Let’s start this trip report with a bit of complaining OK?
Three days before or departure we still hadn’t received a confirmation of our bookings in KTP (third time in a row so I guess this is standard procedure…I now wander if you even need to have a confirmation when arriving at receptions…next time I’ll show up without having paid: I’ll bet it will also be OK). After a few PM’s to a lovely MOD I received the confirmation within the hour. Hip hip hooray until I had a closer look…freely translated the confirmation letter said “thank you for paying the full amount for 7 days, however we have decided to give you only accommodation for 6 nights…what you do the first night is none of our business”.
Of course I sent a reply to Pretoria and soon they forwarded me the message they sent to the manager in Twee Rivieren that said “your people cancelled a night…please contact the client”. Now somebody should go and instruct people in Twee Rivieren the difference between staff and client. THEY are the staff and the clients are the other ones…not the other way around. You people guessed right…we ourselves had to contact TR reception in order to sort things out. I am going to spare you the details but from friday afternoon till saturday afternoon we made 6 phone calls to SA (total cost probably exceeding the cost of our first night)…5 to TR and 1 to SANP headoffice. “mistake in Pretoria” “mistake in TR” Manager out of office” “call back in an hour” “call back tomorrow” “call back sunday” “call back monday” “go to hell” “computer is slow” “can’t help you” “I don’t know” “WE DON’T CARE”. Even trying to get an alternative booking for TR (there was availability according to the website) for the first night seemed to be mission impossible. We felt as we were being confronted with the South African version of Carol Beer from Little Britain…”computer says noooooooooooo”
I realise there are worse things in the world (floodings in Myanmar to name but 1 thing) and it far from ruined our trip but still…you would expect a bit more client friendliness.
So we left from Brussels on saturday evening not knowing where we were going to spend the night of 14/04 and hoping we would be able to sort things out on arrival at TR.
We flew Ethiopian and had to take a connecting flight in Addis. The boarding passes for that flight we had to get in Bole airport. The handwritten boarding passes we received over there revealed something weird. We were both sitting on seat 5B and the B was followed by a “Y”…strange. At the gate the mystery was resolved. The “5” was in fact an “S” and we were on standby. It was time to make some Ethiopian people familiar with some Flemish expressions…”godvermiljaardedju” being one of them. That didn’t fail to impress and 10 minutes later we found ourselves in business class sipping Veuve Cliquot and emptying the wonderful Chablis white wine with the two of us (the other business travellers were not amused by that last fact but we sort of got familiar with the TR attitude so we didn’t give a damn about how they felt
Arrived in Joburg and tried to meet some fellow forumites…at first we didn’t find the place and later having found the place we didn’t find the people…one of those days.
14/04 we arrived in Upington, stocked up and had a very easy drive to TR. We were greeted extremely warm at the reception…
”can you come back tomorrow?”
"Come again please!!!"
“Ok would you mind to spend this night in TR?”
"No of course not"
“we have a nice camping spot for you”
"We have no camping materials"
“OK than we will give you a bungalow”
“you can pay together with your wildcard”
"But we already paid for this night, actually more than the cost of a bungalow in TR."
After a bit of arguing we didn’t have to pay. We were lucky that 4 bungalows were available that night. Untill today I still wander what they would have done if TR would have been fully booked that night.
Next instalment…the REAL joys of KTP! No more complaining…that’s a promise.