Johannesburg Driver/guide?

Old Jul 1st, 2006, 09:12 AM
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africnow
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Johannesburg Driver/guide?

Hi All,

I am looking for recommendatons for a driver/guide for a few day trips in Johannesburg:

I want to visit the Apartheid Museum & Soweto (guided?), Maropeng, The Origins Centre in the Cradle of Humankind & the Sterkfontein caves, and The DeWildt Centre.

Any suggestions? I don't drive and I understand that public transportation in the city is difficult.

Thanks.
 
Old Jul 1st, 2006, 10:41 AM
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When we were in Jo'burg for a day, we had asked Wilderness Safaris for a tour of an orphanage. They booked us with Wilro Tours (www.wilrotours.co.za) and we got a tour of Soweto and the Carl Sithole Center run by the Salvation Army (a great experience!) They also do other tours in the Jo'burg area and if WS uses them, you know they're good.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2006, 10:41 AM
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africnow
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Thanks for the tip ShayTay. Will check them out. Do you know of any others? I would like a bit of a choice...
 
Old Jul 3rd, 2006, 10:54 AM
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Are you booking your trip through a travel consultant? They might have some suggestions. Also, what hotel are you staying at in Jo'burg? When I stayed at the Grace, I booked my DeWildt tour through them. It was considerably cheaper than what my safari consultant wanted to charge me.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2006, 12:10 PM
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africnow
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Hi ShayTay,

I'm a budget traveller. Haven't chosen the hostel/hotel yet but am in correspondence with few.

All of the hostels offer group trips to many of the sights. The hotels are budget types and will recommend a local organized tour.

Now that is all fine and good - I have used such before in other countries and been mostly pretty satisfied.

OTOH - if a private guide is available at a competitive price I would much prefer it.

I don't like being rushed through places I would prefer to linger; I don't like spending time in places that I'm not interested in; and above all - I seriously dislike being dragged through tourist shops disguised as craft shops or otherwise. I am not on a shopping trip!

So, that is where it is at right now. If any Jo'burg locals know a guide with a car that they can recommend at competitive prices I am *very* interested.

Thanks.

 
Old Feb 4th, 2007, 09:59 PM
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My wife and I just returned from our honeymoon, which included two weeks in South Africa. Most of our trip was wonderful, and we had almost nothing negative to say about any of the hotels, airlines or other travel-related companies that we used during our stay there. However, we feel obliged to warn potential travelers to that country about using a particular tour company/car service- Wilro Tours.

In truth, our honeymoon was nearly ruined because of Wilro Tours. We went on safari in Madikwe Game Reserve, and needed to be driven from Madikwe to Johannesburg in order to catch our flight out of the country. Our South Africa travel agency booked a car for us through Wilro Tours. The car service arrived on time, and the four-hour drive was uneventful. However, the vehicle that they sent for us was a compact car, resulting in some of our bags being stowed in the passenger compartment rather than the trunk due to lack of space. When we reached the airport in Johannesburg, we were rushed out of the car by the driver, and not given any time to do a “once over” of the vehicle to make sure it was clear of our belongings. As a result, the bag containing our camera (which contained 2,000 photos and videos) was left in the car, under the front passenger seat.

We called our travel agency as soon as we realized that the camera was missing (less than half an hour later). The travel agency, in turn, immediately called Wilro Tours to tell them that the camera was in the vehicle. Rather than calling the driver and telling him return to the airport or to their home base so the camera could be recovered, Wilro Tours inexplicably allowed the vehicle to remain in service for the remainder of the day, and took not a single step to assist us. However, it should be pointed out that the manager of Wilro Tours admitted that no other passengers were scheduled to be in the vehicle for the rest of the day, meaning that the car could have- and should have- been taken out of service without delay. When the car was finally returned and inspected by the manager of Wilro Tours, almost SEVEN HOURS LATER, the camera was nowhere to be found.

It is our opinion that either an employee of Wilro Tours has taken our camera, or that the driver picked up unauthorized passengers after dropping us off, and the camera was taken by one of them. In either case, Wilro Tours should have admitted responsibility for the loss and taken swift corrective measures. Instead, Wilro Tours belittled our claims (the company manager actually hung up on us when we called from the Maldives to speak about the situation), and refused to take any action whatsoever- that is, until we told them that we intended to post reviews of their company on travel-oriented websites here in the United States. Only then, some TEN DAYS LATER, did Wilro Tours conduct any semblance of an investigation, which consisted of polygraph tests of the driver and vehicle cleaner. Of course, we did not have any way to confirm the veracity and effectiveness of the testing procedures, as we were already home in the U.S. The trail has since gone cold.

Because of Wilro Tours’ refusal to help us in a timely fashion, all of our honeymoon memories have been irretrievably lost. Even up to the present time, the company has shown no remorse for their pathetic handling of the situation. There is no amount of monetary remuneration that can make up for the loss of the camera. Therefore, all we can do is warn other potential travelers to South Africa that, in our opinion, Wilro Tours is an unreliable and untrustworthy company, and should not be used under any circumstances. If you intend to travel to the Johannesburg region, keep this review in mind when choosing a touring/car service company.
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Old Feb 4th, 2007, 10:34 PM
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so sorry to have that happen to you. thanks for posting this so it won't happen to anyone else.
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Old Feb 5th, 2007, 02:28 PM
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Mattybonz,
I am so sorry that happened to you. Thank you for taking the time to recount the painful incident in such detail.

A few years ago I met a group of 4 on safari that had all of their collective camera equipment lost in a similar situation while existing a car at the Johannesburg airport.


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