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igor   –  
Australia AU
Visited: July 2015 Reviewed: Aug 22, 2015

Email igor  |  35-50 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

The review below is the personal opinion of igor and not that of SafariBookings.
not worth it. not good value for money

Sunway Safaris is highly disappointing. saying that, we did see majority of the animals, and the main tour guy was great.

disclosure: below is our opinion only, and we communicated it to the company and they promised to address these for the next tours. offcourse, it doesnt help us.

- lunches were predominantly can food. for 1500 Euro per person, one can provide better food.
- the vehicle is too small for 12 people. we were only 9 with an extra guide (3 guides) and it was cramped. one can use bigger vehicles, particularly for these large distances.
- perhaps the most annoying thing is the mus-information. game drive in Krueger, was literally only drive from point A to point B on our route. we didnt really have the game, off the sealed roads as one promised. we just moved up to Zimbabwe, and whatever we saw - that was the game. the game drive in Chobe, was offered to us for 400 Bula, but when we went to reception, suddenly the price went to 320. Finally, there was no option for night safari. we were promised it in Khama Rhyno and Krueger (itinerary based) but we didnt actually have the option when we were there.
In 2 of the camps there was no hot water - although promised (great Zimbabwe and i forgot the 2nd one)

Robyn and Bill   –  
Australia AU
Visited: August 2015 Reviewed: Oct 26, 2015

Email Robyn and Bill  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

A wonderful experience

A trip to Africa for most is probably just a dream and maybe one taken with a degree of trepidation . But this trip certainly allayed any concerns. We have done a fair bit of travelling in the last number of years and must say this one was one out of the box. Our guide Chris Z was amazing. He made everyone feel at home, he was interested in all his passengers and did everything to make our trip memorable. His offsider, Matthew, who is learning the game, was also great to travel with.
The places we visited, the things we saw, the variety offered and of course the animals we saw - difficult to explain how fantastic these were. It's hard to imagine camping out in the Okavango Delta and having the campsite surrounded by elephants- but it happened and it was all very exciting!
The places we stayed in varied in quality, depending where we were, but overall were great - all were clean and friendly and some very flash! Food was good, especially the 'home cooked' meals. We were lucky, we had a great group of people who all got on well and who were all willing to dig in, get involved, help out and enjoy the experiences offered!
A trip is what you make it. There was a lot of distance covered but that is necessary to get anywhere ! Our trip took us from Capetown, to Namibia, Botswana and finally Victoria Falls. A wonderful trip which we will never forget. We would recommend Sunway Safaris any time! Well done.

Jens and Anett   –  
Germany DE
Visited: October 2019 Reviewed: Nov 28, 2019

Email Jens and Anett  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

The review below is the personal opinion of Jens and Anett and not that of SafariBookings.
Not again in this way !

"The vehicle was more suitable for a short-term off-road tour. Definitely not for a longer tour! Seats as in a 3rd class rail wagon – plastic cover (very suitable for sweating at outdoor temperatures at 40 °C and without air conditioning (defective from the beginning/–no armrests/-no adjustable backrests! With up to 10 hours in the vehicle you can already get problems with the intervertebral discs. We have seen the same design equipped in a different way! Furthermore, the vehicle was very under-motorized, which was very noticeable on mountainous routes! Temporarily defective freezer box! Cleanliness left a lot to be desired. I personally took the brooms in my hand! Discs were not cleaned throughout. "So there can be no question of comfortable travel here.

