Mt Meru feedback


(This first feedback here is in German - more English ones below)

Horst Gloth
Mülheim an der Ruhr
12.05.05

Hallo Chris,

Gerne schreibe ich Dir unsere Eindrücke von unserem Urlaub mit IntoAfrika in Tanzania.

Wir kamen mit der Spätmaschine nach 22.00 Uhr am Kilimanjaro Airport an. Der Transfer nach Arusha war von IntoAfrika für uns bestens organisiert.Im Guesthaus wurden wir von freundlichen Menschen erwartet und betreut.

Die beiden nächsten Tage verbrachten wir mit Sightseeing in Arusha und Umgebung. Dank der wirklich hervorragenden Betreuung durch die örtlichen Mitarbeiter von IntoAfrika wurden auch diese beiden Tage ein Erlebnis für uns.

Dann ging es zum Mt. Meru.

Es war anstrengend aber für uns ein herrliches Erlebnis diesen Berg in dieser einmaligen Natur zu besteigen. Auch hier können wir erklären, dass von der Begleitmannschaft alles getan wurde um uns den Aufstieg und die Übernachtungen so angenehm wie möglich zu machen. Nach Rückkehr ins Guesthaus starteten wir am nächsten Morgen in zur Safari in den Ngorongoro Krater, die Serengeti, den Lake Manyara und zu den Maasai nach Longido.

Diese Woche brachte uns Eindrücke und Erlebnisse, die wir in der heutigen Zeit nicht mehr für möglich gehalten hatten.

Natürlich kennt man in Deutschland viele Fernsehbilder aus diesen Gebieten aber die Wirklichkeit übertrifft dies alles um ein Vielfaches. Auch hier ist die gute Organisation, Betreuung und die hervorragende Ortskenntnis durch die Mitarbeiter von Intoafrika besonders hervorzuheben.

Grundsätzlich möchte ich zum Urlaub mit IntoAfrika noch folgendes erklären.

Es ist der bessere Weg mit einer lokalen Agentur zu reisen um die Menschen vor Ort an den Erlösen durch den Tourismus besser zu beteiligen. Ich kann sagen, dass wir zu keiner Zeit Europäische Reiseleitung oder Organisation vermisst haben. Im Gegenteil hatten wir oft das Gefühl mit unserem Weg näher an der afrikanischen Natur und dem Leben in Afrika zu sein.

Wir konnten an verschiedenen Orten während unserer Reise die von IntoAfrika unterstützten Projekte besuchen. Es war sehr beeindruckend, was hier mit relativ geringen Mitteln geleistet wurde und wird.

Es sollte häufiger angestrebt werden, in Afrika Afrikanern mit in Afrika verdientem Geld helfen.

Für uns war dies alles sehr beeindruckend und wird unvergesslich bleiben. Bleibe gesund Chris und weiter viel Erfolg in Afrika.

Alles Gute
Gisela und Horst Gloth


Dear Chris and the IntoAfrica team,

We finished our trip with the Mount Meru trek. While we're fairly comfortable hiking at home, we were ill prepared for the hike up Mt. Meru. Although we have no regrets, we would recommend that those interested in this trek be in fairly good shape and at least have some experience hiking in the mountains. (Especially if, like my parents, you belong to the over 50 age demographic.) We were also pleased that we left this trek until the end of our trip, as we were all a bit stiff for a few days afterwards and didn't mind the lengthy flight home nearly as much as usual.

We had previously hiked up to the first camp on Mt. Kilimanjaro, and so were quite impressed by our first day's hike on Mt. Meru. It was much prettier and there was more wildlife to see. Our guide, David, and the park ranger, Mahundi, who accompanied us, were very knowledgeable and very patient with our slow pace. In comparison, the cook, cook's assistant and three porters that it took to get us up the mountain, made it from one camp to the next in record time, even though they carried enormous bundles on their heads! Although the cook offered to boil water for us, we were glad to have brought a purifier with us, which hopefully saved both time and weight for our crew. We did wish we had brought more bottles with us to carry water during the hike.

We didn't make it to the summit, but were pleased to have made it to Little Meru and to Rhino Point to see the sunrise over Mt. Kilimanjaro. Probably, the summit would have been attainable if we had done a 4-day instead of the 3-day trek. However, the best part of this experience was definitely our return to Arusha Guest House, where a warm shower and a delicious supper were waiting for us. Thank you all for making our trip a memorable one.

Sincerely,
Robert, Shirley & Venita Harris


----- Original Message -----
From: Gus M. Garmel, MD
To: enquiry@intoafrica.co.uk
Sent: Friday, October 15, 2004 3:48 PM
Subject: Comments/feedback from Gus Garmel

Dear IntoAfrica

What an amazing trip! Laura Kerr (spouse) and I had a tremendous time. Let me share some of my comments.

First, the scheduled events were well-timed and really fantastic! We flew in and stayed off-site for two nights. We were picked up on time, which made things really nice. Easy drive to Emmy's place.

Dennis (our guide on the safari) was so good that we asked that he be our guide on the Mt. Meru climb, which we loved!

