Duma Explorer

Based in Arusha, Tanzania, the gateway to Tanzania's famous national parks, Duma Explorer grew up out of the local community. Our highly personalized safaris and treks offer a unique window into the landscape, wildlife and culture of this extraordinary region. Founded in 2004, we are a socially responsible adventure travel company offering customized hiking and safari packages to beautiful Tanzania. Whether looking for a special honeymoon safari or a trek to Africa’s highest peak, we'll work with you to create unforgettable adventures. Talk to us about your dream Tanzanian tour. We’ll make it come true. Each of our guides has at least seven years experience as a safari guide in Northern Tanzania, meaning you will be guided by knowledgeable and skilled tourism professionals throughout your trip. We offer many kinds of guides and support staff during our mountain climbs and safaris. During a standard or luxury safari, explore Tanzania's parks with a Duma Explorer driver-guide; or during a budget camping safari, travel with both a driver-guide and chef. Our passionate and highly trained mountain crew totals about 150 people, including guides, assistant guides, cooks and porters. Many of our guides and cooks began their careers with us as porters and have been part of Duma Explorer since we started in 2004. Our mountain guides each have a minimum seven years experience hiking Kilimanjaro, while most of our porters, assistant guides and cooks have been climbing for at least five years. Duma's chief guides and most assistant guides are Wilderness First Responder certified. Many of our cooks and porters have first-aid training. During a Kilimanjaro climb, hike with at least one head guide, an assistant guide, cook and several porters. We also offer excursions to exotic beach destinations like Zanzibar, and fly-in, fly-out packages to isolated parks in Southern and Western Tanzania and to the Maasai Mara in Kenya. We want you to enjoy the wonderful travel experiences that inspired us to found Duma. To do this, we take the stress and hassle out of your adventure. If you lose something on the way here, we’ll find a replacement. If your baggage is delayed, we’ll send it to you on safari or up the mountain. We are constantly scouring Tanzania to monitor the quality and standards of your accommodation, ensuring you have the best possible options. Many of our employees have been with us since Duma began. They know the terrain intimately and take great pride in their work. They will never compromise your safety. At Duma we are a close community. Most of us live in Arusha. From management to the guides and porters, we know each other well and have a special mutual respect. We are also one of only four partner companies to consistently comply with all fair treatment conditions set by the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project. We tailor itineraries to suit your time of travel and maximize your experience by ensuring you’re in the right location at the right time. Most people experience only one safari - we want to make this your once-in-a-lifetime adventure! Duma Explorer offers a range of the best possible luxury, standard and budget safari accommodation to suit your budget. We can also combine luxury and standard safaris; or include a few lodge nights during a budget camping safari.
Customer Reviews
Excellent 5 / 5
Amazing Private Kilimanjaro 8 Day Lemosho climb
Simon Gauvreau Australia 26 Mar 2015

Excellent 5
For those of you that want a short review, first paragraph will do. For more details, keep on reading We have had the PLEASURE of dealing with Duma Explorer for our climbing activity and were BLOWN away by the quality of the staff and company. We used Duma to climb Mount Kilimanjaro from the 27th of December 2014 -> 3rd of January 2015 (Summit on the 2nd at 06:15am) and would recommend very highly this operator for many reasons. The staff were completely dedicated to our good care and were always making sure that we were feeling well, had everything we needed to have a pleasant climb and that we were in top shape to continue with our climb. Stacy from Duma is very knowledgeable and experienced in both climbs and safari. Duma's prices compared to the 5 other operator we dealt with was very good and competitive, we found operators that were cheaper or twice as expensive, we ended up taking a private (2 adults) climb (even if we were open to a group climb but our travel dates didn't make it possible) for about the same price that a group climb would have costed us with the other operators. The private toilet is included by default and I CANNOT TELL YOU HOW MUCH we appreciated this simple pleasure during our 8 days on the mountain. All of the gear provided by Duma (rain paints, down jacket, poles, tents, sleeping bags etc...) were top of the line, functional, clean and very well maintained. The crew / team was very competent, the camp was always up when we arrived and all of the team members were polite and professional. The food was fresh, tasty and plentiful. Our 2 guides (Emma and Andrew) we very professional, experienced and it was obvious that their only goal was to help us succeed in our climb to the top. They were very friendly and open to discuss about all different subjects, it was exactly the kind of experience we were looking for with our local guides. You want the kind of guides that other staff from other companies know and talk to. Emma and Andrew were exactly these kind of guides. Twice daily health checks, constant oversight on how we perform and how we could do things better to make this a better, easier experience. Throughout or climb, (especially on summit day), they were instrumental in our success, the pace "Pole Pole" was amazing, constant and perfectly adjusted to our needs and speed. Our waiter Joshua was amazing, we have rarely seen this level of attention to details as he has done throughout our stay on the mountain. His good services from our morning wakeup (in tent tea), hot water for quick morning wash, breakfast (huge) and dinner (even bigger) were all above our expectations. A special mention for Raymond one of our porters who was always passing by morning and evening to talk, say hi, ask how we were and took extra special care of our tents, content and portable toilet. The food was way beyond what we would have expected possible in such a remote place. All meals were very tasty, the portions