Nairobi and Mombasa Safaris, Cheap luxury safaris

Ket Safaris
“Very honest and knowledgeable company!”

Ok, so this review is a long time coming since we did a safari tour in 2013. But please read on because our experience was a bit unique and might provide some insight! Yes, we saw the big 5 and our tour guide, Richard, was absolutely amazing. He was funny, knowledgeable and so personable. You can tell he is genuinely passionate about the animals in the park.

While these are all awesome reasons to books with KETS, another great reason is the unwavering honesty and perseverance they showed during a mishap during our trip. Five hours into the middle of our travels from one park to another, we realized my husband had left his passport and a lot of cash in the safety deposit box of our last hotel. Oups! We had gone too far to back track, but Richard quickly sprung into action. I will spare you the details, but Richard and Paul really went to the moon and back to retrieve it all - and we got everything back. Not only did we continue our wonderful journey and see more animals, but we were able to do while the KETS staff worked so hard to correct our mistake. And let me tell you, it wasn't easy!

Asante sana, Paul and Richard! You were both amazing and we will never forget your kindness!

Visited September 2014
 
Date of Posting: 29 August 2015
Posted By: Denise D
Vancouver, Canada
To all viewers – Do not hesitate to USE THIS COMPANY. We researched for almost 2 years before our trip. We looked at American tour companies and several operators
in Africa. We chose Kenya Expresso Tours and Safaris after several months of correspondence by e-mail and a couple of phone conversations. Paul spent a lot of
time answering our questions and arranged our itinerary the way we wanted.

Our dream safari totaled 11 days and 10 nights - 2 in Nairobi, 2 in Masai Mara; 3 in Serengeti, and one night each at the Crater in Ngorongoro; Lake Manyara, and
Amboseli. Crossing the border from Kenya to Tanzania was not a problem at all. You will need a Visa for both and we feel visiting both countries is a must if you
have never been as they are both unique. Some tour operators do not operate in both which was another reason for choosing KETS. Paul was willing and able to plan our trip based on our itinerary- we told him what we wanted he gave us

what we wanted, simple. Several other companies we looked into want you to choose from the list of packages they offer and have trouble customizing your trip for you to include both countries.
On our first day in Nairobi, we met Paul who told us that we were in the best hands to see the Big 5. Not only did we see the Big 5 and countless other
animals, Paul and his drivers, Frances in Kenya and Joseph in Tanzania, provided for us an experience of a lifetime. We went on our safari from June 17-28th and
we were able to get "shoulder season" rates. The weather was perfect and not as
many tourists. The plains still had color and had not turned brown as yet. Our
pricing included a Toyota 4X4, (pay the little extra) lodging and full board at
the safari lodging sites, and a driver/guide for a private tour of just 2 people.
Stay away from mini-vans, they have a tendency to get stuck, and the 4X4's have to
pull them out. We saved a significant amount by going directly with KETS; less expensive than American based companies because you are going directly to the
operator there, and we had our own vehicle, and were not in a group tour - all those people. Our accommodations were excellent. We had looked up all the lodges and
there was only one night where we wanted to stay at a different place than what was initially quoted and Paul accommodated us with this request.

We will honestly say that we were skeptical and unsure about going directly to a company in Nairobi without prior experience. We contacted Trip Advisor, Better
Business, US Embassy State Dept. and any other resource we could find to check on the legitimacy of this company. We had some fear - what if they don't show up;
what if we don't get what we paid for - let's face it, your entire trip relies on
your tour operator. Everything was EXACTLY what we asked for, paid for, and was
told what we would get. KETS clearly states on their home page that they charge an additional 3% to your total if you pay your safari by credit card this is not
the 3% imposed from your credit card company which you can also avoid if you travel with an international credit card you will not pay this fee. So, if you
want to save 3%, give Paul a certified check or cash, we missed this item. Also be very aware of the exchange rates for currency and do not get taken by street
people offering exchanges - you will be taken. Gifts and souvenirs, also do your homework, we purchased some items too soon in our trip, Francis did tell us to
barter and compare but the baseline place we went to as our first place was so outrageously priced we thought prices were good after that. Every park you go to
will have tribe people approach you with items, beads, jewelry carvings, blankets any of these items you will get for a very good price.

