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Review Highlights
Aside from Dar Traffic Starting Us Late, Great Day

We took an Investour today and had a great time! Unfortunately Dar traffic and a hotel mixup had us... read more

Reviewed 22 July 2017
danas378
via mobile
The best way to experience Dar es Salaam!

We took a group of 19 people through GOOD Travel to experience Dar es Salaam through Investours in... read more

Reviewed 12 March 2017
Eliza R
,
Wellington, New Zealand
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Reviewed 26 September 2013

In May, I contacted Peter Millinga of Investours via email, and expressed interest in a tour prior to our safari which was to begin the beginning of September. Mr. Millinga was prompt in his response to the request and provided information pertaining to the tour and the organization.

Our group of four was picked upped at our hotel promptly at 10:30 A.M. by Aziza and driven to the Investours office where we huddled around a laptap and viewed a short presentation on the origin and goals of Investours. The money that we paid for the tour would be used for a 90 day interest free loan to one of the two possible applicants. We would have an opportunity to view the applicants business, learn of their goals and how the loan would enhance their business. Ample opportunity would be provided in which we could ask questions.

We were then driven to the first applicant a 60 year old lady who sold vegetables and charcoal out of her home. After approximately 30 minutes we got back in the car and met the second applicant a tailor who co-owned a two person shop with three treadle sewing machines.

After our second interview was completed we went to a local establishment for lunch. During lunch we had to decide which applicant should receive the loan. The recipient was than contacted and instructed to meet us at a financial institution where the loan papers could be completed. While the recipient was in transit we were able to walk to the Mwenge Woodcarver Market.

For the $75 per person that we paid, we were driven/escorted to parts of Dar Es Salaam that few tourist see. The traffic in the city is horrendous.

During our 5.5 hour tour I got a chance to learn what life and work is like in Dar Es Salaam. You appreciate how hard these people have to work to eek out a living. You have an opportunity to learn about the country of Tanzania, its government, its education system, and the various ethnic backgrounds that form the country. I hope the loan that our recipient receives help them achieve success. I do know that I had a very enlightening experience.

2  Thank DePere
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 September 2013

I really think this organization has a great concept implementing tours while giving small loans to local businesses but I do think it could be managed a lot better. The tour itself didn't seem very organized and the local business owners we visited were very reluctant to talk to us. Our guides were college interns and were pretty friendly but I would've liked them to be a bit more informative because it seemed as though we were always having to dig for information. We also piled like 5 people into a tiny car on a very hot day. The so called presentation at the beginning was basically just six of us squeezing around a laptop while a woman shows some pictures. Despite that I think Investours is trying to do some good in Dar and I respect that. I really enjoyed going around to local businesses, places I never would've went on my own. You get a sense for how local tanzanians truly work and live in a thriving environment. So on the tour we talked to these local business owners and discussed with them what they plan on doing with the loan. It was very interesting to actually interact with the locals and our guides interpreted for us. We visited a woman who owns a wig/weave shop and we visited a tailor. When I say tailor it was literally a man sitting outside of an electronics shack at a sewing machine. We were a bit hesitant to eat at the restaurant they took us to for lunch as it was pretty dirty but I understand that this was a local restaurant so it allowed us to really immerse ourselves in local culture. Overall it was a really humbling experience and I definitely recommend it.

2  Thank Jessica B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 June 2013

This is an ingenious way to allow visitors to help make a difference in some lives in Tanzania. A fee is paid to take a tour of two small businesses. First there is a presentation explaining microfinance and how it works in Tanzania. Next, you get to meet the owners, ask questions and visit through an interpreter and then decide which of the two businesses should receive some of the money, which you paid for the tour, as a microfinance loan to assist them in starting or expanding their trade. The business not receiving the loan would be given feedback of what our opinion was as to what we felt they could change to help them be more successful in their business. It was a wonderful way to meet some local people, learn about their lives and be able to assist if possible. We then ate lunch at a local restaurant. Beyond that, we were not able to do the shopping that would have been included in the tour due to time constraints. I would highly recommend this tour.

2  Thank DeniseH216
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2013

After spending six weeks traveling though Tanzania and Malawi, I was a bit torn about how to spend my last day in Africa. Dar Es Salaam had some nice attractions: the beaches of Kigamoyo, Bongoyo Island . . . nice for mizungus such as myself. I'd been visiting development projects for much of my journey, and was so glad to have experienced this type of educational/philanthropic tourism before I went back home to the USA. Having accommodating, expert guides such as Peter and his staff was such a treat, and getting a peek into the lives of hardworking local entrepreneurs like the woodcarvers and charcoal sellers we met was meaningful.

Investours partners with local financial institutions, which in turn work with local businesspeople, using the fees paid for their tours to provide interest-free loans to support enterprise. My tour was money very well spent, and since I have been studying microfinance/microenterprise a bit lately, it was great to see a program such as their in action. I have such enthusiasm for educational tourism, and Investours was such an excellent example of what this type of activity should be like. Innovative, informative, inspiring! Highly recommended.

1  Thank Colin R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 February 2013

If you ever wanted to know what it would feel like to be a dragon on Dragons Den. This is your chance to and to know you have left Tanzania and made a difference long term.

The concept is that you pay a fee ( if private $200 if two $100 each if over three $75 each) for a tour. For this you have the opportunity to meet two local people trying to set up or improve their business. Lunch at a local cafe run by some women previously helped by the project. Lastly, a trip to the carvers market where you can shop and meet Tony who had the opportunity to develop his business and here how it made a difference (we bought a larger item from Tony as he was very good with his pricing and did not start at outlandish amounts. No need or pressure to buy but we really wanted the giraffe he had). As part of the tour you are also given an overview of what micro finance is and poverty information about Tanzania.

The idea is then that your tour fee is what funds the loan that will be given to one of the two business people you meet. That means that as a group you have to decide who to invest in. The one who doesn't receive the investment will receive feedback as to why and can apply again in the future. The loan is then given and has to be paid back within 3 months. It is amazing how $200 dollars really can make a big difference to people trying to help their business and family.

Many small business like hair saloons and carvers are only just making enough week to week to live and can not make enough to save up £150 to perhaps develop their business or fund capital to buy more stock at a cheaper price.

You the tourist make these funds available to them in the form of a loan. The loan comes from a banking partner of Investours. When the loan is paid back 30% of the funds you have put in is kept by the bank to cover their lending cost and cost of being a part of the scheme such as running cheaper bank accounts long term. The other 70% is used to fund the cost of running Investours. To ensure it is a sustainable long term project. As a finance director myself I was impressed with this model.

You can know that during your time in Tanzania you helped a family to move further out of poverty and made a difference. You will have directly met the person who's family you have helped and can really feel the personal attachment to this. It has been a really inspiring talking point of our holiday.

I really can't recommend this enough if you have the chance do this tour.

2  Thank Daisy1976
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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