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“day tour”
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 1 February 2018

with only one day in port with the NAUTICA on Dec 24th, 2017, we had arranged the day tour to Addo Elephant park beforehand. Everything went smoothly : the pickup at the cruiseport, the trip to Addo and the visit to the park with a nice lunch included. Malcolm was a great guide and we had a very good tour through the park with many sightings of elephants, zebras and other animals with a quick city tour at the end. A very enjoyable day that we can highly recommend.

Thank margriethartel
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 February 2018

Hi Margriethartel, Thank you so much for the wonderful review and complimenting Malcolm on the work he so enjoys doing. Tripadvisor is a powerful marketing medium and we highly appreciate every review we can get. I have passed the compliment on to Malcolm who appreciates your kind words.
Thank you for recommending Alan Tours.
Hope to see you back in the not too distant future.
All the best,
Alan

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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
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Reviewed 27 January 2018 via mobile

Our cruise ship, Boudicca, was in port for two days, so we booked a tour through Alan Tours to visit Addo Elephant Park in the morning, followed by the afternoon and evening at Schotia private game reserve. Our guide was Christo, who was excellent. A burger or salad lunch was included at the Addo restaurant. Tea and dinner were at Schotia. We were safely delivered back to our ship at about 9.30pm.

Thank lizcat1
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 February 2018

Hi Lizcat1,
Thank you so much for taking the time and trouble to post such a wonderful review on Tripadvisor, this is an incredibly powerful platform and we appreciate every review we can get. Apologies for the delay in getting a reply off to you but we have been pretty busy recently.
We are really happy to hear of your positive experience with Christo as your guide, he is indeed a professional and continues to entertain guests and show them the exciting wildlife to be found in and around Port Elizabeth. I have passed your comments on to Christo who thanks you in turn for the review.
We trust you had a wonderful cruise and hope to see you back on these sunny shores in the near future.
All the best,
Alan

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Reviewed 26 January 2018

We took the big 7 tour which started with an amazing marine experience, when we were lucky enough to witness a bait ball which attracted hundreds of Gannets, Dolphin and some Bryde whales! Then on to Addo elephant park where we saw elephant close up as well as families gathering around water holes, lions shortly after a kill, lots of Zebra, Kudo, Bat eared fox and more. We really enjoyed our stay in the camp listening to the animals during the night, the tour made all the better because of Alans knowledge of the animals and ability to spot them.

Thank carol477981
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 February 2018

Hi Carol, Its' been sometime since you posted your wonderful and very descriptive review on Tripadvisor, as you will be well aware this is a very powerful platform and we appreciate every review we get.
As you mention we started the Big 7 safari off with a boat cruise in the morning on the waters of Algoa Bay, and what a morning it turned out to be. We spotted a resident Bryde's whale in calm waters just out of the harbour and the action just got more hectic as the morning progressed until we hit a giant baitball with hundreds of Common dolphins bringing millions of small baitfish to the surface of the ocean, this attracted thousands of Cape Gannets, birds which were diving into the water at incredible speeds like kamikaze pilots in miniature, while all of the action attracted the heavy weights in the form of Bryde's whales that were seen lung feeding (from deep down, blasting through the centre of the baitball and gulping down hundreds of thousands of baitfish at a time) through the centre of the swirling mass of life that is this phenomenon, the baitball. There were in our collective estimation no less than 6 of these 30 ton giants ploughing with such grace through the centre of the baitball. Some of these whales can be seen lunging 4 to 5 meters out of the water right there within 20 meters of the boat with their huge mouths extended, baitfish gushing, spilling back out of their giant maws before they disappeared back below the ocean, while at other times there are 4 different whales surfacing in a single frame of the camera and that is besides the Dolphins, Gannets and seals on the surface never mind the sharks and gamefish we could not see below the surface. Exciting stuff.
Then lunch and off to the nearby Addo Elephant national park where we had wonderful viewing of two male Lions on a recently killed buffalo right up next to the vehicle. Then there are the Elephants, Antelope, Warthog, Zebra and so much more in this wonderful game reserve. I think one of two highlights was of the young Bat eared foxes as they emerged from their day den. What a wonderful wildlife extravaganza, you said that you were usually lucky well no one's going to argue that point in fact you can come along anytime as a good luck charm.
The baitball was the best I have ever experienced.
Hope to see you back on these sunny shores all the best and thank you for your support.

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Reviewed 19 January 2018

Cant praise Alan highly enough for making our Addo Tour so special, memorable and fun. The love that Alan has for these animals, the Park itself and his job emanates from his pores & thus being on his tour is priceless in what you see & learn. We thoroughly enjoyed our day from start to finish. we were collected from our accommodation and dropped back early evening. FIRST CLASS !

1  Thank Carol G
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 February 2018

Hi Carol, Absolutely Marvelous.Thank you so much for such a wonderful review on this very powerful platform. Apologies for such a long delay in getting a reply off to you but we have been really busy out showing people the African bush and the wildlife that lives here, including other far flung places in our wonderful country. It was such a huge pleasure being able to take your wonderfully friendly and fun loving family around the Addo Elephant National Park. The enthusiasm and interest in all the various forms of wildlife, trees, plants, insects and bird life really contribute to making my life so much better.
We hope to see you back on these sunny fun filled shores in the not too distant future.
All the best
Alan

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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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