Nicholas Ward review 16 Oct 2018
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?
Big cats!! Also, huge numbers of Wildebeest and Zebras yet to migrate. An incredible sight
2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?
Be ready for some long traveling days. Also, some large and impersonal lodges which, while luxurious, are hardly atmospheric. Also, the first day was
somewhat marred by the Africa Horizons rep not making herself visible at the airport so I had to take a taxi, who then (accidently) drove off from the hotel
with one of my bags. I got it back, but cursed myself for believing the hotel staff who were very keen for me to believe they had all my luggage safely in the
hotel. Keep a close eye on your stuff and make sure it's where it's supposed to be!
3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Benefit to local people really consisited of jobs in the various lodges. Support of conservation; well, we paid our park entrance fees which guess goes a long
way. One obvious and avoidable downside of this trip was the use throughout of half litre water bottles which was very disappointing, and not 'Responsible' in
this day and age! Other safaris I've been on have supplied water from 5 litre containers which at least reduces the amount of plastic used. Or how about the
safari vehicles being fitted with drinking water tanks, such as used in motorhomes?
4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?
Good, although the itinerary meant there was a lot of time spent on the road. Samburu and the Mara are obvious 'must see' places, but either of the other two
locations could have easily been left out to cut road miles and give an extra day at one of the more interesting places.
Read the operator's response here:
Many thanks for your feedback received via Responsible Travel's website. Following your comments, we have liaised with the suppliers in Kenya, and are amending the trip description to reflect the journey times involved. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.
Our ground team were concerned not to meet you at the airport on arrival, and contacted us then: they were paging you and waiting with other guests who had disembarked the same flight as you: we asked them to wait as often clients are held up with customs or baggage, but they then advised that you had taken a taxi to the hotel. Our ground team did then follow up to trace your bag and paid for your taxi, and I cannot explain how the Rep missed you (or you her), but can only apologize: we had made it clear in your introductory letter that you were being met on arrival.
Progress on environmentally friendly practices is slow in Kenya: though the country has introduced a ban on plastic bags. I will certainly send your comments back to the Safari Operator regarding the use of small plastic water bottles.
Unfortunately the reality of getting from one end of Kenya to the other: Samburu in the north, and the Mara in the south, requires an overnight in either direction to relieve the driver: these are long distances, but the journey times by road would not be shorter by cutting out the overnights in both directions, and would mean illegal drive times for the driver. For clients looking to combine these two locations but not undertake the long road journeys, we would usually recommend a fly in trip: but this trip type obviously comes at a higher cost and is not part of the small group trips programme which you took.
Again, thank you for your comments, which we value and feed back to our operators on the ground.