The transition from safari to Mt Meru climb was great! Emmy was super-nice, and gave us instructions. She was available that night between, and we had enough time to relax, clean some clothes, and prepare for our Mt Meru climb. We were able to store extra luggage at the hotel, and came back from Meru and stayed one extra night. Also, Emmy arranged for us to visit AICC hospital, where we donated some medical supplies and met the staff (I am a physician in the US). That was very nice too.

Our Meru experience topped off a beautiful week, and although the cost was higher since it was just Laura and me, we enjoyed our companionship and that of Dennis and Michael (Ranger). He is a special person; please say hello to him for us.

It was truly amazing as a trip, and we hope to come back to Africa in the future. When we do, we will certainly use your company again!

Thanks for a wonderful experience.

Gus Garmel and Laura Kerr
California, USA


----- Original Message -----
From: Wace, Conrad
To: IntoAfrica UK Ltd
Sent: Thurs, September 25, 2003 7:08 PM
Subject: RE: feedback

Dear Chris,

So my high level feedback remains the same .. ie

>> We had an absolutely superb time! >> Your team on the ground in Tanzania were first class! >> The mountains and the countryside were great - but the thing that made the trip really special were the people. Here are some other comments:

From George: I thought the organisation was excellent. Emmy and her team couldn't have been more helpful. The team who looked after us on the "hills" were superb. I don't think there could be many guides better than Julius or Oforo, I can't think of any reason to criticise them. If anyone asked me to recommend IntoAfrica I'd have no hesitation.

From Dave Lee: Don't really have much to add to the Into Africa comments column, other than everything was done excellently.

From Gordon: not much to say other than it was a brilliant experience. I thought it was very well organised and the staff were all excellent. I think they would struggle to better the holiday in anyway. A big thanks to them all.

I also got many other verbal comments that echo the sentiments expressed above. All in all we were very very happy with our trip and we were delighted that we chose IntoAfrica. In particular the food on the mountain was absolutely superb. Our compliments again to Elias and Ludiga!

However - I guess their are some aspects of our experience that we can share with you that might help you in terms of setting peoples expectations and providing advice via your FAQ's page. So - in no particular order feedback and comments from the party:

  1. . State of route up through the forest. Knee length gaiters are a must unless the conditions were just exceptionally bad for us.
  2. More should be made of the dust factor. Again it was far worse than people expected. People should be advised that they need to consider ways of avoiding inhaling so much. It hit some people quite badly.
  3. Those who were on their first trip to East Africa were taken aback by how hard it is to change TC's at banks etc. The suggestion is that people are made aware that whilst taking TC's provides some protection against loss/theft etc .. it also introduces quite alot of extra hassle -- most people said if they were going again they'd take TC's to pay for the balance owing for the trek - but cash for everything else.
  4. Tips -- whilst everyone had budgeted for tips -- we did not have the small denominations we'd collectively need to provide all the smallish tips for porters etc. Fortunately I recognised this would be an issue after the Meru trip and asked Emmy to bring everyone $100 in small denominations (she acted as our banker!!) ... but it might be mentioning this issue on your Tips info sheet.

That's it! Hope the above is useful -- frankly these things are very minor -- however I guess the comments might help you to make things even better!! Couple of other things ...

I made a video of the holiday - very happy to let you have a copy. I mentioned this to Emmy - she seemed keen. It might help you with your marketing efforts.

Dennis mentioned he may be coming to the UK at some stage. I invited him to visit us -- we'll take him as our guest walking in the Lake District if he's interested.

Finally - I'd have no hesitation at all in providing references etc if that would be helpful. You have my agreement in advance to provide my email address and telephone number to anyone who wishes to discuss my experiences in Tanzania with your company.

I'll call you next week sometime to close the loop. Hope you have a good trip back to UK. A big thank you again - Talk soon.

Conrad.

Emmy: Please say Hi to everyone - I hope you're all keeping well. I'll be in touch - and will be sending 'photos etc as promised.

All the best - Conrad.


Reference sent to Lonely Planet and forwarded to us:

From: Ruth Clark
Cc: "'enquiry@intoafrica.co.uk'"
Subject: Tanzanian Honeymoon
Date: Thu, 12 Oct 2000 10:43:38 +0100

Dear Lonely Planet, We have enjoyed an excellent honeymoon in Tanzania, with the aid of your guidebook, and am writing to praise the services of IntoAfrica, whose name we got from the Meru and Kilimanjaro section. The service they provided from booking and information, to the friendly welcome in Arusha (after a 6 hour bus ride from Nairobi!), to the climb up Meru was fantastic, and we did not have to worry about anything.

Our guide (Robert) was helpful and supportive with our bid to get to the top, but tempered this with common sense and experience (unfortunately only one of us made it all the way). He also gave us an insight into life in Tanzania, which meant we learnt as much about the country as we did about the mountain.

My only advice with your guidebook would be to make it clearer that US$ in cash are indispensible, as nobody is interested in local currency or Sterling. We were taken somewhat unawares (and with only $ Travellers Cheques), as we foolishly thought the situation would be similar to South Africa which we visited last year.

Richard and Ruth Harper

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