*As seen in The Logbook
Having been an active and successful tour guide since 1996, Vicent Makoye Sana founded Makoye Safaris in 2017 with his family from the United States. Along with a team of seven staff, their business has been providing tailored safaris aimed at not only offering engaging experiences for their clients but creating cherished lifelong memories.
“Safari is much more than just seeing nature and wildlife,” Vicent explains, “Coming to Tanzania often represents a lifelong dream for our clients to explore Africa. It is our responsibility to treat that with the respect it deserves and ensure that what they experience exceeds their expectations.”
Fortunately, Tanzania is a vibrant and vast country offering enthralling wildlife and ageless culture in equal measure. When combined with the 23 years of experience that Vicent brings to the table, clients can be confident that they will see things they could never have dreamed of.
“The journey of our clients begins before they step on the plane,” Vicent reveals, “It has always been a principle of ours that our business is completely customer-centric and that we must provide adequate information and advice even before they leave their own country.”
He goes on to explain that there are some things that visitors take for granted when visiting Africa and going on a safari. To ensure that their clients are fully prepared they have a list of important FAQs as well as advice that Vicent has garnered over the last two decades.
“An easy way to keep a client happy,” he says, “Is make sure that everything runs smoothly and is catered for. This includes the journey over to Tanzania. Clients need to be reminded of requirements for passports, medication, they need to be reminded to bring extra sun screen, mosquito repellent and hats. By providing them a list of things needed, it means they arrive prepared and things can move along smoothly as planned.”
Makoye Safaris tours visit the five main safari areas of Tanzania where each offers a distinct flavour of the country. Allowing clients to get a complete taste of the spectacular landscape, the variety of animals and the culture of the country. These include the national parks of Arusha, Tarangire and the Serengeti, the Ngorongoro Crater and the Oldupai Gorge. Visits to each of these locations are tailored to get the very best out of each one.
The Arusha National Park is a few miles northeast of City Arusha and the Kilimanjaro National Airport and is famous for its diverse landscape and abundant wildlife which ranges from land and water predators, to birds and copious monkeys.
The Tarangire National Park is the sixth largest national park in Tanzania and is famous for having the biggest of everything. It is a perfect spot for seeing the baobab trees, which are some of the biggest in the world, mighty herds of elephants and giant termite mounds that dwarf people when standing next to them. Wildlife includes lions, elephants, wildebeest, cape buffalo, waterbuck, gazelle and approximately 500 species of birds!
Ngorongoro Crater. Before entering the Serengeti, visitors experience the ever impressive sight of the Ngorongoro Crater. Recognized as a World Heritage Site the crater is the largest intact volcanic caldera and was formed over three million years ago. Two thousand feet deep and covering 100 square miles it is home to approximately 25,000 large animals. This is one of the best locations to see “The Big Five” including the elusive Black Rhino. Also, guests will see the Maasai tribes in their natural habitat and view their large boma communities.
The Serengeti National Park is one of the ten natural wonders of the world, the Serengeti is renowned for Tanzania’s largest lion population and a perfect location to observe over 70 large mammals in their natural environment. Every year the great wildebeest migration moves through the Serengeti National Park heading north to the Masai Mara reserve in Kenya.
The Oldupai Gorge is the most famous archaeological location in East Africa and one that has the most importance to humanity at large. Archaeologists Louis and Mary Leakey located remains which demonstrate the earliest signs of mankind. Public viewings of the excavation sites and a museum containing fossils and human artefacts are an option for those visitors with an appetite for historic prehistoric discoveries.
GOOD SAFARIS AND GREAT SAFARIS
According to Vicent, as all safari and tours companies in Tanzania have the same opportunities and destinations to work with, it’s what makes them unique that is really valuable. He says that any safari in Tanzania can be good, but great safaris are down to the personal touches.
Makoye Safaris has had the opportunity to work with some incredible people and be involved in a number of important moments. Vicent recalls one in particular. “Once, after meeting clients on a tour, they decided to have their daughter’s wedding the following year with our company,” he says, “My team designed a ten day wedding safari with twenty four people, and a professional photographer captured the journey to share.”
To Vicent its important moments like these that he cherishes, and it is opportunities like this, to really be involved in his client’s lives that inspires him to always do better and improve on his business and what it can offer.
“It has taken five years to build up our business and we want to expand the tours that we can offer to all peoples across the globe,” he says, “Tanzania is beautiful but it is fragile and the best way to protect it is to get more people to experience it first-hand. Not just with their eyes, but with all of their senses.”
DECIDING TO BE TRULY UNIQUE
Insuring a truly unique experience was why Vicent chose to build his own safari business. He had spent too long working with people who didn’t understand the value of this industry and were only interested in bottom-line profits.
When he, Babra and Michael decided to launch their safari they sat down and took the time to decide on what the product was going to offer. Carving in stone the principles of their business and choosing how their product was going to be packaged and marketed.
“A mistake of smaller safari companies is to think that it is enough to just drive around Tanzania,” Vicent reflects, “But you need to decide what you want your business to stand for and how clients will speak about it afterwards. These principles end up shaping everything included the destinations and the way you engage with your clients.”
Safari length and scope all depends on what the customers are looking for and is determined right at the start. Vicent says that there is no limit to the number of days a safari can last, however most commonly the safaris last from a single tour to as long as fifteen days. There have been a few that have gone on for even longer.
“Usually customers are the ones who decide which places to be covered during their visit and what they want to see,” he says, “Many have an idea of what they are looking for and this provides us with a skeleton to work with, allowing us to add many interesting and unique surprises along the way. But we’ve also catered for some unusual requests.”
PRICE: see website
ADDRESS: Arusha, Tanzania
TELEPHONE NUMBER: +255 786 169 857