Although we went on to enjoy a wonderful three day experience in this reserve, unfortunately our first impression will never leave us. We arrived at the Memorial Gate after 2pm and eventually worked out exactly which building houses the reception as there are no signs from the parking area to tell you.
We waited for over 10 minutes for two of the most arrogant women I have ever encountered in Africa to even acknowledge our presence while they had a chat and slowly and laboriously counted some money. I couldn't believe they totally ignored us for so long.
Finally surly woman no. 1 looked up at me with an abrupt "yes?" indicating that we had thoroughly inconvenienced her. As I gave my reply she turned away to talk to misery no. 2 and then back to me "what?". I said much louder that we had an accommodation booking. She proceeded in monosyllables in the most unpleasant tone: "Form?" "Car?" "Make?" "Colour?" "Cell phone?" before typing endlessly all the while talking to no. 2. Finally prints off a form and hands it over counter saying absolutely nothing to us. We continued to wait while she carried on her private and absorbing conversation with no. 2. After a few minutes we interrupted to ask what we should do next and she says without looking up, "finished". We had to ask where to go. "You just go through, 15 kms. Straight ahead."
We were utterly seething, never having been treated so poorly in Africa or anywhere else. Ushered through a boom gate by a friendlier guy just as one of her colleagues jokes with her "I know how much you love mzungus". For the unfamiliar this means white person.
It turns out we had entered at the wrong gate and we still had about 2 more hours of driving before reaching our accommodation. A person who cared about their job could have told us to continue on the main road for a short distance and avoid all that driving. On entering the park, we encountered a large herd of white rhino but honestly could not appreciate the scene as were so angry.
This probably won't get published but, if it does, could someone please tell me where I can report these women so they can get some much-needed PR training. Or better still, get them out of public view. They are a disgrace to your tourism industry.
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