Nancy Wiesenfeld review 4 Oct 2015
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?
Most memorable moments were the sunset cruise and land safari at Chobe National Park in Botswana. Also camping at Elephant Sands where you can see elephants at a waterhole for hours.
2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?
By all means go to southern Africa but do NOT book with this vacation provider. Before I booked I asked about what vehicle would be used on this trip. I was told about their great safari truck but for Game Trails both camping and accommodation trips they only use a minivan. It was a terrible to use for safari when 2 or 3 people (if the trip is full) have to peer through a partially open window of only a few inches on each side. Not a good experience. So find a company that honors its words.
3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Only in the Okavango did I feel the trip benefitted local people as they did the poling. We had to buy bottled water instead of having a truck have a tank like many overland vehicles so there was a negative environmental impact even if we bought big bottles.
4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?
Africa is wonderful so I still had a wonderful time but it would have been better in a safari truck instead of a cramped minivan.
Read the operator's response here:
Thank you very much for your feedback on your tour with us. We are obviously disappointed that you had some problems with the tour and I would like to work through your comments on the elements you were unhappy with.
The Chobe River cruise is an absolute highlight on all of our tours that go through the area and I am of course extremely happy that you loved the cruise; Elephant sands and that you had a wonderful vacation over all.
With regards to the vehicle you travelled in, I have gone through all of your correspondence with our team and see that we sent you images of the trucks but failed to mention in the emails that this tour does also run sometimes run in a Minibus or Mecedes Benz Sprinter. My sincerest apologies if the communication in the emails was not 100% clear.
We do mention in our detailed itinerary, that you would have received, that the tour operates with 4WD (for certain activities ie: Matopos, Hwange, Chobe and the Okavango Delta) and safari truck or minibus for the travel and remainder of the tour. Under the transport section of the itinerary this is mentioned again. I do apologise that this was not made clear in the email correspondence. I do not feel that we purposefully mislead you or that we did no honour our word but I believe that the omitted information in the email is misleading and I understand your unhappiness about this. Again please accept my apologies.
I would also like to comment on how your tour benefits local people as this is a very important aspect of the tour for us. On this trip we employ local operator companies in Matobos, Hwange, and Chobe where all the game drive activities are operated in local vehicles with local guides. We employ local guides in Great Zimbabwe and Victoria Falls for the walking activities and this is in addition to our Okavango local guides (for whom we also have the SOS tree project running).
We pay entrance fees to all national parks, we shop at local shops throughout the tour for food supplies and our guides are local beneficiaries supporting their families by working for us.
Also by booking with us the entire tour fund is paid to Southern Africa, there is not an admin or profit portion held by a foreign tour operator.
So I truly believe that we are supporting local people and communities as far as possible on this tour and on our other tours. I do hope that this gives you more information and makes you know that you have contributed to local communities who have benefited from you traveling with us.
Thank you for traveling with us, I am pleased you had a lovely vacation overall and hope you would reconsider traveling with us in the future.
If you have any questions at any time please do not hesitate to contact me.