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“no refund (yet)”
Review of Street Scene Tours

Street Scene Tours
Ranked #6 of 75 Tours in Durban
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Attraction details
Owner description: Street Scene Tours was created by Sthembiso Mbonanbi, Jonas Barausse and Richard Powell, in early 2010, with one unique goal set at its core; to showcase Durban to Durbanites. As you can imagine this is by no means the conventional stance of a tour operator, but Street Scene is not your conventional tour operator. They are constantly exploring Durban and its surrounds, ever on the lookout for nuggets of history and the many hidden gems the province has to offer.Durban and its surrounding areas are filled with a rich tapestry of history which is largely unknown not only to tourists, but also its residents. After all, Mahatma Gandhi made Durban his home for many years, and it was just outside Durban that Nelson Mandela cast his vote in the 1994 elections that forever changed South Africa. The great King Shaka Zulu also spent much time on the very land upon which Durbanites now call home.From the city's architecture to its people, Street Scene aims to engulf its guests in all that is Durban. They started out with their focus on locals but soon realized that when you create a set of tours that residents of the city love, you are guaranteed to have tours that visitors to the city will find riveting and unique. There is nothing conventional about Street Scene Tours, and that's just the way we like it.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Wheelchair access
Reviewed 16 January 2018

I waited three month before making this public as I was hoping to settle this with Street Scene Tours in the meantime. Unfortunately nothing happened so all I can do is to share my experience.
I booked a Super Scene tour for three. Email communication wasn’t easy. Not all my emails were answered but after I voiced my concern I got all the answers I needed and we were looking forward to our tour.
We waited for our driver but no one showed up. I called the company and informed them that we were still waiting for our driver. They didn’t know what was going on but promised to look into it. So far so good. After this, I got no call back and none of my calls were answered. We only got hold of them after the owner of our accommodation called from a different number. We heard that the driver got into an accident which is tragic of course. I fully understand that the main concern of Street Scene Tours was the health of the driver. I’m sympathetic about this.
Unfortunately, the conversation we had was cut-off and once again there was no way of getting hold of Street Scene Tours, nor did we get a call back (neither to my cell phone nor to the accommodation we were staying at) or an email. Nothing. The manager of our accommodation even offered a ride to the office of Street Scene Tours. We made it up to their floor and stood in front of their office in order to talk to them but no one was there. We got back to our accommodation and after more than two hours of waiting for any information, we decided to explore Durban on our own and informed Street Scene Tours by email that we would no longer be waiting for them.
It took Street Scene Tours two days (!) to get back to us. We received an email with an apology and the promise of a refund since we had to pay in advance. I now feel stupid having paid in advance but it seemed to be the only way. I had a weird feeling about this but I trusted all the positive comments I found online. A mistake I will not repeat.
Today, more than three months later, I’m still waiting for my money. I sent several emails, being patient, being polite, asking if there was a problem with the payment. All I wanted to do was to solve this issue. I never got a single reply.
They might now claim that they tried to contact me and that they didn’t receive my emails but this is simply not true. Emails don’t vanish into thin air. They didn’t change their address, I didn’t change mine. We’ve communicated before. If emails can’t be delivered, the sender gets notified. Yes, the emails could have somehow ended up in the spam folder. This is still no reason for not giving back my money. They have all the payment information they need. If there was a problem, they could have instead contacted me. I check my email and the spam folder constantly. Nothing. I also sent them a message on facebook. You immediately receive an automated reply but I replied to that as well. It took some hours but someone read it. It was marked as “seen”. Still no answer. I can’t believe how little interest they seem to have in settling this.
I can’t say anything about the tours offered by Street Scene. I’m sure the tours are wonderful IF they take place. I was even willing to give this company another chance on my next visit to South Africa but after experiencing how they’ve handled this situation, I get the feeling that I can’t trust them with my money.
They are keeping my money that I paid for a service they didn’t provide. They keep ignoring my messages and they are not trying to contact me concerning this issue. Accidents happen, things can go wrong. We are all human. The frustrating and disappointing part is how they handled the situation ever since. It’s beyond unprofessional. I still want to settle this but the key to this is communication.
We will remember this as the only negative experience we had travelling through the wonderful countries of South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho for four weeks.

6  Thank JuliaH_Berlin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2 - 6 of 190 reviews

Reviewed 26 December 2017 via mobile

Just did a customized tour of Valley of a Thousand Hills and Durban City with Street Scene Tours. Very interesting and informative day with an enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide who is one of the owners of this local company. Keep up the great work guys!

Thank Jeffrey V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 November 2017 via mobile

What a lucky day we had on an awesome township tour with Street Scene. We were fortunate to have a private tour with the owner, Sthembiso. He took us to Phoenix to see where Ghandi lived (there's a school there named after his wife, Kasturba), and to Ohlange High School in Inanda, where Nelson Mandela cast his famous ballot in 1994 near the grave of civil rights pioneer John Dube. Sthembiso also shared stories of growing up in the townships, and took us inside his childhood home in KwaMashu. We enjoyed a delicious shisanyama lunch in Inanda at Sbu's, which we ate with our hands. Sthembiso is extremely optimistic about South Africa's future and is a Ph.D. candidate in history, so we really enjoyed his enthusiasm and knowledge.

Thank jwbeach11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 October 2017

Have been in contact since April but e-mails were often not answered and simply could not get a confirmation on the price. However, still agreed a day and time but no-one turned up. In the end we got a taxi and did a good tour on our own. I don't doubt any of the glowing references here but the basic organisation left a lot to be desired.

1  Thank tonyfirmin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 6 September 2017 via mobile

Street Scene have so many great tours of Durban. They offer an opportunity to experience many unique sides of Durban in a really fun and well organized way. Highly recommended!

Thank Bevkel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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