My husband and I traveled to Kenya in late Feb-early March 2014. We booked a 6 day/5 night safari with African Game Trek Safaris. We HIGHLY recommend this company to everyone. After making a number of inquiries with different companies, we settled on African Game Trek Safaris because of price and their positive reviews. We were not disappointed!!
To start with, Erick is very easy to deal with. He responds to your emails in a timely manner, and even booked a hotel for us for our first night in Nairobi before the safari. He met us at the airport when we arrived, and everything was taken care of, just as he said it would be. Erick was very professional and enjoyable to work with before and during our trip.
The first park we traveled to was Masai Mara. It was INCREDIBLE! Be prepared for an extremely bumpy ride to get there, and please don’t be one of those annoying tourists who complains about it on the way there. There is only one way to get there, and as our guide Moses said, “this is the way to one of the wonders of the world”, so don’t expect a paved highway on the way there- you’re heading out into the wilderness! Masai Mara was my favorite park, because it had a large population of lions, my favorite animal. Our guide, Moses, was great at spotting animals all over the park, and was extremely patient in dealing with some of the more fussy travelers in our van. We had 3 different drives total: an afternoon game drive the day we arrived, all day in the park the following day, and a morning game drive on our last day. The Masai Mara is one of the great wildernesses left in our world, so savor every moment of it! Also, don’t expect bathrooms in the park.
Our next stop was Lake Nakuru. This park used to be famous for flamingos, but due to climate change, many of them have moved on to other parks. Lake Nakuru doesn’t have the dense population of wildlife that Masai Mara has, and you can’t drive off of the road. However, this park is famous for Rhinos. We saw about 5 rhinos, a couple of them really close to our van! It was a thrilling experience; viewing these animals up-close, they look almost pre-historic. We saw a couple of lions, but could not get as close to them as we did in Masai Mara. We only had a half a day in Lake Nakuru. We opted to take a boat ride (an additional $20/person) at Lake Navisha, a lake on the way to our final destination. The boat ride was fun, it was about 45 minutes and it was nice not to be in a van for a change- we saw a lot of hippos and lots of birds.
Our guide for Lake Nakuru and Amboseli was Gibson, who works with African GameTrek Safaris. I cannot recommend him enough! If you request a guide, you should request Gibson!!! He was funny, personable, accommodating, knowledgeable, and it was fun to get to know him. He hung out with us at dinner and had a couple beers with us. It was great getting to know him, and he taught us a lot about the wildlife we were seeing as well as Kenyan culture in general. He never tired of our constant questions, and without a doubt was one of the reasons our experience was so wonderful!
After our boat ride, we headed to Amboseli National Park- famous for elephants and spectacular views of Kilimanjaro, if you’re lucky. We were not disappointed. The ride from Nakuru to Amboseli was extremely long due to heavy traffic and the fact that we had to stop first in Nairobi to drop off other passengers and pick up our cook, Ken. We were not prepared for such a long day of driving, but it was fine overall. We arrived at Amboseli around 8pm and had dinner, then went straight to bed.
Amboseli was beautiful. Like Nakuru, it did not have as dense of a wildlife population, and you could also not drive off the road. Maintained by Kenya Wildlife Service, Amboseli had bathrooms in the park that were very nice! We saw a ton of large African elephants, and took many pictures of Kilimanjaro. You could see the mountain from your breakfast table both mornings. At Amboseli, we were also fortunate enough to watch a family of cheetahs devouring a gazelle for about an hour. It was an incredible experience!
When we returned to Nairobi, we had a full day of excursions on our last day before we headed to the airport. We booked the excursions through GameTrek Safaris as well. I was not expecting the cost to be so high per excursion, but the cost was well worth it. Otis and Erick took us to Derrick Sheldrick’s Elephant Orphanage, Giraffe Center, Karen Blixen Museum, and the Masai Market, then dropped as at the airport. The whole experience was headache-free. We didn’t have to worry about taxis, and we could leave all of our luggage in the vans. It is worth the money to book with GameTrek if you want to do something like this! Our hotel would have charged us a lot to leave our luggage at the hotel for the day, and there were not cabs lined up at each place, so you couldn’t have just hopped in one when you were finished with one excursion. I’d highly recommend booking your day excursions with GameTrek.
Overall, it was an amazing experience, and I’d highly recommend going with GameTrek safaris. Yes, it will be different than you may expect, but you should be flexible, and everything will be fine. Book with GameTrek Safaris and you will NOT be disappointed!