Be Careful on who you pick as the Partner for your Kenya and Tanzania Wildlife Trip
Keyword: Kenya and Tanzania wildlife trip
This article talks about how to pick the right vendor/partner/operator in choosing for your dream trip to Kenya and Tanzania Wildlife trip and why money should not be the only issue to choose the right vendor and what all can go wrong when you choose the wrong vendor and how the wrong things can kill your dream trip. I suggest this as a must-read before booking your dream Kenya and Tanzania wildlife trip.
Your Dream Wildlife Trip
Your bucket list and also a long term dream trip is to do a wildlife trip to Africa be it Kenya or Tanzania or South Africa or even Uganda or Rwanda or Ethiopia or Zimbabwe and see those amazing wildlife be it Lions, Cheetahs, Leopards, African Elephants, Giraffes, Zebras, Buffaloes, Rhinos, the Big 5 (Lion, Elephant, Buffaloe, Rhino, & Leopard) and seasonal events such as the great migration of Mara river of millions of wildebeest, gazelles & zebras, and/or Tanzania’s Grumeti river crossings, or the calving season including maybe say the Lion Pride’s hunting sequence and many more.
How probably you choose the vendor?
Most probably you will reach out to your friend/relative who had done a similar trip and he will refer his vendor based on his/her experience and/or you will do a google search and pick a few vendors based on their website, rates and ads and colorful images and videos and also testimonials. Get quotes from them and probably choose the cheapest of all assuming all other factors (images, videos, testimonials) look ok. All good so far but today in the safari market, most images and videos are not theirs and worse most testimonials are bought and are fake 🙁 Anyways you choose one of them and pay them the advance and then your trouble starts, unfortunately 🙁
What things have gone wrong?
We spoke to all those Africa safari travelers who we lost on cost per se for either Kenya or Tanzania Safari package. The total number we spoke to was 106 parties (all were Indians and from various cities that included Bangalore, Pune, Kolkata, Delhi & Mumbai), and out of which 44 said all went fine (albeit with few minor issues) and remaining 72 had serious issues and regretted choosing a vendor based on just cost. Below are the top 12 grouses and experiences they shared with us. We are stating the same verbatim.
- I paid advance to the operator to their African bank and they kept insisting that they never received and no proof from the bank helped and at some point, I could not prove anymore and lost interest, money and never did the African trip
- I paid advance to the operator to their African bank and they assured us that they have got the money and told us to pay the remaining amount at the airport. On the given day, we arrived at Nairobi airport & there was no one to receive us nor the people who picked our phone call acknowledged that we had paid and the person with who we dealt they said is not aware of him.
- I paid advance to the operator to their African bank and they assured us that they have got the money and told us to pay the remaining amount at the airport. On the given day, we arrived at Nairobi airport & there was no one to receive us and finally after a few hours of calling and waiting and praying someone finally appeared after 4 hours of our arrival.
- I paid advance to the operator to their African bank and they assured us that they have got the money and told us to pay the remaining amount at the airport. On the given day, we arrived at Nairobi airport but with a very bad vehicle with no proper shock absorbers and our back went for a toss traveling 5 to 6 hours on each of our trip to Mara and also Samburu
- The Guide who came with the vehicle claims he knows English and he hardly knows any English or we are not understanding what we are saying and the whole trip experience was horrible, to say the least
- The vehicle was so horrible and the roads are not in good condition either and we had flat tire four times in our four-night trip and so much time was wasted, we hardly had a good safari experience
- We had a comfortable trip until we reached the resort and then to our aghast the resort was nothing like what we were promised and it’s not the same name hotel what we were told. The name seems exactly same as a top popular hotel on Tripadvisor but with a few spells changes 🙁 The vendor did nothing about it and acted he doesn’t understand our English over the phone and we had no choice but endure the same
- The driver they gave was so novice he had no idea for the routes in the Mara and we were lost in the jungle and he took fours hours (beyond park close hours) just to find the hotel where we were staying and park rangers escorted us out and getting lost in a forest and in a foreign country is not something we took lightly and we also had a kid of 8 years with us and that 4 hours looked like eternity and we were shaken completely and we just wanted to fly back home after this experience
- We were greeted and picked up in the airport on time but he lost way to the resort and we were searching all over in that forest area for the resort and with no network coverage available and no food either (as there is no place we get food on the way) and with kids in the jeep and no one to see around other than us and the driver, was getting dark, we were scared to death and we had no clue what to do and we just wanted to go back home and fortunately came across a native who was traveling on a bike and thankfully he knew the resort and he escorted us to the resort and we gave him 100 Kenyan shillings and thanked our stars
- The resort had no fence and we were in tow with 4 kids of various ages and no telephone connection in the room and the huts are far from the actual dinner place and we were shit scared to there in the night and the resort did not head to us to our fears at all
- The guide assigned to us knew very little English and would not head to our concerns at all and he would go where he wanted and also he knew just a few routes and he would take only those but some of the other safari travelers we met had tried different routes and they saw leopards and rhinos in mara and we never went even close to and I don’t think our driver was interested to show them nor knew where to go
- We are Indians and also vegetarians and we had insisted that we needed Indian vegetarian food and they had agreed also but at the resort we were shocked that there was hardly any Indian food let alone vegetarian food and no calls to the travel agent solved the issue and we ended up eating bread, jam & pastries & cereals for all three meals until we were there
There were many other issues but were sort of all subsets of the above mentioned and/or minor irritants but what most said was,
a. we should not have chosen based on the cheapest alone ignoring other factors which are more critical than costs such as trust and credibility.
b. Also most said that we should have worked with someone local, someone who has a credible business in India and over a longer period of time.
c. Most believed that it would be better to work with someone who not just does African Safari Packages but also Indian wildlife packages as they understand the differences and also understand the Indian wildlife lover mentality and are able to fix the holes so that the African safari experience will be as good as or better than Indian Safari Experience.
The WildTrails Advantage
WildTrails is a new age Wildlife Travel company that creates tailor-made wildlife packages across India & Africa (Kenya, & Tanzania) for you. It’s the company started by a bunch of expert Wildlifers themselves (who otherwise are Software Development experts with degrees from the US universities doing Masters in Computer Science & with decades of work experiences in Software Development in the US) who have been visiting Indian & African jungles for more than 2 decades with 1000s of safari experiences and now with organizing a few 100s of groups for safari trips across Indian & African jungles. Also, it’s the only company that collects sighting/migration data (has more than 4 years worth of data) across all popular national parks, game reserves & tiger reserves and calculate a predictive metric (Sighting Index & Migration Index) from data analysis, and then by applying our AI/Ml algorithms on thus collected sightings data to find patterns and then to find out for a given time which is the best park and best zone & best time to visit to spot a given big cat or spot events like migration etc. Once we choose what’s the best zone, we book the safari tickets for the same, book the resort that is extremely close to that zone (how far you stay to the safari gate is also very critical – near the better else you will come late and end up last in the line/queue to enter the zone) and another most important critical thing we do is to assign you one of the top local trackers from our extensive trackers network across most national parks and tiger reserves of India who actually completes the amazing Indian jungle safari experience.
Hope you reach out to us to ensure an amazing experience. Read our customer testimonials here before you reach out to us.