User Reviews – Kenya
Email Tracey Braun | 50-65 years of age | Experience level: first safari
Trip of a lifetime
We decided to book our Kenya experience ourselves and not use a travel agency in Canada. The safari bookings website was a great help.
I send off e-mails to several companies and only heard back from a few. Tropical Vacations from the start was great at communicating and finding out what we wanted.
What we had thought we wanted and what we ended up with, we could not have been more thrilled.
We ended up with 6 days and 5 nights of the best time ever.
We managed to see Amboseli, Masa Mari and a few other parks.
We saw Kilimanjaro At sunrise and sunset. We saw the big 5 and came home with over 2,000 photos.
Matthew from Tropical Vacation met the needs of the three of us. One person in our group is a birder and he made sure she got to see many new birds to add to her list.
We are glad we followed his advise to upgrade our accommodation as we heard after some of the places we had picked were pretty rough. We did not go luxury and for the fraction extra we paid for mid luxury and to be a private group of three was well worth the small extra.
We thought this would be our onetime trip Africa, but we are already talking about going back.
Email Kanishka Soni | under20 years of age | Experience level: first safari
Great trip. Experienced guide. Simple food. Scenic beauty. Perfect combination.
Since our guide was experienced and enthusiastic about showing us all the animals, he went the extra mile to do so. He succeeded and made us fall in love with wildlife.
The food was simple. Less oily. Less spicy. We ended up losing weight
Email Mariah | 20-35 years of age | Experience level: first safari
Hi everyone! PSA - This review will be long only because I want to answer all of the questions I had before this trip and could not find the answers to myself (and then I will rave about this awesome tour group!)
First and most importantly - You NEED a visa to enter this country! They cost about $100/$120 pending on the site you get it from, it's detailed and you have to fill in a lot of questions and send pictures of your passport to them (I was nervous to do that but it is real).
Make sure you buy hiking boots/shoes! You will thank yourself later.
When originally booking this trip I talked to many different tour companies and found myself unsteady when each of them told me to pay via Money Order/wire transfer or a third party website if I wanted to use a credit card (and a % fee for doing so). I was looking all over TripAdvisor for the answer because I didn't know what to do so I used a credit card incase it was a fake website so the fee kept my mind at ease. WELL, I am here to say, trust it! Don't stress that this isn't a real company because it is! (If I saw this during my booking I would've easily felt better).
The companies all email back and forth very quickly and will answer any questions you may have.
After picking my resorts & add ons like the Hot Air Balloon ride (DO IT!!) I had to ask for a detailed itinerary of our trip because it's not like Expedia where its all right there. This is a very, "Relax and trust me" system in Kenya, which made much more sense once I got there.
My originally weariness of "What if we get there and no one is actually coming" went away right when we got off the plane. We met with our driver Joseph right away! He had a sign with our names on it and everything.
I also suggest opting for the Land Rover because you will NEED the leg room. This country looks small but its not! We got off the plane only to sit in the car another 5 hrs to get to our first game park, and these roads are bumpy! Bring some motion sickness pills if you have problems in the car. We then had another 4 hr drive the next day to the next game park; followed by 8.5 hrs back to Nairobi at the end of the trip, and we did all of this driving on a 4-day tour. Not expecting that much driving time I'm really happy we opted for the Land Rover so we could all spread out and get comfy.
Make sure you get the shots and heavy duty bug spray! I know it's an unexpected cost but having food poisoning or travelers diarrhea is no fun and will make you miss a day of the beautiful game parks. The food was amazing everywhere we stayed so none of us got sick thankfully! We did buy packets of pedialyte (amazon) and drank one every day just to make sure we stayed hydrated because it is HOT HOT HOT there.
Lastly, they like tips and payment for things in US dollars. I went to the bank and ordered Schillings ahead of time thinking I was ahead of the game, but all of the shops we went to, the driver, and even the add ons to our packages (the hot air balloon ride) they all preferred US dollars. If you have schillings they will take that too but you could save yourself a lot of money in fees by not even worrying about transferring US dollars to Schillings.
For some people this may matter - there is wifi in most of the resorts except it is only in the lobby and for limited hours of the day due to not having power! I was worried about "incase of emergency" exceptions so I added the international plan to my phone - which will run you about $70-$80 for a month because Kenya is not part of the cheaper plans. However, I did feel better that if we got lost in the middle of the park/ran out of gas, I could call for help.
Ok - enough about the little details - lets talk about this amazing company- Beacon Safaris!
From the moment we arrived we were greeted with a smile and excited face from Joseph! He was awesome!! He was so very personable and went above and beyond to do whatever he could for us. We even got to meet Robert quickly, which made me feel so much better to be able to put a face to the name of the person I was emailing back and forth with for the better part of a year.
