Mt Kilimanjaro feedback

From: George & Roasie Sly
Sent: Monday, July 24, 2017 11:56 PM
To: IntoAfrica UK Ltd
Subject: Re: feedback please

Hi Chris,
Sorry for the delay in replying. Our trip when really well thanks. The whole set up was great out there and we really did not need to think about anything as you had it covered which was amazing. Moses + Bernadetta were very good hosts at the private house accommodation and it was nice not to be in a hotel full of safari goers ... Kili also went very well and the guides were excellent; Oforo especially very knowledgeable, so fit for his age, unassuming, and so willing to help - likewise with Dennis on our safari. Altitude on Kili really hit me though on the final ascent, but I didn't take diamox so it was mind over matter and it was all worth it. We now have the climbing bug. Food was fantastic etc. I said to Dennis, although I don't like the site much you should get on Tripadvisor...if you want a review for your website or anything let us know, happy to write something. Thank you one again, we really could not of asked for a better honeymoon and as crazy as people thought we were doing Kili it is such an unforgettable experience!

Many thanks,
George & Rosie Sly,
Sly Agri Ltd, UK


From: John Spriegel
To: 'IntoAfrica UK Ltd'
Subject: RE: feedback

Chris,
Good to hear from you.  Needless to say, after a big trip it has taken quite a while for me to dig out from my backlog of e-mail.

We had a wonderful trip!!!!!  We loved Julius as the guide and we also appreciated Sam, the other guide, who answered about a bigillion questions from  my daughter during our long hikes.  Julius was more the encourager, and Sam was a friendly pace setter, a great combination.  The food was great too, far better than we had when we did Mt Kenya nearly 5 years ago.

We all got to the top, for which we were of course pleased, but it really put my body to the test.  One of the best value adds was Julius taking a lot of pictures with our camera at the top; we were too exhausted to take a lot of pictures then. 

Any criticisms which we would make seem trite, like wanting salt on the table at our meals. The tipping advice was very necessary as I would not have had enough smaller denomination cash with me to tip everyone individually had I not been expecting the need for tips.  It seemed as though you were suggesting pretty generous amounts for the tips but they did provide pretty excellent service so we tipped generously.   I might say, it was sort of a hassle having to transmit money to you through electronic funds transfer, but as you can see, we managed to find a way to do that.

I certainly will speak highly of IntoAfrica if ever asked to advise someone.  We would be willing to answer a small number of e-mails if people need someone to verify the good experience we had. 

Thanks again for all your help.  I have a new appreciation for the concept of “pole pole.”

Yours,

John Spriegel for John, Linda, Julia, Rebecca and Joel

 


From: Maria Inzani
To: enquiry@intoafrica.co.uk
Cc: Sandra marino ; Joseph Vacchiano
Subject: Fwd: Kilimanjaro feedback

Hi Chris,
My name's Maria Inzani and I accompanied Sandra Marino and Guiseppe Vacchiano on the Kilimanjaro trip. Sandra forwarded your request for feedback to me and asked if I'd reply on behalf of our party. We had an absolutely amazing time and much of this was down to your fantastic team!

Julius, our lead guide (who we nicknamed daddy :-) ) was professional, supportive, encouraging and so kind. His knowledge of the mountain was exceptional and he really filled us with confidence. On the night of our trek to the summit he kept our spirits high by singing almost the whole time and I'm sure he played a big part in helping us to find the strength to complete our climb.

Zakayo, our assistant guide was also brilliant, a real character who kept us informed about all the vegetation, types of rock and birds whilst giving us lots of laughs. He definitely added to the whole experience and isn't someone I think any of us will ever forget.

I've got to mention the rest of our team too, Good Luck, our chef, worked so hard to give us tasty and varied food and always had a huge smile on his face, Deous, our waiter was charming and sweet and really attentive, and the rest of our team were so hardworking, courteous and polite the whole time. They even sang 'Happy Birthday' to Sandra in Swahili on the morning after our summit climb after they heard us wishing her a happy birthday and reduced her to tears! In fact we all shed a tear or two saying goodbye to them all!

I must also mention Erica and Ahadi Lodge which was spotlessly clean and really well maintained too. We found Erica and her staff to be very professional, courteous and extremely welcoming and friendly. She spoke to us at length about nice places to visit and places to eat in and around Arusha, let us use her computer and even gave us an encouraging hug before our climb. They really went the extra mile to make our stay pleasant.

I'd be more than happy for you to use our feedback on your website and as I previously mentioned, we wouldn't hesitate in recommending you all.

Kind regards, Maria
Sent from my iPhone


From: Jason Bell
To: enquiry@intoafrica.co.uk
Subject: RE: Kilimanjaro feedback

Hi Chris
Sorry it's taken a while to reply. I had to go straight into work when I got back, and am only now catching up.. Firstly I'd like to say thanks for the trip. I had a great time and thought that it was a great experience and would do it again. Maybe …..

The guides and porters were very good, and 4 out of 5 of the party made it to the summit (the 5th got sick after a couple of days). We were really happy with the way that Bahati, the lead guide, dealt with the hiring of porters at the park gate, and it seemed that everyone was treated very fairly.

The porters also seemed to be not only up to scratch work -wise , but a decent bunch of guys - some of the others I saw on the mountain were not so..... Also everyone agreed that the chef did a grand job, especially considering his kitchen location

If I were to have any constructive criticism then it would be the following -

The tents had seen better days, the mess tent particularly - it wasn't really bad, and I'm sure they have a short life expectancy and get a lot of abuse, but compared to some at other camps we saw it was on it's last legs.. (we have replaced all our mountain and mess tents and do so each year - sorry you got these at the end of their days - Chris Morris)

Like I said, the food was better than could be expected up on any mountain. It can’t be easy for an African chef who's cooking at 17,000 feet to keep every European tourist happy every time.......

Overall I can't say we had any real complaints, and I recommended you to some people I just met who are based in Afghanistan and are thinking of climbing later this year.

Keep up the good work, all the best,

Jason Bell


From: Anna
To: IntoAfrica UK Ltd
Subject: RE: feedback

Hi Chris,

Thanks for your email requesting feedback.

Climbing Kilimanjaro is something that popped into my head over a year ago. I was sitting having coffee with a friend when the thought arose and I said it outloud. A year later I have just returned from climbing the mountain with two friends and organised through IntoAfrica. One of those friends happens to be the same girl I was having coffee with and I didn't realise at the time but climbing Kili happened to be one of the things at the top of her lifetime to do list.

Kilimanjaro was something we wanted to do as it is a real challenge. Saying that it is also an achievable challenge and one we felt we could achieve bearing in mind we are students with little mountaineering experience. We found IntoAfrica on the internet, recommended through Responsible Travel and they couldn't have been more responsible towards us the entire time.

Initially we didn't realise we would be getting so much help with the trip but as we looked into it we realised that we would be going up the mountain with a team of people who helped with our equipment, tents, guiding and cooking so our main job for the day was just to get up and walk to the next camp with a daysack. We felt very looked after and from our point of view this made the trip a really enjoyable thing to do. I wouldn't exactly call it a holiday considering how hard going the last night was but it almost felt like that.

Our guide for the trip was very competent and that was obvious from the start. We felt very reassured having him around especially on the last night when it was cold and we were tired and really pushing ourselves. He pushed us as a group to get going as we got closer to the top of the mountain but it seemed like he was always assessing how we were and whether we were ok to move on. He tailored the pace to how we were coping. Also, as someone who had previously worked with the mountain rescue on kili we couldn't have been in safer hands really. We are really grateful for all the help and guidance he gave us.

Food was a real highlight of the trip. I was expecting pasta and rice and the basic sort of camping food every day but instead we were cooked three course meals every night. Hot chocolate when we got to camp at the end of the day followed by soup and bread, then something for dinner (homemade fish and chips on the first night) followed by pudding or fruit. We were encouraged to eat as much as possible and we definitely did that. We never went hungry.

The porters were also fantastic. Carrying all our things - and getting up the mountain much more easily than us. The atmosphere was always cheery and I don't have a bad word to say about that really.

In terms of the walking itself we made it to the top, taking it more slowly as we ascended higher. All three of us coped with the altitude well and it seemed like it was quite random who suffered the effects in other groups and who didn't. We were keen on reaching the top after all the planning that had gone into the trip but part if it just came down to luck in the end. We couldn't have been with a more supportive group so we definitely had the best chance though. All the the information IntoAfrica sent out before the trip was accurate and having followed that I think we were well prepared.

Overall we had an incredible experience and one we won't forget. I haven't really got anything bad to say about IntoAfrica as we felt everything went to plan as we hoped it would and the company was very organised and supportive throughout. I would definitely recommend them.

I'd be happy for my comments to be posted as long as they remained anonymous on the website.

Anna


From: Laura Alston
To: IntoAfrica UK Ltd <enquiry@intoafrica.co.uk
Subject: Kilimanjaro feedback

Chris

My apologies for the delay in responding. I have now had an opportunity to gather my thoughts on the trek. I have to say that myself and my partner had a truly unforgettable time and are still talking about it to friends, family and colleagues, 6 weeks on! Below are just a few of the many positives about this trip:

I cannot say enough good things about the guides and porters. They were always polite and attentive and worked tirelessly to ensure we had everything we needed - nothing was ever too much trouble for them. We really appreciated the "little things" that they did for us, like bringing us a bowl of hot water every morning and evening to wash in, making sure we were all feeling well and eating/drinking properly, and waiting for us at the bottom of the mountain after the summit night in order to offer to carry our rucksacks back to camp for us (the latter was particularly appreciated because by that point we were dead on our feet!)

