Private Expeditions reviews

Private Expeditions reviews

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Private Expeditions - Promise a Great Adventure, Deliver so Much More

A huge Thank You, once again, to Private Expeditions for our fabulous Everest Base Camp trip. From initial enquiry with Rachel/Jane to promotion of our trek for Charity with Alison and finally the trek itself with Pimba, our guide and Hira, our porter we have had a magical time. With Pimba (aka Doris!) and Hira we never stopped laughing even during a few moments of despair! Thank you to you both for your constant support and entertainment, we really were a great team.
Could not recommend the company highly enough and would love to re-join them again even on a 'fun' trek in the Lake District.
Well done Jane, Paul and team for a British success - keep up the good work and that personal touch - it really does make a difference.
Regards Steve & Karen Thomas
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Fantastic 50th Birthday

Had a fantastic trek on the Machame Route with Private Expeditions at the beginning of March, 2014. We stayed in the African Tulip in Arusha before and after the trek (great staff and 5 stars), and took the extra day on the trek to give us best chance of summiting.
We were a private group of 6, with August as guide, and Eli and Elias as assistants. All three were relaxed and knowledgeable (and a good laugh !), and ran the trek superbly well. The porters/chef/waiter/toilet porter etc all helped give our group a real 'team' feel, and for us were the best group we saw on the mountain. The camps were always established in front of us, so all we had to do was arrive, eat and sleep !
The food was good and varied, with snacks at the right time, and fresh hot and cold water seemlessly provided. A couple of real nice celebration things at the end as well.
All six of us summited without any real problems, and I would give PE great credit for that. I'd have no hesitation in booking with PE again, an absolutely fantastic experience. Mark Cawthorn
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Superior quality... possibly more expensive but premium services

Had an amazing time, really especial! Since I ended up going alone, I had the chance to interact with people in other groups and notice some key differentials for PE.

All the staff was extremely friendly and accessible, especially the guide Ron, who made sure at all times the trip was safe and pleasurable. He even ended up adapting some days so I could make the most out of the trip. In the meanwhile, I've seen many groups not satisfied with their guides, who would only be there to do the minimum.

Food and comfort were also great, and better than most of what I've seen. Tents are almost new and manufactured by MSR, which is a very reliable brand. Food was extremely good and very, very generous portions were served. This helped a lot in the "carb up" process for the harsh days. Both in terms of tents and food, I didn't see many groups that even compare with PE.

Wrapping up, probably one of the best expeditions for Kili, not just my opinion but also from friends I've made along the way who were with other companies. You can find better prices elsewhere (but then consider the hotel nights and airport transport which are not included in most other packages), but it's going to be hard to find better services!
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AMAZING ! KILIMANJARO BIRTHDAY PRESENT

Myself, my husband & sister-in-law, climbed Kilimanjaro in December 2013. It was something I had always wanted to do, and decided in my 50th year, that I would try & accomplish this. Before booking I was getting fustrated, as I couldn't decide on the tour operator, route etc, it was all so mind boggling!! My first contact with Rachel at Private Expeditions made my decision and I am so glad I chose them.
Our guide Ronald and Elias were truly outstanding. We all felt that they had our best interests at heart and I certainly would not have made the summit if it was not for them. Paul our cook, created some delicous meals to keep us going. One of the most memorable was after a long morning walking in the rain, we had chips and a lovely pasta.... boy did we need thoes carbs! He even made doughnuts one day , smothered in nutella...scrumptious ! All the porters were extremely friendly, polite and truly deserve the tips, they all work extremely hard, but always have a massive smile.
The tents were good and the dining tent was the envy of other trekkers. One guy who was with another company , took a photo of ours, as he was going to complain about the standard of his.
Summit day, was without a doubt tough !! we started out at midnight and it was freezing, we had a good brief beforehand on what to wear etc, we wern't the fastest, but we all made it, and this was down to the expertise of our guides... Ronald took my rucksack and was on hand to help me tackle the terrain when it got difficult. I know for a fact I would not have achieved this without his kindness motivation and help.. I would definately recommend Private Expeditions. I'm hoping to trek in the Himalayas, so would love to go with them again. One last thing, hiring the loo is a must. Thank you Private Expeditions
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Private Expeditions made my 20 year dream come true.

