It started in Africa Safari Operator
Replies: 38 - Last Post: Sep 29, 2013 4:11 AM Last Post By: snowdoniamalika
Oct 9, 2012 4:06 PM
30I and my wife had returned from our awesome safari a few weeks ago, with It Started in Africa - Tanzania Adventures and Safaris.
I must say that was an unforgettable experience. I am still "processing" the huge set of incredible pictures we were lucky to take.
All thanks to the amazing staff: Isak, the super-guide (hawk vision, simply inhuman!); Deogratius, the always cheerful guide apprentice; and Fahsili, the great cook!
They couldn't be better!
Oct 13, 2012 6:35 AM
31I have been on a five day safari with these guys, together with my mother and my sister - and I can assure all of you out there that the experience was utterly amazing and that we had a really wonderful time. Don't worry about the company being a small one or a no-name one. The most important fact is that it is a genuine one made up of dedicated people that really work hard and give their all in order to satisfy their clients and make their experience an unforgettable one. And that is what really matters in the end, not size and popularity - in fact, I'm pretty sure that there exist far bigger and more popular companies that might not be able to give you such a good and complete experience for the simple reason that they would have become somewhat arrogant and started taking their clients for granted.
Anyway, I would definitely recommend It Started in Africa. I did a lot of research and investigations and comparisons and short-listings in choosing this company (there are so many safari companies out there), and I still had some doubts even after I had taken the decision. But now that I've gone with them and it's over (unfortunately), I can honestly say that I don't have the slightest regret regarding my choice, and that I would happily go with them again. Really, I can think of nothing to grumble about - they provided great help and assistance in planning the entire Tanzania trip, including the week in Zanzibar following the safari (selection of itinerary, transfers, accommodation) and they executed every detail that we planned together to perfection, the equipment provided (jeep, camping equipment, binoculars, et cetera) was good, and the service (food, guidance, staff friendliness, et cetera) was also excellent.
A big thanks to this small but committed team, especially to:
- Joao, who spent weeks helping us in planning the entire trip (safari & Zanzibar) and patiently answering my many e-mails and questions and trying to make everything as clear and smooth as possible;
- Isaac, who was our very friendly and awesome guide and driver, always joking and laughing around but with a very sharp eye for any living thing and with a very good knowledge and experience of the area (and very clear explanations and guidance) - thanks to him and to his patience, we even managed to see a kill (lioness vs. gazelle) happening right in front of our noses (at one point, the lioness was actually touching our jeep);
- Fadhil, who was our very good cook - he cooked us food that was so good that you wouldn't expect to find it during a camping trip, and he also took very good care of my mother's special food requirements (she is gluten intolerant); and
- Mr. Baraja and Mr. Loy, who both work at the office in Arusha and who were both very nice, friendly, and helpful people the few times that we met them before and after the safari.
Oct 16, 2012 12:59 AM
32Most amazing experience in Africa! We were a group of 11 persons, with very specific needs and "It all started in Africa" managed to fulfill all our expectations, arranging a very flexible and incredible 4 day safari including Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Lake Manyara. The food was amazing, the guides were THE BEST guides ever, one even spoke Spanish which was very cool (we were a group of Latin American people). I would recommend it to everyone, they are a very professional company.
Nov 4, 2012 4:31 AM
33I would stronglu recommend It Started in Africa:
My friens Heloisa, Debora and I just got back from a trip with them. We had booked a 6-day safari, incl. Lake Manyara, Tarangire, Ngorongoro and Serengeti followed by a 7-day Kilimanjaro tour via the Machame route and 4 days Zanzibar.
During the booking we were in touch with their marketing manager Joao Oliveira. The guy was very helpful in all respects and sent prompt responses to any requests/amendments to our schedule.
From the Arusha Busstation, we were picked up and met Mr Baraja and team. They were all very friendly. The Safari was great. They were all very friendly.
After a great Safari we continued our journey to Moshi, from where our Kili tour started. Our guide Lymo was outstanding and so was his whole team.
We are all over 50 years old and the 3 of us managed to climb to the top (5895m) due to their very good assistance the whole time. I
t is not an easy climbing and i will be forever thankful for this guidance!