Julius deserves a special mention because he was our chief guide and a lovely, gentle character. Oforo, Sam and Ronald were also great and helped keep up our spirits on the summit night (and waited patiently when we kept stopping for breaks during the agonising descent!)

I have to say the food was DELICIOUS. It is beyond me how the chef managed to prepare 'gourmet' 3 course meals at 5,000 metres! We always had soups to start with and they were always creamy and flavoursome (my partner doesn't even like pumpkin, yet loved the pumpkin soup!). It is also testament to how well the food was prepared and cooked, that we did not suffer from an upset stomach throughout the entire trip. Ironically, I felt fine for the entire 7 says up Kili, yet picked up a stomach bug at a restaurant in Nairobi the night before we flew home!

Elias also deserves a special mention - a lovely man who was always smiling and always trying to ladle extra portions of food onto our plates!
In summary, I would just like to thank you for making our trip so special. It is not something we shall ever forget and has given us the confidence to take on new challenges that we never would have dreamed of doing before this. It goes without saying that I am happy for you to post my comments on the website, or to act as a referee for any prospective travellers who might like a first hand account of the trip.
Kind regards,
Laura Alston
St Albans, UK


From: Jon Steury
To: IntoAfrica UK Ltd
Subject: Re: feedback

Hi Chris,

Thanks so much for your e-mail - and sorry for my delay in responding. We got home from TZ on Monday and tomorrow (Sunday) we drive back into Nbi. to fly out on Monday morning to the USA. So, this week has been VERY wild and crazy.

In a nutshell, I want to tell you that we had an absolutely FABULOUS trip up Kili! All three of us made it all the way to Uhuru Point with minimal illness, discomfort, etc. It was an incredible week that will be a lifelong memory for me and my sons! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HELPING TO MAKE IT POSSIBLE!

I promise to write again once the dust settles under my feet to give you better feedback on the trip. Again, thanks for your kindness in helping to arrange our trek!

Jon Steury, USA


From: kevin jackson
To: 'IntoAfrica UK Ltd'
Subject: RE: feedback

Dear Chris,

I have just returned from Kili and as for feedback, this kind of adventure was entirely new to me and it has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. Here are some of the many positives about IntoAfrica:

Thanks to everyone for making this trip such a great adventure.

Kevin Jackson, Kent, UK .


From: francois godcharles
To: IntoAfrica
Subject: All Safely Back !!!

Hello Chris!

Just a quick note to let you know that all our flights and connections worked seamlessly and we all arrived back in Seattle on time, safe and sound !

And again, I cannot thank you and your staff enough for making our stay in Tanzania and Kili climb so memorable and enjoyable. Your attention to details, and your care in making sure that all our needs and necessities were looked after was priceless and much appreciated. Once I go through our thousands of photos (yikes!), I'll send over a few !

A million thanks from me and my team !
Cheers !
Francois Godcharles


From: Stacey Pechan
Subject: RE: IntoAfrica - Feedback Request

Hi Chris,

We had a fabulous time in Tanzania. We would be happy to act as referrals for you if you have any clients in the future who would like to talk to someone who's already been on a trip with your company, so feel free to pass our emails along.

Regarding our trip... we were very warmly greeted by Abraham when we arrived in Arusha. It was such a welcome sight for us to see a man with a friendly smile holding up a sign that read "Pechan", especially as we had just come from 3 days in Nairobi where we didn't know a soul. One of our favorite sayings soon became, "You are Most Welcome", which everyone on your staff said to us at one point or another.

We were very happy with our accommodations (both at Outpost & at L'Oasis). We appreciated receiving a warm and personal welcome from you, especially after all of the emails that we'd exchanged back and forth prior to our arrival. It truly felt as though we were meeting an old friend. You went above and beyond what was necessary for us, even picking up postage stamps for us while we were away on safari. Thank you!!

Our Kili week was excellent. The guides, cook, & porters were wonderful. We were especially thankful for Julius. He is a very special man. He took such good care of us that week and was very tender and caring when we weren't feeling well, but also pushed us and encouraged us when we needed it. Making it to the top of the mountain is one of our most treasured memories from the trip.

We also had a good safari week. The cultural days were wonderful, especially with Paulo in the Iraqw tribe. He made us feel so welcome and being able to spend some time with his family was wonderful. He is a gem!

We think that your company is terrific and were so happy to know that in going with you we were also helping you to make a difference in the surrounding communities. We applaud what you do and wish you much success in the future. We have told all of our friends and family about you, and hope to send you their business in the future. In fact, our friends Rita and Chris Simpson might be traveling with you this December.

Take care. We hope to visit you again sometime in the future. Give Julius an extra big hug for us the next time you see him.

Love, Lisa & Stacey

P.S. If you or any of your employees ever make it out to California, you definitely have a place to stay. We live about 5 minutes away from Disneyland and about 30 minutes from the beach. We'd love to host you!


From: K Burgon
To: enquiry@intoafrica.co.uk
Subject: Re:final check

Hi Chris,

I just wanted to write to you to tell you what a fantastic time we had in Kili, everything from the moment we arrived to the end of the trip was fantastic. I gather you are going back there this month, but I thought I would write and tell you our impressions anyway.

We had a fantastic group, and the 6 pole dancers were excellent fun, and in fact we are all having a reunion this Friday, and a couple of them made an appearance at my birthday last weekend . So our group really made the trip and our guides deserve a special mention for their professionalism, kindness and experience, Julius, Oforo and Godfrey were brilliant, made us feel really safe and seemed to know what we wanted before we did. Julius was especially understanding of Emma with her dislocated shoulder and my knees. Me and Emma made it up despite her shoulder, (she is now waiting for an operation) and we both agreed we didn't think we could have made it without the help of the guides.

The food was absolutely amazing Chris - we went to an all inclusive 4 star hotel in Zanzibar and after the food on Kili, it was awful! The food on Kili, was always hot, so much variety, so fresh, and enough food so that 12 of us were always stuffed when we left the table. The vegetarians were so well catered for that it made us meat eaters jealous. I wrote some things down on the trip that I thought could make a difference and here they are... ( we had to scrabble around for these though)

Can I mention Rosie, who was amazing when we left Arusha, she didn't feel like her job was done until we actually left on the plane. We all wanted to go out on the Saturday and she provided chaperones for us to go clubbing. They were brilliant! We had an excellent night dancing at the Colobus... She also helped the next day when we had trouble with our flights- there was a weight restriction with Coastal Aviation, and ended up paying 50 us dollars because we were overweight. She helped us negotiate with the man, and didn't leave until we were happy.

Anyway - I promised I would write and tell you about it, and I would like to stay it is right up there with my top 10 memories of my life, it was hard but one of the best experiences I think I will ever have.

Thank you for making it so pleasurable.

Kim, London, UK


----- Original Message -----
From: Cosmin Ioan
To: IntoAfrica UK Ltd
Subject: Re: feedback

Hi Chris,

You have read my mind; I was just about to send you an email.

Thank you very much for organizing the trip. It was the most amazing experience I've ever had in my life. I was able to see astounding natural beauties and I have met amazing people. Thank you for making sure everything went so smoothly. I was very impressed with IntoAfrica staff and the work you guys do on the mountain, safaris and with the various projects you have within local communities. It makes a huge difference on understanding the places and people one visits while in Tanzania.

I have already told all my friends that if they ever consider visiting East Africa I strongly suggest they use IntoAfrica as tour operator. I would be very happy to provide references to any potential clients.

There are some pictures along with a few comments I gathered in my trip:

http://intoafricakili2007.blogspot.com

I hope my fellow trekkers will post more pictures and comments to this blog. Would you please be able to forward the link above to Julius, Godfree, Godbless, and the rest of the team in Tanzania? It was very hard saying goodbye to those folks.

I am actually thinking very seriously about coming back to Tanzania within a year and make another attempt on Kilimanjaro. Can't have a better excuse than this to visit again those amazing places. Would you please be able to keep me up to date with any updates you might have on the Kili treks? Do you think would be a good idea to do Mt. Kenya just before Kili, or it could be too risky and it might diminish my chances to make it to Uhuru Peak? Is Mt. Meru a better option to do just before Kilimanjaro?

Sorry for asking already so many questions about my next trip, but I would appreciate any advice you could provide. I will certainly like to have Julius again as the chief guide. He is an amazing person, and he made the right calls on the mountains, keeping his team safe and the customers happy.

Cosmin, CT, USA


From: Brian Gibbons
To: IntoAfrica UK Ltd
Subject: Re: final check

Hi Chris,

Just to let you know I arrived back a few hours ago after an amazing trip!

The mountain pushed me to the very limit - mainly due to altitude sickness. My basic fitness was fine but the summit night was one I will never forget. If it hadn`t have been for "God Bless" I wouldn`t have made it. It stretched me physically, mentally and emotionally. I will never forget the experience.

I would just like to say thank you for all your help and advice and a special thank you to all Into Africa staff in Tanzania, who were all outstanding. You have created a remarkable organisation. Congratulations!

Regards,
Bri UK


----- Original Message -----
From: Robert Barta
To: IntoAfrica UK Ltd
Subject: Re: feedback

Thanks Chris for a wonderful experience. I've put a full day-by-day blog up here:

http://home.comcast.net/~robert.barta

You can also use me for anyone who needs a first hand reference.

