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Botswana is the more expensive country for safaris in Africa

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Oct 31st, 2018, 06:25 AM
  #1
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Botswana is the more expensive country for safaris in Africa

NO VALUE for MY MONEY at all



the blinds were old , dirty and opaque so i didn't get the promissed wilderness view


WILDERNESS VUMBURAS PLAINS CAMP : the splendid pool , dedicated to birds, and not for travellers ! just unacceptable for wuch high rate


WILDERNESS VUMBURAS CAMP : the mosquito net falled on me when i was on my bed - just retained by the fan - this property is not maintained


WILDERNESS VUMBURAS CAMP i was supposed to have a wilderness view but the blinds were opaque and dirty
I booked a safari in Botswana with www.Wilderness-Safaris.com last September (in fact they send me to a travel agency which don't add any value).
I had 3 locations with Wilderness-safaris :
- Vumbura Plains was one camp and I have never paid such a high price for such a miserable camp. It was a weird experience for more than 2000 USD per night (yes i feel stupid to have accept to pay such incredible rate but i thought it will be an unforgettable experience - It was but not in the way i want). To resume, the private pool was green and the explanation was the pool was under a tree and birds were defecated in the pool ! I promise it's true and as this lodge have not been refurbished for years, i wonder why they don't protect the pool or change its location). The furniture and the room were faded and old, the plastic blinds were old, dusty and not clean so horrible because it was hiding the wilderness view i was suppose to have? And on top, one of the wires sustaining the mosquito net break when i was resting on my bed. I know it's incredible but unfortunately true. I published all pictures and a review about Vumburas but this review have been deleted by Tripadvisor without any explanation.
I republished it and this is the proof
- i have been also to Kalahari Plains , also with Wilderness-safaris : a very basic camp where you freeze at night and you cook in the day - No AC of course!
- and then Mombo which have been refurbished but the price is also indecent for the overall experience
so i will never go again in Botswana

Okavango Delta: Wilderness Safaris Vumbura Plains Camp
Pending “very bad experience for a very expensive camp”


So this camp has an amazing note just because the bad reviews, even true (i have the proof, i have the invoice and i already complained to Wilderness-Safaris about this horrible experience for such high rate. For 8 nights, I paid 2 years salary of many people working in western countries.
so never trust this company

and also Botswana is twice the rate of others safaris destinations , without any good reason - certainly not the confort, not the food and the safaris are good like other countries

don't be trapped like me

Many people mix the safari experience with the camp or lodge experience. Let me explain: I went to many countries for safaris and all were wonderful: Kenya, South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania .. So, of course, Botswana was good for safaris, but like others country, and certainly not better.
But Botswana is without any doubt the most expensive country for safaris and I really do not know why I paid so much money for such a disappointment

please no comments about the ridiculous price i paid, it's enough hard like this for me to have be scammed with no value for my money
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Oct 31st, 2018, 09:38 AM
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First of all, you are denigrating an entire nation because you felt cheated?

Vumbura Plains was renovated a few years ago. I was in both Vumbura Plains and Mombo last year. I very rarely write reviews but I did so because my experience at VP was so spectacular. Yes, those two camps are among the most expensive in all of Africa. (But not $2,000 per person per night unless rates have really risen this year)

But you knew all that beforehand. Why did you go?


Hard to believe that your photo of the pool was taken at VP.
This is my review of Vumbura Plains.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUser..._District.html





You know in advance what the price was. Did you not have great game viewing? You went in October, "suicide season" in southern Africa. Did you not expect heat in the Kalahari?

Last edited by ekscrunchy; Oct 31st, 2018 at 09:45 AM.
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Nov 18th, 2018, 08:51 AM
  #3
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answer for ekscrunchy

dear ekscrunchy

There is 3 camps in Vumburas Plains at a small distance and i am delighted for you but i have been advise to choose this one. I asked if the rooms in other camps were available but they refused.

Also i can be fine to freeze at night and cook during the day, but in that case, the rate can't be over 22,000 USD for 8 nights with short domestic flights and without the international flight
For the indecent price i paid, i think i can get the confort of a luxery lodge : so AC and wifi as nobody is obliged to switch on those devices if you like it raw. I paid more than 3000 USD per night for Vumburas Plains Camps and for me this unmaintained property has a value of 400 USD until they refurbish it. And the pool is unfortunately true : the birds were in the tree above the pool, very convenient to receive their droppings. And the location of the pool was unchanged for years as at least the last refurbish was 15 years ago and the property was in a bad condition.

