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Muireann   –  
Australia AU
Visited: November 2018 Reviewed: Dec 16, 2018

Email Muireann  |  20-35 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

The review below is the personal opinion of Muireann and not that of SafariBookings.
Cheap price but overall a pretty average, stressful experience

We had a very mixed experience on our 11 day Kenya/Tanzania safari. We booked with Explore Africa Holidays but never met anyone from that company – seems to be another trading name for Baboon Budget Safaris. In Tanzania they contract out to 7 Wonders Safaris.

- Overall we had a great time - got to all the parks we had planned and saw incredible wildlife. All the Big 5 in both Kenya and Tanzania; views of elephant families in front of Kilimanjaro a definite highlight at Amboseli!
- One of our guides in Kenya was fantastic – Isaac. He was from a different company called Jocky Safaris that we’d been handed over to for the day
- We really appreciated the opportunity to stay at Masaai-run camps in Kenya & chat with the guys working there (Miti Mingi Eco Camp & Kimana Amboseli Camp)
- In Tanzania the camps were extremely basic (more below) but on the plus side was really cool to stay right inside/very near the national parks, with visits from elephants, hyenas and zebras in the night
- Kenya/Tanzania border crossing was managed pretty smoothly, though communication could have been better. We just trusted the random people who presented themselves to us which might be stressful if travelling by yourself.
- Price is very cheap compared to other operators

- In Kenya we had 2 different guides for the 3 parks we visited (Masai Mara, Lake Nakuru & Amboseli), plus another driver at various points. This meant changing vans every single day & a lot of time spent on logistics that often felt very disorganised, sometimes chaotic. On our third day we waited 2.5 hours for our pick up to go to Lake Nakuru. We hadn’t expected to be with a different group and different guide almost every day & ended up feeling like cargo being passed around impersonally. The constant change made it hard to relax into the trip as we were never sure who we’d be passed to next, what our group would be like, if they were going to deliver or we'd miss out on something.
- For the third Kenyan park we were placed in a car that wasn’t a safari vehicle. The windows didn’t wind down and were tinted so it was completely unsuitable for game drives (I’m not a tall person and would have had to sit on cushions to see out! :-)) When we asked about this it was resolved and we were able to do the game drive with another company (Isaac with Jocky), which we appreciated.
- Our first guide in Kenya, Josef, didn’t volunteer any information on our first game drive and talked the group out of doing an early morning game drive in Masai Mara on the main day there. Thumbs down.
- We were told we’d be met off the bus in Arusha and dropped off at our hotel however the person (Sayid) didn’t show up. Luckily the lovely bus driver seemed familiar with 7 Wonders way of (not) doing things and dropped us at their office. There we were quickly briefed by the manager of 7 Wonders, Evelyn, who informed us of multiple changes to our itinerary including a different Arusha hotel (Stereo – absolutely fine), reversing the order of parks & a different campsite for Ngorongoro. When I asked why we hadn’t been met off the bus as arranged Evelyn dismissively said she didn’t know anything about it. Very poor first impression.
- In Tanzania we again had 2 different guides for the 3 parks we visited but much less chopping and changing. Had one of the guides for 3 days in a row, Florian.
- During the whole time with Florian we felt there was a lot of cutting corners and general lack of service/professionalism. To his credit he made sure we saw lots of amazing animals in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater and was mostly happy to answer questions when we asked. However the biggest negative for us was that he rushed through every single game drive – our group was always first back to camp (by an hour or more), a couple of times we saw male lions or elephants he told us there was no time to stop, but each time we passed through a park gate we had to wait 45-60 minutes (we could see there were no queues at the ticket offices; we suspected it was to make it seem we’d spent longer at each park than the actual allotted 24 hours). Florian and the chef Ibrahim also spent a fair amount of their free time flirting with the one single woman in our group.
- The Land Cruiser safari vehicles in Tanzania were far more comfortable that the converted Toyota vans used in Kenya, however on our second last day the safari vehicle stalled on the steep road out of Ngorongoro & we had an uncomfortable 10 minutes while Florian tried to stop it rolling backwards and get it started again. Luckily another vehicle came along and gave our group of 6 a ride to the top while Florian drove up ahead & park rangers had also arrived quickly. We imagine this is probably a common enough occurrence as the road out of Ngorongoro is very steep. Having said that, our guide didn’t seem very familiar with driving on mountain roads.
- The camps in Tanzania were not of an acceptable standard. We were fully aware we’d booked a budget safari and are not precious, but if you’ve paid for a tour we think basics like drinking water and toilet paper should be provided (or at the very least a heads up from the guide to remind everyone to stock up before leaving a town). We stayed at Jambo Lodge near Manyara, Pimbi in the Serengeti and Simba near Ngorongoro.