Thank you,
Robert Barta, Maryland, USA


--- Original Message -----
From: Marek Cibor
To: IntoAfrica UK Ltd
Subject: Re: feedback

Dear Chris,

Many thanks for your mail and first of all thanks for organizing the trip to Tanzania.

As you know we went 3 altogether finally from Poland, and our group was made of 3 Poles + 1 North American (Robert Barta - see his blog above. CM) + 2 New Zealanders. It actually was a very nice combination of people from all the extremes of the world to try to reach same target.

In general I rate the organization of the trip as very high. We did realize from the beginning the limitations of the what the trek to the summit might offer so we were not surprised by anything, like size of the tents, quality of toilets, washing conditions etc.

What we however invited with great pleasure was the quality of people you put together and ability to make things happen on time. Indeed the staff at the guest house, the person who collected us from the airport, the guides, porters, cooks and all other really showed much care for us and made us feel secure and taken care off during the whole stay, the hike included.

As you can probably imagine some of us had more problems getting to the summit than others and I must say the expertise of your guides eventually made all of the group to put their feet on the top.

I personally have travelled a lot together with one of my colleagues, much of the trips to exotic destinations, Africa included. I must say - probably we have been lucky - almost everywhere we were confronted with positive attitude of the local people. This is what we wished would have happened in Tanzania and it happened.

Please pass our best regards to the whole team of IntoAfrica. We did it obviously ourselves when in Arusha but it would probably be very good and motivating for all the members of the team to know that you know it as well. I have absolutely no problem with you placing my name on whatever site you may use to advertise your services.

I myself have worked for a service industry for more than 25 years so I do realize what a word of mouth can mean. You can fully count on my support in this respect.

I made a film of that whole trip, it will be some 40 minutes of a day by day hiking report, it will come on dvd in some 2-3 weeks. I will be only more than happy to mail you one copy for your personal or promotional use if you consider it useful.

Thanks again Chris for your assistance and please remain proud of all the chaps you have on board in IntoAfrica.

Best Regards
Marek Cibor
Poland


----- Original Message -----
From: Deborah Papworth
To: enquiry@intoafrica.co.uk
Subject: Re: feedback

Dear Chris

Thank you for your email, following up on our trip to Kilimanjaro. Our trip up Kilimanjaro was a fantastic experience. We had planned this trip, hoping to reach the summit to celebrate both of our birthdays on the top of the mountain. Thanks to the fantastic team of guides, porters and cooks, our whole group made it to the summit and had an amazing time getting there. Thanks especially to Julius, the chief guide, whose experience and support was invaluable. The food was fantastic and plentiful and certainly much better than we had prepared ourselves for!

The trip was superbly organised and I would have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone! We would both be happy to act as referees.Chris, we will also post to you by mail copies of some photos which we took of the team.

Many thanks
Deborah and Stephan
(New South Wales, Australia)


----- Original Message -----
From: Simon Brooker
To: 'IntoAfrica UK Ltd'
Sent: Monday, February 26, 2007 4:55 PM
Subject: Feedback

Chris,

Having returned from Africa this morning and had a quick nap, I thought I'd drop you an email regarding our trips with IntoAfrica. We were lucky to have a good group on our Kilimanjaro Climb, John/Rebecca from the US and Doug/Ally from Canada. All strong characters, determined and never negative. They were a joy to spend a week with and get to know quite well.

I am pleased to say myself and my father made the summit of Kilimanjaro. Oforo and Julius were instrumental in the preparation and our success of reaching Uhuru. On summit night, the group started together but split after around 2 hours due to some illness. Oforo made the decision to take myself, my father and Doug ahead and leave Julius and Godfrey to hopefully get the other 3 to the summit. I was losing the will to live when Oforo notified me that we were only half an hour short of Stella Point. We were all struggling with lack of sleep (anxiety to start meant I got no sleep during the day, needless to say it didn't help my attempt!) and my water bottles/bladder had frozen so I was struggling to get any fluids. Oforo implemented a walking tactic to keep us moving and gave me his Headlamp because mine had run it's brand new batteries!

One step, stop, next step, stop. It did wonders for us and before we knew it we had reached Stella point. We all cheered and hugged, it was refreshing to see Oforo get as excited as us, he was genuinely happy for us. He got us back into check and led us to Uhuru; he proudly posed for photos with us before leading us back down to Barafu (my knees are still hurting from that decent!) for a well-earned cup of Tea!

Julius managed to get 2 of the remaining to the summit but unfortunately one of the party was brought down by Godfrey due to sickness which was really gutting for both that person and the rest of the team who'd successfully made Uhuru.

The remainder of your team was faultless, the porters were exceptional and always polite. We were regularly amazed at what food was rustled up by Ludiger and Elias along the way. Pastas, Soups, Stews, Spiced Rices, Chocolate Puddings, we couldn't thank them enough. Elias was quite a character, always smiling and happy to serve us our breakfast, lunch & dinner. He woke us in the mornings with hot water and always ensured we had enough drinking water for the day's activities.

Our group found the tipping quite easy to deal with. We asked Oforo to line his team up and we walked along them shaking all their hands (23 - 3 Guides/ 2 Cooks/ 18 porters) and handing them an envelope with a tip in. We found your tipping guide very helpful and worked it all out within 30 minutes after dinner at the Mwenka Hut.

As you're aware, whilst we were summiting Kilimanjaro, 3 female members of my family were on your Tanzania Safari. They had an exceptional time and the photo's they've taken show what a great time they had. Dennis was their guide and even he said they were very lucky with the Safari they had. They really enjoyed it and got on so well with Dennis that they've exchanged email addresses and promised to keep in contact.

I'd like to thank you and your team for such a great experience in Tanzania. My father has successfully reached his goal, to summit Kilimanjaro. Please feel free to post any of my comments onto your website. I wish you and IntoAfrica every success in the future and would happily recommend you to a friend.

Kind Regards
Simon.


----- Original Message -----
From: Carangal, Grace, M.D.
To: IntoAfrica UK Ltd
Sent: Saturday, February 17, 2007 10:51 PM
Subject: Feedback

Chris,

We have been back from Africa for one week now, and I wanted to take a moment to write a word of thanks. The trip was absolutely amazing and I don't think I can thank you enough. Africa is beautiful, Kilimanjaro- majestic, and the Serengeti- just breathtaking, but it was the people we met along the way that made this trip simply unforgettable.

Emmy, a comforting presence. Oforo, our gentle Kilimanjaro leader. Godfrey, strong and kind. I'm quite sure he was prepared to carry us to the summit if he had to. Makarius, the smiling cook who taught us Swahili. Gabriel, our ever patient attendant. Dennis, a natural talent. Athuman, who could spot a hyena 3 miles away. And of course all of our porters Soloman, Richard, Zawadi, Sanga, Abu, Richard, Lobekeki, and Elias. They were all so kind and supportive. We rode to the top of Africa on their backs, and it was the ride of a lifetime.

You should be proud of those that work for you.

Before I left you mentioned that Africa can get in your system. I now know what you mean. And when I think of Africa, I will always think of these kind and gentle souls.

Thank you. Thank you.

Grace Carangal
Los Angeles, CA USA

PS- Hopefully I will be able to keep in touch with some of the people we met, but if you ever have any interesting news please feel free to share it with me. I would love to hear about how they are doing from time to time.


--- Original Message -----
From: Janice Laycock
To: enquiry@intoafrica.co.uk
Sent: Thursday, November 17, 2006 5:32 PM

Chris, sorry that it has taken so long to get back to you with feedback on our two great trips. I have included my reviews at the end of this message. Once again I would be willing to act as a reference.

With this message I have also attached some pictures that we took of Julius. We had promised to email them to him but do not have his email. Can you pass these on and send our regards and thanks? He, as you probably know, is a fantastic person and guide.

Review - Kilimanjaro Machame Route

Our seven day trek on Kilimanjaro was one of the highlights of our six month trip around the world with our 15 year old son and 12 year old daughter. The entire experience was wonderful - slogging through the mud of the rainforest, hiking above the clouds on the second day, making new friends with our travelling companions, the changing views of Kilimanjaro, as well as our long night to the summit. Every day my daughter and I said to each other "if this is as far as we get it is still fantastic". My husband and I had been concerned about how we (both in our fifties) and the children would handle the high altitude. The easy pace over the five days leading up to the summit and the fantastic care that we received from our wonderful team of guides, cooks, and porters meant that we were well fed, comfortable and suffered very little from altitude sickness. I will forever remember summit night with Julius our guide singing us up the mountain. All through the long, cold, night we were encouraged and warmed by the sound of his voice. Arriving at the summit with my family, our new friends Louise and Andrew from London and our guides Julius and Oforo was a very emotional experience for us all.

My heartfelt thanks to IntoAfrica for such an incredible trip.

Janice Laycock
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
Canada.

PS. Thanks Chris for all your help prior to our trip. It was great to have a friendly person to answer questions and help us deal with our arrangements. I hope the photos are okay and can be opened. If not let me know and I will try again.


----- Original Message -----
From: Lee Astheimer
To: IntoAfrica UK Ltd
Sent: Thursday, November, 01, 2006 10:02 PM
Subject: Re: Tanzania feedback

Dear Chris,

We actually only returned from Africa 2 days ago as we stayed for a conference after our IntoAfrica trip.

