The places and people we visited made the trip a success. The transportation to get around Kenya left much to be desired. The travel company made all the advance arrangements as desired (except for international air, which I did) in a completely acceptable manner. They lost credibility, however, when they sought to explain away the very uncomfortable and overly time consuming trips in a well-worn van.
The non-standard trip combined a safari with visits to friends and institutions in Kenya. For the two who had not been to Kenya before the game drives were most memorable. The other two enjoyed most the visits with university students, two orphanages, and four homes, in other words the people.
Having been to Kenya three times, I would make the arrangements myself and insist on a much better vehicle. I used the travel company because I had three women with me and wanted to ensure superior accommodations and travel arrangements.
Travel Company's Response to Traveler's Comments
All our travelers are very important to us – no matter how big or small the trip.
Mr. Willis’ trip was very unique as he was visiting friends/family in a region that is rarely visited by travelers. He had also been to Kenya before and very specific about what he wanted and how much he wanted to spend. He stated he did not like long drives but only wanted to include one flight. I advised him that it would be best to fly to the Mara and then take a separate vehicle to visit western Kenya. He did not want to do this. He wanted to stay within his budget. Mr. Willis designed his own itinerary and destinations.
Mr. Willis had a standard 3 year old refitted safari minivan refitted with proper seats. All licensed safari vehicles are required by the government to have a speed monitor and can only go only go between 30-40 mph. Mr. Willis made an unfair comparison to a private vehicle his Kenyan friend owned. The guide took an alternate route due to the poor conditions on what is considered the most direct road.
The travel party also ran into a situation where the hotel claimed that he did not have all his meals covered. He paid direct and we reimbursed him immediately upon his arrival home. We did not even require receipts just his word.
Mr. Willis was on his trip for 10 days. He had the telephone number to our Nairobi office and my 24/7 home telephone number. Our documents clearly state if you are unhappy with a service call our offices so we can cure the situation. He knew the condition of the van the first day out. If he called we would have done whatever possible to cure the situation enroute. Africa is a fabulous destination but things will happen and we want a chance to fix the situation immediately so it does not affect the rest of your journey.
I am sorry Mr. Willis was uncomfortable and sorry for his disappointment.
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