Safari Operator Review
Since Safari in Tanzania is probably going to be a trip of your lifetime, I have decided to post a review of Shadows of Africa Safari operator I used twice for safari in Tanzania and both times had an unforgettable safari experience in Tanzanian national parks.
Mainly because they are relatively new company and there are no reviews on Internet yet, and partly because I want to share good safari operator that will for sure not disappoint you!
Looking for reasonably good safari company can be overwhelming task due to so many safari providers as well as mixed reviews on travel sites. I exactly know how it feels like doing a research among countless selection of safari operators, looking for reviews on Internet, worrying if there are true or scam sites offering safaris, will the vehicle be ok, food ok, so if you are looking a safari tour operator in Tanzania, read on as this post might help you save a lot of time.
Among all requests I sent to many safari operators at the time of my search for first safari this company was one of the most responsive and flexible in the creation of safari itinerary. Here are the factors that made me book with Shadows of Africa.
Before the Safari
Email communication – from the first request sent to Shadows of Africa I was amazed by prompt response from company representative who actually listened to my requests as well as questions and offered me several options according to my given budget.
In addition Shadows of Africa staff was available for my countless questions also on Skype where w could finalize my safari plans and got some extra directions and tips about travel to Tanzania.
Payment – safari cost is not small therefore the huge worry I had as first timer buying safari, was that my wired deposit for safari to Tanzania will be transferred without problems. Shadows of Africa kept me informed about the received payment also provided me immediately with written confirmation that my safari money was received along with deposit receipt.
Coming to Tanzania – I was greeted by Shadows of Africa representative Rozy who kindly greeted me and helped me with first steps in Arusha. We also had briefing about safari one day prior departure where I paid the outstanding balance, got additional telephone numbers in case of emergency…
Safari Experience – Shadows of Africa Safaris driver and guide picked me up on agreed time in Arusha. Safari driver was also the guide during safari and was outstandingly avid about wildlife we saw on safari; he was a resourceful source of information as well as about cultural questions, daily life in Tanzania…
He knew the hot spots where the animals like lions and cheetahs usually hang out! I have learned that all Shadows of Africa drivers have guide license and wildlife training along with mechanical skills, which is perfect mix that makes a good safari guide and driver.
Flying doctors Insurance in case of emergency included in safari price – this I find a nice gesture that Shadows of Africa take care of their safari guests (probably charged in the whole price) by including this medical insurance. I was already insured by travel insurance, but knowing that I have free rescue plane flight included in the price was good for the peace of the mind.
Shadows of Africa has old Toyota Landcruiser vehicles with spare couple of tires – although we didn’t use them. When you are looking for safari you have to know that roads are extremely bumpy and vehicles are made for driving in rough conditions.
Car was old but had fairly comfortable seats, a simple refilling station for camera batteries which was excellent as on safari you will make so many pictures that camera batteries will need an instant recharge during safari. Although no seat belts. You can even bring your laptop with you and transfer photos from camera card while on safari.
Food on Safari in Tanzania
First time I was in a budget lodge in Karatu, so I had my dinner and breakfast in the lodge,while on camping safari this year we had a cook that cooked fairly good food. Don’t be afraid you will eat beans on camping safari; they bring table, camping chairs and fresh food bought on the market.
For breakfast we had everything from fruit to pancakes, omelets, sausages, bread, coffee, cacao, milk, tea… If you have any special requests just tell Shadows of Africa Safaris staff when arranging safari and you can be sure they will take your requests seriously. Lunch boxes are made every day from fresh ingredients and usually consist of meat, sandwich, juice, fruit, tea, and coffee. It is a picnic model.
After Safari Service
I decided to prolong a couple of days in Arusha, so Shadows of Africa Safaris provided me with reliable local that showed me around Arusha town and also took me to the orphanage I wanted to see.
What I was really grateful was that Shadows of Africa kept in touch with me even though I was travelling on my own throughout Tanzania after safari, contacting me regularly by phone if everything is ok, if I needed anything I was always able to call them for help. They helped me arrange and book my Zanzibar accommodation for lower price as I would get it if I booked on my own.
So to conclude this Shadows of Africa review, Shadows is good choice for low budget travellers, for anything else look for other safari operator.