Our IntoAfrica experiences (Kilimanjaro & Tanzania safari) were truly exceptional, in large part due to the amazing personnel on your team. This included everyone -- guides, drivers, porters, cooks, waiters etc.--who all did their respective jobs very well, but more importantly added good humour, and their own experiences, personalitites and commitment to the group. All, in their own ways, gave us a wonderful impression of Tanzanians and made us feel welcomed in their beautiful country. Oddly enough, it will be these interactions with Dennis, Julius, Oforo, Godbless, Mr Wilson, Gabrielli, and many others, that will stick in our memories even more than Uhuru at dawn, the leopard kill, the 160 bird species, mating lions and ostriches etc....

Without waxing on for pages, the other part of the trip that we enjoyed much more than expected were the cultural visits at MtoWa Mbu and with the Masai at Longido; we learned and felt so much more about these communities after these interactions.

For myself, the defining image of the trip was about 2 AM on a clear, very cold, windy night, the full moon setting, familiar constellations on the horizon, the sound of Julius' voice drifting past singing in Swahili, Godfrey in front of me setting the slow pace; Godbless behind me, grabbing my shoulders periodically when my feet slip on the gravel; walking, in a trance, ever upward, pole pole, time has stopped.

We would be delighted to recommend IntoAfrica to anyone, to serve as contacts for potential travelers etc. We wish you and your team all the best in the future and thank you for a fabulous and very memorable experience.

Finally, a personal thanks to you, Chris, for your attention, prompt responses and practical good advice in our correspondences!

All the best,
Lee Astheimer, New South Wales, Australia


From : Catherine Carr
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
King Charles Street
London
SW1A 2AH

Hi Chris

Apologies for not writing sooner. Our trip (1-7 October) was fantastic. We had the most amazing time. We were so well looked after from start to finish - by you this end before we went, by Emmy and the team in Arusha and by Julius, Oforo and all the guys on the mountain. Emmy was lovely and picked us up from the airport personally. I was so impressed by her commitment to trying to improve the working conditions for those who make a living from Kili. I was also inspired by the new education initiatives she's setting up around Arusha and told her that I'd very much like to keep in touch to see if there's any way I could help out there at some point in the future. The guest house in Arusha was perfect.

The trek itself was the experience of a lifetime. Tough at times but so much fun. I really enjoyed each day and was lucky enough not to get ill. The summit ascent and arriving at dawn was mind-blowing. Unlike anything I'd ever done. Julius and Oforo were wonderful. Lovely guys, lots of fun and particularly incredible on summit night. They did such a great job of motivating the entire group and their experience was invaluable. In fact I really valued their experience throughout the whole week - knowing that they'd done the trek 100's of times between them, that they knew all there is to know about mountain sickness and were great leaders (including managing the porters, cooks etc very competently) made me feel in extremely safe hands. When some of our group had to go down they handled it really well and Julius amazingly made it all the way back up to meet us at Barafu the next day and then go on to lead us to the top that night on top form!

I'd agree with what Kat said to you about the porters. It's a shame we were only briefly introduced - although I guess lots of them didn't speak great English so more than an introduction could have been tricky! And the tipping etiquette wasn't entirely self-explanatory. I know you provided info in the stuff you emailed us but the whole thing was a bit overwhelming up there (although I know us Brits find it more uncomfortable than others anyway!) It would have been good if Emmy had briefed us on exactly how to do it when she gave us the briefing in Arusha the night before we set off.

All in all I was massively impressed with IntoAfrica. When I saw how some other companies run their trips up there (unfed porters, very large groups, extravagant meals - some with plastic chairs, tables plus chef with hat for lunch!) I was relieved to have chosen you guys. I think you have it just right. Nothing too overboard on food, accommodation etc (although it was perfectly adequate) but small groups and great people in your team who are obviously well looked after and seemed to have decent job satisfaction. So thank you!!

If/when you have the opportunity I'd be really grateful if you could pass this feedback on to those I've mentioned above. Of course I told them myself at the time but a month later I'm still thinking about our adventure every day and am so grateful for everything they did to make my Kili trek such a magical experience.

I've passed your details on to lots of interested people already and I'm more than happy for you to put prospective clients in touch if necessary.

Many thanks again and all the best.

Catherine - sorry to go on at length (I still get a little emotional talking about it!)


----- Original Message -----
From: Ursula Roittner
To: 'IntoAfrica UK Ltd'
Subject: RE: feedback

Dear Chris,

I came back home yesterday, because after Kilimanjaro I spent two weeks on the wonderful island Zanzibar!

Kilimanjaro was one of the best experiences of my life! Your team did a wonderful job, even though I was not always staying with the group, due to my faster pace. Julius and Oforo were a little bit worried about the fact, that I was doing most of the way on my own, but I told them, that this was even better for me and I was really very much enjoying myself on this impressing mountain. And by the way did your porters and especially Elias, the assistant cook, have an eye on me when seeing me on the trail.

Julius and Oforo were very much caring about the group, especially of twelve year old Emily and we all were very much affected how Julius went with her to the summit, by singing all the way up and back to the camp!

I appreciate the way, that Julius and Oforo decided to split up the group for climbing the summit and Godfrey, who accompanied me to the summit was very much supporting me, especially after having reached Stella Point, where I was really exhausted! We reached the summit shortly before sunrise and I will never forget standing on Uhuru Peak and looking down on overclouded Africa, the orange horizon, the sky overloaded with thousands of stars - it was definitely one of the most emotional and unforgettable moments of my life!

I want to say thank you to every single person who was with us on that great trip: the porters did an amazing job, cook Elias provided us with delicious food and his assistance Elias was very much caring about our enjoying the meals (and I also thank him for accompanying me when hiking in front of the group!) and of course big thanks to the guides! You can be very proud of your team!

Also I want to mention, that I very much enjoyed staying in your charming private guesthouse. I felt very comfortable and Mr. Kesse and Phoebe made me feeling at home. Many thanks also to Rose, always friendly, happy and smiling, and who gave me a lift to Arusha and back, whenever I wanted and gave me a very warm welcome! Emmy's briefing was perfect and she gave us the feeling that if anything would happen to us on the mountain, she would be there!

And last but not least I also want to thank you, because as I contacted also other operators, no one provided me with complete and comprehensive information as you did. I will gladly recommend IntoAfrica to anyone who plans to climb Kilimanjaro!

You are welcome to post my comments on your website.

Warmest regards from Wien, Austria

Uschi


----- Original Message -----
From: john hooper
Subject: Re: feedback

Dear Chris

Only too happy to provide feedback.

First and foremost although we did not reach the summit of Kili we did enjoy the experience. The decision not to do the summit was ours entirely and was in no way a reflection on the guides.

Julius and Oforo were absolutely superb as were all the porters, cook, etc on the trek up the mountain. We were extremely pleased not to be put under any pressure when we decided not to do the summit. The trek had been harder than we anticipated and I think our major mistake was not taking Diamox. Perhaps people should be encouraged to take this if their doctor is willing to prescribe it. Had we taken it I think we would have been better able to do the summit.

We were with a wonderful group of people and we had a lot of fun. One other thing that might assist is, I suggested that the water bottles should be filled with hot water on an evening and this meant that after day 2 when I made my suggestion we had hot water bottles to put in our sleeping bags. This certainly proved popular and meant we got a better nights sleep. So for future treks it might be advantageous if the crew were encouraged to fill the water bottles on a night rather than on a morning.

We had a wonderful time. A holiday to remember for the rest of our lives. We would be happy to provide references to any prospective clients you may have.

The only hiccup throughout was perhaps the plumbing at the Guest House but then we appreciated that we could not expect western-style plumbing and it did not detract from our total enjoyment of the trip.

A big thank you to everyone at IntoAfrica for giving us such a splendid time.

Best wishes,
John and Pam Hooper, UK


----- Original Message -----
From: Monica Hahn
Subject: feedback

Hi Chris!

First the short answer. Yes we are home & greatly enjoyed our trip. I'd say it was a trip of a lifetime. I will absolutely send you a full review, & you are most welcome to use any & all comments on the website. I'm just waiting until I get my photos uploaded, because I'd like to offer those to you as well.

Your team is doing you proud and they're all very devoted & loyal to you. And they really did work together like a family. Dennis told us how he was really close to Elias, because when he was a young porter & wet behind the ears Elias took care of him. Dennis, by the way is a real gem. I gather you already know that, but never hurts to reinforce. Did you know that Rose took us (just the ladies) to a "kitchen party?" That was wild. I can see why she doesn't want to get married.

I also wrote songs to occupy my brain on the "great trudge." I'll send you copies of those as well. Might as well get them stuck in someone else's head as well as my own.

We also were lucky in our fellow tourists. Emily on safari was a kindred spirit, and our fellow trekkers were great too. Pam & John (from north of England) told us we were "loovly payple" & that we completely changed their impression of Americans, which we took as a great compliment.

I'll try to get you the feedback tomorrow when I'm back in Denver on a better connection. If I can't upload the pics I'll send that later.

Monica Hahn, Denver, USA


----- Original Message -----
From: Elizabeth Goggin
Subject: Kilimanjaro Feedback

Dear Chris,

I have been meaning to write and thank you for the moving, exciting, and challenging trip up Kilimanjaro you provided. Your staff, especially Julius and Oforo, were unfailingly helpful and considerate. They could manage to motivate us even when we were feeling unenthusiastic and cold by singing or discussing the fascinating and beautiful landscape around us. Despite my lack of natural hiking inclination, I never once thought I couldn't or wouldn't make it to the top, thanks to those two and the assistance of the cooks and porters.

