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Safari Reviews

Sort By: Date Most Helpful 1-10 of 354 Reviews
Melanie   –  
Canada CA
Visited: August 2022 Reviewed: Sep 12, 2022

35-50 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Budget should not mean poor quality....
2/5

We read many reviews of various companies and chose Karibu because they seemed to offer a very professional service, they guaranteed maximum 6 people maximum per van (so everyone has a window seat) and apparently had good guides (so many reviews said the driver/guides were excellent!). We chose a 7 day safari to Maasai Marai, Lake Naivasha, Hell’s Gate, Lake Nakuru and Amboseli. Unfortunately, we were somewhat disappointed.

Booking, communication with Robert, payment and initial pick-up all went smoothly! Yay! But then…things started taking a downward turn…first, we were told that the planned itinerary was changing because we had 4 people joining us later…no worries. This change ultimately meant we spent more time in the car (so less time doing activities) and almost 2 hours waiting for the people to join. During that first day’s amended agenda, we went to Hell’s Gate park. Our driver/guide Castro kept telling us we needed to rent bikes and that he could not drive in the park…he pretty much dropped us off to negotiate bike prices on our own, it was a rather uncomfortable situation (which quite honestly should have pre-arranged or the negotiating done by him…the guide). Being new to Kenya we had no idea what would have been a reasonable price. Anyhow, we took bikes and rode into the park with a different guide who was assigned to us without any previous explanation. We did love the experience of riding the bikes, but it became obvious that our driver had not been fully honest with us as there were many groups driving through the park and disembarking for photo opportunities. Let’s just say that this first bit of “dishonesty” did not set us up for a relationship of confidence with our guide. Many little things like this kept happening along the way and it just made us uncomfortable and even frustrated at times. In fact, on more than one occasion, so-called “optional” activities were assigned to us without choice nor with any prior information and then the person providing that activity would expect some sort of extra payment, which we were never made aware of before.

That first night we were driven to a hotel that was not in the planning that was sent to us by Robert and when we asked about it, Castro said that the other hotel had called him to say they were fully booked and that we should go to this one. Again…seemed strange but, whatever, we went with the flow. A similar thing happened to us in Maasai Mara when we arrived at a different camp than what was on the planning. Since there were now 6 in our group at this point, everyone questioned the situation and Castro just seemed annoyed with us. He did not exhibit any sort of patience and eventually, in a huff, drove us off to the other camp at which apparently no reservation had been made and we were again put in an uncomfortable situation….we were told by the camp staff that the only tents available were “luxury” tents and that we would have to pay extra. Of course we refused, and after waiting for about 20 minutes…we were all assigned regular tents, although one couple (newlyweds) had to sleep in separate single beds. Just another awkward strange situation. Something similar again happened when we arrived at our assigned camp in Amboseli. Upon arrival, we were told that the reservation for our group had never been confirmed so that they did not really have the correct number of tents for us. So as a group, we ensured the newlyweds had the best accommodation, but that meant that the other two couples ended up with subpar, lower quality rooms (not tents) for their stay there. Don’t get me wrong, the staff at this camp were outstanding and they really did everything they could to make us comfortable (thank you Henry), the problem here lies with Karibu.

We did fully enjoy the game drives though and I must say, Castro was an excellent driver. He got us close to the animals and did everything possible to find them. That being said, he was really not a good guide. I realize this was a budget safari but basic guiding is not hard to provide (having worked in the tourism industry I feel I am well placed to say so). Simple basic information about the animals, people and places would have been appreciated. Common courtesies such as saying “Good morning, how are you?’’ or smiling on occasion do not cost the company or the guide any more and they make a big difference in the client’s experience. On some days Castro barely spoke to us and getting simple information about our day’s itinerary was at times like pulling teeth. We had to ask for water on many occasions and it felt like it was an inconvenience for Castro to give it to us, when it was supposed to be provided. Some days we got a small bottle each, some days we didn’t even get any. On one day, when we mentioned this, we got a snarky response from Castro of “well…did you ask for it?’’. Unfortunately, his attitude made us feel unwelcome and more of a burden to him than anything. We eventually all just pretty much stopped asking questions and tried to enjoy our game drives as much as possible.


