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People make your trip. And these are the people who will elevate your experience beyond the basics. Booking your lodge, driving you through a national park – that’s the easy stuff. But your guides, drivers, porters and cooks are truly the heart and soul behind your adventure. Pristine Trails hires and trains first-class crews to accompany you on your journey. To you, these are all unknown faces. To us, they are experts at what they do, each of whom has unique and special qualities that come together to give you a trip you will never forget.


Pristine Trails was not always the top-rated company it is today. I first started out as a partner in another tour company. In 2008, I chose to break away on my own. I could tell you at that time my goal was to do things better, shake up the industry, etc. but I’d be lying. I was young and looking to make a living.

The beginnings of Pristine Trails were scrappy and unglamorous. I set up an office in a small room in my mom’s house. Our first travelers were from the communities of volunteers in the town of Moshi who had weekends off for 2-day safaris. These weren’t very lucrative, but I loved – and still love – meeting new people and showing them the beauty of Tanzania.

I often guided trips, in addition to planning them. One of my favorite stories is about a safari with one volunteer in 2009. A solo safari is expensive and I didn’t own any safari jeeps at the time. To keep costs low, we ventured out in my 1986 single cabin pick-up truck. Talk about unglamorous. But she loved it! She’s since been back to Tanzania several times and has traveled with us again.

As the years went on, I wanted Pristine Trails to be more than another run-of-the-mill tour company in Tanzania. There are already so many of those. True to my values, I set out for to build a company advocating for and practicing ethical travel to its fullest extent, while creating a family environment for our visitors and staff alike.

When you travel with Pristine Trails, you aren’t just another tourist to us. You’re a cherished and respected member of the Pristine family.

The company has now become a true family affair, with my wife joining me in 2017.

Today Pristine Trails is a top-rated company serving hundreds of travelers each year. Our focus is tailor-made tours with a responsible approach, personalized and enriching experiences for the traveler while also benefiting the local people, wildlife and conservation efforts of the country.

Edward Lyimo was born and raised in Tanzania. He is a wildlife enthusiast with a degree in African Wildlife Management and more than 15 years in the tourism industry. In furtherance of his commitment to responsible and ethical travel, he has a strong ethos of teamwork and staff development in a way that is unique to the tour industry. He often makes personal investments in his crew to climb up the ranks from porter, to cook, to assistant guide and beyond, instilling skills and qualities that benefit them even if they move on from Pristine Trails. Edward is always up for a good schmooze session with new people and old friends. He lives between Los Angeles and Moshi with his wife, Kim (Co-Owner and your Trip Expert), and their beautiful twins.


Kim is your Trip Expert, who will respond to all of your emails and calls, helping you from start to finish craft the exact trip you’ve been dreaming about and prepare you for travel. A California girl at heart, she lived in Tanzania for over a decade, founding her own non-profit organization with a mission to increase educational and income-generating opportunities in Tanzania and East Africa more broadly. In her downtime, she loved to discover the beauty of the region, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro twice, journeying out on many safaris, tracking the gorillas in Rwanda and the Congo, meandering the alleyways of Stone Town in Zanzibar, and more. Kim holds a Master of Public Administration degree in Development Practice from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.


Joel is the Pristine Trails Operations Director. He handles all of your trip arrangements “on the ground”, making sure your driver is waiting for you at the airport, your hotels and lodges are booked, your park fees are paid, your equipment is prepared, and everything else in between. He is your go-to guy for everything once you land, and will ensure your trip runs smoothly. Joel is also passionate about coffee and runs his own local roasting business. He lives in Moshi with his wife and son.

Responsible Tourism

Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project

Your mountain porters are an essential part of every trek up Mount Kilimanjaro, not just because of the intense physical work they do in carrying all of the equipment and climber luggage, but because of the passion and spirit they bring to your trek, offering constant encouragement and smiles.

Pristine Trails values the porters and the entire mountain crew, and is committed to their fair treatment, through our partnership with the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP). KPAP is a locally registered NGO, work underneath the International Mountain Explorers Connection (IMEC) Partner for Responsible Travel, a U.S. based organization.

To maintain our partnership, we must adhere to the following:

  • All crew are paid at least the minimum daily wage
  • Porter loads do not exceed 20 kg / 50 lbs.
  • Tipping recommendations are given to all clients and tips are disbursed transparently to the crew
  • Porters are provided with three meals per day and drinking water on the mountain
  • Porters are provided comfortable sleeping conditions on the mountain
  • Ill or injured porters are descended and provided with treatment
  • Adhere to all local and national government standards

Each Pristine Trails climb is monitored by a third-party KPAP porter who ensures our adherence to each and every requirement. Our partnership is completely voluntary, illustrating our commitment to the local workers who are integral to your experience.

If you would like to support the work of KPAP beyond booking your trek with Pristine Trails, you may donate directly here.

No plastic

Pristine Trails has done away with all one-use plastic on all mountain, safari and day trips. This decision is in line with our commitment to preserve our environment by reducing unnecessary waste.

Community Impact

Knock Foundation

Pristine Trails partners with Knock Foundation, a registered non-profit in both the U.S. and Tanzania, providing educational opportunities to deserving students in Tanzania. Knock Foundation grants educational scholarships and runs after-school enrichment programs at the primary school level.

We have been long-term partners with Knock Foundation, donating trips to charity auctions, arranging school visits for our travelers, and offering mentoring to some of the program’s beneficiaries.

If you would like to directly support the work of Knock Foundation, you may donate directly here.

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