I found your information accurate and thorough. As I think back (and it seems like a long time ago now) the only complaint I can possibly find is that one of the tents had a broken inner zipper. That is a very small thing given the strenuous and involved nature of climbing Kilimanjaro.

My father and I thank you for an excellent trip. If and when I do return to Africa, I would certainly utilize your services again.

Sincerely,
Elizabeth and Peter Goggin


----- Original Message -----
From: Fiona Somerville
To: enquiry@intoafrica.co.uk
Subject: Thank you!

Chris

Thank you to you and the team for organising a fabulous and memorable trip. Emmy and Mr. Kasey (spelling?!) in Arusha were great, as was the food and the guest house. Transfers were smooth and trouble free. Met Patrick when he was there visiting and he was a delight.

Special mention should go to Oforo your guide, who is simply one of the kindest guys I have met and without whom we may well not have got to the top; Elias too for producing some amazing food and to Gabriel who provided service with a smile!

Re. Tips - thank you for your points and we stuck to your recommendations and I think sent everyone away happy. I can't believe the confusion that some people (judging from feedback) seem to be thrown into at the prospect of organised tipping - it's not THAT hard to remember to bring some US$1 and US$5 bills, and frankly over a week, one should always be rounding up to the nearest 5 or 10 anyway, and not pennypinching over whether some hardworking porter gets $23 or $24.

Erna Grasz had the foresight to bring a wodge of envelopes which you might recommend to future guests. We had all the team's names and roles and wrote down the upper of your recommended figures next to each. We divided the total due by four, made a pool of cash and then paid out into the named envelopes. For each porter, any of us could then add extra money out of our own pocket if we thought they had done a good service/carried our bags/done our tent etc. So about 2/3 of them got about US$5 or US$10 over your recommendation, as well as getting some old, and new clothes. We had a little "thank you" and handing-out of envelopes which seemed to be to everyone's satisfaction and bought everyone a beer at the Mweki Gate.

I will be sending photos to Emmy - please could you confirm that I should use the following address: IntoAfrica Eco-Travel Tanzania, P.O. Box 12923, Arusha, Tanzania

Thanks again!

Fiona


----- Original Message -----
From: Silas Holland
To: enquiry@intoafrica.co.uk

chris,i hope you are well...

thanks for such an amazing trip to tanzania... it was truly magical. there are too many things to mention and i am still trying to process them all. the safari was fantastic. our group had a lot of good chemistry and it made the week fly by. dennis was superb.

the kili climb was tough but we all made it up to the top. this was, i think, due in large part to julius and oforo. they were incredible leaders and that really came out clearly on the summit day. julius actually sung (without stopping!) for more than 6 hours to help us get to the top! other guides from other operators were not as dedicated.

on the machame route there were a lot of other more luxe tour operators and we saw groups with dedicated mess tents, actual beds, and private toilets - but our guides came through when it mattered. julius and oforo are very high quality.

i have something to add. in the next batch of information packets you send out, it would be good to mention how cold it gets. i know you talk about it, but i didn't realize it would be so cold at night from the very first day! i wasn't as prepared for that as i should have been. julius was kind enough to lend me a few extra layers. other than that, everything was perfect!

i will definitely be recommending into africa to everyone! you have a great operation! everyone could not have been any nicer...

silas


---- Original Message -----
From: Duncan Bull
Subject: feedback

Chris

I've been meaning to write to you for a while since I got back, but as you can imagine after 4 months of travelling, my friends were eager to hear all the stories! Firstly, by all means quote me on the website (doesn't everyone want their 15 seconds of fame?)

Secondly, I would like to extend my utmost gratitude to every single person who I dealt with over this trip from you in England, to every person at the guest house (especially Kacey and Rose) to every single member of the team on the mountain who made this trip incredibly enjoyable and a perfect end to my gap year travels. Every single element of the trip was handled in an incredibly well organised way and every effort was made to make me feel welcome and at ease. Even when my bag was delayed by the airline, Patrick and Daniel rushed to my aid and sorted everything out with no hassle at all. Especially in completely unfamiliar countries like Kenya and Tanzania it was so helpful to have such kind people to look after me when I ran into problems.

Everything about the trip was made as enjoyable as I think it possibly could have been and I think that was shown by the fact that after not only making it to the summit first before anyone else that morning, me and Liz were the only two people I saw cheering and whooping on the summit, ignoring any effects of altitude we may have had!

One word of warning I would say might be worthwhile to include in your pre-travel notes is to mention something about taking sealed containers up the mountain. I took a bottle of lens cleaning solution that ended up bursting due to the pressure change and leaking in my bag. It didn't cause a problem but it may cause a problem if people were carrying other fluids.

Overall I had an amazing trip, met some fantastic people and rounded off my travels in one of the most enjoyable ways imaginable and I would like to thank everyone involved to allowing that to happen.

Thank you again for all the liasing with my parents etc. over the yellow fever and airline problems, I really appreciate it. I may well be in touch if I ever head out to East Africa again, something I definitely intend to do!

Duncan Bull
UK


----- Original Message -----
From: David Kuskowski
To: IntoAfrica UK Ltd
Subject: Re: feedback

Chris,

We had an absolutely wonderful time and your work in arranging all of the details of our climb, safari, stay at the Guest House, and transportation to and from Nairobi was flawless. It is clear that IntoAfrica is an operation that pays special attention to detail and that works with a team of people who care for and about their clients. I would also be happy for you to refer future clients to me through email or telephone with any questions that they may have.

I must first thank you for all of the communication that you fully-embraced prior to our trip. I had frequent inquiries and you were always prompt, open, and ultimately right on target.

The Guest House was beautiful and the food throughout our entire trip was exceptional. We were somewhat worried about experiencing stomach related issues while in Africa and none of us ever had a problem. The 7 days on Kili were without question filled with some of the most amazing experiences we have ever had and the memories will last forever. We were very pleased with the other climbers in our group and developed some strong connections with them, so much so that the end of the trip was quite difficult because we were not prepared to say goodbye. We had truly become a team and leaving them was somewhat jarring.

Julius was an exceptional guide with his gregarious nature and easy smile. I am glad to have gotten to know him and hope that I will manage to maintain some contact with him. Oforo was a rock of stability and his calm confidence left a great feeling of security. Julius and Oforo are a perfect combination of guides as they compliment each other beautifully. Everything about the climb was great, from the pace to the accommodations, from the support to the conversation, and everything in-between.

The only real feedback that I would recommend would be some more clearly articulated and followed guidelines with respect to tipping at the end of the experience. I understand that tips are gifts and that spelling out exactly what is expected is difficult but our group experienced some anxiety. Here are my suggestions... Julius seemed to want us to pass out individual tips to everyone (guides, cook, assistants, porters, etc.) but none of us were prepared with enough small denominations to divide up the tips appropriately between the 34 people who helped us get to the top. We wrote down the amounts for every person and gave a sum of money to Julius and Oforo to pass out... which worked ok but I do not believe that this is what they wanted us to do. I might suggest including language in the tipping guidelines that would outline the preferred procedure and encourage people to bring enough small denominations so as to allow multiple divisions. Also, the 10% that was included in the guidelines was pretty general, perhaps something that provides average, good and very good suggestions. Chris, I understand that this is probably one of your trickiest issues and it was not a huge deal... just some of my thoughts because this was the only time that we as a group seemed to have some discomfort.

I would recommend IntoAfrica without reservation to anyone considering a trip up Kili and I would even consider doing it again myself. Julius and Oforo are exceptional, the mountain is beautiful and challenging, your insight and advice was on-target, Emmy and Rose were very helpful (Emmy seems to have a great deal of work on her plate... I hope she does not burn-out).

I have copied Ann and my father on this note in case they want to provide any additional feedback.

Thank you again Chris and I hope that the events of the past several weeks in London are not causing you or your family too much anxiety.

David Kuskowski
Port Matilda,
Pennsylvania, USA


From: laura.pearce
To: IntoAfrica UK Ltd
Subject: Re: feedback

Dear Chris Firstly, my apologies for the delay in sending this feedback - things have been unbelievably hectic since our trip.

On behalf of our group, I would like to pass on our thanks for an excellent trip up Kilimanjaro. The organisation of the trip, both in the run up and on the actual trip, was first class and it really made our holiday enjoyable.

A special thank you must be made to the guides - Julius, Oforo and Godfrey, who between them got our whole group to the top, one way or another! We had a great support team too who were superb and we were impressed with the food that we got all through the trip. We really enjoyed staying in the guesthouse at the beginning and end of our climb and were looked after brilliantly. It was the perfect way to begin and end our trip and it also gave us the chance to meet others who had just completed the climb and to get some useful information.

We felt pretty well prepared by the time we started our trip (from the information provided) - the only things we would highlight to others is to have a day pack that is big enough to carry the 3 or 4 litres of water needed for the walking part of each day and a lunch box (as well as the other things needed during the day) and to take US dollar notes in small denominations as it makes things easier when dividing up the tips at the end.

Other random pieces of advice that came out of our trip include:

Thanks again,
Laura


----- Original Message -----
From: Deborah Davis
To: IntoAfrica UK Ltd
Subject: Praise, suggestions, and greetings from Seattle

Hi, Emmy and Chris!

