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Andrea   –  
Belgium BE
Visited: August 2023 Reviewed: Aug 7, 2023

Email Andrea  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

The review below is the personal opinion of Andrea and not that of SafariBookings.
Beware of Wild Race Africa: A Disheartening Experience

Let me begin by confessing that I'm not one to leave feedback often, but my experience with Wild Race Africa and its co-owner, Simon, compels me to share my story to protect fellow travelers from a similar ordeal. I hope my advice can prevent others from enduring unnecessary stress, disappointment, and wasted resources during their highly anticipated holidays.

Before I delve into the details, it's essential to note that 25% of the last 16 feedbacks have rated Simon's services as terrible – that's one in every four tourists. Proceed with caution and read on.

I stumbled upon Wild Race Africa through a Google search before traveling from Europe to Kenya with my fiancé (who is Kenyan) that I wanted to surprise. Though I didn't thoroughly compare options, I was immediately impressed by Simon's responsive and kind demeanor. He seemed genuinely committed to making our customer experience unforgettable, which led me to make a grave mistake.

After a few exchanges via WhatsApp and email, I chose a 2-day/1-night luxury safari to Masai Mara for approximately 1800 USD. Simon requested a deposit of 30% (550 USD) to secure the accommodation.

Here's where the problem started. Simon presented four accommodation options for the luxury safari and insisted on a primary and backup choice. I selected Mara Serena Lodge as my top preference, clearly stating that it was my desired option. However, Simon later claimed that it was unavailable and booked Keekorok Lodge instead.

Subsequent attempts to secure my stay at Serena Lodge were met with delays and excuses. Simon's conduct became increasingly unprofessional, offering reasons such as Keekorok's inability to provide a credit note and false claims of website problems at Mara Serena Lodge.

The situation escalated as I asked for a receipt for my deposit, and Simon's communication became evasive and disrespectful. He even blamed me and others on my side, resorted to threats, and displayed an overall lack of accountability.

My trust in Simon shattered when I requested pictures of the safari vehicle, which turned out to be an everyday Toyota RAV4 rather than the high-profile Safari Jeep promised in the offer. Simon dismissed this discrepancy arrogantly.

After careful consideration and consulting with my fiancé, we decided to cancel the safari to avoid further complications. Simon retained the deposit, placing the blame on me, the customer.

To salvage our holiday, we booked a different safari with Olare Kempinski, which proved to be an outstanding experience with exceptional customer care, top-notch safari jeeps, accommodations, food, and game drives.

In closing, I urge all potential customers to exercise extreme caution when dealing with Simon and Wild Race Africa. Refrain from making any deposit until you receive a firm reservation for your chosen accommodation, and demand a written assurance that any future changes will lead to a full refund.

Based on my experience and years of business leadership, it's evident that honesty, respect, and integrity are not part of Simon's core values. Should you encounter discomfort or unsafe circumstances during your interactions with Wild Race Africa, prioritize your safety, even if you've already paid the deposit. Consider filing a complaint with your credit card provider to protect your interests.

Kenya offers excellent, honest, and reputable businesses worthy of your investment, but Wild Race Africa is not one of them.

Now, brace yourself for Simon's expected reply, where he will likely resort to his typical approach of deflecting blame onto customers and refusing to take responsibility. This will only validate the concerns I've shared above, confirming that any issues during your trip will be blamed on you, the paying customer, rather than the service provider.

Reply from Wild Race Africa
Reply from Wild Race Africa
Posted on Mar 13, 2024

Dear Andrea,
We sincerely apologize for the negative experience you encountered with Wild Race Africa and co-owner Simon.
Your feedback is incredibly important to us, and we deeply regret any stress, disappointment, or inconvenience you may have faced during your interactions with our company.

We take your concerns very seriously and after conducting a thorough investigation into the issues you have raised, unfortunately, we could not accommodate your trip request as we had hoped.
We understand that this may have caused frustration and disappointment. As a paying client, your views and opinions are highly respected, and we regret that we could not meet your expectations this time.
It's also important to clarify that you had booked a 1 Night/2 Days Masai Mara trip on July 9th, 2023, with a departure date scheduled for August 2nd/2023.

Considering the month of July to October are peak seasons, these last-minute bookings at times come with challenges due to lodge unavailability.
From the mail conversations, in reference to the detailed trip itinerary, Simon did give you different lodges in different categories.

You did settle on category 3, Luxury Safari Lodges, with Mara Serena Lodge as your priority and Keekorok Lodge as the second option.
Unfortunately, due to the lack of room availability at Mara Serena Lodge, we had to confirm Keekorok Lodge as per your instructions.
Regrettably, Keekorok Lodge could not provide a refund or credit note for future use due to last-minute cancellations.

