Consumer Complaints and Reviews
It's probably not surprising that racism still exists, and that Eldertreks is part of it. After a trip to southern Africa with Eldertreks in March 2015, I received a letter from them stating that I was barred from further trips with them due to complaints about my behavior from the trip leader, other trip participants, lodges, and local guides. Turns out that I made the trip with a friend from Ethiopia who has been the leader on my four trips to his country.
Over the past 11 years I have made 23 overseas adventure trips, and not once have I heard of any complaints about my behavior. I am very interested in the tribes around the world, and when visiting them I try to participate on their culture and to interact with the people. Reflecting on occurrences during the trip, it came to me that the trip leader (who lives in South Africa), three female members of our group, and some of the lodges were racist.
There were only a few tribal village visits, but the tour leader never accompanied us on any of them - in fact he informed us that he was barred from entering one settlement.. Some of the group were completely disinterested in the tribal village visits. Their interest in the trip was in wildlife viewing and tourist stops. At certain of the lodges my friend and I were given a room in a less desirable location and apart from the rest of the group. My conclusion is that since Eldertreks condones racism the organization itself is racist.
The Silk Road trip involved crossing 5 different country borders. Each one went flawlessly, miraculous considering the countries we visited. All transport top notch. Bathroom stops made whenever we requested in wilderness or small towns during 7-8 hour drives. Food ranged from rural-average to city-above average. This was not a culinary trip but we were well taken care of and satisfied with a variety of cuisines.
Accommodations ranged from a home-stay and home cooked dinner and breakfast (delicious) to a range of hotels reflecting above average for the countries we were in. The company guides as well as those engaged in host countries were consistently interesting, well versed in their area and fun to be with. Eastern Turkey was just as satisfying with one hotel snafu. The guides and trip members decided together what alternative choice to make to all our satisfaction. Safety of the group was always a priority.
Planning a trip to Tanzania for October 16, 2008.
All necessary arrangements were made full insurance paid.
I broke my wrist on July 28 had right arm in cast for 6 weeks and needed physiotherapy still has a month to go for full recovery.
The request for postponing the trip was denied.
My complaint is that no effort was made to accomdate
this reasonable alternative.
I find this policy somewhat cruel and that would-be travelers with Eldertreks should be aware of this.
I was given a percentage of the cost of the trip what I wanted was to go in the Spring instead.
Have gone on three trips with them, two out of three were bad. Sub standard hotels, advertised as best available but not true, basement rooms, bad food, poor guides, bad buses. On a trip to Yunnan, brakes and transmission continuosly failed to the point that we missed parts of our tour because we missed connections due to bus breakdowns. In Yunnan, guide spent most of his time on the phone arranging other trips and local guide did not speak English.
In Myanmar, multiple problems with dirty and substandard rooms, boat not as promised with bad accomodations. When the toilet on the floor above broke and flooded my room, room was not even cleaned and I ended up with dysentery. Guide's reaction was not to bother him with problems. Treated us like it was his vacation and we were just along to pay his way. Complaints to company by numerous tourists were ignored or brushed off. I would not recommend this company to anyone, itinerary descriptions are great, but company does not follow through on promotional material. Also committed to provide for special needs on food (I'm a vegetarian) but only veg food was rice and one veg dish to be shared with the entire group.
Dysentery in Myanmar, missed tours and connections, dangerous driving conditions in Yunnan-do not want to be on a bus with bad brakes and bad transmission in the Himalayas. At one point a military repair van volunteered to get us to our hotel hours after expected arrival time because the bus died in the mountains, we had been stuck there for hours and were lucky the van stopped when they saw all the Americans standing around where we didn't belong. When we were in need of road stop due to digestive problems in Myanmar, guide refused to stop at side of road because he didn't need to go: we finally and strongly insisted because conditions were critical for some of us.
The local company Elder trek contracted with, Juulchin Travel, allowed us to be ejected from our Hotel because they had booked another group into the same hotel. Fortunately our group stood our ground adn we were finally placed into a 3rd rate hotel with hoolers on the front porch - it was better than a tent. The people from Juulchin were insulting and untrustworthly. Think twice before you book with Elder Trek - they are a Canadian Co. and have little regard for Americans traveling abroad. I have travelled the entire world and have never been treated like this before.
We paid for a 5 star hotel and got a hotel in the slums with prostitutes and drugs. They gave us $200 which was a pittance compared to the inconvenience and insult we suffered. then they made us sign a statement saying we wouldn't sue.
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