There are probably another half dozen situations I could describe here that made our experience much less enjoyable than it could have been (not to mention the vehicle break-down which ended up having us wait for 5 hours for a replacement vehicle….these things happen of course, but it was the poor communication of it all and the lack of apology or any sense of compassion that made it a bad situation or the fact that there ended up being 7 of us in the van and we had to argue to ensure we remained at 6) , but I will limit myself to these.

Again, we saw some amazing animals. The game drives were excellent. But the guiding, organization and communication were very disappointing and quite below even a budget safari standards.

I would think twice before booking with Karibu.

Marcin   –  
Poland PL
Visited: August 2022 Reviewed: Sep 11, 2022

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

Dishonest
2/5

We had an unpleasant situation with the guide - we agreed to take additional people for our afternoon game drive in exchange for decreasing a bit the overall price of our trip. The guide took the money from them, but when we asked him about the price decrease (returning us some money) the next day he started to make excuses, eventually telling us to write to the office. So we did and the office assured us the guide will return the money after they talk to him. Eventually, the guide ran away after he left us in our hotel, avoiding confrontation and not giving us the money back. The office was not willing to help us with the situation.

The tour itself was good and we can't complain about it, but the situation with the guide and the office ruined the experience for us.

Cecilia   –  
Australia AU
Visited: September 2022 Reviewed: Sep 10, 2022

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

Management should indicate mpesa is best option We wasted time waiting for efpos machine to work.
Overall rating
2/5

I went to the park with 2 colleagues from Australia only saw warthog and impala. Was disappointing not to see any animals. The birds too were handful. The bushland was great bushes too. But no animals. Would recommend the Falls only. But not a safari.

Karen   –  
United States US
Visited: June 2022 Reviewed: Sep 4, 2022

50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: over 5 safaris

Uncommunicative, was very good, no longer will I use them
2/5

I have used this company 5 times, the first 3 times were wonderful. Liselle Ratth was our agent and she was fabulous. During and after covid, our booked trip for 2021 was handled by Brett Thomson. He did not communicate in a timely manner, which made us very nervous. However, the trip in September 2021 went very well. We had another trip planned for June/July of 2022 and it did NOT go well. Email questions took days, if not weeks for an answer. Sometimes we never did get an answer. The first lodge on our trip went very well, during our stay there we received an email from the next lodge in Zimbabwe telling us that our stay was cancelled due to none payment by Brett. Needless to say we were in shock. Luckily the owner and manager of Nottens Bush Camp (Sabi Sands) took us under their wing and helped us. The catch was that we had to wire the payment directly to the camp, as they would not deal with Brett. This put us out another $7600 US dollars, which we had already paid. Brett assured me that he would be refunded this amount via our credit card. This did NOT go as planned and took over 8 weeks to receive refunds, which were not the same amount as we wired to the camp due to exchange rates. This is so unacceptable, he did not pay and we were out extra money. I can only image if the guests did not have an extra $7600 cash to pay the camp...would we have been out of luck? I do not recommend using this company...

Andrew   –  
Kenya KE
Visited: August 2022 Reviewed: Aug 24, 2022

20-35 years of age  |  Experience level: over 5 safaris

Worst ever experience
2/5

As expats in Kenya, we have taken many safari trips, and the recent one to Masai Mara with Lenchada was unfortunately our worst ever experience. We chose this company out of their overwhelmingly good reviews on safaribookings.com. That probably means that most of their drivers are excellent. But our driver, named Tony, was an exception by a large margin.

Tony clearly hates his job and was cold and rude to us throughout the trip. Every time we met at the beginning of a game drive, he never greeted us and only responded to our greeting with a node. He never helped with our luggage either. During game drives, he never asked us or even notified us before starting the vehicle after a stop, never caring if we wanted to stay for longer. In several cases this interrupted our ongoing photography of animals, and sometimes even worse—the abrupt move of the vehicle on the bumpy road of Masai Mara caused us to fall on the seat. All three of us hit our knees on the armrest of the seats for a few times, and we all got bruises. Having paid a little more to take a private tour rather than a shared one, we expected that we could customize the game drives to a reasonable extent. When we tried to communicate with him about our preferences in animal viewing, however, Tony responded impatiently with cold words such as “You have to be patient,” “I have to follow instructions from the radio.”

