I have always used a local travel agency to book all of my international travel. I wanted to visit Kenya and Ethiopia this year but neither of the agencies I have used before would book the trip for me. They would only book with world wide companies such as Globus, Gate 1 and such. So I started my search for local companies that could deal direct with me. I contacted more than twenty companies in both Kenya and Ethiopia. It was kind of scary doing it on my own since there was so much expense involved in just getting to Africa. Some Safari companies tried to pressure me and intimidate me into booking with them. It was NOT a lot of fun. And I almost decided to do something easy, like visit China instead. But then I found Kairi Tours and right away started to feel at ease.
Paul Mugeke, the senior tour consultant at Kairi, worked with me extensively to decide just what kind of a safari we wanted. I had originally wanted to just visit the Masai Mara. They had a safari listed on their web site, www.kairi.co.ke , that combined The Mara with Lake Nakuru. I inquired about that trip and he explained it in detail to me but suggested that I might be happier if they also included a stopover at Lake Naivasha as well, with NO increase in price!. That was not even listed on their web site but in the end we decided on that trip. All email communications with Paul were both friendly and businesslike at the same time. I would stay up late at night to email him during his business hours and his responses to my inquiries were always immediate. I even commented in one of my emails that this was as good as talking to him on the telephone.
If any of you are troubled as to what company, and there are very many, to book with I assure you that Kairi Tours and Safaris will make it easy for you. They will treat you as their equal and be nothing but fair with you. I can't know exactly what Paul thinks of me, but even never having met him, I can honestly think of him as more a friend than a travel agent!! I am happy that I didn't change my mind and go to China instead. That can wait till next year. When we return the end of July, I will post a report on how the actual safari went.