were HUGE but with all of the efforts involved in the climb we didn't actually put on any weight so the portions were perfect in that sense. High quality ingredients, fresh, the lunch boxes were also very good and nutritious we were never hungry throughout our climb. Received a fresh batch of produce on the 4th day of the climb which was a bonus. The staff were obviously well treated by their employer and had only positive things to say about them. We believe that it is important to choose an operator that cares about his staff, takes good care of them (i.e. we had a cook that had Altitude sickness symptoms on the 2nd night (at Shira 1 camp) and he was taken down the mountain urgently at 00:30am. We woke up at 06:00am and at 07:00am the REPLACEMENT cook was already on-site with us for the rest of the climb. You may think that a team of 14 for 2 climbers is a lot but think about the fact that each of the porters effectively carry less weight because of this AND MOST IMPORTANTLY more porters will make sure that they get 3 REAL MEALS a day each. We have seen some other tents that let's just say mistreats and malnourishes there staff. A good way to ensure most of the above is to confirm that your tour operator is part of KPAP (Kili Porter association) as Duma Explorer is. Dealing with an experienced operator like Stacy from Duma made the whole experience less stressful and easier to manage from such a distance. She was prompt to answer all of our queries, her suggestions for timing and places to visit was spot on, even once we were in Tanzania she was always available to accommodate us with our last minute questions or requests and provided help when needed. Over all we have only good, positive things to say about Duma, our 2 guides, cook, waiter and 11 porters, they were an amazing crew to spend 8 days with. It is obvious that they are largely responsible for our successful climb and also for making this one of the best climb experience of our lives that we will remember for ever. Thank you Duma Explorer and crew, After several hours of reading and research we decided to choose the Lemosho 8 days climb and did not regret it one bit. We saw many people who were on 5 - 7 days climb and I must say that acclimatisation is the MAIN challenge with this climb and that the more time you can afford to spend on the mountain the better and easier your experience will be. Cant talk for the other routes, but scenery is AMAZING during the whole 8 days, we have many highlights. Strongly suggest the Shira Cathedral and Lava tower extra activities, definitely worth the detour and acclimatisation time With the ever changing weather, I cannot stress enough the need for quality gear, breathable layers, Merino wool, AMAZING rain gear will make a significant difference in how you perform and your overall climb experience. It is definitely worth finding the right gear for your needs.
Still talk daily about this trip!!!!
Mark Johnson United States 25 Feb 2015

Excellent 5
We decided to book with Duma after reading Tripadvisor reviews and exchanging e-mails with Duma and a few other tour operators out of Arusha. We felt Duma best offered the type of trip we were looking for, and were easiest to work with, compared to other tour companies we contacted. We not only got the trip we had dreamed of, but even more than we anticipated. A friend of mine who had been on safari in Tanzania a couple of times, plus several other African safaris, suggested an itinerary that focused mainly on the Serengeti, and less (or no) time at other standard places to see. Stacy not only worked with us on that itinerary, but made suggestions that enhanced our plans. We wanted to splurge to do a balloon ride one day, but were willing to sacrifice in other areas to keep our budget in line. Stacy was fantastic at getting to understand us, and make appropriate suggestions for us, to allow us to do just that. Also, we had done a lot of research on Tripadvisor about the various camps in the Serengetti, Tarangire, and the Ngorongoro Crater. Stacy adapted our plans so that we could stay at the camps we felt strongly about, and provided what proved to be sound advice, about some of the other camps we considered. She was even able to get us into a particular tent at one camp - one that was farthest from the dining area, with a view unavailable to other tents. For the record, we stayed in Tarangire at the Tarangire Safari Lodge, we stayed in Serengeti at Duma's Chaka camp, Buffalo Luxury Camp, and Lemala Mara camp, and lastly at Ngorongoro Crater we stayed at the Sopa Lodge. Being a rather anal engineer, I had many detailed questions about all kinds of things that would pop into my head during our planning, and then after our booking. I am used to planning for contingencies in my job, and many of my questions had to do with oddball "what if" scenarios. We booked our trip in Feb 2014, and until we arrived in Arusha in Oct 2014, I was sending Stacy these types of questions, which she always answered promptly and pleasantly. Once we landed at Kilimanjaro Airport, the rest of our two weeks in Tanzania was as worry free as could be. Everything went as smoothly as possible. The accommodations were amazing. I gained weight at every camp, because the food was so good (the soups as the first course of most meals was incredible). Duma even made sure we had very little rain during the rainy season! But, the main reason we booked a safari was to see wildlife, and boy did we see wildlife!! Our terrific guide was Michael Mlolo; a guide with 30 years of experience! He was not only a great guide for the big game (we saw over 100 lions, 11 cheetahs, 5 leopards, and 4 rhinos), but he knew every bird that we saw, and was patient spelling the names so that my wife could write these names down. When we got home, we started going through our photos and tagging them with the different species - we have not found a single instance where Michael's identification does not match what we confirmed on the Web. Michael is a very kind man, but also very protective. And, although we did not leave fluent in Swahili, Michael would always share Swahili words for things with us (Duma for instance is the word for Cheetah!). I'm sure there are plenty of good guides at Duma, but Michael Mlolo must certainly be the best one!! Absolutely, if we ever make it back to Tanzania, we will book with Duma, and request our new friend Michael to be our guide again.
