Whether it is a Kili climb or a safari you should make sure the company has a profile and can supply copies of the various licenses required to operate in Tz. Otherwise you are running a risk.
- Report: #1139631
Report - Rebuttal - Arbitrate
Complaint Review: Elite Kilimanjaro
Elite Kilimanjaro13505 S Mur-Len Rd Suite 105242 Olathe, Kansas USA
Elite Kilimanjaro Do not use this company to climb Kilimanjaro. It's not a real company and a scam. Olathe Kansas
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Our group had been in regular communication with Elite Kilimanjaro until recently when we had enquired about whether they ran the climbs themselves or outsourced. A couple weeks passed by with no response, so we ended up booking with Kilimanjaro Climbing Co. Nevertheless I noticed some very strange things with Elite Kilimanjaro since then and I have to caution others against doing business with them. The representative we had communicated with was named Marcus. According to his own Google+ account, Marcus Wirsig lives and works in Dubai for Cerner Middle East, a health care company! This is despite Elite Kilimanjaro's representation that they are a USA company based in Kansas. Why an American company has an Arab working in health care fielding questions about Kilimanjaro I have no clue.
Other people on Tripadvisor.com had figured out disturbing things about this company that suggest it is a fake company. http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g293750-i11370-k6793573-Elite_Kilimanjaro-Kilimanjaro_National_Park_Kilimanjaro_Region.html
"Mike M" has three posts during his entire tenure on tripadvisor. All three posts talk about Elite Kilimanjaro. He joined and posted on the same day, talking about his "colleague" and his "climb". A bit enthusiastic, I would say! FAKE profile.
"Mike M" says, "I could not find reviews on trip advisor either, but I booked a group climb with them based on a recommendation from a colleague who used them last year." I look at Elite Kilimanjaro's facebook page and they started posting links to their plagiarized website beginning in May 2013. Web archives confirm that the domain elitekilimanjaro.com was first captured in May 2013. So it was a completely BLANK website prior to this, when "Mike M"'s colleague allegedly "used them" in 2012. FAKE story.
Let's assume this colleague found the company in person, at their office inKansas. That's unlikely, but possible, IF the office actually existed. Elite Kilimanjaro's listed business address is 13505 S Mur-Len Rd Suite 105242 Olathe, Kansas. Satellite imagery shows the 13505 S Mur-Len Road location is a strip mall. Although there is a suite 105, the next three digits 242 is a code for mail sorting. It's a mailbox. FAKE office.
Elite Kilimanjaro's website shows they allegedly ran group climbs on the Lemosho route on February 25, 2013 and the Rongai route on March 4, 2013. These spots were sold out (status listed as "FULL"). But they didn't even have a running website at the time! Also, as of September 6, 2013, they filled 11 more group climbs to full capacity and ran 6 additional group climbs in 2013, as a brand new company operating for a mere 4 months with insignificant web presence. FAKE climbs.
Elite Kilimanjaro's facebook page says the company was founded in January 2012. But the elitekilimanjaro.com domain was purchased two months later, in March 2012. FAKE date.
Elite Kilimanjaro's facebook page began in January 2013. As of today, Elite Kilimanjaro's facebook page shows 589 likes. Facebook stats shows a huge spike in June 2013. The "likes" were purchased to make the page look more credible. FAKE likes.
They claimed to work with Zara guides so to make sure I contacted Zara and they said THEY DO NOT WORK WITH ELITE KILLIMANJARO!!! AND THEY NEVER HAVE!!! I am shocked disgusted and apalled that ppl can just flat out make lies and take ppls hard earnd money. PLease BE CAREFUL who you send money to....make sure it's a real company... I almost lost a ton of money.
Ask the company to email their TALA licence.
Make sure their TALA licence is actually in the name of the company.
If no TALA move on.
If the TALA licence is in another name, move on.
You have now mentioned one fake company and the other you mentioned has very bad reports here on Tripadvisor and in Tanzania. There are a raft of companies springing up with very aggressive social media campaigns that are all smoke and mirrors. In Africa all is not as it may appear to the unwary. Ask here and those who know Africa will guide you. Pay no attention to one post wonders who promote a specific company, use lots of bold and generally have a poor grasp of the English language. The ghost posters for some foreign companies are also easy to spot for those who have been on this site for a while.
I can find no record of a business license granted to Elite Kilimanjaro. Are you ILLEGALLY operating a business out of Kansas???
I am from Holland and also was looking to go to climb Kilimanjaro and was so happy with the very kind and helpful email traffic between Marcus (he called himself) and myself.
I almost booked with them but now I thank you for above review and I am glad I did not lose my mone.
There is a drive to cull operators who use another companies TALA A licence under what was previously called a voucher system. Unlicenced tour operators would use the TALA A licence of another company (or a private business man) to circumvent the official requirement for the company offering the tour to in fact hold a TALA A licence. This is why it is important to ascertain that if they do have a TALA A it is in the name of the company offering the Mt Kilimanjaro treks.
Do they have a TALA A licence? Ask for a copy.
"Mannika", the original poster, lives in Dubai.
"Kristie P", the owner of Elite Kilimanjaro, reviewed a restaurant in Dubai.
"Marcus", the salesperson of Elite Kilimanjaro, lives and works in Dubai.
Yet Elite Kilimanjaro claims to be an American company.... in Olathe, Kansas... with a mailbox.... in a strip mall. At best Elite is a shell company for a real operator. At worst Elite is a total sham.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/17/2014 10:26 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Elite-Kilimanjaro/Olathe-Kansas-66062/Elite-Kilimanjaro-Do-not-use-this-company-to-climb-Kilimanjaro-Its-not-a-real-company-a-1139631. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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