Anything we wanted to do and even our last-minute change of plans never upset him. We asked to stop many times for some snacks, beers, shopping at these awesome little spots in the villages that we saw, and especially the bathroom and he was happy to accommodate. (The places you will stay have toilets and toilet paper but some of the places you stop for the bathroom are just a hole in the ground so buy some travel size toilet wipes on amazon to keep on you at all times - just incase). He was so personable and really went above and beyond to meet our needs. We had some very long car rides from Nairobi to Lake Nakuru to Masai Mara and then all the way back to Nairobi, and Joseph never complained once.
Instead, he was just as excited as we were to see the animals, which made us even more excited too because it felt like it was all of our first experiences. His personality is vibrant and he really is a shining light for the company!
I was nervous at first that we wouldn’t see any animals but Joseph made sure our day was never boring! We saw endless amounts of zebras, lions, giraffes, elephants, a leopard, cheetahs, and even the black rhino! You can't get out of the car but you will get very very close - get the 4X4 Land Rover because the roof goes up and you can put your head out the top to see the animals better.
Our morning hot air balloon ride got cancelled on our first attempt due to weather one morning, and Joseph had to rush to come pick us up unexpectedly. When he arrived, we were so hungry and asked him if we could stop to get breakfast somewhere but to our amazement he already thought of that in his rush to get to us and pre-packaged breakfast for each of us. He truly went above and beyond for us each day and I don’t think we could thank him enough.
Joseph is not just our driver, but we now consider him family! Thank you so much for the experience of a lifetime to both Robert & Joseph.
Maisha Marefu! (Cheers to a good life)
Email Anita Padman | 35-50 years of age | Experience level: first safari
Best Family Vacation Ever
Eight members of my family traveled to Kenya this year to visit Masai Mara and Lake Nakuru. The wildlife was breath taking. KETS travel did a great job of making all the arrangements. We faced no hassle during the stay and travel.
The vehicle which was provided was great. We also did a hot air balloon ride, which was a slight disappointment as we did not get any sighting while we were up in the air.
Your your guide was Patrick. He was very knowledgeable .
Overall it was the best family vacation we had.
Was weary about booking online but the company was great. Picked us up from the airport and sorted everything for us. Food was delicious and the wildlife was amazing. Would love to do it all again.
Email Ffyonna Scott | 35-50 years of age | Experience level: 2-5 safaris
Trip of a Lifetime
We all absolutely loved our trip to Kenya in October! Our tour company, Wildlife Sun Safaris ere fantastic! From the moment the met us at Jomo Kenyatta Airport the we’re a joy to be with. We had drivers for a couple of days in Nairobi, visiting DSWT, Giraffe Centre and Karen Blixen Museum. Then our wonderful driver and safari guide, Japheth. Thanks to him, we saw 4/5 of the big 5 in Masai Mara, and more elephants than I could count in Amboseli, much to my absolute delight! We saw leopards (and a live kill), cheetahs and lions. I would go back to Kenya in a heartbeat and would ask James at Wildlife Sun Safaris to organise my trip before considering anyone else. James, Japheth, thank you so much for such a special trip, for looking after Penny and for helping us create such beautiful and everlasting memories.
Email Joakim B | 35-50 years of age | Experience level: first safari
A great first time expericence!
We had two fantastic days of leisure in Amboseli. Our guide was great and the sun was shining!
Amazing wildlife & people. Our safari was budget but very good value for money
Email Sharon | 50-65 years of age | Experience level: first safari
All our expectations were met, and then some!
We booked a six-day safari with Features Africa Journeys, Nairobi. We chose the six-day safari (Amboseli - Nakuru - Maasai Mara) over the usual 4-day safaris because this one included Amboseli and we really wanted to see Mount Kilimanjaro. Who doesn't?! The tour was on the luxury scale (c. $1500 per person, all accommodation, meals and transport included) and it was worth every single cent.
Our guide, Anthony, had the most extraordinary knowledge about the wildlife and local culture; he knew every answer to every question. Not only that, he had the magic touch. Somehow, no matter what we asked for he found it; this included an end-of-season wildebeest crossing. A tall order, but he found a group of wildebeest along the river. It didn't look as though they were going to move but Anthony said, 'Wait 10 minutes'. We did ... and they did. Magical.
Although it would add to the cost, I think two nights at Nakuru would be a better experience. We arrived just before dinner and left very early the next morning, so we didn't get to experience the best that the camp had to offer. Maybe make an extra day an option for travellers booking this safari?
The accommodation in the three camps we stayed at was 5-star in the literal sense. To top it all, we opted for the hot air balloon ride over the Maasai Mara. An absolute 'must-do' if your budget allows it.
I would recommend this tour company and the 6-day safari without any hesitation. We also did the one-day tour to Lake Naivasha and Hells Gate. Again, our expectation were exceeded.
Our thanks to Anthony and Karanja of Features Africa Journeys. Top notch. I have a feeling we will see you again.
Email Fabien Grimaud | 20-35 years of age | Experience level: first safari
Good value budget trip to Masai Mara
We made a 3 day trip to Masai Mara. The wildlife was great. Sami the tour guide was a good driver. He was nice and he make sure that we have seen every animals possible!
The food was simple but very good all meals were included.
Overall is was a good value for budget