Day1 Arrived in Masai from the plane and greeted by a guide who said he would be our driver and introduced ourselves to a German couple who we where told we would be spending the next three days with us on our safari.
1st game drive after lunch we met at cars as advised. We were then told without explanation that we no longer had original driver but had another driver ' Fredrick' and the German couple would no longer be with us. As this was our third time on a safari and second time at little governors we had some idea of what to expect. However our new driver was a little backward in coming forward, firstly with interacting and volunteering information and secondly not very good at answering questions about the various wildlife.
As Fredrick was a Masai warrior we thought perhaps he was by nature perhaps a little quiet. Perhaps he needed to get to know us.
I think on the first day, perhaps we afforded him to much sympathy as we were paying good money for what should of been a good service with a forthcoming driver.
We returned that afternoon a little tired and a little disappointed .
2nd game drive
We left camp very early we saw some lions right near the camp that everyone was watching. We had told Fredrick the day before that we were hoping to see a black Rhino, as it was the only animal from the big five that over our last few years of visiting we had yet to see. Fredrick received a call to an area where a black rhino had been spotted. We went along and saw the Rhino. After this Fredrick seemed to drive around and seemed distracted, often completely missing animals that we had both spotted without binoculars. We stopped by the river and ate breakfast but Fredrick seemed to have an unwillingness to converse.
However I attempted to speak to him about his culture and Masai tribe he then took an interest and even suggested quite adamantly that we should go to the village meet the people and it would cost us £25 dollars to do this. Also suggesting if we come to the Masai that we should take time out to visit the villages as this enables the funding of the kids education. We explained we are only here for three days maybe next visit to Kenya we may visit the village. Fredrick seemed insulted by our refusal to go.
Our long morning game drive continued with Fredrick receiving phone calls. We asked if these were his colleagues and had they spotted anything interesting he replied 'no'. After this we saw very few animals mainly birds. On the whole Fredrick seemed very distracted and disinterested. This was by far becoming a totally different safari than any of our previous experiences. Our next problem was a flat tyre. Fredrick refused to ring the camp with regards to this as it turned out his vehicle was supposed to be equipped with a jack and wheel brace neither of which he had. Through fear of getting in trouble we had to sit and wait until a fellow driver arrived with the correct equipment. Some time later, a passing governors vehicle stopped and gave us a lift back to camp. On the way we stopped numerous times with this guide telling us about many animals large and small along the way the difference in Fredrick and this guide was phenomenal !!
Game drive 3. We gave this drive a miss as the morning had been so unproductive and disappointing with a more than tense atmosphere between us and Fredrick.
Day3 again we booked a packed breakfast so that we could hopefully put the previous day disappointment behind us and enjoy our last day.
Before we set off, both us noticed a really strong smell of petrol wafting into the vehicle Sherman made a point of asking Fredrick if everything was ok with the vehicle and that it smelt like a bad leak. Fredrick denied it was a leak at set off regardless. After a while the smell was so overwhelming that Sherman said he should check the vehicle again. Fredrick jumped out looked under the bonnet and returned saying he it needed water we all new at this point this was not a water issue. Nonetheless we continued driving to more or less a short distance from the park entrance where there was a Masai village not far from the national park entrance. We parked outside a Masai shop where Fredrick greeted the shop women warmly. He then suggested we do a little souvenir shopping whilst he and two other men with knives attempted to fix the vehicle. I personally felt under pressure to buy things from the shop and the very pushy and persuasive shop lady! Most uncomfortable situation. My fourteen year old daughter whispered that the men with knives were quite scary and started to get upset. Sherman took a look in the vehicle and as he had said this was a petrol leak that in no way needed water, a shopping trip or a visit to the village behind. He after some persuasion and insisting got Fredrick to ring someone to come and help. Strangely, rather than stay put until they arrived he then insisted in driving across an empty field in a diagonal direction. Then he parked up and waited until he could see the ' rescue' vehicle heading our way then he started the engine and drove toward it. One can only assume he didn't want to be found at the shop and village. Incidentally, we do have photos of the shop and one of the men complete with knife in hand.
We swapped vehicles and drove off far from anywhere we had been before. Fredrick barley said a word no animals just plains of nothing, we plotted up in a lush green area after driving through a couple of rocky streams there were no other safari vehicles around for miles. We stopped ate a very late breakfast and returned. This was a most unpleasant and at times unnerving morning. To be totally honest I think that throughout the previous 48 hours Fredrick seemed almost drugged or inebriated. His eyes were always bloodshot and eyelids low. Although there were no obvious alcohol fumes he most definitely seemed under the influence of something. On both days I noticed some strange twigs sticking out of his pocket. This certainly would explain his lethargy and lack of interaction. I have worked over the years with drug and alcohol dependent people and recognise the signs.
When we returned to camp Sherman spoke with George the camp manager about our disappointing trip and the disasters involved. We were told later that Fredrick had been dismissed and George had made a point of telling me personally that he had more or less been forced to hire Fredrick as he was the park rangers brother. Also that Fredrick had been immediately dismissed as he was already on a warning after a previous problem.
All in all the this expensive safari was an entire disaster, with little compensation.
We feel very let down as we afforded JT safaris our repeat business on three occasions, twice at Little Governors in addition the mere wiping of a bar bill cannot be expected to cover the hard earnings that paid for this expensive disappointment
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in a forest in the heart of the Masai Mara, Little Governors' is intimate in character. The luxury en-suite tents are tucked around a large water-hole clearing that teems with life. Beyond, lie the grasslands of the Masai Mara and the deep blue Olololo Ridge Escarpment. Arriving in Camp is an adventure, leaving your vehicle behind you cross the Mara River by boat and are escorted on foot through the forest to the camp. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Little Governors` Camp Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
- Little Governors' Camp Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve