Lipi Adventure Company
Kona Mpya Ya Mtongwe, Mombasa, Kenya
www.lipiadventure-ke.com - +254719391104
Lipi Adventure Company Mombasa Reviews
Excellent safari Jun 18, 2011
After doing western circuit with Lipi Adventure last time and went well, This time i my freinds and i gave another chance to their service in Kenya .
We were a party of 3 adults with 3 girls, 18,17 and 10. We opted for the 4 day, 3 night safari staying at Ashnil Lodge the first night, Ngulia for the second and our favourite, Salt Lick, for our last night.Proffesor was our guide and we can not praise him enough. Fantastic with the kids, flexible, friendly, patient and the keenest eyes, he spotted so much even before we did and he was driving.
We also did a second safari (2 day, one night) to allow us to see the elephant sanctuary at Mwaluganje. Whilst the sanctuary was great and for one Lipi adventure hour our vehicle became the 15th elephant (it felt like we were part of the herd) these extra days were too much after the 4 we had already spent.
Notwithstanding this our guide professor was brilliant and gave us loads of background information to many aspects of Kenyan life which was great.
As you've probably already read, Hussein the owner isby far the most effficient at replying to queries pre departure. He came to meet us at our house when promised and we felt surprisingly calm handing over a fistful of cash to a stranger.
Professor collected us spot on time and thereafter our safari went very smoothly. It can be progressively quite tiring getting up at 6am but the rythmn of the days schedule allows plenty of time for r&r. The lodges are more than adequate and all had hot water on tap. The food was good and we were even worried about putting on weight. Ngulia was probably the least impressive of the lodges and whilst we saw a leopard there it seemed slightly contrived because of the bait put up for it.
We saw everything we could have hoped for, the children loved it, as did we. Just do it!!!
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Quality Travel Experience " Travel Experience" May 27, 2010
It’s not even a pleasure to write this article but a gift to all the travelers intending to visit Tanzania at their own time with different intentions.
Am from Germany and my ancestors used to live in Tanzania in 1927, But we shifted to Belgium since 80’s for sure this was my grandfather and my grand mother who lived in the Derema Coffee farms during then. For long, we as a family we have been talking of the coffee farms and we have been dreaming of regaining them and our very big question was how to get to these farms and for sure nothing was in the internet about the farms in Muheza area. We have to make sure we get through to Amani Nature reserve. Basically, after the visit we headed to Derema Tea farm and Mwamkuju River Junction the strategic point of our travel to the coffee plantations.
I searched for the information about Amani Game Reserve and the Derema farms in vain in the internet, and in the forums and many other sources but the information I was sourcing wasn’t that much helpful. After a very long search I saw an article in the internet about how miraculous some people from America went off the unbeaten path with the help of Hussein even without payments.
I emailed Lipi Adventure asking them about how we could visit Amani nature reserve with them while they are situated in Arusha, Zanzibar or Mombasa.The response to my e-mail was as quick as before an hour telling me that it was possible. First of all I must be very honest to everybody because when I asked Hussein about Amani Nature Reserves he accepted that he had only sent a couple with his driver Cosmas there. Then we asked him of Derema coffee farms, he said, he have never been there. We explained deeply how we instead of going to Amani Nature Reserves we want to Visit the coffee farms and we need specific places that we have in our grand’s diaries. A historical place like Ziggi River, and the history that during those days it was difficult to cross over.
I then went ahead requesting for a Camping quotation. At the end of it all I told Hussein why I wanted him to take us to Amani for at least two days being there. Hussein said, it would be possible then we booked and here is really what happened.
In the beginning we were to do Derema privately and the safari privately but Hussein proposed that he would include it in the quote that he picks us in Tanga, do the Derema two days and then drive to Arusha for the last part of the Safari.
We arrived in Tanga Airport by Coastal Air ex-Zanzibar where we met Hussein. Amazingly, we met Hussein at The airport and not Cosmas who he said would send to meet us for transfer with the safari van to the city centre at a budget Hotel called Saad Hotel.
We began this safari to Amani Nature Reserve very early in the morning because we were looking for a place and not sure of what and where exactly we were to find the Coffee farms after the visit to the nature reserve. Our Guide was Hussein that day and Cosmas was just driving, for sure Hussein is blessed for being a travel agent. We have some points we were looking for. One was the Railway Station at Muheza where my grand mother first lived before heading to Derema. We headed there and good enough the office is not there but we saw the Ruins, a good sign of accomplishing the mission. Drove towards the Muddy Road up to the mountains crossed the Legend River that my Grand mother explained that it was disastrous during those days when it was raining the Ziggi River, a broad river with shapeless banks but now with a decent bridge so we were happy that, we were heading the correct direction.
This way we arrived at the main gate we asked for information of the coffee farms the shock started from there. The gate staff told us that there are no longer coffee farms but tea farms and that where the confusion started. Hussein advised us to first deal with the mountains of the Amani Nature Reserve where walking and hiking through the forestry was the main attraction. Well-established walking routes are present. While walking, we had an opportunity to see black and white colobus, blue monkey, and the nature's main attraction, Nduk eagle owl, specie found only in Amani. We also saw nine species of African violet garden flowers and colorful butterflies some of them found only in Usambara. Other birds included green headed oriole, Amani sunbirds, Uluguru violet backed, forest warbler. To sum up, the area has wonderful birds, butterflies, animals and plants, some of them we found only in this area late in the evening we drove back to the gate and overnight at the gate bandas which are very well budget and conducive for backpackers like us who were on a very tight Budget.
