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Nariku Travel Experiences

Nariku Travel Experiences creates authentic and enriching experiences that go beyond “viewing” a faraway land. Our experiences provide a cultural bridge that supports local people and creates life-changing experiences for travelers. We offer extensive consultation and planning services for escorted or independent journeys, as well as personal introductions to local people.

We offer culture, wildlife and adventure trips in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda. Each journey is a custom crafted mix of experiences that can include the well known safari parks throughout East Africa, as well as Maasai community stays with a chief and shaman; spiritual caves and lake or bush tribe visits, camps with elephant orphan reintroduction to the wild, river rafting on the Nile, summit treks on Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya and so much more.

Experience a sense of purpose in every journey as you explore rich cultures and environments, as you make new discoveries about yourself.

Nariku Travel Experiences is part of the following groups: Kenya Travel Agents, Rwanda Travel Agents, Seychelles Travel Agents

Featured trips & expertise

Zebras on the savanna
Highlights of Serengeti National Park - 5 Days

If you have limited time to plan the safari adventure of a lifetime, there's only one clear choice: Serengeti National Park. In just five days, you can experience all the majesty of Tanzania's crown jewel of wildlife reserves. This includes spotting coveted Big Five animals like lions, leopards, elephants, and more.

Pemba Island
Zanzibar & Pemba Island - 7 Days

Experience one of the true gems of the Indian Ocean with a visit to the tropical paradise of Zanzibar. Over seven days, you'll enjoy this island's famed white-sand beaches plus discover its rich culture and cuisine on tours of its historic center. Finish the trip on the unspoiled island of Pemba for some snorkeling, fishing, and communing with nature far from the stress of the modern world.

Lion
Best of Tanzania's National Parks - 7 Days

In just a week, you can visit not one, not two, but three of Tanzania's legendary national parks for safari adventures. All the famous specimens will be on display, from the elephants at Tarangire to the lions of the Serengeti to the rhinos of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. In between these epic wildlife tours, you'll have the opportunity to visit indigenous communities to spend time with tribespeople who still hunt and forage the way their ancient ancestors did.

Cheetahs in the Serengeti
Serengeti & Zanzibar Getaway - 7 Days

Even in as little as a week, you can experience Tanzania's most famous highlights: safari adventures and tropical beaches. Start with the wildlife as you embark on game drives across the savannas of Serengeti National Park to spot lions, cheetahs, elephants, giraffes, and more. Then spend a few days relaxing in Zanzibar, an oasis of white-sand beaches and coral atolls nestled amid a sea of sapphire and crystalline waters.

Go on safari in Tanzania's famous Serengeti National Park
Active Tanzania: Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar & the Serengeti - 10 Days

This 10-day adventure combines the best safari locations in Tanzania with beach time in gorgeous Zanzibar. However, before relaxing on those white sands, you'll test yourself on a day hike up Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa. In between, you'll embark on unforgettable safaris in the Ngorongoro Crater and legendary Serengeti.

Kilimanjaro
Hiking Kilimanjaro - 10 Days

You've accepted the challenge, and now you're off to Tanzania to conquer Kilimanjaro, the most formidable mountain in Africa. Its snow-capped table is famous the world over, and it will take you multiple days of ascent before you can plant your flag atop it. No doubt it's hard work, but rest easy knowing that, even though this behemoth dominates the landscape, almost anyone with grit and determination can reach the top.

Recent Trip Reviews for Nariku Travel Experiences

Tailored itinerary and brilliant guide.
Kenya | Dec 24 - Jan 6, 2023

C
Carmel C.
Denver, CO | Reviewed on Jan 07, 2023

Joseph worked with me to create an eclectic trip that catered to our unusual needs. He managed it while staying within our low to medium budget. Our guide, Andrew Kamau was phenomenal. He has been doing this for 20+ years and was equally good at finding animals in game parks and facilitating our daughter’s need to return to the US right in the middle of the trip. He was fun, positive and knowledgeable. I could not have been happier! read more

Joseph worked with me to create an eclectic trip that catered to our unusual needs. He managed it while staying within our low to medium budget. Our guide, Andrew Kamau was phenomenal. He has been doing this for 20+ years and was equally good at finding animals in game parks and facilitating our daughter’s need to return to the US right in the middle of the trip. He was fun, positive and knowledgeable. I could not have been happier!

