Intrepid Travel vs Kensington Tours - Tour Companies Compared

Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.

Rating Breakdown
Overall — 5
Value — 4.7
Guide — 4.7
Activities — 4.7
Lodging — 4.7
Transportation — 4.7
Meals — 4.7
Overall — 0
Value — 0.0
Guide — 0.0
Activities — 0.0
Lodging — 0.0
Transportation — 0.0
Meals — 0.0
Recent Reviews

Loved camping with Intrepid

5.0 June 2018
LR
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Loved this trip. Camping in very nice places - usually had hot water and nice showers. Great itinerary - LOVED Namibia and the variety of the tour from the desert to the delta to the parks.

Intrepid did an incredible job

5.0 December 2017
ATFT
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Thailand Cambodia Trip. Nov 2017. For my 60th birthday I decided I wanted to take my family of 6 to Thailand and Cambodia. After my initial conversation with the Intrepid office, they pulled together a perfect 24 day custom itinerary for us. My Intrepid coordinator really listened. We set up a incredibly diverse trip, ranging from ocean front resorts to a primitive hillside village trek. From the minute we landed in Bangkok, to the day we flew home, all transfers went off with out a hitch. What really made our trip memorable was our local guides. Every single one of them were warm, professional, humorous but most importantly, had a deep knowledge of the geography, the plant life, dining, the history and government. We felt by the end of the trip, these guides had become a part of our family. The entire trip was amazing and we will definitely use Intrepid for our next adventure travel. Thanks so much.
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great tour

5.0 October 2017
k
Recommends
  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 3.0
the guide was very knowledgeable - friendly - great sense of humour - looking out for the safety of the tour members - organised - thoroughly nice guy

A First Class African Safari with every logistical detail taken care of

5.0 June 2016
HB
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
My wife and I have gone on a number of previous African safari trips, but this is the first time I used Kensington Tours because we wanted to go to countries and into the depth of the bush we had not traveled before. Plus friends of ours had never been to Africa and I wanted to be sure they enjoyed the experience. Working with American Express who facilitated our selection of Joline at Kensington far exceeded our expectations. We traveled to Sabi Sands in South Africa, Victoria Falls in Zambia, and to Botswana to experience a true bush safari.

What was so special about Kensington was their logistic planning. We were met at airports to escort us through customs and baggage, and we never had to worry about transportation connections. A perfect example was leaving Zambia to go to Botswana. We were picked up at the Zambia lodge and driven to the border where we were escorted through customs. Then another driver took over and drove us to the port at the river we had to cross. Then a boat met us and took us across the river where we were met by another driver who took us to the airport where we caught a small plane to our lodge in the Okavango Delta. When we landed we were picked up and taken to the lodge. It moved like clockwork. We never had to wait at any transfer point. Imagine trying to arrange that on your own.

Jolene at Kensington selected lodges that blew us away. Each was small with a limited number of rooms/cabins usually averaging around 7-8 cabins per lodge for couples, and each having a high ratio of staff to guests. Each place was superb, starting with Lion Sands River Lodge in Sabi Sands where we saw the big 5 in the first 24 hours. Great Guide/Naturalist and Tracker assigned to us for the morning and evening safari's. Next we went to Zambia and stayed at the Islands of Siankaba Lodge in Livingstone, which was on an island, with the beautiful cabins on stilts facing the river. Our bed looked over the river with screens around us and with a deck out over the river. An exceptional experience and then finally we flew to Botswana and stayed at &Beyond Xudum Okavango Delta Lodge. You can only get there flying in on small planes, and your individual cabin/house was right in the bush, with its own individual swimming pool and viewing deck on the top of the house. Elephants traveled through the lodge grounds as did other wildlife. An exhilarating experience. You knew you were in Africa. I will definitely consider using Kensington Tours on future trips. And the best part is that it was a custom trip with a lot of value because the trip cost was comparable to A&K and National Geographic which were more fixed tours and usually had a minimum in the group of around 16 versus our 4 people going where we wanted in the order we wanted.
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Tour Kensington Tours Company Reviews

South African Tour Fantastic

5.0 June 2016
S
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Gareth was our tour representative and made this a wonderful trip. We had not used Kensington before and could not find reviews of the company online. However, we were extremely satisfied with our tour experience. Although he was not with us on the tour, it seemed that the company had everything set up and was with us every step of the way from our itinerary to each transfer and lodge.

