I booked a Death Valley tour with Lankun, aka Mama, from Las Vegas with some apprehension as I left it a bit late and all the big providers of tours were full. I should not have worried! The best thing I can do is just describe the experience.
All questions and worries were sorted out on WhatsApp beforehand. To our surprise, a coach did not arrive, but a large air-conditioned car and we were the only ones on the trip; Mama said that up to 4 persons was typical, a few more at a pinch.
Rather than eat in an expensive restaurant taking up valuable time, she planned a stop at a Walmart Subway so we could eat on the go – very sensible.
Mama was very knowledgeable about the area and chatted all the way, with a short break for the wine-tasting half way. Not sure quite what we expected, but it was a very small additional charge ($7, I think), for a 5-glass taster with quite large portions, so we shared just one! There was food available.
Mama had to drive a lot to get us to all the regions of Death Valley before it got dark. Dante’s Point, Badwater pool, Zabriskie Point, Artists Drive and more. I cannot fault her willingness to make the trip right for you. She looked after us well (hence the “Mama” name!), providing all the water we needed and anything else we asked for. I had been before, but I forgot how beautiful and full of colour Death Valley is.
Mama asked us to wear bright coloured clothing because she was going to take photos for us. To my surprise there was no charge for this and she transferred hundreds of photos on the way back. Self-trained, using the highest spec iPhone, she got us to pose in different ways in different settings, using different camera techniques. The photo sessions were not just a tack-on, but an integral part of each place we visited. If you had your own wishes or just wanted photos of your own of just landscapes, then you just had to make it known, but, even though photo-shoots are not really out scene, we embraced the offer as we have never done this before.
Unfortunately, the sky was cloudy so no star-watching and to be honest, it was a long day and we had to leave early the next day, so it suited us.
I would conclude that Mama was very accommodating, photo-shoots were a major aspect and free, the party-size was small, star-gazing may not happen and the wine tasting was a nice extra break.