I found a “safari operator” on safaribookings.com, a Mohamed from Travel Africa Safari Agency. We confirmed my itinerary, including two nights in the Serengeti, for which I booked myself nicer accomodations. Everything was “yes, yes” until I paid 5% deposit. He then gave me a different itinerary, said he would fix the issue and then ghosted me one week before I was to arrive. Since he knew which hotel I was staying in, I had to email to cancel the tour in case he showed up demanding cash. Of course, I never got my deposit back!
On the ground, I found out he was unlicensed and actually one of the many middle men taking a cut and putting tourists onto generic tours or day trips organized by another company. So a bit like the guys on the side of the street trying to sell you trips, except he has a website.
Unfortunately, I got scammed by two operators on this trip – I’m going to write about the second guy in a separate post.