Has anyone recently used Cardboard Box for a Namibia tour ?
We are in the UK and thinking of booking a self drive tour with this company - any advice appreciated .
Thanks in advance
Excellent, helpful and prompt service. I have used them numerous times in last 9 years.
Not personally but other poster has nothing but good words for this company.
Yes I've used them three times and they are quite reliable and trustworthy. I find it helps to know where you want to go and what you want to see as they don't always come up with suggestions.
Husband and I used Cardboard Box with an approx 5 week trip through Namibia in 2016. We have had several trips to Africa over the years and... the backup and arrangements with Chantelle for Cardboard Box was outstanding. We were particularly impressed with Chantelle's quick responses and attention to detail. Happy to provide more info if you wish. We are independent travelers and used to doing our own planning and this worked very well with Chantelle as we tweaked and modified our plans.
My advice: AVOID THEM. As well SWA safari.
- one broken head and eyeglasses
Going out from the 4x4 vehicle near DINE 45, the driver opened all doors that could rotate 180 degrees and did not secure them and let out in the same time all passengers. The back door curved and hit the head of my colleague who was already out of the vehicle and that crash his glasses and he got a haematoma on his head. This happened due to negligence of a driver and a guide. We have seen other drivers while unloading passengers holding the doors to avoid similar problems.
- downgraded to poorer accommodation
When we booked the trip, they confirmed our stay (2 days) at Namib Desert Lodge and instead we were in a campsite with no internet and something that looked like a tent. That was an accommodation much worse than the one we booked, with almost nothing around this camp site. As the camp was a part of one lodge (about one km far from the camp) we ask to be accommodated there but the replay was that it is not possible and they offer no explanation why they downgraded the accommodation we booked. We were supposed to have a lunch during this stay included in our itinerary but finally we stop on some Gas station to have lunch this day (and we paid for our lunch). Later they offered some 15% refund but never realised any refund.
- standard scams with optionals
During the trip we went to a lodge where we were told we could go and watch some wild animals in the cage. They did not let us know that we have to pay for this activity. Only later, they asked us to pay about $ 10 per person. Everybody in the group was surprised and the guide later said he warned us that we could watch animals "only if we want." But he did not say that if we want we have to pay and how much to pay and that this activity is not included.
- a defective minibus
They have been late for more than 1 hour for a pick up from the hotel for the first day. Explanation: Vehicle problem. I do not know what they did in those hour, but the vehicle we were on for 6 days and over 2000 km was a permanent breakdown and it was not pleasant to stay in the middle of the road with a broken vehicle and with the first village 100 km away. Below the vehicles, some cables have fallen. The driver put them together with a sticky tape but with no success. Every half an hour / hour the vehicle would stop and needed to be restarted.
- we were stolen money from the minibus while there was no one around the minibus but only the driver
The last day, only a 2 hours before the end of our trip, we stopped at a lodge for lunch. Until then, the driver (who was also our guide) was during the breakfast, lunch and dinner always sitting with the group at the same table. This time not. We were alone in a restaurant inside the lodge, with no other people around. The driver moved away from the group. We left inside the minibus a bag with my wallet. The money was stolen from the wallet: not all the money, but only a large banknotes. We realised this later when arrived to the hotel. Who stole the money? I do not know.
I asked the agency to give me an explanation on these issues (and many other things I did not even mentioned here) but they mostly refuse any responsibility. I demanded a refund and I told them that if they decided to make a refund, that should be to the account of a humanitarian organisation I will indicate to them. I do not want their money, but someone who has accomplished this kind of service needs to bear responsibility for it. Finally they paid no refund.
Apart from the agency I am going to write more reviews on the internet regarding the tour operator, it is even more a responsibility of the tour operator (SWA SAFARI) for this “service”. I travel a lot around the world, visited many countries but never encountered a bad experience as this one in Namibia.
Just back from five weeks, all booked through Allison at CB, in conjunction with our own itinerary, and she was wonderful. The company went above and beyond when we had car problems and followed up regularly.
In my experience it is pretty normal for activities at a lodge to be extra, but the 'wild animals in a cage' definitely sounds concerning! Maybe something CB are not promoting?
In answer to the OP I have used CCB several times over the years and had excellent service from them. However I was self drive and have no experience of any organised 'group' trips such as Seyuri was on.
On that topic I think his allegations should be directed against SWA Safari and the TO and not Cardboard Box.