Hotel Review
The Ark

Great food. The views of the watering hole were wonderful, watching a pack of hyenas try to take down animals for hours was fascinating as was the following night seeing herds of buffaloes and elephants come through with their young babes. Having said that, the rooms are cramped and one can feel trapped. It is a good first stop out of Nairobi and a great place to have jet lag because one can wander downstairs and watch animals at all hours.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Review
Maasai Mara National Reserve
Masai Mara

We did not go during the migration but we saw all the major cats and lots of large herds. Our Guide Andrew Kamau was so knowledgeable and thoughtful that it was a joy. We liked birds and he found and identified them all.

Quality of Experience
Food
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Local specialist: Joseph Thuo
Joseph
Joseph Thuo
Local specialist in Nairobi, Kenya | Reviewed on Jan 08, 2023

Hello Carmel,

Thanks so much for taking your time to leave a review, I'm really happy that you enjoyed your trip and being part of your experience in Kenya, I’m glad you enjoyed your time with Andrew. Many thanks as well for your patience and kindness throughout, you have been so great during the whole planning process, and it was such a pleasure to work with you.

We really appreciate for trusting us with your trip plan. We hope to see you again in the near future with more trips to East... read more

Hello Carmel,

Thanks so much for taking your time to leave a review, I'm really happy that you enjoyed your trip and being part of your experience in Kenya, I’m glad you enjoyed your time with Andrew. Many thanks as well for your patience and kindness throughout, you have been so great during the whole planning process, and it was such a pleasure to work with you.

We really appreciate for trusting us with your trip plan. We hope to see you again in the near future with more trips to East Africa (Tanzania, Uganda or Rwanda) or any other part of the world.

Best wishes for your future travel journeys.

Many thanks & kind regards,
Joseph

Outstanding trip. Local guides were amazing a...
Kenya | Jul 24 - Aug 7, 2021

Julien
Julien C.
Oak Brook, IL | Reviewed on Oct 08, 2022

Outstanding trip. Local guides were amazing and the trip was full of adventures and wildlife.

Local specialist: Susan Deslaurier
Susan
Susan Deslaurier
Local specialist in Berkeley CA and Kenya | Reviewed on Oct 09, 2022

Thanks Julien for sharing such kind words and great photos! We very much enjoyed having your family with us (especially in our Maasai community!) and we are happy to hear that you had a great experience. We hope to welcome you back to Africa again some day.
Ashe oleng (many thanks)

Unforgettable trip to Uganda!
Uganda | Aug 13 - Sep 1, 2022

I
Irene F.
Austria | Reviewed on Sep 02, 2022

Our trip through Uganda was amazing!
The tour was perfect organized, our driver and guide Teo (Able Safaris, a local office, 19 days) was perfect, he managed everything in a good way.
The gorilla-tracking, the beautiful landscape, the game drives, the friendly people,.. all that we will never forget! read more

Our trip through Uganda was amazing!
The tour was perfect organized, our driver and guide Teo (Able Safaris, a local office, 19 days) was perfect, he managed everything in a good way.
The gorilla-tracking, the beautiful landscape, the game drives, the friendly people,.. all that we will never forget!

Hotel Reviews
Isunga Lodge
Fort Portal, Uganda

A extremely beautiful lodge! The architecture, the design, everything well deliberated. Nice and professional people, amazing view,..

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Rushaga Gorilla Camp
Bugambira

Nice lodge, nice location, amazing activity (gorilla-trakking), one of our best lodges!

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Forest Cottages
Kampala

I would never choose this hotel again! Extremely loud music during the whole night (because it is a wedding hotel), the cleanliness in the room especially the bathroom was disgusting.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Arcadia Lodges Lake Bunyonyi
Kabale
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Kidepo Savanna Lodge
Kampala, Uganda
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Topi Lodge
Kampala, Uganda
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Hotel Kontiki Hoima
Hoima
Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary and on to Gulu
Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Transport
Kidepo Valley National Park
Kidepo Valley National Park
Quality of Experience
Chimpanzee Tracking & Bigodi Community Walk
Kibale National Park
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Lion tracking in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Queen Elizabeth National Park
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Gorilla Tracking/ Village Walk
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Quality of Experience
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Local specialist: Joseph Thuo
Joseph
Joseph Thuo
Local specialist in Nairobi, Kenya | Reviewed on Sep 21, 2022

Hello Irene,

Thanks so much for your review, I'm really happy that you enjoyed your trip, we have taken note of some the hotels that didn’t meet your expectations. Many thanks as well for your patience and kindness throughout, you have been so great during the whole planning process, and it was such a pleasure to work with you. We will definitely share your comments with all the partners involved.

We really appreciate for trusting us with your trip plan. We hope to see you again in the... read more

Hello Irene,

Thanks so much for your review, I'm really happy that you enjoyed your trip, we have taken note of some the hotels that didn’t meet your expectations. Many thanks as well for your patience and kindness throughout, you have been so great during the whole planning process, and it was such a pleasure to work with you. We will definitely share your comments with all the partners involved.

We really appreciate for trusting us with your trip plan. We hope to see you again in the near future with more trips to East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda) or any other part of the world.

Best wishes for your future travel journeys.

Many thanks & kind regards,
Joseph

An amazing trip!
Kenya | Jul 2 - Jul 10, 2022

Shana
Shana Z.
Bowie, MD | Reviewed on Aug 21, 2022

My family's trip to Kenya was wonderful! Joseph and Susan worked so hard and so patiently with us to make sure we got to do and see everything we wanted to. Our guide, Alex, was kind and very knowledgeable and we felt very comfortable traveling with him. While we loved all the game parks we visited, the Maji Moto Cultural Camp was definitely a highlight for us all, especially the kids, who greatly enjoyed learning warrior skills. We left Kenya with heavy hearts, but with amazing photos and memories. We hope to return sometime in the future. A huge thank you to Joseph, Susan and Alex!

Local specialist: Susan Deslaurier

A Safari that exceeded our expectations
Kenya | Jul 2 - Jul 10, 2022

Marcia
Marcia B.
Washington, DC | Reviewed on Jul 13, 2022

Kim Kim did an amazing job. Our Safari between July 3 and 10 not only met but exceeded our expectations. Joseph and Susan kept close contact with us from the gecko until the end.

We especially appreciated the consideration given to selecting the base camp in the Maasai Mara as an example of a lodge that is designed to support conservation and to benefit the community.

Our visit to Maji Moto was a very special highlight. Special thanks to Susan for arranging this wonderful stay and to all of the Maji Moto staff.

Local specialist: Susan Deslaurier
Susan
Susan Deslaurier
Local specialist in Berkeley CA and Kenya | Reviewed on Jul 18, 2022

Thanks Marcia for your kind words, we truly enjoyed having your family with our Maasai community in Maji Moto and we are happy that you enjoyed your safari overall. We are grateful for your support of camps like our Maji Moto Maasai Cultural Camp and Basecamp Mara where we are working together to preserve and protect nature and culture. And we're glad that you felt our commitment to supporting your journey at every step along the way. We hope to see you again for more African adventures! Ashe oleng, asante sana, many thanks.

Absolutely perfect! Didn’t have to worry ab...
Uganda | Nov 14 - Nov 24, 2021

Manar
Manar A.
Kuwait | Reviewed on Feb 17, 2022

Absolutely perfect!

Didn’t have to worry about any arrangements. The hotels were exactly what we wanted. Every single hotel was more beautiful than the next. Truly a dream holiday!

Local specialist: Joseph Thuo

Kenya and Tanzania safari
Tanzania | Jan 2 - Jan 21, 2022

Peter
Peter K.
Minneapolis, MN | Reviewed on Feb 14, 2022

We had an incredible trip! Wonderful guides, amazing stays and great food were all set up for us.
Joseph, our local specialist, communicated well with us and was easy to work with, he answered all our questions promptly and made our requests reality. Richard was our driver in Nairobi and he was welcoming and informative. Our guide in Kenya was Andrew and he was knowledgeable and wonderful, going above and beyond in helping our Dad, and find for us some incredible animals, especially the 4... read more

We had an incredible trip! Wonderful guides, amazing stays and great food were all set up for us.
Joseph, our local specialist, communicated well with us and was easy to work with, he answered all our questions promptly and made our requests reality. Richard was our driver in Nairobi and he was welcoming and informative. Our guide in Kenya was Andrew and he was knowledgeable and wonderful, going above and beyond in helping our Dad, and find for us some incredible animals, especially the 4 cheetahs hunting in the Maasai Mara. Our guide Mansour in Tanzania was patient and well informed, we had the opportunity to see a bunch of cats in the Serengeti and the surrounding conservation area. We also had the opportunity to meet Susan at the Maji Moto camp, which was a unique experience during which we enjoyed getting to spend time with some of the Maasai, who taught the tween boys to throw spears and shoot atraditional bow and arrows. We had an amazing time and can't wait to go back!

