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Trip Report East Africa in February with Roy Safaris

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We traveled with two other couples and had an outstanding safari. Here is our planned itinerary.

ITINERARY FOR 20 DAY SAFARI IN EAST AFRICA

Day 1—- Tuesday Feb. 13-Fly from Miami to London (overnight flight)-arrive in am on Day2.

Day 2---Wednesday, Feb. 14 Arrive London at 7:40 am -tour and shop in London-overnight in London

Day 3--Thursday, Feb 15-- Fly from London (in the morning) to Nairobi, Kenya Arriving 9:20 pm Intercontinental Hotel, Nairobi

Day 4–-Friday, Feb. 16-Tour Nairobi-Intercontinental Hotel,Nairobi

Day5--Saturday, Feb. 17-Morning free-Afternoon Drive to Lake Nakuru-Sarova Lion Lodge

Day6--Sunday, Feb 18-Lake Nakuru-Sarova Lion Lodge

Day7--Monday, Feb. 19-Drive to Amboseli National Park-Ol Tukai Lodge

Day 8 -Tuesday, Feb. 20-Amboseli- Ol Tukai Lodge

Day 9 -Wednesday, Feb. 21-Drive from Amboseli to Namanga border, to Arusha for lunch arriving at Tarangire NP - -Swala Camp

Day 10--Thursday, Feb. 22-Tarangire National Park-Swala Camp

Day 11--Friday, Feb. 23-Drive to Lake Manyara National Park-Serena Lodge

Day 12--Saturday, Feb. 24-Drive to Ngorongoro Crater- afternoon crater drive –Sopa Lodge

Day 13--Sunday, Feb. 25-After a morning crater drive we will drive to Ndutu Lodge just south of the Serengeti

Day 14--Monday, Feb. 26-Ndutu Lodge

Day 15--Tuesday, Feb. 27-Drive to Serengeti- Kusini Camp

Day 16--Wednesday, Feb. 28-Serengeti-Kusini Camp

Day 17--Thursday, March 1-Morning drive at Kusini Camp then drive to Serona-o/n Serena Lodge

Day 18--Friday, March 2- Catch a plane to Arusha, Tanzania; Connect with plane to Nairobi; Take an evening flight to London at 11:20 pm

Day 19- - Saturday, March 3-arrive in London 5:05 am. Overnight in London

Day 20--Sunday, March 4-Fly to Miami 11:15 am. Arrive in Miami 4:00 pm.

Almost everything went as planned and we were very pleased with our safari in general. There were a few minor glitches and one major disappointment but in looking back, we all felt our safari turned out to be spectacular.
We booked with Roy Safaris of Tanzania. Because part of our safari was in Kenya, Roy Safari used WildTrek for the Kenya portion.
We had three of the most wonderful guides. We felt that it was because of them, that our safari was such a success. We would like to recommend them to anyone booking with either Roy or Wildtrek. OJ was our guide in Nairobi, Ben drove and guided us in Kenya and Salvatory was our driver and guide in Tanzania. Ben and Salvatory were just fabulous at spotting and full of information on culture and animal habits. They amazed us at their knowledge and they were so much fun to be with. They went to great lengths to please and tried their hardest to fulfill all our requests. Because of our excellent guides, I would also recommend Roy Safaris. However, planning and dealing with the office at Roy's did cause us a lot of stress and irritation. However, our safari was a success so that was the important thing.
Our difficulties with Roy started with the agent, Susan Wood. Her responses to my questions were wonderful before booking but after our down payment they became incomplete, and curt. Many times I did not get a answer to my e mails to her and so I had no idea if she got them or not. After I'd write again she'd tell me she didn't get my e-mail or that she had answered them. It was extremely frustrating. One time I asked a question and she told me she had sent me a rude e mail in capital letters saying she answered my question in the attachment. I found the e mail she had sent and there was no attachment included. Finally, my husband took over and made her agree to e mail a response after each of his e mails to her. She did respond better to him but all her responses were also incomplete and required a lot of follow-up. We would have changed companies except for Roy's reputation and the fact that they already had the down payments of ourselves and four other people.
Another problem we faced with Roy's was in their office in Arusha. After Salvatory met us at the boarder he took us to the Roy Safari's office. We were delayed there for three hours. They were very unorganized. We had a refund coming. We paid for a park fee increase that was later reduced. However they had no record of this fact even though Susan had said we would be paid when we arrived at the office. We waited all this time for them to get this straightend out and then they told us we would have to come back the next day to get our money! To top it all off they sent us to lunch at the Impala Hotel. It was dirty, run down and the food was the worst meal we ate on our safari. We began to fear what our safari in Tanzania would be like after this terrible beginning. Our itinerary called for a two day stay in Swala beginning this evening. However, due to flooding a bridge went out and Roys booked us at the Mountain Lodge near Arusha. This lodge turned out to be absolutely wonderful. However because of Roy's lack of forethought we still had to drive an hour back to the office to get our refund and to have them make copies of our passports and medical insurance, which sould have been taken care of on our first visit to the office. We spent another two hours at the office while Roy's took the men upstairs to give them the refund and make the copies, leaving the women downstairs wondering what was going on and what we were waiting for. A sot of safari time was needlessly wasted by Roy's.

Sorry to go on and on about it but it still makes me angry to think about it. But, as I said before, I only have positive things to say about our wonderful safari and guides so I promise the remainder of my report will be more pleasant. I'll write more as soon as I have more time.

Barbara

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