Amazing 10 day safari
Jacqui Whitmore United Kingdom 17 Nov 2014

Excellent 5
We booked with Duma in February for a trip this October. Stacy was fantastic about answering all our questions and booking accommodation we requested including specific rooms in hotels as recommended by other trip advisor reviews. This trip was for my 40th birthday and we saved very hard to go and it was worth every penny. We had a private safari. We were met at the airport by a smiling Isack Msuya, who was a fantastic guide. He has 20 years experience and it shows. His driving was excellent, both on the main roads and in the park. When we went through rivers or mud and the back end of the car slipped he seamlessly slipped into 4 wheel driver and we continued with no pause. We felt safe and secure with him. He cleaned out the Toyota land cruiser everyday and there as plenty of water. As such our windows were always clean. We took our time and did not race around like some of the other companies. Leopard tours in particular always seemed in a rush. Isaac didn't use the radio to locate wildlife and so we were often viewing wildlife on our own rather than being surrounded by 10 other cars. His spots were amazing. He found a cameleon in a tree whilst driving! How do you spot that. He found us all the big 5. We hoped to see leopards and tigers, but thought this might be tricky and by no means a given. We saw them on the second day, and by the end of our trip we were up to 3 leopards and 5 adult cheetah and 4 babies. We had no idea there would be so many baby animals around. Isack found baby lions, cheetah, warthogs, elephants, giraffe (one was just hours old) hippo everything. The only thing we hoped to see and didn't was the tree lions in Lake Manyara, but there are only about 30-50 left in the park. We saw lions chase and kill, and mating. Isaac had amazing knowledge of every creature and bird we came across and his passion for conservation is amazing. We didn't know that you could request a guide, and we certainly would recommend Isack to anyone. He was SO friendly and so happy. He met us with a massive smile every morning and it stayed in place all day. He didn't chat for the sake of chatting which we liked, but answered our questions patiently and with interest and enthusiasm and had quite a few funny and interesting tales to tell about his experiences. We had no idea we would see so many wildebeest and zebra. On my birthday we took a balloon ride which was a legacy from my Granny, and it was amazing. It lasted an hour and we saw so much including swooping down over a herd of wildebeest who did the running thing just like you see on the TV, and we heard elephants trumpeting. It was followed by a champagne brunch, where there is plenty of champagne flowing. I would recommend Northern Serengeti and Tarangire to all as the wildlife are amazing and very plentiful in October and you are away from the crowds of the central Serengeti. That said if you only have a short time, you can and probably will see everything bar Rhino in the centre. Lake Manyara is a completely different park, and were found several companies tried to dissuade us from going here, especially with ending our trip here. You won't see the big 5 here but it is beautiful and we saw elephants, giraffe, hip, baboons, and loads of different birds. We stayed at Tarangire Safari Lodge in the furthest away tent from he building number 22. We were escorted after dark here and everywhere we went inside the parks. This was a great tent with a proper bed and bathroom, and an amazing view into the valley below where we watched the wildlife. The roar of lions was a little disconcerting. We saw antelope outside our tent and a group of baboons passed by. In the northern Serengeti which is a long day's drive from Tarangire we stayed at the Bologna camp where the staff couldn't do enough for us, and all your drinks are included. The tent was amazing, and they prepare you a hot shower everyday at your request with 10 mins notice so they can heat the water. Outside our tent were Water buffalo, and the setting was beautiful. In the central Serengeti we staying at the Serengeti Serena hotel. We requested a top room which had a beautiful view especially at sunset. The staff here were the least friendly and the reception desk rally didn't want to know. They didn't explain anything, and we had no idea we were supposed to wait after dinner to sign a ticket for our drinks, and were made to feel like criminals for walking to the bar after diner. we had assumed giving our room number would have been enough. The security guards and the porter were very friendly. In the Nogorongo conservation area we stayed at the Sopa Lodge which was beautiful with very friendly staff, and a turndown service which included hot water bottles which we didn't need. We had an upper room with a great view, and if you get here for sunset its very good. We did a crater rim walk which was interesting, but this takes time out of your time in the park. Each fee gives you exactly 24 hours in the park, and we would, with hindsight, have missed the walk and had more time in the crater the next day. Its worth an early morning start too. Our last night was at the Kirurumu tented lodge, where the staff were lovely but the accommodation whilst initially looking amazing, (you have a tent on top of a building on the cliff edge) actually could do with a fresh coat of paint and some of the wooden boards of the lower balcony were rotting. The food everywhere was of a good standard and there was at least something for the vegetarian, more if you eat fish. Lunch boxes were massive, and healthy. It would have been nice to see some traditional food rather than European buffets. We were very sad when the time came to say goodbye to Isack and head back home. It was a fantastic trip and we cannot recommend Isack and Duma more highly.