Local specialist: Joseph Thuo

Outstanding, Trip to Kenya Courtesy of Nariku Travel Experiences.
Kenya | Nov 26 - Dec 4, 2021

Michael
Michael C.
West Palm Beach, FL | Reviewed on Dec 15, 2021

In the past year I have been to, among other places, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Greece and Portugal, and my trip to Kenya was my favorite. This is due in large part to Nariku Travel Experiences. I gave them a basic blueprint of what I wanted to see, do and accomplish and they delivered. Thank you Joseph and Susan. The guide for most of my trip, George, was outstanding. George was knowledgable, personable and downright fun to be around. I miss his and being part of the A-Team. The safari... read more

In the past year I have been to, among other places, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Greece and Portugal, and my trip to Kenya was my favorite. This is due in large part to Nariku Travel Experiences. I gave them a basic blueprint of what I wanted to see, do and accomplish and they delivered. Thank you Joseph and Susan. The guide for most of my trip, George, was outstanding. George was knowledgable, personable and downright fun to be around. I miss his and being part of the A-Team. The safari experiences at Maasai Mara, Hell's Gate and Shimba Hills will be forever an amazing memory -- and they delivered incredible photos to match. And if you want to immerse yourself into the culture of the Maasai people, Nariku Travel Experiences is the only way to go.

So again, thank Susan, Joseph and George -- I am truly grateful for what you came up with -- and you delivered 100%.

Local specialist: Joseph Thuo
Joseph
Joseph Thuo
Local specialist in Nairobi, Kenya | Reviewed on Dec 16, 2021

Hi Michael

Thanks so much for the awesome review! On behalf of the entire team, we are so happy to hear that both we and Kenya lived up to your expectations. Also glad to hear you had an authentic experience with the Maasai People at Maji Moto Maasai Cultural Camp.

We appreciate for trusting us with your trip plans, and hope to see you again in the near future with more trips to East Africa or any other part of the world.

With warm and best Regards,
Joseph

Best last minute trip + Covid issues
Tanzania | May 19 - May 27, 2021

Ivette
Ivette C.
| Reviewed on Jun 02, 2021

I had Joseph as my contact for this amazing trip to Pemba & Zanzibar. I couldn't be any happier with his great customer service. Due to my busy work schedule, I was unable to book in advance and it was last minute. Finally, when I booked the trip I had a nightmare with CoVid19 as I was coming from Uganda. Joseph was very, very helpful and made sure that I initially received helped with the cancelations, but eventually I was still able to make it to my destinations and he helped me again and... read more

I had Joseph as my contact for this amazing trip to Pemba & Zanzibar. I couldn't be any happier with his great customer service. Due to my busy work schedule, I was unable to book in advance and it was last minute. Finally, when I booked the trip I had a nightmare with CoVid19 as I was coming from Uganda. Joseph was very, very helpful and made sure that I initially received helped with the cancelations, but eventually I was still able to make it to my destinations and he helped me again and made sure the remaining of the days left were booked and ready for me. The hotels utilized were great, the food, the staff and every aspects of my trip were amazing. I am a single female traveler and safety it's always a must. Not once I felt in any danger or uneasy. Thanks to Joseph for putting up with me and arranging the CoVid19 test and everything else. Best luck and hope to work with you again ;)

Local specialist: Joseph Thuo
Joseph
Joseph Thuo
Local specialist in Nairobi, Kenya | Reviewed on Jun 03, 2021

Hi Ivette

Thank you so much for the kind feedback! I'm more than glad to know you had such a good experience in Pemba & Zanzibar. I'm really happy that you enjoyed your trip and that you are happy with our service, and many thanks for your patience and kindness throughout the process.

With warm and best Regards,
Joseph

Amazing experience!
Kenya | Dec 24 - Jan 4, 2020

M
Marcos G.
Norway | Reviewed on Jan 14, 2020

Amazing experience!

Local specialist: Susan Deslaurier
Susan
Susan Deslaurier
Local specialist in Berkeley CA and Kenya | Reviewed on Jan 16, 2020

Thanks Marcos, happy to hear that you enjoyed your trip!

