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GREAT Safari Experience with 2Afrika ( 2Afrika.com )

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Atlanta, Georgia
posts: 2
reviews: 1
GREAT Safari Experience with 2Afrika ( 2Afrika.com )

In March of this year (2013) six of us took 2Afrika's 13 day Kenya and Tanzania safari. We booked with a special rate that included airfare. Hands down, the pricing was the most amazing offer. I'll elaborate, but I can quickly summarize that the entire trip was the trip of a lifetime on all counts and 2Afrika did a great job for us.

A few weeks before departure we were antsy when someone in our group discovered some of the questionable reviews on here and on the BBB website. However, when we really looked at the dates that were involved, etc. it was obvious that over the past five years there were only a few mishaps with a couple of groups, and literally everyone in the group posted their own private complaints, making it seem like the issues were much greater. I can't speak for their experiences, but I can speak for ours, which is recent as of March 2013. (Note that we were actually traveling during the election, which made it prime for problems... but none occurred!)

First of all, the air travel was correctly booked and we immediately received confirmation and thorough documentation. Our flights were without delay, and when we landed we were promptly greeted by our extremely friendly tour company. When we arrived at our first hotel, we were briefed thoroughly and given a written outline of exactly how our visit in Kenya would go. The hotel staff were warm and friendly and our accommodations were very comfortable. And this is how it was throughout our stay in Kenya. We traveled to several game reserves and lodges and everything was on track and spectacular and everyone we encountered was warm and welcoming. We saw dozens upon dozens of wildlife species, quickly marking up our field guide and shooting photo after photo. Our encounters were up-close and thrilling. Everywhere we slept we were very impressed with the food, comfort and staff. We transferred midway through the trip to Tanzania, which we liked even better; gorgeous landscape filled with an array of wildlife. We changed tour companies for Tanzania, but the hand-off was handled without a single hiccup. The 2nd guide was really good, not as exceptional as the first guide, but still good. And while we were comfortable in Kenya, the lodges and the views they offered were breathtaking in Tanzania. The Serena lodges are each so unique and embrace the land in panoramic splendor. Everything... I mean absolutely everything was handled as promised. Ken Hieber of 2Afrika knew our trip was in celebration of some birthdays, so along the way he arranged for small birthday cake surprises for the honorees in our party. What a great treat that he didn't have to go out of his way to do for us. This shows his care and attention to giving his guests a memorable life experience.

I want to offer a word about Ken and his pre-safari communication. It seemed as if we had some disruptions in our ability to get information during the winter months when his city was in a black out. I will confess that in light of posted reviews this made me really nervous. Finally, he was squared away and he held a phone conference with all six of us in the party and spent more than hour walking us through the entire trip. He would have spent two hours, or as long as it might take, to be sure we were informed and prepared. He was warm, friendly, insightful and patiently answered absolutely every question we had without ever making us feel stupid or silly. Quite the opposite, he made us feel understood and supported. His people skills are excellent, when you talk with him. HINT: Everything you need to know is in the very detailed and explicit instructions he gives you when he sends you your confirmations. Really read through them! Now that the safari has passed, I realize that though we had questions... everything we needed was spelled out clearly for us and IT WAS SPOT ON!!

The bus transport from Kenya to Tanzania was acceptable and premium as compared to what the standard "bus" transportation in that region entails. However, for this group of spoiled, middle-aged couch potatoes, it was a little grittier and took a little longer than we wanted. Consequently, we worked with our 2nd tour company to charter an independent van that took us directly back to Kenya and to the airport. That's more of a commentary on us than the arrangement, however, and the tour company and the van service were splendid.

If you are considering booking your safari through 2Afrika, I would tell you that our trip was close to flawless, and we are all very pleased. I recommend them highly and could not be happier with the incredible experience created for our group that will stay with us for the rest of our lives.

8 replies to this topic
Nashville, Tennessee
posts: 2,057
reviews: 151
1. Re: GREAT Safari Experience with 2Afrika ( 2Afrika.com )

I posted on the TZ forum and thought I would post the same response here. Thanks.

Copy:

Mark-

Thanks for the review. GLad you had a good trip. A couple of questions:

What lodges did you stay in? What tour company did you change? I thought you went with 2Afrika, did they just sub contract it out to a local TO? That part confused me a little.

