We were a group of 7 and we booked our 12-day August 2012 trip to Tanzania and Kenya with East Adventure Tours & Safaris. Our overall experience was excellent and there were few surprises in our arrangements. Fred was excellent in designing the itinerary to our needs and was very prompt in his email responses, hotels were very good and as expected, the guides (Simon in Tanzania and Leonard in Kenya) were very knowledgeable, and the whole trip was well-organized.
Things we liked:
1. The hotels were nice. We are very happy to have got exactly what we had agreed with the travel agency. The travel agency sorted out any miscommunications (e.g., one hotel didnt have us down for lunch though our itinerary said so, and the travel agency sorted it out). We stayed at the following hotels: Kibo Palace in Arusha (Very Good), Wildlife Lodge in Ngorogoro (Excellent), Simba Lodge in Serengeti (Good), Ol Tukai Lodge in Amboseli (Excellent), Simba Lodge in Naivasha (Average), Ashnil Mara in Masai Mara (Excellent), Mara Fig Tree (Good).
2. Guides were well informed. Guides knew where to go, and anticipated when there is likely to be action by the animals - Leonard in Kenya anticipated there could be Cheetah action when he spotted a gazelle near the mother/baby Cheetah; Simon anticipated there could be action when he saw the leopard stand up on the tree and spotted a gazelle nearby. This proved to be invaluable and cheetah/gazelle chase/kill turned out to be the highlight of our 12-day trip.
3. There were no issues with paying the travel agency in advance.
Things that we didn't like:
1. The van in Kenya was too crowded for a group of 7 with not enough space for luggage (though it seems that is how Kenya works). Tanzania vehicle was excellent and very comfortable.
2. Van rides were excessively long (much longer than quoted by the travel agency and that became a pet peeve for us).
3. Hot air balloon ride was over-hyped (the travel agency should have advised us accordingly).
4. The driver in Kenya was not often well prepared (e.g., we spent an hour waiting while the drive got photocopies of the vouchers the travel agency to give to the hotels upon arrival, which could/should have been done earlier).
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