"We are proud to offer our travelers high quality, tasty and healthy meals three times a day." –Statement from Sunway Safaris in the travel text!
One of the most disappointing experiences of the trip was the supply. Unfortunately, only finished products packaged in the supermarket were purchased on a low-cost basis. (e.g. canned vegetables and canned fruit) Lots of pork products! I tried to shop with myself. It worked out sometimes. If there were fresh bread rolls instead of pre-packaged toast bread, the baker bought them and then what was not eaten was also given away. But then in the same breath bought in the supermarket cardboard packaged toast bread. Fresh fish was supposedly bought from the boat in front of our nose for us, but we haven't seen it! Repackaged marinated fish from the supermarket was served! Fresh fruit from the village farmer was basically not bought! Why always? Better supermarket products again! We did so ourselves in part. We then tried to buy some decent beef steaks/kudu or impala in private shops of the reserves. Then we realized what we wanted. It didn't help much. It is important to think more healthily and, above all, to buy higher-quality products as described above all. We have experienced and seen directly that it is possible and there is everything. It may not have been due to the costs either, since the prices were quite reasonable. Maybe everything has to go fast. "Furthermore, the great loss of time due to constant shopping in the supermarkets was not comprehensible to us! 1-1.5 hours, sometimes almost daily. If I know that long distances have to be driven, then I get my things in time and leave accordingly earlier! Conclusion: The care was like a camping holiday corresponding to a youth trip. But it shouldn't be like that. They were all adult people!

The country has so much good and, above all, tasty things to offer. We could not understand and accept this approach on the part of Sunways.

3.Itin' itinerary - Sunway Safari hasn't been able to get the organization of the Soweto tour for us! Started in Johannesburg, where the start was to take place at 6:30 a.m. We were especially rather there to accept the desired briefing in time. After more than 1, 5 hours later, the departure took place. We should feel the loss of time. • Very long journey to the 1st accommodation Zululand. Unfortunately we couldn't do anything there anymore, because we arrived very late! (The loss of time from the morning) Actually very bad, because this accommodation and surroundings was very nice. Why we had to drive around the next day again in order to get to a supermarket remains a mystery. About 1.5 hours stay at a gas station to shop in the supermarket. Again a loss of time and unusable time of our holiday. This went on almost every day! Very late breakfast and late departure to the next station. • Arriving in the direction of Kosi Bay, there was no way to do anything, as the darkness had already arrived. What a pity! E.g. kayaking was not possible. Also in the direction of Swaziland we left very late in Kosi Bay and arrived late in the accommodation despite fast border clearance. Again, no time to do anything else. Beautiful accommodation, but no use! Very nice environment. Highly recommended for follow-up tours. Again a very late departure (8:30 a.m.) the next day. •
In Maputo again late arrival! There was not much time left to see something of the city. Quick sightseeing tour with the tour bus! Then to the Hotel Cardoso which should be kept in any case! Very good level and above all a very good breakfast. We organized a taxi and drove to a restaurant on the beach! Highly recommended! We also had no concerns about any problems with locals or criminals! Even during the night tour in the area, we did not have a negative experience. (certainly it always depends on the area) We felt everything very safe and got to know very friendly people. "Take back, relax and enjoy the warm sea water and the wide white beaches. Boat tour in the Dhau, a traditional wooden sailboat of Arabic design, fishing, snorkeling, surfing or diving between paradisiacal coral reefs are also possible (own cost)". This is such a real advertising slogan! There can be no talk of relaxation and enjoyment! Boat tour with Dhau? Not a chance! Good accommodation- Yes. But nothing more. Going far too far - benefit - effort-ratio was just not right. • Again the whole route back towards Bilene. Attention! Bilene with lagoons description was not approached -First in the tour bus we were told that we would stay somewhere else! Sand dune landscape very nice! Accommodation good! Restaurant very good! But there was nothing to do with swimming! Not a calm lagoon, but very high waves in the sea! Again nothing as it was actually described! That's it with the beach tour-without swimming! Because this stretch of coast is something for surfers and anglers! You could have used the mini pool for a short time! But take on these hardships? So the disappointment took its course. In addition, my wife
because of your injury had been looking forward to the lagoon to go into the water. Joy there!
Then continue towards the South Africa border to Kruger NP. Unfortunately, without looking to the right or left, it was really snapped to reach the next destination (border) as quickly as possible. There was something to photograph on the left and right (LandscapeNative bush hut dwellers and so on. But both (driver and guide) lacked the sensitivity that could be interesting or you just didn't want to stop in some places. (Safety concerns ?– we can't imagine) " In the Kruger itself we arrived again very late in the Letaba camp (by the way the worst and smallest accommodation). It was again just a quick quick – process until the night safari! Making food (I helped yourself otherwise it would have become very tight) in the dark! Showers and go! Rest and relaxation - out of place! The next morning on to the nearest accommodation Makuwa Lodge. Driving and driving! Surely we have also seen animals! Luckily! • Arrival also late! No more activities possible! Makuwa Lodge is highly recommended and also has a decent level and very friendly operators. Last day – without the planned activities - just didn't happen-Just go back to Johannesburg!

4. Driver and Guide
Driver -JoJo: - very good attentive, safe and friendly driver-very helpful
Guide – Ferell:-- a lot of knowledge is available - not always easy to understand - should work on its exterior - partly very dirty clothing - should deal with time management. When shopping, take a more thoughtful approach and shop more health-consciously! Especially not at the time of the travelers, who then only sit around at parking spaces and petrol stations! Maybe camping is closer to him. He had already made this known in person.

Overall conclusion:
The journey wasn't the hit. For the fact that you are sitting almost only in an uncomfortable vehicle and actually have very little of the destinations reached, we would not want to do this tour again in this form. The price-performance ratio just wasn't right. Neither from the course of the tour nor from the supply. In hindsight and the current findings, a self-driving tour (even with a driver) would have been possible without hesitation. (Have hit some on the way) You would also have coped very well in terms of price! The road conditions definitely gave that away. For us, it was like a Paris-Dakar rally. Reach intermediate destinations as quickly as possible and then continue. Just to say I was there once? That was not our idea and it was not really intended and, above all, not described.
In addition, my daily help, with breakfast, packing and tidying up, didn't really help anything. The Routine has been retained! Very annoying!

Jagoda   –  
United States US
Visited: July 2016 Reviewed: Aug 7, 2016

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

Exceeded expectations: organized, knowledgeable, fun and that's just the guides

The Botswana Wild Parks accommodated photo safari offered and delivered on everything we'd hoped for from a first visit to South Africa. True, we didn't see rhino but who can blame them from hiding in the bush? Keeping the group to a manageable size (12 max) meant we all got to know each other and luckily, enjoyed each other's company. Jacques, though young, is very knowledgeable and passionate about wildlife and quite a good organizer. Simba exudes such warmth, kindness, good humor and life-loving spirit that he was a joy to be with. At Moremi, the local guide, Moses, is an absolute treasure. Not only does he have deep, deep knowledge about the birds and animals, he's a fantastic driver, and was willing to share about the culture and economics of eco-tourism as well. On the search for lions, on our last day in Moremi, with the trailer carrying our gear and bags already attached to the 4-wheel drive vehicle, he sighted a lioness and then drove off road to follow her into the bush. We all got National Geographic worthy photos of this gorgeous animal when she finally stopped moving because we were only 2-3 meters from her. The food was delicious and the varied accommodations were part of the adventure. Our favorite was Hyena Pan where we could watch elephants and giraffes and other creatures right from the deck. All in all, a memorable and enjoyable vacation. We would recommend Sunway Safaris to others and would book with them again.

Robert   –  
United Kingdom UK
Visited: November 2015 Reviewed: Feb 21, 2016

Email Robert  |  Experience level: over 5 safaris

The review below is the personal opinion of Robert and not that of SafariBookings.
Disappointing i m afraid though maybe ok for first time visitors to Africa

We travelled Johannesburg to Victoria falls last November. The truck was full to capacity at 12 plus provisions and was far too cramped. We had two guides, only one of whom could drive the vehicle and he was by far the better at his job. The second guide had preferred clients and was often rude to those not among them; his knowledge was poor, demonstrated at the zimbabwean border crossing when we found his visa advice to be incorrect and more generally in terms of local traditions. Group integration was poor based on our worldwide experience. The farewell event was pointedly only open to those favoured few.

However, the local park-based guides were really good. We saw all the animals we hoped to see and more thanks to them. No complaints about the food either.

Maureen   –  
Australia AU
Visited: August 2015 Reviewed: Oct 11, 2015

Email Maureen  |  65+ years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Highly recommend, an unbelieve experience

We have recently returned from a wonderful 21 day Sunway Safari from Cape Town to Victoria Falls, August 2015. It was the most amazing adventure we have had in our travels around the world. We were on the accommodated tour and the accommodation was always clean and comfortable and in some amazing scenic spots. Although the first night was at the Sweet Lemon Guest House and we were separated from our group as they were in another guest house, we would have preferred to be together in one location for our first night.
Our guide Chris Z was an expert guide, driver and cook. The food was so delicious and healthy and we all joined in with the preparation of the meals. We would even rate the food better than some of the restaurant meals we had. Chris was such fun to be with and his planning was amazing, he gave us a timetable each day but we did not feel rushed at all. He was so knowledgeable and answered all our never ending questions about the country, animals etc. We were so fortunate to see so many animals and birds and loved watching the animals in Etosha and Chobe National Parks and even saw a large number of animals while driving on the roads. The highlight of our trip would be the elephants coming close to our camp at the Okavango Delta. The most memorable occasion was all the polers singing Beautiful Africa on our return from the Delta. Chris always engaged the locals and we had all the polers in the area singing for us. It was just unbelievable. Chris always ensured that our needs were met even going out of his way to arrange an airport transfer at the best price.
Matthew our trainee guide was very knowledgeable on the regions we visited, animals and birds. We were always putting questions to him. He was fun to be with and had some great jokes. He loved his country and enjoyed telling us about and his experiences.
Overall, the Sunway Safari was one of our best travel experiences ever. We highly recommend Sunway Safaris to anyone who is organising a safari in Southern Africa

Nancy and Michal Bardecki   –  
Canada CA
Visited: August 2022 Reviewed: Sep 22, 2022

Email Nancy and Michal Bardecki  |  65+ years of age  |  Experience level: first safari

Awesome; everything we had hoped for and more

We took the 16 day accommodated Game Tracker through South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana. We enjoyed every day of our trip. It was our first safari and so everything was new to us; we never tired of seeing the birds and animals and even just driving though the countryside.

Our guides Chris and Joseph were outstanding. They always gave us a briefing about what to expect the next day, after dinner in the evening. They provided a wealth of information about the birds, animals, the culture and the landscape and even the economies of the countries we visited.

We had a nice mix off meals in lodges/restaurants and meals made by the guides. Everything was delicious and by and large very healthy as well. While we were in Okavango, we had koodoo (farmed, not wild) stew.

The lodges selected by Sunway were great- very comfortable and they usually had very nice grounds that were good for bird watching.

Some of the restaurants are still learning about the logistics of serving customers and getting them their bills. But the guides are aware of this and so we usually placed our orders ahead of time so there were not long delays getting our meals.

We absolutely detest camping, so we were not big fans of the accommodation in the Okavango Delta. If you like camping, it would be great. But anyway, we loved the whole Okavango experience. It was definitely worth any shortcomings with the accommodation.

The local guides selected by Sunway for the most part were excellent. for example, our guide for Thebes River in Botswana seemed to know exactly how to position the boat and the safari vehicle to get the best pictures.

Our favourite parts of the trip were the Thebes River cruise and game drive and the salt pan (for the birds).

The vehicle we used to get from venue to venue was called the red elephant. It is a custom designed truck. The seating was comfortable and you got good views from the windows. We always had snacks available, mostly local fruits.

