I was very disappointed with the level of service we received from this Tanzania safari tour operator. When we arrived in Dar es Salaam, there was no one to meet us to take us to our hotel. It was dark out, we had no Tanzanian money and no cell phone - not a great way to start our trip. When we called the local contact provided by the tour operator, he had no idea who we were and had no details regarding our arrival.
The problems continued the next morning, when no one showed up to take us to the airport for our flight to Selous. Not only did we almost miss our flight, but we didn't have enough time to stop by an ATM, so we had very limited funds during our stay at the safari camp, which of course did not take credit card.
I also think that our travel agent should have made clear that an "all-inclusive resort" includes food only, and that all beverages - including water - are charged separately.
All in all, I would not use this travel company again, and I would not recommend their services to other travelers.
The safari leg of the trip was amazing. Our guides were so knowledgeable. We also really liked our resort in Tanzania - Konokono. It's a newer resort and not as well known, but I would definitely recommend it to other travelers. The bungalows were lovely, and the service was great.
I would use a different travel company.
Travel Company's Comments
We were very sorry about what occurred on Ms. Gweon’s trip. In this case there was absolutely nothing any company could have done. Dar es Salaam was an overnight stop enroute to her safari. We booked transportation and hotel with the very reputable Kempenski hotel chain. The very night that the party arrive the hotel ownership was changed over the Hyatt. Even after we double checked and reconfirmed her transfers the hotel did not provide the service.It was very unfortunate and if one checks press regarding this situation we were not the only company’s travelers that suffered.
When checking with our office in Arusha, we found that Ms. Gweon did call, with a bad connection. Our office certainly knew who she was as they had done all her bookings. I really do believe this was a miscommunication – especially since the director of the office had just been on the phone discussing her missed transfers with the Dar Es Salaam hotel.
I am glad they enjoyed the safari leg of the trip. I cannot apologize enough for what occurred. Ultimately our company has to assume responsibility but this situation was truly out of our control.
Related Press Regarding the Problem of Dar es Salaam Kempenski hotel turned over to Hyatt
Dated August 11, 2011
Hundreds of travelers headed to Tanzania remain in limbo this morning as a result of a high profile controversy involving one of Europe’s most prestigious hotel chains, a controversy ensnared in the Serengeti Highway debacle.
Late last month ASB Tanzania Investments, the owners of The Kilimanjaro Hotel in Dar and Bilila Lodge in the Serengeti, announced Hyatt would be taking over from Kempinski. In May they had announced Kempinski had withdrawn from managing the Zamani Resort on Zanzibar, and that hotel continued to operate with local management until this week.But Hyatt has announced it is taking over only the Kilimanjaro hotel in Dar. Email addresses, phones, websites have disappeared for Bilila Lodge and Zamani Resort.
What are tourists doing when they arrive these places, now? I can’t imagine Bilila abandoned; I was there only a few months ago. It’s a palace in the wasteland, a luxury convention resort. But no one answers phones or emails.
No notification was given those who were confirmed into the properties, nor to their agents or tour operators. Reserved travelers are in limbo.
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