Written on: September 05, 2013
I visited in August 2013
We booked a Safari with Amicabre Travels for August 2013 about 6 months in advance.
Our various queries were answered promptly, a few of them are as follows:
Q) Will each traveler be getting a Window Seat on the Safari vehicle ?
A) Yes, we only book as many travelers as many window seats are there in the vehicle and the vehicle roof is opened for easy viewing and photography.
Q) How many beds will you provide for 2 Adults and 1 child ?
A) Either 1 Double + 1 Single or 3 Triples.
Q) Will Hot Showers be available everywhere ?
A) Yes, everywhere (budget accommodation).
Q) Will you pick us up from our Guest House in Nairobi on the day of the Safari ?
A) Yes, for free.
So far, so good.
However, when we informed them that we had a problem with our accommodation and are actually staying in another Guest House on the same road, they wanted to charge us £15 extra.
The Safari vehicle actually had 6 window seats but they booked 7 people in the van and later claimed that the front seat beside the driver counted as one. However, it didn’t have the facility of Open the Roof and it was loaded with luggage as the back of the van could hardly accommodate 3 or 4 bags, not enough for 7 people. Out of the 3 rows of seats (with 6 windows), the front row was so cramped that one could hardly sit there for a few hours at a stretch and we had to seat there for up to 9 long hours.
There was no planning at all – wrong itinerary, no one from Amicabre actually looked at the accommodation before finalizing, the guide didn’t know where they were located and the accommodation and the toilets were a nightmare.
We only had 1 Game Drive in Nakuru and not 2 as mentioned in the itinerary and also missed out the Thompson Falls.
However, to be fair, the Guide and the rest of the Safaris were very good and we saw lots of animals.
In Samburu, they gave us a room with just one 4 x 6 bed for the 3 of us. The toilet was leaking from the top all over the place and full of tumblers to catch the water (so one can’t even enter). The hot water showers weren’t working. And the water coming out of all the taps was orange (muddy) water straight from the river (and we had to wash and shower using that).
In Nakuru, they had to change the accommodation as it wasn’t fit for staying. In spite of that, one of us had to sleep on the floor as there weren’t enough beds again.
Everywhere, we had to spend at least a couple of hours (after long 6 – 7 hour journeys) sorting the accommodation and toilet out, which left us with no time to freshen up and rest. Often it was a choice between either a shower or dinner, not enough time for both.
In Masai Mara, the toilet was again leaking filling the tent with foul smell.
On the 1st day, they stopped for Lunch at a place which took 3 hours and as a result we arrived too late for the afternoon Game Drive.
In Samburu, we wasted 1 hour in the early morning (5:30 – 6:30) for a cup of tea, but finally had to leave without it.
The food was mostly beef with no vegetarian (or chicken/fish) alternative (in spite of making them aware at the beginning) and we had to survive on just bread and butter for the 1st 2 days (our child had only half a slice of bread for dinner).
At one place where there was chicken (with small side dish of rice and vegetable), but it was only available for 4 people and the 3 of us had to manage with the small portion of rice (half that was needed) with not even enough vegetable for that small portion. And, although they noted down fish for the next meal, it was still not served.
At another place, it was only boiled rice and mashed potatoes (no gravy at all).
And it was never served on time.
Finally, the generator in the Masai Mara Camp burnt our Camcorder Adapter rendering the whole camcorder and all the recordings (unfinalised DVD) useless and there was no warning about it in the briefing.
I can’t believe the other good reviews, unless things have gone upside down recently.
It appeared to be the 1st safari organized by a bunch of amateurs.
Overall, it was a bitter experience and I wouldn’t even recommend them to my enemies.