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“Experienced pilot and great trip”

Safari Helicopter Tours
Ranked #7 of 43 Tours in Hilo
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 3 April 2014

It was raining in the morning and we were worried that the trip would be cancelled. It cleared up by our afternoon trip, but started raining a little over the volcano. It made the scene very other worldly as the steam rose up off the hot land. The pilot did a great job finding some places where the lava came to the surface (right now, it is almost all underground) and circling so everyone could see on both sides. The music over the headphones added to the drama and pilot provided good narrative at times. They recorded our actual trip on DVD for purchase which I like (went on another island on an air trip with different company and DVD was generic - not our trip). When we returned to the cruise ship, I talked to some other people who took the ship's helicopter tour about the same time and they went up and came back down after encountering low clouds. This made me so grateful that I had booked with Safari who had a pilot experienced enough to fly that day safely. While we were waiting for the DVD to finish, we talked to the pilot and learned a lot more too. I saw a review where someone complained about not having personality. I wonder if they understand how much concentration it takes to fly safely - listen to ground control, know where other helicopters are, and watch for lava, as well as control the cameras recording (they had two and switched according to best view). I, for one, am amazed at their talent.

1  Thank ilovecalculustoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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294 - 298 of 556 reviews

Reviewed 31 March 2014

We booked this tour from home by email. I also had called them for info. I liked that they would not charge the credit card until the day of the tour. This was convenient for me as I was making the reservations for 4 people , but only paying for 2 of us.

We had a brief orientation and were off. spouse and I paid extra for the front seats. 'They are nice seats and would probably do that again. Our flight was very smooth and I felt like I was in competent hands. The pilot had an interesting commentary, but it was like a recording. He didn't seem to be enthusiastic or that interested. When looking at our pictures later he is behind us in the helicopter and giving the hang loose sign. That is the only personality he showed.

About 35 minutes into our tour he said we would be heading back. I used the mike to talk to him and said we had booked the waterfalls tour too . He said we hadn't booked the waterfalls, but would check. I was really disappointed to not see the waterfalls. I heard him call the office and I was sitting beside him.
When we got on the ground I checked at the office. We had indeed only paid for the Volcano tour. However, in my first, second and third emails I had requested the Volcano and Waterfalls, When my email request got transferred to the Hilo office it came back as the Volcano. I never noticed that, so I bear some of the responsibility. I was very disappointed as I wanted to see the waterfalls from the air.

I am glad we did the tour, but next time would try another company. We didn't see a lot of lava, but it was still very interesting.

Thank LV2travelmore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 March 2014

We booked a helicopter tour with another company originally and they charged our credit card only to later advise us that the time and date we wanted was already booked. By that time it was quite close to our vacation and we only had one day available at Hilo. Safari Helicorter Tours was very accomodating. They did not have a morning flight available but booked us for an early afternoon flight and did not charge the credit card until after we had taken the flight. In the end the weather was poor in the morning anyway and no flights were going up. By the time our booked time came around, the weather had cleared enough near the volcano and we were able to go up. The flight was great, The helicopter was a comfortable size and although two of our party were in the middle in the back, I think they still got a good view. The volcano gods were not too cooperative so there was no great bursts of fire and molten lava shooting into the air but the trip was still amazing. The pilot was very knowledgeable and you felt like he had reverence and appreciation for the force of nature that is the volcano. He explained many things and then was silent at the right times while we all took in the beauty and power of it all. He made sure that he circled so that everyone had a chance to see major points of interest and got the best shots of the burning tree line and the waterfalls. If you plan to do this trip, take some video but buy the DVD at the end. It is well worth the money and you miss too much of the experience trying to see it through the view finder of a camera. The helicopter is equiped with outboard cameras so all the best views are captured for you and some really nice Hawaiian music is layed over the video in several places.
Thank you Safari for a great tour. It would have been a five out of five if the volcano had given us a better show.

Thank sniffles998
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 March 2014 via mobile

I always like to be very honest and genuine in my reviews because if you are looking on trip advisor you obviously like other people's input!!! Kauai is lush and gorgeous and how can an expensive helicopter tour be anything short of amazing !! I have to admit I wasn't as in awe as I hoped to have been... The first 10 minutes yes, but after that I just felt like I wished I had seen more of the coast and it was more inland it seemed... The helicopter wasn't that fast moving and I had a front row middle seat next to pilot - it was in all honesty an 8 out of 10 - I didn't have a good peripheral view for lack of a better word. My suggestion before you book is to be sure as to what you want to see and ask how long you are along the coast for- I wanted a lower over the beach type image but it didn't have much of that.... The staff and pilots were so professional and I definitely felt safe the whole time.... I just left the experience expecting more coastline images.

1  Thank Dicomanzi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 March 2014

We came to the Big Island to see the volcanos. This trip was value priced and wonderful. The pilot made sure that views of attractions were seen by those on the left and right side of the helicopter. The comentary was so good that their was nothing left to ask. There are bigger helicopter tour companies I can't see how there could be any better ones on the Big Island.

Randy S.

PS, If you book directly with the company online you will save some dollars.

1  Thank Randy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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