Of course what everyone goes on a safari for is the animals. We got great views of lions, buffalo, hippos, elephants, rhinos, giraffes, koodoos, impala, monkeys and much more in many of the places we visited.

The Sunway trip was great value and we would definitely consider another trip with Sunway

B.N.   –  
Germany DE
Visited: April 2019 Reviewed: May 11, 2019

Email B.N.  |  50-65 years of age  |  Experience level: over 5 safaris

First time and very recommandable !!!

Just back from an unforgettable Sunway-Safaris Tour to Okavango Delta and Victoria Falls with German speaking, perfect guide Wouter („as almost a part of the group“, always available and left no questions open) Driver William also a very experienced, carefully driver.
Because both of them, we have discoverd the „Big Five“ at the first days already.
Our „Red Elephant“ (Safari Chariot) was perfect suited for all "challenges".
Thanks for the great time, will recommand to others !

Grahame Brind   –  
New Zealand NZ
Visited: October 2017 Reviewed: Nov 4, 2017

Email Grahame Brind  |  65+ years of age  |  Experience level: over 5 safaris

Botswana Wildside, superb safari.

This was our 5th Sunway Safari, and we are in our mid and late 70's. Although we had done this safari before (2009), it was so good that we wanted to take our daughter on it. It not only lived up to expectations, but exceeded them. Our guides Wayne and Zambo were amazing, full of knowledge, which they readily passed on to us. Wayne was a wonderful cook ( we are vegetarians ), which helped make our holiday great. The banter between Wayne, Zambo and all of us turned a great safari into a superb one. Not only did we see some amazing animals, but we came away knowing far more about them thanks to Zambo and his in depth knowledge. Although very hot up to 43deg, we would highly recommend this trip.

Mike & Teresa   –  
Australia AU
Visited: September 2017 Reviewed: Oct 23, 2017

Email Mike & Teresa

The review below is the personal opinion of Mike & Teresa and not that of SafariBookings.
Truck unbelievably uncomfortable. Transfer didnt eventuate Joburg & Sunway refused to pay us back!

Wrote a long review to Sunway but they never even replied!
Happy to take your money but no after sales service.
Bus unbelievably uncomfortable, hot & seats terrible.
Food not great.
Wouldnt refund our transfer despite saying they would - waited Joburg airport for an hour & gave up!

Reply from Sunway Safaris
Reply from Sunway Safaris
Posted on Oct 25, 2017

Dear Michael

Thank you for the detailed critique of the Wild Parks Botswana Tour that you recently completed.

I am happy that you found the itinerary to be well planned and executed. However to get perfection is always the goal so I am pleased that you have brought up areas where you think we can improve the service and performance.

Spring in Botswana can get very hot before the rains arrive in late October. I take your comments about the tour not being suitable for the over 60's, and although we have successfully operated for many years in Botswana this period of the year is the best for game viewing.

I have read through your detailed recount of the arrival situation and I offer my perfuse apologies for the delay and uncertainty caused when the transfer company did not make connection with you. We subcontract to a reliable transfer service when we are unable to do the transfers ourselves. We have very few problems with this service and the transfer company have given their report. I will refund the taxi fare for the extra expense which you incurred on top of you pre-booked airport transfer. Once again my apologies. This is not the way we wished your Sunway journey to begin.

Safari Vehicle:
We do not advertise air-conditioning in the safari trucks for various reasons, primarily because of the issues of reliability and servicing availability in Southern Africa. There are only a few options available to us in Southern Africa for maintenance of the air-conditioning systems, and although these options are slowly expanding we cannot guarantee the service. On this occasion the vehicle you were in had air-conditioning, according to our pre tour check lists this was working. The majority of air conditioning systems, when the temperatures of 40 degrees, would only be able to take the edge off the heat. The vehicle is back at our operational base now and we will have the air con company looking at it in the next few days.

