I got very bad advices from this Travel agency : www. Africaodyssey.com and i pay an incredible rate for www.wilderness-safaris.comm poor lodges and one horrible lodge not refurbished for 15 years - Fake rating on Tripadvisor and censure for bad reviews
I booked a safari in Botswana in September with AfricanOdyssey. I wanted a memorable vacation, and i accepted to pay a very high price as i was expecting a wonderful experience. All lodges were very expensive in Botswana and they rate were multipled by 3 in 8 years but not the salary of the staff so benefits are only for shareholders. So for me, Botwana is not better than other experiences i had in others countries, but really much more expensive. I booked with this travel agency (africanodyssey.com) but i had others proposals exactly the same price meaning there is a rack rate defined by Wilderness-safaris.com. So for 8 nights with domestic flights i paid almost 22,000 USD (yes twety thousand USD) and for that rate i get 3 lodges from (africanodyssey.com) owned by (wilderness-safaris.com)
- a basic lodge (for me value 300 USD) called Kahalari Plains camp. very d disappointing for an high rate - too expensive for the confort - but sold 2,5 times the real value
- Little mombo which was refurbished but too expensive also and paid more than 4000USD for 1 night
- a camp called Vumbura Plains Camp (north camp as there is 2 camps) . I paid 3200 USD PER NIGHT for 1 person , for a supposed 5 stars camp and this rating is a huge lie because considering the confort, the service and the fafed room, it's a place i will never have been even for 50 USD? And for that rate you can expect , at a cheapest rate, a suite in the more expensive 5 stars hotels in Japan, Paris , New york, London.. My experience was awful and i am very angry to have been advise to go there , when the job of a travel is to make customers happy and i am far to be happy for such disaster.
I have obviously the invoice and the pictures if Trustpilot needs it and i am not stupid and it's not diffamation but a real experience.There is no maintenance in Vumbura Plains.
when i complained : the staff was also arrogant telling me Botswana is the Rolls Royce !! very modest. specially when this is very true for the indecent rates for poor confort but also for a very bad experience
So 1st i posted 6 reviews on Tripadvisor and the deleted or make it invisible (pending), so i can't inform others travelers to avoid Wilderness-Safaris and AfricanOdyssey as it's a very bad choice. I choose the Wilderness safaris lodges because on their good comments and rating (4.5 / 5) but deleting the bad reviews is a censure and the average note is rising. But it's just a scam. Tripadvisor also make a pressure on Trustpilot but they didn't succeed meaning Trustpilot is fair and you might find this review here
After i checked a website which have an algorithm to detect the percentage of fake reviews and tripadvisor for this lodge seems to have 40% fake reviews and it's probably subestimed as many bad reviews has been deleted so invisible.
so this is the analysis on this lodge : "analysis on Tripadvisor : Vumbura Plains Camps , botswana - 40% low quality reviews for this 5 stars according to Tripadvisor which is a lie.
so the result of their analysis is "There are indications of inauthentic reviews. You be the judge.
Our engine has analyzed and discovered that 60.0% of the reviews are reliable.
Our engine detects that in general the reviewers have a positive sentiment.
The most used word by reviewers is our.
Our engine has profiled the reviewer patterns and has determined that there may be deception involved.
Our engine has determined that the review content quality is low.
Able to track animals by their tracks, which meant that we saw the highlights before my wife and i recently stayed at this camp and experienced some of our best safari sightings of our trip
Our guide speedy was awesome and was the first guide we had that was consistently able to track animals (resulting in us being the first just spent 3 nights at vumbura south camp
And the global result was : "Fakespot Review Grade
Our analysis detected 40.0% low quality reviews
and this lodge is rate by them at 2.5 which is very generous but they can't take in account the deleted reviews"
on Tripadvisor , few bad reviews, but some looks like mine but not so extreme
one sample : from 2015, so now the experience is worst
Reviewed July 14, 2015
Does Not Deliver at $4,000+ Per Night
We considered rating this property as "terrible" but decided on poor. This rating is a reflection of a series of what were mostly small but upsetting events. The rating reflects our expectations of a property that costs well over $4,000 per day and even more when you have engaged a private guide and vehicle." ……...
and the answer was "WildernessSafaris, Manager at Wilderness Safaris Vumbura Plains Camp, responded to this reviewResponded July 17, 2015
Thank you for taking the time to share this detailed feedback on your recent stay with us. Although you declined to complete a guest evaluation form in camp, our Operations team have already made us aware of your concerns. Our Customer Care team has been in contact with your Travel Agent accordingly, and you will receive further correspondence from us via that channel; regarding your stay with Wilderness Safaris.
also wilderness-safaris tried to buy my silence - difficult to change bad behaviors !! so probably many unhappy customes accepted this corruption signing a paper.
so this the extract of a mail sent to me : ""We appreciate your candour and as we do concede that your stay at Vumbura Plains was not optimal, we
could like to offer a refund for 2 nights on the provision that you sign a full waiver and release. This offer is
given without prejudice or acceptance of liability or error on our part and that you will refrain from posting any
negative reviews, images and comments on social platforms about Wilderness Safaris. Please let us know if you
accept this offer, so that we may send through the waiver letter for you to sign."
I refused, 6400 USD but not a price for my integrity is attractive for most people but i refused as i loose almost 22,000 USD (without international flights and this charity compared to my prejudice of 22,000 USD !! as they wasted fully vacations.
I prefer to fight against those bad practices and publish the most i can about my experience and there is a lot of reviews now posted in different websites and it's just the beginning
When TripAdvisor will stop its censure deleting bad reviews, i will save money on many hotels and restaurants which has some rating which have been manipulating and a note they Don't deserve.
So I ACCUSE AfricaOdyssey to have published on its website OLD PICTURES probably from the opening of the lodge, so new , and also very different. So they are dishonnest if they knew the real condition of the lodges or incompetent if they don't know the current bad quality of these Wildernes-safaris lodges. So 2 good reasons to avoid them as they are not trustable to organize a trip. They are only interested by a huge amount paid by Wilderness even they are wasting the vacations of many tourists
So it has to be known to all travelers.
for myself i will travel again to other countries for safaris , but i will ban Botswana - too expensive for a very bad experience and i prefer to have more days vacations for the same rate or pay less for a better experience for also 8 days.
and i promise i won't go again the travel agencies which are supposed to be skilled to advise you the best vacations. But direct is the best choice and it's easy
and this unskilled and disapointing "travel agency" is far to be the best choice
Be aware of fake data on internet