We recently returned from our amazing trip to Kenya. Rob arranged everything & it was perfect. Everything worked like clockwork. We were met at each point by wonderful driver/guides.
The drivers knowledge of Kenya, the parks & animal ‘tracking’ was astonishing. We only went to 2 camps & were lucky enough to see the ‘big 5’, & much more, all thanks to our fabulous driver/guides.
The accommodations were great, as was the food & staff. Everyone was helpful with endless smiles. A lovely touch each night (it was chilly when the sun went down) was to find a nice hot water bottle warming the bed!
Fair Trade Safaris donates all profits to the wildlife and communities where the safaris take place, which I think is tremendous.
It was a trip of a lifetime!!!
I highly recommend using Fair Trade Safaris!
Review by Mpowered Derrow1 month ago
We just returned from our Kenya safari. we used Fair trade safaris to arrange all details within Kenya. Everything went perfectly. Every guide was waiting at the pick up point. All accommodations were above expectations. The food was great and the people were wonderful.
Review by Alamgeer3 months ago
I’ve been on two safaris in East Africa and our recent trip to Kenya was the first time we used Fair Trade Safaris. Hands down, the most organized, seamless experience I’ve had in Africa. Their vehicles are well maintained and definitely the nicest and cleanest of all the ones we saw. This is huge given the amount of time you spend in the vehicle on safari.
Most important is the driver/guide! I’ve learned that overall success on safaris depends on this. Our guide, Steve, is the best in the business. Apart from being a terrific spotter and a wealth of knowledge about all things Kenya, his passion for what he does is so contagious and refreshing. He made our trip extraordinary! I wanted to see a Leopard and he spent an hour tracking a leopard. At first, I thought he was crazy because he was going in the opposite direction that everyone else was going in. He told us that the other vehicles had spotted a pride of lions but that they had just eaten so they’d be laying around for hours and promised us that we’d see them. Sure enough, he spotted the most majestic Leopard - and later a female cheetah and her cubs - and we had them all to ourselves! Later, of course, we drove back to see the lions and they were still there napping in all their glory. Highly recommend requesting Steve if you choose to visit Kenya. He’s a beautiful soul. If you ever have the privilege of meeting him, you’ll understand.
The overall lodging was fantastic as was the itinerary. We decided, on a whim, to fly back to Nairobi from the Masai Mara simply because we wanted the experience. We informed our guide and the owner of the company and let them know we’d grab an Uber from Nairobi Wilson airport to NBO. When we landed at Nairobi Wilson we were surprised to find a driver and car waiting for us organized by Fair Trade Safaris! They are always one step ahead and have contingency plans for everything!
We love that the company donates all profits to the wildlife and communities of the countries they operate in. At the astonishing rate habitats are being destroyed, this continues to be an important factor for us in terms of how and where we spend our money when we travel. The driver and his associates spoke with a tremendous amount of respect for the owner of Fair Trade Safaris. When the employees love and respect the boss that tells you everything! We will definitely use Fair Trade Safaris on our next African adventure!
Review by Sparkyswitch Galkowski4 months ago
I had heard so many people say that Africa was their all-time favorite trip. I didn’t want to get my expectations up too high. I am a member of ClubCorp and they had an offering through Fair Trade Safaris, a trip to Africa that included a gorilla trek! How cool is that? Knowing what a thorough job ClubCorp does when it vettes a vendor, I knew they would be pretty good. That trip did not work for us but I contacted Rob, the owner of Fair Trade Safari’s, and worked out a customized trip for June 2019. From the first contact to every detail, communication throughout our trip, and follow up after the trip, he was excellent. He had given me all of his suggestions for an itinerary that fit our interests and schedule. I researched myself each lodge, excursion, location, etc. he recommended. They all had great reviews, and after speaking with a travel agency and reviewing their suggestions, which by the way they charged me $150 to provide me with three itineraries, I found Fair Trade Safaris to be the best value, and most customized.