I will however be looking into how we can support our agents with information so that it is for those booking in the hot months the temperatures that they could be travelling through.

We have found curtains become a hazard, take up space and become a contentious point among our travellers.

We go through regular guide training sessions with the operational issues for the cool boxes in the vehicle. So if there was only 1 resupply of ice in the 14 days of the tour for your clients cool box then I apologise. I will go through the receipts returned by the guides to make sure that we are supplying the correct amount of ice for the drinks cooler.

I am happy that the majority of the accommodation in Khama Rhino Sanctuary, Rivernest, Pelican Lodge and Rainbow Hotel all and the camp in the Okavango met your expectations. The prime motive for being in the Okavango Delta is for the mokoro journey and the wildlife game walks. Both of these activities get us closer to part of the wilderness that you cannot do on a vehicle based activity. The guides or polers suggestion of learning to pole is often an entertaining way to spend the afternoon in the Okavango. I am sorry that this although mentioned did not eventualise for you, the two nights in the itinerary dedicated to the Okavango offer a chance to get into the wilderness, we will concentrate on the cultural aspects of the Okavango for the next guides training session.

Hyena Pan: The actual game viewing drive in the morning in Moremi is extended so as to remove the backtracking back to Hyena Pan for lunch and allowing more time to explore Moremi Game Reserve as well as its surrounds. I am sure the flight back to Maun would have given you an excellent view over the edges of the Okavango.

The congestion in Chobe National Park is an unfortunate problem which is why we emphasize more of our wilderness experience in Moremi and have included the River Cruise to the itinerary. It is a major problem for the Botswana Wildlife Parks, Tourism Department and for the Botswana Government and they are all aware of these issues you have raised.

Food prep and storage: I am glad that the hygiene protocol of hand washing before meal preparation was adhered to. I will discuss the issues of the length of time food is left out particularly on hot days with Willard and Alois.

Our trucks store water in specifically designed stainless steel water tanks stored under the passenger compartment. The guides do not use engine water to wash food and produce. While I am glad that the hygiene protocol of hand washing before meal preparation was adheared to, I will make sure that the water is provided for hand washing at toilet stops as well.

We do guides training to help the guides become "time" efficient. I will redo this training with Alois and Willard to make sure that minimal time is wasted refuelling or shopping or banking during this tour. I will discuss this with the guides to make sure that they are aware when planning the following day. Good suggestion and we will follow up on this.

Thank you for your suggestions on making all the clients pre purchase their currency.

Tipping while not a cultural norm in Australia is a norm in many other parts of the world. All of the staff at Planet Okavango (a company which I own) and my staff at Sunway Safaris are paid well. Our guides partake in a bonus scheme dependant on performance and client satisfaction. They are all paid considerably more than many other sectors in Southern Africa. However gratuities are exactly that. It is a voluntary suggestion to show your appreciation of their hard work during the tour. We do not suggest at any point that it is compulsory. However if you enjoy the service and if you appreciate the guides role in the safari then we give a guide line for tipping for those uncomfortable or unsure of the amounts to tip. I am sorry that you felt pressured to tip the polers in the Delta after they had looked after you.

The Local payment is used for operational expenses during the tour and in retrospective payment at various points after the tour finishes in Victoria Falls. The guides are also carrying cash to cover the following tours which do not go back to South Africa.

Thanks for the suggestion of the Boma being included in the tour as a final meal celebration.

We appreciate your suggestions and feedback. I would have replied sooner however we never received the email or letter with your suggestions. The first I knew of this was when you posted the negative review on Google on Sunday / Monday. Once I received the email through our website and following letter correspondence I have endeavoured to reply as soon as possible. I would like to reiterate my apologies for the

Please can you send me your banking details and I will deposit $100 refund for the transfer taxi directly into your account by Thursday. Once you have received the refund for the taxi, I would kindly ask you to reconsider the review.

Kind regards
Shaun Waring-Jones
Sunway Safaris

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