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Ulinda Safari Trails

Features Animals
Maun, Botswana
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About Ulinda Safari Trails
Ulinda Safari Trails specialises in tailor made photographic safaris in Botswana. We give you the best opportunities to capture great photos in comfort. By keeping small we assure attention to detail and provide you with a unique safari that exceeds your expectations. Our clients get intimate group sizes with personalised itineraries and also the comfort of a fully backed up safari. We have the best cooks and the best vehicles seating only 4 people in the back of each in comfort. We supply beanbags for clients with big lenses (our speciality) you can charge laptops, camera's and smart phones. If not enjoying a special sunset moment with your camera, enjoy a chilled Gin and Tonic Sundowner with us. Meet other really interesting people and spend many nights around a campfire exchanging stories and listening to great true stories from Ulinda's knowledgeable and interesting guides. We are striving to be the first Eco Friendly mobile safari company in Botswana!!
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Ulinda Safari Trails
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Helen M wrote a review Jun 2022
4 contributions1 helpful vote
Do not touch this company with a barge pole. The first evening we drove to our campsite in the dark to find our support team had not arrived. They turned up an hour later and we then spent another 2 hours in the vehicle while they erected camp. No offer of a drink/snack while we waited. On another occasion we spent two hours in the dark driving around looking for our campsite and than another hour while they erected our tent. The vehicle looked like it had been in storage for the last 2 years as rusty water dripped from the roof when it was opened, there was rust all around the roof that got onto our clothes, the radio didn't work so we couldn't keep in contact with our support vehicle. This was especially important when we got stuck on the sandy road and had to wait 2 hours before a passing vehicle pulled us out. Most worryingly an audible alarm came on after a week and lasted for an hour each morning. We went back to Maun to restock but no effort was made to find out what the alarm was and it stayed on for progressively longer each day and finally lasted for three hours each morning and the vehicle became increasingly harder to start. We were so relived when we came to the end of the Safari. This was supposedly a photography trip so power was vital but the original inverter only worked for a day, a replacement also only worked for a day so we and the staff were reliant on a small inverter brought out by the other guest. The worst though was we received an e-mail during the trip from the owner Jane who was in Australia accusing us of being racist, eating too much, and being bullies. Jane was in contact with Lesley who supposedly was in charge on our trip but we very rarely saw her and when she did finally get up she was either hyper or wouldn't talk to us. Thankfully our excellent freelance driver/guide Chippo contacted Jane and told her we were quite normal. There were many other examples of poor organisation and lack of customer care I could highlight. We have complained to the local tourist organisation about our treatment and await the result. Please do not go anywhere near this company.
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Date of experience: May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Response from sarahmaiakerr, Public Relations Manager at Ulinda Safari Trails
Responded Jun 27, 2022
Thank you for your review. I’m sorry to hear you had a frustrating experience, but I really appreciate you bringing these issues to our attention. We will be communicating with staff on the trip to train them further and we will be resolving the issues you have bought up. Please know that your situation was an exception. As you can see on other reviews, we are known for taking ownership and caring deeply about our customers. We can’t fix the past but you have my personal commitment to improve the way our staff serves every customer. As we come out of two years with no tourism we have had vehicle issues and are working to make sure these are all resolved and back to our high standards. Kind Regards
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
CinynChris wrote a review Jun 2019
Mooloolaba, Australia18 contributions24 helpful votes
We requested a 6 day safari from Ulinda back in March 2018 to be taken in June this year. Our early request allowed Jane Bettenay of Ulinda to obtain camping permits in 3 excellent locations in the Okavango Delta for wildlife viewing. Our first 2 nights were near second bridge and were ideal for hippo and birds. The second two nights were at Xini Camp and this was sensational - hippos, elephants, zebra, lion, baboons, honey badgers - what an amazing place! The final two nights were spent near Khwai North Gate and were superb for lions. This tour would be ideal for small groups of friends or a family traveling together. Food was plentiful and delicious. Sundowners were enjoyable and in spectacular locations. The Popemobile style Troopcarriers are ideal for watching the wildlife with their pop up tops allowing 360 degree views. An excellent platform for photography. The new ensuite tents are also perfect for doing ablutions at night in safety! All in all, the Okavango Delta provided us with an experience that far exceeded our expectations and will remain as one of our most thrilling and dramatic experiences. Our thanks to the team: Jane, Victor, Pini and Image.
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Date of experience: June 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
2 Helpful votes
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adrianj804 wrote a review Apr 2019
Salisbury, United Kingdom1 contribution
Thank you, Jane, Pimi, Victor and Manga for a truly memorable experience. The trip you devised for us exceeded our expectations in terms of animals viewed as well as the whole bush camp experience. We would recommend this trip to anyone who has a sense of adventure and is happy to forego modern amenities for a short period of time and you will be richly rewarded. With thanks and we hope to return."