When we arrived in Africa we found that we had a driver/guide and a safari vehicle all to ourselves. That was a luxury I had not expected. Every lodge was lovely, ranging from remote to sophisticated with great beds and the warmest service. The food was very fresh and delicious, and another unexpected bonus was being greeted upon arrival usually with champagne and having very good South African wines and champagne gratis with your stay. An African safari is going to be one of your most expensive trips, but keep in mind that a large percentage of your funds are going to the government of the countries you visit. Pleasant surprise was how little extra we had to pay for anything once we started. Almost all of the meals, even including wines and champagnes, were included, and transportation, as you had agreed upon, was always easy and well-managed. You should tip generously, at least if you have the same experience as we did. There was a tip box at most lodges, and we saw far too many people who did not contribute. You really could not have asked for better service then we received at every lodge.
Rob has a business partnership with two safari operators in Africa. The gorilla trek was done with Ellington safari tours, and our drivers name was Roni. He was a lovely young man that had grown up in Rwanda, and it was very interesting to learn about the history and the people from someone who had lived it. He picked us up in Rwanda and took us to Uganda for Gorilla Trekking. This is simply an experience you should not miss. How they have worked to habituate these gorilla families so that humans can observe them very closely in their natural habitat is profound. Uganda is called the pearl of Africa because of its beauty. Our cottage sat high on a hill overlooking Lake Mutanda with it’s islands and volcano in the distance. The picturesque mosquito draped beds were in all the lodges, and this one had beautiful tropical flowers all around. My preconceived notion of Africa as nothing but long brown plains was completely erroneous. We had come at the end of the rainy season, and there was lush green in every area we visited. Even on the Serengeti, which means endless plains in Swahili, there were many areas of lush greens and watering holes still full. Temperatures were in the high 70s to low 80s every day. We also had followed Rob‘s suggestions on preparing our clothes, and had no problems at all with insects.
Then we have to talk about Rob‘s guide - Philip. I told Rob halfway through that I was running out of superlative‘s to describe Philip. I really believe he made all the difference in our trip. He has been guiding Safaris for 14 years. His extensive knowledge was fascinating, and his uncanny abilities and intuition in finding animals was nothing short of amazing. He had also done several tours with teams from National Geographic. He would both advise and position us for getting the best shots. While having lunch he heard from one of the other guides there was a herd of elephants at a nearby watering hole.
When we got there, the elephants were starting to leave and they weren’t very close to us. A dazzle of zebras was approaching the watering hole, and Philip explained to us how we could get a photo of them drinking and get their reflection in the water. He positioned us for the best lighting to do this. We did get great photos, and then he said he was going to drive to another place where he thought we would see the elephants. None of the other drivers came there, and after positioning us on the dirt road for about five minutes, the heard came out of the trees straight towards us and crossed the road right next to us. We got stunning pictures and videos. And this type of thing happened over and over during our time with Philip. We not only saw the big five and just about every other animal you could imagine, but we saw the vast majority of them up very closely. When we would send photos back home, our friends could not believe we’d taken them.
Philip is also one of the hardest working people I’ve ever met. He made it his goal every day to give us something special in the way of experiences. Everything about this trip far exceeded our expectations, especially Phillip.
I also found out after my trip that 100% of the profits are donated to African conservation of these animals. Rob, the owner, is a venture capitalist in Texas and a native of Africa. He was able to retire early and this is a passion of his. He is not a travel agent, and he does not organize tours for any other areas. He was so attentive to the details and to our enjoyment of the trip, I thought his paycheck must surely depend on it! I don’t think you can do much better than to have an owner who takes that kind of personal interest and does it out of passion and love for his country.
Review by Lemoine1 year ago
Fair Trade Safaris helped make our first trip to Africa one that we will never forget. Saurabh created a custom itinerary to Zimbabwe and South Africa for us based on our areas of interest, what we wanted to see, desired level of accommodations, budget, etc. The end result was an amazing two week trip with a great mix of different lodges, sightseeing (Victoria Falls), and game viewing (completed the Big Five!) that went smoothly from start to finish.
