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A1966

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Experiences : 2 | Discovered business : 0 | Votes : 1
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SMART TRAVELS & SAFARIS AFRICA Ltd-Moshi- Tanzania

Completely unreliable: I booked a car with driver with them for a recent safari to Mkomazi National Park (June 1st and 2nd, 2014). Car was booked by me with a formal mail dated April 28, 2014. In my booking I did reconfirm all conditions we had agreed upon: open-top 4x4 safari car with driver at the all-inclusive price of 250 USD/day for two days. In the same mail I mentioned the pick-up/drop-off location on both days (Same, just outside Mkomazi Park entrance), provided them with two Tanzanian mobile phones for contact purposes and informed that I would get in touch myself on May 31st to inform the exact details of our accommodation in Same (which I did not know at the time of the booking). On May 3rd I paid a deposit as requested. On the morning of June 1st a car turned up, albeit with some delay. Besides the driver, another person was present who cashed the balance payment and said goodbye. We headed to the Park, paid park fees for two days and entered. Straight away I noticed that the car engine had problems getting re-started. The driver did not seem to be bothered by this, so we carried on. Shortly after noon we stopped for some viewing and this is when the engine went dead. The driver uselessly sweated under the sun for over an hour, turning the ignition key all too frequently. Finally, he suggested that we push the car to start the engine, which we tried for another half hour, obviously not succeeding since a land rover cannot certainly be pushed on a dirt road having no gradient by 3 people, one of which a woman. There was no network coverage (we had 3 different network providers and none worked). The car had no radio system. We were well into the park, far from the gate and with no carin sight (Mkomazi is well out the usual tourist routes and we saw none around during our visit that day and the day after). We were getting close to desperate, when the driver turned the ignition key once more and the car suddently went back to life. We told the driver to take us directly to the gate without further stops and we reached the gate around 4 in the afternoon. I called the tour operator as soon as we got the network back. I was assured that the car would be fixed within the day and that the driver meet us on time the next morning. The next day the driver turned up with over an hour delay. He said he had no money for fuel because all the money he was left with had been spent on fixing the car; he added that we would have to stop the safari by noon latest as he had to make sure there was enough petrol for him to drive back to Moshi. We tried to contact the tour operator. Either no reply or line was disturbed and kept being cut off. Our text messages were unattended until the afternoon on that day. We started off and had another couple of hours orso of viewing, during which the driver informed us that he was not an employee of the tour operator, but he had been enrolled on the spot just for our specific “driving adventure”. He also said that that was not his car and he was unfamiliar with it as a result. Before noon we left the park. In short, two days of safari became two (stressful) half days. Additionally to having paid the car for two days while getting one day of service in exchange, we had also wasted 1 day of entrance fees. And most importantly, the onset of a nice holiday had been badly spoilt… After returning home I contacted the tour operator and claimed a refund of 250 USD. The counter offer was 50 USD, than 100 USD. Finally, I got written confirmation of a 200 USD refund, which I accepted. Over a month has gone by since that confirmation and no refund was made despite many reminders. Having said this and by way of a cheerful final note, I must also to say that I hired safari cars frequently in Tanzania over the past few years and I was lucky enough to come across correct and helpful people and the service was always satisfactory, so this is by far not the rule in Tanzania…

SMART TRAVELS & SAFARIS AFRICA Ltd-Moshi- Tanzania

Unreliable. I booked a car with driver with them for a recent safari to Mkomazi National Park (June 1st and 2nd, 2014). Car was booked with a formal mail dated April 28, 2014. In my booking I did reconfirm all conditions we had agreed upon: open-top 4x4 safari car with driver at the all-inclusive price of 250 USD/day for two days. In the same mail I mentioned the pick-up/drop-off location on both days (Same, just outside Mkomazi Park entrance), provided them with two Tanzanian mobile phones for contact purposes and informed that I would get in touch myself on May 31st to inform the exact details of our accommodation in Same (which I did not know at the time of the booking). On May 3rd I paid a deposit as requested. On the morning of June 1st a car turned up, albeit with some delay. Besides the driver, another person was present who cashed the balance payment and said goodbye. We headed to the Park, paid park fees for two days and entered. Straight away I noticed that the car engine had problems getting re-started. The driver did not seem to be bothered by this, so we carried on. Shortly after noon we stopped for some viewing and this is when the engine went dead. The driver uselessly sweated under the sun for over an hour, turning the ignition key all too frequently. Finally, he suggested that we push the car to start the engine, which we tried for another half hour, obviously not succeeding since a land rover cannot certainly be pushed on a dirt road having no gradient by 3 people, one of which a woman. There was no network coverage (we had 3 different network providers and none worked). The car had no radio system. We were well into the park, far from the gate and with no carin sight (Mkomazi is well out the usual tourist routes and we saw none around during our visit that day and the day after). We were getting close to desperate, when the driver turned the ignition key once more and the car suddently went back to life. We told the driver to take us directly to the gate without further stops and we reached the gate around 4 in the afternoon. I called the tour operator as soon as we got the network back. I was assured that the car would be fixed within the day and that the driver meet us on time the next morning. The next day the driver turned up with over an hour delay. He said he had no money for fuel because all the money he was left with had been spent on fixing the car; he added that we would have to stop the safari by noon latest as he had to make sure there was enough petrol for him to drive back to Moshi. We tried to contact the tour operator. Either no reply or line was disturbed and kept being cut off. Our text messages were unattended until the afternoon on that day. We started off and had another couple of hours orso of viewing, during which the driver informed us that he was not an employee of the tour operator, but he had been enrolled on the spot just for our specific “driving adventure”. He also said that that was not his car and he was unfamiliar with it as a result. Before noon we left the park. In short, two days of safari became two (stressful) half days. Additionally to having paid the car for two days while getting one day of service in exchange, we had also wasted 1 day of entrance fees. And most importantly, the onset of a nice holiday had been badly spoilt… After returning home I contacted the tour operator and claimed a refund of 250 USD. The counter offer was 50 USD, than 100 USD. Finally, July 22nd they verbally accepted a 200 USD refund. I am still waiting for the money despite many reminders.

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