Hello trekkers,

 

I am taking the liberty of sending this mail in order to hold a promise i made to MATATA to help him to find some clients. This i do with pleasure.

I dealt with MATATA for a groupe of 11 people through the internet and he made a proposal for
the MACHAME route trek in 6 days 5 nights that he maintained perfectly. The proposal included transport to and from Jomo Kenyata plus  two nights at the hotel in Moshi. The hotel was not luxurious but correct and clean. The rooms were equiped with TV, fan, mosquito nets, private WC and shower with hot water. The bedding was decent and clean. The restaurant was cheap, the food good and generous. The price around 5000 TS for a 2 courses menu + 1 drink. During the trek we were lodged under clean tents. We had a mess tent equipped with chairs and tables. We ate (3 times a day) off tin plates which were always very clean. The food varied, was always well prepared, generously served, and well balanced. (Low sugar and fresh fruits at each meal)and really hot.
MATATA was present durin the meals an listen to us when we had to criticize something. We had as much as we wanted, tea or coffee served in thick earthenware mugs which held the heat. We had water in bottles until the forth day. After we got mountain water cleaned with micropur. If all of us had been a bit disturbed, no one had a real tourista. An immodium pill was enough to bring things back to normal.

MATATA perfectly manages his team (many porters are from his family). Twice I have the
recollection of witnessing porters fighting amongst themselves in the neighbouring trekking teams. I can imagine what the tourist must have felt... But on our group, nothing happened at all. On the contrary we had a wonderfull contact with the porters, all of them were very friendly and amicable. The most incredible was Ali the cook.

Out of the 11 of us on the mountain, 9 reached the summit. Some, included myself, were not strong sportsmen either. I think that our good preparation on the kili slopes and an intelligent management of our physical and psychological possibilities by MATATA brought us to reach the Uhuru peak. A moment I will never forget. The two who did not arrive to the summit were my wife who unfortunately twisted her foot at the bottom of Barranco wall and a colleague who refused to eat because of the altitude and therefore became weaker each day . They came to Barafu camp (4600 m) and had an escort  down to wait for us at Millenium camp. I asked MATATA not to organize a tip ceremony. We gave him 80 USD per person (It is a bit high but we were very satisfied)  and he shared the money with his team. It was discreet and we did not once feel pressured.

 

For the safari we were only 4 tourists. We had a driver/guide and a cook. We left Moshi at 9 AM with a 4WD in good condition to reach Twiga camp close by Manyara lake park where we arrived arround noon. We had lunch and then left for a game drive in the park for the whole of the afternoon. The place is absolutely wonderfull at the bottom of the rift valley and we saw many animals from very close. Twiga camp was equipped with a pool, a bar, showers and toilets. The only problem was the mosquitoes, but with some spray it was OK. Don't forget where you are...

The second day we left Twiga camp to drop the cook and the equipments off at Simba camp on
the rim of N'Gorongoro crater. This camp is quite different (toilets not to be used by sensible souls...) but I recommend do it because it is very close by the road that brings you to the crater. Many tourists do stay there. It's altitude is over 2000 meters and the nights are fresh and mosquitoes free. So you really can rest.(Foresee a polar jacket for the evening). If you have the chance as my wife did, may be you will see a group of elephants passing through the camp at 3 o'clock in the morning.
After dropping off the cook we proceed to Olduvaï gorges through the Masaï country. We saw a big groupe of giraffes and some orix, zebras and many gazelles. We had lunch at Olduvaï and came back after visiting a Masaï village ( a bit of a tourist trap but the pictures we took are wonderfull, do not zap). In the afternoon we had full tour of N'Gorongoro crater. A visit we never will forget. An impression of beginning of the earth. We had the chance to see all the main animals (lion, rhino, guepard etc...) because our guide, Hugh was his name, was very professionnal. In the evening we got the best meal we ever had in Tanzania. Thanks again Ali...

 

The 3rd day the program scheduled a visit to a snake park. My wife cannot bare them, so we
proceed directly back to Moshi to have lunch and take a good shower. Matata called us every evening to know if we were satisfied. It is clear that if he is not  present with us himself, he follows it through personnaly.

 

My experience with Matata tours is something that I warmly recommend.

 

Georges


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