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“a nightmare”
Review of Alan Tours

Alan Tours
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Alan Tours, based in the fun filled, coastal Holiday City of Port Elizabeth on the Sunshine Coast in the Eastern Cape is proud to promote South Africa, home to the Big 5 and Big 7 Safaris! A land with a unique natural, cultural and historical diversity, unsurpassed in the modern world today.
Reviewed 12 January 2018 via mobile

On December 24th, 2017 my friend and I had the worst tourist experience of our lives. While we were in Port Elizabeth, South Africa we decided to take a tour of the city and the Addo Elephant National Park with the company Alan Tours. It was a private tour and Mr. Alan Fogarty himself was indicated as our tour guide, he seemed to be the owner of the company.
Since the very first minute of meeting Mr. Fogarty, his presence was absolutely unpleasant. He started the tour having to apologize because he had not filled the gas tank. So because of his unpreparedness we had to go with him to a gas station, causing us to lose time we had paid for.
He was clearly in a bad mood and with a weak disposition, making it seem like he wanted to be anywhere else but guiding our tour. It was not our fault that he was working on Christmas Eve, as it was his company that decided to accept the job. 
In our opinion Mr. Fogarty was a very arrogant and dismissive gentleman. Everything had to be done when and how he wanted it, which was very off-putting as clients.
His behavior caused us to feel intimidated from the very beginning of the tour. Mr. Fogarty spoke in a very low voice with the car so we couldn’t hear a word he said. We are Brazilians, and we started to make comments in Portuguese between ourselves. Because of this at one point he made a comment that our English seemed to be poor. We found this comment very unnecessary and insulting. Maybe he has a point, but we never have had problems communicating while traveling. We answered that we don’t have many issues with our language skills, but we couldn’t hear his response. In a very arrogant manner he then asked us if we preferred that he used the microphone inside the car. 
During the visit to Addo Park, it seemed this gentleman was only interested in spending time in ways that were pleasing to HIM. Not in a single moment did he ask if we were tired of driving around endlessly in the middle of nowhere unable to find the animals he considered important. We did eventually see a lion but he decided not to stop the car, saying that part of the park was too crowded, and said we would probably find lions elsewhere. That didn’t happen.  
The visit to the park was too long and exhausting in our point of view. And when you book a PRIVATE TOUR we assumed you would be able to participate in decisions about how to spend your time. 
By the time we reached a restaurant for lunch, we already had enough of Mr. Fogarty’s personality and wished to have some peace and quiet between ourselves; yet we had to share the table with the boss. Ok.
 He then started asking us very personal questions about our jobs and life. Sometimes throughout the meal, he would take pictures of us with HIS CAMERA, with no authorization from us. As we became more and more uncomfortable, we just kept quiet and tried to smile. 
He then dared to make an ignorant comment about our country, Brazil. He mentions that it is a dangerous place. Is this acceptable banter from a tourist guide?
On the highway back to Port Elizabeth, Mr. Fogarty drove at very high speeds in a reckless fashion. We unsuccessfully tried to find our seatbelts in the backseat, making the drive even more dangerous.  
Upon arriving at Port Elizabeth, while he was mentioning that we were crossing the Main Street of the city, my friend made a comment that he was driving too fast. He then immediately parked the car and rudely turned to us demanding to know what we said in such a manner that it frightened us. We were too frightened to get out of the car as we had no idea how far away we were from the port where the cruise terminal was, so we decided to just ignore him and wait for this nightmare to end.
He was completely oblivious to how bad and uncomfortable the situation was. It was almost unbearable. He then started a speech about the city, in a very professorial tone. We just stayed silent and he said that we should answer with the affirmative “yes” when he speaks with us. It was absolutely unbelievable. He was acting as if we were his children or his employees (whom I pity for having to endure him). 
He eventually stopped his car in the city center and we left the vehicle to get away from him and tried to just take some pictures by ourselves. He prohibited us from doing this, telling us he has things to tell us and we should listen to him, behave ourselves and stay by his side. 
We were so confused and tired, in a foreign country and in an unknown city that we decided to obey his petty authoritarianism. We listened to him and at one point we ask him if he could drop us off at the cruise terminal before the scheduled time. We lied about the time the ship was leaving just so we could finally end this nightmare.
He finally took us to our cruise terminal, with a dour face after realizing that he that he wasn’t going to get a tip out of us.
In our opinion this gentleman can run a company, however as a tour guide he was an absolute disaster.

