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Another warning against using SARDIUS TOURS

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Montreal, Canada
posts: 1
reviews: 1
Another warning against using SARDIUS TOURS

In August of this year I was on safari with friends in the Masai Mara reserve, which has a well-earned reputation for spectacular game viewing. Unfortunately, our trip was marred somewhat by an unscrupulous tour operator (Felix N., who runs Sardius Tours). We arranged for him to book our lodges several months ahead of time. We ask for 4 separate rooms in a luxury lodge and paid him by wire transfer in advance. He assured us that all was arranged.

After we arrived - and only after he collected the remainder of our fees from each of us in cash - he informed us that our booking had been changed and that we no longer had 4 rooms (some of us would have to share a rom) and that it was not in the lodge we chose. We insisted that our original arrangement be honored, and after a brief argument he promised that he would fix it. We left with our driver, under the naïve hope that Felix was sincere.

We spent most of the day on the road until our driver finally got a phone call instructing him to take us to another safari camp – not the one we supposedly reserved in the first place. The camp was rather obscure and the driver got lost attempting to find it! When we finally arrived, very tired and dusty, we were shocked to be told once again that there were not enough tents for us all, so we had to double up in one of them. And these were hardly the high-end accommodations we had paid for. Two of the tents had no mosquito netting!

We lost the entire afternoon, and only managed to squeeze in a cursory game drive in which we saw remarkably little. Moreover, there was no early morning drive the next day. Instead, we had to leave for yet another camp.

The second camp (Masai Basecamp) was far superior to the first, and equivalent in value to what we had originally paid for. But we lost an entire day out of our 3-day safari. When we met Felix back in Nairobi, he promised a partial reimbursement to cover our lost expenses. A month later, we have still not received it – and Felix has ignored our inquiries.

The lesson here is to be wary of any tour operator that does not accept credit cards (in which we could challenge the fee, if the service was not forthcoming). I strongly advise anyone not to arrange a safari through Sardius Tours. And I am not alone. Travel websites are filled with accounts about Sardius Tours that should serves as a warning to travelers, and on hindsight we should have heeded them:

tripadvisor.com/…postreply

…about.com/u/…Sardius-Tours---Ripoff.htm

…about.com/u/reviews/tourgroups/Tour-Operato…

www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa…

Edited: 5:35 pm, September 15, 2012
Glasgow, United...
posts: 308
1. Re: Another warning against using SARDIUS TOURS

i would also inform KATO and the National Parks with all your details and griviances, hopefully it will get recognition from these authorities and maybe in near future any Tour Opertor falling short of their promises would hopefully be stopped from entering or operating any further...

Canada
posts: 4
reviews: 16
2. Re: Another warning against using SARDIUS TOURS

Yes, Sardius Tours in Nairobi will not deliver what you paid for. Beware. I also got ripped off by them, same deal as above.

Nairobi
posts: 45
reviews: 3
3. Re: Another warning against using SARDIUS TOURS

For anybody who had such a bad safari experience with unprofessional tour operator I recommend that you use a members of Kenya Association of Tour operator next time you plan your safari.

They have introduced a Bond Scheme that ensure that your money is secure and in case the tour operator does not deliver there is a way our.

You can read about the scheme here: www.katokenya.org/index.php…

and how to make a complain: www.katokenya.org/index.php…

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
posts: 7,948
reviews: 26
4. Re: Another warning against using SARDIUS TOURS

Thanks for the info Kisima. Unfortunately, for many of us a Kenyan safari is a once in a lifetime experience so there will probably not be a "next time".

Hopefully your suggestion will help other first timers in the future.

p.s. Having just read the article you linked to, this coverage is really pretty useless for those of us who have had undelivered services by a tour operator out of incompetence . . . and not bankruptcy.

Edited: 2:19 pm, September 20, 2012
5. Re: Another warning against using SARDIUS TOURS

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