Claudious Tours & Safaris
- Located In:
- 20-50 employees (Founded in 2006)
- Member Of:
- Magical Kenya, AMREF KENYA & EXPERINCE KENYA TOUR OPERATORS
- Tour Types:
- Small & medium group tours (Mid-range & luxury)
- Price Range:
- $70 to $250 ppper person per day (USD, excl. int'l flights)
Average User Rating
Email Ed | 50-65 years of age | Experience level: over 5 safaris
Fantastic 2 week family safari experience
We choose to mix a couple of Claudious' safaris and then worked to bespoke the trip according to our specific requirements. Communication was always clear and responsive and whilst Covid prevented the trip happening for nearly 3 years, I was regularly kept unto date during that period. We mixed some time in Nairobi with a trip to Meru and then Lewa downs and the Mara, including a couple of nights in the North Conservancy.
We came out of Nairobi airport very late at night, due to BA loosing one of our bags, but were immediately relieved to find Francis and Paul waiting to collect us and transfer us to the Sarova Panafric, with an offer to take us clothes shopping if needbe (reassuring). We visited the DS elephant orphanage, the Giraffe feeding experience and Karen Blixen, all without issue and smooth transfers.
We arranged a combination of flights and overland transfers and had no problems at all. Claudious ran our safari to Meru staying at the lovely Ikweta camp and Phillip was great as our guide and went out of his way to give our family a great safari, he also lead us our first Serval sighting and took us all over the park as we visited the Adamson era. He allowed us to discuss conservation work with the rangers and see the impressive work kWh have achieved there. We then visited the Elewana properties at Lewa Downs (superb rhino conservation work), Mara Sands and Elephant Pepper and every connection was seamless apart from a change to our airline schedule that left one guide waiting over 3 hours for us.
We enjoyed a fantastic safari experience and had no worries during our trip, having returned to Kenya after many years, but this time with our two children it was important to us that we were well looked after and that proved to be the case. In discussions with Claudious, I had included a portion of the trip to try and find my long awaited for Serval, as it happened we came across 2, had superb big cat interactions and even came across an Aardvark on a night safari. This trip was simply stunning!
Email Steven and Linda | 50-65 years of age | Experience level: first safari
Claudious tours did an outstanding job on our trip.
(Sorry if I repeat, I ran out of superlatives)
Our adventure began at the end of 2019. My wife gave me a list of her preferences, and suggested I find the perfect African safari. which I felt I did, with Claudious Tours and Safaris. The right places, the right excursions, the right objectives, the right time (early sept) a good price. We booked it for sept 2020. We made a substantial deposit. Then Covid struck. Hope against hope it cleared up soon. To no avail. Sadness. We had to push the trip out one year. How would this year-long delay effect our tour company? Our hotels? Our excursions? Would they still be in business after a year shutdown? Claudious Tours stayed in touch regularly, (They probably grew tired of my regular emails) and we ironed out all the last-minute details.
In July of 2021 I bought the British airways airline tickets, Seattle to London, London to Nairobi, and back, from Ovago. Everything looking good. Two weeks before the trip I went online to print out our itinerary paperwork, only then, did we find out that our flights to and from Nairobi from London had been canceled by British airways. It might have been nice had someone informed us. Ovago claimed they could fix this, if we were willing to move our vacation to the end of the month. (F___ __u Ovago.) A mad scramble to try to resolve this issue resulted in new tickets through Priceline.com. Cost a little more, changed our arrival/departure times, and raised my blood pressure several points, but we managed.
Leap of faith, take a chance, Covid tested, then we boarded our plane. Claudious’s representative Francis Ojok, met us at the gate with a placard with my name on it. Overwhelming relief. This just might work out as planned. On the way to the hotel, we were informed that Covid would influence small parts of our itinerary, some minor rearrangements and hotel changes. (Mostly upgrades. Read on to get our review of “The Ark”, at the end of this piece.) We arrived at the first Hotel, The Nairobi Serena hotel, An opulent 5-star hotel in the heart of Nairobi. Spacious comfortable room with all the top amenities. Dining poolside in their magnificent Café Maghreb. What a fantastic breakfast spread. Apple fritters to mangos, macadamia to pistachio’s, Pawpaw juice to waffles. Crepes and omelets to order. Impeccable staff, very eager to please. Truly a perfect start.
