One of the best and most memorable experiences of my life was the trip I took with my family to Tanzania in December 2010-January 2011.
Our guide for the trip was Rob Chekwaze of Everlasting Travel, a natively-owned and Tanzania-based travel company. In fact, Rob was much more than a guide. Long before we set foot in Tanzania, Rob helped us design an unforgettable custom trip tailored to the interests of every member of my family, while also taking into account our desire to travel in a way that was respectful of Tanzania and its wildlife, lands, and people.
We began working with Rob five months before we departed on the trip itself. Although we were in the United States and he was in Tanzania, Rob was extremely responsive with information and answers to our questions. I’m not sure how much he slept, because there never seemed to be any problem with the eight-hour time difference! As we asked questions, he provided insights into every aspect of our trip, including out-of-the-way options that relied on his in-country knowledge. That made it easy for us to understand every possibility and decide what worked for us.
But it was on the trip itself that we realized how lucky we were to have Rob as our guide. In addition to his years of experience guiding wildlife Safaris and climbing trips, Rob is a trained naturalist. Over the eight days we spent together, Rob taught us – with infinite patience and enthusiasm -- about each animal and its role in the natural ecosystem of the Serengeti. Although I am not a birder, my brother-in-law is, and was in awe of Rob’s knowledge of the birds of Tanzania. I wish every person who travels to the national parks of Tanzania could have the rich experience that we had.
Rob and the rest of our amazing crew made sure our trip was safe and comfortable. We believe we had the best driver in the country, and on some of the roads we travelled, we were very glad of that! Our cook was wonderful, and created meals for us that seemed impossible for a Safari. We felt very safe and well taken care at every point.
When I began the trip, I thought it would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but now, in large part thanks to Rob and Everlasting Tanzania Travel, I am thinking that I would like to return. I would recommend them to anyone who wants to experience the best that Tanzania has to offer.
Hi Rob, Said, Sam, Sabas and all the gang....
It is hard to believe that we have been home a week now and that you have all been back up to the top of your stunningly beautiful and majestically Kilimanjaro with another group of school kids. Yesterday evening, the St Joseph's Kili gang met in the school and we did a slide show of photos.... all of the youngsters are still 'on a high' (as are we 'Mamas'!!) and there was lots of chatter and stories recounted about you all. It was an amazing
trip.. I just wanted to drop you a wee note to say a HUGE 'Thank you' to you and your team of porters; you were fantastic! I know that this kind of a trip does not operate efficiently without a great deal of organization and pre-planning taking place in advance 'behind the scenes' and the smoothness with which each day unfolded is testament to your excellent organizational abilities. But perhaps above all three things stand out for me....
1. The wonderful friendliness and warm welcomes we received from every person on your team; from the moment we arrived at the airport to the spontaneous songs and dances that burst from the porters as we arrived into various camps and en route during the treks. I shall never forget our first day, rounding the corner in the forest to see this magnificent table all set out for lunch under the canopy of trees and the fantastic musical welcome from the porters - it was an incredible first impression! The jovial 'Jambos' as the porters strode past us with happy smiles carrying loads that would have made my knees buckle and the immediate offer to help in any way they could - NOTHING seemed too much trouble and EVERYTHING was done with a cheerful smile and gay laughter.
2. The little touches throughout - I've travelled with a number of other Trekking Companies around the world but Everlasting Tanzania has gone straight to the Number 1 position in my experience! Some of your thoughtful little touches' were really fantastic - Tea/coffee brought to your tent when you wake up....the bowl of warm water morning and evening....the Masai blanket...the chemical toilets (such luxury!! Argentinian, Nepal & Tibet Trekking companies don't offer that!!)...the porters who took your bag from you and personally escorted you to your tent...the girls would probably add, the provision of ginger tea on summit night and for us 'oldies' the tea that night was so welcome!!
3. The wealth of knowledge of all the guides and your obvious passion and love of the mountains, nature, flora, fauna and history of your country and its peoples. You brought your country's beauty to life for me and gave mean insight into the hearts of your people.
Speaking to each of you individually at different times throughout the trip, each of you voiced the catalyst that motivated you to set up Everlasting Tanzania Ltd....reiterating the importance of 'making clients happy and incorporating special touches to help do that' - well, you certainly live your mantra - it was an incredible experience from start to finish, thank you. Without question, I will (and have already!!) recommended Everlasting Tanzania to friends who wish to climb Kili and/or do a safari in Tanzania. With warm regards and fond memories of a fantastic trip!
St Joseph's School
Hello ETT! Just got done hiking Himalayas and I just wanted to say your level of service set the bar high and can't be exceeded hope all is well!
USA.Kili Trek Feb 2011.
Not only was he very helpful, friendly and knowledgeable; the entire safari way out performed my expectations. Our guide was great, our cook was fantastic (especially considering I'm a vegan)ETT absolutely delivered a unique and authentic safari experience. Because most companies don't go to the Northern Serengeti, we were able to see sites and wildlife that most people don't get to view on their ordinary safaris and you get to have one on one time with the animals- without 20 other vehicles hovering around.
Karrisa Long, Minnesota
Migration Safari Aug 2013.
