We booked through African Game Trek Safaris, but since we did the 11-day Kenya/Tanzania safari, it also included a portion that was taken care of by Arunga Expeditions. We went with African Game Trek because the price/reviews were good, the itinerary online was more detailed than other companies, they advertised full-day game drives, and they responded quickly and professionally to our emails.
Needless to say, we were not disappointed! On both sides, the representatives (Erick in Kenya, Benjamin in Tanzania) were professional, helpful, and laid everything out for the whole trip.
All pick-ups were on time, and transportation was comfortable (except on the gravel road into Masai Mara – ouch!) Our guide in Kenya (Odhis) was very amiable, and knew the terrain well. He shared a lot of information about the culture, politics, way of life, etc. In Tanzania, our guide (Elli) was very knowledgeable about the animals and the terrain.
The safaris were amazing – my biggest worry was not spending enough time on safari, but that was no problem with this itinerary. I truly feel like both of these companies make an effort to maximize your chances of seeing animals, and we saw more than we thought we would.
One thing to note: With this specific tour, the meals that are provided as part of the package (all meals while “on safari”) do not include a few meals (I think 3 total) while you are “in transit” between Kenya and Tanzania. However, we were informed of this by Erick and it really wasn’t a problem since the hotels had places to eat and the food is very cheap.
PROS: Three full-day game drives and multiple early morning/later afternoon drives, maximum of six total people (for us, anywhere from 0-4 other people), great guides and chefs, accommodated vegetarian diet well, easy transport across border (both ways) and great customer service, fair price, free airport pick-up, appointments on time.
CONS: We did not do the evening game drive in Nakuru as the itinerary stated, Visit to Masai village near Masai Mara felt forced and contrived.
FYI, here is some info on the differences b/w Kenya and Tanzania:
Kenya: Lodging was permanent safari tents with attached bathrooms while on safari (except one night in standard hotel in Nakuru). Half of meals were buffet (provided by lodging) and other half made by a cook (Jackson) provided by GameTrek. Vehicle was van with pop-up top for viewing. Loud communications over radio while on safari (annoying, but helps to alert to animal sightings).
Tanzania: Lodging was standard camping tents (not permanent) and group bathrooms while on safari, and standard hotel in Arusha. Meals were all made by a cook (Isaac) provided by Arunga. Vehicle was Land Rover with pop-up top. No radio.
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