Overall, it was one flawless experience. The guide was intelligent, knowleagable of his main subject – nature and how to see better animal life. Car was clean, new and well maintained. The level of safari we have chosen – comfort – fully pleased and no single overnight stay was a disappointment. Although end of December happenned to be not the best time for wildlife watching, guide did his job brilliant. He was also a charming, joyful personality. Good choice!
I am literally answering this while sitting in the Mara with my 4WD Landcruiser in sight. In my couple of dozen times visiting Kenya I have always gone in a 4WD Landcruiser. 3 days ago, with all the rain, there was minivan and our vehicle attempting to get across a small river to photograph a leopard on the other side. We made it across, but the minivan did not. When climbing the bank, it could not make it and came crashing down on its rear bumper! Over the years, this was the 3rd time I have seen minivans not make it to the other side, and we have pulled out minivans that have been stuck in the mud over a dozen times.
Our safari started with an excellent support and organization from Henry. The trip was very detailed for every single day of our staying. We’ve been welcomed at Nairobi airport from Mr. Anderson, our driver for the week, a friendly and amazing guy with a lot of experience in this field. Along the road, on a very comfortable jeep equipped with Wi-Fi and cool water every day, he shared a lot of stories and interesting facts about Kenya and its national parks, their wildlife and local communities. Our first stop was Amboseli national park, where we spent 2 days and we had a chance to visit a local Masai village and talk with some of its inhabitants. We then moved to Lake Naivasha and Lake Nakuru, amazing places for game driving in the Great Rift Valley. All night staying accomodation has been booked by the agency and were a top choice: good location, amazing views, great food. We finally moved to Masai Mara national park as the last stop of our tour, where we spend another 2 days driving in endless plains. Mr. Anderson has been an excellent choice, he knew exactly where, when and how to find not only the Big 5 but all the wildife we always had a chance to see only on TV. He always made sure we where satisfied of our safari, giving us chances to take photos and enjoying every single moment, stopping the car when needed and getting close to animals but never interfering with them. He has a good time management and he’s ready to reorganise the day if, for any reason, a change is required or under its guest request. We are absolutely satisfied with our experience with Natural World Kenya Safaris and we already know where to go for our future trip in this amazing country!
Amazing staff (drivers and office staff). They all go above and beyond. We’ve booked with them three times and will never use anyone else!
As posted on trip advisor
Overall, I would highly recommend Natural World Kenya Safari to anyone without reservation. There were a few blips along the way but I don’t think it detracted from my trip/vacation/ability to enjoy the safari. Please continue to read for all the details:
I can’t recommend this tour group enough. We travelled to Nairobi and we were met by a representative from Natural World Kenya Safaris at the airport. He took us to our hotel As we were told, our main contact through the company (Duncan) me us the next morning where the 2nd half of our payment was completed. There was a slight issue with the credit card machine but we paid again through Pesapal.
We then embarked with our tour guide/driver (Bonaya aka “Bonnie”) to Masai Mara. Unfortunately, the Wifi device was not in our jeep and thus we did not have Wifi for this part of the journey, This issue did not impact my ability to enjoy the trip but did for my travel partner. The jeep itself was clean and comfortable.
Bonnie was knowledgable and answered all my endless questions. He was aggressive at finding the animals in the park that we requested. He was timely and flexible.
We stayed in Masai Mara at the Serena Mara Lodge for two nights. The accommodations were comfortable and as expected. The hotel employees were welcoming/hospitable. The room itself was lovely. The food was so-so. Nothing spectacular but generally edible.
We did purchase the hot air balloon ride. I guess we were lucky because two balloons “took off” and only ours could complete the one hour flight time. The other balloon had to land after about 15 minutes. It was a nice early morning adventure and certainly provided a different view point of the park. The breakfast after landing was lovely.
A highlight of the Masai Mara experience was on our way out of the park towards Tanzania. I believe Bonnie had heard on the radio that a rhino had been spotted so he took us to see it. That was our only rhino spotting in the 7n/8d journey. It was amazing!
We transited to the Namanga border crossing. That particular border crossing between Kenya and Tanzania was inefficient as you actually had to take all your bags through a exit security check point in Kenya and place them back in your vehicle, drive 1000 feet to the Tanzania entry point and go through customs there with all your belongings. Nonetheless, it was uneventful and the people were nice. You were expected to show your proof of yellow fever vaccination, pay $100 for a Tanzania visa (that part was also a bit inefficient) and have your bags manually searched (the machine was broken).
We met our Tanzania tour guide/driver Matthew. We were not aware but Natural World Kenya Safari actually subcontracted out to a Tanzanian company called Comfort Holidays (I guess Tanzania prohibits use of tour guides from other countries). I suppose it would have been nice if we were made aware of this fact but I don’t think it detracted from the vacation. The Comfort Holidays Jeep was not nearly as nice as the Natural Wonders Kenya Safari Jeep but did its job.
