April Arnatt review 9 Feb 2020
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
We visited Kenya to see elephants and we saw many in parks and the two conservancies we stayed in. We will always remember the two young elephants playing together in ponds and puddles, clearly having enormous fun spraying each other with yet more water and trumpeting as they did so. The roads were pretty exciting too in this very wet year!
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Find out exactly where your accommodation is with relation to roads and airstrips and the time it will take to travel between them. The condition of Kenyan roads means that journeys that would take 15 minutes on tarmac take literally hours.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
We stayed in properties on lands leased from Maasai people, and largely employing them too. I'm concerned that that driving "off-road" on the savannah in the very wet conditions where soil is disturbed and plants uprooted is damaging the environment and will research this aspect more before/if we go again. Our first guide/driver at one location was especially careless of the ground, and managed to get the vehicle stuck several times on one drive. We also felt he was reckless around the animals and this was very distressing, so much so we immediately asked for a new guide. Nothwithstanding that issue, it is probably better for tourism income to support wildlife conservation and provide local employment.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
Apart from the upsetting incident with the guide we enjoyed the experience enormously.
Read the operator's response here:
We would like to thank April for her feedback and whilst we are pleased that she enjoyed her trip overall, we are sorry that she has had cause to raise concerns about their first guide/driver in the Masai Mara. The Mara North Conservancy is different to many other places in that game drives are permitted to happen ‘off road’. We of course would expect that guides working with our clients hold the expected respect for the wildlife and drive according to conditions as to leave as little trace as possible. We were pleased to note that as soon as it was requested, a new guide was provided and we would like assure April that her feedback has been shared with the local team so that they may speak with the guide in question and follow up the concerns directly with the camp.