Travel reviews

Travel reviews by Mrs C from Southwest USA

Wonderful Safari

On this trip, I visited Botswana, South Africa & Zimbabwe between 27-May-2017 and 12-Jun-2017 and I travelled with 6 other people.

Overall my trip experience was:


I have tried hard to frame my comments from a specific point of view of an ex tour operator. The majority of our party was overwhelmingly satisfied. My dissatisfaction with Kwando comes from (perhaps unrealistic) previous expectations. The animals, the service, the camps, and the people were all 5 stars. I purposely put off giving this feedback to gain some perspective on the events of the trip, and I feel like what I have said is justified and fair.

I would like to offer some feedback to ExpertAfrica specifically - we were very frustrated with the lack of a final reconciliation 2 months before we left. We were trying to make our individual final payments and there seemed to be no way for us to get a list that said, PAX #1 owes THIS, PAX #2 owes THIS, etc. We ended up having to sit down with literally pages of payment records, separate out our own credit card surcharges, subtract our own payments made to come up with final payment amounts. It was EXCEEDINGLY frustrating. I can't believe that we are the first group travel you've ever dealt with - so it baffles me that a clear and final reconciliation was not provided. I went round and round via email, and requested this several times in several ways, but got the impression that I was asking the impossible.

In addition, I asked about tour arrangements in Cape Town, and was quoted USD75 per person to join a scheduled bus tour. When I asked about a private mini-van, the price doubled. I did a little research and booked privately with a well-known, well regarded tour company who gave us private tours for USD60 per person inclusive of wine tastings and park fees. My issue was that I had no means of contacting them once we were on holiday - although they were great and checked in with Acorn House, and it all went off just perfectly. it would have been much simpler to do this through Expert Africa and I cannot believe that with an office there you can't do better than what was quoted. The LEAST you could do is offer a recommendation of a company you like to save your clients the trouble of finding out. This booking was over USD40,000 and I had to do a lot of the legwork myself - don't get me started on international air because thats a different can of worms. I understand if you can't offer consolidator fares from the US, but arrangements need to be made if you're serving the American market.

Feedback response

We’re very pleased that this group of travellers enjoyed their overall trip.

Amidst the successes, we’re sorry about the admin side of things when it came to their individual balance of payments. We have explained that we have a fairly new reservation system, and we’re still ironing out the finer details. Separate payments, joint bookings, credit card surcharges and individual amounts all led to some confusion on both sides. We're very sorry about the inconvenience caused. It's a good lesson learnt!

I stayed at and have reviewed:

Place Overall rating
Ilala Lodge, Zimbabwe
27-May-2017 review: Great service great location
Lebala Camp, Botswana
29-May-2017 review: Good animals
Kwara Camp, Botswana
1-Jun-2017 review: good variety of activities
Camp Kalahari, Botswana
4-Jun-2017 review: Best by far - highlight of the trip
Acorn House, South Africa
7-Jun-2017 review: Good location, wonderful staff