Zanzibar and the Langi Langi Restaurant was a deserved recovery rest!
We really enjoyed out trip! And the relationship cpst/benefit is quite good!
Nov 5, 2012 3:06 PM
34Just returned from an 8 night 9 day customized safari with ISIA. Very pleased, great experience. Knowledgeable driver/guide and a great cook. We appreciated what they did for us and they were really nice to travel with. Some high points:
Our guide, Isaac, really knew all of the animals and birds and where to find them. We saw all of the wildlife that we hoped to see. Our cook Obed (Ahbed?) was great. Good meals and friendly service all the time. I thoroughly enjoyed hiking from Empakai Crater to Lake Natron with our gear travelling on donkeys. I think we really saw Africa without "tourist" glasses on.
We did another safari in Kenya and ISIA was much, much better.
If you haven't been on a safari before you probably need to talk to some people who have. If you're used to staying in nice hotels and travelling in air condition buses you are in for a little culture shock. We are in our 60's and found it to be a wonderful experience. Every night we slept in tents, sometimes with cots but often on a map on the ground (took one night to get over that!). Hot water was sporadic and bathrooms were very basic. This has nothing to do with the company you choose, it's just how things are in rural Africa. I'm not sure many of my friends would choose to travel like this, preferring catered, all inclusive luxury to a trip like this. Too bad for them. This was an unforgettable experience of a lifetime, thanks in a large part to ISIA.
All of the people we met in Tanzania and Kenya were very pleasant, polite and helpful. If you can say "how are you" in Swahili, you will be greeted with a beaming smile and a very friendly reply.
Nov 11, 2012 1:56 AM
35Just to let you all know, my husband and i just got back from our honeymoon with it started in africa and it was the most amazing experience of our lives. It Started In Africa is a professional company with a great price compared to some of the other tour companies. The Guides, driver and chef we incredible. Believe me i like good service (i'm a new yorker, we can be quit fussy at times.) Their service was outstanding. The other companies are more expensive and offer the same safari! Go with it started in Africa! if you want to see some pics just face book me Katy Ferraresi
Jul 8, 2013 4:38 AM
36We used 'It Started in Africa' for our safari in late June 2013. We are very happy with this company. This is a new company. So they try to go the extra mile to satisfy customers. Very reasonable rates and superb customer service by their customer happiness manager - Joao Oliveira. I will definitely recommend this operator to anyone.
Sep 24, 2013 3:30 AM
37I would certainly NOT use "It started in Africa"
My partner and I just returned from a 7 day safari with this tour operator and faced serious issues and disturbing behavior:
• Our dedicated safari guide was disappointing, unprofessional, insuffient and unfriendly. His behavior showed no concern or interest for our well-being or enjoyment, he was very often uncooperative, aggressive and sometime menacing and abusive. He repeatedly lied to us, did not agree to any of our requests or desires and was trying to reduce the time on safari, by starting later than we wanted and refusing to go on more distant parts of the parks
• When we complaint, the driver’s behavior became aggressive and abusive and in the last 3 days, he stopped offering safari or guide services at all, with his role reduced to only driving. He did not speak to us, show us animals or answer any of our questions. He was speeding in the parts of the parks where it’s more likely to see animals, scaring any animals off and as a result we received no real safari services in these 3 days
• We are hugely disappointed by our interaction with “It started in Africa”. Even when escalating issues to the company’s director by phone, during the trip, we saw no improvement. We are also very offended by the level of unprofessionalism shown by the company paper shown to us by the guide in an anger outburst (with ‘it started in Africa’ printed header and logo) on which there was a printed comment “be careful, she is crazy” regarding myself. I cannot stress how disappointing and unprofessional this is, both by whoever has written/printed this, as well as by the Guide for showing this to us
Let me also highlight that we are not new to travelling (having traveled in more than 40 countries worldwide) or adventure travelling (having traveled in less than easy circumstances in Asia and Africa before). Let me also stress that we loved Tanzania, the nature, people, animals, culture, everything, and this makes the services we received even more painful. For us it is important to escalate this issue, to ensure that Tanzania’s visitors do not receive this kind of treatment again, when travelling to this incredible country!
Sep 29, 2013 4:11 AM
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