Thank KaissarZahle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
wildguide, Owner at Alan Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 16 January 2018

Thank you for your review, I have over a long period of time guided Rock royalty, Movie stars, Politicians and Presidents, past and present. I have guided thousands of ordinary people and paupers and have never had the misfortune to guide such an arrogant, opinionated drama queen in nearly 40 years of being in the industry.
Your nit picking and over dramatization of the events on this day, is vindictive and mean and are quite simply underlined by the fact that soon after the tour was completed you wrote to Angelika in the office wanting to know the name of the guide you were with on the day, the 24th of Dec. 2017. I have a copy of this e-mail on file. We never did reply to this e-mail so you must have reverted to our earlier correspondence where it was indicated who would be your guide for the day. I also introduced myself first to you on the quayside as you came off the ship, then to your partner, a far more charming man. I have my name badge pinned to my shirt at all times and I spent 8 hours with you with my badge on without you taking note of the name of your guide on the badge, even at the table for lunch.

Contrary to what you say therefore in the content of your long review, you simply had no idea who I was at any time during the more than 8 hours we spent together. This underlines the sheer arrogance and rudeness with which you regarded your tour guide.

Yes, we have been waiting for your review and on my return from this tour I immediately made notes of the day’s proceedings.
The booking you made was firstly a tour of the Addo Elephant national park and then on our return a quick preview of the city of Port Elizabeth as confirmed in our e-mail correspondence with you and not the other way round as your describe in your review. From what you write above you were obviously ignorant of the schedule of the day

From the minute I introduced myself on the quayside you came across as uninterested and detached not the other way around as you describe. Contrary to what you would like people believe, I am a professional guide and have been for many years. From the outset of the tour (and yes, I did stop at the petrol station to fill up as I did not get a chance the previous evening where another driver had the use of the vehicle where I apologised for the inconvenience) you seemed as if you weren’t interested in listening to any commentary. I mentioned a few points of interest as I left the city as I ALWAYS do saying that I would come back to this when we do the city portion of the tour. Not once did either of you show an interest in what I was saying and you continued to talk in Portuguese over my commentary which was delivered in my normal tone of voice.
When we got to the point on the freeway where it passes the Nelson Mandela football stadium a spoke about the 2010 FIFA world cup and you said that you could not hear what I was saying. I then asked if you would like me to switch the microphone on and you answered that you would tell me when you would need this to be done and you continued to talk to your partner. It was at this stage that I realised that you were simply not interested at all in what I was saying.

It is a complete lie to say that I did not stop at the Lion sighting. I double parked with a view of three well-hidden lion cubs, visible between two cars parked, lying under a shrub right there at the road side, not a full meter from the road verge. There were in excess of 20 motor cars vying for position in a VERY limited area. Our standard procedures under circumstance like this, is to roll the sightings over between the vehicles (Please bear in mind that this is the 24th of Dec. Christmas Eve and the busiest time of the year). After a few minutes stressing the importance of getting whatever photographs one could get before I needed to move on a to allow the other vehicles access. I went ahead, left the sighting and turned around once again for a second look at the partly visible cubs lying under the bush. We stopped again for a brief while before continuing. I said that we would return back to the area in the hope of finding the lions with less traffic. We did in fact return as did many of the other guides but the Lions had left the area.

It is also a complete lie to say that I was taking photographs of the two of you without your permission. I took a series of photographs of the other tour groups who had booked with Alan Tours at the restaurant on the day, and had some folks come over to ask if they could take photographs of me with the groups. These pictures I have. I then went over to our table where after some consideration due to the stiff atmosphere at the table, I ASKED you whether I could take some photographs of you together. You immediately got up from your side of the table, went over and stood next to your partner who was seated on his side of the table, where I took a series of three or four photographs of you smiling together. I don’t believe this sounds anything like I took photographs of the two of you uninvited. I went so far as to explain as we do with all of our people that with their permission we would like to post some pictures on our website and forward a link to them. Practically everyone thinks this is a great idea and we do not charge for this service.

We always have our midday meal with our guests as a matter of policy, unless otherwise asked not to as this is the best time to socialise with our guests, make small talk and find out more about our guests. This is the South Africa way. Where we are a nation of openly friendly people and want to get to know more about the people we meet. It is also not true that I called Brazil dangerous.

You mention that we drove around aimlessly in the park looking for animals that were important to me. I just cannot wonder why you booked this tour in the first place you seem to have a completely wrong impression of what a tour of the second most popular national park in South Africa would be like. It would have been a lot better for you and a very much more so for me if you had not booked a wildlife tour, something you are obviously NOT interested in.

Regarding the city tour which was always going to be a quick run around some of the points of interest in this the second oldest city in South Africa due to the limited time at our disposal where I made a few notes on the proceedings of the day.
Not far from the water hole in the park and on our way out of the park you, leaned closer to the front seat and for the first time addressed me directly, asking me about the tour of the city? And how long it would take? You then, with an impatient sigh rephrased the question before I could even answer. When would we be there you asked? I calculated and answered, at about 4pm.
According to my instructions which everyone had agreed upon I was due to drop you off at the ship at 5.30 pm as instructed in earlier correspondence. This was the first direct communication I had with the two gentlemen all day.
We reached the Mount Road off ramp into Port Elizabeth at exactly 16 hrs. In the afternoon the official allocated start of the brief city tour.
Crossing Govan Mbeki Avenue, the old “Main road”, I mentioned over my shoulder that this was the Main street of Port Elizabeth, where one of you made a comment I couldn’t hear and I pulled over to ask what had been said. He said that was very quick. The whole attitude was one of antagonism and sarcasm as I was already trying to explain that I was going to start the city tour where I would normally end the tour in the up-market suburb of Mill Park. you would simply not listen to anything I had to say.
I now raised the level of my voice, giving the historical back ground of Port Elizabeth while driving through the shaded streets of Mill Park. We continued down Albany road back into Govan Mbeki Street (Main road) up the road pointing out the ANC headquarters then on up to the City Hall where I stopped at the taxi rank in front of the Library and got out. Again you didn’t wait for me to start explaining anything but started heading off in different directions taking photographs as you went. I asked you to come together so that I could explain some of the points of interest which you did for about 30 seconds before heading out when I simply gave up on a bad job and let you wonder around for a short while before again collecting you to indicate the importance of Jetty Street, the Campanile monument and to explain to you about the newly initiated Route 67. I pointed out the Dias cross, the Feather Market hall, the Prester John memorial and the Baakens street police station. I pointed out the wool board and Newspaper house and the relevant info that each represents.

We then continued by vehicle up the hill passed the Opera house explaining the age of the structure, pointing out interesting aspects of the Route 67 where it crosses Chapel Street and the oldest hotel in Port Elizabeth before continuing up to the Donkin reserve where we got out and walked around the reserve with me pointing interesting aspects of the art on display. It was here that we heard the 5 pm bells chime from the Campanile, looking at their watch they suggested that we call an end to the tour as they had to get back to their ship as it would leave at 5.30 pm.

My instructions were to drop them off at 5.30 pm as they stated that the ship would leave at 6 pm

I dropped them off at the quayside at approximately 5.15 pm shook the partners hand and said goodbye amicably while you mumbled something under your breath and wondered off to the ship without greeting me Goodbye.

Your comments about me being disappointed that I didn’t get a tip is completely wrong and boarders on the absurd, I NEVER EVER expect a tip, it never enters my mind.
I am extremely happy when I do receive one but in no way do I ever guide someone with the aim of getting a tip, never, either a big one or a small one.

You see money is something that has never been that important to me, that is why I am still a guide.

A dour face I might have had but this was simply because I knew that we would both walk away with a lasting bad impression of each other and this is not something that I relish.

Lastly you’re starting comments about your standard of the English language and your inability to communicate is once again a falsehood and if anyone with a command of the language who take the time to read through your review they will understand that you’re English is excellent.

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Write a ReviewReviews (151)
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"big tour"
in 7 reviews
"day tour"
in 12 reviews
"addo elephant park"
in 33 reviews
"city tour"
in 8 reviews
"his knowledge"
in 10 reviews
"cruise terminal"
in 3 reviews
"coffee break"
in 3 reviews
"email contact"
in 2 reviews
"bathroom break"
in 2 reviews
"wonderful person"
in 2 reviews
"dung beetle"
in 4 reviews
"cape recife"
in 7 reviews
"no hesitation in recommending"
in 3 reviews
"excellent tour"
in 3 reviews
"knew exactly where"
in 3 reviews
"interesting commentary"
in 2 reviews
"bottled water"
in 3 reviews

20 - 24 of 151 reviews

Reviewed 10 January 2018

I had a beautiful and relaxing tour at Addo Park with Alan Tours.
I arrived with a sail boat in the morning at Port Elisabeth for a short stay. In the afternoon I looked on internet the way to make a tour tod Addo Park for the day after and within one hour I got a proposal from AlanTours. Angelika was very clever, responsive and helpful assisting me to finalize the tour until 10:30 p.m.!
The day after I was picked up by Alan at 8:30 a.m.. He made me really enjoy the tour at the park. He was very professional and helpful, looking for the animals, giving me interesting explanations and doing his best to let me shoot good pictures.
Thank you very much for the nice day!

1  Thank Alessandro V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
wildguide, Owner at Alan Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 12 January 2018

Hi Alessandro, thank you so much for such a lovely review.
I enjoyed your company on the tour and still refer to your neat reference to the global phenomenon that is Chinese expansionism. Other questions you left behind was whether you reached Cape Town in good time to catch your flight back to Italy? I know the weather wasn't always favorable and whether you made it to the jewelrey store? Thanks for the support, really appreciated your time and I hope you will return to our beautiful country sometime in the future, you certainly gave me reason to visit yours.
All the best,

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Reviewed 18 December 2017

Alan tours took me on a great day out ,to Addo Elephant park ,from Port Elizabeth . Picking me up about 07.30 its only an hour and half to the park ,and you get to spend an amazing day ,via jeep/4x4 touring around the park, Alan himself is a very knowledgeable guide who will keep you interested throughout the day,on various subjects about the park. Knowing where to go ,and driving in and around the parks many tracks ,he seemed to find all the animals we needed to see ,alas apart from the lions, i guess they where sleeping during a hot day,and after a recent kill we came across of a buffalo .We even managed to stop and pick up a large dung beetle ,weird little creatures climbing around your hand . The locations are great and we got to see many Elephants ,both close up and at play in the watering holes , a great day out inclusive of dinner and beer at the parks restaurant, well worth the price .

Thank mickknap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 November 2017

Although we had a rainy day, it was an amazing tour with many sightings. It was particularly pleasant that we had a closed vehicle and thus were protected from the bad weather. Malcom, our guide, was just great. Nice, friendly, with a lot of knowledge about the wildlife and great stories. Overall, a really successful day.
Special thanks also to Angelika, who had informed us early on the weather-related change of the tour and has timely provided us with all the important information.

Thank ralf j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 18 November 2017

First, booking the tours was a breeze through email with Angelika.She was extremely efficient and helpful, and responded to our questions within a couple of hours even on Sunday.

All 3 tours were expertly guided by Alan. We did the marine life part of the Big 7 tour in the morning, where we experienced penguins, dolphins and a couple of whales. At one point, we were literally surrounded by dolphins. Since we were on a small boat, we were able to get very close to the sea life, which is something you can't do on larger boats. After a pleasing lunch, we headed to Addo National Park. The large groups of elephants were impressive. At times, we were so close we could have touched them. We also saw various antelope, lions, cape buffalo, and various other creatures. Alan was very knowledgeable about identifying and explaining the wildlife we encountered. His commentary made the tour all the more interesting and meaningful.

The Port Elizabeth city tour, began with Alan presenting the history of the area, starting from prehistoric times up to the present. I was impressed how he meaningfully covered about 2.5 million years of history in about 30 minutes. He then guided us on a very interesting half-day tour of the city, inserting historical anecdotes along the way.

The all-day eastern cape historical tour covered many of the historical settlers sites. Again, Alan demonstrated his vast knowledge of the history and culture of the area with his interesting commentary about the European settlers, the indigenous peoples and their interactions.

All three tours were incredibly interesting, primarily because of Alan's vast knowledge of the area and entertaining commentary. I would highly recommend these tours to anyone interested in the scenery, wildlife, culture and history of the Eastern Cape and South Africa in general.

1  Thank richh714
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
wildguide, Owner at Alan Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 26 November 2017

Dear Richh714, It was an absolute pleasure being with such wonderful, kind people, I enjoyed the time spent together and your quiet relaxed companionship which goes a long way to making my job so much more enjoyable. The BIG 7 tour was wonderful with brilliant Bottle nosed dolphins and great close up views of the female Humpback whale and her youg calf. Addo is always such a wonderful facility with some lovely groups of elephant and the one stand out incident for me was the two colossal elephant bulls in musth squaring up to each other like heavy weight boxers in the ring, the older of the two bulls eventually deciding that retreat was the better part of valor and coming over to stand, towering above us before heading off into the bush.
This city and the surrounding country side is certainly packed with an interesting and varied history as is described in the City tour and the Historical tour of the Eastern frontier region
Thank you for taking the time to write such a wonderful review on Trip Advisor and for recommending Alan Tours and the great people who have created this team.
We hope you and your lovely wife will be back to see a little more of this fascinating country.
All the best from our A team

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