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Review collected in partnership with this attraction
Date of experience: September 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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Response from sarahmaiakerr, Public Relations Manager at Ulinda Safari Trails
Responded Apr 18, 2019
Thank you so much for your lovely review- we too truly hope you can return and we have just purchased 2 larger luxury 'Meru' tents if you would like tot ry them on your next adventure with us! The whole team send their thanks.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Voyage10220008687 wrote a review Apr 2019
1 contribution1 helpful vote
We have spent 10 great days with Jane ( Ulinda Safari Trails ). They took care about us in perfect way, so we were able to focus on nature and animals. Any of our requests was fulfilled nearly before we mentioned it ;). They closed cars are great advantage as well. We met open cars mostly, where people were covered by dust and dirt when we were OK.
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Review collected in partnership with this attraction
Date of experience: October 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
1 Helpful vote
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Response from sarahmaiakerr, Public Relations Manager at Ulinda Safari Trails
Responded Apr 8, 2019
Thank you so much for your lovely review- a 10 day safari is an amazing experience and we are so glad that you were able to focus on animals and nature- that is certainly our aim! We hope to have you again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
St3ve wrote a review Mar 2019
London3 contributions5 helpful votes
We did a 5-day mobile (tented) safari with Ulinda Safari Trails. Our driver and guide was Jane Bettenay, Head Guide and Director of the company. I had read positive reviews about the company and was excited to be going with Jane. Unfortunately, my experience fell way short of expectations. When we arrived at Maun airport Jane was there. She acknowledged us and led us to the vehicle for our long drive to the Kalahari. We followed behind, puzzled by the silence. My first impressions: Jane appeared taciturn and withdrawn. The vehicle was dated and wasn’t in great condition nor particularly comfortable. A loosely attached fire extinguisher kept rattling. There were two spare tires, neither was in good condition. There were 500ml reusable drinking water bottles provided for each of us, cans of beer and sandwiches for the ride. The water was insufficient for long drives so I was often hydrating to beer – and I’m not big on beer. My reusable water bottle looked like it was purchased before World War II, it was banged-up, scuffed and a little off-putting to drink from, however, when you’re super thirsty you won’t care, so no big deal I suppose. En route to the Kalahari we alerted Jane to a flat tire as we felt a vibration and heard a flapping noise. The tire was hot and we could barely touch it let alone remove it. There were no gloves so we had to use our bare hands. My father-in-law and I took an initial stab at removing the flat tire. Because it hadn’t been fitted properly it wasn’t coming off. We asked Jane to contact her team or anyone to get help. She had no way to contact them, no radio contact. With all the flights, connections, etc, we hadn’t slept for at least 24 hours. Working on this tire in the scorching heat was the last thing we wanted to do, nor should have been tasked with, but we had to do it. During the three gruelling hours the two of us (her guests) worked on it, Jane sat on the ground, not talking to us, not offering us any help and no towels for our greasy hands. When we did ask if she had a certain sized spanner, because she did not have the equipment needed for this task, her answer was always 'no' with no apology and no attempt to find something else. It was as if she did not care. The other option was spending the night in the vehicle and waiting until morning when hopefully someone from Jane’s team would come looking for us. As the two of us desperately worked at it, three hours later and covered in grease, we managed to replace the tire. Just before entering the park boundary we had to stop and get out of the vehicle. Jane got out without saying a word. We're all wondering what is going on when and official comes over and says we need to wipe our feet to prevent foot-and-mouth disease being spread. This was the start of non-existent communications. Our next challenge was to make it to the Kalahari National Park gate by 19:00 when the gate is closed. We got there by 19:45 and it took some time for Jane to plead with them to let us through. By the time we got to camp we were so exhausted from the travel and stress that we had little appetite for dinner and retired to the tent to be ready for the early morning game drive. Much of the game drives consisted of Jane driving non-stop and us doing the spotting and asking Jane to stop in places. We almost drove right past lions, bat-eared foxes and cheetahs without stopping. Luckily I spotted them and yelled STOP! With other guides I was used to them imparting lots of knowledge. Jane just kept driving and barely talked. In summary I wish Jane were communicative. I felt like we were on safari alone with a driver and not a guide. On our last day we learned the chef had cooked his favorite dish the first night we arrived when we were too tired and stressed. Simple things as this if Jane had shared and communicated, our experience could have been better despite some of the major hiccups. I would not recommend Ulinda safaris, and that is because of Jane. This has no bearing on her team.
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Date of experience: January 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
3 Helpful votes
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