It's been a while since I finished my Kili climb and returned to Seattle, and I have been trying to find time to write. I had a terrific hike--really, really terrific. The hardest part was wrenching myself away from my son Eli, who was sorely disappointed about not being able to climb and begged me not to go! After I finally steeled myself against his teary comments ("Mom, Dad is fun, but it's way more fun when you're with us") he eventually told me I'd made a good decision (to hike) and that he'd have done the same thing himself.

It was certainly a good decision not to take him up the mountain. Healthy, I think he'd have been fine (though Emmy, I know you had your doubts when you saw him--he is a skinny child). But with his persistent cough, I think he'd have had a tough time up in the high, dry cold, and our doctor here agreed with the Arusha physician that it could even have been dangerous.

Emmy, I appreciated that you had contact with a good doctor who was able to see Eli on such short notice. Consulting with him provided Dwight and me with the medical info we needed regarding Eli's health, and I knew that our son would accept the doctor's advice easier than if he thought his parents were just being overprotective.

Back to the hike:

Oforo was a spectacular guide: knowledgeable, caring, experienced, patient, attentive, thoughtful. His quiet, confident, caring manner gave me tremendous assurance whenever I doubted that I would make it to the top. He is a terrific leader, of clients and staff, a great organizer, and a wonderful, gentle soul. It was a delight to hike with him, and I would gladly do another trip with him if such a thing can be arranged.

Fredie, David, and Godfrey were all terrific assistant guides. Like Oforo, they were caring, patient, and attentive, and they were delightful company on the trail. Each of them was well-informed, patient with our questions, and helped to instill confidence. I would be happy to climb again with these three.

Our food was good and plentiful; my main complaint about it is that due to my diminished appetite at altitude, I couldn't eat as much as I would have liked and knew I should!

Hussain, the assistant cook, was a joyful young man who delivered our morning tea and each meal with tremendous grace. He thoughtfully spoke first to Barbra in the mornings, realizing early in the week that she was the only one who woke easily and could manage a coherent reply to his greeting.

Sanga, who set up our tents, and all the porters were a wonderful bunch as well. I appreciated their cheerful applause when we arrived back at Barafu camp after reaching the summit.

In all, they were an excellent crew.

Thank you both again for everything. We hope to climb Kili sometime in the future as a family, so perhaps we will be in touch again.

All the best,
Deborah Davis


----- Original Message -----
From: Brad Wolff
To: 'IntoAfrica UK Ltd'
Subject: RE: feedback

JAMBO Chris and Emmy! We would like to thank your entire team for the trip of a lifetime. We weren't sure what to expect traveling to Tanzania and the continent of Africa for the first time and we have been touched by the people we met and the experience that we had.

Your accommodations at the guesthouse in Arusha were great, but even better was the staff. They did everything possible to make us feel comfortable and to assist us with all of our needs. We felt pampered by the attention and secure that we were well taken care of. We really enjoyed meal times - what a delight to eat at one table and share stories with people from all over the world. And the food . . . CHAKULA KITAMU!

We had a great group for our Kili trip (both the support team and the other travelers). Your team was very attentive and interested in our health and success on the trip. Hats off to the guides - Julius, Oforo, Godfrey and Chimbe - as they were outstanding. They are the reason that a good portion of our group made it to the top as they warmed people's hands, carried excess weight and motivated us. Julius sang for the entire summit trek which was both comforting and motivating. This serves as a powerful memory of Kilimanjaro, probably for our whole group. Asante Sana!!! We vividly remember the warm feeling we had coming down off of the summit to the camp crew as they all clapped and cheered for us having made it. You have a very special team!

We were both really touched by how friendly everyone was, so much so that we wanted to return to the guesthouse for our last night in Africa. Lucky for us we managed to arrive before the next Kili group headed out and we got to see everyone one last time. It felt like a homecoming!

Thank you Rose for your great smile and contagious energy, thank you Mr. Kesse for being a great host and a final thank you to Emmy for spending time with us and allowing us to have a peak into your life in Tanzania.

Thank you for hosting us in your beautiful country. Our experience at the guesthouse and on the Kili climb was truly unforgettable and we would like to pass along our sincere gratitude to your entire team.

Thanks again for everything!

Brad and Trina

-------

Hi Chris,

I include my thanks as well. I don't want to repeat myself - Trina and Brad did an excellent job.

Here are my pix from Tanzania: http://www.mountainelm.com/tanzania.html

Please feel free to use them as promotional material. Please correct me if I said something inaccurate. Adam


------ Original Message -----
From: jannit
To: IntoAfrica UK Ltd
Subject: RE: feedback

Hello Chris! Finally getting around to giving some feedback to you, and truth to be told, I had an fantastic time. Any complaints I could possibly have would be down to my own poor planning. Somehow I assumed that it wouldn't be as cold as it was, and didn't really bring warm enough clothing.

The team was great, with Julius as the main man offering support and kind words the whole way to the top. Would have liked to mention everyone, as they was all great, but its that thing of maybe forgetting a name or two. The food and service at the guest house was superb, and the welcome from Rose...beyond words.

Its odd really, as Kilimanjaro is one of the more adventurous trips I have made, it is also the one where I felt the safest and most taken care of. Does that make sense?? I think to my fellow trekkers it does.

Thank you for getting me to the top of Kili!!

Janniche Toerlen Norway


------ Original Message -----
From: CAROLINE ROWSELL (Steve's partner)
To: IntoAfrica UK Ltd
Subject: Re: feedback

Hello Chris

We only returned home on Thursday so Africa doesn't seem too far away, and Steve is still somewhere up that mountain!!!

In terms of feedback from Steve: I had a really enjoyable trip and would like to congratulate IntoAfrica on the quality of the team in Tanzania who were excellent, very professional, approachable and friendly, and the issue of safety was always at the forefront of the team's approach. Emmy's guesthouse is very homely, and provides an excellent opportunity to meet people beforehand and get to know them. Taking your time and doing the trip over 7 days was the best approach in terms of altitude and fitness, and I would urge anyone considering doing an easier route over a quicker time to seriously think again. Also please make sure that you take the right kit and consider seriously the different terrains you will be travelling through, that said I did the first 4,000ft in shorts, t-shirt and my flipflops so what do I know! The mountain gets really cold at night so a little tip is to take a heat pack (can buy these in outdoor shops) or buy disposable ones such as Curaheat which come in packs of 3 and are excellent for aches and pains or just to share with friends and colleagues. Please also also give away anything you don't need at the end to the staff - they work really hard, and if you can afford to make this trip you can afford to replace kit at the end of the day, many of the quality items we take for granted are just not available locally in Tanzania and even where they are unaffordable. The whole trip was a very humbling experience, realizing how hard the team work in order to make your dreams come true.

Thanks to all your team and good luck for the future.

Steve


----- Original Message -----
From: Margaret McGowan-Smyth
To: enquiry@intoafrica.co.uk
Subject: RE: feedback

Dear Chris,

Well we are now back in the UK but our hearts are still in Africa - this was our first visit and we are hooked. By all means use any of the following comments on the website.

We were five in our group, with a support team of 24, including Julius and Oforo as our guides. Both of these friendly guides were very experienced, relaxed and relaxing and made our trip extremely enjoyable. There was never a point at which any of us were stressed about something not working - the team seemed to work well together and looked after us extremely well, including excellent food by Ludiger. All our team were very positive when we saw them which lead to a very pleasant and harmonious atmosphere the whole time. Clearly the summit night was very difficult, but along with 4 guides in total we were obviously in safe and encouraging hands. At no point did I feel concerned about safety or anything else.

Having a good team really made the trip - we saw several other groups which were not looking happy or together, but one of my aims was to enjoy the whole 7 days and I certainly did.

Being together with the other people in our group at Emmy's charming guesthouse both before we set off (looking a little apprehensive) and after we came back (slightly tanned and with matching t-shirts) meant that the 7 days had a good start and ending. Emmy and her staff are also most helpful, and transferred all of us to our next departure point.

I would not hesitate to recommend Into Africa for anyone thinking of climbing Kilimanjaro - the whole point of your team was to make our trip fantastic, and it was.

Many thanks,
Margaret McGowan-Smyth
Alex Manning


----- Original Message -----
From: Andrew Stainton
Subject: feedback

Hi Chris, just wanted to say I had a great time on both the Kili trek and 7 day safari - and no problems with my back. Thanks for your advice and help - you have a great team representing IntoAfrica in Tanzania.

All the best,
Andy Stainton.


----- Original Message -----
From: Hope, Elizabeth
To: IntoAfrica UK Ltd
Subject: RE: feedback

Dear Chris

Sorry for extreme delay in response.

It never ceases to amaze me - your guys can cook great food at +17,000ft, but my guys in the USA can't fix my E Mail.

Well, where can I start!. The whole Kilimanjaro experience was awesome, thanks might I say entirely to the whole IntoAfrica team. From the welcome "Elizabeth Hope" board held by Rosie at Kili Airport to our departure for Zanzibar, everything was spot on!.

As we were all trek and Kili virgins, we didn't really know what to expect. However, it became quickly apparent that we had a great people with us. All the mountain team were exceptional, from the porters and camp team through assistant guides to guides. We were immediately confident that despite the challenge facing us we had every chance of success.

In terms of how we were looked after, all the team provided everything we needed, and did so with a smile. Never has a bowl of warm water and a hot drink been more welcome as on the early mornings from Machame onwards.

The mountain is truly magnificent and I'm sure she will remain bright in all our memories for a long time.

