Kenya Walking Survivors Safaris

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  • Safari enthusiast Safari enthusiast

Totally disappointed with KWSS and Otieno Lysaniash

Written on: September 07, 2016   |   I visited in August 2016 Our group booked 12 day tour with KWSS of Otieno Lysaniash (Otieno) in Aug 2016. During the discussion for booking via email, Otieno seems to be a very professional businessman. He replies email very fast and in a very good manner. We at that time were so happy thought that we would have a very unforgettable trip in Kenya. We paid 50% deposit as requested by him.

On the date of arrival, we met him at his office which was a small premises in a mall, requested us to pay the balance of 50% and asked us if we wanted to take the balloon. If we want, we paid him US$410 / pax. We decided to take the balloon therefore paid him the full balloon fee. Then, he gave us a paper with the details of the tour which were not exactly as what the parties have agreed and the fee for the tour was higher than the amount we have agreed. He changed the program without notifying us or seeking our approval. That was our first bad impression about him. We had no choice but spent time to talk and discuss with him again to fix the tour program by handwriting on it.

In the afternoon, we had lunch after taking tour to Kibera slum. The driver told us that we had to pay for the lunch cause Otieno told him that it is not included. We did not agree to pay cause it is included. After several calls between the driver and Otieno, they agreed to pay for the lunch. That was the second bad impression about Otieno and KWSS.

On the night before the day for morning balloon, the driver told us that Otieno can not book the balloon for us because all space are fully booked and that Otieno agreed to refund in full the balloon fee to us when we come back to Nairobi (in more 10 days ). In fact, he never booked the balloon but just want to collect and spend your money with no interest payment cause we after that via our friends easy booked the balloon from another balloon safari company. We found that Otieno was not the honest person. He lies to us – his customers who bring money and business to him.

During the tour, Otieno many times changed the program, cut the game drive, change the route without informing us. He cut the game drive at Abadare without saying anything to us. You all should note that the game drive fee is US$70 / pax. He never said anything about refund us such money.

He also changed the route as agreed (Naivasha- Aberdare to a new route (Naivasha-Amboseli) which took 9-10 hours instead of 3 as per the agreed route. He even told the driver just taking us to the new destination (Naivasha-Amboseli) as per his new route without telling anything to us. We absolutely can not do it and disagreed to go, trying to call him to talk. After several attempt, we were able to talk with him.

At the beginning, he told us that he did book the room for us at Ark Lodge at Aberdare as per the agreed route but the hotel suddenly changed and cancelled the booking. Therefore, he had to change the route by booking room at Amboseli. After that he told us that he made mistake when booking the wrong date after we told him that we called to Ark Lodge and they told us that the room is still available. You all can see he was not honest at all! And more important, the way he served his customers were too bad and unacceptable.

After many talk and strong argument, he accepted and agreed to pay us a so-called compensation of US$70 / pax. He promises to pay us when we are back to Nairobi on the last day of the trip. That happened on the 7th day of the tour!

We came to his office at Nairobi to collect the balloon fee and compensation. We did inform him the time of arrival but he was not in the office! Then, finally he show up. We asked for money to be refunded in cash. Can you guess what happened then? He told us that he did not have cash in the office even though it is only US$1,500. If he indeed planned to refund us and knew that we're on our way to pick up the money, why wouldn't he have cash for us????????
To us, the only reason is that he never intended to pay us back!

Can you imagine that we had to spend 6 hours in his office (from 4:00 PM – 10:00 PM) asking for our money to be refunded? He gave so many reasons, trying to go around. He even CRIED while telling us that his son was sick and he “sacrificed his son because of us”! We told him that it was totally your mistake and fault and that we had no involvement to your family and personal issue. We further told him that we though the meeting would be very short and we just came to his office, saying hello, collecting money and we both were happy. Finally, thanks to the strong support and assistance from one friend of us who lives in Kenya and we told him that if he did not refund our money, we will report to the diplomatic police of Kenya, he promised again!) to refund us the balloon fee on the following day after 6 hours of agreement. That day, we arrived our hotel at almost 11:00 PM with nothing in our stomach after a long day in the car and 6 hours of argument with him. We all totally were exhausted!

Lastly, he never answered our phone calls. If by chance he picked up your phone, he would say he was busy with meeting, another phone, another client (even though you are also his client),

If any of you plans to book the tour with KWSS, it is strongly recommended that you should consider to stop it. KWSS and Otieno is not trustworthy. Do not fall into the same trap as we did by only reading and believing in the positive reviews and the way he talks to you.

