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BEWARE of J.N. Njoroge and Wago Wago Safaris and Car Rental

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Singapore
posts: 3
reviews: 3
BEWARE of J.N. Njoroge and Wago Wago Safaris and Car Rental

I just came back from a 5-day trip to Kenya, which included a 4-day safari and 1-day tour of Nairobi. The safari was great! The final 24 hours of my trip? Not so much. Like most of you, I am a seasoned traveler, so I make sure that I dot all of my I’s and cross all of my t’s before any trip, especially because I am a solo female traveler. Of course, I overlook some things from time to time, but I own my mistakes and the tour operators that I have worked with over the years have done the same. Cuz after all, we’re all adults, right?!

On this particular trip, I printed out all of the pertinent information that I would need so that I would be able to review what was planned and would also be able to identify any discrepancies in that plan. You can see where this is going…On the penultimate day of my trip in Kenya, which also happened to be my birthday, I returned to Nairobi from my safari and discovered that there was an apparent discrepancy/misunderstanding/miscommunication/etc. about what had been agreed upon before my arrival with regard to where I was going to be staying that night. While trying to sort this out with J. N. Njoroge, the man with whom I had been corresponding and collaborating about this trip from Day One through Wago Wago Car Rental and Safaris (a.k.a Wago Wago Safaris and Car Rental), he insisted that I did not ask him to book a hotel for my final night in Nairobi. Of course, this was the one piece of information that I had neglected to print out and bring with me, so I just decided to suck it up, salvage what was left of my b-day, and spring for a hotel on my own dime, primarily because I did not have conclusive proof to refute his claim…and when I returned from my trip, I realized that I had been in error and I emailed him to acknowledge my error...

The next day (my last day in Nairobi/Kenya), the driver came to pick me up for my city tour and HE asked ME where I was supposed to go!?! I referred to the itinerary that I had brought with me, told him what I wanted to do, and even eliminated one of the places because I had seen enough giraffes in the Masai Mara and was okay with not going to the Giraffe Center. So, the day was going along fine, and then when the tour was essentially over, I asked (again, cuz I had already asked in the morning and the driver said he’d have to check) how I was getting to the airport , and it finally occurred to the driver at that point to call Mr. Njoroge. He did and Mr. Njoroge proceeded to insist that I had not paid for transport back to the airport. Well, I had the print-out of that email in my hands (cuz in my past experiences, the one thing that tends to fall through the cracks is that pesky airport transportation!) and read it to him, but more importantly, why would I pay for transport FROM the airport (which was not a problem) and not back TO the airport?? Anyway, the long and short of it is that as I tried to explain to him that I had the email print-out that not only said that transfers were included, but also said that I was supposed to have had lunch at the Carnivore Resturant (which didn’t happen, which disappointed me because I was looking forward to that), though that was a slightly-minor detail. As I was trying to explain all of this to him (in a calm, rational voice, cuz, as I mentioned above, we’re both adults, presumably…), he rudely barked, “don’t waste my time!”…and then he hung up on me…

I subsequently bought a phone card to try to call him back on the driver’s phone (so I wouldn’t use the driver’s minutes) and Mr. Njoroge refused to answer the phone. He called the driver back a few minutes later, refused to talk to me (even though the driver said he tried to encourage him to do so), and said that I would have to pay 1500 Kenyan Shillings (approx. $20USD) to be transported to the airport…well, the minute he told me not to waste his time and hung up on me, I decided that I was no longer his client, because that was completely unprofessional and I was not paying for verbal abuse. And I definitely was not giving him anymore of my money, so I had the driver take me back to town and I got a taxi to the airport for about the same amount.

Thankfully, the first 4 days of my trip went well and I enjoyed the planned activities that actually happened according to plan. But I should have known that something would go wrong, especially when Mr. Njoroge emailed me shortly after I sent him my deposit for my trip and asked if I would buy him a hat from a website (he sent me the link and his hat size) and send it to him (oh, and he also said that he would reimburse me). I don’t know this man, and even if I did, that is a highly unprofessional request for a complete stranger who is in a BUSINESS to request of his client! And while I stalled him about whether or not I could purchase the hat before my trip to Kenya, I obviously didn’t buy it for him. I never had any intention of doing so, but didn’t want my saying that I wasn’t going to buy it to affect my trip in any way. So I can’t help but wonder if this behavior towards me was in retaliation of my decision not to buy him the hat…if so, that’s reflective of the juvenile behavior that he displayed on that last day of my trip!

Anyway, I would highly encourage you to NOT use Mr. Njoroge's services and, by extension, Wago Wago tours, which provides tours throughout East Africa!

Thanks for your time!

21 replies to this topic
Zanzibar
posts: 1,597
1. Re: BEWARE of J.N. Njoroge and Wago Wago Safaris and Car Rental

Is difficult to judge this.

What I know:-

All clients must be briefed before the trip in professional ways.The only main point is to clarify and clear minor or major errors which may rise on the program and reconcile before the trip.This stand as the first approach between Tour Operator and Client.

