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After receiving a few questions about our trip to Lake Nakuru, especially about the TO we chose, since we didn't write a review for them, we thought it would be fair to write a quick recap and explain why.
For years we been thinking of going to Kenya, after getting lots of help from this forum, specially from Annika & Peter, we contacted a few TO's and got different quotes. we wrote to all of them asking for the same hotels/lodges/camps, including flight back from Mara, and private jeeps with unlimited game drives.
and the most convenient quote we got was from KABS:
so we confirmed with them, and the writing back and forth began. correspondence was really slow, but i was warned this was normal.
one important thing for us was the size of the jeep. since there were 5 of us in total, and we are all nature photographers/videographers
with all our camera gear and tripods, we wanted to see if we had to get 3 jeeps or if 2 jeeps were sufficient. We asked KABS to send us a picture of the jeep we will be getting, and they sent us a picture: it was a big 9 seater (including the driver seat) so we decided to get two jeeps.
We paid almost everything via bank transfer, except for a very little amount that we would take in cash.
We arrived in Nairobi early morning, we already had our Visa's, so in 20mins we were through customs and our luggage was already there. (in Italy we call this a Miracle) and walking out of the airport we met our guide, George, who was a very nice gentleman, we talked all the way to our jeep.
Unfortunately the jeep was much smaller than the one of the pic they sent via email, and the jeep our friends got was even smaller.
truly disappointing. We told George about it, and he suggested we could take a seat off, we would have more space. that made things a bit better. but were still a bit tight. but we decided not to let it ruin our holiday.
We drove to Lake Nakuru (took us around 5 hours) not counting the 20min stop at the Great Rift Valley to take some pictures.
We arrived in Lake Nakuru and checked in at Sarova Lion Hill. This is a very lovely place, over looking Lake Nakuru. you can read more about it on our review. We were quickly showed in to our room. it was very small with a small bathroom, it was really nice but we had already paid for an upgrade, so we went back to the Reception and told them "the rooms are really nice, if we hadn't already paid for an upgrade, we wouldn't mind staying in the room. They said they will check and then told us to come back after lunch and our room would be ready.
bummer. it was kind of annoying, i mean, what if we hadn't said anything..?
anyways, i think they realized their mistake, so upgraded us to even a better one than what we paid for, so everything was forgiven :) (which is also why you won't see these details in our review :)
Lake Nakuru is an amazing place. its really small but packed with wildlife. First day we saw so many Rhinos, giraffes, zebras, baboons and monkeys and flamingoes, pelicans and different species of birds etc etc it was amazing, the amount of wildlife in such a small place.
The second day we saw a the same as first day + group of 6 Lions, and 2 leopards! hyenas, giraffe etc etc our guide was amazing! He found us everything we wanted to take pictures of. and he knew exactly where to stop, exact position, best light best framing etc etc. he quickly made us forget everything about the uncomfy jeep.
We checked out early morning, and they gave us the bill (even though we already paid for everything) so we lost another good 30minutes there because they had to call their Nairobi office, and Nairobi saying KABS did not send any payment or booking etc etc, and then calling KABS etc etc.
we were finally on the road heading out to Masai Mara... but shortly after we left the hotel, the Jeep starts to make a really loud noise. and the poor George says its the propeller and he would need about an hour to fix it...
so we decided to make a little detour, and stop and do a boat ride in Lake Naivasha, while our guide went to fix the jeep.
It turned out to be a lovely detour, Lake Naivasha is a true heaven for birdwatchers. we saw so many different species of kingfishers, herons, etc etc etc. it was amazing.
by the time we were done, the jeep was all fixed and ready, we hit the road again, happy to be going fast and no noise.
Since this is getting too long, i will write a different post for Masai Mara, and about our email to KABS after we returned to Rome.
in the meantime, if you have any questions about Lake Nakuru... or KABS, ask away :)Edited: 9:52 am, April 02, 2012