Whilst on holiday for two weeks in the Voyager Resort, Kenya we booked a 3 day air safari to the Masai Mara with Bruno who operated on the beach at the Voyager on behalf of a local travel agency!
Before we went to Kenya, we had read all about people booking safaris with vendors on the beach and this guy - Bruno's - name kept coming up in really good reviews. I must admit though i was still a bit aprehensive about it, but the experience i had from booking the trip right until i came back again was nothing short of Excellent.
We booked to stay for 3 days, 2 nights at the Mpata Safari Club which was rated 5 star and it cost us $700 each which was a bargain in comparison to booking with holiday reps.
Included in this price was return flights from Mombassa to Masai Mara - what an experience the very small plane (which incidentally was also carrying others who had booked through holiday reps for so much more) took off and landed 3 times before it got to our hotel airstrip - it was like a bus! 2 nights in a beautiful lodge, all meals (including the most wonderful picnic breakfast on our last game drive), the services of a professional and highly experienced game ranger who found us almost all of the Big 5, as well as a total of 4 game drives of which the last one was a half day!
The Food at the Mpata Safari Club was excellent. As we were there low season the place was pretty quiet but it is Japanese owned and run and is clearly of such a high standard because it caters for hundereds of discerning Japanese tourists every year.
The actual rooms were lovely too, i think rustic is the right word. Although you aren't staying in a tent, as you can in some safari camps, it is still pitch dark and pretty cold at night - they sort this out though as when you go out to dinner each evening you return to your room to find a cosy hot water bottle in your bed! Also, even though you are in a room you can still hear the sounds of wild animals - all be them small ones - scurrying around outside - it honestly is amazing! The electricity automatically cuts out between 11pm and 4.30am and is also off for a long spell during the day, we were so impressed by this "eco-friendliness" in a place were electricity really didn't fit in anyway!
One small thing that i will mention - if you are like me and will face a lion or goliath for that matter but are utterly petrified of small insects - beware! If you leave your lodge lights on at night you will come home to hundereds of moths in the room! This is avoidable though by simply keeping only the very top light on so they all remain high up and you can have a nice moth free sleep! You may also on occasion find a wee lizard or two in your room just ask reception to deal with this for you and they will remove them!
When you arrive at Mpata you are allocated a game ranger who will take you on your game drives for the duration. We were so lucky! We got allocated Geoffrey - who was without a doubt the best in the whole of the Masai Mara! I know this because with the exception of the rhino which evaded us, we saw everything... lions, cheetah, all the various deer, elephants, monkeys, warthogs, hippo and even a real live kill and so much more i can't even list them all!!! And it was always Geoffery who tracked and found these things and who then got on the radio to other vehicles for them to see it too.
You will hear people say that if you book Safari's outwith the normal holiday rep deals you will all get piled into a big bus and it won't be authentic - not true. We went in a toyata land cruiser and there was the two of us plus two other girls that came with us from the Voyager and we had a window each and could get our heads out of the roof anytime we wanted it was amazing. We had only just met the four of us and we shared a truly wonderful experience!
I need to apologise now for having written a novel about a 3 day experience - but i hope this gives you some small idea of how utterly amazing this trip was and i hope you get a chance to do it some time!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.