Never paid such high rate for such poor and unmaintained camp
Review of Wilderness Safaris Vumbura Plains Camp - the 4th as all others were deleted and i have the screen copies.
I tried to post the review below about TripAdvisor and the lodge Vumbura Plains and my review was deleted 4 times
So i posted it yesterday it was deleted : and it was tricky
My review was visible if i was connected on my account, but invisible without connection or from a friend's account. So you think you can give your opinion , but you can't and most all the bad reviews are deleted , and the consequence is a great note when it was the worst safari lodge i got for 3200 USD per night.
So www.wilderness-safaris.com tried to buy my silence refunding 2 nights , but i refused as they wasted my vacations i paid 22,000 USD without international flights for 1 single person.
So this the extract of the email they sent the sent : 19th november 2018 07:18
from Customer Care - Wilderness Safaris
"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. "
another review :
Reviewed December 15, 2015
UNDERWHELMING AND OVERPRICED
My wife and I stayed recently at Vembura Plains and it was supposed to be the highlight of our trip. The staff was very un engaging and did not go out of their way, the food was so so and the room needs updating. The only positive is the game viewing was excellent.
so in 2018 the lodge was even more awful
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.
clearly they buy their silence with Financial compensation
another one from Charlene
Cape Town Central, South Africa
Reviewed April 2, 2015
Overrated and over priced!
What a terrible disappointment! This lodge simply lacks the special touches, service and details you would expect from an establishment with these kind of rates. We stayed at north camp. The setting is spectacular with elephant in the camp the entire day and that was amazing but that is where it ends. "
Wilderness answer :
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WildernessSafaris, Guest Relations Manager at Wilderness Safaris Vumbura Plains Camp, responded to this reviewResponded April 9, 2015
Thank you for taking the time to send through your feedback, we are sorry to see that your experience in camp did not live up to your expectations.
We are currently in contact with your Agent who will be in contact with you shortly regarding all your concerns and hopefully we will be able to reach an amicable agreement.
The Customer Care team at Wilderness Safaris
so between TripAdvisor which delete reviews and Wilderness-safaris which buy the silence with peanuts compared to the crazy price the customers paid for just an awful experience
so you can trust TripAdvisor as the manipulate the reviews and the note (they have 4.5 when they deserves 1.5 even less considering the rate
----------------------- so this is the review deleted 4 times and i will post it on many other websites.
I booked a safari in Botswana with www.Wilderness-Safaris.com last September thru a travel agents (2 or 3 rfp and it was the same rate so rates are managed by Wilderness and not defined by the travel agents). Vumbura Plains was one of 2 camps and lodges (out of 3 for 8 nights) and I have never paid such a high price for such a miserable Vumburas camp, but also Kahalari camp was very basic and over-rated for a very poor confort . Many people mix the safari experience with the camp and lodge experience. Let me explain: I went to many countries for safaris and all were wonderful: Kenya, South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania .. So, of course, Botswana was good for Safaris, but like others country, even they have very few rhinos compared to South Africa, and certainly not better.
But Botswana is for sure the most expensive country for safaris and I really do not know why I paid so much money for such a disappointment. It was my 2nd time in Botswana and the rate increased by 3 in 8 years and i didn't visit Vumburas the 1st time. I agreed with that crazy rate because i can afford but i was expecting an experience for that level, when i got an horrible room and experience with an arrogant staff comparing Bostwana to a Rolls Royce ; i agree for the price, but where i saw an old third-hand camp not refurbished for 15 years for such high rate, at the level of a bad motel i will have pay 100-200 USD in the US
So I arrived at the Vumburas camp and they took me to a room with a small outdoor pool with a disgusting green color. The window blinds were plastic, very old and non-transparent and had not been cleaned in years. It was dusty. and very dirty. So I paid 3200 USD per night to have such an experience in an unserviced and mediocre camp. I feel so stupid for agreeing to pay such a high price for such a disappointing experience, but when you pay so much, you have the feeling that it's the guarantee of an exceptional stay or it's a scam. And how www.wilderness-safaris.com can offer such desastrous experience for 3200 USD per night for Vumburas camp (i have the invoice) ? It's just dishonnest.
The next day, they explained to me that my pool was under a tree and that birds were defecating in the pool which explained the dreadful green color. So they knew the problem, did not tell me that I should not get into this polluted water but obviously Wildernes never imagined during the last 15 years they could move the pool or protect against this terrible disadvantage.
I was transferred the next day to a similar room with a medium clean and old-fashioned pool, which has not been renovated for at least 15 years and has not been serviced and cleaned either: dirty plastic blinds and worn furniture and faded. And it was not over, I was lying on my bed in the afternoon, the mosquito net fall on the bed and was held by the fan, who could also get stuck under the weight of the mosquito net and fall on my legs.