Upcoming Trip
Kenya | Aug 17 - Sep 6, 2019

Kristin
Kristin M.
Augusta, GA | Reviewed on Sep 17, 2019

Oh my, what an amazing experience. Susan was just absolutely fabulous. Answered all my questions promptly and just truly arranged an amazing trip for my 50th birthday. Zanzibar was incredible, Stone Town a delight. The hotels we stayed in were to die for. Truly works of art. The highlight of my trip was climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. Our guides Sinaí and Amsi were amazing, kept my daughter and I entertained and safe. They were so knowledgeable of the área, plants, animals, everything. ... read more

Oh my, what an amazing experience. Susan was just absolutely fabulous. Answered all my questions promptly and just truly arranged an amazing trip for my 50th birthday. Zanzibar was incredible, Stone Town a delight. The hotels we stayed in were to die for. Truly works of art. The highlight of my trip was climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. Our guides Sinaí and Amsi were amazing, kept my daughter and I entertained and safe. They were so knowledgeable of the área, plants, animals, everything. They took our oxygen level and heart rate every night to make sure we were safe. Our cook made the most amazing meals, I wish I could take him home with me, and I miss the banana stew, I want the recipe for that, I was so good!! He even made me a cake on my birthday! I couldn't have asked for better porters, they sang and danced for us, and at the end of every day they would meet us on the trail and carry our packs to camp for us. On day 7, summit day, they met us 2 hours from camp and brought hot tea and juice! I miss the crew so much. Our hotel in Arusha had the nicest staff and most beautiful grounds. Albert from DiscoverTZ arranged for an Arusha city tour on our free day and we got to go to the Women's Market and a true highlight for me - see Masaai medicine (I'm an ER nurse in the states) My daughter's favorite part was the safari (which I loved too). Albert was also our guide for the safari and was knowledgeable and took us to out of the way places so we weren't competing with other drivers. He has the best philosophy - its all about the experience, and it was!!! We saw lions, elephants, lion cubs, cheetahs and cheetah cubs - even saw cheetahs in a tree which is unheard of! Our accommodations for the safari were amazing - tent camps where the animals came right up to the tenis. I looked out at one point to see a zebra eating the grass right next to my tent and then walked next to the monkeys cavorting on the pathway. You don't get a better experience than that! I truly miss Sinaí, Amsi and Albert as I have made new friends. A perfect 50th birthday.

Local specialist: Susan Deslaurier
Susan
Susan Deslaurier
Local specialist in Berkeley CA and Kenya | Reviewed on Sep 18, 2019

Thanks for sharing your experience Kristin! It was a pleasure to plan this special journey for your birthday, and I'm so happy to hear that together we created a great mix of places and people to give you a feeling for the true and varied beauty of East Africa. I've passed along your kind words to your friends here, and we all hope we will see you again soon.
Asante sana, Ashe oleng, Many thanks.

Tsavo
Kenya | Apr 5 - Apr 7, 2019

J
Jenny P.
New Zealand | Reviewed on Apr 15, 2019

The whole experience was great and everything worked like clockwork. Susan was helpful and very efficient in planning and organising the trip. She responded very quickly to all my requests and came up with some very useful suggestions. Daniel, our driver and guide was a carful driver and knowledgeable guide who was also friendly. I particularly rated him meeting me before our trip to introduce himself and go through arrangements. The lodge, the Lion's bluff , was superb, great location, good food and friendly, helpful staff. Thank you Kimkim.

Local specialist: Susan Deslaurier
Susan
Susan Deslaurier
Local specialist in Berkeley CA and Kenya | Reviewed on Apr 25, 2019

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on your trip Jenny. We really appreciate hearing that our local insights and best efforts to provide a great experience was successful in giving you a wonderful adventure. I've shared your kudos with the Daniel and the rest of our team, and hope that we can plan further East African travels for you in the future.
Ashe oleng (many thanks),
Susan

Kenya - Birding & Safari
Kenya | Oct 31 - Oct 31, 2018

V
Virginia H.
Aptos, CA | Reviewed on Nov 07, 2018

Susan was very flexible and patient with numerous changes to our itinerary. She uses fabulous guides and booked wonderful lodges. Her expertise was invaluable in making our trip to Kenya fantastic!!!
Virginia

Local specialist: Susan Deslaurier
Susan
Susan Deslaurier
Local specialist in Berkeley CA and Kenya | Reviewed on Nov 17, 2018

Thanks for your kind words Virginia, it was a pleasure to work together on creating a wonderful adventure, and to meet up with you in Kenya. All of us here "on the ground" take great pride in making sure your trip is exciting in all the right ways, and peacefully pleasant in all the right ways too. We look forward to welcoming you back soon. Ashe oleng, asante sana, many thanks.

