The trip was very well co-ordinated in terms of transportation and logistics.. However, I would still rate this 2.5/5 as we are not satisfied with the trip and the itinerary. We could have easily completed the same itinerary in 8 days instead of 11 days. So it was just a waste of our time and money.
The night safari was a complete disaster and it was a waste of our time. One of the drivers in Kenya was very hard to work with and we will not recommend him to anyone.
The drive to Kilimanjaro was also a complete waste of time and money.
Overall, I think we should have been better guidance and suggestions on where to go, how long to stay and what to do. However, I this wasn't the case here.
Seeing the wildebeest migration (cross the mara river)..
I would plan it myself
[TRAVEL COMPANY'S COMMENTS]
The client had traveled with us last year in September during the migration period which was a very busy time of the year. I had a wonderful time with the client in Nairobi during breakfast as we went through all the details and safari arrangements both in Kenya & Tanzania. Before meeting, I had spent well over 6 months planning this trip together with the client and exchanged many emails every day before finally arriving at what both of us believed was the ultimate dream holiday itinerary. I personally did everything I could to accommodate all the numerous requirements and demands from the client before both of us arrived at the final safari itinerary and price.
I have taken very seriously the negative comment about the camp driver at Ashnil Mara Camp who I understand was very difficult to work with. We always encourage drivers to be much more flexible, patient and accommodative when out in the bush on safari with clients. I now understand that this was not the case and I have taken up this issue with Ashnil Camp Management who are his employers. I also had a long discussion with the concerned driver about what exactly happened. What I gathered is that the client comprised of 5 men and each one of them had a different opinion on how game drives were to be conducted and where to go. So it somehow became very difficult for the driver to manage all their different wishes at the same time. I personally spoke with the client at Ashnil Mara Camp and he informed me that he would have preferred a safari vehicle equipped with a radio. Camp based vehicles are never fitted with radios because the drivers know the game reserve so well that they don’t need radio communication to help them find where the best game is to be seen. Camp drivers are experts in the game reserve because they live in the area and know where to find all the “Big Five” easily without the help of a radio. Safari drivers coming from Nairobi and other parts of the country require radio communication to help them find their way in the game park and to locate animals. These drivers spend most of their time during game drives talking on radio than giving clients any information about the game park. In fact they depend on camp-based drivers to help them find their way in the park. Unfortunately when clients discuss events of the day while in the camp, some will mislead others and say they saw many animals just because their driver had a radio and would use it to communicate with other drivers to find out where animals were to be found. Such drivers spent most of their time racing from one area to the other in the park just in search of certain animals only. This is not professional and we don’t encourage this kind of game viewing. Camp based drivers will always depend on their expertise and knowledge of the local geography to find where animals are to be found without the necessity of a radio. And viewing wildlife and being on a game drive is not just the “Big Five”. We encourage drivers to show clients everything from beautiful scenery to landscapes, valleys, mountains, rivers, birds, trees, endless savannah and all kinds of animals from small ones like the dik-dik to big ones like all the “Big Five”.
Regarding the night game drive at Lake Manyara National Park, I am really saddened to hear that this experience did not meet clients’ expectations due to the fact they almost saw nothing. I had agreed with the client that we include night game drive experience in one of the camps and this could only be done from The Escarpment Lodge which is located in a private wildlife conservancy where night game viewing is allowed. As a company we cannot guarantee what is to be seen and not to be seen during game drives. Night game drives are always very unpredictable everywhere. Animals are always moving around in and outside the game reserves and sometimes hiding in the bushes and valleys. But we always encourage our drivers to do their very best and try to show clients as much wildlife as possible despite the challenges.
Clients have also mentioned the day trip to Marangu Gate at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro. The client had requested for this excursion in order to give them a chance to take photos of Mount Kilimanjaro from Marangu Gate and just have a small experience of this legendary mountain. We provided this as requested but now understand it was kind of time wasted. Sad to hear that and in future I will always advise clients to do as much research as possible and depend on our advice before booking any activity. This will enable the client to make the best and well-informed decision so that chances of disappointment are totally minimized and eliminated.
Finally, the client feels that they could have completed this safari in 8 days instead of 11. We always plan client itineraries depending on the number of days available to the client and all the places they want to visit.
I had agreed with the client many days before that we will have minimum 3nights in Maasai Mara to see the great migration and Mara River crossings which they really enjoyed from his comments and do the hot air balloon safari and another 3 nights to explore the Serengeti and see the big cats. Based on my past experience, 2nights in Maasai Mara and 2nights in the Serengeti would have just been too short and very rushed during the migration period. 8 days safari during the migration period covering both the best wildlife viewing game reserves in Kenya & Tanzania is very rushed and almost impossible to undertake and will not offer an amazing experience that we always strive to provide.
I strongly believe that there were very many other positive aspects of this trip including all the local logistics, transfers, road transportation, internal flights, accommodation and viewing the great migration from Mara River that worked very well for these guests.
As a dynamic company always open to new ideas, we respect, appreciate and take seriously both positive and negative comments from our valued guests. These comments about different aspects of their trip go a long way to helps us improve and perfect our services in order to remain very competitive moving forwards into the future. Lastly my very sincere apologies to the client and his friends for the few negative aspects of this trip that seemingly did not meet his overall expectations.
Each review is written by a verified traveler who was matched by Zicasso to the reviewed agency. Traveler must have purchased and traveled.
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