This is the first travel review we have ever submitted, but service this exceptional could not go without recognition. Australken Tours & Travel Ltd Safari company made our dreams come true (as corny as that sounds, it is true.) We booked our safari with Australken after much research and felt like we hit the lottery by choosing them.
We were dealing with “Zippy” and it is a rare occasion to have customer service as fantastic as hers. Booking a safari from across the world is intimidating, especially with all the warnings etc that you read. We were hesitant to book before we arrived in Nairobi. But from the moment I was in first contact, to the moment we hugged at the end of the trip – the service from Zippy was outstanding.
My husband and I were looking for a budget safari though Kenya. We starting looking at a 3-4 day and ended up booking a 7 day safari. It was a lot less expensive than all of the other companies we researched, in fact we got a few extra days for the same price as others for the same itinery. We worried that we would sacrifice quality for quantity – but we had nothing to worry about…from the first minute to the last we were blown away with everything about our safari. I am so thankful that we did not book with one of the overpriced companies, because I doubt they would have been able to outdo the trip we had with Australken.
Our specific safari began in Nairobi where the tour company picked us up. Then proceeded to drive us to a day tour that we had planned for the day before our actual safari began. This was above and beyond. Our 7 day safari began when we were picked up the following day by our driver/guide (Simon) and cook (Jon). Both of which made us feel very comfortable from the start – they were easy to get along with and fun to be around.
We drove from Nairobi to Amboseli. Then Amboseli to Lake Naivasha. From Naivasha to Lake Bogoria and Lake Baringo. From Baringo to Lake Nakuru and then from Nakuru to the Maasai Mara. We covered all the national parks that we wanted to visit.
First of all, we were by ourselves…just my husband and I and the driver and cook. This is by far the best way to go. (The only way to go in our books – so the price of the safari was an even better deal considering it was private). The safari van that we were in was a good van, with pop up roof.
Our accommodation for our budget safari far exceeded our expectations. We were under the impression it would be tents. Yet, every night of the safari we were in a private “cabin” with a private washroom (toilet and shower).
The driver/guide “Simon” was FANTASTIC! We have nothing but amazing things to say about him. The knowledge that he expressed was phenomenal. And he went out of his way to stop while we were driving to show us things we would have never noticed or known to look for. He was able to find/show us every animal that we wanted to see…and not only did we see everything we dreamed we would see…we saw it numerous times. 3 Cheetah sightings!!! Too many lions to count..we joke that we did not see the Big 5 – but the Big 500!! We just saw so much!!….Everything under the African sun we saw more than enough of.
Our cook “Jon” made wonderful meals. He always had special meals prepared for us and we really enjoyed his great service. We called it “Jon’s magic.” And we were sad when the safari ended and we had go to restaurants. We also worried about getting sick (of course, being in a different country), but we always felt full, satisfied and healthy and happy. The food was great. The only thing is that we would have preferred more traditional dishes…but we like to be adventurous with our meals while traveling and I had not mentioned that when I was booking the trip, I would for next time though.
We not only were given a dream fulfilling safari, but this company went out of their way to help with our other travel plans while we were in Kenya – after the safari was finished. When I was booking I asked Zippy for help with flights when in Kenya and train bookings, as well as visa assistance. She was able to get us the flights and train tickets that we required to get to our other destinations. She did this with NO EXTRA CHARGE. They dropped us off at the hotel in Nairobi, and then even picked us up the following day to drive us to the airport. She had all of our tickets booked and ready. WOW!!! Totally unexpected and exceptional service. We were blown away with all that they did to provide us with what was probably the best customer service my husband and I had ever received.
What I am trying to get across is…if you are booking a safari in Kenya (or Tanzania, Uganda or Rwanda)…book with Australken!!! We can not thank them enough for making our trip, the trip of our dreams. They were professional from the first contact to the last…We felt like they put your hearts into the safari and service and did an outstanding job making us feel comfortable, see everything we dreamed of, they made our trip to Kenya more than memorable…it was the trip of a lifetime and we are forever grateful for all the care, concern and outstanding service they provided to us.
If you have questions or anything regarding this company – please email me.
Their contact info:
Zippy J. Mugweru
Australken Tours & Travel Ltd.