We cannot say enough about how precise and smoothly all the arrangements went. Our guides/drivers - Francis in Kenya and Joseph in Tanzania, were professional,
courteous and dependable. Everywhere we went, we were escorted and guided, and they were always at our meeting point before us. We never felt unsafe or uneasy,
even when the drive was long and difficult. They have to navigate between animals, people, washed out road conditions and traffic can be tedious. We tried not to
distract with questions too many times , and a traveler needs to understand there is some down quiet time that is needed and we cannot fault your guide for conditions or places that we chose to go. Both drivers put our safety and comfort in the highest regard. We told them that we met as strangers and left as friends, you can enjoy your experience immensely with the hours you will spend together on a trip like this by really appreciating all you can take away from it.

We can honestly say that this was a life changing event and choosing your tour operator is an essential part of the process.
The places, the people, and the things we got to see and do were magnificent - the culture and the country is beautiful. This is a must see for anyone who is
fortunate enough to travel there. We learned more than we thought possible from Francis and Joseph and the camaraderie was comfortable. We were both given a
personalized gift as we left which Paul had Francis pick up for us. Joseph also gave us a gift from his heart and shared his story and reasons for becoming a tour
guide and his passion for his country and the wildlife in it. Both are very meaningful to us. Bottom line – our dream is to return next time without the
worries that we had that turned out to be unnecessary stress on our part prior to our trip. The livelihood of these companies depends on tourism and it shows in the
quality of the experience we had. Will we book again with KETS - absolutely.
To Paul, Francis, Joseph, and Purity - Asante Sana, and until we meet again. Ron
and Diane Florida, USA
 
Date of Posting: 18 July 2015
Posted By: Ron and Diane
Diane Florida, USA
“Wonderfull Experiance”

This was the 2nd KETS Safari we have done in 2 years,again it was a perfect Experiance. Many thanks to Paul who never fails to return our emails & to our guides Francis in Kenya & Richard in Tanzania thanks for you great animal spotting & safe driving. We hope to use KETS (Kenya Express Tours) again.
Cliff & Lyndall Lewis

Visited May 2015
 
Date of Posting: 27 May 2015
Posted By: Lyndall L
Sydney, Australia
“Wonderful Safari Experience”

This was a trip of a lifetime and our driver Daniel made every effort to ensure we enjoyed every minute of it. From the moment he picked us up at the airport I felt like we were getting the personalized attention I needed for my kids, a 9 year old son and 10 year daughter. Daniel made sure we saw lions, buffalos, a leopard and elephants. He stopped for pictures whenever we wanted, took us to spots of unbelievable beauty and gave us knowledgeable answers. We visited a Maasai village and that was simply amazing for the kids. Oh and the accommodations the KETS arranges is the best in Maasai Mara. Ashnil Mara is luxury. If you going on safari in Kenya use KETS. They were recommended to us by a friend and I recommend them just as highly.

Visited May 2015
 
Date of Posting: 21 May 2015
Posted By: Donal K
Muscat, Oman
“Amazing Safari”

Four of us did a safari with KET in late February. It was a great trip. Initially I contacted 4 Kenya based safari companies. All 4 had positive reviews on Trip Advisor. All 4 quickly responded with a recommended itinerary. I choose KET as they were the only company whose response fully covered the items I had in my request. Specifically the ability to include game reserves in both Kenya and Tanzania. The catch here is that a country specific guide is required and tour company had to hand us off between guides and Land Cruisers. The lead time on getting the safari arranged and booked was less than 2 months from our departure date. There were a few times that we had a lag on getting responses on emails, but as long as I sent emails from KET web site (as opposed to directly to their email address) I always received a prompt response.

I was a little nervous about wiring a deposit to Kenya, but there were no issues and we paid the balance on arrival in cash.

We visited Masia Mara, Serengeti, Ngoro Ngoro, and Amboseli. All the game reserves were great. Similar, but also unique it their own way. Lodging at Ashnil Mara Camp, Mbalegeti Lodge, and Ol Tukai Lodge was outstanding. All were nicer that we expected. Great rooms, excellent food, and incredible service. We also stayed at Ganako Lodge near Ngoro Ngoro. Although we were the only guests we still experienced excellent service.

Both guides, Francis in Kenya and Ozzie in Tanzania were excellent. They both were extremely knowledgeable and did everything they could to make our trip enjoyable. They know you are there to see as many animals as possible and they delivered from their constant communications with other guides.

Though nothing special was required they also did a great job of accompanying my father who is 91 years old.