My partner and I reached the summit in July 2013. It was a phenomenal trip of a lifetime. We were fortunate enough to find amongst circus of companies Everlasting Tanzania Travels. They made the trip an unforgettable one- taking care of every detail, making it smooth and safe at all times- plus entertaining us with the best porters singing and dancing. They were probably the most professional team on the mountain. I stress that they were a team, a happy team, and this resulted in a great atmosphere for us climbers.
Daphne Yeo and Tim Wooley,
Australia,Kili Trek June 2013.
As a guide and the director of Everlasting Tanzania Travels, Rob loves the world he showed us that much and more - his love, wonder, and passion ignite in all who travel with this company.
Wildlife Safari,Dec 2013
Our trip with Kilimanjaro ETT was a phenomenal, once in a lifetime experience. Their team tended to every detail and did an excellent job in all areas: From helping us plan our safari and climb to organizing a great team, providing outstanding health and safety measures, preparing excellent meals and sharing a wealth of information on Tanzania's wildlife and culture.
I cannot imagine a way in which this trip could have been any better. I would gladly recommend Everlasting Tanzania to friends and family."
Thorben Andreas Scheidegger,
Switzerland,Kili Trek July 2012
I traveled to Tanzania in September 2012 with Everlasting Tanzania Travels to climb Kilimanjaro. I also spent a few extra days on Safari and visiting the area around Arusha.
From the moment we landed at Kilimanjaro Airport to the day we left when several of the team came to see us off, the care and attention we got was extraordinary and often humbling. Understandably, as we were setting out to conquer Africa’s highest mountain, many of us were a little nervous about what to expect, but we honestly could not have been in better hands. We were left in little doubt that every single member of the team out there was determined to help us toachieve our goal of reaching the summit and to make the whole experience an enjoyable and life changing one. From the guys who were with us during our days in Arusha and on safari to the crew who climbed with us, all the guides and porters, every single one of them were the most amazing men and a privilege to meet. They say Africa changes you, I for one can say it does, in some many unforgettable and positive ways. So if you’re thinking of visiting their beautiful country, to go on Safari, to climb Kilimanjaro or even both, I could not recommend Everlasting Tanzania Travels enough.
I’ve made friends for life there, and I’m already planning my return visit!
Kilimanjaro Climb, Sept 2012.
I cannot recommend Everlasting Tanzania Travels highly enough. They contributed in no small part to what was the best holiday of my life – climbing Kilimanjaro. The team led by Rob and Sam are absolute professionals; they come with significant experience of leading large groups up the extraordinary Kilimanjaro.
I was pleasantly surprised by just how good the food was throughout the trip and how comfortable the tents were – no mean feat when you’re up one of the world’s tallest mountains. I hope some day soon to climb Kilimanjaro again and I will certainly be looking to Everlasting Tanzania to guide me up the mountain!
China Kili Climb Sep 2011.
This is the best travel experience I have ever had. The pre-trip information was comprehensive and complete and I felt like I had all the information I needed. The service in Tanzania was fantastic and I have never been treated so well by a travel/tour operator in my life. Don’t change a thing! I would definitely recommend you all to friends. In fact, I can’t wait for someone I know to tell me they’re interested in climbing so that I can tell them about how great you are. I can’t say enough great things about our trip!
Kate Shearer(Kili Trek Feb 2014)
I cannot imagine a better Serengeti Safari than that provided with Everlasting Tanzania Travels. My husband and I have traveled extensively in many countries throughout East, Southern, and West Africa, and Rob and the crew at Everlasting Tanzania is by far the most professional and thoughtful tour company we have encountered in our many years of travel. From Ndutu, to Serengeti, and Ngorogoro our 7 day adventure was custom designed to meet all of our requests.
Rob and Sami somehow made it possible to see all of the Serengeti's greatest attractions and animals without making us feel like we were in a crowd. We saw all of the Big Five and more: Rhino, Leopard, Lion, Buffalo, Elephant, Cheetah and even the rare endangered African Wild Dogs. The skill and expertise of the company's knowledge of the Serengeti clearly reaped dividends for our experience. We would literally go for hours on end without even seeing another safari vehicle...which is quite a rare feat in such a busy park. Sami and Rob were skilled and knowledgeable and truly dedicated to teaching us about the Serengeti.
Not only was our trip filled with animals, it was filled with fun! Everlasting Tanzania went above and beyond to cater to us and make our experience a real vacation. The accommodations were remarkable and were hand-selected to meet our specifications, and the food was delicious.
The safari jeep was incredibly comfortable and entirely unique and perfect for taking photos of the amazing wildlife we saw on our way. Furthermore, Rob is an ambassador of local culture and arranged some amazing and entirely unique experiences that matched our interests. From champagne to magnetic shifting sand dunes our experience was one of a kind and never to be replicated--and all on a remarkable budget. I'm still not quite sure how he made that possible! He was committed to us and our vacation in a way that I cannot imagine from any other tour company.
There are some things in life, like the vastness of the Serengeti, that cannot be adequately described with words. Without too much hyperbole, I would classify our experience with Everlasting Tanzania in that same way. Having a locally owned and operated company take you through this amazing country is the only way to go for so many reasons. And as far as I am concerned, there is not a better one than Rob and Everlasting Tanzania. You will never regret your decision to spend your precious hours in Tanzania with this group.
Sarah, Janet & Nick,USA
Migration Safari April 2014