Updated on April 17th, 2023
Mama Tembo Tours: Created with a love for Africa
“Affordable, tailor made, wildlife and cultural safaris in East, West, Central and Southern Africa. MTT Safaris is owned and operated by a passionate, experienced traveller. MTT also operates a private and peaceful guest house in Lusaka, Zambia.” — Leslie Nevison, CEO, Mama Tembo Tours
Mama Tembo Tours originated in British Columbia, Canada, in 2005. It found a permanent home in Lusaka, Zambia in 2014. A travel business felt destined in many ways. My husband and I first moved overseas to live in 1990. We have since called 13 countries home around the world, including Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, the Republic of Congo, Gabon and Benin.
I am often asked how I chose the company’s name. The story began in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in 2000, where the love affair with Africa began. I traveled around Tanzania in an old Toyota in search of material for a book I hoped to write. Over time, the old vehicle earned the nickname Mama Tembo, which in Kiswahili means Mother Elephant. In Tanzania, bus and truck drivers often bear the names of their dilapidated vehicles. This is what happened to Mama Tembo, the Toyota, and her driver. Regrettably, the old car, whose maintenance kept a happy mechanic employed, was sold to a school in 2004. As for the book, yes, it was written, but to this day sits as a manuscript in need of editing and an updated perspective. I leaf through it every so often. I have come to realize its enormous value. The Tanzania I experienced behind Mama Tembo’s wheel no longer exists.
Since its start in Tanzania, Mama Tembo Tours Zambia LTD has grown into the East, West, Central and Southern Africa specialist. I work in 16 African countries. My broad experience and knowledge of more than one region of the continent makesMama Tembo Tours a qualified consultant for anyone seeking multiple country safaris.
Itinerary creation remains my favourite part of the client relationship. My timelines appeal to those seeking highly personal, quality travel; informed advice over the sugar coating of a destination; and who are as comfortable with bumpy roads in the search for uniqueness as they are with a luxury tented camp or seaside resort.
The Mama Tembo Tours Experience
Zambia-based Mama Tembo Tours is an independent operator working freely with trusted African companies, accommodations, and guides. This way MTT serves each client’s unique needs. Our challenge is to sort through the immense number of options to create the best!
East African tours are priced in USD. Central African tours are priced in Euro. Prices are dependent upon factors such as season, length of trip, size of group, accommodation choice, and whether tour is private or escorted.
We give you honest and informed advice and one-on-one support from start to finish. Lusaka-based we work in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Rep of Congo, Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic, Gabon and Benin.
Stay in Mama Tembo Tours guest house, MT Cheza, a private cottage on 5 acres of forest which sleeps two.
We believe diversity is the key to our great itineraries. Our itineraries are tried and trusted, proven logistically and revised regularly. No safari is too long or too short or too difficult. Multiple country safaris are our specialty.