Most of the trip was great. The tour planner, who organized our trip, did a great job overall. She was attentive, responsive and professional. The lodgings she chose for our first 3 legs of our journey were incredible.
The last leg of our trip (In Victoria Falls) was problematic. We arrived at our lodging and to our surprise found that the room we had been booked in had no bathroom door and only a 3/4 wall separating the bedroom and bathroom. This, of course, was unacceptable for a mother and son situation. Additionally, there was a weather related power loss in the lodge and the room was extremely hot due to the fact that the generator was not able to keep up with the recurring on/off of the electricity. My son was very sick with a fever, so this situation was not good. I told the management that I wanted to move to a different hotel and wanted to be reimbursed for the room. They refused and only offered a relocation to another lodge of theirs across the street. This room resembled a concrete bunker (literally had a lot of concrete in the room) - it did address the bathroom situation, however they were having the same challenges with their generator. They kept saying the generator was working fine, but when the electricity would go out (frequently), the generator would take time to kick in and get come cooling into the room. I was fearful that my son’s fever and illness would worsen. We had to move, which cost me an additional $1,400 U.S. The lodge management still refused to reimburse me. So my trip cost me an unexpected $1,400. When I told the tour planner that I felt she she ‘owned’ responsibility for booking us a room without appropriate bathroom accommodations, she said she felt there was no way she could have known. However, a simple search of the bad comments of sites like TripAdvisor show that this is a repeated issue with this lodge - and that the management is habitualy unresponsive. I feel it is the travel person’s job to know this kind of thing. So, while I appreciate all the work the tour planner did, I feel she fell down on this part of the booking - and it cost me a lot of money!!
I loved CapeTown. The Safari was AMAZING (Thornybush Water Lodge). The hotel in Johannesburg was incredible and luxurious, and Devil’s Pool in Victoria Falls was an experience of a lifetime.
I would vet each hotel and lodging myself before approving them. I didn’t think I had to do that.
Travel Company Response
Thank you for your kind words and positive review. I appreciate your feedback regarding both the highlights and some negative experiences.
At the tour company we strive to create outstanding & unforgettable experiences for our clients and any negative feedback is taken very seriously. We were so sorry to hear that your son had a fever during his stay in Victoria Falls and we hope he has made a speedy recovery. We know very well that being sick whilst travelling can be a miserable experience. It is also frustrating that in Africa there are sometimes power-cuts and generators are brought into operation. When it is hot and humid the generators can struggle to keep up which we know and understand can cause discomfort but this is a regular occurrence (and sometimes considered part of the adventure) of travel in Africa.
We have followed up with the hotel in Victoria Falls and, while they did offer to move you to a different room, and we have made many clients love their stay there, we will definitely reconsider using them again in the future for our clients. We had made them aware that this was a mother and son travelling together so it was unfortunate that your room did not feature a bathroom door. My mistake perhaps also was arranging the more economical accommodation option to respect the budget. Of course there are many more exclusive options in Victoria Falls and the hotel you chose to move to is one of the finest in the region and we trust you enjoyed your stay there.
Again, thank you for travelling with us and for your review.
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