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  • 5 star 55
  • 4 star 2
  • 3 star 2
  • 2 star 0
  • 1 star 2

Sort By: Date Most Helpful Rating 1-10 of 61 Reviews
Emma Smith   –  
United Kingdom UK
Visited: October 2020 Reviewed: Oct 29, 2020

Email Emma Smith  |  20-35 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

The review below is the personal opinion of Emma Smith and not that of SafariBookings.

After nearly a month of waiting to hear back from the 'CEO' we are finally told that they will not provide a refund even though the country is not letting us travel there. This was a honeymoon trip and our wedding is cancelled, so unhelpful. This was the only provider who we have encountered problems with, all other bookings in our trip were kindly refunded. Awful customer service. Silly company really as I imagine everyone who experiences this will not book with them in the future.

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.

Marcella Wickham   –  
United States US
Visited: October 2019 Reviewed: Feb 4, 2020

Email Marcella Wickham  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

The review below is the personal opinion of Marcella Wickham and not that of SafariBookings.
Made us a spectacular Safari, but communication was very poor.

The good: East Cape made us a truly spectacular safari and trip to South Africa! It was a dream come true, and for that we are grateful. We were put up in top of the line hotels and tents, with delicious food and wonderful people. Treated like royalty the entire time. We told them what we wanted, and they arranged the entire thing. Originally, we were put up in a different accomodation which seemed stuffy to us, and when I voiced we wanted an upscale tent with about 10 days to go, it was arranged for us (Best thing we ever did!). So, the trip was nothing short of spectacular, everything was absolutely incredible, and I thank East Cape wholeheartedly for memories that will last us a lifetime and beyond.

The bad: Communication with East Cape was on pointe until they received payment. Once that happened, it was like pulling teeth to get answers. At initial contact, the owner Colin actually called us from South Africa, asked us our preferences and budget, then asked if we wanted to pay in Rand or US Dollar. Being naive, we said "US" which turned out to be an expensive mistake. He should have told us to pay in rand, though I understand he needs to make money too. Readers take heed; pay in Rand, your dollar will go exponentially further. Colin was super friendly, and then we were turned over to Denise, who's communication skills were poor. At one point about 3 weeks out of trip, we still didn't have a completed itinerary, and after multiple attempts to get it, I reached back out to Colin, who told me it was the "time difference." We were inside of one week when I finally got the itinerary, which consisted of our flights, and I had to go back to the initial proposal and type the entire thing out myself. I knew airport transfers were arranged for us, but had no idea we had a private driver until he picked us up - which was a pleasant surprise, but a detail we should have known. There were more small details that we didn't get, but that's the jist of it. Overall, I would recommend East Cape Tours, but would ask for somebody other than Denise to help you along.

Reply from East Cape Tours
Reply from East Cape Tours
Posted on Feb 7, 2020

I am very disappointed by this review as Denise and I spent ages making sure “the trip was nothing short of spectacular, everything was absolutely incredible.”

I am also confused about certain parts.
We quoted and took payment in South Rand through our Nedbank virtual terminal, I don’t understand the comment about paying in USD. We paid the substantial credit card charges as we always do.

I am afraid the time difference is a reality, as it is a 14-hour difference. However, I arranged to call several times at midnight our time and managed to be super friendly.

We sent a full itinerary prior to you booking with us.

We clearly didn’t get the message across properly that it was a private tour, but can’t really understand why as it was on all our documentation. I even explained on the phone that one of our guides would be at the airport to meet you and thus no tickets or vouchers were necessary, the timing of all the transfers was arranged around your needs.

We gave you the guides mobile number, mine and Denise’s - just in case there were any problems. Nonetheless, there were no issues and it worked like clockwork, and the private driver became a pleasant surprise.

To reiterate, I think this is very harsh on Denise who went beyond the extra mile to make sure “the trip was nothing short of spectacular, everything was absolutely incredible, and I thank East Cape wholeheartedly for memories that will last us a lifetime and beyond.”

Nick Gilmore   –  
South Africa ZA
Visited: September 2018 Reviewed: Dec 16, 2018

Email Nick Gilmore  |  65+ years of age  |  Experience level: over 5 safaris

The review below is the personal opinion of Nick Gilmore and not that of SafariBookings.
Tour operator excellant

Communications and everything to do with East cape 1st class
Fishing Lodge most enjoyable and would visit again.
Did not enjoy African Queen as the boat did not really go anywhere .
and the couple of hours which it did cruise in the morning clashed with
morning activity .Food and staff good but might would be better of in a lodge.