Matthew was friendly and also extremely knowledgeable. Tanzania is an amazing country. I am so glad we went and spent a majority of our time there.
For our first night, we drove directly to our accommodations. Unfortunately, our stay at Serenity of the Lake Lodge was negatively impacted by $160 USD being stolen. The place itself was physically nice with the room being spacious. It is on a body of water so there were more insects/mosquitoes present than at any of our other accommodations. The food was decent. Ultimately, the owner of the Lodge refunded the money and was launching an investigation.
We went to a fishing village after leaving the lodge on our way to the Serengeti park. I enjoyed the visit, which included a row boat ride on Lake Victoria and interaction with the villagers. The village visit also included a trip to a local (privately funded) school. I did appreciate the experience but I did feel pressure to donate money (which in truth there is not reason not too).
We drove to Serengeti park and saw some awesome lions, cheetahs, hyenas, elephants, leopards, gazelle’s, wildebeest, zebras, hippos, crocodiles & giraffes. We stayed at the Serena Serengeti lodge for two nights. Again, the place was comfortable and as expected. The food was decent (nothing spectacular but nothing terrible). The hotel employees were hospitable/friendly. I did use their laundry services and was pleased. It was inexpensive and returned clean! The packed lunches were pretty impressive (amount, flavor and variety).
Next we went to the Ngorongoro Crater. Our time in the crater was nice. The backdrop of being within the crater was awesome. That being said, there was nothing in particular in terms of the animals that we saw that could not be seen in one of the other parks. We tried to find another rhino but were unsuccessful. We ascending to our lodge in the evening. The coolest thing happened, a leopard was just walking along the mountain road while we were driving.
My favorite lodging of all of them was the Ngorongoro Acacia Farm Lodge. The establishment was lovely. It felt quite upscale. The dinner was again, acceptable (nothing spectacular but not bland). I did appreciate their wine selection though. The Wifi access was only available in the main reception area (again not really problematic for me). We did have the opportunity to visit a Masai village but did not.
We made our way to Tarangire Park and made a stop over at a local shopping “center”. I did buy some souvenirs there. We then went to a high end shopping center (unfortunately I think tourists are the only ones that can afford to shop there so of course it is tourist-centric). I bought some jewelry there as well.
We did a afternoon game drive in Tarangire. The park itself no longer has rhino’s due to poaching a few decades ago. One of the highlights of that park was seeing three lions eat a 10 year old elephant. We did not see the “kill” as I believe most kills happen in the early hours of the day and we did not ever wake up early enough to be out on a game drive before 8am.
The Osupuko lodge at Tarangire was probably the one that needed the most “updates”. We did advise them to patch up the holes in the screens in the room and I definitely left there with some bug bites. The shower water was lukewarm (though I did not address it with them at the time). The lodge employees were hospitable. The food was probably the best of all the lodges in terms of flavor (not necessarily for variety). I think that was because it was made for a smaller group of guests (about 10). Again, wifi was not available in the rooms.
Our border crossing back into Kenya occurred at Isebania. This crossing only required us to enter one building with our luggage. The process was simple and we met our Natural Wonders Kenya Safari driver there. As we left Tanzania, the Comfort Holidays manager (Emmanuel) called to inquire about our trip in Tanzania. We discussed the money theft with him (as at that point it had not been resolved) and otherwise let him know we enjoyed our experience.
Our travel back to Nairobi was long but comfortable. Unfortunately there was quite a bit of traffic once we got within the Nairobi city limits. We stayed at Mövenpick (a hotel which we individually made arrangements for) in Westlands. The hotel was amazing (bright, spacious, clean) and we had some of the best dinner of our trip there. The next morning, we met our Natural World Kenya Safari airport driver and made it to the airport with plenty of time.
Again, I would highly recommend Natural World Kenya Safari to anyone without reservation. There were a few blips along the way but I don’t think it detracted from my trip/vacation/ability to enjoy the safari. In fact, they responded to my satisfaction regarding the issues that did arise.
An additional feature to Natural World Kenya Safari is that they participate with “Pack for a Purpose” and I was able to donate a medium sized suitcase of items to a children’s home.
One last comment: I did purchase a camera (previously only had a iPhone point and shoot camera) and my travel partner brought binoculars. I would recommend that for anyone who is interested in capturing the animals or even seeing them as sometimes the animals are in the background.
Natural World Kenya safaris is Member No.A/440 - Kenya Association of Tour Operators (KATO) bonding scheme. The scheme is insured to guarantee your holiday safari in the unlikely event that a bonded KATO member ceases operating.