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Guides - Hamidu in Lushoto and Mambo Village

Level Contributor
12 posts
13 reviews
Guides - Hamidu in Lushoto and Mambo Village

I was writing reviews after some tips in Usambara and Tanzania, lovely time

The guides in Mambo Village were paid little money with owner taking a lot

Then A man Herman sent me these email, can someone help me understand?

This is email here

Mambo guide

From: Herman E

Hi Salla,

I noticed that you are an "eco traveler" and advised to rent a local guide Hamidu and not to pay the owner of McI.

What you probably did not know that this guiding is a community activity and that the profit is used for community projects rather than for the "owner"

Moreover this owner, his name is Ndege, has a good heart for the community rather then $$ in his eyes.

I don't begrudge Hamidu and the McI staff , who will have got some bribing money, a quick profit but the challenge of development and community projects is that most people think of them selves rather then of the community. So for a cheep stay a good advise but for a good eco approach for sure not a good idea. It encourages people to get their own business outside the organized structure and guests to go for the cheapest instead of the most responsible.

Also you have to realize that we and McI invested a lot to get tourism going in Mambo. Somehow this investment and all the staff has to be paid. If all guest would go for this kind of cheap solutions McI would be closed soon.

I hope you understand and can change your opinion.

Greetings from Mambo


If a guide is paid $3 and the lodge owner takes $15 I can not change my opinion - it is a fact!

What is MCI? Who is bribing who?

Can someone helping me understand this muddleing


9 replies to this topic
Level Contributor
12 posts
13 reviews
1. Re: Guides - Hamidu in Lushoto and Mambo Village

I also looking toward the Mambo View Point reviews

the same people giving 5 stars rate two or three times, is this allowede

is it a policy by the owner to hide reviews that are telling people about bad things that are not good?

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
12,315 posts
155 reviews
2. Re: Guides - Hamidu in Lushoto and Mambo Village

I did a little research. I will say here, that I do not personally know the area. I believe MCI is Mambo Cliff Inn, neighbouring lodge to Mambo Viewpoint. It would seem from Herman's note that you paid the Cliff Inn for your guiding trip and that they are known to distribute funds into the community. Often tourist activities in Tanzania are community based, and yes, the person guiding does not get the bulk of the fee. If you received a story of poor payment, it may also have been to hint for a tip or extra money. As far as many are concerned, you are wealthy so can afford to pay more.

As to lodging reviews. A person is allowed to review the same property more than once. There has to be some time between - three months I think - and the review has to be for each individual visit. There are several negative reviews for Mambo Viewpoint. I have two friends who have been there....one a frequent Africa traveller and frequent poster on this forum (who is currently away), the other is working in Moshi as a volunteer. Both enjoyed their visits to Viewpoint, but each is allowed their own opinion. It has been some time since they visited and things may have changed.

I hope this offers some explanation for you.

Level Contributor
12 posts
13 reviews
3. Re: Guides - Hamidu in Lushoto and Mambo Village

every point on my visit to mambo view point was bad

my summary is that mambo view point is a false eco lodge, the owner had my review removed after the poits i am make on guide fees

africa is poor why are this lodge taking more money from guides?

the owner saying that people are corrupting everything

the village are saying that the owners of mambo view point are not serious helpers for the developing of the area

when visited this area please make a visit to the villagers and ask them and they will be more than helfull to you, for guiding and a real experience

taking this advising will make it really apparant the you help the local peoples more directly

Isle of Man, United...
Level Contributor
40,063 posts
452 reviews
4. Re: Guides - Hamidu in Lushoto and Mambo Village

I see your review of Mambo View Point/Hamidu is back and Herman from View point has responded. I think his response is accurate and fair. You seem to have been more upset by the 60km bus from Lushoto which I agree cannot have been much fun but hardly Herman's fault.

Cliff Inn was being built on my last visit but I did have a look around as we picked up our guide from there. It is to cater to budget travellers and no doubt will serve them well.

I have no comment to make on whether the guide was creaming off his take without contributing to the community that set up the business or not but that practice is sadly not uncommon in Tanzania.

That is how I also read Herman's reply to you above.

During my four night stay at View point we met lots of local people in and around Mambo even the local butcher and veg stall owners. All spoke of how pleased they were that the community initiative was working and bringing prosperity to the village.

Yes. MVP charges more than McI. They cater to two different markets and the quality of the product offered reflects this.

Level Contributor
12 posts
13 reviews
5. Re: Guides - Hamidu in Lushoto and Mambo Village

after talking to the village chairman and other peoples in the mambo village it was necesary for me to conclusion that problems are with the relations of herman lodge mambo views point and the village

the village say they have been cuted off from the comunity money raised by herman

what is creaming off money? is thia herman taking the $12 and give the guide $3 from guided fee of $15?

transparent is not here with herman and village people

Amsterdam, The...
2 posts
6. Re: Guides - Hamidu in Lushoto and Mambo Village

I visited in December and the guiding is a real problem in the area

when I paid for the excursion I thought that I was paying the guide it seems I was paying the lodge and the guide was paid very little

Also their seemed to be some rumblings in the village about development funds being held back and that the fees for the attractions and forest are also not being paid by the lodges owners in the area

New York
Level Contributor
28 posts
35 reviews
7. Re: Guides - Hamidu in Lushoto and Mambo Village

There are not many tourists in the area, and there is a lot of competition for people to get clients. Many people offer low priced guiding but the services are also low. You get what you pay for. It is possible to travel with a local and not have a lot go to a company that you have no relationship with. Some may need to go to an NGO they had a relationship with , maybe in 10,000 TSH or so. I do know that what you do pay does get spread around and it really depends how much goes to the guide but people are poor and desperate so they will take very little money if they have to to bring a little something home for the family. A low-budget hike maybe 25 to $30 a day with box lunch a mid price would be $60 to 75 a day, and can go up from there depending on your lodging choices and meal preferences. I don't think it's possible to get away from or try to control the bribing situation is going to happen, that's just the way it is there.

Edited: 26 June 2018, 12:31
New York
Level Contributor
28 posts
35 reviews
8. Re: Guides - Hamidu in Lushoto and Mambo Village

I didn't know it was possible to hide bad reviews. I think the person being reviewed or Lodge or whatever can only comment on what one writes. Am I

Isle of Man, United...
Level Contributor
40,063 posts
452 reviews
9. Re: Guides - Hamidu in Lushoto and Mambo Village

I think that this says it all.

<Many people offer low priced guiding but the services are also low. You get what you pay for.>

I have worked with lots of embryonic tourist promoting organisations in TZ and elsewhere. They are mostly very good and do a great job in co-ordinating a service to tourists. However in all walks of life there will be those who skim along at the bottom in the short term and seek to 'do it on the cheap' for their own direct gain rather than for the community. I can understand that without condoning it. but a lot of tourists seek to take the short term view also and hire these people for a few $$s rather than appreciate the work of the community that brought them the business.

But when they do they should realise that there is no comeback to the umbrella organisation and if the service is inferior, as it often is, they must take the loss. As msdry says "You get what you pay for!"

Far better I believe to pay a realistic fee and benefit from the back up and support of the community at large.

Finally it is possible for reviews to be removed under certain circumstances at the discretion of Trip Advisor. In addition the subject does of course have the right of reply.

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