It's just unimaginable to pay so much for such a miserable camp and it's a shame for Wilderness to offer such an experience at such a high price.
So I definitely not advise Botswana: it is more than 2 or 3 times more expensive than other countries which organize safaris in east and southern Africa. During this trip, my best experience was in South Africa: of course wonderful safaris but an amazing lodge, plenty rhinos with every imaginable comfort and cheaper than Vumburas camp which was really miserable. To offer such basic and unmaintained camps at this price is obviously very profitable for Wilderness-Safaris and I absolutely warn travelers against this unscrupulous company.
When i finished my vacations : i posted a review on Tripadvisor and very quickly this review was deleted without any notice or question from Tripadvisor about the reality of my experience. So i repost my review which was deleted immediately, and same for the 3rd one , so it's just censure and manipulation of the average note.
So i decided to fight against such abnormal behavior because Vumburas is rated 4.5/5 when i experienced 1.5/5 and it's because they deleted the bad reviews they have such stupid note they don't deserve. So i posted a description of this manipulation of the reviews and notes on Tripadvisor on Trustpilot.com and obviously TRipadvisor tried to delete it (difficult to change usual bad behaviors!) and finally they contacted me when they deleted many reviews which were true and i keep all evidences so i don't fear them as i have all screen copies, pictures, emails.. So i post my answer publically as i was supposing they will threatened me and after such behavior for years, i didn't trust them.
After that i posted a review from a trip in Costa Rica they also deleted few times and so far : it's still there so far.
I am preparing a complaint against Tripadvisor with my lawyer for the manipulation of the reviews and the conflict of interests they have being a "supposed independant website" and the business they proposed to hotels and restaurants , so how Tripadvisor manage a request to delete a review if they have a contract with tripadvisor or if they promote the lodge on their website and obviously get some commission?
For Vumburas, Wilderness-Safaris made probably the pressure to delete the reviews , they succeed but i posted more on other websites , so they understood i won't give up.
So they email me : they threatened me by email and offers 2 nights refund so as Vumburas was 3200 USD per night , i supposed it might be a refund of 6400 USD but i refused as they wasted my 8 nights and all vacations in Botswana for almost 22,000 USD for a very poor experience at this level of price when you are expecting an amazing experience. And also my vacations in Namibia as i was crazy to have been scammed by them
So there is 2 camps in Vumburas and Little Vumburas , and in some reviews i red , i feel the other camp have been already refurbished as it was not the same experience. But how a famous company like Wilderness-Safaris dare to sell a poor room in a miserable lodge when it's obviously not refurbished for 15 years - everything was awful. Just a dishonnest greedy company which increased their rates by 3 in few years without increasing by 3 the staff (i checked) , so the benefits might be huge with no expenses for refurbish, small salaries for the staff - it's a real jackpot.
So for Tripadvisor and www.wilderness-safaris.com : don't even try to delete this review or try again to threatened me. I have a lot of evidences : photos , your email, my invoice, my complaint by email and more. So you have no chance to change my mind : you might have think about consequences before sending guests in such place which have to be closed and waiting a large refresh.
And for Tripadvisor : you deleted so many reviews in the last years, so now they will reposted, there will be consequences if you deleted them again. You can ask me by email to give you evidences and i have all of them.
I don't lie and i am not stupid : i know perfectly you can trial me if my reviews are fake but i never do that, i am honnest and i have no time to spend for that. But i just want to stop the manipulation of the reviews and the conflict of interests on Tripadvisor as you push some travelers to the bad restaurant or hotel as many places don't deserve the average note they have, and it's normal when you deleted all reviews for specific hotels or restaurant (have you a business contract with them? have you this restaurant on "la fourchette" for reservations ? do you promote this hotel for bookings and get commisions". I don't know but there is some thing wrong in your business model. I choose some hotels looking the note on Tripadvisor but the reality was very very different , so how it can happened? So i loose a lot of money in many years because i was looking the lodges over 4/5 and i get a lot which were 1/5 but at the rate of the 4.5
I spent a lot of time on your case , And there is a lot of videos on internet where some reporters create a non-existing restaurant which was displayed on your website and the problem, you had accepted the reviews of some people which are obviously fake as there is no restaurant. So you will be advise to invest more for checking the reviews requesting a proof of ID and an evidence you had this experience (if not a person can create 10 reviews on the same hotel with 10 emails) and not to be busy accepting to delete the right reviews. And also fight seriously to discover the fake reviews created by some companies in "law relax" countries for few dollars. Videos about that are available on internet.