We are world nomads, having left the USA three years ago and have been continuously traveling the world since. We are on a fixed income which limits us a bit as we move from one city/country to the next. For Kenya we wanted to invite our son and his wife along and that meant finding the most for the least price. In our former lives, we were travel agents in Alaska, owning the state's largest travel and tour company. We also owned and operated a safari agency out of Nairobi...so we knew what to expect and what to avoid. Agencies in Kenya come and go almost as fast as the wildebeest...so it is it hard to find one that is truly reliable, honest in their offering, and not constantly cutting corners to make their albeit meager profit margins. Everyone in Kenya has their hand out.
Kenya is No. 63 on our world map so far, and still is MY FAVORITE country in the world. The people, the sounds, the colors, the animals, the splendor and majesty of its national parks...each element leaves an indelible mark on your soul, heart, and mind.
It had been while and all of my sources had long vanished, so I was at the point most visitors are at when starting to research companies. I found Fred and his Kenya Tour "Budget" Safari offerings on Google. That's pretty much where I start most searches. I read all of his reviews...all of them...not just to get a feel for his integrity, but also to see what might have changed on the Kenyan landscape from current visitors. As you can see, he has extremely good reviews. Next I contacted the Ministry of Tourism to make sure is was registered and had no record of violations or complaints. Then I contacted him directly.
From the start he was professional and direct. He answered all of my questions, told me the names of the camps we would be staying, and gave me a day by day detailed intinerary. Once we had agreed on price, I sent him a 10% deposit online with a cash balance due on arrival. This is still common after all these years and did not detour me in the slightest. Don't be concerned.
Fred met us in person at our hotel at the agreed time along with a staff member and our driver/guide. This is where everything started to become fantastic. Our driver, Josephett, was a gental giant, towering well over my 6'2" and was as kind and accommodating as could be. We had booked a group safari (up to eight people) and were the only ones in our van. We had the entire vehicle and Joe for the full seven days,. The four of us had plenty of room to stretch out, move around, and the big windows were wonderful. The roads, although improved for Kenya, as still a "free massage" and the drives in between parks are long. Kenya is not hot becuase of its elevation, but the dust can get a bit much...so pack accordingly.
Our first "cam" was the Rhino Lodge at Masai Mara. It is a tented camp, each "tent" being an actual room with queen bed and private bath. It was very clean and comfortable and the staff were overwhelmingly accommodating. The food was great, plenty of it, fresh and tasty.
Joe took us out on a late afternoon game drive. He was an excellent spotter. We saw 12 different mamals and plenty of each in the first two hours. The next days was almost 10 hours longs and full of adventure following the great migrations and the thousands of animals. It was amazing at the river where we perched at an outstanding vantage point and watched it all transpire.
Our next stop was Lake Nakuru for a full day, Lake Naviasha for a boat cruise and walking safari. We were upgraded from a tented camps of a really nice, older local lodge with great rooms, comfortable beds, WiFi and a great meal service.
The big surprise came with Fred joined us for two days to ride along. He upgraded us to a four star luxury safari lodge in Amboseli where we enjoyed two huge game drivers and amazing service.
The entire seven-day, six-night family safari ran us less than $5,000 in total, and that included a VERY handsome tip for our dear Joe. Rest assured Fred and his family of long drivers and employees will treat you well. And free free to comment and ask more questions. I'm happy to give you advice price to your booking.