It is our utmost priority to ensure that all our customers receive the highest level of service and transparency throughout their safari experiences.
We understand how frustrating this must have been and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience that may have arisen.
Rest assured that we have put measures in place to prevent any kind of reoccurrence of the issues you have highlighted, and there will be no repeat of similar occurrences in the future.

We appreciate your effort and the time you have taken to share your feedback with us. Your insights are invaluable in helping us improve our services and uphold the standards of honesty, respect, and integrity that we strive to maintain.

Once again, we apologize for any inconvenience caused and thank you for bringing these matters to our attention.
If there is anything further you would like to discuss or clarify, please do not hesitate to reach out to us directly.
Warm regards,
Wild Race Africa Safaris Team

Fabio   –  
Italy IT
Visited: August 2022 Reviewed: Aug 31, 2022

Email Fabio  |  35-50 years of age  |  Experience level: 2-5 safaris

The review below is the personal opinion of Fabio and not that of SafariBookings.
We felt scammed and lied to. I believe they are not honest.

We felt scammed. I do not recommend you book, you won't get what you pay.

We booked a Safari in Tanzania (Luxury), and everything seemed ok and professional until we paid the down-payment and got in Tanzania. The first day we arrived:
1) itinerary was completely changed (they said due to availability, even if they confirmed the plan and bookings with the downpayment months ago), resulting in a less efficent tour (hours lost compared to original plan), but less fees for them as we spent less time in parks.. they told us this change only when we were departing for safari, so we had to accept
2) the same day (we arrived) they also told us they changed from a Luxury lodge (Lobo) to a mid-tent (Kati kati)..we protested and they told us lobo was ok; the day we were departing for Lobo they tried to propose to us Savannah (another mid tent) and we said no, so they told us Lobo had problems in availability..we told them to stick with original plan or gave them an alternative luxury lodge (matawi, in which we stayed and liked): they said ok matawi but at 6.30 pm., when we were in front of the lodge, they sent our driver to Osupoku (a mid-tent) against our complaints and we had no chance since the park was the end they succeded in sending us to a cheap mid-range camp (which we always said no and we paid way more to have a luxury lodge) instead of a luxury lodge we paid for..and they even said it was our idea!!! we protested and promised a refund, never happened
3) the car they gave us was rubbish, having a broken differential, battery and fuel mixer from the beginning (we had to push the car from day 1 every time to make it start), had no long range radio, no emergency kit, no binocular. Every day there were 2 more problems with the car (day 1 broken radiator, day 2 broken tire support, day 3 broken roof top support, day 4 broken fuel tank) and the car was completely given broken and full of problems.
Every day we went to a different mechanic and waited hours stopped on the road
4) in Ngorongoro we spent only 2 hours (instead of a full morning) and with a Masai not speaking english and not knowing where to go as the car let us down (even if we espressly requested to be changed or to be checked the day before for Ngoorongoro as it was having problems).

We raised all these problems and all they said was that the car problems were maybe 'imaginary' and that we chose the change of accommodation and that they did not change the plan. You will lose money booking with them, I had the worst experience.

Reply from Wild Race Africa
Reply from Wild Race Africa
Posted on Mar 13, 2024

Dear Fabio,
I am truly sorry to hear about the negative experience you had during your Safari in Tanzania. Your feedback is extremely important to us, and I want to assure you that we take your concerns very seriously. It is never our intention to mislead or disappoint our clients in any way.
I apologize for the changes in itinerary and accommodation that you experienced, as well as the issues with the vehicle provided to you. This falls far below the standard of service that we strive to provide, and I understand how frustrating and disappointing this must have been for you.

Please know that we are investigating the details of your experience thoroughly and will take the necessary steps to address the issues you have raised. Your satisfaction is our top priority, and we are committed to making things right for you.
I apologize once again for the inconvenience and disappointment you faced during your Safari. We value your feedback and will use it to improve our services moving forward. If there is anything else you would like to share or discuss further, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

Thank you for bringing this to our attention, and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience caused.
Warm regards,
Wild Race Africa Tours Customer Support Team

Jerone   –  
France FR
Visited: August 2018 Reviewed: Oct 12, 2018

Email Jerone  |  20-35 years of age  |  Experience level: 2-5 safaris

The review below is the personal opinion of Jerone and not that of SafariBookings.
Horrible !!!!!

The worst experience I had with a company. I’m not use to write reviews but in this case i need to do it to inform potential futur customers.

DO NOT BOOK with them.

When you ask quotation there are really professional and kind but when you start the safari it’s the mess trouble everyday!!!
A few point amour a lot of others:
-Schedule not respected (they change the plan without inform us)
-they ask money to some customers to pay the park entrance!!!!! (Cause they didn’t got enough money !)
-we went for 5 days others in the car for 3 days we lost half day to change cars
-Hotel is a fake they didn’t respect the hotel the gave in the schedule

Nothing works well there is plenty of other companies so book anywhere else.

