We researched our travel options thoroughly before going to Kenya. Having looked at both UK based operators and a few Kenyan ones at first we were reluctant to proceed, however I am really pleased and happy having made this choice. I travelled with a friend, and we went for the 4×4 jeep option – much better on the road, and especially off road. And in Kenya, you will be travelling a lot on bumpy dusty roads – but in this car you will feel safe and comfortable.
The car – 5 star rating. The driver and guide – 5, or maybe 10 on a 5 star scale 🙂 The hotels we stayed at were all very good, and the staff know them and always have treated us superbly. The itinerary was amazing – we went for Masai Mara, Nakuru (with a stop at Naivasha lake), Amboseli & Tsavo East (to then go to Watamu).
Our driver was Ken and what a lovely guy! Knows his roads inside out, and will know what is best to see at what time. Very good at tracking, so we were lucky to see all the big 4 or 5 – and the small ones too – ask him birds, antilopes, anything – he will name them for you. I am also interested in anthropology and thus curious about all the different peoples of Kenya, and he was able to guide me through them as well, knowing tribes, languages, ‘famous people’.
We corresponded with Paul the owner – who was super prompt to reply to emails, who then met us on the first day of the trip before we left. The briefing was useful. He checked in with us several times during the trip, to make sure everything was ok – and we spoke on the phone when it was all (sadly…) over – he thanked us and greeted us.
I also really appreciated the different payment options available.
Date of Posting: 08 October 2014
Posted By: olyvine
If you, like me, have no clue how to plan a safari, KET is the company to use! The owner, Paul, is incredibly quick in responding to questions or concerns. Our driver, Nicki, was awesome and very friendly – he was very good at spotting animals, including the elusive cheetah and lion, and was very flexible with any request we had. Paul, he deserves a raise! We felt safe our entire trip, which lasted 7 days.
A few points I wish I’d known prior to traveling:
1) The price of the safari is in large part determined by the hotels where you stay. Don’t skimp as some of the hotels are bare bones with somewhat questionable food (everything is buffet at the lodges). It would have been nice to see a list of options for hotels, along with the price impact.
2) You’re not permitted to get out of the car in the parks so there is no point to buying safari clothes. Bring comfortable shoes, a hat and weather-appropriate attire. Every hotel room has mosquito nets and we didn’t have any issue with mosquitoes anywhere.
3) Buy the majority of your souvenirs from the people who come up to the car before entering or exiting the parks – the shops are about twice the price (though some stuff is only sold in the stores).
4) If you’re taking a 2 or 3 day safari, go to Masai Mara – it’s where you’ll see the most diverse group of animals.
5) If you’re two men or two women traveling together – ask for separate beds and avoid any PDA. They do not, in any way, shape or form, support or accept alternative lifestyles – from my perspective, it’s their country/culture and I believe should be respected. At times hotel staff was a bit hostile towards me and my partner but for the most part, we felt safe.
Date of Posting: 08 October 2014
Posted By: mbescher2014
Washington DC, District of Columbia
We just have our safari 3 weeks ago by Kate.Our driver Jackson is a very polite man and he can find the best time and position to watch the animal.W e have seen all the animals in the park ,and the most exciting thing is we have seen the gonu past river and drive in the team of million gonu.The hotels are all arranged as our plan .I was so excited because the other agency told me they could not book some hotels in my order.But Paul have booked all the hotels as our plan and give me very good advise about my travel.our friends are so amazed in the photos I sent to them and plan to Kenya next year.I think Paul will very busy at that time,hahaha
Date of Posting: 08 October 2014
Posted By: Drum W
We have just come home from an amazing safari in Kenya in the parks of Tsavo East, Tsavo West and Amboseli, which has been very well organized by Paul. Sometime before our trip we had some problem emailing eachother and he personally called me from Kenya for the last details. Our driver Joseph was very nice and accomodating as well as a safe driver. With Kets Safari you get your private vehicle which we appreciated very much. All lodges booked for us were very luxurious and located within the parks. The game drives exceeded all of our expectations by the number of animals we saw and especially because of the vicinity. We could almost touch them!