And his words about following the radio turned out to be a lie, because his vehicle was not equipped with a radio! A radio is important for any safari trip, and especially for Masai Mara, since the natural reserve is simply too large. Even during the migration season, most part of Masai Mara at any given time would still be empty, and without a radio, on which dozens of drivers share their findings real-time, you will very likely end up not finding anything interesting for a whole hour. Two of the three of us fell asleep for around twenty to thirty minutes during the game drive. In the past we have taken safari trips in less renowned destinations and during low seasons, but the experiences have never been so boring for us that we fell asleep. It may be unbelievable that this happened in Masai Mara during the migration season, but when you don’t see any noteworthy animal for dozens of minutes it would be hard to stay awake. We did get to see some big cats, but that was only possible when we luckily encountered another vehicle that had radio, whose driver kindly shared the information, and our vehicle then made a U-turn to go back in the opposite direction for some fifteen minutes to get to the spot. With a radio we would probably have spent thirty minutes less to get there.

When we realized this problem, we contacted Alex, the managing person of Lenchada. Alex was responsive and attentive. He apologized for our experience, clarified that the driver’s practice of not carrying radio to a game drive is intolerable and against the company’s rules, and told us that he will soon make a thorough check on all the vehicles of his company to make sure that they must have radios. For us, however, the only thing he could offer as a remedy was to extend our final game drive by departing the lodge one hour earlier than planned. We appreciated his supportive attitude and accepted the offer, understanding that it was probably already all he could do within his capability. Tony was late, cutting the extended game-drive time from one hour to less than forty minutes. But the length of the trip turned out not a big issue, because during that extended final game drive, we again fell asleep, for the simple reason that the vehicle still didn’t have radio and we still had not much to see most of the time.

Although Tony had no radio, he attempted to cheat us by saying that he had one. It was only during the second day of the trip, when we heard him responding to another driver asking about information on animal spotting, saying in Swahili “Sina redio” (I don’t have a radio) that we realized he had been lying. When we contacted Alex about this concern, Alex hosted a three-way phone call with us and Tony. To our surprise, in the phone call Tony lied to his boss and insisted that he had a radio which he simply turned off because it was noisy. On our way back to Nairobi, Tony even blamed us for telling his boss about the radio issue, and still insisted that he has radio. When we pointed to the antenna holder in the front of his vehicle, where there was no antenna at all, he said that for some vehicles the antenna is in the back. But one only needs to get off the vehicle and look at its back to know that there’s no antenna there either. For so many times, Tony lied through his teeth.

Tony also told us that because of our complaint, he was going to lose his job. Due to his repetitive blatant lies, we would not believe in what he said. But if what he said is indeed true, that would be an indication that Lenchada really cared about their customers and promptly fired this unprofessional, dishonest, and rude employee. Such a person should simply not be allowed to work in this industry.

In other aspects of our trip that are unrelated to the driver, our experience was mostly positive. For example, the lodge was a good balance of quality and price. It is way cheaper than any accommodation inside Masai Mara, yet it’s only a ten-minute drive to the gate. Since their boss Alex is a responsible and honest person, and since there are many good reviews out there, choosing Lenchada for your safari may still be a good idea. But you have to make sure that your driver is not Tony, otherwise all those good reviews will be totally irrelevant to your actual experience.

Francesco   –  
Italy IT
Visited: July 2022 Reviewed: Aug 23, 2022

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

good tour, but poor communication from the tour operator
2/5

5 stars to the experience, amazing landscapes and lots of animals
5 stars to Boniface who went to great lengths to show us the best
5 stars to the group, very nice and friendly people, it was a pleasure to stay with them
4 stars to the accomodations, considering the budget it was good
3 stars to the food, it was good, but always the same, and as vegetarian for lunch bag always boiled eggs
2 stars to Okoa, we had to pay 7% more because we paid by card, and no one had warned us that there were additional charges with the card, otherwise we would have paid in cash. The tour is the same with other tour operators, we were staying in the same van, same hotels, all the same, with people who had booked with other tour operators, but maybe with other tour operators we would have saved money.

