I completed a climb up Kilimanjaro and a safari in Tanzania, June 2023. After extensive research, I decided to book with Kandoo Adventures. In this blog post I am going to give a complete review of my time with them. Including accommodation, guides, transport, food and more.
This post is not sponsored in anyway, it is my true honest opinion about my time with Kandoo Adventures. You can read about my experience hiking Kilimanjaro, and about my travels in Tanzania here.
Table of Contents
Who are Kandoo Adventures?
Kandoo Adventures are a UK based company, which offer unique experiences all around the world. Kandoo are big on safety, expertise, and quality. They are part of the Altaï Travel family, have 15 years’ experience and offer a hands-on approach to their tours.
This company offers many experiences from mountain climbing to multi trip tours. They don’t just specialise in trekking, but much more!
Why did I choose this company?
I choose this company for a few reasons, their expertise, values, and price. The price is very reasonable for a trek climbing to that altitude. I also went with the company because they are a part IMEC, IPPG and KPAP, not-for-profit organisations focusing on improving the working conditions of porters. This is extremely important to me as you cannot complete these types of climbs without your porters.
I did a lot of research before booking a company for my climb and safari. Kandoo Adventures had nothing but good reviews and recommendations.
How much did it cost?
The whole tour cost me $4155 USD, including a 3-day safari afterwards. I highly recommend you complete a safari while in Tanzania! This cost included all food, transport, guides, porters, and accommodation. The cost doesn’t include tips for the porters and guides.
What were the guides like?
We had 4 guides with us, all were incredibly knowledgeable and approachable. Each time a member of our group was slightly feeling the effects of altitude or happened to get sick – the guides were there straight away taking care of them. They also were very good at picking up when you weren’t doing so well, even if you thought you were.
They were extremely professional, but very easy to talk to when you were walking. This really makes the long hours fly by and it’s always nice to have a bit of a laugh on the trail! Each guide had completed the summit multiple times, so they all were very experienced.
The guides went even further then my expectations, by doing things like warming your hands on the summit (I was struggling with this), taking your backpack if you were struggling and helping me get my phone from my many layers at summit (I thank them for this because I was useless!).
I couldn’t have asked for better guides on my trip, they really made the trek fun, informative and very safe.
Our guide on the safari was full of knowledge. It was amazing having a guide you could ask any question to, and he would have the answers. I learnt a lot about all the animals, landscapes, and history of each national park we visited.
Our guide also had some of the best ‘safari eyes’, being able to spot animals so far away, we needed binoculars. He did such an incredible job, I got to see 4 out of the big 5 on my very first safari!
How was the transport?
The transport to/from the mountain was in a bus – which had comfortable seats and air-conditioning. The transport to/from the airport was in a minivan, which too was very comfortable. The drivers were very professional, and I never felt unsafe driving with them.
What was the Accommodation?
The accommodation for both Kilimanjaro and the safari was excellent.
We stayed at Bristol Cottages in Moshi, before and after our climb up Mount Kilimanjaro. The beds were comfortable and there were private bathrooms in each room. The facilities included a pool and restaurant. This restaurant was very reasonably priced and had some excellent meals. The only downside of this accommodation was the WIFI, where it didn’t reach the rooms and was a bit slow (this is normal for Africa).
The tents that we stayed in while completing the climb were extremely spacious. They are 3-man tents but will be shared by two people. Or if you get lucky like me (or book the private package), you will get them all to yourself. They are what they use for their Nepal expeditions, so they are rated for wind, snow, and other elements. The sleeping mats they provide are very comfortable too. This will feel very luxe if you are used to sleeping in a basic hiking tent.
The accommodation on the safari was beautiful. We stayed at Farm of Dreams, which was very luxurious. The hotel had a pool, bar, restaurant and much more. The rooms were huts, which were massive. Including a private bathroom, inside and outside sitting area – they felt very private. Your breakfast and dinner is supplied at the hotel.
The extra nights’ accommodation I booked in Arusha with Kandoo Adventures was at Planet Lodge. The bed in this place was huge. Easily enough to fit 4 full grown adults. It was extremely comfortable too. The restaurant had some excellent food choices, and the service was impeccable.
What was the food like?
Lil Man, our chef did an excellent job! The fact that I was vegetarian for this trip was missed, but he did an excellent job at accommodating me while I was on the mountain. We had a mixture of curries, stir fry’s, pasta, pizza, soup, sandwiches and so much more. You will get plenty of variety and don’t worry there is plenty of food to go around. The meals were also delicious, I wasn’t expecting to get that quality on top on a mountain.
Breakfast included pancakes, toast, baked beans, bacon, porridge, cereal, and eggs. You will also get a few snacks provided here and there as well as chips, nuts, and popcorn for ‘happy hour’. There is also plenty of hot drink choices – including Milo for all my Aussie friends!!
Lil Man also baked us a cake for our return from the summit, at 4720m!! To me that is insane, and the cake was delicious. I think this is something special that Kandoo Adventures do, and it was the best way to finish the summit.
How was my overall Experience?
I have no complaints about my time spent with Kandoo Adventures. Both the hike and safari were amazing, and I couldn’t have asked for anything better. My experience was nothing less than perfect. There were aspects about this company which went above and beyond my expectations for my Kilimanjaro climb. I wasn’t expecting that service, food or in-depth care on top of Kilimanjaro.
Would I recommend them?
Absolutely. If you are looking for a tour company for your hike up Kilimanjaro, I couldn’t recommend Kandoo Adventures more. The service, experience and guides were all incredible. Choosing the right company for your hike will either make or break it, I can say you will have a great hike if you book with Kandoo Adventures.
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