Masai Mara Trip
Kenya | Oct 25 - Oct 27, 2018

E
Elizabeth G.
Long Beach, CA | Reviewed on Nov 01, 2018

Everything was wonderful! Joseph was our guide and his knowledge of the area and animals was amazing. Wilson and William, our waiter and security to and from our tent, where very welcoming and fun to talk to. The views from our Chalet was unforgettable. Sunrise and sunsets were always surrounded my giraffes at Mara West.

Local specialist: Susan Deslaurier
Susan
Susan Deslaurier
Local specialist in Berkeley CA and Kenya | Reviewed on Nov 07, 2018

Hi Elizabeth,
I'm so happy that you had such a great time in Maasai Mara. It is an amazing and beautiful corner of the world, and it was a pleasure to arrange the experience for you. And it was great to meet up with you as you were passing through my Kenyan home town!
I’ll pass along your nice comments to the Mara West team, and look forward to welcoming you back to your Kenya home soon.
Ashe oleng, asante sana, many thanks,
Susan

Affordable Comfortable Authentic Masai Mara Safari Not Luxury
Kenya | Sep 16 - Sep 27, 2018

C
Cheryl C.
San Francisco, CA | Reviewed on Oct 06, 2018

Hi Susan and Kimkim,
Re: star ratings above: Susan was very nice (five stars) and booking on your site is excellent (five stars). I put three stars because of value of trip to us.

My computer has been in repair but I’m up and running so here is our review.

Accommodations and Sites on Each Stop:
NAIROBI
Fairview Hotel: Wonderful. We would love to have rested up here for first day as you know.
Sites: Baby elephants and giraffe fun to see. Suspect in hindsight that a drive through the... read more

Hi Susan and Kimkim,
Re: star ratings above: Susan was very nice (five stars) and booking on your site is excellent (five stars). I put three stars because of value of trip to us.

My computer has been in repair but I’m up and running so here is our review.

