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Booked with All Seasons Safaris After Much Contemplation

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
5 posts
2 reviews
Booked with All Seasons Safaris After Much Contemplation

After much research and contemplation, we booked our safari with All Seasons Safaris in Kenya and will be departing in only a few weeks. We were originally going to book with a 3rd party company in Canada, but decided instead to use All Seasons who was quick to reply to our inquiry via the KATO website. Meshack and Alex have been very helpful with answering our questions by email. We made our final payment last month, have all our vaccinations, and should be ready to go! We decided to include the hot air balloon ride after initially counting it out (to keep to a budget) since we will be travelling during the annual migration and have read feedback from past travellers that it's a sight to behold.

We have put our trust in Alex and Meshack and we believe they have arranged a great 8-day safari itinerary (exclusive to Kenya) that will certainly be the classic East Africa trip of a lifetime! All Seasons is able to offer a slightly lower price because by booking direct with them, you avoid the extra fees for the 3rd party company who will take a sum of money and then contract the business out to a ground operator in Kenya.

I will be sure to post photos and a trip summary upon my arrival back home!

Isle of Man, United...
Level Contributor
39,766 posts
445 reviews
1. Re: Booked with All Seasons Safaris After Much Contemplation

I hope all goes well with you and your trip. Please have a good time and come back safe to tell us all about it.

Edinburgh
Level Contributor
4 posts
51 reviews
2. Re: Booked with All Seasons Safaris After Much Contemplation

Hi Globedreamer. Your experience to date very much reflects our own. We returned from Kenya less than two weeks ago. We had a three week holiday and our first week was a six day Safari with All Seasons. We booked them, after contacting Kato as you did after pricing similar Safari packages through UK companies. We saved about 30% of the cost. Alex and Meshack were very helpful, promptly answering our emails and assisting with organising our onward and return journeys after our safari had ended. We had a great time. Safaris are a big business in Kenya and there are hundreds of companies large and small. All the vehicles look much about the same, they tend to use the same lodges and visit the same locations so I suppose it all boils down to the service you receive. We certainly felt All Seasons provided a personal, hands on service. We even stayed at Alex's house as a Homestay after our safari and before we returned home and Alex was very keen to discuss our experiences, both good and bad.

Our biggest worry before we set off was the need to use Swift bank transfers to pay All Seasons rather than via a secure credit card payment facility. Unfortunately this is the norm in Kenya. I cannot compare All Seasons with any other company other than on price but I was very satisfied with their levels of service.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
5 posts
2 reviews
3. Re: Booked with All Seasons Safaris After Much Contemplation

sharps19ud - We very much shared your concerns for the TT bank transfer payments at first. I have never made a TT transfer before and the bank kept warning me against this type of payment for international companies. Other than the high fees associated with making the payments this way (it cost me $90.00 additional in fees for each payment) everything went very smooth and All Seasons was quick to send an email confirmation once they received the payment. Once I received that confirmation from them I was quite relieved. Alex and Meshack have been patient and attentive to our concerns all along.

Are there any last minute tips you can give us for what to take/not to take, places to visit or mark off our list, etc? Did you see all the animals you were hoping? Were the misquitos unbearable?

Thanks!

Isle of Man, United...
Level Contributor
39,766 posts
445 reviews
4. Re: Booked with All Seasons Safaris After Much Contemplation

Not addressed to me but I can answer the last part.

Take only half as many clothes as you think you will need. Take an open mind and a bagfull of patience.

Leave behind any pre conceived notions on Africa that you may have.

Never try to compare what you find and do in Milwaukee with what you will find and do in Kenya. You will only get stressed and may upset your driver.

Come back safe and with only happy memories of a wonderful time.

Edit. Forget the mossies . I just did. They are bearable. Cover up, sleep under a net, use 'eco friendly' Repellent. And watch that Arican sun!

Edited: 12:22 pm, August 09, 2011
Edinburgh
Level Contributor
4 posts
51 reviews
5. Re: Booked with All Seasons Safaris After Much Contemplation

Mfuwe, You answered everything for me. Yes mossies never caused a problem, not many in the parks but more on the coast. I got bitten a few times in Manda Island off Lamu but that was all.

Yes I was also careful regarding comparisons with home. I was full of admiration for the way Kenyans got by with far less than we clutter up our lives with. I saw a young girl carrying water goodness knows how far through the parched bush near Ambroseli back to her home. I found it hard to flush the toilet in my lodge after seeing that.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
5 posts
2 reviews
6. Re: Booked with All Seasons Safaris After Much Contemplation

Great reminders from the both of you. Leaving home at home and entering a new land with no preconcieved notions of what to expect will be my number one! I believe I will be packing the lightest for this trip as any trip ever in the past, as I've learned my lesson more and more with each past mistake, and have grown to the point where I can get by with hardly anything more than the clothes (and sunblock) on my back.

Thanks guys!

Isle of Man, United...
Level Contributor
39,766 posts
445 reviews
7. Re: Booked with All Seasons Safaris After Much Contemplation

Talking about leaving home at home, when exactly are you due out there?

Don't say if you would rather not. Just want to now when to expect a report.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
5 posts
2 reviews
8. Re: Booked with All Seasons Safaris After Much Contemplation

Mfuwe, I will provide a summary before you leave for your trip!

Isle of Man, United...
Level Contributor
39,766 posts
445 reviews
9. Re: Booked with All Seasons Safaris After Much Contemplation

Look forward to it. Be quick though as I leave in four weeks.

Grimbergen, Belgium
Level Contributor
1 post
3 reviews
10. Re: Booked with All Seasons Safaris After Much Contemplation

In the beginning of the year I started planning for our vacation to Kenya, All Seasons was quick to reply to our inquiry via the KATO website. Meshack gave me very fast replies and all nicely documented with pictures and explanations.

Since I had visited already many locations in Kenya I wanted a not so traditional tour. Meshack followed nicely my leads and came up with an itinerary that met my expectations.

We left Nairobi july 7th 2011, our trip went to Meru Nat park - Il Ngwesi eco lodge - Lake Baringo and Lake Bogoria - Lake Naivasha - Masai Mara. The trip ended july 18th

We were very satisfied with the whole trip.

The All seasons jeep broke down on our leisure day at Il Ngwesi, and Meshack/Alex organised a different vehicle to pick us up the next day, we encountered no delay nor hassle at all.

We decided to cycle into Hell's gate, and James our driver nicely and patiently followed for if ever our 5 or 6 year old would give up.

Because of the brake down of the original jeep we ended up having 3 drivers and 3 different vehicles in total, but all drivers were very knowledgable and very friendly.

In the Masai Mara, Meshack had organized a balloon safari for us. Upon arrival in the Mara Bush Camp they realized that the company we were booked with was like 3 hours drive from our Camp, this would have meant getting up at 2:00 am, but there again the Camp manager Mike mc Cartney together with All Seasons found a different Balloon Company only 30 min drive from our Camp.

The only negative points would be that the driving times were much longer than estimated by Meshack, but it is Africa, that was to be expected.....

And the tipping expectations in the lodges and for the drivers were higher then what I expected, so maybe you can ask in advance what to expect.