Saurabh helped us with planning from a whole year out. He was quick to answer our many questions, and even booked our inter-Africa flights for us. I will admit, I was a little nervous about going to Africa initially, but with Fair Trade Safaris I quickly realized that my concerns were unnecessary. Our transfer drivers were always ready and waiting to take us to our next destination/activity, the lodges booked for us were all lovely, and we never felt unsafe or not taken care of. All we had to worry about was what animals we were going to find on our next game drive!
I definitely want to go back to Africa again someday, and without hesitation I would entrust Fair Trade Safaris to plan that next trip.
Review by Redconniek Derrow1 year ago
I would highly recommend Fair Trade Safaris! The attention to detail was amazing, customer service flawless and the itinerary spot on. From start to finish, Fair Trade Safaris made our "bucket list" trip perfect!
Review by Biliki Wrighterp1 year ago
As first time travelers to South Africa, there was no way we could have put together a trip as streamlined as we were treated to from Fair Trade Safaris.
Every question (and there were many!) that we asked was quickly answered to our satisfaction.
We wanted to add to our trip and those accomodations were planned for us as efficiently as the main trip.
I recommend this organization fully.
Review by AusShop Helesfai1 year ago
First timers to South Africa/Zimababwe and we absolutely had the times of our lives. All of the safari sites were spectacular. Never had a doubt about what would happen as the itinerary was spot on. No worrying about how to transfer to the airport or to new accommodations. Someone was always waiting to give us a ride, this was the highlight for us as we have read many horror stories about folks not getting their proper transport. The choices of accommodations were perfect for us. Saurabh is definitely knowledgeable about the areas that we visited and gave us great insight on what to expect at each location. Each place fit or exceeded our expectations. My husband and I are normally not "tour" people, but we had no clue where to begin with our trip to Africa. Saurabh has been to Africa on numerous occasions, all we did was tell him what we were wanting to experience and he was able to make it happen. This allowed us to travel at ease knowing that everything was taken care of. I would highly recommend using Fair Trade Safaris. We cant wait to venture back one day. Definitely an experience to remember! Thank you for making our dreams come true.
Review by SonyaRoi1 year ago
Our trip exceeded our expectations. Fair Trade Safaris took the time to work closely with us and give us guidance for many months as we planned our itinerary and made many changes over the year leading up to our trip. With the final set of changes we did find some errors in our itinerary but these were quickly corrected by Fair Trade Safaris when pointed out and the trip went very smoothly. Everything was perfectly coordinated in Africa. The guides chosen for us were outstanding! (request Graham In Cape Town and/or the Wine Country and ask for Barnie on Safari!). Everything in Africa was perfectly coordinated with drivers, guides and accommodations communicating to assure we were always picked up on time and delivered safely to our next destinations. Accommodations were beautiful, the service was outstanding and we ate incredible food. Fair Trade was also the most cost-effective agent I researched AND gives profits to charities in Africa and uses responsible vendors who also work with African charities. I would recommend Fair Trade Safaris to anyone planning a trip to Africa.
Review by Trenna1 year ago
This was the most amazing vacation we have ever had! Fair Trade Safaris took such good care of us. From picking us up at the airport, on the safari's and then back to the airport. We travelled from Nairobi, down thru the Masai Mara, to Tanzania and the Serengeti, then back up to Mount Kilimanjaro, then back to Nairobi. Not one hiccup, not one complaint for the entire 2 weeks. Each transitions was seamless. Our drivers took care of it all! And the best part was the profits from our trip went back into Africa! I can't thank Saurabh enough for all his help in making this a trip of a lifetime!