But it seems that you didn't had this and you started a trip directly with your papers.

You said that you did a mistake for the last night in Town and then you claimed for transfers and lunch..Other thing to be rude on the phone,we all know that is not good and not customer care.

Still not very clear if that came from only one side:-)

But sorry for all these and some of the time will have to post some of the final confirmation set up for more clearance.

Regards,

Zanzilandholidays

Singapore
posts: 3
reviews: 3
2. Re: BEWARE of J.N. Njoroge and Wago Wago Safaris and Car Rental

Thanks for your reply. I realize that you are only hearing my side of the story, and I acknowledge that there is always more than one side to a story. I thought that everything was clear before I left for the trip. I acknowledged my error in an email to Mr. Njoroge after the trip, and also expressed my disappointment about his behavior. You'd be interested to know that Mr. Njoroge did reply to my email, acknowledging that he had made an error with regard to the transportation and he offered a refund of that money. However, he denied that he treated me unprofessionally. Oh well - you win some, you lose some...

Zanzibar
posts: 1,597
3. Re: BEWARE of J.N. Njoroge and Wago Wago Safaris and Car Rental

Nice to hear that he apologized on what he did to you for that part.

I can not get a logic of how will he send that little amount of money to you with Bank Charges.

But I think that you had a good range of 95% of holidays satisfaction and that 5 % of final approach :-)))

The only main problem is for him to be very rude on the phone,out of that he could manage to minimize the tension of final part of the trip.That is a human error and we all human being who are not perfect at all,so try to forgive him for that part of the trip and accept the refund by open heart although it pains especially on the face of other family members.

Regards,

Zanzilandholidays

keniata
posts: 130
reviews: 5
4. Re: BEWARE of J.N. Njoroge and Wago Wago Safaris and Car Rental

Hi,

Sorry for the bad experience you had while in Kenya. Normally what i think should happen before anyone sends in some money as deposit for a safari, is know whats included in the itinerary and what is excluded.

This final itinerary will or should have all the details and this acts as a guideline for the client. Maybe, some scrupulous safari agents omit or may choose to omit this so as to have an escape clause if need be. Also be wary of the too godd deals you get around since cheap finally ends up expensive.

Sorry for your experience, but also am sure you got some good ones.

Karibu Kenya!!

Mwaki

NAIROBI
posts: 18
5. Re: BEWARE of J.N. Njoroge and Wago Wago Safaris and Car Rental

Sorry for what happened to you.

Your claims are worthy listening.

One should not ask for gifts from clients for especially first time. If you were a repeat client then the gentleman would have had courage to ask for the hat. Its unprofessional of him.

Just cool down and carry on with you life.

Sorry once more.

Daniel.

Cape Town Central...
posts: 2
reviews: 8
6. Re: BEWARE of J.N. Njoroge and Wago Wago Safaris and Car Rental

In July 2009, we also used Mr Njoroge, to our dismay. You are certainly NOT the only one who has been done in by him. He has to date not refunded a cent of our money and I will certainly advise everyone I come into contact with to NEVER use him. You will always come out on the losing side!

Here is a copy of the letter we sent to a lawyer in Kenya to try to solve an unsolvable nightmare.

1. I have arranged with Wago Wago to hire a Toyota RAV4 to travel from Nairobi to the Masai Mara game reserve.

2. The Car was collected from Wago Wago’s offices in Nairobi on the 27th of July 2009 at approximately 10h30 in the morning.

3. The car was handed over with no fuel in the tank, the owner of the vehicle was made aware of the fact, he assured us that the car could be returned with low fuel levels.

4. We proceeded to Masai Mara on the 27th of July.

5. One of the body protectors under the car came loose outside Narok and had to be removed to prevent damage to the car.

6. The car had numerous problems from the start, the rear differential was noisy, the shocks in the car was absolutely shot to name a few.

7. We decided to return early on the 29th of July to Nairobi, we had booked two tickets on Fly540 to Mombasa for the evening of the 29th of July

8. We filled the car with fuel in Narok.

9. Approximately 23km outside Narok (exactly 100.3km from the Wago Wago office) the car started shuddering going down a hill, I stopped the car on the tarmac surface expecting to find a flat tyre. The right front wheel locked up and did not want to turn if the car moved forward. The wheel was turning freely when the car was backed up.

10. I immediately phoned the offices of Wago Wago and spoke to the owner explaining our problem. I also explained to him the time constraint to get to the airport for our flight to Mombasa. He assured me that he will get somebody out to the car as soon as possible to either fix it or supply alternative transport to the airport.

11. The owner of Wago Wago eventually gave us the cell phone number of the person driving to us with the assurance that they will be there just after 14h00.

12. After numerous calls to the owner of the vehicle (person coming to sort out the car) they finally arrived at 17h00.

13. At that point the owner of the car informed us that we will be met in Nairobi by the owner of Wago Wago to accept the car and return our deposit. I then phoned Fly540 to change our flights to the next morning and authorize the payment of the late cancellation and upgraded flight fees. (US75)

14. The disc brake holder came loose (lost the top bolt) and the holder wedged against the rim, acting as a crude break and preventing the wheel from turning. The Mechanic accompanying the vehicle owner replaced the bolt and tightened the other bolt to allow us to travel with the vehicle back to Nairobi.