The Victoria and Alfred Hotel was OK, but was in a great location. We did not know that the hotel was going to be under construction when we were there. It was only a minor inconvenience. Staying at the Waterfront was the best. We were near everything and took advantage of the wonderful restaurants and shopping. A must is Chocolates by Tomes.

Our tour to Table Mountain was magnificent. There was a fog that hung over the mountain which created the most spectacular scenes.

Our tour to Cape Point was great. We had a magnificent guide who was a bushman and shared with us so much of his knowledge. I could have stayed in the van all day just to listen to him. Sorry, but I cannot recall his name.

Our tour to the wine country was OK. We visited three wineries--we could have just done two. We did a wine and cheese are Fairview which was beautiful. We did a wine and chocolate. Both the wine and chocolate here was excellent. The last winery hosted a wine and olives which was really a wine and olive oil tasting. This one could be have been omitted for more time in some of the towns or local gardens.

Next, we flew off to Pondoro Game Lodge. The flight went off without a problem. Pondoro is in the northern area of the country. The staff was very accommodating to my dietary needs. The Chef was a gourmet chef with every dish prepared with taste and presentation at heart. The hotel was in a hilly area and all aspects of the hotel were connected by wooden walkways. These were quite challenging to navigate and I would not recommend this lodge in the rainy season. The game drives were fantastic and we were glad to have gone to South Africa in their winter.

Our last stop was Sabi Sabi Selati Camp. This was a 3 hour drive from Pondoro. It was a long drive, but we were very happy with this lodge. The food was not a good as at Pondoro, but the staff treated us like kings and queens. The terrain went from rocky at Pondoro to sandy at Sabi Sabi. Our Ranger, Kyle, was fantastic. Ask for him. He is so knowledgeable about the animals, the birds, and plants. He has a great sense of humor and we felt honored to spend time with him. He walked us to our cabin at night, arranged a special dinner for our anniversary, and ate dinner one evening with us.

This was truly a life experience and I want to thank Gareth for all his hard work in putting this tour together for us.
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Tour Kensington Tours Company Reviews

Feedback barely acknowledged

2.0 June 2016
A
Recommends
  • Value 2.0
  • Guide 2.0
  • Activities 2.0
  • Lodging 2.0
  • Transportation 2.0
  • Meals 2.0
I booked a tour of Poland in Oct 2014 (just reviewing now because I was trying to give the company the opportunity to reach back out to me). I talked to the sales consultant about my concerns about being a person of color in Poland because I had been warned by several friends. I mentioned to my sales consultant that I can go to another place in the region if she thinks it will be a be problem. My sales consultant said none of her guests have ever had a problem and I will be just fine in Poland. Upon my return, this is the email message I sent to Kensington Tours...

"I hope you are well. I want to give you some feedback now that I am back in the U.S.

My guide was very knowledgeable. However, she did make several biased statements about Roma people (also known as gypsies) and Jewish people that were a cause for concern. She stated that the Roma people did not work or go to school and only relied on state welfare (she did try to clean up her statement after I said if this is indicative of ALL Roma people). Clearly this is not the case for an entire group of people, and her views were biased and stereotypical. She also stated that Jewish people had big noses and gestured and looked differently than Polish people. She also stated that Jewish people don't live in Krakow because there isn't much finance work there and that is what Jewish people like. These were clearly biased statements and made me uncomfortable, especially given the history of Krakow.

We talked initially about my concern coming to Poland because of racism. You said that no other clients have had issues. Despite your assurances, I have to let you know that throughout my stay I was stared at, received funny looks and/or was ignored or dismissed, all of which made me very uncomfortable. I am sure it is because I am not White. I felt overall that the Polish culture may not be as outwardly friendly or welcoming as other places that I've traveled. I definitely felt I was targeted and treated negatively because I am not White. I asked my tour guide about racial groups and she said that there aren't really other racial groups in Poland. I think the lack of diversity in Poland definitely makes it a more hostile/uncomfortable place for people of color to travel.

