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“Good w/ a few bumps” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Lion Trails Safaris - Day Tours

Lion Trails Safaris - Day Tours
Embakasi along Outer Ring Road, Fedha Estate | Patron Business Center, 1st Floor, Hse no. 19, Nairobi, Kenya
+254 720 710451
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Ranked #2 of 103 activities in Nairobi
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Owner description: A small vibrant Tour Company in Kenya, owned and operated by local Kenyans. Services include: Short Excursions/Short Safaris/Road & Flying Safaris (Both group & private)/Beach Holidays/Nairobi accommodation/Local flight reservations/Airport Transfers/Mountain Climbing/Gorilla Safaris in Rwanda. Note: We always work hard to better our services and always look for the most effective and affordable solutions to our clients needs. Whatever you want, we will put you on the right track!
Chicago, Illinois, United States
2 reviews
“Good w/ a few bumps”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2014

First, I have to compliment Bernard for his efficient communication before, during, and after our Safari. Of all the companies I contacted, Lion Trails was (by far) the most responsive. My husband and I wanted to take a short 2-day safari with our 18 m.o. son and while we initially planned to go to Amboseli, we landed on Masai Mara for its diverse wildlife. Other than a torrential downpour during our first game drive (which was out of our control), we thoroughly enjoyed our time in Mara. We had the chance to see a cheetah, several lions, and thousands of wildebeests and zebras. Here are a few things, however, that would have been helpful to know beforehand, particularly for a family taking a 2-day Safari:

1. The drive to Mara was about five hours, and the last 90 minutes were quite uncomfortable. While my husband and I were fine to endure the bumpy route, we would have appreciated a warning for our little one. "Bumpy" is actually putting it lightly.

2. Mara is a little too ambitious for a 2 day/1 night Safari. While I would recommend Mara to any traveller, I would advise a minimum of 2 nights. We feel like the limitations should have been more clearly communicated to us at the outset.

3. In the case you can only do/afford a 2 day/1 night, I would highly recommend staying INSIDE of the park. An additional 2 hours were spent driving to/from our lodge, even once we arrived, and we feel like this took away from our total experience. Because of this factor, we were not able to enjoy the final meal at our lodge (and had to endure a less-than-adequate "picnic lunch" on our ride home. Staying inside the park is more expensive, but well worth the added cost.

Overall, we were really happy with our trip. But we feel like it could have been a 5-star experience had the details been more clearly organized and communicated.

Visited July 2014
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63 reviews from our community

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English first
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
18 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Perfect in every way”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2014

Kenya has been on my bucket list since forever. Just back from Kenya after having had the ultimate safari experience and it's all because of Lions Trails! My family and I opted for a 10-day safari and we wanted it to go smoothly. I contacted the top 5 rated tour companies on this forum, and out of the 4 replies I got, Bernard's was the longest! We liked Bernard’s professional approach right from the start - he drew up a detailed itinerary for us, kept suggesting improvements and was flexible enough to keep making alterations for almost a month until we finalized the trip. We were feeling a bit uncomfortable to send over such a large sum of money, but he was prompt and understanding, and allowed us to pay him in cash in Nairobi itself (note: bring USD notes printed in 2007 and later. Shops do not accept earlier versions of the notes).
We booked a minivan for the safari, a private one just for the three of us. I'd say the minivan is great and provides a good sense of adventure, but do go for the land cruiser if you can afford that little extra - the bumpy roads aren't all that bumpy in a land cruiser.
We were received at the airport by Bernard and our tour guide/driver Simon, and after a briefing set on our safari the next day. We started off with Amboselli, and then Aberdare, Samburu, Solio Ranch, Lake Naivasha and then finally the Masai Maara. That involved a whole lot of driving but Simon was up for it. The whole tour went without a single hitch, I am glad to say. Simon has a real sharp eye and showed us all the animals with unfailing enthusiasm considering that he's been doing this for 11 years!
All accommodations suggested were brilliant and ranged from luxurious to basic camping, so we got to experience both the adventurous and the fancy. We were smiling with excitement at the start of our safari, and our smiles were definitely bigger by the end.
We thank Bernard and his team and wish them all the very best. May Lions Trails grow up to be the best safari operator in Kenya :))
Tip: Make sure you plan your trip well in advance, especially if you're going during the peak season and are keen on getting the best accommodation you can.

