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“Don't Be A Fool!”
1 of 5 bubbles Review of Livingstone Trails

Livingstone Trails
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
180 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 82 helpful votes
“Don't Be A Fool!”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 May 2013

These folks at Livingstone Trails Budget Safaris are VERY AWARE of the fact that they subject not only their EMPLOYEES to dangerous situations but guests as well! Their drivers "David" and "Sydney" have been involved in accidents from falling asleep at the wheel and it was not until I returned home and read the reviews that I commented to my husband about the many times I would have to comment to David on the way back to South Africa about his "dozing" off at the wheel! What is worse, do you think Livingstone even cared to respond to my evaluation I provided at the end of the our or my calls and emails to them once I returned home? NO! The sad part is I wasn't looking for anything from this organization other than acknowledgment (Goodness knows they couldn't pay ME to use them again!) BUT they certainly could have at least responded to me if they were reputable! Main tip to travelers??? DON'T BOOK ANYTHING WITH THE WORD "BUDGET" IN ITS NAME! This organization was just the only available organization that we could use that would ducktail additional things we wanted to do with the MAIN reason of our journey to visit the Mountain Gorillas and Jane Goodall's Chimps!

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
4 Thank NMC_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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26 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Perth, Australia
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“new owners total turnaround”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 February 2013

i booked this tour company as a last minute thing. glad i didnt read any of the reviews.
this was a well run well organised tour the guides were excellent (the owner of the company is one of the guides) and couldnt do enough for us. i can highly reccomend livingstone and i will be traveling with them again.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank Ben P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New Jersey
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Don't go with Livingstone- Worst tour operator I have ever experienced.”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 January 2013

I will start by saying that the Kruger Tour was great, but it is probably a much better idea to stay inside the park, and do the activities that the park can organize for you. Livingstone Trails stays 40 minutes outside the park, and only offers one night drive at an added cost. The 4 day tour only spends 2 days inside the park.

The Vic Falls, Chobe, and Botswana part of the tour was terrible. The destinations themselves were fantastic, and are definitely worth a visit. However, the itinerary is VERY VERY MISLEADING. Of the 7 days, 4 are spent in the car. Here is a brief overview of the actual itinerary.

Day 1- Drive from Joburg (even if you were on the Kruger part, you are returned to Joburg). If all goes well and fast at the Botswana border you will get to stay at a lodge where elephants come to drink. It is very rare that you will see anything else. You will not have time to sit and relax, as it will be dark when you get there. If things take a long time at the border you will stay at the grounds of another hotel, and be charged extra for your dinner.

Day 2- Again, the entire day in the car. Arrive in Vic Falls in the early evening. Book your activities.

Day 3,4- On your own in Vic Falls.

Day 5- Leave late morning, spend only 2 hours in Chobe park.

Day 6- Again, drive all day. Here you we were scheduled to stay in the Rhino Sanctuary. However, Livingstone Trails does not reserve the camp site until the day before (not really sure why), so there were no places for us to camp. Instead, we had to stay 45 minutes away, and then pay to go a game drive in the van, and not in the open game vehicle. Oh, also, the van broke down several times in the park.

Day 7- Drive back to Joburg. The van also broke down on the drive back.

Instead, I would suggest flying from Joburg to Vic Falls, and doing a day trip from there to Chobe. It will end up being just about the same price to do it yourself, and it will save you 4 days of just sitting in the car for 15+ hour drives, and getting less than 5 hours of sleep night.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
5 Thank Courtney S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Good for the money but know that it's a budget safari”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 October 2011

Just returned after a 12 day Okavango Delta/Chobe/Vic Falls trip and had a great time. But there are some things I wish I knew before I went, so I decided to write a review. I was also a little freaked out by the reviews on here and had a hard time figuring out what was valid. I'll split it up into pros and cons:

PROS:
-good value for the money
-the tents and vans were actually in better working order than I was expecting
-both guides Lloyd and David were excellent- knowledgeable, friendly, cooked good hot meals for dinner
-had a GREAT trip and no major issues- loved the places we went and things we did
-they warn you that this is a "participation" budget safari but all you do is put up your tents and help with dishes- really not a big deal. otherwise the guide does it all
-the majority of the people we met were nice and fun (age ranges from 20's to 40's)
- small groups were a plus (6 people and then 8). when you see some of the big overland trucks with 30 people you really appreciate that you're not on it!

CONS:
- didn't know that it wasn't one 12 day tour, but rather two different segments (Okavango Delta / Chobe & Vic Falls). All of their tours are really 3-5 day segments that you can mix and match. This means that it was actually 2 separate tours with two different tour guides and two different groups of people. The negative is that in order to drop people off and get new ones, you can end up spending a day or two of wasted time backtracking or meeting up. That was a little annoying, especially since they didn't make it clear from the start. And had we known they were segments, we likely would have added on a 4 day Kruger trip (but didn't realize that this was an option)
-in Vic Falls you should be prepared to spend a few hundred dollars on activities because there's not much that's included in the tour and you're there for 3 days.

All in it was a great trip and a good value for the money. I talked to some other folks along the way on other operators' trips and it seems like they were all comparable and each of us was satisfied with our own tour.

Visited October 2011
Helpful?
8 Thank Julie G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
East Peoria, Illinois
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Livingstone Trails Budget Safari”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 October 2011

My husband and I just got back from a 10 day safari with Livingstone Trails. We had a fantastic time. I was concerned at first after reading some of the reviews, but it was better than I expected. The trip was exactly as advertised. Some of the negative reviews blamed Livingstone Trails for things that were not their responsiblilty. Passport and Visa issues are the responsibility of the traveler. Also, you are booking a budget trip so you won't be staying at the Hilton. Some of the roads are rough and there are long drives, but that is to be expected.
This is a wonderful budget trip.

Visited September 2011
Helpful?
6 Thank khufu2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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