Particular thanks must go to your team in Arusha for making us so welcome - Dennis, Rosie, Lilian etc (apols for any I have forgotten). I think finally, a big thank YOU, from speaking to you very early on to working out dates, flights etc, your help was invaluable. If we can be of any further help do keep in touch (if prospective clients want to talk through our experience, do feel free to pass on E Mail details).

Good Luck to IntoAfrica, may the future be a bright one.

Regards, Liz, Debs & Sue


----- Original Message -----
From: Robert Sabin
To: 'IntoAfrica UK Ltd'
Subject: RE: feedback

Hi Chris

I was going to contact you anyway to say that I really enjoyed our trip to Tanzania (I'll let Michael answer for himself). I think the plus points for Into Africa were

Anything I would improve on?

I'd have no hesitation in recommending Tanzania as a great country to visit, nor in recommending Into Africa. The trip was varied, full of interest, and we got a friendly reception wherever we were.

Thanks for a great and memorable experience.
Robert Sabin


----- Original Message -----
From: monique huyskes
To: IntoAfrica UK Ltd
Subject: Re: feedback

Dear Chris,

Yes, we are back and we have enjoyed our Africa trip very very much. It's not easy to get back to normal life, we still think about Africa a lot and we spend a lot of time watching our photo's and slides over and over again.

We want to thank everyone of IntoAfrica for a very well organised Kilimanjaro-trip! We had a great trip with a very nice group and we are really happy that we both made it to the summit.

In general, we are very satisfied with the way things were organised. The information we received in advance was useful and the e-mail correspondence with you (including the reminder sent to our hotmail address a couple of days in advance) was pleasant and professional. Emmy and Rose were friendly and helpful. Oforo was a good guide, his pace was just right and he did a great job when the group had to split half way on the summit day, when we had to slow down because Monique had some difficulties following the others. He was very patient and really supported us to reach the summit (about one hour later than the rest of the group).

The rest of the group (cook, assistant guides and porters) was also very good. The food was great and plentiful and everyone was friendly and attentive.

The only thing that might improve is the organisation of the first day. Maybe that with an earlier start in Arusha (about one hour), we also could start earlier with the walk and thereby avoid arriving late in the afternoon.

Assante sana! and all the best,
Kind regards, Theo and Monique


----- Original Message -----
From: Stian Kildal
To: "IntoAfrica UK Ltd"
Subject: FW: feedback

Hello Chris,

No worries. My apologies for being so late in getting back to you. We went to Norway for vacations after our trip to Tanzania, and upon my return to Canada I was thrown into a new job with more responsibilities. The days have just flown by...

Per and I discussed on our way back home however what feedback we would give. It is really hard to come up with much constructive feedback - we were both incredibly happy with our vacation. The main reasons for that being your high level of service throughout; from before/at booking time, while at Emmy's and on the mountain! Please pass our regards to all at Emmy's who went the extra mile making it an enjoyable stay; 'Weileh' for being kind enough give us a tour of Arusha one day. For the pickup service at night in Arusha. For the pickup and dropoff at the busstop. And of course Emmy herself being a "walking-smile". Service at mealtimes was very good as well. Not to speak of the excellent food we enjoyed on our entire trip, including on Kilimanjaro! The guides and porters did a great job of taking us up - all adding up to a true memorable experience. Too bad the minutes at the peak go by so fast...

In terms of constructive feedback I could possibly mention that a somewhat shorter equipment list would have been fine - at least for us. We both realized that we brought along too much gear. Of course this is a highly personal decision and different people may have preferences for what they need and for changing more or less often. :-) For the time at Emmy's House it would have been great with a small TV in the room for the few times you feel like vegetating in preparation for, or in recuperation after, the trek. Catching some BBC news for instance would have been nice.

In short I cannot summarise it in any other way that we were completely satisfied with your service and would be happy to recommend you to anyone we speak to!

I hope your back is better by now!?.... :-)

Kindest regards,
Per and Stian


From: Fabian Simeon
To: IntoAfrica UK Ltd
Subject: AW: feedback

Dear Chris

It is now more than two months after we returned from our beautiful Tanzania trip. We are now used again to our former Swiss life but in our minds we are still very often in Tanzania and all the beautiful places there. Memories are great and you hear already that we really had a good time. A lot of people are interested in climbing Kilimanjaro (some more seriously some less), but to all we recommend your company. Hope it boosts your "Swiss" bookings". So, here is our feedback:

Organisation: very well, easy and uncomplicated booking over internet/email, easy payment procedures, complete, profound and correct information in advance to our travel, all the meeting times and points were correct and we had no trouble at all.

Guides, staff: guides were very competent, friendly and helpful, we never felt unsafe or uneasy, they did a great job, porters cared about our equipment well and were also helpful and friendly.

Food: the cooks did a great job, I never expected in "poor" Africa to eat so good food, every day different meals, healthy and fresh food, no complaints at all about that.

Equipment: we didn't miss a tent, nor did we had to rely on bad equipment, everything is fine and in good state

Problem solving: people find good ways to solve problems and also other people are very helpful for "lost" wazungus :-)

Kilimanjaro: the route is really beautiful, every day you see a different landscape. I think we were lucky with weather as it was not raining nor very windy or cold. at the time when we went up there were not too much people around as our guide told us. What we appreciated extremely much was the "garbage system". In contrast to a lot of other often climbed mountains or visited places in the world Kilimanjaro is clean. Clean means you see no paper, no bottles, no garbage lying around... neither on the camp sites nor on the ways. I really hope also in future people will care so much about this. We saw other places in other countries and we saw extremely awful places as people used nature as garbage and didn't care much about that. Great compliment for all the persons and organisations who take care of their natural resources.

What to add/to change?

We don't think that there are big things to change. As long as people are taking so much care about the clients and the organisation and equipment is as well as we had, we would book immediately again.

Ok, hope our feedback is still useful, even if is arriving very late. I wish you and the whole team of IntoAfrica a good and successful time.

I still would have one question: Can you recommend a reliable and good organisation in Tanzania which helps and supports people in their daily life? Caritative organisations?

Chris, thank you very much!
Sylwia & Fabian


------ Original Message -----
From: "Peter ......."
To: "IntoAfrica UK Ltd"
Subject: Re: feedback

Dear Chris,

We've just arrived back home and, sadly, Africa does indeed seem far away. But, we had a wonderful trip, not in small part due to the superb service and care of your IntoAfrica team.

From my first email to you, to the attention given us by Emmy, Rose and the Kilimanjaro and Safari teams, we have been consistently impressed with the high level of customer care you provide. You have assembled an impressive, highly competent staff, who each went out of their way to provide the best service. I especially want to commend Emmy and Rose for helping make onward travel arrangements, including transport to the airport. They even helped us get our clothes washed! We would not hesitate to recommend you to others, and in fact, left your company info with our Tanzanian friends in Dar es Salaam. They periodically get visitors who ask about Kilimanjaro and Safari tours.

The only things we forgot to get before leaving, were our Kilimanjaro certificates. If possible, we'd like you to send them to our home address.

As to suggestions for improvements, we only have one. We would add dust masks to the list of recommended kit bag items. These would have been especially useful in the Serengeti.

Thanks again for everything. We took quite a few digital photos which we intend to post on a web page.

I'll send a link when ready. Regards (and congrats on your recent wedding! Emmy told us about it), Peter and Gail


From: "randy farmer"
Subject: Re: feedback

Hi Chris:

I said that I would get back to you when I had more time which lately has been in short supply so I'm doing what I think is best. I looked at Mimi and Ellen's feed back and I wish that I could express my self as eloquently as they. I can find nothing more to add to what they both had to say as I feel 100% as they do about both experiences. Sorry if I offended anybody as I was one of the people who has a hard time with porridge on the mountain. [see Tanzania Safaris feedback] I realise that it is a very good choice of foods to start the day with - and there were other options.

All in all an excellent time, well run, good value, would not hesitate to use or recommend IntoAfrica for future trips!!!!

All the best, Randy


From: "msamuel"
Subject: Feedback

Hi Chris -- We were incredibly impressed with your organization, particularly the guides and the rest of the staff.

On Kili, first of all, we were amazed by the number of people we had supporting us. We were particularly pleased to find out that IntoAfrica has weight limits for the porters, especially when we saw how much some of the porters from the other companies were carrying. Damien is an exceptional guide, both in dealing with the clients and in organizing the team. I can honestly say that I don't think I would have made it to the summit without Damien's help and encouragement. We were very impressed with the efficiency with which the porters broke down, moved, and set up camp every day. We were even more impressed that even with all of their hard work, they always took time for a friendly word and a smile. Also, they always managed to find us the best camping spots - away from the crowds, but close to the outhouses. In addition, the food was excellent, varied, and plentiful. Eddiko (sp??) is amazing!

My only suggestion re Kili is that we had asked before we left whether it was possible to rent some gear in Arusha because we were traveling beforehand and did not want to carry heavy stuff. On your recommendation, we brought almost everything we needed. It turns out that it is easy to buy good quality used gear in the market in Arusha (we bought two extra parkas and some scarves) and they sell trekking poles at the Machame gate. While it may be that most people come just for this trip and don't have a problem with carrying stuff, we would have at least like to have known that we could buy gear relatively easily in Arusha.

The safari was equally impressive. Both Franklin and Dennis are excellent guides: knowledgeable, friendly, and organized. Willie (our driver) is amazing at spotting animals. Again, the quality of the gear and food was excellent. We were particularly impressed with the cultural visits especially that the towns we visited were not overtouristed.