Just out of curiosity, I noticed you joined TA today just to post this review. What prompted you to do that? It is funny how people have never used TA before, never used it to research, never asked questions on it or reviewed anything, suddenly come on and post the most amazing trip they have ever experienced. I am not doubting, just wondering who prompted you to post. We would love details.

I noticed 2Afrika has gotten some really bad reviews recently and wondered how you settled on them.

Thanks for the time. Good to hear you had a great trip.

Stephen

nyc
posts: 12,606
2. Re: GREAT Safari Experience with 2Afrika ( 2Afrika.com )

Wonder as Stephen, your reply... can only say 'you got lucky.' (really?)

Sadly, there have been way too many negative postings, whether here on TA or Fodor's about 2Afrika. So many that Frommers has removed this company from their listings; complaints to the NJ States Attorney; even a local news channel's expose of the issues with the company. Flight tickets never purchased; trips cancelled at last minute even after clients had purchased their trip insurance; alternate dates offered that didn't work for clients; refunds promised, but never received; constant lies from the owner Ken Heiber, and on and on... way too many to recall. Certainly no way to run a company.

Isle of Man, United...
posts: 30,574
reviews: 159
3. Re: GREAT Safari Experience with 2Afrika ( 2Afrika.com )

The OP is obviously a plant. TA should investigate and if found tru close the man down.

We have learned to deal with One post wonders, Now we get Two post wonders.

Folks. Check out the Forum before booking with the sick Mr Ken Heiber and his fraudulent company.

Minneapolis...
posts: 4,041
reviews: 88
4. Re: GREAT Safari Experience with 2Afrika ( 2Afrika.com )

I think we are being a bit hard on the OP. Look at the quality of his report - it couldn't be better if Ken Heiber had written it himself.

Perhaps we can nominate this report in the Tripadvisor Annual Writing Contest - under "FICTION" of course...

Michigan
posts: 971
reviews: 35
5. Re: GREAT Safari Experience with 2Afrika ( 2Afrika.com )

Well, he did mention using Serena lodges. I am finding though, that if the person has only a couple of postings, and is a recent member, seeing photos, including the lodging, makes me a little more comfortable..... but then photos can be 'borrowed' if one is trying to be clever. I did laugh at the "spoiled, middle aged couch-potatos" comment though.

Isle of Man, United...
posts: 30,574
reviews: 159
6. Re: GREAT Safari Experience with 2Afrika ( 2Afrika.com )

You mean you read it ALL Laurena?

Good for you. I don't bother much with fiction by unknown Authors.

And I actually like the shittle bus from NBO to Arusha. What does that make me? (Not middle aged at least.)

Edited: 4:24 am, April 25, 2013
nyc
posts: 12,606
7. Re: GREAT Safari Experience with 2Afrika ( 2Afrika.com )

Beats me why I checked this thread again, let alone re-read, but this comment caught my attention:

"in our ability to get information during the winter months when his city was in a black out. "

OK, 2Afrika is located in New Jersey, right across the river from Manhattan (NYC). Nowhere in some outlying area. A black-out? for days? during winter months?

Granted during Super Storm Sandy that took place end-Oct where many communities were hit with electric and phone service disruptions, winter isn't till Jan-Mar (though from weather recent days one would wonder if that also now includes late April... okay, enough with weather reports, as hopefully we'll see spring soon, and not be tempted with a few nice days these last weeks... ugh)

Don't know how OP and those in their party were communicating with Heiber, but the one thing that still works in the US is 'land phone lines" (I know all too well from 9/11/01 and other such disasters and besides in the NY metropolitan area cables are underground) unlike mobile service that when the juice goes, the cell phones can't be recharged, WiFi is sketchy as maybe also Skype. And though many areas have yet to come back from the sorm damage, even where generators had to be provided... and from friends who were smack-dab in the midst of the horror... were operating within a month after.

And may I ask 'what's wrong with the postal service? (works fine for me) and/or using UPS/DHL/FedEx?

Isle of Man, United...
posts: 30,574
reviews: 159
8. Re: GREAT Safari Experience with 2Afrika ( 2Afrika.com )

<<A black-out? for days? during winter months? >>

Princess. this was not Noo Joysey, USA, Planet Earth. This was on Planet Heiber in a far Galaxy inhabited by Heiberites. Even Klingons don't go there.

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