Mama Tembo Tours Zambia LTD is owned and operated by Leslie Nevison. Always a committed traveler, she and her husband of 35 years first went overseas to live in 1990. They have since called 12 countries home, including Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, the Republic of Congo, Gabon and Benin. MTT originated in the Canadian province of British Columbia but has found a permanent African base in Lusaka, Zambia.
MTTZ's signature creations are diverse safari programs which include remote location "gems"; spontaneous cultural interactions; and first class wildlife observation. Leslie's programs 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.
MTTZ is an independent operator working directly with tried and trusted companies and wildlife and culture guides in Africa. As “independent” implies, MTT can work freely with a diverse collection of lodge and tented camp owners and associates in Africa. This way she can best serve each client's unique needs.
The latest MTTZ venture is MT Cheza Guest House, one and two bedroomed cottages on the company plot in rural Lusaka which can cater to six guests at a time.
An African safari is either an adventure or it isn't. But to begin your adventure means breaking away from the herd in the planning stages with someone who gives independent and honest advice. It is rare that anyone returns home disappointed with their safari, but they might not be aware of what they didn't see, how much better it could have been. Leslie wants to ensure that her clients are aware of every option for their African adventure of a lifetime, no matter how they define that adventure. Leslie's clients become her good friends, many of whom return to Africa to travel with her again.
The MTT Story
I am often asked how I chose the company's name. The story began in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania in 2000. Still writing for magazines but with the idea of writing a book, I traveled around Tanzania in search of material in an old Toyota. Over time, staff, family and neighbors called the old vehicle 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. This is also the story behind the company logo. That's Leslie waving out the Toyota window! Regrettably, the old girl, whose maintenance kept a happy mechanic in employ, was sold to a school in 2004. As for the book, yes, it got written, but to this day sits as a manuscript in need of editing and an updated perspective. I will get around to re-opening it. I have come to realize its enormous value. The Tanzania I experienced behind Mama Tembo's wheel no longer exists.