15. When we arrived back in Nairobi (approximately 18h45) the offices of Wago Wago was closed and nobody was available not even the owner of Wago Wago.

16. I refused to hand the car back to the vehicle owner as he had no authority to sign for it and could not hand the credit card slips back to me.

17. We had to cancel my hotel reservation in Mombasa and loose the deposit as a result.

18. We checked into the Norfolk (close to the Wago Wago offices) for the night.

19. I eventually spoke to the owner of Wago Wago and he made an appointment to meet me at his offices the next morning to receive the car.

20. I had to change my early morning flight to a mid day flight in order to hand the car back to the owner and get my deposit back (costing a further US$30)

21. When I arrived back at the offices of Wago Wago, I was informed by his female assistant that the owner had banked the credit card deposit the previous day.

22. The owner was only expected back in the office later that afternoon.

23. I finally managed to talk to the owner before flying to Mombasa, he assured me that the documents will be filled in before the end of the week and that the money will be back in my bank account by the end of August.

24. After our return to South Africa I contacted the owner of Wago Wago to enquire about the reasons for the non payment, I was told that he can not control how long the banks take to do the payments and that I must be patient (early part of September)

25. I phoned him again at the end of October, in this discussion he suddenly indicated that the car suffered more damage and that they are still waiting for Toyota to give them feedback. He will contact me shortly.

26. I have not heard anything from him since, the car was extensively used by people to travel to the Masai Mara game reserve (going by the amount of entry permits for non-residents in the car at the time that we used it)

Needless to say, the problem has never been resolved and he stole our money.

El Gouna, Egypt
posts: 1
7. Re: BEWARE of J.N. Njoroge and Wago Wago Safaris and Car Rental

Mr.Njoroge is a pure con man on the loose.A family friend hired a car from him sometime in April 2012 then after returning it back to their offices,he surrendered the car in proper condition and had it acknowledged.However due to time constraints he rushed to the airport to take his flight back home and forgot to ask for his deposit of a current check worth Khs.100,000/=. A few weeks later,he got his statements from the bank and was shocked that Mr.Njoroge deposited the cheque knowing very well that it was wrong.Efforts to have him pay the money has hit a dead end as the con man is extremely rude.We are engaging a lawyer now and hope we can have the money refunded.

Its very sad that such a person is still out fleecing from unsuspecting and innocent people.Avoid dealing with Wago Wago and Mr. Njoroge at all cost!

Nairobi, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Kenya
posts: 2,115
reviews: 150
8. Re: BEWARE of J.N. Njoroge and Wago Wago Safaris and Car Rental

Why do tourists use local operators? The majority of them have no sense of professionalism, don't understand tourism, don't care about the environment, are not culturally sensitive, and I can go on.

The reason tourists use them is because their quotes are CHEAPER - you get what you pay for.

Why are the larger tour companies more expensive? Because it costs money to run a quality and legitimate business.

While I am not directing the above to the op, it is a general rant. If you are not prepared to pay for quality, don't get upset when you are delivered with a sub-standard product.

While Njoroge admitted he was in the wrong in regards to the one night accommodation in Nairobi, he handled the situation how any non-professional would - without any courtesy.

To all those out there who want to come to Kenya, please use proper outfitters. They will cost you more, but you should have a better experience.

Isle of Man, United...
posts: 32,271
reviews: 199
9. Re: BEWARE of J.N. Njoroge and Wago Wago Safaris and Car Rental

True in part Roadwarrior but only in part.

I gave up using "reputable" operators about 15 years ago when I realised that despite being more expensive they were actually no more reputable when the gloves came off. They had their dark side too.

The trick, if it can be called that, is dealing with somebody you know has given good service to others. Leopards rarely change spots and if the TO has been honest with others there is a fair bet that they will be honest with me. So far so good after many trips.

Where I think your 'rant' does ring true is the number of folks who go ONLY by the bottom line price. They ask few if any questions and simply hand over their cash to the guy with the biggest smile! They need to learn to look deeper into the transaction to the guys track record and not be totally bemused by "how cheap it is" or looks!

Boston...
posts: 742
reviews: 79
10. Re: BEWARE of J.N. Njoroge and Wago Wago Safaris and Car Rental

I used a local operator and had the time of my life... And there are lots of reviews from satisfied customers who used local opesrtors..So i beg to differ on that point.

We actually don't know if this particular operator consistently underbids just to get the booking.. The Posters don't mention where he fell in price. So it could have just been bad luck.

But i agree... Whenever i do these kinds of trips, i go with the guy in the middle.. I see it this way: The guy on the high end is making too much money.. The guy at the bottom is going to underbid just to get the booking, but then cut a corner somewhere once i get there. But the one in the middle is giving me a fair price while making a fair living for himself

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