Awaken to Africa–Best custom wildlife safaris to Tanzania: Serengeti, Tarangire, Selous, Mahale
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Who is Awaken to Africa?

Awaken to Africa is jointly owned by an expert Tanzanian naturalist guide, David Mshana, and Grace Evans, a veteran traveler and accomplished photographer from the United States. Our tour company has a TALA (Tourist Agent License) license, which means that it is fully licensed by the Tanzania government to conduct tours. We are a member of the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO) and the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB).

Awaken to Africa is both a tour operator and a ground operator company. That means that our company provides your ground services (e.g., transport to and from lodges, national park tours, and game drives) in Tanzania—not another ground operator. David is in charge of the local ground operations in Tanzania, and Grace manages the bookings for our guests, lodgings, and intra-Tanzania air arrangements from the United States.

With over twenty years of experience, David is one of the premier guides in Tanzania. With his extraordinary knowledge of wildlife behavior, David has a well-honed ability to spot elusive creatures. Having worked with hundreds of clients, David has the in-depth experience required to make each expedition singular and superb, sharing his easy-going and flexible spirit and marvelous sense of humor along the way. Our feedback page testifies to the way our guests feel after spending time with David on safari.

Given his tracking skills and expert knowledge of all aspects of the Tanzanian ecosystem, it is no surprise that David’s services are frequently requested by top professional wildlife photographers. A member of the Pare tribe and native of the Kilimanjaro region, David has contacts in many local tribes and can arrange in-depth cultural experiences based on a variety of interests.

Grace is a veteran traveler and wildlife photographer, who has journeyed from the headwaters of the Amazon River and the mountains of Machu Picchu in Peru to the remote interior of Katmai National Park in Alaska. She has traveled extensively in Tanzania and has a broad personal knowledge of the diverse offerings of the region.

During her years of experience in corporate client and project management, she developed a customer service focus and attention to detail that are second to none. “My interest in photography brought me to Tanzania the first time, and it has beckoned me ever since,” explains Grace. “I believe it will have the same effect on you!”

Each year we spend at least a month traveling in Tanzania and a week or two to other African countries. This allows us to keep up with new properties and changes to existing ones. We want to personally stay at or visit each property before we book a lodge or camp for our guests.

Our attention to detail and personal service is unmatched. There are many tour companies offering trips to Tanzania, but none offers the personal service and attention that we do. Awaken to Africa works with only the best naturalist/drivers, who are experienced and expert in all aspects of the Tanzanian ecosystem and are consistently requested by professional photographers and other animal professionals who travel to Tanzania. Some of our naturalist guides are:

Steven Mfinanga

Steven is an experienced naturalist guide and driver. He has been employed by several of the top safari companies in Tanzania for over 20 years and is a veteran in his bush knowledge and the tourism industry. Steven has attended a variety of tour guide courses during his employment in the tour industry and will be able to answer your questions about the animals, birds, their behavior, and Tanzania in general.

Steven's favorite animal is the cheetah, and his favorite bird is the African Fish Eagle. Steven is especially good at bird identification, and he's a favorite with our guests who are true birders.

Evarest Geitano

Evarest has been guiding for almost 20 years, taking his first wildlife course in 1990. He has worked for a number of the top safari companies in Tanzania. Evarest and his wife own a restaurant in Usa River, where they live. The restaurant is called the Chick Inn, and Awaken to Africa purchases picnic lunches from the restaurant when we need packed lunches for a safari.

When Evarest is not on safari, he likes playing football (soccer). Awaken to Africa guests always like being with Evarest because he is charming, enjoys being with people sharing ideas, and he is very easy-going.

Joseph Kitia

Joseph was born in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania. A former regional game warden and chief instructor at the Mweka College of African Wildlife Management, Kitia (a professional guide since 1984) is unique among guides, providing our guests with extraordinary knowledge about wildlife and wildlife management, culture, politics, and the history of Tanzania. He is well versed in the various eco-systems throughout East Africa

Joseph graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1965. He was elected the Chairman of Usa River village in 2002, which enables him to take our guests to the community to learn about village life, which in turn benefits the local villagers from the tourism industry. During his 30 years of working as a professional guide, Joseph has worked with the top safari companies in Tanzania and the United States.

Semu Nkini

Semu is a member of the Chagga tribe from the Kilimanjaro region and has been a wildlife guide for more than 20 years, frequently taking professional photographers on safari.

An experienced guide, fluent in German and very familiar with all regions of Tanzania, Semu is also a skilled mechanic, which is extremely valuable and useful when working in the isolation of the bush.

Albert Lema

Albert is an experienced naturalist and driver/guide. Albert has been guiding for over 12 years, he speaks English and French, and he’s a very friendly person. His favorite animal is the elephant, but he’s known and respected for his bird expertise as well as his ability to spot wildlife. While on safari in the Serengeti National Park, Albert watched a Martial Eagle hunting and saw it catch a Dik Dik.

When Albert is not on safari, he does a bit of gardening and enjoys playing soccer. Awaken to Africa guests always enjoy being with Albert—especially the serious birders.

We are actively involved with organizations that promote tourism to and positive news about Africa. As such, we are members of the Association for the Promotion of Tourism to Africa (APTA), Africa Travel Association (ATA), Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO), and Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB).

We are listed as a "top operator" for planning safaris in Tanzania in Frommer's Kenya and Tanzania guidebook. We are also included in the "cream of overseas specialist tour operators for Tanzania" in The Rough Guide to Tanzania.

Click Logos for more information:
Association for the Promotion of Tourism to Africa African Travel Association TATO Tanzania Tourist Board

Awaken to Africa combines local expert knowledge, extraordinary customer service, and exquisite attention to detail. Come live your African dream with us!


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