Fabian   –  
Sweden SE
Visited: August 2022 Reviewed: Aug 19, 2022

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

Not recommendable! Book your safari with a different operator, safe the trouple!
2/5

I booked the 5-Day Group Joining - Manyara, Serengeti and Ngorongoro luxury package with Seven Wonders Safaris.
Initially everything was really great. Evelyn helped me greatly with getting my lost luggage from the airline to the hotel, all the driving worked out really great and the first day we changed the schedule from Manyara to Tarangire (more animals in Tarangire). We had a wonderful day at Tarangire. The driver Nestory was very experienced and a great park driver/guide. The disaster started from day 2!

I got picked up 2h delayed by an old driver called Abdul. Instead of driving towards Serengeti we drove back towards Arusha to pick up other people from the shared Safari. Why he didn't pick up the others first and me last was unclear to all of us. After arriving at the camp side, we had been told that one of the cars is damaged and the entire group of 12 people needs therefore to wait here for a replacement car to arrive. After having lunch and waiting another 2 hours we finally started the drive towards Serengeti. The drive didn't last very long since the police stopped us and denied us the drive, since the car lacked the permit to transport passengers. After waiting for approx another hours we finally started driving to Serengeti. We arrived the Serengeti park entrance just a few min before they closed the gate around 6 in the evening. From there its another 1h drive to the accommodations/camp sides. Here is where the real mess started. Abdul had clearly no idea where any camp side was. So we spend the coming 5h driving through the dark Serengeti Park, while helping the driver with google satellite images. Abdul constantly insisted that he knows the way, while it was very obvious that he was just randomly driving around (trying to enter roads with clear signs private only, making turns all the time, messing up left/right etc). After 5h I gave up finding my accommodation and we drove back to the main camp side, where we figured out that the car with the cook and tents never made it to the campsite. So the majority of the group had to asked complete strangers if they could join them in their tents without a mattress and sleeping bag. Since it was already 1am I decided to sleep with the driver in the car. Luckily for me the damaged car with the tents arrived in the middle of the night and I got a tent to sleep in for a few hours. During the entire day Seven Wonders ignored all our messages! We could reach anyone in their office. Even the day after I got mostly ignored by Evelyn. This was not the luxury version of safari that I pictured.
I am deeply sad to see how bad the company is handling problems. I can totally see how you can have a great time with Seven Wonders, but be aware that the moment anyone runs into problems, you will be let alone by the company. Problems can and will arise, its the way you handle them and how you communicate with your clients!

Seven Wonders tried to make things good the coming days, by providing me with a private driver and refunding part of the trip, which is the reason why I gave one extra point in the rating. But I would not recommend this tour organizer to anyone!

Maybe worth mentioning that paperwork was done wrongly when we left Serengeti and the driver had to bribe the guards to let us leave the park. Also the transport from Ngorongoro to Arusha lacked some kind of documents, so we were driving around police checkpoints or bribing the police officers to keep going.

Oscar   –  
Spain ES
Visited: August 2022 Reviewed: Aug 15, 2022

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

disappointment
2/5

Travel from 22-July to 12 August.