My husband and I have just returned from climbing Kilimanjaro. Something I have wanted to do for 20 years. From the very start, when making the initial enquiries right through to being dropped off at the end of the climb, Private Expeditions and all their staff were amazing. Faultless service. Our guides Gaston and Elias were good fun and very knowledgeable. Melk the cook is a miracle worker. How you can produce such amazing food on a mountain is beyond belief . We were even presented with a beautifully baked and decorated cake to celebrate our success. Winston the waiter looked after our every need and of course all the super fit porters. We will never complain about carrying a heavy rucksack again. A huge thank you to all our team who helped us up the mountain. We couldn`t have done it without you. It was an amazing experience with lots of laughs.
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Private Expeditions - YOU ROCK !

My family - husband and two grown up sons and I summitted Mt Killimanjaro via the Machame Crater Camp route on Dec. 30, 2013.
It was a life changing experience in many ways. What made the trip truly memorable was the team that accompanied us. Lead guide August, Asst. lead Richard, Cook Sosta and waiter Winston.
My trekking boots (Timberlands) which were perfect when I left home, opened up the first day on the mountain. The crew actually sewed shut the open flaps like seasoned shoemakers. I can't think of one Company whose crew can do this. Believe me, it happened to me once on The Markha Valley trek in Ladakh and I was reduced to tying it together with cloth and hobbling along.
Twice a day pulse oxymeter checks, food that was so delicious we ate, inspite of the high altitude. Again having trekked a lot I can truly say this was one of the tastiest camp meals.
Besides urging us to eat and drink water regularly, the team motivated us every day.
The scramble up the intimidating Barranco wall has become our family favorite. Anyone who has heard horror stories about Barranco Wall should rest easy. Imagine a fun-wall and imagine you are spiderman. Enjoy!

We are now planning to go on the Everest Base camp trek with Private Expeditions.

Team Rao
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Fantastic experience

Absolutely Excellent trip - the guides and porters were amazing. Nothing was too much trouble and we certainly would not have made it to the top without them being there every step of the way.

The weather was appalling but in spite of this the tents stood up well and were waterproof and the mess tent was great. Food was really good, just what you need on a climb like this.

I can honestly say we came back as different people.
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Spectacular Everest Base Camp trek!

Flying out to Lukla was only the start of such an amazing trip. Our guide Dawa was superb, he was efficient and extremely organized as well as being very supportive from the day we met him in Kathmandu. He also managed to book us a helicopter to and from Lukla which made things a lot easier for us and we couldn't thank him enough for that! Private Expeditions were helpful throughout the time before and after the trek and all the staff were friendly and welcoming. A great company to go with if you fancy climbing to Base Camp or any other trek you fancy doing.
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Awesome in every sense

Well organized before we left the UK, all queries were answered by PE quickly and responses were all very polite. In Nepal our guide Dawa was superb, very knowledgeable, very kind and he kept us all in high spirits throughout. bad weather at Lukla nearly delayed us but Dawa managed to arrange a helicopter flight for us so we were one of only a handful of people who made it onto the trail that day. Everything about this trek was spectacular, if your reading this then you are no doubt thinking about going and i cannot recommend this company enough.
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Great trek

A super trek and thankfully for me you don't have to be superfit to do it! The trek balance lots of enjoyment with challenge and achievement - great insight and explanations from the guides to complement the amazing surroundings. It is quite unbelievable what the Incas did in such inhospitable terrain!

The high point for me was Walking through the sun gate to get the first sighting of Machu Picchu, it was truly inspirational. A real sense of achievement after a thoroughly enjoyable 4 day trek which was topped with the awe and wonder of seeing Machu Picchu. It bought tears to my eyes. We also saw some bright green parrots flying free which was superb!

Thank you
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Amazing trekking experience with Private Himalaya!!

My father and I went to Nepal in October this year in to attempt the Everest Base Camp trek with Private Himalaya/Expeditions (PE). The experience was amazing and one we will never forget, right from the start we were so well looked after by PE. Pimba, one of the guides and an Everest Summiteer met us at the aiprort and drove us straight to our hotel for a welcome beer after 24 hs of travel!

The next day we were due to fly out to Lukla and as many trekkers will know the planes do not fly from Kathmandu to Lukla unless the weather is perfect...we were not so lucky and it took 4 days for us to get out to Lukla in clear weather. Throughout the whole time at the aiport in Kathmandu, Pimba from PE did his absolute best each day to get us on any flight he could and really looked after us, ferrying us each day from the hotel to the airport and back when we weren't successful. Each night he came up with a plan for the next day until we eventually flew out on the 4th day and started our trek.

