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Discover Namibia Tours & Safaris - Gemma Dry

It’s really the strangest thing – submitted the following review to trip advisor on Discover Namibia Tours & Safaris about 5 days ago, saw it posted there, received several emails from Gemma denying all so she saw it, yet today TA advises they can’t publish it because guidelines weren’t followed and now the review has been removed!

Hmmmm??? Puzzling isn’t it???

Oh well – Trip Advisor suggested I share my experience on the forums instead -- so here it is. And yes I realize there are many supporters of Discover Namibia Tours & Safaris and many have had a great experience with them. Regrettably, altho I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Namibia, there were aspects of the service received that simply did not meet my expectations and I would be remiss in not sharing them with others.
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Amongst the 3 tour operators contacted Gemma Dry appeared the most efficient in her responses and was slightly cheaper than the others. So despite knowing several others who’s communication with this company stopped abruptly for no apparent reason, and the trip advisor reviews were mostly positive, I chose Discover Namibia Tours & Safaris.

Gemma always happily obliged any changes and was enthusiastic in her responses however there were too many areas of service that were extremely disappointing making Discover Namibia a company I cannot, with clear conscience, recommend.

1.) Most devastating of all was a flight from Sossusvlei to Swakopmund where I repeatedly asked Gemma if the flight took me over the place where the dunes met the Atlantic, because if it didn’t I would book a separate scenic flight as this was high on my bucket list. And each time Ms Dry assured me the flight was scenic & would fly over the Forbidden Coast.

Well guess what? It didn’t fly over the Forbidden Coast nor anywhere close to any water but rather it was a direct flight from the desert to the Swakopmund airport!!

Ms Dry was very empathetic blaming it all on the airline because she most certainly booked a scenic flight for me and she would be speaking to management about it and blah blah blah. There was also another little incident with this flight which I won’t elaborate on since it was a situation out of everyone’s control.

I contacted the airline when I got home explaining what happened and how dissatisfied I was with their service only to find out a) a scenic flight was never booked and b) Gemma’s booking was only made a week before and the airline did their very best to accommodate as they were already quite booked up. My itinerary was finalized months before so it’s unclear why she waited for just a week before to book.

I didn’t advise Gemma of my contact with the airline and she did continue to bring up how she hadn’t received any response to her emails until recently when she stated “they informed me that they now charge a whopping extra fee for a scenic flight and it is no longer standard with their seat rates like XXXXX Air they have also sent no further correspondence.”

So I contacted the airline again asking if they had recently changed the flight to a direct flight to which they replied “We never had a change in this flight, there are 2 options available, a DIRECT flight or a SCENIC flight. This has always been the case.”

2.) I requested a waterhole chalet in Okaukeujo however the booking was for a standard room & there were no chalets available those days.

3.) For my week self-driving I requested a Toyota Rav – with so many hiccups (there are others but this is too long already) I asked my guide to check that a vehicle would be waiting for me, yes Gemma replied a nice Hilux would be waiting – What?! I didn’t want a huge Hilux just a Rav!! – I was told the car rental agency suddenly decided they would not deliver the vehicle to Otjirawarongo so she changed agencies and when she heard I didn’t want the Hilux the vehicle changed to a Land Cruiser. Whaaaat???!!! Where’s the Rav??? Gemma knew I was a short 61 year old woman with arthritic knees and she rents me a Land Cruiser???!!! Anyway after a 5 hour delay because it seems Gemma didn’t mention the guest house for delivering the vehicle to was 3 ½ hrs away– the humungous Land Cruiser arrived.

Now to be fair Gemma was quick to refund money for the difference in rooms and a few other things and I wasn’t charged more for the Land Cruiser I didn’t want but there were just far too many hiccups with the organization of this trip and always someone else to blame which I’m confident will be pointed out in her reply to this review.

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