It is very unlikely I will go back to Poland given the biased statements made by my tour guide (even though she was extremely knowledgeable) and how I was treated by Polish people. If you have other racial/ethnic minority clients I hope you share this information with them.

I hope this feedback is helpful."

My sales consultant said that she or someone from customer service would get in touch with me. Well, more than a year has passed with no follow-up. People looking at me funny because I am not White is not something Kensington Tours can control. However, it is a major problem when their tour guides make biased statements. I will never spend another dime on Kensington tours given their lack of follow-up on this feedback. I am glad I was traveling alone and not with family. I would hate for children to hear the statements made and taint their truly unbiased view of all people.
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Tour Kensington Tours Company Reviews

Tours 1,102 Trips 4 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 201 $ 439
Operator Type Mixed Land & Cruise Custom/Private Tour Operator
Size Global Operator Global Operator
Trip Types
  • Group Tours
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • Private Guided Trips
  • Custom Itineraries
Service Level Standard Luxury
Regions
  • North America
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Rivers & Seas
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
  • Antarctica & the Arctic
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
Known For
  • 18 - 35
  • Solo & Singles Travel
  • Safari
  • Trekking & Camping
  • Adventure
  • Sailing
  • 50+
  • Luxury
Headquarters Melbourne, Australia Wilmington, Delaware, USA
Year Established 1989 1999
Solo Friendly No single supplement N/A
Tour Languages English English
Top Trips
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Countries
About Intrepid Travel

Intrepid Travel is all about ‘real life experiences.’ Founded back in 1989 following an “intrepid” African adventure trip, Intrepid lives up to its name by offering up some pretty big adventures -- such as an 11-day hike through Papua New Guinea -- but is broad-based enough to also lead group trips to Hawaii, complete with sipping sunset Mai Tais on Waikiki Beach.

Intrepid Travel - Quick Facts

Founded in 1989

No Single Supplement (rare exceptions)

Small Groups - max 16 on most trips

Typical Age Range - 18 - 45

Travel Style - Cultural immersion, adventure, overland

Accommodation Style - Camping, Hostels, 3 /4 star hotels

Average Tour Price - $2,377

Top Regions - Asia, Africa, Europe, South America

Other Brands: Peregrine, Geckos

Commonly compared with G Adventures »

Morocco homestay with Intrepid Travel

What Makes Intrepid Travel Stand Out?

Above all else, Intrepid strives to get its travelers off the beaten path and under the surface of the local culture. To accomplish this, group sizes average just 10 travelers each, with a maximum of 16 on most trips. This allows for more use of local transportation and lodging, along with fostering cultural immersion.

Intrepid also employs local English-speaking leaders who act more as a resource for local exploration than do typical ‘guides,’ shepherding groups from one place to another.

Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Intrepid Travel?

Intrepid is one of the early pioneers of the “adventure”-style guided trip. Despite its informal beginnings and emphasis on younger, highly adventurous travelers, Intrepid has expanded to a global company with a broad range of trips to fit all ages.

Intrepid divides its small-group trips into three separate styles of travel, all priced accordingly. “Basix,” for budget travelers, keep inclusions to a minimum and offer plenty of free time, “Original” journeys which offer more included activities and more hotels, while “Comfort” trips offer the highest level of included activities and standards of accommodation, as well as roomier vehicles.

The kind of traveler who gravitates to Intrepid Travel is one who has a real sense of adventure - whether this means hard adventure, or simply going deeper off the beaten path. Interacting with locals is an important factor when you travel, as is gaining a unique cultural perspective. A sense of fun is also essential, whether it means going out at night with your tour mates or daring, ahem, encouraging each other to try strange new foods.

Top Destinations

Monk mediating in Myanmar on tour with Intrepid Travel

Originally focused on small group adventure tours to Asia, Intrepid has expanded rapidly over the years, while maintaining its classic, adventurous, and immersive style. Today Intrepid Travel offers more than 1,000 different experiences in over 100 countries, on all seven continents. Regions with the most trips include Asia, South America, Africa, and Europe.