For our actual trek we had our personal guide Dorje and our porter Dhjiban - both were brilliant. We felt very safe with Dorje and he was a lot of fun, although serious when he had to be to make sure we understood things (like not having alcohol on the way up to EBC!) The attention to detail was pretty impressive, making sure we ate and drank well, checking our oxygen levels each night and making sure we were being honest about how we felt physically. As we had lost the 4 days at the start Dorje had to change the trek on the fly and did so brilliantly without rushing us, always telling us "slowly...slowly"

Dhijban our porter (18 years old) was pretty awesome carrying our bags every day and beating is on each section of the trek...embarrassing actually! when we tipped him at the end he came to say thank you and you could tell he was very genuine...he was very shy!

After a few tough sleepless nights near EBC Dorje was always more concerned about our health than getting to the top but when we made it he took me up to the top of a steep ridge and we took some amazing photos for 30 mins before starting down in the snow! Dorje became a friend, we had an amazing experience together and we celebrated in style on the final night in Lukla...I will be going back and I will be asking Dorje to be our guide....the next challenge looks like Island Peak!

The best recommedation I could give is to use PE again and I will be doing that with my wife in the next 2 years..Island Peak is a definite and there is always Kili in the future which is what makes PE so impressive, their global scale.

My father and I would both highly recommend PE to anyone thinking of going trekking or climbing...thank you to the whole PE team and I am sorry I took so long to write this but work has taken revenge on me for taking 3.5 weeks off in a row!

Thanks very much
Jonny & Mike Cowlin
EBC October 2012
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Review by confirmed purchaser

Brilliant Trip

Can't recommend you more highly. Everything was perfect. thanks
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First class, absolutely perfect in every way to mark a big birthday!

Climbing Kilimanjaro is something that I'd always wanted to do, but there was just no way that my husband was fit enough to do it. So I took the bull by the horns and booked the trip as a birthday surprise, for his 50th, to motivate him from being a couch potato, dropping a few pounds, and hopefully getting fit in the process. Cruel some may say, but it did the trick :-D

After reading the reviews about PE and chatting to Rachel I was hooked and took the plunge. It's now or never I thought.

This was a real challenge for both of us, but our guides, Gaston and Elias were fantastic. We felt like we were in safe hands all the way. Both of them were great fun to be with, Elias had an incredibly cheeky smile and also a great sense of humour. We both felt humbled by how hard the entire team worked. Our porters had the camp taken down after we left and then would spring past us on the trail and have it put up again before we arrived in the next camp.... incredible! Our cook, Paul, whipped up some wonderful, tasty food on the mountain, which was much appreciated. In fact the portions were much too big and I began to worry that we may put weight on while out there.... particularly when the nutella and pancakes came out... yummy!

Helpful tip - do book the toilet option! The public toilets on Kili are by far the worst I have ever come across. I won't go into detail but just absolutely foul!

Thank you PE for a really memorable trip. Both myself and Derek would not hesitate to recommend you. We're thinking of climbing Island Peak as our next adventure so will be back in touch.
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Life-changing experience climbing Kilimanjaro

My wife persuaded me to book this trip for my 50th birthday and I think secretly wanted me to lose some weight and get fit and used this trip as a bribe. Well I am so glad she did.

When I joined a Private Expeditions training walk I realised that I really was nowhere as fit as I thought I was and this really gave me a kick up the backside. Well 6 months later I had lost nearly 10kg which was a huge success before I even set foot on the mountain.

The climb itself was incredible. Abigail and I had never slept in a tent and were amazed that the tents were comfortable and the food was really good. It is quite amazing what the team produced.

Our guide Gaston and the assistant guide Elias were brilliant all the way through the trek and on summit night we really appreciated their support. At times I really wanted to stop but they kept me going and the feeling when we reached the top was out of this world. Big hugs and a few tears!!

Words can't say how much I enjoyed the whole thing. I am now a convinced trekker. Roll on the next trip.
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Perfect team!

My friend Denise and I booked on a group trek to Everest base camp never having done anything like it before and with lots of nerves about doing it.

We should not have been worried, everything we could think of was covered by Private Expeditions and they could not help us enough to get ready.

On the trek itself our guide Dorche was wonderful, good company, very supportive and really friendly. We really felt we had made a friend by the time we finished.

Also a special thank you to Alison who kept all our family up to date on facebook- my mum couldn't wait to see your news update each day!

Will definitely recommend you to my friends.
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Review by confirmed purchaser

Unbelievable experience climbing Island Peak

I was recommended to Private Expeditions by a friend who had done the Everest base camp trek with them and from the first time I emailed them to when I was dropped off at the airport on the way home. They were brilliant.