If any of you has booked and paid the deposit to him, make sure you carefully and closely check the program and route every single day. In addition, you should never book the balloon via KWSS cause he never booked for you. He just take and use your money without payment of interest!

PS: In our case, we are lucky to finally receive the money back. It may be because we were very strong with him and the support from our friend who lives in Kenya. However, having reading the comments, I note that several other person falls in his trap and lost money!
Meet and greet team
1 Stars
Quality of vehicles
1 Stars
Responsiveness of staff
1 Stars
Knowledge of guide
1 Stars
Quality of itinerary
1 Stars
Overall rating
1 Stars
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(5/5 stars) Written on   |   Visited: Nov 2016.
We wanted to use a local company to book a trip. Our main point of contact was Mr Otieno from KWSS who was always quick and prompt on replies.I explained what we wanted on our trip and he provided everything .Their price quote is reasonable and fair.

We booked a 8 Day Safari finally which covered masai mara,Amboseli,Lake nakuru,Bogoria and lake naivasha. We ha... read more

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(2/5 stars) Written on   |   Visited: Aug 2016.
1) The trip was not following what I deal with Kenya Walking Survivors Safaris.
---> Not the same lodge I chose, has been changed to worse one. It happened 3 times during my trip.
---> Miss 1 lunch
---> Waited 2.5 hour in the morning for driver
---> No balloon even I booked 4 months ago

2) I waited more than 90 days for refund of balloon... read more

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KenyaKenya TanzaniaTanzania
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(4/5 stars) Written on   |   Visited: Nov 2016.
I sincerely thank Mr Otieno and the staff.. My tour safari was amazing through him I was able to learn and see the beauty of Africa including the ⛺ camping. I just loved it. read more

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(5/5 stars) Written on   |   Visited: Oct 2016.
The two of us went on the 17 day safari by KWSS stretching from Nairobi To the Masai mara,Crossing into Tanzania and Exploring the Serengeti and Ngorongoro crater.From our research online,were pressed to find a trip a tour that covered this much in Kenya and Tanzania with comfort in acomodation that we were looking for.KWSS provided great value for money and they c... read more

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(5/5 stars) Written on   |   Visited: Jul 2015.
I found KWSS (Kenya Walking Survivors Safari) online while planning our first trip to Kenya. Otieno, the owner of the company, was attentive and helpful throughout our planning process and always responded to my questions in a timely manner. Once we arrived in Nairobi, we continued to received this high level of attention from Otieno and our driver/guide. In fact, ... read more

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(5/5 stars) Written on   |   Visited: Apr 2015.
My girlfriend and I booked our trip with Kenya Walking Safaris. They managed our trip and they were so quick to respond to us,even when we were in the middle of the trip.
They showed professionalism when handling us. I would recommend this company to anyone planning for a safari. read more

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(5/5 stars) Written on   |   Visited: May 2015.
We had been longing to visit Uganda for the gorilla trekking for quit sometime. We booked our trip with Kenya Walking Survivors Safaris for we read positive feedback from their past clients. We really had an easy and good time in Africa. We are now back in our country but still in future we will book with same guys, for they are the best …. read more

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(5/5 stars) Written on   |   Visited: May 2015.
I was very pleased with the overall service provided by Mr. Otieno and his staff Peter and Sam. The pickup from the hotel and transfer to the airport were perfectly on time, quality of food was excellent (they even managed to offer vegetarian meals throughout the trip on my request!) and the game drives themselves, although short due to the limited amount of time, ... read more

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(4/5 stars) Written on   |   Visited: Apr 2015.
Kenya Walking Survivors Safaris pricings are very affordable and we have a very good experience with them. All the arrangements were very good and the guides were very friendly. I want to thanks Mr. Otieno for organizing our dream beach vacation. I would love to repeat an experience with KWSS and recommend KWSS to my friends.



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I saw

Lion
Serval
Terrapin
Zebra
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(5/5 stars) Written on   |   Visited: Apr 2015.
Kenya Walking Survivors Safaris (KWSS) was a once in a lifetime experience.

While there are other high-end safari options out there, I felt that KWSS was the best bang-for-your-buck option out there. While going through the booking process, Mr. Otieno (the manager), was extremely quick to respond to any questions or concerns we had.

After being reassured of ... read more

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Kenya Walking Survivors Safaris

- We offer private/custom safaris
- We offer group tours/safaris
- Our main focus is: Mid-level safaris
- We book international flights
- We book pre/post-safari attractions
- We have 23 tour packages listed
T: 254 736 232336
Since: Apr 2003

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