About Matoke Tours
Matoke Tours is one of East Africa's leading tour operators specialized in providing quality, individualized private and group tours within the region.
Since its establishment in 2002, the company has grown into a reputable Africa specialist with representations in the Netherlands, Uganda and Madagascar, offering trips to a number of destinations. The fast growth and the success of Matoke Tours can be attributed to our hard work and enthusiasm, a passion for the region and a youthful and spirited approach to tourism.
Our Vision & Mission
- To be a well known and recognisable brand for Africa Tours.
- To be well known for being personal, original and innovative
Our mission is to ensure that each of our clients has a unique and unforgettable Africa experience. To achieve this goal, we develop original products based on local knowledge and an understanding of the global market, we stand out with our innovative approach to tourism and our professional service and personalized customer care.
Matoke Tours is proud to be an innovator in the tourism sector:
We were among the first companies to create a virtual reality app promoting the region, which was launched at EXPO Milan 2015 and has since become one of our main marketing tools.
We are dedicated to developing new routes and project visits, often in cooperation with local communities and international NGOs, e.g. Red Cross Uganda, Avsi, Kara-Tunga or Edirisa. Not only is this in line with our commitment to responsible tourism but it also provides our clients with an authentic travel experience.
We are as well innovative in our combination tours, organizing unusual, but great combination trips in Africa. Do you like active volcanoes? We create a volcano trip for you by combining Erta Ale in Ethiopia and Nyiragongo in the DRC. Do you like tribes? We combine the tribes from the Omo Valley in Ethiopia with the Karamajong and Pygmee tribes from Uganda and the Maasai from Kenya. Do you like freedom? We organize your own self drive car with roof top tent.
Matoke Tours focuses on affordable and original itineraries, which promote the region and its unique cultural and natural resources. Due to our extensive network of reliable service providers, we are able to offer a range of tours to suit all budgets to destinations throughout East Africa. We however mainly focus on the mid-range to semi-luxe bracket.
Matoke Tours is known for being creative and innovative. We are pioneers in identifying and developing unmapped areas and off-the-beaten-track products to make our itineraries stand out.
We specialize in multi-country tours, combining several destinations into one coherent itinerary. Long-standing regional experience and extensive research including regular field visits guarantee that we work with the best service suppliers on ground and offer the best product available on the market.
Being based in East Africa enables us to visit all accommodation and service providers ourselves to be able to select the best options for you and advise you from personal expertise. We strive to constantly improve our products and services to guarantee the best customer experience.
Awards and Memberships
Matoke Tours has been voted Most Innovative Tour Operator during the Vakantiebeurs 2016 in Utrecht (NL) and Best International Tour Operator during the Uganda Tourism Excellence Awards 2015/ 2016 and again in 2016/ 2017. Being a pioneer and key player in sustainable tourism, we have been certified and awarded with the UCOTA Sustainable Leader Award (Uganda), the TourCert Check certificate (Germany) and Travelife Engage.
As a responsible tour operator, we are member and active supporter of all relevant local and international associations, e.g. Association of Ugandan Tour Operators, African Travel & Tourism Association and Uganda Conservation Foundation.
Matoke Tours holds a public liability insurance with ICEA (Insurance Company of East Africa). The liability insurance covers to a maximum of $2,500,000 USD per “any event” and per “any one period”.
All our cars are fully comprehensive insured. When we hire additional cars from outside, we make sure that they are as well fully comprehensive insured.
AMREF Flying doctors
Medical facilities in East Africa are limited. This is especially true for some of the remote places where your safari may take you to. Fortunately, Matoke Tours holds an agreement with AMREF to provide an inexpensive Tourist Air Evacuation Scheme for transport from any Matoke Tour destination to a full-service airport in Nairobi, Kenya. This insurance comes at a cost of $50 per person.
Car park & In-house workshop
Matoke Tours has in-house mechanical workshops to ensure the serviceability of our fleet of vehicles. In Tanzania we exclusively work with the newest extended Landcruisers and in Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda, DRC & Madagascar we work with more car options. We have 4wd Toyota Hiace minibuses, Landcruiser Prados and the regular size Landcruisers besides the extended Landcruisers.
Our own Lodge in Uganda
Matoke Tours is the proud owner of Mutanda Lake Resort: www.mutandalakeresort.com. Mutanda Lake Resort is a wonderful lodge in the south of Bwindi National Park (Gorilla land). There are a few reasons we choose to invest in a lodge here:
- There was no mid-range/ semi-luxury accommodation available in Bwindi. Only rather expensive high-end accommodation and budget accommodation was provided.
- It’s most likely the most wonderful location in the country
- We now can offer affordable extensions to the gorillas from Kigali, as it’s only a 4 hours transfer from Kigali Airport to Mutanda Lake Resort. Most tour operators offer now extensions to Rwanda only, but this is far more expensive compared to Uganda. The permits in Uganda are less expensive, the transfers and the accommodation.
Why the name Matoke Tours?
Matoke (or Matooke) is a green banana that serves as the staple crop in Uganda (our first destination). If you would ask any Ugandan what they love most about their country, the only answer you would get is "Matoke"!
Unlike the bananas you may be used to, Matoke is fairly hard before it is cooked and is not sweet at all. For preparation, it is typically peeled, steamed and mashed to create a paste.
Some Ugandans do not have much, but your gracious host would insist on serving you a meal. No matter how simple, you would be given the very best they had, and your meal would certainly include a healthy serving of Matoke.
Who are we?
Matoke Tours was set up by three young Dutchmen, all of whom have lived and worked in Africa; in fact, two of them still do! They strive to being innovative and creative in their itineraries, sustainable in the way they handle their business and personal and accurate in their communication.
"The success of Matoke Tours can be attributed to by our hard work and enthusiasm, a passion for Uganda and a youthful and spirited approach to tourism. Above all, we all love what we do."
From left to right: Coen van der Heijden, Paul Gevers, Wim Kok