One final note – given we were on Safari in late February we were not there for the great migration at Masia Mara, but more importantly we missed the crowds. The lodges were about 30% full which was great. We consistently were on our own during game drives and only occasionally came across other Land Cruisers. We were always able to spend as much time as we wanted everywhere we went. A case in point, is in the Serengeti was watched a leopard in a tree for at least 15 minutes. We were told that doing high season, we would have been surrounded by Land Cruisers and been limited to only a few minutes. Additionally, we were able to see the start of the great migration in the Serengeti. Just amazing, but without the crowds.

I highly recommend Paul and Kenya Expresso Tours And Safaris. Honestly the trip, the service, the cost, the entire experience could not have been better.

Visited February 2015
 
Date of Posting: 13 May 2015
Posted By: Charles-Oregon
US West Coast
“The best safari trip one could ask for

The trip was an amazing time. Our guide Patrick was phenomenal. He made sure that we saw all 4 of the big five that were in the safari. We only missed the rhino. He was very knowledgeable and answered all questions. He stopped anytime we wanted pictures. By far a highly experienced guide and he's from the Masai tribe. The stay overnight was great also. The camp was very modern and had great amenities. I highly recommend everyone to use this agency. It's well worth it and creates a lifetime of memories.

Visited March 2015
 
Date of Posting: 09 May 2015
Posted By: footsusmc
uk
“Experience of a Lifetime!”

I and my wife traveled to Masai with Ket Safari for an experience of a lifetime! We were very concerned about safety (as we witnessed a not so good experience in Nairobi the night we arrived), but when we spoke to Paul, he put all our concerns to rest. The tour driver cum guide who picked us from Nairobi was an amazing person with all detailed knowledge about the park and its residents. It was indeed due to his acumen that we were able to watch all the park residents (including the famous 5 but rhino) in just couple of hours of safari. Most people had been camping since 3 days with no sighting luck! He gave us ample time for photographing. All the bookings were seamlessly done through Ket Safari. We stayed at Sarova Mara Game Camp, a must visit property with great hospitality! The most beautiful part of the trip was watching the sunrise and sunset in the game reserve.

Visited March 2015
 
Date of Posting: 09 May 2015
Posted By: Abinash K
New Delhi, India
“Amazing time!”

One of the highlights of my kenya trip was the tour and the operators. I had a very large group of 25 peoppe so i was nervous about things running smoothly. Paul was patient and assisted in the entire process. my vehicle had 6 of us in it and operable wifi for the journey from nairobi which was a great resource. The accommodations at ashnil mara camp were amazing and the staff made us feel at home and kept the bar open late just so we could enjoy ourselves. I Highly Recommend Booking With KET...thanks again for all the great memories in finding the big 5!

Visited March 2015
 
Date of Posting: 18 April 2015
Posted By: Koolnupe5
“Rude and arrogant guide destroyed the good mood in Masai Mara”

If you should choose KET Safari be sure to note that you do not want 'Philip' as guide. Never have I experienced such a bad mannered guide, who when asked to wildlife etc would tell you how stupid your questions are and generally just sit silent and irritated in the front seat when not being on his cell. Incredibly bad service indeed for a ~3500$ trip.

Visited March 2015
 
Date of Posting: 17 April 2015
Posted By: Valdemar S
“4 days with KET safari”

Didnt go so well for me. Paul (Francis, and Purity) spoke very nicely, and did coordinate the safari, however he wasnt available. Francis, the driver/guide took us to safari.

1. The hotel room that was promised in Nairobi (Sarova Stanley) was not for a family size. His phone was switched off; then I had to dispute with one of his assistants (Purity), to get a little larger room. My wife didnt like the "argument" part right when were about to begin our safari.

Turned out Room price was ~USD150, however we were charged USD450. But, that surely is my bad, should have done my research well. I guess we can find better options in this money.

2. The 4x4 is in a very weary-teary condition. Used up tyres, broken seats, jammed windows, doors not opening, etc. If you are with kids, then request for a car that is in better shape.

3. For some reason, with those bald tyres we had two punctures on our way back, and lost 2 hours in fixing the tyres and waiting at the service station to fix those. My kids were annoyed.

4. Just one last note: They kept on explicitly mentioning and repeating about the "Tips". I am fine with Tips. However, my point of view is that, Tips should come natural from the guest, based on how well you(or driver or guide) treat your guest. If someone had to give the tip, they would do that anyway; others wont.

Happy safari.

Visited April 2015
 
Date of Posting: 13 April 2015
Posted By: Kay J
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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