The headquarter is located in Kenya We did in Tanzania so don’t believe this guy and his subcontractor friends in Tanzania!
It’s maybe not the direct fault of Kenya office. But anyway with book with wild race Africa so you are responsible of the reliability of your subcontractors !

Reply from Wild Race Africa
Reply from Wild Race Africa
Posted on Oct 16, 2018

Hello Jerome.
First my sincere apologies for the bad experience you had in Tanzania under the care of our Tanzania representative. As per our Knowledge and the feed back we got from them is that the trip went successful but this review says contrary. We had taken action on this and we no longer work with him any more.

We have partnered with a Tanzanian local as per their constitution requirement and will now be operating all our trips as Wildrace Africa.

Thank you very much for your kind feed back and for letting us know.
These feed backs helps us adjust our services accordingly so that all our future clients do not go through the same bad experience ever.
Warm regards and stay blessed.

Yaxin   –  
China CN
Visited: August 2017 Reviewed: Aug 22, 2017

Email Yaxin  |  under20 years of age  |  Experience level: 2-5 safaris

The review below is the personal opinion of Yaxin and not that of SafariBookings.
Terrible experience!

1. I said we are a group of six. I found out that this company booked us 2 triple rooms intead of 3 double rooms. Simon, the boss of this company, first said that he had told me in email, which was not true. Then he said this is reasonable because I hadn't made it clear that I need 3 double rooms. Finally he said he need 136$ per person, which is 816 $ in total, to change it to double rooms for the rest 2 nights.

2. The first guide is not fluent in English and poor in experience. He took us to Masai Mara at 4.30 p.m. (it should be 3 p.m.) He first decided to take us to the lodge, then changed the direction and took us directly to the NR, so we again wasted a lot of time. He borrowed Shilings from us to buy tickets because he only had US dollar. He took us back to the hotel at 8.10 p.m. when we were super hungry.

Reply from Wild Race Africa
Reply from Wild Race Africa
Posted on Mar 13, 2024

Dear Yaxin,
I am truly sorry to hear about the challenges you faced during your recent experience with our company. Your feedback is incredibly important to us, and we appreciate you taking the time to share your concerns. Rest assured, we take all feedback seriously and are committed to addressing each issue you have raised.

1. Regarding the room accommodations: I apologize for any confusion or miscommunication regarding your room bookings. It is never our intention to provide anything less than exceptional service.
We strive to ensure that all guest preferences are met to the best of our ability.
In this case, it seems there was a misunderstanding, and for that, I sincerely apologize. We will review our communication processes to prevent such occurrences in the future.

2. Concerning the guide experience: I am deeply sorry to hear about the challenges you faced with your guide during your tour. Providing knowledgeable and experienced guides is paramount to us, and it is disappointing to hear that this was not your experience.

We will investigate this matter further and take appropriate actions to ensure that all guides meet our high standards of service excellence.

Please accept my sincerest apologies for the inconvenience you encountered during your trip. Your satisfaction is our top priority, and we are committed to making things right for you.

If there is anything else we can do to address your concerns or make amends for your experience, please do not hesitate to reach out to us directly.
We value your feedback and hope for the opportunity to regain your trust in our services.
Warm regards,
Wild Race Africa Safaris Team

Radhika Bajaj   –  
India IN
Visited: August 2016 Reviewed: Sep 8, 2016

Email Radhika Bajaj  |  20-35 years of age

The review below is the personal opinion of Radhika Bajaj and not that of SafariBookings.
Be wary of them, we felt cheated.