My endless questions never seemed to wind Rachel up and in Nepal there was nothing that Kumar and Pimba wouldn't do to help.

My guide for the climb was Dawa who has summited Everest twice and as a novice to climbing I felt in really safe hands. Standing on top of Island Peak was unbelievable.

Will be back to do more next year. Thanks to everyone

Frank
Private Expeditions

Reply from Private Expeditions

Thanks for the review Frank, look forward to talking to you about your next challenge

Paul Deakin
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Exceptional, well organized, challenging and fun!

I had a truly memorable experience climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro with five other climbers and the Private Expeditions team . Our climb started October 14, 2013.

The Lemosho route, eight day climb was the perfect route for me in terms of acclimatization and the amazing scenery. The lead guide, August, was a professional, third generation, Kilimanjaro mountain guide who could be depended upon for his expertise and focus on safety as well as for his patience and good humor. Calvin was a solid, second guide who was willing to share his experience, knowledge of the mountain and his well-developed appreciation of American Country Western Music. Kevin as the guide in training was always there and fully capable to step in when needed. Paul, the chef, did a great job preparing an amazing variety of hot, tasty meals. I always looked forward to the breakfasts, lunches, dinners and afternoon teas. All the porters were very hard working, upbeat and friendly. The scenery was truly awesome. Our climb was a full moon climb. Nights and early mornings were crystal clear with views of the mountain above and the agricultural valleys below. I will always cherish the rich memories of the mountain, my fellow climbers, the intensity of the experience and the Private Expeditions team.

After the climb, I had three days for a Private Expeditions safari. My safari guide, Silva possessed extensive knowledge of the parks, animals, plants and the people of Tanzania. As we drove through the parks, Silva was an ongoing source of fascinating information. We visited Lake Manyara and Tarangire National Parks as well as the amazing Ngorongoro Crater Preserve. The safari added a greater experience of the Tanzanian countryside and the people and villages along the way. The opportunity to see the animals in their expansive, natural environments was a life enriching experience.
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Faultless. Unforgettable. Thank you :)

I was part of a group of 6 who climbed Kili last week. 8 day Lemosho route. 21 staff accompanied us (so don't ever think your porter's tips are too much when you work out how much these guys get paid to lug your stuff up the mountain!). Our head Guide was called August and he was a perfectionist. A great guide. A mentor at times, Able to make tough decisions when required - but also a great team leader and a very capable person. Totally trustworthy and we came to think very highly of him as the days progressed. Our safety was paramount - but he was also committed to ensuring our trip was as memorable and enjoyable as it possibly could be. Both his Father and Grandfather were Mountain Guides so I guess it's in his blood.

The 8 day climb allowed us to acclimatise as well as we possibly could. 4 of us made it to the top - but that's only the end section of an 8 day journey which is challenging from the start. Everybody did their absolute best.

The team- both in the UK - and on the ground - were all wonderful. Special thanks - not just to August - but also to Paul our chef who took great pride in preparing food to our tastes - and popped his head round the door at every meal to check it was ok. Always keeping an eye out for foods we liked and the occasional (very occasional ones) we weren't so keen on. Makes Nutella and Banana pancakes to die for - and most of us could have easily smuggled him home given half a chance. Day 4 - when we initially climbed to 4,600m just before lunchtime in the pouring rain and cloud cover - I can't tell you how happy we all were to see the dinner tent up for shelter - and then feast on soup and Spag Bol for lunch - rather than our usual cold packed lunch (which was great - but not when you're wet and miserable). That was one of the best lunches we ever had - because it rejuvenated our spirits that day - thanks to Paul.

As I say - the whole team were brilliant. It was very notable that every single one of the crew were proud to be associated with Private Expeditions: Ask any of the guys and they would honestly tell you that PE are THE company in Kili to work for: Guides, Porters alike, Ultimately, that ensures that they always take the most reliable and dependable and best quality crew up the mountain on every trip which was a comforting thought.

So thank you all - for making our trip of a lifetime just that. A trip of a lfetime.

I would have no hesitation in recommending PE to others - and I wouldn't be surprised if I book with you guys again in the future.
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Exception Trip and Highly recommended

The team at private expeditions provided 3 friends and I a memorable experience that was extremely well planned. In almost all areas they exceeded expectations on not only the quality of the food and guides but also the professionalism shown with regards to our health during the climb. I have no problems highly recommending private expeditions for anyone wanting to challenge themselves with the mammoth climb to the top of Kilimanjaro. We all made it to the top successfully and I have no doubt that a big part of this success was due to Private Expeditions. I am happy stressing that they truly stood out well above the other outfits we saw while climbing. A big thank you to Richie and his team!
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Simply The Best!!