Visited July 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Fantastic Safari Company with First Class Service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2014

My husband and I along with another couple did the 2 night, 3 day Masai Mara Safari with Martin as our guide and Francis as our cook. From the beginning this company was outstanding. Bernard who I primarily communicated with was efficient and speedy, provided detailed instructions on payment and accurate receipts. We were met at the Nairobi airport by Bernard and Martin with no delay. We stayed at the Mara Springs in all inclusive tents which had an en suite bathroom. The water was always hot, the beds clean, and the grounds were meticulously kept. Our cook ,Francis, was extremely accomodating as we are all vegetarian. His food was delicious and he presented a good variety of items. His crepes were outstanding! He even made a birthday cake for our friend and Martin and Bernard set up a campfire at night complete with sparkling cider to celebrate! Martin is a fantastic guide. We learned so much and could tell that he really cares about the animals and conservation. He is extremely knowledgable and friendly. We could not have asked for a better trip! Martin even helped us with our airline tickets when we had a problem. We liked Martin and Lion Trails so much that we actually hired them the day after we returned from Safari for a day tour of Nairobi. We would definately use their services again.

Visited February 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney Australia
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“A great safari and a great experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2014

My son and I did a 4 day - 3 night Lake Nakuru and Maasai Mara safari with Lion Trails recently - everything went according to plan and we had a wonderful time. Like all the other reviewers of this provider, I have to compliment Bernard on his responsiveness, helpfulness and follow up throughout the entire process....nothing was too difficult. Our guide, Ben, was so knowledgeable and accommodating I now couldn't imagine doing a safari with a bus full of strangers - we loved the personalised attention and being able to control our own movements / times etc. I'd absolutely recommend this tour operator and will certainly use them again when we next travel to Kenya.
Oh, and we saw all of the big 5!

Visited July 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Memories to Cherish for a lifetime”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2014

We are a family of three and visited Kenya from 03/Jul/14 to 07/Jul/14. I contacted Lion Trails Safaris based on the unbelievable "all 5 star" ratings given to them by other travelers. It looked too good to be true. But the moment I read the reply from Bernard to my enquiry, I knew that these guys were different and the ratings were absolutely unbiased. The itinerary was perfectly charted out by Bernard based on my request and also keeping in mind that we were travelling with a 2 and a half year old baby. he also answered all the questions that I asked very clearly and in detail. He reconfirmed the itinerary before the trip as well.
When we arrived at Nairobi, Bernard along with the driver guide Ben was waiting for us and gave us a very warm welcome. After a quick brief on the itinerary again and answering all questions we had, we set out on the safari.
Ben, the English speaking driver guide was a very experienced, frank and friendly person and quickly became good friends with us. Special mention had to be made about the vast knowledge he had on his country, every aspect of it, the flaura fauna and the animals. He had amazing skill to spot the animals from far off and went out of the way to show us the rare ones like Lion. He promised my little one to show her simba (lion) and not only he kept his promise, he showed her simba at least 6 times during the safari. Also he interacted with other safari operators and took us around and showed us a variety of animals. His open hearted frank approach won our hearts. Also, he gave us a big surprise by letting us know that he is running a school for the impoverished and orphans.
All the arrangements, food, accommodation, timings etc were just superb and overall we had a great safari. We were dropped at the airport and Bernard gave us a call to enquire if everything went well and we were still smiling.
There is a lot to write. But to summarise, We were extremely happy of the service provided by Lion Trails and we would use them "only" when we go for the next time to Kenya. Also we would certainly recommend them to all others.

Visited July 2014
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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