Our first day began with a trip to the elephant sanctuary, where young injured and orphaned elephants are taken care of. While she was taking photos, a baby elephant tried to gently hold hands (trunk) with my wife. Simply, utterly, mindbogglingly, Amazing. Then off to the Giraffe sanctuary. Where we experienced giraffe handfeeding (read- “got slobbered on” by) these unique and truly incredible animals. Next it was off to Kazuri Beads located in Karen. Their mission Is to provide and sustain employment opportunities for disadvantaged members of Kenyan society, especially Single Motherhood women, and to achieve this, they produce top quality Ceramic Jewelry and Pottery. And it is, truly amazing. I bought three pieces for my sisters, and a beautiful bowl for myself. Then we were off to the Carnivore restaurant. Carnivore is an open-air restaurant in the Langata suburb of Nairobi, Kenya. Carnivore's specialty is grilled meat and features an all-you-can-eat grilled meat buffet. They serve a wide variety of meat and were famous for their game meat. I found the Ostrich tasty and the crocodile a little dry. The ox balls were unusually unique, and surprisingly, to me, very good. We literally rolled out of there. And that was just the first amazing day of 14. During this trip, It seemed to me that, each and every day we reached a new and unique milestone, that made it as good, if not better, than the day before.
Day 2 found us on a game drive in Amboseli game reserve. I absolutely must interject here. If you are in Nairobi, or on the great northern road, it is smooth and wonderfully paved. With simply the occasional sleeping policeman. (Speedbump) If you are just about anywhere else, the roads are washboard and rutted. I cannot stress enough, the necessity of a sports bra, a jock strap, and a dentist, to repair your rattled fillings. My wife also referred to the trip as “dust and smoke.”
We stayed at the Amboseli Serena Lodge, another 5-star hotel Featuring a perfect Mount Kilimanjaro backdrop.
Day 3 Full day Amboseli game drive. Amongst other things, We also ran into a pair of lions on their honeymoon. Doing what honeymooners usually do. About every 10 minutes or so. Our guide said they would keep that up for 7 to 10 days, then stop to eat. (That sounded like how my honeymoon went.)
Our guide Alfred was able to flawlessly recite facts about any game we asked about. He also could identify any bird, or flora. He was able to espouse about the different types of giraffes, based on their pattern, or the way you can tell the sex of a leopard by how they lay on a branch. Any bird and how they are different from each other. Did you know that flamingos are not pink? That that is a result of the algae that they eat. The difference between white and black rhinos? (Actually, they are all gray.) What a Pencil tree is? Or a Candelabra cactus tree? A truly remarkable guide. We were truly lucky to have him.
Day 4 Transfer to Tanzania. We stopped for lunch at a beautiful lake and had our first closeup experience with 6 hippos. (Many, many more hippos later.) Our guide laid out a perfect lunch on the water’s edge. Kenyan sunsets are almost always spectacular.
At the border, social distancing in customs is unheard of. Most of the people in Tanzania eschew facemasks. They are required in official buildings, and at all hotels though.
A trip into Ngorongoro crater, the world's largest inactive, intact, and unfilled volcanic caldera. The crater, which formed when a large volcano exploded and collapsed on itself two to three million years ago, is 610 meters (2,000 feet) deep and its floor covers 260 square kilometers (100 square miles). The clouds cascading and rolling over the rim dissipate before reaching the caldera floor, this gives the illusion of an ocean wave breaking. It was absolutely gorgeous.
We watched as 3 elephants, spooked 11 lions, that were stalking 3 wildebeest. Remarkable. Several herds of wildebeest, buffalo and zebra crossing in front of us as we traversed the floor.
We arrived at Manyara National Park Tanzania, Just in time to watch some lions resting on a hillside, with their cubs, and chewing on the days meal. we ran into a baboon traffic jam. Dozens of them blocking the road.
We stayed at t he 5-star Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge perched atop Tanzania's towering Mto wa Mbu escarpment, overlooking the Serengeti.
