The most amazing thing I've done in my life to date
We were totally satisfied with the booking process – Sarah was extremely responsive and helpful. She absolutely went above and beyond and that made us feel very confident in her and in Original Tanzania. I was very impressed when she even took the time to write my dad a long and thoughtful email about safety in Tanzania and East Africa given the recent issues with Boko Haram. Our correspondence to plan for the trip spanned over several months, and throughout the process I really appreciated Sarah's patience with us.
Overall our safari experience was excellent – the itinerary was great and the accommodation was very impressive. We were very comfortable, and especially at the safari lodges, felt quite pampered! Sopa Lodge was our absolute favourite and had the best food that we had on the trip.
The Kilimanjaro climb was the most amazing thing I've done in my life to date. We loved pretty much every minute of it, and we cannot speak highly enough of Filbert. He absolutely went above and beyond our expectations, and we felt incredibly safe and confident in his abilities all the time. He was really knowledgeable about the flora and fauna on the mountain, and could tell me about any of the plants that I pointed out. Dan even asked him about some rocks (I didn’t follow the conversation) and he was able to discuss those with Dan too. One experience that was particularly impressive was on the fourth day there was a climber from another party that was really sick and his guide sought advice from Filbert about what to do. After that we knew for sure that we were in exceptionally competent hands! The most impressive thing about Filbert’s leadership skills was how he encouraged the team and did as much as he could to help their careers too. He gave Benny, our assistant guide, many step‐up opportunities to take charge of leading us. We even overheard him encouraging the porter who served us meals to practice speaking with us so that he could improve his English. Filbert’s thoughtfulness and clear leadership abilities were so impressive and I would absolutely encourage any of my friends considering climbing Kilimanjaro to work with Original Tanzania and request Filbert specifically.
Another thing to mention is that we were impressed by what we could see of the standards of living for our porters. As far as we could tell, they all seemed to have proper footwear and clothing, and seemed content. In contrast, we saw porters from other groups who were wearing t‐shirts while walking towards Kibo camp (while I was wearing three layers), and weren't even wearing proper hiking books but sneakers.
Tanzania is a gorgeous country! Apart from the spectacular flora and fauna, it was especially amazing to see the Masai villages and their huge herds of cattle!
We felt that Original Tanzania offered good value for money in an industry where the price standards are quite high. This trip was a "once‐in‐a‐lifetime" experience that doesn't come cheaply, no matter who you hire to guide you.