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Razvan   –  
Romania RO
Visited: December 2015 Reviewed: Jan 3, 2016

Email Razvan  |  35-50 years of age  |  Experience level: 2-5 safaris

The review below is the personal opinion of Razvan and not that of SafariBookings.
A total dissapointment! Avoid them at all costs!

I travelled around the world and I haven't found a travel agency worse than East Cape Tours. I booked with them a 4 night stay at Jackalberry Lodge, I paid 30% and I asked them to pay the difference after I would receive my visa for South Africa at the beginning of December. They spoke with The Reservation Department from Thornybush Game Reserve where Jackalberry is located and it was agreed that I will pay the difference after I have my visa issued. On November one month before leaving to SA, East Cape Tours have charged my credit card for the difference even if the agreement was to pay at the beginning of December. The bank was asking me if they should block the payment but in the end I have received the visa and I said no.
But the worst things were still to come.
3 weeks before leaving to South Africa Thornybush Reservation Department informed me that they have no availability for 4 nights at Jackalberry even if I paid in full our 4 night stay and I have received the confirmation of booking. East Cape Tours and Thornybush Reservation Department were so incompetent in dealing with me and my reservation and offered me a lower value lodge N'Kaya. I was very very dissapointed and frustrated to see that these 2 companies were trying to turn my holiday into a disaster. The accomodation that they were offering was 500 USD cheaper than Jackalberry. In the end I had to settle with N'Kaya because we had already paid the transfer to Thornybush and there was no lodge available left for the period before Christmas. I had to phone my bank 4-5 times to see if the difference was reimbursed of not, in the end the money entered my account.
I lost a lot of time speaking with East Cape Tours, with their stubborn manager Colin Diland which didn't apologize for the mess and harm done to us. i have all the emails and documents provin the harm done by these 2 companies. Anyone interested can contact me anytime. Try to stay away from East Cape Tours and Thornybush Reservation Department, otherwise your holiday can turn into a disaster!

Reply from East Cape Tours
Reply from East Cape Tours
Posted on Jan 14, 2016

How do you answer a post like this?

We have been organising holidays and vacations since 1998 and have many repeat guests and countless referrals.

Well, here we go...

This started out as one of our simplest bookings. The client booked with us and we booked the lodge.

What we didn’t know at the time was that despite the fact that the client was a ‘gold star critic’ on TripAdvisor and had visited 105 countries, he didn’t have a visa for South Africa. We did offer to help and delayed taking payment as long as possible, but the client rather preferred that we took the risk and paid the costs if the visa was not forthcoming!!

This was obviously completely unacceptable and we would never have agreed to this when we made the booking. The client was right with his comment that I can be stubborn in such circumstances!

Finally, the client did obtain his visa and had a great time giving Thornybush an excellent rating on TripAdvisor.

I trust that I have suitably answered the post and hope that you will agree that it rather highlights how we always have and always will continue to go the extra mile for our clients.

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