Day 5 The Serengeti. The name might elicit hazy memories created by movies like Hatari, But the vast enormity cannot be described in its one-word name. We were very fortunate that our guide knew what he was doing, because we became hopelessly lost within the first hour. You can drive for 40 minutes without a change of scenery, or any kind of reference point on the horizon, other than the occasional wild animal. I personally believe that for the first time, we were experiencing the true curvature of the earth. If you drive for another hour, you might find a tree or two. Drive for another hour and you come across a water pond FILLED with hippo’s, my wife lost count at 90 hippos, keep going and suddenly you have majestic, stacked boulders reminiscent of New Mexico. It was upon one of these boulders that My wife spied a lioness sunning herself. 50 meters away is where our guide set up our table and chairs for lunch and we enjoyed a fabulous picnic. Yes, with the (sated) lioness right there. (Absolutely, totally, surreal).
We stayed at the five-star Serengeti Safari Lodge. A quasi tent with some canvas walls and a sliding glass door leading to your raised private balcony overlooking the Serengeti plain. The wildebeest, zebras, dikdiks, buffalo, gazelles and giraffe all right there. The hotel requires that after dark, all guests are escorted when outside their rooms, for their own protection.
Day 7 An early start, but a small hiccup at the border had us make a late arrival at Masai Mara. The Mara is the Kenyan extension of the Serengeti, we found it to be similar in many ways. The broad plains, the few patches of trees, the mounds of boulders. At the Mara we ran into herds upon herds of zebra and wildebeest, the occasional group of buffalo and giraffe, and four cheetah brothers, stuffed to the gill’s.
They were kind enough to each mark their territory right in front of us. Yuppers, imagine that, pix of them each pee’in an poo’in, every photographer’s dream. We stayed at the Keekorok Lodge a four-star hotel, that was ok.
Day 8. We awoke at oh-dark thirty and climbed into a bus to drive for 30 minutes to our sunrise launch sight. A 16-person hot air balloon ride (one of 3, with 4 smaller balloons) over the Mara. Fabulous.
From the air, we could see how it got its name, It is named in honor of the Maasai people, the ancestral inhabitants of the area, who migrated to the area from the Nile Basin. Their description of the area when looked at from afar: "Mara" means "spotted" in the local Maasai language, due to the many short bushy trees which dot the landscape. Once on high, we watched a wide variety of animals including an aborted hunt, as a lion tried, but failed, to catch an antelope. Surreal. When we landed, we enjoyed a Champagne breakfast at the landing sight. Magnificent
While out on safari that afternoon we stumbled across two lion brothers, with their harem of lioness’, Laying in the grass. The ladies got up and started sniffing around for dinner, while the men simply yawned, stretched, and moved into the shade. Stupendous creatures. What a life.
Day 9. We drove to the Lake Nakuru National Park where we stayed at the Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge. This lodge is primarily a bird sanctuary. But while out on safari, my wife spotted a leopard up a tree. The staff at the hotel were amazed. People hadn’t seen the Leopard around there in a long time. Everyone was looking for them. Score!
Day 10. We drove to the sprawling Ol Pejeta Conservancy, one of Kenya's most noteworthy conservancies and home to the 'Big Five' elephant, rhino, lion, buffalo and leopard. On the way in we saw about a dozen white rhino. We stayed at the Sweetwater Serena Camp. An actual canvas tent in a raised structure that brings you off the ground and is attached to a full bathroom. No room keys, just zippers. This was where we had the opportunity to get up close and personal with a black Rhino. He was blind and would have perished in the wild, so was kept in a protected pasture. We also met a camel.
Day 11. More sightseeing and driving. We checked into The Ark Hotel, this dated, (built in the early 60’s) cramped, ill amenitied hotel, lacked many of the comforts I had grown accustomed to on this journey. The 15-minute wait for tepid water in the shower, the small dining room with a poor selection of moderate cuisine, the overpriced bar, the overwhelming pungent reek of smoke throughout the building from the open fireplace in the lounge, (which was enough to trigger an asthma attack, and on a personal note, the 7,500 foot altitude level, which affected me badly.) These attributes should, and will, all be completely overlooked, while I pontificate about the truly spectacular wildlife viewing opportunities. The hotel is situated next to an extremely well-used watering hole. There are four levels of open and enclosed viewing platforms that either include comfortable chairs inside, or a magnificent outdoor viewing balcony. On the ground floor there is a stone Bunker from which you can experience the animals literally, from mere feet away. Shortly after arriving we went to the fourth-floor observation lounge, and within minutes I watched in fascination as a male water buffalo, enforced his territory, and drove another buffalo away. Then I watched a family of elephants frolicking and taking a bath. The herd extremely protective of a new calf. I watched a mountain warthog rummage around, and some zebra off in the distance waiting their turn. All within the first ten minutes.
