Whilst Explorer Kenya's package was one of the pricier ones we looked at, it was worth every cent. To start with, their vehicle is comfortable and clean. Our driver Moses was fantastic - friendly, courteous, helpful. He has a clear passion for his job, and for animals. On the first day, he noticed my wife going into the breakfast area at our hotel, so rather than rushing us, he waited for us to finish before collecting us. The six hour drive did not feel long at all, because conversation with him is easy, and entertaining.
The lodge we stayed at was very comfortable, and food was excellent. It is literally a few meters from the gate, and hippos can be seen in the river from the restaurant (don't believe the claim that you can see the river from your room - while it may be true for some rooms, we certainly could not see anything).
Animal viewing was easy. Being from South Africa, my reference is Kruger National Park. Masai Mara is nothing like Kruger. I particularly dislike the radio messages between cars, which means that as soon as someone sees something, dozens of cars are racing to it. However, we also benefitted from this system, so it's a bit of a catch 22. Also, unlike Kruger, the cars can go offroad to follow animals - Moses was courteous enough to respect my wish NOT to do this, as I feel it unnecessarily harasses the animals. Of course, catering to American and European visitors, this behaviour is purely designed to satisfy them.
A hint - the Masai village, whilst interesting, is a bit of a con (this is NOT the fault of Ex Kenya - it's how the Masai operate). The Masai will give you a staff, and at the end of the tour ask if you want it - then tell you it costs $20. They will also show you how to make a fire using a stick - then give it to you, and basically force you to buy it. Be prepared to say "NO". They are actually rather annoying, and simply want to make a buck off EVERYTHING. One guy tried selling me his own knife, for $20. I really disliked the pushy sales nature of the visit - the actual cultural part seemed to just be thrown in to justify the sales pitch. Rather save the 20 bucks and watch a documentary.
If you want curios, it's actually cheaper to buy at the lodge rather than from the Masai directly.
All in all, I would highly recommend Explorer Kenya, and ask for Moses if possible.
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