We are very satisfied with what we got offered for the best price available contacting various tour operators! We very much recommend Kets Safari and hope to maybe do another safari with them in the future.
Date of Posting: 08 October 2014
Posted By: ManuelaMG
Montopoli in Val d’Arno, Italy
The best word for this trip is ‘amazing’. If you don’t mind a bit of effort to get to places, then make sure you go on safari in Kenya. KET safaris were fabulous. Paul was extremely responsive, his prices were very competitive and service was impeccable. I travelled alone and my guide, Clide, was A+. He treated me like family, was professional, experienced and everyone we met knew & loved him. I did the five day/four night tour and spent a bit more to go on a balloon ride over Maasai Mara (followed by a champagne breakfast) – really worth doing. As mentioned by other reviewers the roads aren’t great and some trips take nearly all day, but once you get there all that is quickly forgotten. I went to Amboseli, Lake Nakuru, Lake Naivasha and Maasai Mara. I was very lucky and got to see nearly every animal/bird (the leopard was elusive). I even witnessed a lion eating his dinner up very close and also saw a cheetah with her five cubs. A tip for photographers, make sure you take a few SD cards, as they fill up quickly! Asante sana Clide and Paul – my trip was absolutely unforgettable! Tracy, Australia
Date of Posting: 08 October 2014
Posted By: TracyACT
We just came back from a 4-day safari in the Masai Mara reserve with Kenya Expresso Tour and Safari and what a great experience! Paul was always very quick to answer all our questions prior booking with them and everything that he said actually happened. Our guide, Francis, was right on time to pick us up at our hotel in Nairobi and Paul met us as well shortly after. Everything was booked in advance by the team, which made our experience very smooth and pleasant. Francis was great and answered all our questions, although we didn’t find the mighty leopard :o) , we saw so many animals that we are coming back with more than a thousand pictures! We are definitely recommending this company, which you can trust for your next safari! Well done KETS and a special thanks to Francis!
Date of Posting: 17 October 2014
Posted By: Elmot
We organized a 5 day/4night safari and the Nairobi day trip (including Nairobi National Park, Giraffe Centre and Karen Blixen Museum) via email with the own Paul. Paul replies very quickly to emails and it was a pleasure dealing with him. Initially we were a bit skeptical when Paul asked us to wire transfer a US dollar deposit for the safari to a Kenyan bank – but if you google KET safaris it is all safe – just make sure you are transferring to a company name and check the details. You can pay the remainder by credit card when you get there (3% surcharge).
Comparing other companies the tour was actually of excellent value. The cost differs depending on the accommodation provided. Please note that these tours are private – so we booked for 2 and go the whole van to ourselves. We say many vans with 7-8 people tightly packed. At one camp we saw APT tours and their 3 Jeeps were fully packed.
The 3 lodges we stayed (Ol Tukai-Amboselli, Lake Nakuru Lodge-Lake Nakuru and Sarova Mara Camp-Masi Mara) at were all very good to excellent so don’t fear KET does look after you. All these camps are full board – nearly all buffets so there is lots of food choices. All the camps have mosquito nets covering the bed.
Our driver Lucky for both tours was great, experienced at spotting wildlife and answering all the questions we had. He has a good sense of humour. Lucky was also an incredibly safe driver considering how bad the roads are and is very considerate having breaks every 2 hours or so. Also note that you are not permitted to get out of the van inside the parks. The road trips between national parks are long and bumpy (especially off road).
We managed to see nearly all the big 5 (except the Leopard – we did see Cheetahs). The Masai Mara was probably the pick of the parks, being the largest with the greatest variety and quantity of wildlife. However, each park has their own uniqueness and we saw Flamingos and Rhinos in Lake Nakuru that we did not see elsewhere. The major highlight was seeing the wildebeest crossing the Mara? river – apparently very rare.