Hi Fred,
I am providing to you a feedback about our travel.
We have been usually travelling to different Africa countries, and we have experiences with other tour companies.
The Itinerary were quite good, wildlife, community interactions, activities, natural parks, treekings, etc.
Eddie is a good chauffeur-driver, nice person, but not a tourist guide. He is mute, any explanations, not interesting information about Uganda. For instance, when I lost my mobile phone he rejected to call me to make the phone ring, etc.
Sandton Hotel in Kasese:
• room was not ready when we arrived around 13:00
• small room with two individual beds (see picture attached).
• No tap water in whole day.
…and finally we had to look for other lodge by ourselves without any compensation or reimbursement from your side.
Too wicked and ugly to make us pay breakfast first day.
We experienced 2 days with long car drive, leaving around 7:00-7:30 and arriving lodge around 16:00-16:30 without stops for lunch with my daughter starving (just to fill up the tank), and pack lunch either despite our suggestions to pick up one.
Original 2Friends Beach Hotel for last day changed by other lower category, without swimming pool,
No dinner covered last day despite all meals were included in the proposal.
No air conditioning in the car the last 5 days.
No water available last day, and we had to buy it.
Early mornings wake up (no problem) but some days arriving to the next lodge also early 15:00-16:00 without any activity in the evening (waste of time).
We did 1 hour quad instead 4 hours as stated in the itinerary.
In the contract it informed it was full meals, but we had to pay breakfast first day and dinner last day.
We are very sorry to say EAJS has not reached our expectations and it has been a disappointment. We should search other alternatives for our 2023 travel to Rwanda.
We can’t recommend it to any of our family and friends plan to travel to Africa and we hope our critics help you make it better.
Best regards,

Lindsay W   –  
United States US
Visited: July 2022 Reviewed: Aug 9, 2022

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

Sadly Disappointed.
2/5

I’ve been on mobile safari before, many times. This is the first time I’ve ever had so much anxiety on a safari and been so disappointed.

We paid for 6 nights safari, 2 nights hotel in Maun, 3 hour Mokoro ride and transport to and from the airport. We paid 7 months in advance.

3 days before leaving, we reminded them of our arrival. They asked us who was picking us up and where we were staying. That was their job. We sent them the invoice they sent to us where this was covered and they said they had it under control.

The day we were supposed to leave, our flights were cancelled (not their fault) but I tried to call and let them know of the updated flight. All calls went unanswered. They finally responded to an email saying they got the updated information and we wouldn’t get our money back for the hotel on arrival night (fine, last minute change) but that the hotel wasn’t available for the final night either because of “renovations” which was odd, the last night was never impacted. Why was it suddenly unavailable? I think it’s because they completely forgot.

We start our safari and the car is unreliable. I’m not talking old, refurbished or dusty. The car wouldn’t start half the time, there would be smoke coming out from under the hood, burning smells, random wheels stopped turning mid-drive and the passenger door would randomly open mid-ride. The guide was constantly having to put in motor oil, jump the car, be under the hood and working on the tires to get them moving again. He even had go tie the passenger door so it would stop opening while we were moving.

The guide had zero knowledge of our Mokoro ride and where we were staying in Maun. He called numerous times at each gate we passed - calls went unanswered for days. He even went to the gates while we took an afternoon naps to try to resolve everything but said no one answered or no one called him back. The Mokoro ride eventually happened, but only because we armed the guide with proof we paid for it.

The guide also said he’s worked for many mobile safaris. They usually give a print out with all the details but he didn’t get one for us. He said he was called 2 days before (conveniently around the time we reminded them of the safari) and everything was instructed over the phone.

The crew was fine, the food was good though we ate cold cuts everyday for lunch, and the guide showed us all we came to see but it felt like our safari was completely forgotten by Unlimited, then slapped together last minute. If we hadn’t reminded them, I bet we would have been stranded at the airport. How can you pay a company thousands of dollars and have to remind them you paid for a safari?

When I thought it was all over and we just go to the airport now, Unlimited had one last surprise. They didn’t pick us up from the hotel to the airport. They didn’t bother to tell us there was a problem with the car until we called, and they weren’t going to pick us up until 1 hour before the flight - leaving us no time to get through passport control, baggage, security and board. The hotel called a taxi. Thankfully we did, we arrived with only 5 minutes to spare before boarding.

When I got home, I saw they had taken a high profile client out based on their social media posts, so I guess that took priority over us. It was upsetting considering we saved up for 2 years for a mother-daughter safari and we should have just gone with someone else we knew and trusted.

Bogir   –  
Romania RO
Visited: August 2022 Reviewed: Aug 7, 2022

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

Very bad
2/5

This tour was terrible, because my tourguide was request more and more money. He promised to give back money, but he didn't. Uganda is beautiful, but choose another agency. Bosco is a liar.

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