* * *
A pack of hyenas had brought down a wildebeest one or two days prior and returned that evening to finish their meal. The herd of elephants were having nothing to do with it, and kept chasing the hyena off, trumpeting all the way. (The spectacle could not have been staged any better.)
Day 12. We drove back to Nairobi and checked into the Serena hotel again. An afternoon to unwind and relax, peruse our photos, and videos. Eliminate those that were out of focus, etc. My wife went down to the gift shop and upon returning, commented on a pair of Tanzanite earrings she had seen. I went down and purchased them, for a tenth of what they would have cost in the U.S.
Day 13. Francis Ojok picked us up and took us to the Nairobi Hospital, where we received our Covid test for the return flight home. After that my wife decided that she would like to return to the Kazuri Bead factory, so we did. Then off to the Nairobi Museum, A quick passthrough and then my wife and guide conceded and allowed me to visit the snake park. There were black and green mambas, hooded spitting cobras, gaboon vipers, the African puff adder. (Africa’s most dangerous snake) Outside, after you’ve gone past the puff adder and some other snakes, the corridor descends to a few larger enclosures which house bigger species: Leopard tortoises, soft shell tortoises, a Nile crocodile, and an American alligator among them. I loved it. (My companions humored me, but were bored)
We had takeout in our room that night and repacked for the trip home.
Day 14. My wife and I relaxed by the pool at the hotel after checking out, and Francis picked us up and drove us to the airport. Every aspect of the trip executed by Claudious Tours was well within the realm of exceptional service. I would highly personally recommend them to anyone looking for a perfect African safari. Thank you Claudious tours. (One very minor caveat: Work with Claudious to secure a two night stay in a hotel halfway to 3/4 of the way through your tour, to ensure sufficient time to address laundry issues, (Enough time to wash and dry clothes. The dust will get into everything.)
An in·ter·mi·na·ble time later (39 hours , with an 8-hour layover at Doha Qatar.) we arrived home, safe and sound.
* (5 of the photos used here, as marked, are stock photos, the rest I, or my wife, took.)
** it appears that none of the photos remained attached to the file. I assure you its much better with them.
Email Ellen | 65+ years of age | Experience level: first safari
Would not answer phones when we called. Only would talk with drivers...in Swahili...our itinerary was not followed and 5 days left with ZERO experiences. The positive reviews are bogus, for sure.
Email Dianna | 50-65 years of age | Experience level: first safari
NOTHING ABOUT THE CLAUDIOUS TOURS & SAFARIS WAS AS ADVERTISED. Our accommodations were substandard based on the amount of money we paid for. Our gorilla passes were for the wrong month and so we never got to go on our adventure! We were never reimbursed for our $600 dollar passes, Uganda VISA's or other expenses based on Uganda. The food was horrible. Never again with Claudious Tours.
Email Jeremy | 20-35 years of age | Experience level: first safari
Worst travel agency ever!!! Do not book with these guys
We booked an African safari package with Claudious Tours back in February. The trip was supposed to be from 28MAY-06JUNE. We spent $1800 on the tour and unfortunately forced to cancel because of the COVID-19 crisis. We requested cancellation back in March and they have consistently given multiple excuses and lies for not returning our money. They originally refused to give any refund, but then we looked up their refund policy for cancellations.
Claudious Tours policy states that they take a certain percentage of the cost for cancellations. For which we do understand that, but even after that they still refuse to give us our refund back through Paypal. They eventually said that they would start giving us installments of our money beginning 07May, then every month after until paid. They still have NOT given us our refund and continuously keep giving us lies and empty promises. This is unprofessional and it literally takes 20 minutes to do a refund on Paypal.
The last email we received from Claudious was stated they have been issuing refunds to other customers. Attached to the email was a ‘refunded reciept’ as so-called proof from another customer saying they were processing refunds. The receipt had this customer’s private information, address, banking info that WASN’T redacted. Anyone could’ve taken that information and committed identity theft on this person. Please DO NOT book with this agency, there are way better places to book with in Nairobi.
Email Michael | 20-35 years of age | Experience level: first safari
Scam: DO NOT BOOK
This tour operator is a complete scam, and they ripped my friend and I off of $1800.
