I recently came back from a 3+ week African trip to Kenya and Tanzania and I have a few things to say about my tour companies that I used for the Kenyan leg of my trip. I booked with two different companies in Kenya. The good one is Rayleene Safari out of Nairobi. This is a very good company.
The BAD company that I used was SAFARI ICON out of Nairobi, Kenya. Safari Icons manager is James or Jimmy Njoronge. To be honest I had booked with Safari Icon before in 2011 and had no problems with them. This year was a complete disaster for the following reasons:
1. The manager of the company, Jimmy had emailed me a 5 day itinerary in the Masai Mara (camping every night but one which would be in a lodge). When I arrived in Kenya he CHANGED it to 4 days with one day in a lodge and I therefore had to spend about 200 more dollars to book a hotel room in Nairobi. Not only did they cost me extra money since I paid for 5 but got 4 days, but they cost me a full day in the Masai Mara and we did not camp where we had previously agreed upon in the itinerary he sent me. The only excuse he gave me was that he made a mistake. I could understand this except for the fact that I had been planning this safari with him for a full year.
2. After my safari was paid off Safari Icon emailed me 3 more times asking me to loan him money for various things like his house payment and a trip to Paris, France! Obviously I declined to wire him more money. This was a huge red flag to me but by then I had already committed all of the money and it was too late to cancel or change plans.
3. The guide that I had was horrible. He continually harassed animals by splitting herds, speeding, bothering the animals by trying to get them to wake up and worst of all, driving really close to them trying to get them to move positions.
I have been to Africa several times before and made it specifically clear what I wanted in the private safari and Safari Icon did not do any of what I wanted. I am very disappointed in them and I will never book from them again. I would recommend that to everybody else as well.
There are a lot of safari companies that book tours to the Masai Mara and I would strongly encourage you to not book with SAFARI ICON. Please book with somebody else.
I absolutely love Africa. Just about everybody I met was very nice and respectful to me. I have been there a total of 5 times and hope to go back someday. The only reason I am posting this is I want everybody to enjoy themselves on safari and I am sure you would enjoy your trip more if you did not book with this company.