Accommodations and Sites on Each Stop:
NAIROBI
Fairview Hotel: Wonderful. We would love to have rested up here for first day as you know.
Sites: Baby elephants and giraffe fun to see. Suspect in hindsight that a drive through the Nairobi National Park would have been a more robust and exciting day…more of an “A” than a “B” site.
LAKE NAVAISHA
Camp Carnalley: Cheryl enjoyed the environment (birds, lake, trees). William was very uncomfortable with the rustic cabin with no windows. William was only warm by the fire in the restaurant…everything else open air and cold. Food very bad except pizza and cocktails. Cheryl and William both feel the camp does not meet with the “comfortable” standard we purchased.
Hells Gate: Hike good exercise but views not “A” rated. Walking with animals lovely (prefer hiking with animals on a hiking trail..but it was nice nevertheless). William not at all excited about Hells Gate. Cheryl was engaged and interested with walk and the gorge hike. She would have preferred arriving early in the morning for pink cliff and more animals. Hindsight.
LAKE NAKURU
Maili Saba Camp: Wonderful. We both enjoyed the view, cottage, food, environment, service, pool. Best accommodation of the trip.
Nakuru National Park: Wonderful. We both really enjoyed the scenery an animals of Nakuru.
MARA, MATIRA BUSH CAMP S IDE
Matira Bush Camp: Could have been perfect. Wonderful setting in the bush, good service and food. Problem upon arrival after dark: they took us to a tent surrounded by bush, no view, very dark and claustrophobic. I told them it did not match what I saw online in pictures. They said pictures can be misleading. They said platform tent might be better but was booked. So we tried to sleep in the dark tent but gave up early am and I got some pads from the reception area and put them on ground around the fire. Got some rest there but it required “going rogue” and it woke up some of the staff. At dawn I found the platform tent with lovely view and no one was in it. We moved into that tent the second night and I really think it was unfair that they did not eagerly change our tent the night before. Lost almost a whole night sleep after a long drive. Did not meet with the comfort standard purchased for the first night. We were able to relax and very much enjoy the platform tent the second night
Game Drive out of Matira
Beginning to be concerned we were not seeing many animals in the Mara. A Swedish couple seriously advised us to go to two places to see cheetah, leopard, and a touch of the remaining migration. Duncan was extremely defensive when I suggested this itinerary. Swedes had warned me this might happen and advised me how to handle driver with gentle persuasion and offer of larger tip. So I did this and he did as requested and we saw the wonderful animals. His attitude cast a pall. We managed to keep things cordial with humor. Did not like having to “manage” driver.
KEEKOROK SIDE OF MARA
Keekorok Lodge: Did not know that there are two sides of the Mara and that Keekorok is located on a side of the park that has fewer animals and a lot of wide open repetitious views (maybe not so empty when there is a migration or on different roads?). Cheryl really enjoyed the hippo pool and wandering the grounds of Keekorok. William was ok with the lodge but felt it was poor value for cost of trip. Food was quite good. Loved presence of monkeys but missed the bush emersion of Matira .
Game drive out of Keekorok: Did not see many animals. Resorted to visiting high end camp which was intereting. Sand River views lovely for Cheryl, but William missed seeing animals. Not good value game driving day. A lot of driving on not very intereting roads.
BACK TO NAIROBI
Hilton Garden Inn: Very comfortable. Nice rooftop pool. We were considering staying in the Fairview Hotel instead of Hilton since Duncan insisted on leaving early from Keekorok. We were headed for Fairview when William asked to go to the stores at the lunch place you recommended after giraffe visit. Without letting us know how long it was going to take (we had no idea where it was), Duncan drove to the store which added so much driving time (and in heavy traffic) to the day that we no longer had time to enjoy Fairview. Arrived late to Hilton and enjoyed it very much for the two hours left in a looooong day of driving, some which could have been avoided. We were having a hard time communicating with Duncan…felt “cut off” from information about what was going on and how his decisions would impact our day. We would not have gone to the store if were knew it would eliminate ability to enjoy Fairview again. He acted quite unconcerned and was very self absorbed (except when we could make him laugh…William was good at that and luckily Duncan was receptive to a laugh once and a while).
OVERVIEW OF ITINERARY
This is a tough one to analyze as I do not know what the rest of Kenya is like. Overall less exciting and I expected for cost of trip. Too much “work” for a tour. Trusted that all destinations would be “A” rated, but this was not the case for us. Did not know I should have worked harder myself on the itinerary. My primary disappointment was the lack of scenery for a majority of the driving. We back tracked over long stretches which were not particularly interesting. The bumpy roads were very hard on William; he would have preferred a shorter trip with flights. I accept bumpy roads as part of safari experience but do expect good scenery as an important part of an itinerary. I’m very careful in California to “stay scenic”. I undertand you cannot predict client response to bumpy roads.
TRIP VALUE
I have recalculated the cost of trip before Kimkim fees as best I can and I come up with cost of driver and accommodation to be about $4,700. (I did not assess hotel nights as “per person” as they are not billed that way online…rates are for two people. The only time I see per person rates is when you are using the lodges safari services). Duncan said his rate is $300 per day. There is a chart below.
We paid $8000. Duncan said he is paid $300 per day ($2,700 for our days). I estimate the lodging at $2,000 for two. Hotels based on prices for two not each searched online or at sites: Fairview $175 one night (I did not include the one night tobe refunded; Camp Carnalleys (generous estimate $150/night); Maili Saba $400 for two nights meals included two people; Matira Bush Camp rate not listed so I estmate about $250 per night max for two; Keekorok two nights $500 for two; Hilton Garden Hotel generous upward estimate $200 for two).
I thought that since we were not receiving the kind of full blown attention and services of a Roads Scholar type tour that using Kimkim would be a good value way to go…more like a travel agent than a tour company. I thought that we would enjoy consistent comfort, that the driver would be congenial and trustworthy and while not a guide would convey an eagerness to please, that we would have comfortable lodging, and that the itinerary would be full of “A” rated experiences.. I thought that without steep middle man fees and additional fees for a professional guide that cost would be much lower than a standard tour like Roads Scholar. Unfortunately, little of this turned out to be true for us.
I did not have a bad trip…I was quite happy most of the time. William suffered more…he kind of “gave up” and used a lot of humor to cope. We are both glad we went, but feel like we way overpaid for what we got.
I am of course open to your response to my concerns and you are free to call me 415 7305305. If there is a way to address these concerns and continue working with you that would be great.
Sincerely,
Cheryl Chester (and William Baker)

Local specialist: Susan Deslaurier
Susan
Susan Deslaurier
Local specialist in Berkeley CA and Kenya | Reviewed on Oct 09, 2018

Hi Cheryl and William,
Thanks for your sharing your thoughts on your recent Kenya trip. I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed our working together and the use of the KimKim app, though of course I am sorry to hear that the value of the trip fell short of your expectations. Though it seems you overall had a good adventure and that you liked many of the lodgings and excursions, I appreciate your feedback on where things were not so good for you. Although you and William and I exchanged many... read more

Hi Cheryl and William,
Thanks for your sharing your thoughts on your recent Kenya trip. I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed our working together and the use of the KimKim app, though of course I am sorry to hear that the value of the trip fell short of your expectations. Though it seems you overall had a good adventure and that you liked many of the lodgings and excursions, I appreciate your feedback on where things were not so good for you. Although you and William and I exchanged many communications on options and iterations on our way to creating the final idea to fit your time and budget, it seems we missed the mark on the right balance of managing budget and each element of location, accommodation, transportation, and activities.

