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“CAN'T FAULT THIS GROUP. HAPPY IS THE BEST GUIDE EVER!”

Safari's Direct Day Safaris
Reviewed March 31, 2015

Our group of 21 had a two-day safari - wonderful! Happy was our Guide and really gave his all to ensuring we sighted as much as we could. We did manage the Big Five, which was such a bonus! Happy explained so much to us and made the safari all the more exciting. We had a packed brunch each day from the Hotel and be careful of the baboons when u stop for a break-they recognise the boxes and try to grab them! Would advise on the second day, if offered the option of one longer trip-take it, instead of returning to the hotel and going out again in the afternoon. THANK YOU for making the holiday even more memorable. SPECIAL THANKS TO HAPPY!

1  Thank Christy_Luv2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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4 - 8 of 18 reviews

Reviewed September 22, 2014

Thompsons Travel / Tours / Safaris & Safaris Direct
On Thursday 18 September 2014, at around 10am, I was in the Kruger National Park. The Park has a speed limit to protect wildlife from vehicles. I was horrified and disgusted by the speeding and reckless driving of game viewing vehicles, belonging to branded safari tour companies:
1. Thompsons Tours / Travel Registrations numbers: DLV114MP; HJB627MP.
2. Safaris Direct. Registrations numbers: HDN799MP; HND800MP; HNC741MP;
Driving towards Lower Sabie from Skukuza, between five and six of these vehicles came speeding past me to reach a sighting. Not only did they ALL speed like demons, the drivers were totally disregarded all the laws of the Park then went on to break the well-understood etiquette of viewing game in the Park.
They screamed past me and several other cars, into oncoming traffic, wedged themselves in front of cars (including mine) that were already in position at the sighting, and then kept pushing and inching and shoving their way into the cars that were already there. They completely blocked the roads of several occasions, ignored the angry visitors in other vehicles. It was like being in a gridlock downtown on a Friday afternoon surrounded by hooting taxis.
I later came across the same vehicles and they were again speeding – but then simply because they felt like it not to reach a sighting (which, incidentally, is no justification for speeding either).

Later when I managed to extract myself from the traffic jam they had caused, and having seen nothing because of their game vehicle blockade, I wound down my window and said to the driver of Thompsons Travel / Tours vehicle regisration HJB627MP, “You’re not allowed to speed in the Park.” He responded with such disproportionate aggressive force and utter arrogance that I was really unnerved by the violence of his response. It was very, very ugly. It was profoundly disturbing to witness such a violence in a person, let alone in a so-called “tourism professional”. Having spat his response, he turned his back on me, would not engage further and, in effect, gave me the finger. He sent a strong message that he and his fellow drivers:
1. Have zero concern for the animal life in the Park.
2. Have no respect, let alone any sense of reverence or concern, for the nature we are trying to protect in the Park.
3. Consider themselves totally above the law.
4. They feel no fear whatsoever about any possibility of being held accountable.
5. They believe they can - and they do - behave however they want to in this place.
They clearly have been given free reign by their companies to drive and behave like the Third World taxi divers they most probably are.
But this is the KNP. It is - certainly to me and millions of other people - a deeply precious and beloved piece of a fast-vanishing wilderness. I for one do not want these taxi driver tactics in the Park to kill and maim animals on the roads, or disrupt the experience of peace and beauty in this amazing place.
Hotels, visitors and tour operators : listen up!
I urge you at all costs: AVOID USING THOMPSONS TRAVEL/TOURS/ SAFARIS AND SAFARIS DIRECT.
INSIST WITH YOUR HOTEL / LODGE THAT THEY DO NOT USE THESE OPERATORS.
THEIR DRIVERS ARE ARROGANT, OFFENSIVE BRUTES.
IT IS ABSOLUTELY CLEAR THAT THESE PEOPLE HAVE NO RESPECT OR LOVE FOR THE BUSH.
THEY SHOULD NEVER HAVE THE LIVES OF PEOPLE IN THEIR HANDS.
THEY SHOULD BE BANNED FROM DRIVING IN NATURE CONSERVATION AREAS WHERE THEY CAN HARM WILDLIFE.

9  Thank Gypsetter66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 21, 2011

We (three of us) enjoyed our 3.5 hr tour with Safari direct. It was nice to have a private tour as you can dictate things a little, such as getting the driver to move the jeep a little to get that 'perfect' photo, but not sure it was worth the significantly higher cost than the public tour with the KNP guides. We saw similar things to the public tour at the same time and were in a very similar vehicle. If i had my choice again would probably just use the public tour used the money saved for other things (more tours - what a great palce KNP is!)

7  Thank MDC79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed March 4, 2009

Myself and my girlfriend are just back from a fabulous trip to South Africa where the highlight was undoubtedly a 3 day safari in Kruger national park which we booked with “Safaris Direct”.
Our guides name was “Dieter” and he was truly excellent. He had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the wildlife, and knew exactly where to find the animals.
On one of many highlights we saw two leopards fighting over territory that was nail-biting.
They do morning and evening drives when the weather is cooler in large 6 seat all-terrain vehicles where you are seated elevated high up for the best views. This makes a big difference as we saw many people in cars/jeeps and other low guide vehicles that would have struggled to see animals over bushes etc.
Cant recommend there safari enough.

Ed

8  Thank ezdmanx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed October 28, 2017
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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