I am far to be stupid and i am honnest. So if it was denigration, such strong and wealthy company (wilderness is selling their rooms at least 6 times their value so benefits can be very good) , they will have react but the pictures are unfortunaltely true. They just make pressure to delete my review on Tripavisor and they did 3 times and i have proofs. So i will republish. Vumbura Plains was rated 4.5 on 5 on Tripadvisor and it's a lie : for me they just deserve a 1.5 for a rate between 400 and 600 USD - certainly no more. And if they have 4.5 it's just because they succeed to delete the bad reviews, and mathemtically when you delete all the bad reviews : you increased seriously the average note. So Tripadvisor is just fake because i already had an exchange with them about that because it's not the 1st time they deleted my bad reviews, but they published the good ones and it's enough as millions of people in the world look their website as a bible to find a good place (hotel, experience, restaurant..) and i loose my vacations and 22 000 USD. For a cheaper rate you can go 3 weeks in Antactica and South Georgia, you can have a long stay the 5 stars hotels in New York, Tokyo or New York and have an unbelievable experience and value for your money I didn't get with Wilderness-Safaris which increased their rates by 3 in 8 years.
I don't denigrate the people or nation of Botswana but the behavior of a greedy company which waste my vacations offering bad lodges for a very expensive rate.

when you pay such high price , you are expecting a lot and they wasted my vacations with such poor lodges and such poor experience

and now i learned that other camps were better when they refused to move me, it's the worst because they know these camps had visibly a big difference of confort when they told me they have the same confort, so on top they are dishonnest and lie to me.

all the best
cd
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Nov 18th, 2018, 12:46 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: May 2005
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I am sorry for you and cannot understand that our stay was so fantastic and yours so poor.

Vumbura Plains has two lodges: North Lodge and South Lodge. There is also the water-based camp, Little Vumbura, which is less costly.

Not much else to say....I loved it and you hated it...again I am sorry you spent so much money and came away so disappointed. My sister was there last spring and also relished her stay there. Who did you book with? A travel agent in South Africa? (That is what both my sister and I did.perhaps you paid extra if you booked with an agent from afar...????)
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Nov 18th, 2018, 05:30 PM
  #5
 
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ekscrunchy: I think you can safely ignore this thread. Take a look at the OP's history . . . every single post has been about being scammed somewhere - be it Costa Rica, Tonga, St Lucia, Indonesia - and now Botswana. He has not had a positive experience anywhere. Must be the most unlucky traveler ever was . . .
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Nov 19th, 2018, 03:40 AM
  #6
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Dear Janis

I have been in all those places and in 160 countries since many years as i am retired and i travel a lot because it's is and was my life passion.
are you jalous of my life because you can't afford for it ? Find another target because you are denigrating me and you are completely wrong - My experiences are true . Ask me any country in your list and give me a way to send you the stamps for this country on my passport.

and i almost never post good reviews because i am sure most of the notes on Tripadvisor are over-rated because Tripadvisor is deleting the bad reviews (i have also the screen copies for many cases) and the result is the average note is rising and very bad hotels have an unfair note because also when the note is high, the hotel feel very confident to increase their rate and the result is a indecent rate for a poor experience.It was the case in Costa Rica where the "manager" called the police because i said their food was awful and unfresh (and i have been sick) - The police came and don't have anything to reproach to me but they advise me to go because the "manager" was visibly drunk and known for violence, even in the city when i spoke with people which knows that bad guy. I have also 3 nights booked the same day at the last minute when my room in this bad place was booked and paid for months. I can also send you than if you don't believe me. As i am generous with you, for Indonesia , i can also send you the proposal of more tan 3000USD for a nightmare tour when the real value was around 1200 USD, no more. So it's why i am crazy when i paid a lot for a bad experience.
For Botswana, they offered me 2 nights refund (6400 USD) but i refused as they wasted my overall vacation and obviously i will have to sign a paper where i promise to stop posting bad reviews. So they tried to buy my silence. And it's how many properties have a very good note when they don't deserve it.
And i don't do that for me but for all others travelers to avoid them to book theses places and have a bad experience. Also the hotels and restaurants which have a good note because they make a good job by their work have problems because they get less customers bad places and good places can have the same note. So it's very unfair.
So between some bad reviews on some websites, and the fact some companies buying the silence of unhappy customers and on top, hotels or restaurants buying fake reviews in some poor countries (look internet - there is plenty documentaries) : it's very difficult to find the good place as there is a lot of fake

Open your eyes. I am not fantasist and i don't searching to have any "likes" on internet and i am not on the social networks - everything is true so stop to denigrate other persons when you have NO EVIDENCE, you are just jalous

And to finish : i don't have enough time to make reviews for all my hotels or restaurants because it's too much as i travel a lot. So i am leaving soon for West Africa and i hope everything will be fine to avoid any review, so i won't have any news from you

best regards
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Nov 19th, 2018, 05:38 AM
  #7
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hi

the travel agent was very bad and not useful, as he didn't know the bad condition of this camp or dishonnest if he knew it - so i don't recommend and next safari i will avoid all travels agencies : you have Andbeyond which sell directly or some lodges. Its name was AfricanOdyssey.com and they have to be renamed AFRICAN DISASTER. They are based in UK and i received the same level of price for the same lodges from others travels agents because they have probably a rack rate from Wilderness-safaris.com so there is no competition. But they oriented me to the worst lodges, may be they have an extra discount to fill such awful lodges.

