May 01 2018 | Written by: YAS

Safari reviews: 5 tips when writing a negative review

An African safari vacation requires a great deal of planning and preparation. For many, it’s a holiday that is years in the making, as a decent amount of time and money are needed. Spending time on due diligence—for tour operators, lodges and even locations—is recommended, and the higher one’s expectations, the more this is encouraged. Like most things in life, holidays rarely go exactly as planned or anticipated. Often, with African safaris, expectations are surpassed, and a random, unexpected animal sighting will stand out as the highlight of trip. Sometimes, however, things don’t go as planned and, depending on expectations and circumstances, these things can severely impact the overall safari experience.

Identify why you are unhappy with your safari experience

Identify the reason(s) why your safari experience let you down. Things like inclement weather, difficulty spotting wildlife or even a soggy sandwich from your lodge are beyond the control of your tour operator and should not be part of their review. Collecting you 45 minutes late from the airport or dramatically changing your itinerary once you’ve arrived are things that may negatively influence your experience and are reasonable issues to raise.

Before you go and write a scathing review on all major safari review websites, it’s important to:

1.Talk to your tour operator before posting anything

Clearly state the issue or problem and, as hard as it may be, try to stay focused on the issue at hand and not the emotions. They may not be aware of the problem, especially since most owners aren’t the ones to take you on safari. Give them the opportunity to rectify the situation. And, never use the threat of a negative review to get extra perks thrown in.

2. Refrain from using all capital letters in your review

Not only is all caps hard to read, it comes across as if you are shouting. Using all caps makes it nearly impossible for any reader to interpret your tone as anything but angry or hostile.

3. Be honest in your review; don’t embellish

People are pretty good at sniffing out exaggerations. Not only that, but fabricating bits of your review can come back to bite you, especially if the tour operator takes legal action. Did you really wait seven hours for the second jeep to arrive? Keep it above board, and constructive, and your review will have far more clout and impact.

4. Be consistent in your reviews

If you plan on posting your review on several sites, you will instantly lose credibility if you put different facts on each review. Different names, countries of residence, dates of travel and number of people you travelled with should be consistent across all review sites.  

5. Never use profanity or resort to name-calling

This one seems obvious, but etiquette standards take a nose dive when people hide behind the anonymity that's so easily afforded by the internet. If you don’t want your review to be instantly disregarded, refrain from any name calling and/or any rude adjectives. Instead, describe what the person did and how they behaved. Readers will naturally form their own interpretation and, most likely, employ their own colorful adjectives without your assistance! Some words sprinkled in reviews that buy you nothing include: liar, thief, evil and jerk. 



Sources and credits

About the author
YAS United States

Has been on: 15 safaris

Your African Safari (YAS) is a safari-planning resource for anyone planning an African safari. It features information on over 2600 tour operators including company and vehicle descriptions, user reviews, safari itineraries and photos. It also features detailed information on 14 countries and 84 parks and game reserves.

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Said on 19 June 2018 10:56

Last March I went to Kenya with a friend. We had only 7 days and wanted to visit masai mara, Amboseli and finally 2 days on the beach in Diani. We went with a small company that made us a tailor made trip. The name of the company is sunupadventures. I highly recommend this company, very professionals and reliable. We lived a really amazing experience

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