Safari Peeves - or What makes me mad!

Aug 1st, 2005, 03:46 PM
  #1  
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Safari Peeves - or What makes me mad!

I'm sure everyone else has plenty of these but here is my number one.

The staff say everybody meets in the lounge for tea at 3pm then we start the drive at 3:30pm, so why the hell do you show up at 3:30pm and expect to spend half an hour having tea and socializing with some other idiot who doesn't seem to understand that this is a safari camp and game drives are what we do. They make me crazy, then when you are hanging out at the vehicle, ready to go before the light is gone, they act like your the freak.
napamatt is offline  
Aug 1st, 2005, 03:57 PM
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Good one, Matt! We should add this to list of questions to identify, in advance, potential safari-companions-from-hell. Where is that thread?

I must say that with one exception, these irritating things have to do with fellow-travellers and not with safari camps or their staff.
tashak is offline  
Aug 1st, 2005, 03:58 PM
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Yes, same goes for those who don't hear the wake up call. If you sleep that soundly set a travel alarm clock for goodness' sake!!!

Another pet peeve of mine is those fellow travellers who
a) don't understand the concept of compromise and get arsey if the guide takes fellow vehicle guests' preferences into account during the drive
b) talk throughout the drive, even when faced with some incredible sight
c) ask the guides ignorant questions because, despite booking on a safari, they haven't bothered to read a single book or watch a single documentary - and I'm not being harsh here, some of the guides themselves have told me stories of some of the questions they have been asked
d) think they know it all because they have done that research and insist on interrupting the guide or trying to be the guide
e) are selfish with preferred seats in the vehicle - sometimes it works out that the various members actually prefer different seats but where it doesn't, taking turns is common courtesy
f) talk to the guides and staff as though they are second class citizens, rudely or peremptorily
g) think they are the next big National Geographic photographer and either show off their knowledge by telling everyone else what they should be doing or compromise other peoples' shots because theirs are surely more important - hey it's that all important compromise word again
h) continuously compare aspects of the trip to home, with home being so much better - the food, the bed, the linen, the laundry, the service and who knows what else - if it's that much better at home, stay there!

I'm sure many more will spring to mind!
Kavey is offline  
Aug 1st, 2005, 06:38 PM
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bwanamitch
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You better never meet me in camp, this 3:30pm tea time guy could be me. Time in Africa is different, starts at 6:00am and goes pole pole.
(I admit I only would spend this half hour if the cookies are fine.)

Hhm, Kavey, we should combine your flames with tashak's questionnaire (in the Single Travellers thread).

Mitch
 
Aug 1st, 2005, 07:31 PM
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Mitch-not everyone has frequent holiday time as you do. Americans get far less time to take off on their vacations, so they feel the need to make the most of that limited time 1/2 way around the world.

Robbie
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Aug 1st, 2005, 09:36 PM
  #6  
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OMG, we had a 25 year old guy who was so into himself and during a glorious canoe ride where there should be silence and appreciation of the morning noises, he NEVER SHUT UP, yak yak yak and his voice carrying over the water, talking about sports and places he's been. GRRRRR. Then how about the people (gotta admit mostly women) who are freaking all the time about "bugs" in their tents or shower areas, and call the management if they see a wasp or a lizard?? And I even had one woman who refused to use the 'bush toilet' and had to be driven back to camp when she had to pee!!!
Lin is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2005, 02:36 AM
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bwanamitch
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Robbie,

I see your point. However, what I will never understand is that people can't leave their stress at home. Hey, this is holiday. And for me Africa - and her mentality - means traveling in a relaxed way.

Mitch
 
Aug 2nd, 2005, 04:06 AM
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Nah, I gotta say I'm with Matt and Robbie on this one.

Not everyone travels to Africa for the same reasons - I don't go to sleep or eat tea or chill out in those kinds of ways - I go to see the environment, the game and the birdlife. I want to maximise the time I spend doing that as that is the reason I'm paying so much to be in those places...

If I want to chill and lose sight of time and so on I'll take a wonderful inexpensive holiday in the UK (or even at home) and then just take off my watch and go with the flow.

But in a safari camp I want to go out on activities as much as possible...

Mitch, looked at that thread - yes we should combine the lists!!!
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Aug 2nd, 2005, 04:07 AM
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To clarify, UK = my home country, by "home" above I meant in my house...
Kavey is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2005, 04:28 AM
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bwanamitch
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Mitch's 1st theorem:
The top speed of the safari vehicle is reciprocally proportional to the camp's rate.

I once learned that in Zambia, for instance:
Lufupa Lodge (medium priced): 50 kmph between game sightings,
Nsefu (luxury): 5-10 kmph between sightings

It it seems to be more or less true for all other places I visited. It's a pity that you have to pay so much for traveling in a relaxed way... ;-)

Mitch
 
Aug 2nd, 2005, 05:41 AM
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Thank you for this post. Now I know why we went on private safari
Pat2003 is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2005, 06:38 AM
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Mitch no problem with travelling in a relaxed way, but at most camps the experience includes a long siesta so how much do you need.