and i checked my proposal and surprise there is no detailed mention of the lodge but i think it was North but the staff told me the 2 camps were the same and not available - so they took me for a nut. What was your lodge?
but the main problem was the responsability of Wilderness-safaris.com : how can they dare to offer a very bad room, not refurbished for 15 years at least , with a nasty pool with bird droppings, an a mosquito net which falled and with opaque , old, dirty blinds - for the rate of 3200 USD per night. At this price, you have a presidential suite in 5 stars hotels and i never imagine, considering the rate that the camp can be so horrible

this is an extraction of the proposal of https://www.africaodyssey.com/ and there is no mention which camp it was

i refused 6400 USD from Wilderness-Safaris.com to shut my mouth and stop writing reviews, they threatened me by email and i replied i have the right to give my opinion and write reviews because i have all proofs it's an awful experience. Tripadvisor also delete 3 times my review but i will repost it. So it's why Vumburas Plains had a good note : deleting bad reviews and buying the silence of victims of this scam, but not me.

and i will never put one foot again in Botswana as for the 3 expensive lodges : there was no value for so much money

and i promise the picture of the pool and the pictures of the room and blnds. I refused the 1st room because the condition of this room was awful and i got another one in the same bad condition - Both pools were green probably because the products to clean the water are too expensive. I am not stupid and posting fake photos about a hotel is a great fault sanctionned by justice and in that case i can be suit by the hotel. But these pictures are the ones from Vumburas and i have a lot of exchanges with Wilderness-Safaris.com and i sent them also those pictures;

There was no AC at all and no Wifi at this level of rate and this is the reason which is stupid because a lodge can't force you switch AC and log in on wifi - but for sure it's an impressive way to not invest and make a lot of benefits as you are paying the rate of a very luxery hotel for a non maintained room in a bad poor motel May be the swimming pool with a dirty green color was to copy the swamps.

see un extract about their "no confort" policy:
Disconnect to ReconnectWe implemented this philosophy in 2015 and it is clearly described in our marketing material. We believe that in order to connect with nature and the environments one needs to disconnect from the grid. This allows guests to truly enjoy their holiday and submerse themselves in natural space around them. This approach and philosophy has been embraced by the majority of our guests, however we understand that ‘being off the grid’ is not for everyone and as such there are other camps and operators that one could go to. This is a growing trend in the eco-tourism spaces, not just in Africa but abroad as well.

I have been many times in safaris luxery lodges and there was AC (cold hot) and Wifi for a cheaper rate. so Botswana is over-rated and you can have more vacations, or longer in other safari countries
they are also very arrogant when you are unhappy for the services because they consider Botswana is the Rolls Royce of the safari in Africa. For sure it is for the rate of the Rolls Royce, but these lodges, specially vumburas and Kalahari Camp, just a second hand old unmaintained car for an awful experience. I don''t want to say other lodges i have not been are like this.

all the best
chris

15th – 16th September 2018
Met on arrival in Maun off your international flight (booked by you, please provide details) by a representative from Wilderness Safaris and transferred to a Wilderness Air flight to the Central Kalahari.
Met on arrival by your guide from Kalahari Plains and transferred to the camp for 2 nights on an all inclusive basis including all game viewing activities.
17th – 19th September
This morning you will be transferred to the airstrip by your guide from Kalahari Plains and flown back to Maun with Wilderness Air (timings to be advised the night before).
Met on arrival in Maun by a representative from Wilderness Safaris and transferred to a Wilderness Air flight to the Okavango Delta.
Met on arrival by your guide from Vumbura Plains and transferred to the camp for 3 nights on an all inclusive basis including all game viewing activities.
20th – 22nd September
This morning you will be transferred to the airstrip by your guide from Vumbura Plains Camp and flown to Moremi National Park, with Wilderness Air (timings to be advised the night before).
Met on arrival by a representative from Little Mombo and transferred to the camp for 3 nights on an all inclusive basis including all game viewing activities.
23rd September
This morning you will be transferred to the airstrip by your guide from Little Mombo and flown to Maun with Wilderness Air (timings to be advised the night before).
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Nov 19th, 2018, 07:19 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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>>I have been in all those places and in 160 countries since many years as i am retired and i travel a lot because it's is and was my life passion.
are you jalous of my life because you can't afford for it ? Find another target because you are denigrating me and you are completely wrong - My experiences are true . Ask me any country in your list and give me a way to send you the stamps for this country on my passport.<<

I don't doubt you have traveled a lot. No, I am not at all jealous - I travel a fair bit myself. My point was (and why I am putting you on 'Ignore') is that with all your vast travels, all you have EVER posted on Fodors is gripes, complaints and warnings about horrible scams. Never a single positive thing to say about any of the '160 countries' you have visited. Shame really.
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