My husband and I booked with Simon Malimbo of Wild Race Africa Tours after finding him on Safari Bookings website. We were told that tour operators are generally trustworthy. So we booked with him for a 5 day tour to Nakuru (1 night) and Masai Mara (3 nights) which was an all inclusive trip - all meals, transportation, pop-up van and 6 safaris all paid. The safaris we were promised were - evening safari in Nakuru, next morning safari in Nakuru, evening safari in MM, two full day safaris in MM and then a morning safari in MM before we leave. We paid him 30% advance and the rest amount immediately upon arrival. Simon handed us to Obama who was to be our tour guide. Obama was accompanied by a girl who, we were told, was an 'intern' and wanted to be a tour guide, so we happily welcomed her.
Our first shock came immediately after we set off for Nakuru. Obama told us that there would be no evening safari, and if we would do an evening safari, there would be no safari the next morning. I spoke to Simon to ask him why, he had a response that - the entry ticket at Nakuru was not valid for 24 hours like Masai Mara and hence we had to choose. He apologised and and said it was a mistake on his part that he had included both safaris in our confirmation email and swept it off under the carpet. Though we were upset, we let it go thinking it was a genuine mistake.
Obama was extremely informative and intelligent and gave great insights into the animal life. The girl intern wasn't the least interested in anything remotely related to wildlife but we thought she may be shy and so simply ignored her.
We then set off for Masai Mara. We had made it clear that we wanted all the safaris we paid for - 4 to be precise. Obama promised us that we would have an evening safari that day. We reached at 4.30pm and as promised, he got out and bought three tickets at the gate (the girl intern was tired and got off to go to the hotel) and we set off for the Safari. Obama told us that the park is open till 6.30 and we will have to leave it by then. So we exited the park at 6.30.
Next morning we four (intern included) left for a full day safari. Obama waved the tickets from the day before (they didn't stop us to check) and they let us in. Obama told us we would leave the park at 5 as we would be tired. My husband smelt a rat because Simon had told us that Masai Mara tickets are valid for 24 hours. But he didn't say anything. The sightings on this day were amazing and the place was teeming with wildlife. There were also a huge number of cars everytime we spotted an animal. When we stopped for lunch, the girl intern lay on the carpet with her pant button and zip open. My husband and I found this behaviour weird but we didn't say anything. We left the park at 5 instead of 6.30 at the stauch insistence of Obama.
In the evening at our lodge,when Obama was not there, we questioned the girl intern about herr study course for becoming a tour guide, she told us that she was a hairdresser and had done courses in hairdressing. We again found this strange but didn't say anything.
Next morning Obama deliberately delayed our departure for another full day of safari. We eventually left around 8.30am. Today too the intern was tired and didn't accompany us. This time he told us that he was taking us in through a 'side gate' and this was 'rhino country' and the chances of spotting a Rhino are high here. We did not pass through any gate but after an hour he showed us a gate behind us and said that now we are inside the park. He did not show or purchase the tickets anywhere that day. All day we roamed about but this day the sightings were few and far in between and we didn't encounter any cars except very few. Obama said it was a dry day. He let us stay till 6.30. While we were leaving from the park, our car got stuck in sand but Obama refused to radio for help. While he was trying to get the car out, my husband checked the park entry tickets which Obama had kept in the front of the car. My husband found tickets of only the first day but none for the rest of the days.
When we reached the lodge, my husband decided to confront Obama about his intentions. Obama denied everything and became very emotional and called up Simon and spoke in Swahili (we don't know what). He kept telling us that he will show us the tickets of all the days but deliberately avoided to show us. Obama claimed that he had bought the tickets of all the 3 nights together and hence we didn't stop of tickets on the previous two days. He said this was normal practice. He then avoided it by saying that Simon will give all the tickets to us. We never got them. He pretended to be so upset that he said he was leaving us and arranging another car for us. This unprofessional attitude angered us and we told him off for wanting to leave the two of us alone in a jungle with no connectivity and wanting to run away. My husband was worried about me and then apologised and coaxed him to stay back. Maybe that prompted him not to abandon us in the middle of nowhere.
Next morning on our last safari Obama went through the gate. Before entering, he made a phone call in Swahili. While entering a female guard came out and checked our tickets and let us in. On our way out, before exiting, he again made a call and spoke in Swahili. At the gate, the same female guard came out and let us out. Then Obama told us that he had to collect the 'exit receipt'. And then he got out of the car and I saw him slip some money to the same female guard at the gate.
We are sure that Simon and Obama saved the money from the entry tickets - they paid only for one 24 hour safari.

All in all the wildlife was exciting and Obama was very knowledgeable. But Simon and Obama spoiled our trip by these underhand and shady dealings at Masai Mara and also denying us a safari at Nakuru. And we are pretty sure that the girl, whoever she was, was definitely not an intern for becoming a tour operator.

Please don't book with Wild Race Africa or Simon. Obama is genuinely knowledgeable but he was definitely involved in this business. We had great safari game drives and an amazing time in Kenya, the trip was so memorable and we saw the Big Five. But we felt genuinely cheated. So please don't book with them!

Reply from Wild Race Africa
Reply from Wild Race Africa
Posted on Mar 13, 2024

Dear Radhik Jaiswal,
Thank you for sharing your experience with us. We are truly sorry to hear about the challenges you faced during your tour with Wild Race Africa Tours.
It is disappointing to learn that your expectations were not met and that you felt cheated during your time in Kenya.
We take your feedback seriously and will be investigating the issues you have raised with Simon Malimbo and the team at Wild Race Africa Tours.
It is important to us that all our clients have a positive and authentic safari experience, and we apologize for any discrepancies in the services provided to you.
We appreciate your honesty and will take the necessary steps to address the concerns you have highlighted. Your feedback helps us improve our services and ensure that such incidents do not occur in the future.

Once again, we apologize for the inconvenience caused and thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. If there is anything else you would like to share or discuss further, please feel free to reach out to us.
Thank you for choosing Wild Race Africa Tours, and we hope to have the opportunity to restore your trust in our services in the future.
Warm regards,
Wild Race Africa Tours Customer Support Team

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