*As seen in The Logbook. Issue 4.
Maasai Wanderings and their accommodation partner Nasikia Camps offer a range of safaris and unique Tanzanian experiences all specially designed for the traveler. The kinds of safaris on offer include family and honeymoon safaris, the best rated photo tours which include the opportunity to see wildlife and birdlife in a completely new way and many Zanzibar experiences.
Donna Duggan, who founded the business with her late husband explains that they began the business in 2005. At the time Donna was an Australian nurse and her husband was Tanzanian, so they joined forces to fulfill their dreams and goals to showcase Tanzania and its beauty to the world. Maasai Wanderings has grown and diversified significantly since then, offering tours that last 7 to 10 days and have a unique edge over their competitors.
Donna explains that unlike many safari businesses that may have a set-criteria for their tours on which the traveler is merely a guest or passenger, Maasai Wanderings’ tours are very much led by and tailored for the client’s desires.
“As long as it is within the laws and permits of the National Parks,” she says, “Clients should feel like it is their safari and that it has been designed especially for them and tailored as such.”
TEAM. EXPERIENCE. PLANNING AND THAT “SPECIAL SOMETHING”.
This tailoring has to be achieved with absolute adherence to quality of service, value for money and cultural integrity. All of Maasai Wanderings’ itineraries have been meticulously planned according to careful consideration to the amount of time needed to fully appreciate the adventurous surroundings offered by Tanzania. A big part of this is employing the right people in the team.
“Our mountain guides and team were all born in the Kilimanjaro region and therefore possess knowledge of the mountains that cannot be taught,” Donna explains, referring to their understanding of the behaviour of wildlife and patterns of vegetation that mean they can often see things that would otherwise be overlooked. She continues, “We have a very high success rate on the Machame, Rongai and Shira routes on Kilimanjaro and continue to receive praise for our professionalism throughout all our itineraries.”
For sake of experience-quality as well as traveler-safety, the team at Maasai Wanderings often run extra field trip missions to confirm or establish new and improved paths for carrying out the tours. Donna is insistent that every tour itinerary provides the clients with the most enjoyable and culturally educating experience possible.
This includes training and staff are educated via continuous workshops on how to offer clients optimal service for their personal journeys and adventures. Staff are also handpicked at Maasai Wanderings, not only based on their knowledge and experience but also their personability and natural hospitality from arrival to departure. They know what factors are needed to give an adventure that ‘special something’.
Their range of safaris include luxury to budget adventures, working with holiday makers, corporate business people, wildlife adventurers and families. This diversity has given Donna and her team at Maasai Wanderings the opportunity to build many meaningful relationships across Tanzania to help them produce the best experiences for their clients.
“My husband was very talented at building relationships and our business was based on that from the start,” Donna reveals, “He was an incredibly humble and social person who enjoyed creating partnerships and relationships with people to learn from them. It was thanks to this that we were able to develop our business to where we are now.”
One of the notable things about Maasai Wanderings is what they give back. The business was established not only to provide employment for all those involved in it but to give opportunities to those who otherwise would not have received them.
“Our main objectives at Maasai Wanderings is the preservation of culture, wildlife and our goodwill projects,” Donna says, “We have arranged our company in such a way, that we are able to aid in these areas by funding various projects that we have initiated ourselves.”
Businesses are having to keep themselves abreast of an increasing list of developments not only in terms of business acumen but new technologies as well.
Donna keeps herself up to date like any professional would, by constantly learning and investigating everything that she can regarding her industry. Becoming a renowned expert in her country, the safaris and the hospitality sector. Also, as important to her is keeping an open mind and being able to let ideas evolve as they should. Creativity is a big, big part of the tours offered by Maasai Wanderings.
“We also keep abreast of what is trending via social media such as Instagram,” Donna, who spends at least an hour a day on Instagram to keep current, says, “But at the end of the day we are successful because we concentrate on what we are good at which is looking after clients and providing them with a once in a life time experience. Everything else flows naturally and positively from this.”
There are the sorts of ongoing and persistent challenges that a safari company needs to address on a day to day basis, ranging across from operations to logistics. Donna explains that one of the main challenges that they’ve had from the start of setting up their business is continuous rule changes with such things as laws and taxation.
“It is something we have to keep on top of and we’re very good at doing it,” she says, “It’s a simple matter of learning whatever is required, applying it and being prepared for changes in the future.”
Safari driven tourism is a highly effective way of generating revenue, interest and a social value for the wonders of Africa. Animals, plants and landscape included. Especially those tours that encourage people to take pictures that are more than simply selfies.
One of the safaris that could offer a simple but effective way of spreading a sense of value for the natural beauty of the African landscape and the animals and cultures that live there is the Photo Safaris offered by Maasai Wanderings.
This is the chance to spend a safari working with one of their wildlife photographers and photo tour leaders. These are not only some of the leading professionals in their field but are also just as passionate about wildlife as they are photography. Irrespective of a client’s skill these tours ensure that a traveler will take something more away from the safari than just memories.
“These workshops are run by photo tour leaders who possess all the skills, patience, determination and good humor to provide the best experience for everyone attending,” Donna says.
Maasai Wanderings is a company based on ideals. Ideals of giving back and supporting local communities. Of learning about and engaging with the wonders of Africa’s natural heritage. Of gaining a value in our hearts for this wonderful place.
ADDRESS: P.O. BOX 14035, ARUSHA
TELEPHONE NUMBER: +255 742 930833