Review by Neaner2 years ago
Fair Trade Safaris is the best experience I have ever had traveling. Everything was handled down to the smallest details. I was traveling with my grandson and a little apprehensive since it was his first time out of the country. What a FABULOUS experience we had! Everything went so smoothly and exceeded our expectations. Anyone who wishes to travel to South Africa would be well taken care of by Fair Trade Safaris! In a review it is hard to convey what a first class organization they are and how much they care about you and your family. Thank you Rob from the very bottom of my heart!
Review by SomeGuyFromTexas2 years ago
I just want to thank Saurabh and Fair Trades Safaris for putting together such a great trip. Everything went off without a miss from people meeting us as we got off the planes, taking us through customs, baggage collection to transportation to our destinations. Everyone was so nice where ever we went and all of the sites that Saurabh recommended were first class from Rovos Rail to Cape Town, Ngala Safari Lodge, Zambezi Queen and the Victoria Falls Hotel. Thanks again Saurabh for all your hard work and planning our trip of a lifetime.
Review by Godsclay2 years ago
I found Fair Trade through Club Corp and at the time was just thinking about planning a trip to Africa (the Motherland). So coincidentally, I happened to be reading a Club Corp magazine where this company was featured, so I reached out. I must say Saurabh and his team did a fantastic job! Made good recommendations and suggestions that I hadn't even thought of or would know to ask. If you like professionalism and if needed exclusivity this company is the way to go! The trip, the planning and attention to details was impressive! They even remembered it was my wife's birthday without me ever having to mention or remind our local dinner and lodging folks!
Great Job! Plan to use them again!
Review by Altyfon Tyszkowska2 years ago
This was my first experience with Fair Trade Safaris and I am pleased to say that from beginning to end it has exceeded my expectations! Saurabh guided us through the planning and every aspect of the trip was first class. I can honestly say that this was the best vacation of my life! Enjoyed Rovos Rail, Ngala Safari lodge, Zambezi Queen and Victoria Falls Hotel and all the experiences in between immensely! I whole heartedly would recommend Fair Trade Safaris to anyone planning a trip to Africa. Great Job Saurabh!
Review by Alcione2 years ago
Thank you Saurabh and Fair Trades for putting together a wonderful trip for us. From the time we landed till the time we departed there was always someone to greet us or guide us . The accommodation were top of the line and we would highly recommended Fair Trades tours to anyone. Thank you again for a great trip.
Review by Fanta Traore2 years ago
Saurabh did a wonderful job planning our trip to South Africa. He took care of everything that we needed from the moment we landed in Johannesburg. All of our in-Africa flights, airport transfers, tour guides, the Safari! and hotels... everything was top notch. I look forward to returning to Africa. This time to explore other countries... I'm hooked!
Review by Maralynn2 years ago
Thanks to Fair Trade Safaris for one of our most memorable trips ever!!!! A special thanks to Saurabh for his help and expertise in planning a perfect itinerary for our time in Africa. All of our accommodations were top notch, with staff that were so very attentive. On safari we had the very best guide and tracker, who were able to locate and show us all of the "Big Five"!!!! Our guide in Cape Town was excellent and so very knowledgeable. We had a great time enjoying the beautiful sights of Cape Town. Then on to Victoria Falls where we enjoyed a relaxing stay at the beautifully appointed Victoria Falls Safari Lodge. We just can't say enough about Fair Trade Safaris and their ability to put together a perfect itinerary at a fair price!!! Every detail was taken care of, along with all information we needed before and during our stay in Africa.... Thanks again, Saurabh and Fair Trade Safaris!
Review by Jeanraj Arsicaud2 years ago
I was just about to book with another company when I was introduced to Fair Trade Safaris. From the opening conversation, they were heads and shoulders above any of the rest.
The setting up was easy and the trip itself was nothing short of amazing. Airport pickup, fantastic stays, top notch guides (thanks for catching the signs of AMS early) and the food on the mountain...wow. We wanted for nothing. They even sent a Sherpa up the mountain to bring me a birthday cake!! So unexpected and Thank you.
