by Kilimanjaro Review November 01, 2012
Smart Africa Safari gives poor Tanzanian safari experience
We took a five day two night safari trip from Africa Smart Safaris Ltd. Soter Clemence Mutambalik the manager lied to us that there were three Spanish who had joined already and our joining could cost lower. He also said we could pay in credit card. Things went wrong from there, he tricked us to do cash advance from credit card instead of visa payment.
On the next day the driver Salim picked us up on time at 9am. It we have to wait for 1.5 hour for him to get lunchbox, fuel, get another japanese whom Soter tricked into our tour about a holland guy joining, another Egyptian guy who only joined a day tour to Tangarie national park (our first day schedule). We saw Soter and asked him about the Spanish and he lied that they had stomach problem and would join the same night. We were at the gate at 12:30pm and can only stayed in the park for 3.5 hours. The driver was just a driver not a guide. He wanted to end early and just that we pushed him to stay longer and we had half hour more.
Of course the Spanish did not come that night, the cook Mase was slow on cooking and his food was salty. We thought he was new on this freelance job. The next morning we had to wait for an hour from our 8am scheduled start, for a new girl who fell on Soter's trap to join, for the cook slow packing. Later the driver made us wait another half hour to pay for bank-in for park entrance payment (shouldn't it be done before ?). Later the driver was caught and fined for a flat tyre and that took us another half hour.
There are too many things going wrong : the cook does not know how to set up the tent, his food stayed on lousy, the driver was not really familiar with Serengeti and kept asking other drivers around for the animals. He did not have much planning about the areas to go ant we kept around Serenora and can stay on the road without seeing any animals.
We still have Ngorongoro to go tomorrow, wish us luck.... Well one hour and a half late to start. Only staying in the crater for 5 hours to see similar animals as Serengeti while there were other places in the national park to go and the driver was urgent to leave. At one point we wanted to go to the toilet and there was a detour to a picnic place far away but the driver insisted on moving on. We had to ask him again to u- turn to the picnic place.
Don't trust Africa Smart Safaris Ltd and Soter Clemence Mutambalik