Intrepid Travel Style

Intrepid enjoys using local, unique forms of transportation. You might find yourself traveling by felucca in Egypt, on a camel in Morocco, or in a tuk-tuk on the best Thailand tour of your life. Accommodations, which could range from guesthouses to home stays, are also locally owned, allowing a more authentic taste of the region while contributing to the local economy.

There are a few broad travel styles to choose from when deciding on an Intrepid tour:

1. Basix - Budget travelers who don’t mind, and in fact prefer, simple accommodations - camping and homestays with basic amenities, and crave a lot of free time for exploring independently will love these tours. Public transportation is used exclusively so pack light! These trips often attract a younger crowd who love the idea of throwing a backpack on, keep plenty of room for the unexpected in their schedule, and allocate their travel funds towards spontaneous bus tickets and street food instead of museum tours and 5 star restaurants.

2. Original - These trips take the backpacker spirit of local immersion, incorporating all the benefits that come with going with a planned itinerary. This style is called “Original” because it’s the type of travel that put Intrepid on the map...pun intended. Accommodations are still simple and budget minded - often homestays are used to give you a true sense of place, personality, and culture. Mostly public transportation is used.

3. Comfort - Intrepid is known for the active adventure style of travel and these trips keep that mentality, with a few more creature comforts thrown into the mix. You can expect higher end, more discerning, accommodations that include a wider variety of included amenities, transportation is mostly private, though you can still expect to use some public transport, as is the Intrepid way. More meals are included in the trip price, and more group activities - which means a bit less free time to explore on your own.

Why Choose a Tour With Intrepid Travel?

Sample of many spices in Middle Eastern market

Intrepid is a good choice if you don’t mind foregoing some creature comforts for a truly authentic, local experience. If you enjoy meeting locals when traveling, sampling new and exciting foods, and traveling in mixed-aged groups of 10-16 people, Intrepid could be a good fit for you.

It’s important to note, sometimes “ample free time” can be a blessing and a curse. It sounds great on paper, but if you’re looking to maximize your dollar and your vacation time, be sure you understand the implications of having a lot of free time during your itinerary.

For some travelers this is an absolute requirement, but for others it can be tough to branch off and explore independently - you also need to make sure you allocate enough travel money for independent meals. The tour leaders are great resources of information for how to spend your free time, but if you like having a full day scheduled from breakfast to dinner, Intrepid may not be the best company for you.

Lastly, if sustainable and responsible travel is important to you, Intrepid has poured millions of dollars into local economies, and has a very strong emphasis on responsible travel. So you can feel good knowing that your money helps support some of the innkeepers, vendors, and communities that you’ll meet along the way.

About Kensington Tours

Kensington Tours is an award winning travel company offering in depth tours with experienced guides, unique activities and premium to luxury accommodations.

What Makes Kensington Tours Stand Out?

Kensington Tours is, in their own words “not in the business of booking tours.” Rather they highlight the individuality aspect of each traveler - and their dedication to designing personalized experiences.

Specialized travel experiences created by knowledgeable experts in destinations and experiences. Their local guides add a personal touch as they provide true insider knowledge and make the trip that much more memorable. You can take multiple types of tours from safari to river cruise, active adventure to honeymoon. They also have a unique Explorer in Residence program where you can take a tour guided by explorers such as travel photographers and storm chasers.

They have highly trained, experienced, and knowledgeable destination experts who contribute to the experience by providing local insight, spontaneity, and breadth - so you don’t feel that you miss anything while exploring your destinations.

Who Will Enjoy Traveling With Kensington Tours?

Private dining in the Maldives with Kensington Tours

Kensington is a luxury operator; their travelers are well-to-do and value dedicated high class customer service, premier accommodations, and excellent cuisine.

Travelers on a tour with Kensington seek to explore the world in comfort, are adventurous with an appreciation for the finer things. If you’re the kind of person who makes room for hiking boots alongside a few dressy items in your suitcase, Kensington Tours could be a good fit for you.

Young woman traveling with Kensington Tours

As opposed to Abercrombie & Kent, which whom they are often compared, Kensington has a more youthful focus, less obviously geared toward older travelers. That said they are a recognizable name among the 55+ crowd and their primary traveler, simply by default of the budget range does tend to be older.

Top Destinations

Kensington operates tours around the world, utilizing local accommodation, and diving into the local culture. Knowledgeable and passionate destination experts are on hand to help bring the destination to life.  