The safari was super cool as well. Saw 4 of the Big 5 and 7 of the big 9. From arrival to departure, there was no wondering if things had been planned out. It was seamless. I would recommend them without a doubt. I got WAY more than I paid for in my opinion.
Review by Untamedshrew2 years ago
Fair Trade Safaris planned a fabulous trip to Tanzania and Zanzibar for me, my fiancee, and our good friend. We knew we wanted to climb Kilimanjaro, go on safari, and then have some downtown on the beach in Zanzibar, but didn't know much about where exactly to go. Saurabh put together an excellent itinerary, respected our budget, and took care of all the logistics we tend to forget about-- ground transportation between places, how to get our climbing gear to meet us in Zanzibar.
Saurabh checked in with us frequently once we got to Tanzania, and continued to ensure everything ran smoothly. He clearly knows the best local operators and guides. We were thrilled with our climbing team, our Safari guide, and our guide for a couple excursions in Zanzibar (spice farm tour and walking tour of stone town). Even when we came back, Saurabh followed up with us to make sure everything met our needs/expectations, and for feedback on anything we would have changed/done differently (very little!)
I would most highly recommend working with FTS!
Review by Moreta2 years ago
We were recently married in early October 2015 and took our long-awaited honeymoon shortly thereafter to Tanzania and Zanzibar. I'd always planned to take my wife on a safari trip, having been on one in Kruger National Park, South Africa back in 2009.
Because I wanted the trip to be perfect, the planning was lengthy and detailed, yet very streamlined and painless...thanks to Saurabh Khetrapal of Fair Trade Safaris, who went exceedingly above and beyond what I'd've ever anticipated. He took the time to not only share his vast experience with booking airfare using my accumulated credit card points, but also shared his knowledge about the various lodges in Tanzania; a majority of which he'd been to himself. Saurabh was always very prompt with responses whenever I had questions, and stayed dependable the entire time. Professional, yet personal.
The trip started off with a business class flight aboard one of the world's most prestigious airlines and ended in a beautiful natural picturesque resort in Zanzibar. The attention to detail paid off and our stays at &Beyond Klein's camp and Ngorongoro Crater Lodge were wonderful.
A staff member met us at the airport in Dar Es Salaam and helped us through the foreign check-in process and through airport security. Then a personal driver picked us up at our bush airport destination and was with us throughout our 6 day stay in the Serengeti.
My wife was blown away by the hot air balloon surprise over the central Serengeti which Fair Trade Safaris not only suggested, but of course helped me plan.
Our trip ended in a tropical paradise on a very relaxing quiet natural resort in the north of Zanzibar.
FTS unquestionably got me the best rates for our luxury honeymoon travel package; and given the mission statement and commitment of FTS to donate 100% of its profits to local African community projects and wildlife conservation in the region, while hiring locals, our money could not have been better spent.
- Okem & Olamide (Austin, TX)
Review by Tomorrowland2 years ago
I decided that I wanted to go to Tanzania this summer. A family member suggested that I call FTS. When I called we worked on a budget that was friendly to my pockets and after that the planning began. My planning agent kept in touch before,during and even after my trip. They made my trip so memorable and stress free. This is a trip I will be talking about for years to come. I would recommend them to anyone who wants to travel. Great company!
Review by McBravos3 years ago
My trip with fair trade Safaris in July 2016 was amazing experience...an opportunity with so many interesting facets that I was able to choose and participate in those things that I found most fun or were closest to my heart.
- a wildlife safari par excellence with some nights in the wild under tents and others in five start lodges;
- a photography intensive class with expert photographers providing free instruction;
- both for ipod photographers and for those who had greater expertise
and passion in photography
- an opportunity to participate in a social service enterprise in Africa
- a time to sit with those on the other side of the world and exchange life stories
- a visit to the Masai tribal village and ways
- long walks and sunrises on the white beaches of Zanzibar island
- a learning of the dangers to elephants, rhinos and lions from poachers and illegal markets
- a classroom to learn of the intense efforts that conservationists are making to defend the animals of Africa
- a dream to see millions of herds of cattle and wild animals wander and cross the Serengeti
- a privilege to live for a few days in a land owned by Lions and Elephants and to watch them live their lives
This was more than a safari trip for the summer...
it was a multi-dimensional experience lived in one compressed 2-weeks out on the African plains.