We definitely take all of your input to heart, and will work even harder in the future to be sure travelers feel better about the selections made along the planning process. Without getting into the complicated pricing approach for a package trip like this, we tried our best on our price for a private 2 person 12 day safari with 7+ days in parks, lakes, or other touring, and regret that the value wasn’t there for you.

Thanks again for sharing your feedback, I appreciate your traveling with us, and wish you all the best in your memories of Africa and your future travel adventures.

Warm regards,
Susan

Masai Mara Safari and Zanzibar beach vacation
Kenya | Aug 31 - Sep 13, 2018

D
David B.
Reseda, CA | Reviewed on Sep 20, 2018

So my wife and I decided to spend our honeymoon/1st year anniversary on an African safari in Kenya, then to Seychelles, and Dubai on the way back home (Los Angeles).
I could not have asked for a better travel agent. Communication was very simple using the kimkim chat room, even though she was on Kenya time and I was at home. She guided me through everything and made the whole experience very simple and enjoyable.
She arranged our driver, Richard to pick us up from the airport and took... read more

So my wife and I decided to spend our honeymoon/1st year anniversary on an African safari in Kenya, then to Seychelles, and Dubai on the way back home (Los Angeles).
I could not have asked for a better travel agent. Communication was very simple using the kimkim chat room, even though she was on Kenya time and I was at home. She guided me through everything and made the whole experience very simple and enjoyable.
She arranged our driver, Richard to pick us up from the airport and took us to all the places we wanted to go including the Giraffe Center, David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage and also do some volunteering at a local primary school to help give back to those schools in need. Richard is very kind and professional. He made us feel very welcome and comfortable throughout our stay in Nairobi.
The safari camps that Susan had me choose from were all very nice. I am happy we chose to go with the Tawi Lodge at the Amboseli National Park (our favorite part of our entire trip). The service was better than we could have asked for and it felt very serene and intimate. The Serena lodge at Masai Mara was more of a hotel resort but had the most spectacular views of the bush.
After our stay in Kenya, we went to Seychelles and stayed at the beautiful Hilton Northolme Resort and had a lovely time. The views of the Indian Ocean were beyond amazing. Susan also had set up an airport pick up and drop off service there.
We headed to Dubai after our tropical island getaway. Although Susan's services stopped at the Seychelles part of our trip, she recommended me to another travel agent who booked my international flight from home to Dubai and Seychelles to Dubai and back.
Overall, I am so very glad we decided to use kimkim as our travel agency and got lucky that we were able to work with Susan. She exceeded our expectations and allowed us to have the best vacation of a lifetime. Thank you

Local specialist: Susan Deslaurier
Susan
Susan Deslaurier
Local specialist in Berkeley CA and Kenya | Reviewed on Sep 28, 2018

It was such a pleasure to plan this special trip with you David. With your first thoughts on where you wanted to go and what you wanted to experience, we really worked well together to create each day of this great adventure. I wish for many more beautiful travel experiences for you and your wife.
Ashe oleng, asante sana, many thanks.
Susan

Wildlife and adventure
Kenya | Aug 5 - Aug 17, 2018

Y
Yuruani O.
Richmond Hill, NY | Reviewed on Aug 25, 2018

Susan was wonderful with helping us plan our trip. She really listened to what type of experience we were looking for and made it possible. I’ve traveled to over 20 countries, but Kenya was by far one of the best experiences I’ve had. If you are going to Kenya, follow Susan’s recommendation, and go to Maji Moto! That was an experience of a lifetime. I will gladly recommend Susan for anyone looking to travel to Kenya.

Local specialist: Susan Deslaurier
Susan
Susan Deslaurier
Local specialist in Berkeley CA and Kenya | Reviewed on Sep 28, 2018

So happy to know you had a great experience with us Yuruani. We had so much fun showing you the beauty of Kenya and especially sharing our Maasai community in Maji Moto. I hope you're all practicing your campfire singing and spear throwing skills! Hoping we'll see you back another day. Ashe oleng (many thanks)