a knowledgeable guide. We got to see so many animals and learned so much about them. We also got a bird watching safari which I loved.
All 3 of us were thrilled with our experience. Can’t say enough good things about Killerai and Dorobo Safaris. If I ever am fortunate enough to return to Tanzania I’ll certainly book with Dorobo and request Killerai for my guide.
Thanks for everything,
We had a great time in the Serengeti! Mika and all the staff were very professional and friendly, we had an excellent service and being in the nature with them was safe and thrilling.
Thanks a lot for these unforgettable days in the wild.
Josik & Arnaud de Froberville
Joel and I wanted to send our appreciation for an amazing adventure. The landscape and wildlife were extraordinary and the trip planning (after we made it to Arusha) was perfect! But, to be honest none of it would have been as enjoyable without Killerai and the Dorobo team. Thad, you couldn’t have found a better fit for Joel and I. Killerai’s knowledge, energy, sense of adventure and humor were awesome.
I wanted to thank you for organizing our safari and for sending us out with Douglas. The work Dorobo is doing in Yaeda was a privilege to experience. The connected energy out there is so contagious, man, if only everyone could have a chance to feel that. While there were many ‘highlights’ from our trip, the four of us each referenced our time with the Hadza as being at the top. A moment I hope to never forget was an evening sitting around the fire exchanging questions and stories. Of course our time in Serengeti was also impressive. Our entire trip was made even more enriching in having Douglas as our guide. I am confident you are well aware of this but, we found Douglas to be an absolutely standout guide in all capacities. We felt exceptionally privileged to have been able to spend our safari with him.
John & Chelsea Lane