As we opted for camping we had all our camping equipments and food, so our cook did all the necessary arrangements, we had very nice dinner and our night at the bandas was just peaceful and I therefore recommend the use of the Banda’s too.
Day two Hussein said, we now head to the Derema farms which are situated almost 29Kms from the main gate with the help of Talented and gifted Hussein in Tourism he went on asking where the olden coffee factory farm so went on. Just at the junction we saw the sign board reading Derema tea farms 6kms ahead our driving force now was positive and went on. On our arrival at the old factory, Hussein went on to ask for the security office in charge of the farms, fortunately we met a Guy by the name Musa. He introduced himself to us as the person in charge of security of the farms for the past 24years as having been there working.
Things had changed and had really changed. We were looking for the house of our grandmother in which she explained it was the only house in the center of all the farms, built on top of a rock facing a place where the Ziggi River and Kamkunju River join. She used water at the junction where these two rivers were meeting. For sure we got there, it was fun, it was amazing on the rocks though now the house was not there and the route to the rivers meeting point was not there and we had to drive around the rock to the place where my grandmother explained as the strategic and attractive point, she used to walk down the rock to go and fetch water and sometimes even just relax on the rocks.
But now it was not any longer wild, farmers have invaded the place growing cloves that we managed to see them grown and dried on the rocks. We discovered a very bad omen like a grave of the fore doctor who died and buried in the coffee farms was dugout in search of money as people now believe that all the whites who buried were buried with their couriers which are now that much valuable, amazing all sorts of constructions boreholes and the olden building were dug out in search of foreign coins and curries as per Musa the guide some other Germans went there in 1998 Read the instructions written in Germany Language on top of the grave then the had to dig somewhere about 50mts from the grave and went away with a locked box causing caution over the residents which resultant to the ongoing digging of all foreign constructions available in most par of the Germany dominated areas available
Our journey from Tanga to Arusha began at six in the morning, with the driver Cosmas. This time without the accompany of Hussein who had traveled to meet some other clients in Dar-es-salam. We arrived safe at Le-Jacaranda a Hotel we had asked him to book us so he did and this was around 3pm.
After shower, Cosmas said if any one is ready to visit the Arusha market where our cook Harold was to do the shopping for our six days safari to beginning the next day. I thought that would have been an opportunity to see the market though it was not in the program. Along with Harold we bought all the staff for our safari at our own choice without being on tight budget, so during the safari Harold was very friendly used to ask us every day what we wanted to eat for the dinner, lunch or even breakfast, generally, Harold is recommendable, very humble and friendly. I don’t know if he can even say no to anything you can request Harold to do for you.
Our Safari in the Northern Circuit was under Cosmas. Togolani, the comedian; Cosmas is ridiculous he is charming and very friendly, while we were with Hussein; Cosmas was not open as he was alone with us in the absence of Hussein. We drove to Manyara and had our first encounter with the Tanzanian game I can’t forget this day, we met a herd of elephants whose mate was dead, just dead and the Elephants were very wild for sure it needed us to have the guts to wait for them calm down. Coming towards the card, scratching themselves with our car and making alarming noises. That day we spent almost three hours standing at a single spot where we were surrounded by elephants, every body was nervous even the guide himself now showed he had lost his courage, its not until the rangers came to disperse the elephants is when we could move out of that spot and the thirst for the game drive in Manyara was finished and we all agreed to get back to Jambo Campsite to relax from the day’s stress. I liked the behavior shown by the elephants, their co-operation and the way they mourn their mate.
Early morning game drive took us to the hippo pool the second day. This game drive was not in our program but because we lost the first day then our guide agreed to give us a morning game drive before heading to Serengeti. It was a successful game drive and thanks to Comas for his flexibility, after the game we drove back to the gate Headed straight to Serengeti via Olduvai Gorge for the fossil and then late evening drive to Seronera area arriving late in the evening.
For sure, Serengeti is amazing. the scenery, land scape, but most frustrating the crowded cars; during the game drive I wont be happy to talk of the Serengeti because I did not like the crowds at the campsite and during game drives. Whenever you go for a spot one or two minutes twenty cars will be there and that seemed very boring, so our two nights in Serengeti was as usual business in Serengeti.
Am very happy to talk of my walk at the Creator Highlands, the three hours walk that involved after breakfast, we drove to Nainokanoka village. Started our walking into Olmoti crater for at least 2 – 3 hours. Drove to Empakai Crater for a walk in a forest. Hiked down from the East Rim of the crater floor lake, where huge flocks of flamingos breed are. This was a full day tour that ended us to overnight at Executive Inn at Karatu based on budget accommodation and another very breathing taking occasion was the hunting with the Hadzabe in Lake Eyasi which took place after breakfast then went on with our guide running through the acacias just to kill rates and lizards something I have never done in my life. And that was Kisimangeda
Generally our plans went well, as per the agreement and per the booking, Yes we had some changes but they were positive and not negative like, Going back for an early game drive in Manyara after missing the afternoon one due to the Elephant scam and the change of accommodation in Karatu from Camping at Karatu to having a hotel called executive inn for overnight at Karatu instead of the camping
So with all these positives I really wonder how dare can I stop recommending Lipi Adventure Company to any one looking forward to a trip to Tanzania or where ever they can serve could it be in Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy