MOZAMBIQUE: SOUTH AFRICA: Buyer Beware - Umdende Lifestyle Safaris

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports Africa' started by Mike Allen, Aug 22, 2017.

  1. Mike Allen

    Mike Allen New Member

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    Having booked a dual centre safari with Umdende Lifestyle Safaris, fishing in Mozambique (one star accommodation provided) and croc hunting near Nelspruit, I noticed that Umdende had made a mistake with the dates in between the two activities. When I pointed this out, Umdende said they intended to have one of their employees drive my car up to Nelspruit with my rifles to meet me at Nelspruit on the way back from Mozambique, as I was not allowed to take my rifle into Mozambique. When I pointed out that it was illegal to transport my rifles, risking imprisonment for the driver who wouldn’t be insured to drive the hire car anyway, and confiscation of my rifles. They then proposed to charge me $850 for one extra days stay for 3 of us, collecting the car and rifles from Vrihyde. When I refused they said the journey could be done in one day (13 hours travelling), I finally paid for the overnight stay myself $200.
    One of the prepaid fishing days was partially cancelled due to bad weather and it was written into my contract that if the captain cancelled due to bad weather I would be refunded, and I agreed to a 2/3 refund (with Theo Roelofsz, Umdende's representative in Mozambique) for the day. After shooting the croc I was presented with my final invoice with no refund for the cancelled fishing day. When I disputed the invoice I was told by Theo I would not be allowed to leave the hunting ground until I paid in full by debit card at a charge of 4%. We were two old age pensioners and a handicapped son in a fenced and gated reserve with a plane to catch that day, I had no option but to pay to get home. This was our third trip with Umdende, we had had minor problems before, but we will never book with them again.
    Mike Allen
     

  2. Neale

    Neale AH Enthusiast

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    Mike, with so many good operators out there why would you book a second and third trip with an operator that you had "minor problems"
     

  3. Pheroze

    Pheroze SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    After three trips this is bizarre customer service, to be sure! Sorry to hear about your experience!
     
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  4. reedy0312

    reedy0312 AH Ambassador

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    No doubt!

    Thanks for the heads up on this operation
     

  5. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    I know we're not in Kansas anymore Toto, but is there a Moz PH association this could be reported to? Just a wild ass thought.
     
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  6. Traditional Mozambique Safaris

    Traditional Mozambique Safaris SPONSOR Since 2015 AH Legend

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    Mike, sorry to hear about your experience. Sounds like most of your hunt took place in South Africa and only the fishing in Mozambique, I feel the heading is a little misleading.

    @Hogpatrol, yes Mozambique does have a hunting association. Looks more like a South African outfitter.
     
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  7. BigJohnx13

    BigJohnx13 AH Senior Member

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    Please take note:

    ADMINISTRATION PREPARATION FOR A HUNT

    1. Get the price list of everything (animals, trophy animals, lodging, all extras like trackers, skinners, vehicles, freezing, facilities , food and beverages etc.) and the complete set of farm/PH/outfitter rules (Take your copy with to the farm).
    2. Clarify, in WRITING, any of the rules that are not clear or questions you have with regards to matters not covered by the rules. NB is VAT included or excluded? How many hunting parties on the farm at one time? PH/outfitter qualification/affiliation and ability. Wounded animals? Etc. etc.
    3. Clarify in writing any cancellation fees due to personal circumstances, injury, bad weather, veldfires, crime incidents , vehicle failure etc. etc.
    4. Tell the farmer/PH/outfitter what your species wish list is and ask what the realistic chances are of success on a X-day hunt. How many of that species have been taken off already this year and how many are on quota to be taken off for the season.
    5. Be clear about what type of accommodation you are looking for and ask whether the farm's accommodation meets those requirements.
    6. Be clear of anything you need specifically like favourite liquor, food etc. etc.
    7. Clarify everything that needs clarification in writing e.g. by asking your questions over e-mail. If the farmer/PH/outfitter answers verbally then send him an e-mail summarizing the discussion. "It was nice speaking with you earlier. The following matters were clarified in our discussion ......" (Print all of above and take your copy with you to the farm)
    8. Ask for a list of past clients that you could speak to. (Phone at least one or two for confirmation)
    9. Ask about people's experiences at the farm on Hunting Forums.
    10. Do a search on the farm name/PH/outfitter and "complaints" or "poor" or "bad" or similar
    11. Hunting is expensive and budgets are tight. It pays to do your homework.
     
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  8. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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  9. Clayton Comins

    Clayton Comins AH Member

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    Thank you Jerome and the AH.com Team for giving Umdende Hunting Safaris the opportunity to comment on this report made by New Member Mike Allen. As any Hunting Outfitter or Professional in our industry it is disappointing to receive a negative report, especially considering the endless effort our Team put into this specific Safari for Mike Allen and his amazing son Andrew, who unfortunately suffers from a debilitating condition.

    Yes Mike Allen has booked 3 Safaris with us and despite complaints about Mike Allen from our Team, his son Andrew, being the hunter, touched many of our PH’s hearts with his pure determination and ethical hunting, despite his obstacles. Our Team persisted on both the first two Safaris to oversee Mike’s blatant rudeness and disrespectful treatment of our Team to ensure Andrew’s dreams were accomplished. As one can appreciate, the logistics involved of hunting with a handicapped Gentlemen come with far more planning ahead of time for extra hands needed to carry Andrew where needed and a Team with complete patience to work within Andrew’s capabilities. Unfortunately, after the second Safari our Team, especially the PH’s, requested to no longer work with Mike Allen on Safari for many reasons that were justifiable. On enqiring for his third trip our new PH Theo kindly agreed to lead this Safari despite our Team’s explanation of who he would be dealing with, which included a fishing trip to Mozambique – again far more logistical preparation required to ensure Andrew's needs were well cared off, and Mike was given our Mozambique fishing lodges website to make sure Andrew's requirements were met. Mike Allen’s detailed itinerary including all inclusions and exclusions was discussed at length with Mike prior to his Safari and despite this, his interpretation of the number of days included in his quote was misread by himself meaning he had to pay for an extra day. Returning the Skippers boat due to sea sickness does not incur a refund in any fishing industry. Transportation of rifles without the owner requires the valid permits from the South African Central Firearms Registry in advance, a law that our Team is well aware of having been in this Industry for over 30 years. A procedure we were more than willing to arrange for Mike Allen to assist him with his private transportation issues.

    Yes our Team was warned by 2 fellow Outfitters when they heard of Mike Allen’s first booking with us, but it is only fair to give the client a chance. Over his 3 Safaris our Team dealt with a man that went behind our backs contacting our concessions and lodges directly to get a better deal, shouting at them when they had no availability. Our Team and Concessions are proud to work within ethical and respectful guidelines of each other’s clients. Sending our PH’s rude WhatsApp's as to why they no longer wished to hunt with him. Settling bills long after return from his Safari as he always made up issues. When Mike Allen finally went too far in the treatment of our Team prior to his 3rd Safari, our attempt to refund Mike a cancellation deposit for his third Safari, was turned down as this did not suit him. Our Team agreed to continue with his Safari based only on the fact that we did not wish to ruin a lifetime trip for Andrew, and this was also communicated to Mike Allen.


    I (Clayton Comins – Owner of Umdende Hunting Safaris) have been a member of AH.com for almost 5 years now and I am proud of what AH.com does to ensure members are made aware of unethical Outfitters and Professional Hunters in our industry. However, from an Outfitters side, we also need to ensure our fellow Outfitters and their Teams are made aware of these ‘types’ of clients that use and abuse your resources, your Team and your expertise. Umdende Hunting Safaris, as do many fellow Outfitters do, go the extra mile to make our clients dreams come true, but please guys, do not make our mistake of subjecting your Team to such treatment. I lesson well learnt but a lesson that reminds us again of how appreciative we are for the excellent reviews received and the wonderful clients we have had this year and in the past. Please feel free to contact me directly should you require any further details +27834079899.


    Happy Hunting ahead.

    Clayton Comins and our Team at Umdende Hunting Safaris
     

  10. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Interesting rebuttal, two sides to every story.
     
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  11. Traditional Mozambique Safaris

    Traditional Mozambique Safaris SPONSOR Since 2015 AH Legend

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    Excellent and clear reply Clayton.
     
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  12. CAustin

    CAustin BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Yep always two sides to a story.
     
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  13. reedy0312

    reedy0312 AH Ambassador

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    Thanks for sharing Clayton
     
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  14. Pheroze

    Pheroze SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Mr. Comins, thank you for taking the time to reply to this thread. It is quite remarkable how Andrew's trip was facilitated by you and your team. That is very heartwarming!

    All the best.
     
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  15. cagkt3

    cagkt3 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Always interesting to get the other side of a story.
     
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  16. Ragman

    Ragman AH Fanatic

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    @Clayton Comins, I remember well from my guiding days the impossible to please hunters that my fellow guides and I would always have to play "Rock, Paper, Scissors" to see who would be stuck with them. You try your hardest to please them, but it's just not possible. Thank goodness that the vast majority were great to hunt for.
     
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  17. edward

    edward GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    sad.
     
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  18. Hank2211

    Hank2211 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Thanks for responding Clayton.

    Contrary to popular belief, there are not always two sides to every story. It may often appear that way, if only because one side presents fiction as fact.

    In this case, it does appear that there are two sides, and we are the better for having heard yours.
     
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  19. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    hmmmm.

    Thanks for the reply Clayton. Plenty of illumination.
     

  20. ScottG

    ScottG AH Fanatic

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    Great job on the rebuttal. Very consise and especially unemotional.
     

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