April Mon, 2017
Our experience with Evans Adventures was amazing and unforgettable. I don’t typically write reviews but after a week with these guys I felt like I needed to, and their company doesn’t show up right away on google so they’re a valuable secret that you don’t want to pass up. Evans offers you a personalized experience and you get the opportunity to support local Tanzanians over the larger travel companies that are typically owned by foreigners—many of whom have not even summited the mountain.
We came into Moshi to climb Kilimanjaro without anything booked ahead of time, but a friend had highly recommended Evans to us—she had used them for Kilimanjaro and several safaris in the past and said they were great, a local outfit, and you’d develop genuine friendships with the guides and porters. All of this was true.
We called Evans on a Sunday morning, he answered immediately and offered to meet us at our hostel within 20 minutes. He arrived promptly and patiently talked us through our trekking options and we decided to take the 7-day Machame route. He answered every question we asked and has a very calm, patient demeanor—just a genuine cool guy you’d like to go out and have a smoke or a beer with.
The rest of that day Evans drove us around town and arranged our groceries and supplies while we prepared ourselves. That evening he and the two guides who would be taking us up met us at our hostel and had us try on all the necessary equipment for the climb that we hadn’t packed (he supplied it all free of charge). Evans even came back to our place once more that evening to ensure that our hiking boots fit properly. It was really nice meeting our guides ahead of time so there were no surprises the next day about who we’d be going up with and what they would be like. Our guides were legit, affable, and easy to get along with from the very beginning—no awkwardness from the start which we appreciated considering we’d be with these guys for the next week.
Throughout the trek we had a team of incredibly dedicated and warm porters, a cook, tent engineers, personal server, and two guides to take us through Machame and up to Kilimanjaro. We are budget travelers and didn’t request any special frills or additional luxuries, but we constantly felt pampered and spoiled (even a bit guilty) by the special treatment our team provided us: coffee served to us in our tents at the start of every morning, hot beverages, snacks, and tents prepared ahead of time when we arrived at camp at the end of every day’s trek, three delicious, balanced meals in a private mess tent, a private bathroom (no other companies had this to our knowledge), and even an unexpected bottle of red wine to celebrate our successful summit at the end of our very last night.
Our tour guides (the Rutta brothers) were extremely genuine, conversational, and experienced (Rutta was a park ranger and he literally climbed Kilimanjaro over 500 times…both were certified badasses). Every night they walked us through what we’d be doing and how to dress each day, regularly checked on our health to ensure we weren’t showing signs of altitude sickness, and constantly dedicated themselves to our success, comfort, and safety. When we wanted some space on the trail to walk in solitude they gave it to us, but also always were nearby to guide us and keep us on a safe pace.
We walked away profoundly happy with our time on the mountain and the bonds we made with our team—which really made the experience what it was. Couldn’t recommend these guys strongly enough, they’re great and their rates are competitive and fair—especially when you consider that half of what you pay goes to the national park fees alone and not the company. Keep in mind: any company that charges lower rates is going to do so by slashing their porters and guides’ wages. And with the amount of work these guys put in to carry and set up all the stuff you need, you’ll recognize that they deserve as much as they can get.
Hands down the best trekking company we’ve ever been with. He even gave us polo shirts the day after our trek and offered to drive us around town wherever we needed to go; just for the hell of it. Highly recommend.