Reply from East Cape Tours
Reply from East Cape Tours
Posted on Dec 18, 2018

Good day Nick,

Thank you for the great review! We're so glad to hear that we could help you plan your holiday. We're sorry to hear that you did not enjoy the cruise safari, but we appreciate the feedback and will use this information to improve our services. We look forward to organising a tailor-made African getaway for you again in the future!

AZ   –  
United States US
Visited: May 2018 Reviewed: May 8, 2018

Email AZ  |  20-35 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Responsive and Dedicated

We talked to Lynn, and she was always very responsive and dedicated to getting us the best safari experience that we wanted. She was very understanding about providing lots of options and was quick in getting the receipts and vouchers put together. The safari itself was wonderful, and I would definitely use East Cape Tours & Safaris again.

Wayne   –  
United States US
Visited: April 2016 Reviewed: May 5, 2016

Email Wayne

Everything turned out perfect

Thank you for all your help everything turned out perfect. Ebrahim was super I'd highly recommend him to anyone traveling in Cape Town. Ismail was also excellent . We met Robert More at The More Quarters one morning he was extremely nice thought he might be at Lion Sands when we were there but left us a special message because he left the day we arrived and a book signed by him his greatgrandfather wrote.The staff at More Quarters were so friendly we loved our room and the hotel itself. Mont Rochelle is probably the most beautiful place we have ever been.Loved Franschook, The vineyards and wineries were magnificent. Could have spent more time there. The Lion Sands River Lodge was absolutely beautiful the staff was great and we had the best ranger in Neil and tracker Albert. Made friends with two couples we did our safaris with. Trip of a lifetime all we can do is pray we can go back some day. If we know anyone who is interested we will definetly refer you. Thank you again.

Reply from East Cape Tours
Reply from East Cape Tours
Posted on Jul 28, 2016

Hi Wayne.
Thank you so much for this superb review - we really couldn't ask for anything better. We are so pleased that you had a great time on your holiday and that you loved all of the accommodation. It's always nice to know that our services were appreciated by our guests, and that they would recommend us to others.
Wishing you all the best,
East Cape Tours

Jane Roehrig   –  
United States US
Visited: April 2024 Reviewed: Apr 16, 2024

Email Jane Roehrig  |  65+ years of age  |  Experience level: 2-5 safaris

Excellent, personalized and professional service

Cearl from East Cape Tours is a gem. She helped me plan this trip for my family. Our grandkids can't stop talking about what a wonderful time we all had. We visited Victoria Falls and stayed at Stanley & Livingston where we enjoyed delicious meals, a game drive, and an amazing cruise on the Zambezi River. Next, we visited Londolozi. Words cannot even begin to describe this resort. We spent three nights there and saw the Big 5 plus an incredible menagerie of animals. The food and service were over the top. Everything was excellent. We felt special and pampered. Cearl promptly answered all my emails - and there were several! I had so many questions and concerns and she reassured me that she would take care of everything, which she did. This was our second trip to South Africa and this time, we picked the BEST travel agent. Thank you so much for planning our trip of a lifetime!

Frantz   –  
France FR
Visited: December 2023 Reviewed: Jan 22, 2024

Email Frantz  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Very nice experience

Good organisation, very good support before the trip

Helen   –  
United Kingdom UK
Visited: December 2023 Reviewed: Jan 18, 2024

Email Helen  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

First Class Service

We have just returned from South Africa for which Cearl at East Cape Tours did the organising of internal flights, accommodation and the Safari. The service we received was first class. Cearl was really helpful, professional, knowledgable and efficient. Thank you

Grace   –  
United States US
Visited: August 2023 Reviewed: Sep 6, 2023

Email Grace  |  Experience level: first safari

Amazing Trip all thanks to Valencia!

For our first safari in Africa we decided to go to Sabi Sands private game reserve which was incredible. The whole process went seamlessly thanks to our amazing agent Valencia Sifo. She was extremely responsive and very helpful at answering all our questions for the trip. I would highly recommend her to help you plan a trip of a LIFETIME! Thank you Valencia.

Average User Rating
Rating Breakdown
  • 5 star 55
  • 4 star 2
  • 3 star 2
  • 2 star 0
  • 1 star 2
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