This tour with Bencia was very professionally run, and would highly recommend to anyone looking to do their first safari.We had 5 people to one minibus, so plenty of space. And we had a driver Morris, and cook John.Morris was a very careful driver, spotted a lot of wildlife and was able to get us very close to lions, cheetahs and many others.John has a great personality and make the group feel very comfortable with great humour, and excellent pancakes.Everyday the tour left on time, and food was ready when expected.The accommodation is basic but adequate and the locations are brilliant, either inside or just outside the two national parks.The additional Masai village experience is slightly hit or miss but it was interesting.Overall a very good experience and would recommend to friends and family.
The tour itself was incredible! Our guide, Ben, was very knowledge and a pro at spotting the animals. We were able to see so much! There were several non-safari parts that were frustrating for me. For example, I had booked a single room, but upon arrival, I learned I needed to share. Our driver/guide was changed twice without any warning which to me was discomforting as I was afraid of forgetting who I was with and climbing in the wrong van. The vans, while great on safari, were sometimes fully packed. 13 adults in a 13 seater make for an uncomfortable 7-hour drive with few stops. The accommodations while basic were comfortable, and the food while repetitive was tasty and plentiful.
Let’s start with the only good things about this tour:
1. We saw almost all of the animals promised.
2. John, our cook, was amazing. Extremely accommodating. Truthful and honest communication, and kept us in the loop throughout. Give this man a raise.
And now, for the bad:
1. Dangerous, unsafe driving in a broken van. Peter, our driver, took constant, dangerous risks. Our car got stuck repeatedly. It also broke down a few times, e.g. in a ditch as he attempted another dangerous route. There were always better visible routes to take but he ignored them each time. We felt unsafe the entire time. His car was old and unmaintained. For example, the trunk couldn’t easily open and close, requiring a tool, except it opened up while driving and things flew out the back. Another: On our way back from Masai Mara, the car died three times, eventually requiring a tow into a town. The delays meant we didn’t get to see Lake Nakuru in the evening OR sleep in the park. For the breakdowns and unsafe driving alone, I would never recommend this tour company or tour. They should lose their license.
2. Lack of communication. Problems happened from the first day: we had to wait in the tour company’s office for over two hours. Most annoyingly, they never communicated the delays or why they were happening. “Hakuna Matata” they’d say. As a result, we didn’t see Masai Mara the first evening, and didn’t see Lake Nakuru in the evening because of the breakdowns and other delays. John — the cook — did his best to tell us what was going on, but our driver, Peter, hardly spoke with us at all.
3. Delay after delay. I’ve traveled in Africa and India and understand delays. However, every delay could’ve been controlled. Not sleeping in, Peter not being ready to go in the morning, the van breaking down. On our way back to Nairobi, with a new driver and van (Sammy), we delayed because he stopped to shop for himself for over 20 minutes, and stopped at places no one wanted to go, for himself.
4. We did not get to stay in the Lake Nakuru National Park, as promised, and missed opportunities to see more rhinos. We saw 1 white rhino (no black rhinos) and had no time to look for more.
Maybe we were just unlucky, but I would never, ever recommend this tour company.
My daughter and I booked our tour through Viator and were happy. Our safari in Masai Mara was great and we saw so many wild animals. Lake Nakuru Park seemed small compared to Masai Mara but the lake itself with the flamingos and other birds is worth seeing and we had the chance to see a black rhino. Our driver Morris had very sharp eyes and was able to spot the animals easily. I would definitely recommend this tour and especially if you don't have a big budget.
Overall a pretty great tour. We were in a van which wasn't amazing as not as much suspension in a van as in a Jeep and the roads are very bumpy and dusty. But the roof opens up so you can see everything clearly. The camp is very basic but has a shower and toilet in each tent. The beds were comfortable. Limited charging ability for phones/cameras - only a generator to use for a few hours a day so suggest you bring a battery pack. Overall saw basically every animal.