Couple of other pieces of info that might be helpful: in Kenya fixed camps are large canvas tents, often with a private bathroom at the back (though very basic we had decent mosquito nets in each place); in Tanzania camping is actual tents with bed rolls and sleeping bags, you are expected to help set up your own tent and the overall experience is fun. Food in Tanzania was much nicer than in Kenya (except for the lunches which were all pretty awful). Kenya/Tanzania crossing: you get driven to Namanga, met at Immigration office & helped to navigate the departure/entry process (very simple), directed to public bus that then drives you on to Arusha (we had to wait about an hour).

We hope this is useful information if you are thinking of booking with Explore Africa Holidays or Baboon Budget Safaris. Overall we had a fantastic time in terms of unbelievable wildlife but would not recommend either Kenyan safari company, and definitely wouldn’t recommend 7 Wonders. We completely understand this is a budget tour at budget prices, but for us it was still a fair amount of money to spend on 10/11 days of our trip and we felt that basic service was totally overlooked. If you can afford to spend a little more we think it’d be worth it to feel looked after, have one guide & one group for the duration of your safari, and generally be able to relax and fully enjoy the experience!

Gail   –  
Canada CA
Visited: March 2018 Reviewed: May 2, 2018

Email Gail  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: 2-5 safaris

The review below is the personal opinion of Gail and not that of SafariBookings.
Very pleased-Baboon Budget Came Through with some Compensation For changed itinerary in Tanzania.

I wrote a review for my tour in March 2018 and this is my followup to it. Baboon Budget Safaris was honorable in compensating me for the change in itinerary in Tanzania. I also found out that the Tanzanian part of my tour was in the hands of another operator and it would seem this tour operator is no longer being used by Baboon Safaris due to the poor service they provide to clients, I am very glad to hear this. Baboon has pretty good reviews, so I was very shocked with my tour in Tanzania. It would be wise I think to verify if you are being handed off to another tour operator in the future, then, we, as tourists are able to research that company too. I was unable to edit my previous review unfortunately, so I have done this update.
I appreciate your efforts Mr. Dennis, and thank you again for the compensation.

Melanie   –  
Canada CA
Visited: February 2018 Reviewed: Mar 17, 2018

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

The review below is the personal opinion of Melanie and not that of SafariBookings.
Amazing safari, not the most professional company

I travelled alone to Tanzania and booked through Baboon Budget. Let me state that the guides were great and the location amazing. What was not the best was the communication ahead of time. I chose a total of 4 lodges for my 10 days safari between Serengeti and area and Selous. I only stayed at 1 of the 4 I chose. Abram who handles trips in Tanzania seemed a little sketchy. He tried to change my itinerary and changed my lodges. Warranted I ended up in better places. I would go back there in a heartbeat but I probably would not book with them again. I didn't appreciate itinerary changes and not knowing where I was going to be staying.

Loïc   –  
France FR
Visited: August 2017 Reviewed: Sep 7, 2017

Email Loïc  |  35-50 years of age  |  Experience level: over 5 safaris

The review below is the personal opinion of Loïc and not that of SafariBookings.
a little disappointed 4 days masai mara nakuru family with 6 childrens

5 stars for Kim our driver
4 stars for transfers between airports and hotels

after paying the safari, Dennis tells me he has a budget problem and that the third day safari is canceled :(

here is the real program :

day 1 : 6h drive between nairobi and masai mara 2h of safari
day 2 : 10 h of safari
day 3 : 5 h drive between masai mara and naivasha 30 mn boat and 2h drive between naivasha and nakuru
day 4 : 4h safari nakuru and 4h drive between nakuru and nairobi

In summary 16h of safari 17 h of drive

Average User Rating
Rating Breakdown
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  • 3 star 4
  • 2 star 2
  • 1 star 4
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