Lion cubs yawning Kensington tours African safari

They are well known for their Africa tours and safaris, which travel throughout the most popular safari destinations, as well as farther afield. In addition, Kensington tours also operate trips in Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Europe, and South America. They also have cruise departures to Antarctica!

Kensington Tours Travel Style

Kensington certainly ascribes to the notion that “luxury” does not mean “stiff” or require that you stick to 5 star resorts. Rather it’s a style of travel that allows you to see the world on a deeper, extremely personal level - in safety, comfort, with a guide who becomes like a friend helping reveal small nuances that bring each destination to life in a new way.

Mountain lodge luxury accommodation Kensington Tours

Think luxury eco lodges in the heart of Central America, a yacht down the Amazon, 5 star safari lodges where you can sip champagne looking out over the savannah. Transportation is in luxury coaches, comfortable safari jeeps, hot air balloons, river cruises etc.

The Kensington travel perspective is not to book a tour - but to craft an unforgettable experience.

They have many travel styles including Safaris, which they are especially known for, river cruises, and family trips.

Safaris with Kensington Tours - Enjoy the “fabled” African safari experience when you travel with Kensington Tours in Africa. Unforgettable wildlife encounters, luxury lodges, and exclusive private game drives, where expert guides reveal the best viewing opportunities and give excellent tips for spotting and photographing the animals.

And it’s not just about the wildlife. Your safari may include a visit to Mt. Kilimanjaro, an afternoon visiting with local tribes, enjoying their hospitality, food, and learning about their culture.

Meeting people in local African villages cultural tours with Kensington tours

Active Adventures - True to their outlook on travel, Kensington combines the best of luxury with active adventure. This means whitewater rafting, hiking in Wales, or waterfall rappelling. A day full of activity followed by a well deserved cocktail in the sunset. Kensington adventure tours are offered in a variety of physical levels and are intended for beginners all the way up to hard core experienced adventure travelers.

Family tours with Kensington - Sometimes it can be hard traveling with young ones because not all activities are open to them, and age restrictions cause an unbalanced experience. So Kensington has several family tours designed for a variety of ages. Most feature a stay at one hotel or on a cruise, allowing you to unpack only once and relax into the travel experience.

Tribesmen playing traditional instruments on island tour with Kensington tours

Food & Wine - All Kensington tours feature spectacular food and wine, but sometimes you want to focus on this specifically - diving deeper into the culture surrounding a places culinary delights. These tours often feature private kitchen visits, winery tours with the winemaker themself, and classes where you can learn to make traditional dishes.

Couple on honeymoon enjoying private Kensington customized tour

Honeymoon - Let Kensington Tours help you plan the perfect Honeymoon getaway. Work with an expert who will listen to what kind of travel experience you’re looking for and craft an itinerary that is uniquely you.

Festivals & Events - Year round there are spectacular festivals and events held around the world - with countless niches and meanings. You could take in the fun of Oktoberfest, or the brightly colored Carnival in Rio, or the Tulip Festival in Holland. These events are often crowded, very busy, and can be difficult to navigate. Visiting with a Private Guide, and having all the logistics planned out in advance is the best way to relax and be able to truly appreciate the meaning behind the festival and have more fun!  

Easter island chile tour with Kensington tours

Other styles include “We to Me”, in which you participate in volunteering and conservation initiatives, giving back to local communities and helping keep wildlife areas protected. They also have an “Explorers Club” - tours that follow in the paths of scientists, and explorers both modern day and ancient. And for one of the best holiday traditions, you can book a special Christmas departure, which visits the lovely Christmas markets of Europe.

Why Choose a Tour With Kensington Tours?

If you’re looking for a luxury travel experience with a small, intimate group and private expert guides with you every step of the way, who promise to “transform a vacation into an experience of a lifetime,” then look no further.

Young hiker on active luxury tour with Kensington

The price is hefty (though some more mid budget options are available), but well worth it for a fully immersive, luxurious, comfortable, unforgettable travel experience. Don’t expect to only stick to the tourist sites; Kensington is about incorporating many off the beaten path unique experiences, as well as highlighting fascinating historical and cultural facts.

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