I would go again in a heartbeat and take my kids this time!
Review by TKinSoCal3 years ago
On our recent trip to Tanzania and Zanzibar, we had an amazing experience with Fair Trade Safaris. We spent a week in Zanzibar between old town and the beaches for a 20th anniversary trip. We were able to do everything we wanted, beaches, culture, food, spice tour, local bazaar, and everything was seamless.
There is no substitute for on the ground knowledge. Fair Trade is unique. It is run by an ex Silicon Valley guy who lives in the US but grew up in Africa. And that's the difference. Being able to communicate with someone who will understand your budget and specific goals for the trip, or lack of them :) From the moment we arrived in Africa to the moment we left, we had constant communication with them and all of the various tour operations came on time. Even when there were any minor delays we were well informed and never waiting. Thanks for a most memorable trip.
Next year, South Africa!!
Review by Zhengjie Kendhammer3 years ago
I can’t say enough about the amazing trip of a lifetime that Saurabh and the team at Fair Trade Safaris put together for us. When my friends and I started seriously planning our trip to Tanzania earlier this year, we knew we were going to need the assistance and advice of someone with extensive knowledge and experience in planning the type of trip we wanted. Luckily, I happened to have friends who used Fair Trade Safaris to plan their trip, and they highly recommended Saurabh and his team at FTS. We spent several months working with Saurabh to plan the perfect itinerary within our budget. We had a vague outline of a trip in mind – climb Kilimanjaro, go on a safari, and then head to a beach in Zanzibar for some rest and relaxation. Saurabh was able to take our outline and turn it into a detailed day-by-day itinerary. He was patient with us and spent a lot of time answering all our questions and dealing with the various modifications we kept requesting to the itinerary. This was also a trip that required a lot of logistics, and Saurabh made sure nothing fell through the cracks and that we were always well taken care of. Once we arrived in Tanzania, Saurabh checked in with us frequently to make sure everything was going smoothly. We were thrilled with the team of guides and porters Saurabh arranged for the Kilimanjaro climb. We were lucky to all reach the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, and I have no doubt that it was in large part due to the team and especially the guides we had with us on the mountain. After the climb, Saurabh arranged a private safari for us and once again, we had a great guide who was very knowledgeable about the wildlife and very focused on what we wanted to see. Saurabh booked us in various camps and lodges in the Tanganyika Wilderness Camps portfolio– my favorites happened to be the tented camps (Mara Under Canvas and Serengeti Kati Kati). There was just something magical about being in these camps, surrounded by wilderness and wildlife, and disconnected from our phones and computers. We were extremely lucky with wildlife sightings on safari as well! Our trip ended in Zanzibar and Saurabh’s recommendation for a beach resort (Ras Nungwi) was the perfect place to spend time relaxing. The views were wonderful, the rooms spacious and comfortable, and the staff was amazing and attentive. We had a fantastic time on our trip, and I can’t imagine what would have made it better. I highly recommend working with Saurabh and FTS!
Review by Frankin3 years ago
I had a great opportunity to travel with Fair Trade Safaris for the first time. The experience was amazing. The lodges, tents, transportation and culinary experiences were perfect. Everything was very well choriographed and there was always that personal touch!
The CEO of Fair Trade Safaris is Saurabh Khetrapal, who had dedicated his life on philanthropic missions plans out these trips so that guests have a chance of "Giving Back". This journey also had a philanthropic touch to it. I and my wife throughly enjoyed the wildlife safari itinerary and we would have no reservations in recommending Fair Trade Safaris!