I have decided to wait a month since my trip to give myself time to reflect rather than to leave feedback whilst still on a high. To be honest i think i could wait a year and my views and memories would be the same, AMAZING from start to finish!!
My Route: Lemosho 8 day:
From my first contact with Rachel on the phone i was convinced that i had made the right decision booking my trip with Private Expeditions, I had spoken to other companies and was made to feel like i was just another body to fill a tent. The booking process was very quick and easy with all of the options very clearly listed and again Rachel was always at the end of the phone to answer any and all of my questions, however trivial.
Transfer and Hotel: On arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport along with a plane load of other travelers i found my driver waiting for me at the exit, the only difference was that mine was the only one wearing a company uniform. It is little things like this that made me realize that my trip was going to be something special!! The hotel was fantastic and the staff were very helpful and i was met by a Private Expeditions representative who explained what i would be doing on the morning of my climb and who i would be meeting.
The Climb: On the morning i was being collected to start my trip i was feeling quite apprehensive about being a party of one and about being on by own for 8 days but within 10 minutes of being picked up from the hotel my fears and anxieties were left behind as i was made to feel welcome by my guide Elibahati and chef Justin. The first days walking passed before i knew it and we were settled into Big Tree camp and it was here that i realized that there must be a wizard amongst my crew, as in the middle of the jungle a feast fit for a king was placed in front of me. I could not believe that Justin had cooked such a banquet but this was just the start!! The meals throughout my trip were all amazing, the portions large enough for two of me and i did my best to finish all of them (i only succeeded once but it was fun trying!!) As we progressed through my trip i had lots of time to look at the other groups and companies climbing and this only went to reinforce my thoughts that there is only one company to use to climb Kili, and i was with them. Twice a day i was given a health check by Eli and it wasn't until i asked him that i found out that this was not standard practice with the other companies which i found shocking considering the effects that trekking at altitude can have. During my hours of walking Eli made sure that he told me all about the areas that we were in and what we could expect from the day ahead. Before i knew it 6 days had passed we were at Barafu camp and preparing for the summit. As with every day previously Justin cooked a miracle and Eli briefed me on the day ahead and before i knew it i was sitting in the dining tent, "suited and booted" eating biscuits, drinking coffee while waiting to get going, and then Eli appeared at the tent door and we started. Five hours and ten minutes later we were standing on the roof of Africa at Uhuru Peak, mission accomplished, and one hour and fifty minutes later we were back at Barafu camp for a well deserved breakfast. From here we made an epic 22 mile trek off the mountain to the waiting bus and onwards to the hotel and the best shower i have ever had!!
I cannot thank every one involved in my trip enough, from the office staff to the porters everyone did everything possible to ensure that a trip of a lifetime was exactly that. I feel that i should reserve a special thank you to Eli for making me feel so welcome and for his ongoing support and advice during my trek. Since returning i have watched my video diary many times, all four hours of it, and i have shown it to every one who was interested and some who weren't!! Everyone who has seen it has said how incredible my trip looked and that can only be down to the company that organized it for me. THANK YOU!!!!!!!

Private Expeditions

Adventures One Step Beyond

Private Expeditions specializes in adventures to some of the world’s most iconic destinations. These include Kilimanjaro, Everest, Machu Picchu and Ngorongoro Crater. We can help you create an adventure that takes you One Step Beyond your everyday; One Step Beyond your limits; One Step Beyond your dreams. We understand that what makes an adventure One Step Beyond is different for every one of us. But whatever One Step Beyond means to you, and whether you are seven or seventy, we would love to help you create your own One Step Beyond adventure. Of course, going One Step Beyond should not mean compromising your safety and you can be confident you are in safe hands with Private Expeditions. We are experts in all the areas in which we operate and know how to ensure you enjoy your adventure safely using the best guides, the best gear and the best operating procedures. And regardless of whether your adventure would take you to climb Kilimanjaro, hike to Everest base camp, trek to Machu Picchu or go on safari to witness the spectacular wildebeest migration, our team will always go One Step Beyond to ensure you have the adventure of a lifetime.

Visit Private Expeditions

Paul Deakin

Write to: info@privexn.com
We live here: The Old Schoolhouse
DE13 8BH Burton upon Trent
United Kingdom

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