We were a group of 5, and had booked through waterbuck based on recommendations and reviews i read. The communication was excellent with our questions answered and itinerary arranged. The lodges were great but i had picked them. This was my 3rd safari so i had something to compare. I have used Takim's and Kearsley's in the past.
The van that came to pick us up from Kilimanjaro had oil leaking so were informed we had to change cars on the way to Arusha. That was done, and i was glad it was recognised earlier. On our way to Arusha, there was a police blitz to check on registration papers etc on all the safari vehicles...well...guess what...ours did not have proper papers. We had to wait for 1/2 hour whilst the driver was trying to get hold of his boss who was not picking up the phone. The truck belonged to Sunny safaris which Waterbuck uses. So i called Nurez to inform him and after some back and forth, the driver paid his fine and we were on our way.
Next, we get to L. Manyara- I am informed that the payment that the driver is trying to make is not getting through, i am asked to pay up front and will be re imbursed later by Waterbuck. At this point, i do flip. And the same problem happens getting into Serengeti.
We had a 5 day, 4 night safari. The driver was young and inexperienced. It started off with him telling me our first stay was at Ngorongoro Serena and i had to show him the lodge vouchers to convince him we were booked at the Sopa lodge. His ease with showing us the animals was not what i would expect- he would stop at times when the animals were really far and waste time, and we had to prompt him to get going. The experienced drivers make the safari a lot smoother and there is no need to have to look after the driver. I had asked Nurez what kind of a driver are we getting. On the last day we had to convince him to drop us off at Kilimanjaro, he thought he was dropping us off at Arusha- and he was going to drop us off earlier than the arranged time.
I did talk to Shafina after the safari, and all she kept on saying was that they have not had complaints before-which did not help because i was really not making this stuff up. And when she saw how upset i was getting- she offered to give us a free dinner. I turned that down. I just wanted someone to believe me and realise that this is not how a safari should go.
Viewing the animals in the game parks in Tanzania is not a problem, there is plenty of game- it's the ease at which the safari goes, there are problems. I have encountered cars breaking down. But it's the problems that are preventable. This safari felt like work.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.