All in all we had an excellent time. If you have specific questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

Thanks for all your help,
Mimi Samuel


From: Adrian Warman
Subject: Re: feedback

Dear IntoAfrica,

I was planning to mail you soon and give you some feedback anyway - we only got back on Saturday and I am collecting some of my photos tomorrow.

We had a fantastic trip overall and the week we spent trekking up Kili with Damian and his crew was everything we could have hoped for. On the positive side, the entire team couldn't do enough for us. Damian paced us perfectly and (despite us all having concerns about making it to the summit at some point during the ascent) he got us all there, and timed it so we reached Stella Point exactly at sunrise. We certainly weren't the quickest group, but he and his assistant guides, Joseph and Godfrey, who walked with us were extremely patient. The next thing I must mention is the food. It was fantastic - given that we were at 4000m+ I was frankly astounded to be eating crepes suzettes on day 4, and even more so that our chef, Bremmer (spelling?) had prepared all our meals in his white chefs hat and coat. Please do pass on all of our thanks to Damian and his team again. Emmy was also very helpful, not only in greeting us in Arusha, but also in advising us and answering questions as we finalised our plans after Kili when she was meeting the next group.

On your "what might be improved" question there were only a few niggling things, looking back - none which detracted from our enjoyment of the trip in any way, just things which could be considered for future groups. We were never introduced to our porters and, with so many other groups it was difficult to ever guess as we were en route. In fact, it wasn't until the very end, when we all got on the same bus back to Arusha that we knew exactly who they all were. I appreciate we could have asked Damian at any time, and I know he'd have introduced them all to us, but it might have been nice to make that a routine at the end of the first day, maybe. In a similar vein, the first day was very frustrating. Having met at the Outpost at 8am we didn't start walking until gone noon. There was obviously a lot of paperwork to do with park fees and registrations, etc, but it really did feel like we were hanging around at the Machame gate for very little reason and I think that future groups would benefit from anything which could be done to get walking earlier. For example, I probably spent 10 minutes in the office at the gate writing my name, full UK address and passport number on the back of $1760 worth of travellers cheques which I could easily have done the evening before if I knew.

Like I say, we had a fantastic week and, looking at some of the other groups on the mountain I was glad to be with Damian and IntoAfrica. Damian is genuine, always had our interests at heart and was professional throughout.

I am collecting some of my photos tomorrow (though I think my summit pictures are still in the camera) and will put them on a web page when I have them all. I'll let you know when I've done that, in case you wanted to use any of them for your promotions.

Thank you for your assistance beforehand and in booking. Thank you to all your team for a well worth while trip.

Sincerely, Adrian


From: "thanover"
Subject: Re: feedback

Hello Chris,

You asked for feedback regarding our IntoAfrica portion of the trip. It was fabulous, beyond anything I expected. Of course, the land is amazing and the people everywhere we went were great. I can't say enough nice things about your staff. Emmy, as I'm sure you know, is remarkable. She couldn't have done more. Her welcoming smile and assistance and advice were priceless, far above and beyond the call of duty. For instance, when the bank in Arusha refused to exchange our Kenyan money for Tanzanian, Emmy took care of it. When she heard we were travelling to Zanzibar, she offered to make reservations and arranged for a driver to pick us up on arrival. And so on.

We were equally enthusiastic about Damian. Couldn't have asked for a more professional guide. It became clear very early in the trek that he knew better than we the pace that would get us up the mountain. I was impressed with the way he paid attention to every detail and demanded the best from his crew. From sending a man ahead to get the best campsites, to inspecting our tent after it was set up, right down to having one of the porters clean our boots after the summit -- he thought of everything! On top of all that, he's just plain a nice guy. Having him join us at mealtimes added immensely to the richness of the experience. We got to know one another and had some intensely interesting conversations. And in the face of a minor medical emergency, Damian was calm, professional, and knew just what to do. Our trust in him was complete. But beyond that, we feel that we made a friend. At the end of our week together, when he had the crew sing Kilimanjaro, I was downright misty eyed.

Can I make any suggestions for improvements? No, sorry. You folks are doing a great job, and we haven't been hesitating to inform anyone who will listen. In fact, after listening to us rave about the safari, a couple of Englishmen who'd planned on only the Kili trek went ahead and signed on for the safari as well. Add us to your already large list of immensely pleased customers.

We'd be happy to give references to potential clients. Feel free to give out our e-mail address.

Thanks ever so much, Lorraine Hanover


From: "Beaulieu, Lise"
Subject: RE: Tanzania feedback

Hi Chris,

I apologize for not getting back to you, it was certainly on my mind quite a few times, but getting back into the swing of things seemed to take over. Thank you so much for organizing such an incredible trip for us! You and the rest of the great crew that makes up IntoAfrica delivered on everything you said you would. I think one of our main concerns initially was that someone would be there to pick us up when you said they would, and they were!

Emmy was great, taking us out for dinner when we arrived in Arusha and showing us around the city and villages. Joseph, Willy and Elias were great fun on our Safari. I feel that being the only clients on our Safari really helped to getting to know these guys and getting some insights into Tanzanian life from their perspective. As a guide Joseph was professional, knowledgeable and always made us feel comfortable.

On our Kili trip I felt in good hands with Nicholas running the show. Again, his experience and professionalism were self evident. He worked with all the porters smoothly and you could tell that he was always making sure things were being done properly and also taking care of his staff along with us. His energy and focus during the last few hours of the climb definitely helped us get to the top of the Uhuru peak. Our only comment during the Kili climb was on the Tipping. This is not a criticism by any means, more because you asked for feedback. We had budgeted our tips on the Kili climb based on the information in the Lonely Planet Guide. Our budget for porters was $15 day with more going to Nicholas according to all his extra responsibilities and to Elias our cook. We spoke to Nicholas about tipping to make sure we would be giving enough and he told us that on Machame treks the porters usually expect a base tip of $25 each or up, given the longer length of the trek and increased difficulty. But Nicholas was very quick to stress that really, each person should give what they truly feel is appropriate and what they can afford. From our point of view, we were extremely happy with the service and wanted to make sure that we gave accordingly. The last thing we wanted was to have a great trip and the porters thinking we weren't happy because our tip was less than they were used to. The issue while on the mountain came down to how much actual cash we had brought with us on the climb. Most of our money was in Traveler's cheques, so we pooled what American and Tanzanian cash we had to give each porter $25 and to give more to our very deserving assistant guide, Komred, Nicholas and Elias. This in no way changed our enjoyment of the Trek and we could afford it, it was just more the logistics of having the cash to give to everyone at the end of the trek.

On another note that I think you would like to hear, is that the guys themselves whether it was Joseph, Willy or Nicholas, were very complimentary about working for IntoAfrica. Nicholas especially talked about some of his experiences with working for other companies and had a lot of respect for the ethics of IntoAfrica. This in turn made us feel good because we knew our money was going to the right place.

For Darren and I, the highlight of our trip was the cultural excursions. These, I think, really gave us some insights into Tanzania and will leave the most lasting impressions long after I'm thinking about lions or mountains. Darren and I wanted to leave a more lasting contribution to Tanzania through either sponsoring a child through a non-denominational aid organization or the like. If you have some recommendations on effective and reputable organizations to donate money to we'd like to hear it. Our choices through Canadian agencies would probably be Foster Parents Plan or USC Canada.

My comments weren't exactly brief, but I wanted you to know how pleased we were.

If you are ever going to be in the neighbourhood of Western Canada please send me an email. There is so much beautiful country here that we would love to show you! In regards to Rock Climbing we could at the very least, point you in the right direction. (that would be "up" no doubt)

:-)

Lise Beaulieu


From: Mike Killingley
HSBC Bank Team, Sheffield, UK

Chris,

Some thoughts on our trip. I do not think there is much in here that I did not discuss whilst there. I will not start a day-by-day account - I might never finish! Just a few deadlines. The whole team that supported us was great. The food was exceptional. We changed the itinerary - no day spent exploring the Shira plateau, rather we kept moving forward, putting an extra night in at Karanga valley. The summit ascent saw us arriving at the top in perfect time to see the sky lighten and the sun rise. And we were ALL there! Descent went OK and back to the Meru View lodge. Game viewing was good - we made a 6.15 start and back for brunch (excellent) at 11.30. Rest and a swim before leaving at 3.30 for a later drive up to the hippo pool and around. A good last night meal.

A relaxing morning, leaving at around 11 for Arusha. Visit to the craft centre and other shopping venues before departure for the hotel and (reluctantly) home. KLM managed to loose one case - it has still not turned up!

Thanks again to all the Into Africa team. We are copying photos promised to some of the gang and you can have a viewing too if you wish. I am happy to take on the role of honorary marketing assistant if you want to put a experienced customer in front of potential clients. Any other points you want me to comment on just let me know.

Kind regards
Mike Killingley


Dear Chris,

Yes we're back and the weather's not brilliant!!! Unlike the Kili climb and the safari. I know that Emmy got fed up of us telling her that everything went brilliantly and everything was wonderful, but it was. Nicholous and Robert were incredibly patient with us on the last ascent, and the porters were great. Nothing at all to complain about.

The safari was wonderful again. Definitely worth the trip. Our only regret was that we didin't have enough time to do more of the cultural activities. I'll get more feed back from Jane and let you know if she has anything to add.

Thanks, Jag.

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