It is simply common courtesy to conform to the same schedule as the other guests, who have paid the same amount as you.

Keeping people waiting is rude and shows a total lack of respect, particularly as the people kept waiting will likely be so polite that they don't say anything for fear of creating disharmony in a fairly intimate environment.
napamatt is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2005, 06:57 AM
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I have to agree with Matt, Robbie, and Kavey -- one of my worst safari experiences was with a family from Joburg who had 'just dropped in for the weekend'. They spent over an hour chugging two bottles of red wine during sundowners every day despite the fact that I was in the vehicle waiting to go. It was clear they saw their safari as a weekend jaunt. I hinted (very broadly) to them that I hadn't travelled halfway around the world to watch them get drunk and listen to gossip about their acquaintances in Joburg. When they didn't respond, I talked to the guide. but he just shrugged and didn't intervene. Looking back, I wish I hadn't been so polite about it, as it really had a negative impact on my time at that lodge.

When I'm out with people visiting London from overseas, I always prioritise their interests precisely because I'm local and can always come back later and see things. This seems like the courteous thing to do when they have flown halfway around the world and I just hopped on the tube.

Cheers,
Julian
jasher is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2005, 07:09 AM
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OK, my pet peeve is sharing a vehicle with people who are using those cameras that make a "tweet tweet" electronic noise as they are focusing or doing their thing. I guess it's supposed to tell them when their shot is in focus or something, or when they should be using a flash, or when the battery is low, or ?? All I know is that on video from several of our game drives in South Africa, the most prominent sound by far is that of other passengers' cameras making R2D2 noises. Grr. Also, I know the radios are necessary and helpful to know where the game is, but every once in a while I LONGED for silence. We were watching lionesses and cubs tumbling around together at dusk -- such a cozy scene -- I don't care what other vehicles are seeing just then, I want to enjoy the moment.
lisa is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2005, 07:15 AM
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Lisa, yes indeed - and what's so annoying is that on many models, that can be switched OFF! But the people using them haven't bothered to bring along let alone read the manual so they don't know how.

Beautiful bird settles on branch nearby. Everyone holds their breath. BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP. Bird speeds off before anyone has had a chance to appreciate it or take their own pictures too.

GRRR!
Kavey is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2005, 08:04 AM
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Lin brought up people "women" being sqeemish about bugs, lizards etc. The camp manager at Mashatu told me about this couple (Japanese, I believe, and didn't speak English very well) that told them they had a lizard in their tent. Manager told the couple they would send someone. A little while later the couple came back and said the lizard was still there. Manager didn't send anyone. Third time, couple came back. Manager finally went to their tent and there was a 3 or 4 foot monitor lizard laying on their bed! Then she really felt bad because she thought it was a little lizard and it would go away on it's own.

I've had only one really bad person on safari and it was a teenager (17 or 18) and he talked constantly and was really loud and opinionated and ridiculous. He was with his mother and she never said a word. The camp was a happy place when they left.
sundowner is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2005, 08:35 AM
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When I was last at Londoz, my ranger told me that my camera was the quietest one she had ever seen -- for awhile she thought I wasn't taking any pictures because I'd turned those annoying beeping sounds off!

Cheers,
Julian
jasher is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2005, 09:56 AM
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Sundowner, whether or not it was a small or large lizard - the managers response of agreeing to have the perceived problem sorted it out and then ignoring it does not scream of great customer service to me.

Whilst most of us do not have a problem with the wee lizards that are often found in tents, some may find them extremely distressing.

I don't have a problem with ants or grasshoppers or lizards or flies but I have quite bad arachnaphobia so that would put me into the category above!

Usually Pete will deal with spiders in the tent for me but the first time we went to Namibia and found one of those flat, beige, hairy spiders in our tent we didn't know whether it was dangerous or not so I didn't want him to deal with it until we found out.

I didn't scream but did walk to the main camp area and ask one of the members of staff to help me out with the problem and the staff were extremely kind about it and certainly didn't dismiss my concerns, despite it being a harmless spider after all.

Kavey is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2005, 10:45 AM
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Oh, I agree, Kavey. It was definitely bad customer service. She did say she it taught her a lesson. But after the fact and since it happened to someone else, it is pretty funny (or do I have a warped sense of humor?).
sundowner is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2005, 11:15 AM
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I think the lizard story is some sort of safari version of an urban legend -- I've heard it re-told at various camps, usually with a Japanese couple or a lady travelling alone as the unfortunate residents of the room in question.

I'm not arachnophobic, but I am severely allergic to spiders, so I sympathise with those who are not fond of them.

Cheers,
Julian
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