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Eben / Sandi / anyone give me a tip for a Safari operator please

Eben / Sandi / anyone give me a tip for a Safari operator please

Jan 18th, 2009, 10:20 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,491
Eben / Sandi / anyone give me a tip for a Safari operator please


i'm planning my own group of a rather simple itinerary (Sarova / Sopa / Serena) to Kenya and Tanzania.
as i've never contacted such operators myself. i was wondering if you could recommend an operator which will be reliable, yet give some competitive prices
Could you recommend a small reliable company?
{or maybe i can get a good price from one of KATO's A-category operators, given that they have some good prices in lodges???)
it may be a different operator to each country

Asante sana

aby is offline  
Jan 18th, 2009, 01:03 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
Most Kenyan and Tanzanian outfitters have a partner company in the other country.

There are many in-country outfitters that have been recommended here on Fodor's for both countries that you can contact for pricing. Then if time allows, you can contact the individual Sarova/Sopa/Serena props and see how their offering/prices compare.

Personally, I'd prefer to work with one outfitter (whether Kenyan or Tanzanian) who is the focal contact in pulling it all together.
sandi is offline  
Jan 18th, 2009, 02:15 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 641
Hi Aby,
I booked a small group of 8 people last Aug/Sep with Kennedy of Waymark Safaris. He did an excellent job for me and everyone was so happy. You will be in very good hands. We did a flying safari, but his drivers are great. Actually, Joe stayed with us in the Masai Mara for 5 days. He was a big hit. Everyone loved Joe.

Contact Kennedy Muthoka of at: [email protected]

You won't be sorry,
safarimama is offline  
Jan 18th, 2009, 03:00 PM
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Aby, I'll second safarimama, you won't go wrong with Kennedy. He is in Nairobi, but works with a small, but good, company in Tanzania for the TZ portion.

He's a real gem.

LyndaS is offline  
Jan 20th, 2009, 03:50 AM
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Thanks Sandi SafariMama & LyndaS

still, i'm ready to hear more recommendations and answers

aby is offline  
Jan 20th, 2009, 12:19 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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In Kenya, I can recommend Eastern & Southern Safaris. They're fairly small, around 10 guides & vehicles. However, they partner with a fairly large operator (Leopard) in Tanzania so you may want to book separately if you're looking for a small operator in both countries.
Patty is offline  
Jan 20th, 2009, 12:51 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 88
for Tanzania try Roy safaris - we have used them as mobile safari operators in Northern Tanzania for over a decade - they are reasonably priced and very very good
tanzaniatouroperator is offline  
Jan 20th, 2009, 01:18 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,354
Dear aby

If this is something you plan to do once and only once, then you can work through local ground operators.

If you are going to lead groups as a business, I suggest you start building relationships with:

a) your favorite few lodges and camps (they can actually help you a lot),
b) a vehicle rental company who can handle your road/airport transfers when guiding is not needed,
c) the top 3 or 4 local airlines,
d) a local ground operator in each country to provide guides & vehicles when you need them.

I assume you will plan/lead these safaris yourself - then minimize the middlemen where you can. If you do primarily a fly-in safari, you do not need driver/guides. But be careful, lodges are known to overcharge for transfers!

When you have a group of 6 or more clients I would be very nervous about sending all their money to some small one-man show in East Africa. Your responsibility is huge.

When you need a ground operator, who you choose depends on the class of service you are providing. Again, be careful of one-man shows who have to rent your safari vehicles - rentals are notoriously undependable. Having a great guide is meaningless if you get stranded for hours every few days.

And I doubt very much if a one-man show guide can rent a well-maintained newer model extended Landcruiser/Rover for less money (if he drives himself) than you can negiotate with established ground operators such as Sunny, Leopard, Somak, and others. You just need to go talk to them and tell them what you need and want (a good guide for example!)

In the future, if you can find great guides who own and operate nice vehicles you can switch, or when things go well you can invest and buy your own vehicle(s) and start your own local operation with a local partner!

Please work only with properly licensed ground operators!
climbhighsleeplow is offline  
Jan 20th, 2009, 04:23 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 788
I second Patty's recommendation for Eastern & Southern Safaris in Nairobi. We had a wonderful trip around Kenya with them in September 2007. They also arrange travel in Tanzania via Leopard Tours, but as Patty pointed out that's a bigger company (and at the time we were doing our research, I'd read some mixed reviews about Leopard) -- we booked the Tanzania portion of our trip with Green Footprint Adventures, another small company I can recommend very highly.
MyDogKyle is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2009, 01:37 PM
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thanks Eben, Patty & MyDogKyle

i'm not gonna really start a business, (office-work is not my cup of cow-blood)
i decided not to address operators i know, not to compete with companies i've worked with in the past...

aby is offline  
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