Written on: October 13, 2016
I visited in August 2016
My boyfriend and his friends climbed Kilimanjaro for a week and then joined my sister and I for a safari in Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area as well as a day visiting various tribes. Some internet research showed us that many tourist companies in Tanzania take a lot of money from tourists but terribly exploit their employees, forcing them to work under very inhumane conditions. We found the Fair Travel non-profit tour operator on an NGO website which was started to try and improve the terrible conditions Kili porters are usually working under. As we could not find trip advisor reviews on Fair Travel, we got a Bradt Travel guide that confirmed FairTravel was the only company that paid their employees 2-4 factors more and had them working under way better conditions while charging us the same prices as other companies.
We booked with them and it was amazing! We talked to many of their employees who indeed confirmed Fair Travel pays much better under way better working conditions. Our equipment (truck, tents, dining table, dining chairs, sleeping bags, etc) was new and really good quality. We talked to travelers whose drivers slept in the car and cooks on the kitchen floor, ours had their own tent and were well equipped. Our driver Eli, was very kind and knowledgeable, telling us many facts about the park, the animals, the different tribes and people of Tanzania. Our cook, Paolo was amazing, the food was hotel-quality, the meals were elaborate and delicious. I also have a quite sensitive stomach and Paolo's was the first food I had in Africa/Asia that did not upset my stomach. Their background was also really amazing to hear about, but is theirs to tell so I will leave that for you to ask.
I highly recommend this tour operator! It was started by a guy who climbed Kilimanjaro and started his company to improve working conditions of porters. From what we can tell the quality of our tour surpassed the quality of the tours other travelers we had talked to were on. We also saw many broken trucks along the way, and we had no problems.
We wanted to have a holiday in Tanzania combining safari and some beach time, but we didn't really know how best to organise it, though we were reticent to go through a 'big' brochure-led operator, partly on cost grounds and partly just because. We contacted a small number of operators about whom we had read in guides or online; the response from Fair Travel impre...