We were supposed to go to on a safari with them in May, but due to Coronavirus, we needed to cancel. They said they could only refund 60% of what we paid according to their terms and conditions, which we agreed to. However, they never ended up paying us anything, they just continued to lie and come up with new excuses each time I asked for the money they owed us.
I even offered to do an installment plan, where they would pay me about $150 once a month until the balance was paid, but they didn’t pay me on the first date agreed upon, they just came up with some unintelligible excuse as quoted from my most recent email with them:
“We were by this time supposed to have started giving you back the money due to you. However, with the work system between us and line hotels we got to wait for the feedback as our bookings are normally done under group trip plans NOT individual names that you can ask from outside and get to know as such.”
The above doesn’t make any sense, since they never even made a reservation at any hotel for us.
After seeing a 1 star review in February, I decided to contact all the hotels that we were supposed to stay at to confirm that there was a reservation with this company. Each hotel said they had no reservations and had never worked with them before. I confronted Edmond about it, and he said they were going to eventually make a reservation, but I called the hotels again two weeks before we agreed to our installment plan, and they had still never heard of them. Therefore, he was blatantly lying to me in his last email.
Trust me, there were many other irregularities and blatant lies they told us that would take too long to type.
TLDR: They are liars, and a complete scam. Please pay a little bit more for a reputable tour operator that is KATO certified, NOT these con artists.
Email Zuzana V. | 20-35 years of age | Experience level: first safari
Amazing private safari tour!
We (me and my husband) did a 9 day tour, including: Tsavo East, Tsavo West, Amboseli, Lake Nakuru and Masai Mara. We typically travel as our own adventure (rent a car, drive around and have all the freedom to change plans as you go), which we realized wasn't possible for Safaris, so we wanted a tour company with some flexibility. We really appreciated being able to pick the national parks to visit, pick the places to stay at, and even though the itinerary was pretty much set, we still have some flexibility in terms being able to stop for lunch or coffee etc, compared to taking a tour with a larger group. We enjoyed every single national park - our tour guide was very knowledgable, he was amazing at spotting animals, and really did his best to make sure we get to see as many animals as possible.
Tsavo East was a great start, there is not a lot of animals (compared to Masai Mara) but barely any tourist. We saw beautiful elephant families (red in color due to the soil color in the area). Tsavo West is very unique and remote park. close to the foot of Mt. Kilimanjaro, it's very different with many bushes. Even though that makes it harder to spot animals, it offers beautiful scenery. We also saw a leopard here. Amboseli is quite small but the number of elephant families were just breathtaking. Looking back - we would consider skipping Lake Nakuru, even though it's the only place we saw Rhinos, it's little bit out of the way and adds quite a bit of driving time. Finally Masai Mara is pretty awesome! The number of animals we saw in one place was just breathtaking, besides seeing few lion prides with cute lion cubs. Even though the park was also quire crowded with other tourist.
Overall very happy with our trip, and with Claudious tour company. The service was very personalized, besides the safari tour including airport pickup & airport drop off, lunch after Safari back in Nairobi, and Claudious and Francis checked with us few times during our trip how it's going. If we come back to Kenya we would definitely go with them again!
Email Harish Raithatha | 50-65 years of age | Experience level: 2-5 safaris
"Lifetime Experience .... Spectacular & Amazing"
Tremendous team-effort , highly professional attitude & coordination , mind-blowing guides & their game-drives , neat arrangements even in very adverse situations , superb hospitality from each & every employee..... Claudious Tours & Safaris made us feel at home from the very moment we stepped in Africa. Thank you for everything you did to us. Our trip wouldn't be so pleasant & successful without you guys.
Email Kevin Roberts | 50-65 years of age | Experience level: over 5 safaris
Great experience and value!
I went on a 4 - day Masai Mara / Nakuru camping safari with Claudious Tours and Safaris.
Communication were consistently quick and polite. They always responded right away and were very helpful.
Overall, I felt the trip was a great value for the price. I got to see far more than I expected and had an amazing trip.
Email Jane clay | 35-50 years of age | Experience level: 2-5 safaris
They are a really serious company,they keep contact with you all time and they are always willing to answer your questions.The Safari was really great and all the activities,lodges,food,games drives were exactly how they said.tour guides were fun and great persons who make us really enjoy the Safari.
- All corporate and/or tour info is provided by Claudious Tours & Safaris, not SafariBookings
- The tours offered by Claudious Tours & Safaris are subject to their terms & conditions