Travel reviews by The C family - New Jersey
On this trip, I visited Tanzania & Zanzibar between 15-Oct-2010 and 25-Oct-2010 and I travelled with 4 other people.
The trip as a whole was satisfactory.
The beginning didn't start off well. In our packet of papers sent by Expert Africa, they didn't give us a local phone number to reach the tour company. They gave us one that didn't work and it was an office number even though the tour company has an emergency cell phone. Thus when we missed our connecting flight, we weren't able to get in touch with the tour company.
Then the hotel on the packet was the wrong hotel so when we took a taxi to the hotel listed on the packet, it was not the right one. We ended up getting to our right hotel at midnight. Also on the packet it didn't tell us what the tour company's name was so nobody knew what tour group we were with.
The first guide was more of a driver and a person that could identify things. But didn't give us much more. Overall, if I had more time, I would have preferred to book things myself instead of going through Expert Africa. I don't think we needed to go to any of the smaller parks except for Ngorongoro and then on to the Serengeti. The way it was arranged, we were getting to the smaller parks in the middle of the afternoon when all the animals were asleep and hidden.
We are very sorry that some initial confusion lead to a poor start to this clients trip.
In every travel document pack we send out to our travellers, we include a local phone number for the safari company meeting them and tell them who that company will be. We also include an emergency contacts card, which lists the personal mobile phone numbers of every Expert Africa team member. This traveller emailed us when they missed their flight, but it was outside of office hours and we didn’t see it until the following day. In any case where a missed connection leads to a change in plan, we would request our travellers to call us on our personal numbers if it is after hours. If this traveller had called we could have ensured that they were met off their flight, which arrived much later than expected and at a different airport. That said, we should also have provided them with the 24hr number for the safari company meeting them which they may have used more readily than our personal numbers. We have now included this information in our travel packs for future travellers and we are very sorry this wasn’t included originally.
Unfortunately there was also some confusion over the ticket pack. The initial transfer voucher for the hotel stated ‘Arusha Airport to Arusha’ – this meant a pick up from the airport, and a transfer to Arusha town where their hotel was located. On the voucher is also the name of the company providing this service. This was then followed by the accommodation voucher stating the name of the hotel which was Shangazi House. This hotel was also confirmed in the travellers itinerary and invoice. We are sorry that our vouchers were misunderstood and we are looking at ways to make them clearer so that this doesn’t happen again.
We spent a long time looking at various itineraries with this traveller who wanted to fit a lot into ten days. We considered a couple of options that excluded the smaller parks but this traveller decided against them. This did lead to a rushed trip that we should perhaps have been a little more forceful in discouraging. We are sorry that this trip was too tiring for the group and lead to a trip that didn’t live up to their expectations.
In regards to the guide, we use a team who offer some of the best guides in northern Tanzania. We asked them about these comments and they were surprised – saying that he has had great feedback all season. We wonder if the initial issues on arrival resulted in a bad start to the trip, and that the guide failed to interact with these travellers as a result.
We are very disappointed that this traveller felt they would have been better booking their holiday direct. We try our best to offer a first rate service in planning and organising a perfect trip, that is actually the same price if not cheaper than booking it direct. We will continue to strive to achieve this, and have taken these comments on board to help improve what we do.
I stayed at and have reviewed:
16-Oct-2010 review: Lovely stay at Shangazi House
|Oliver's Camp, Tanzania
17-Oct-2010 review: Oliver's Camp review
|Gibb's Farm, Tanzania
18-Oct-2010 review: Gibb's Farm review
|Nomad Serengeti Safari Camp, Tanzania
20-Oct-2010 review: Amazing stay with Nomad!
|Mchanga Beach Lodge, Zanzibar
23-Oct-2010 review: Mchanga Beach Lodge review