The tour was well planned with a good mix of Cape Town, Kruger Park, Johannesburg and other activities. There was ample free time and flexibility with choosing optional excursions. However the one negative was the 2 day plan at Kruger. We were told that the first day was through utilizing an inferior vehicle (being the big coach) where we wouldn't be able to go everywhere and the view would be through the glass windows. The second day was with an open air jeep with a ranger who knew the park and had a walkie talkie system with other rangers to find the animals. We could opt to have the first day with the jeep for an extra cost. This was not outlined in the itinerary and is underhanded. The tour operator, Daryl Howes, was very knowledgeable about South Africa, particularly the history of Apartheid. He was impressive, like a walking encyclopedia. Many people enjoyed him, however I found him a bit old to be a guide leader. He was easily agitated when people were noisy or were not sitting down when he was counting to make sure everyone was present. Yes, this is important but there was only 18 in our group. Sometimes he would count 3 or more times up and down the coach, and he was not able to do so unless we were all in our seats. Standing still on the bus was not an option. There were conflicts between a few people in our group (not with me) and I was told that he didn't hear both sides of the story. He insisted on making sure our group sat together at meals. There were people in the group that made loners felt welcome so no one was left apart so there was no need to insist on everyone sitting together. He gets flustered too easily. Finally, Daryl explained the following morning's activities on the coach, including breakfast and check out times. This is easily forgotten, especially if some people may be sleeping on the coach. The itineary for the next day would be better conveyed by a sheet of paper in the lobby of the hotel or a paper passed around that everyone could photograph. This is better organized and was done on other tours I've experienced with Trafalgar and Globus.
8 months ago
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