Great wildlife, but disappointing tour operator
We did a small safari tour over 3 days, where we slept in tents. Our experience was very two sided.
1-The animals and nature we got to see was incredible. We saw almost all the animals we were hoping for.
2-The cook was amazing, considering his working conditions in public camping sites. Every single meal was really tasty, and had a good variety. He was always polite and explained in detail which food he served.
3-The tents were as expected for two adults in terms of size and weather resistance, but the campsite toilets and showers were dirty and lacking toilet paper. There were also too many tourists per toilet.
4-We have beverages in the jeep (water and soda) every day.
5-Two person per row in the jeep allowed everyone to have their own window.
6-The cars used for transport to and from the airport were in good condition
1-The lodge where we stayed before and after the safari was very low-budget. The shower had only cold or burning hot water, and the water pressure was way too low. No hand towels were provided, and we had to ask for a second shower towel both stays. The breakfast was decent and the staff was polite. The room had poor sound isolation, so we were kept awake by other guests.
2-Our guide/driver (James or Jimmy) was often driving very erratically, so that it was often difficult for us to take good videos or photos of the animals. Sometimes he wouldn't stop when all of us saw animals we wanted to photograph.He was often giving information while we took pictures, but he kept demanding our response whenever we were busy with experiencing the wildlife. The way he approached different tourist in the jeep seemed unprofessional to us. When the tour was over, he didn't even bother helping with our bags, or even say goodbye. This was after we had paid the tip that was suggested by Hillary.
3-The driver should have a microphone, because it is almost impossible to hear his voice while the engine is running, especially if you are sitting in the back of the jeep.
4-Our contact at the lodge (Mr. Ally or Ali) gave us a very unenthusiastic introduction to our tour, where he said that we "must" pay a tip of 15 USD per day per person, even though Hillary's email said it was a recommendation. Only after we said this, he changed his choice of words. After the safari was over we met him again. Then he asked "give us a 5-star review on Tripadvisor, both of you today". We told him we would review the experience from home, but he kept asking to do it immediately. The only purpose was to keep Surikata Safari on top of the list at Tripadvisor, rather than honest feedback. Future tourists should keep this in mind when you read all the 5-star reviews. We had some extra time on our last day in Arusha where we said we wanted to relax. Instead he kept pushing for us to pay for more tours. The transport to the airport was 45 - 60 minutes delayed.
Overall what we suggest especially to couples is that to choose a mid-range (more luxurious) option compared to the one with tents. Then you might not be annoyed by some of the things we have listed.