Reviews of safaris to Tsavo East National Park
9 holiday reviews from our travellers of holidays which include Tsavo East.
"A mixed bag indeed"
Kicheche Valley in Naboisho Conservancy and Il Moran in the Mara Reserve were wonderful places to stay. The welcome, the location, the staff, the food and the guiding were all very professional and we would certainly go back to both of them.
Satao Elerai is in a beautiful location especially if you are lucky enough to see Kilimanjaro. Satao Camp is tired and would benefit from some energy from management.
The guiding problems we had with Southern Cross definitely affected our safari in both Amboseli and Tsavo East. Guides are vital to the enjoyment of these wonderful places and make a huge difference to what you see, learn and enjoy. If they are not of a suitably trained standard, temperament or not enthusiastic about all wildlife, long-anticipated (and expensive) trips will be spoiled. Quick fixes, such as offers of treats or bottles of wines, do not detract from the very bad taste of having to complain and try to get someone to take us seriously.
As travellers are told to do, we complained to the management and sent emails with our concerns and experiences to Expert Africa. Although Richard was liaising with Southern Cross what he was being told was often not what we were experiencing on the ground. In fact, he was being given false information. Six of the last 7 days on safari had problems. Julius at Satao Elerai did discuss things with us and try to sort out a solution. The problem with that is that the low standards should not have been acceptable to the Lodge or Southern Cross in the first place. During the last 4 days with the final guide, neither camp management nor Southern Cross management dealt with us directly. We are left feeling frustrated, angry and disappointed with a reasonable part of our trip." Read full review: 19 nights in Africa; 13 on a Kenya safari
"Satao / Tsavo "
The Kenya a Rough Guide was so useful and really enhanced our trip in so many different ways
However there were some flaws especially in the planning and lead up to it.
They may appear small and relatively insignificant as they all worked out fine in the end, but from a company such as yours I think they need to be addressed." Read full review: 5 nights in Africa; 5 on a Kenya safari
"Another Great Safari"
Everything went smoothly and the ground arrangements were perfect thanks to Southern Cross and their excellent driver Joshua. They also took care of our transfers between Wilson Airport and JKIA on our last evening.
Expert Africa set up all the arrangements with their usual efficiency and attention to detail and especial thanks to Richard for tying up all the loose ends and making everything work so seamlessly, as always.
Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:
It's difficult to imagine how you could do better" Read full review: 13 nights in Africa; 13 on a Kenya safari
"May-June Kenya, Tsavo trip was great"
"Our Dec 16 to Jan 17 trip"
Southern Cross Safari drivers were great, especially our safari guide who was really nice & knowledgeable and took us on great game drives. Loved having our own vehicle & driver for the whole time. Would have been good for there to have been bottled water in vehicle on long drive from Nairobi to Satao & from Satao to Watamu (we had to stop to buy some & then always remember to have our own).
Ocean Sports was perfect for us and we loved its chilled, unstuffy atmosphere. It is a very friendly place and some of the staff were fantastic (Florian, the manager, is great). But I wish we had been warned in advance that we would be arriving right in the middle of a huge New Year's Day party which went on until 1am - service the next day was decidedly slow & ropey!
Thank you for your help in organising such a wonderful trip." Read full review: 11 nights in Africa; 10 on a Kenya safari
"My Oct 2013 trip"
Food was mainly from good to excellent as was accommodation.
Would not choose again or recommend this particular itinerary." Read full review: 11 nights in Africa; 9 on a Kenya safari
"My Aug 2013 trip"
Our transfers and drivers (apart from Driftwood to Mombasa - which may have been correct), were excellent.
Driftwood - not quite sure what was going on there regarding locals. Also need to mention that I was charged a very large sum of money for use of the safe in our room.
Asha Cottage - very good.
Suggestions to help us improve our trips or our service:
I realise that the situation in Nairobi Airport is beyond your control - but it was horrendous.
I would like to thank Richard for all the hard work that he put into our booking - much appreciated." Read full review: 12 nights in Africa; 10 on a Kenya safari
"Trip to Kenya"
On our way back from Tsavo, Tom and I wanted to spend some time in Mombasa which the bus driver was happy to facilitate, dropping us near Fort Jesus and giving directions then taking our luggage back to the hotel for us. We then took a taxi back to Diani later in the afternoon.
Franklin who was based at Pinewood told us about the bicycle trip to Kaya Kinondo mentioned earlier and booked it for us, and it ended up being one of the highlights of the trip. He also offered various other trips I am sure we would have done if we had been there longer. I wasn't sure about attending his 'briefing' meeting when they first asked us because I couldn't see the point, and only went because it mentioned needing to confirm our flights, but I would recommend other guests do pop down because of the trips he can arrange.
Overall, we had a wonderful time thanks to our drivers as well as the staff at both Pinewood and Satao. Also thanks to our taxi driver who took us back to Diani from whom we learned an enormous amount about Kenyan life, politics and culture!
But above all thanks to Richard and Expert Africa who created the perfect trip at relatively short notice and with a minimal amount of time needed to 'brief' him on our requirements. We have never used travel agents before, but being a bit further from our normal travelling comfort zone wanted to be sure we booked places that would be clean and well run, and that our payments and bookings were secure. I would recommend Expert Africa to anyone travelling to Africa (and in fact have now noticed that your brochure is on many of our friends' bookcases already!) and not hesitate to use you again for any African trip. Richard seemed to instinctively understand what we were looking for and our requirements, and we were very pleased with the final cost of the package - I think it was probably cheaper than if we had made the individual arrangements ourselves and whilst we may have found the locations ourselves through the Rough Guide we wouldn't have had the benefit of our drivers and all the timings/logistics working so well.
In the circumstances of the fire at Nairobi airport it was a huge comfort to know that not only where you watching the situation and keeping me informed, but also that had my travel been affected you would have made the necessary arrangements to rearrange bookings etc, and at a stressful time this was the kind of reassurance that money can't buy.
Thank you again" Read full review: 8 nights in Africa; 6 on a Kenya safari
Where to stay in Tsavo East
Our suggestions for safari camps in Tsavo East National Park