There are plenty of opportunities to buy souvenirs – from the numerous curios (gift) shops and from the Masai people who come up to the van at the national park entrances.
Overall, I would highly recommend KET safaris as your tour organizer. Tourism has taken a hit due to the Ebola outbreak, but there was not much hype at all inside the country (they have already banned flights from at risk countries entering Kenya). Come on guys go and support the tourism industry and I assure you that you wont be disappointed
Date of Posting: 28 October 2014
Posted By: prozerran
I booked this safari after doing a lot of research, using the same premise: 3 day, 4 night safari. Paul Mwendwa at KET was very responsive in booking from the US. This by far was not the most expensive or the cheapest. The value was priceless. I was greeted promptly at my hotel in Nairobi by Lucky, my driver. He had to be the happiest person I’ve ever met. We were due to have 3 people on this tour, which was the minimum, but 2 cancelled, but he made sure that I still was able to have the tour though I was the only passenger. He grew up in the bush and it was evident in the information and expertise he provided. The first day was at Lion Hill Lodge at Lake Nakuru. The 2nd and 3rd day was at the Masa Lodge in Maasai Mara. My objective was to get to see The Big 5, though most tours I have found don’t quite meet that objective, because they are the hardest to find. Lucky was very knowledgeable about his surrounding and after 3 days we found all 5. He was very good at not talking when we came across animals, because he felt one needed to have a visual experience, not just somebody that sat at the drivers seat and talked about animal history. If I asked a question he would answer. We also visited a Maasai indigenous family village.
At the end of the tour, he gave me a beautifully crafted hand-made beaded belt with my name and flags of US and Kenya. Seems he estimated my waist size our first day and he must have made it at night after our day was finished. I was deliver safely back to my hotel and given a big bear hug by this guy. I could talk for hours about my trip but it would spoil it for the next visitor. Want customer service at a good price? KET is your choice for a safari.
Visited November 2014
Date of Posting: 18 November 2014
Posted By: Dleestep
Con Ket ci siamo trovati davvero bene, lodges molto belli e la nostra guida, Jackson, uomo concreto e di poche parole, è stata bravissima, abbiamo visto i big five, anche da vicino. L’unica cosa che ti dico è che se alloggiate nel Masai Mara potreste essere messi nel Sopa Lodge, che è sicuramente bello, ma non bellissimo come gli altri in cui siamo stati e come l’alternativa che ci aveva posto nel Masai Mara, il Sentrium Luxury tents (il preventivo non cambiava). Siamo stati asamburu, Sweetwaters, Nakuru, naivasha, Masai Mara. Altra cosa che mi sento di dirti: la visita al villaggio Masai a mio parere è evitabile, trattasi di una cosa molto commerciale, non vale il prezzo che costa (circa 40 dollari a testa).
Date of Posting: 25 November 2014
Posted By: nymonica
“Perfect, everything worked out great”
We have been looking for a long time to find a reasonable safari organizer. Since we were already in Kenya 7 years ago (TSVASO, Ambuseli, Nairobi, Masai Mara) we wanted to book a slightly different route this time. Also it was very difficult (as we traveled with 3 people) to get a good price for the single room (Neckermann allegedly booked – but there were still 3 double rooms, TUI 700 € extra charge for the single and round trip 2500 € per person in double room costs). We found then a very good local organizer KETS.
At first we were a little bit critical to transfer a bigger down payment to Kenya in advance, but because of the very good rating at TRIPADVISOR.de we dared to do it. Everything went perfectly, a Toyota bus for us alone (3 people and not like Neckermann with 6 people), overnight in 4-5 star lodges as described, the owner Paul has received us at the airport and then brought with the driver to the bus Everything perfectly organized and beautiful accommodations. The week safari then cost from Nairobi per person € 1,400 (no single room supplement). So if you want to go on a safari, be sure to check out KETS, you will not regret it.
Visited July 2013
Date of posting: 25 November 2014
Posted By: Reiseloewe