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THESE ARE EXAMPLES OF THE MANY COMPLAINTS THAT WE HAVE RECENTLY RECEIVED
These are just some of the many complaints that we have received by either email, letter or phone. As can be seen some people actually believe that they have been to the Elephant Safari Park, when in fact they have been ‘high jacked’ to other locations.
I suggest anyone wanting to visit our park either phone direct or book and pay online at our website to avoid this sort of disappointment and do not under any circumstances trust freelance drivers or taxis to take you to our park, unless you are sure that you will be taken to Taro, Ubud.
Please read the following complaints.
Phone in Bali 721 480
I also had the same experience of other complainers. I asked our driver to take me and my kids to your place but was taken to BAKAS instead. I was new to Bali then, so believed the driver when he said your place was very expensive and further away from Ubud. I only now found out they were both untrue! Plus the other place was very run down. The animals were not taken care of properly, etc. etc.
I still have not made it to your place but plan to come soon.
More recently we also had a horrible experience at that place rafting. (I didn't know it was the same place I went earlier for the elephant rides). The guide threw my children in the river water and told them to swim. He jerked them back in the seat so they would fall back. All trying to create some "fun" since the mood was not great. Their helmets would not buckle. The life jackets were falling apart. The showers were dilapidated, food was bad, etc. etc.
A few good things (like the river!) but mostly bad from beginning to end.
From: Joan Sofoulis (Australia)
Sent: Sunday, October 12, 2008 11:33 AM
I have just come back from Bali and was taying in Ubud for 4 days. I tried unsuccessfully to get to your park. Our guide & driver we booked for a day took us to the other elephant park and when I told him I did not think this was the elephant park I wanted to see and asked him about the other one he insisted that the other one was no good. I had a death in the family the week before I left for Bali and unfortunately left all my info at home. The park we were taken to was BAKASand it was a large disappointment. The elephant trainer hit us up for a tip half way through the ride. We were basically taken around the compound building and sat around on top of the elephant for a good 15 minutes whilst we had to listed to his sad life story.
The elephants were tethered tightly with chains and I found this upsetting. Their water pool was dry and looked like it had been for quite a while. The guide said they had water problems. The lunch was dubious to say the least. All this cost us A$85. I did try to get to your park several days later but came down with Bali Belly and had to cancel. I was so very disappointed as this was my main reason for coming to Bali, to see your spectacular elephant sanctuary. It is very disappointing when you are bald faced lied to when you question them and with a little hindsight I would do things very differently next time (if there is one). Having been to Bali several times I really noticed how much the tourist is hassled for extra money everywhere you go these days and this is very annoying. I don't mind tipping for services received but dont like being asked for it. Keep up the great work at your park and I shall just have to be satisfied with looking at your website for now.
Reply from: Nigel Mason
From: Christine Climas (Australia)
As I had paid for transfers I assumed that my transfer people (SATRIAVI LEISURE) would look after us, WRONG. I did not know they were taking us to the wrong place, we just couldn't work out why it did not look like the web site. We all decided that the web site was "made up" with false pictures etc. What a disappointment to find we had spent a great deal of money on somewhere we did not want to go.
We are going again in November and this time it won't happen, our travel agent arranged our flights /rooms and I asked her to delete transfers, very good reputation this company has she tells me, wrong I tell her. Sadly the "elephant mad" lady cannot go and will not get to see the elephants paint but I hope to be able to bring a painting back for her.
SATRIAVI LEISURE will not have my money again.
|From: Jenny Stewart (WA, Australia)
Sent: Saturday, October 11, 2008 9:51 PM
Hi there Nigel,
I travelled with three friends and we were all very keen to visit your park as I have been there, I think 7 times now and wanted to show my friends. I arranged a car and we took off. Chatting all the way and not taking too much notice of where we were going as it looked to be in the right direction. Big mistake, our driver took us to BAKAS Adventure Park. Dropped us at the door, parked the car and by the time he had come back, my friends were keen to see what was there as we had been in the car for over an hour.
So disappointed. When I questioned the driver and told him he had taken us to the wrong Elephant Park, he started to tell me that all the drivers take tourists to this park because it is cheaper and better. Wrong. It was crap. Only 8 elephants and they go round and round all day from 6am till stumps. Grounds and gardens are dry and not appealing at all. So, so disappointed.
I spoke to three other people in Kuta who had the same experience. Taken to the Bakas Park when they asked to go to yours. I even had your park brochure in my hand and still got taken else where.
Not sure what the answer is (if there even is one), but I know we were very disappointed. Paid AU$88 too and it was not enjoyable at all. The meal was a choice of Sweet and Sour Pork, Chicken Curry or Pork Battered (great for Idul Fitri) and I don't even eat pork.
Just thought you might like to know,
Reply from: Nigel Mason
Our latest brochure and our website has a warning about this, but unfortunately people tend to 'trust' drivers, who take advantage of this. I suggest that you put your complaint on one of the Bali websites, such as www.BaliForum.com to warn other tourists of this trap, so that they can avoid disappointment. Also send a copy to the website called 'www.baliupdate.com', attention Jack Daniels. Next time you're in Bali contact me personally to avoid the same thing happening again.
|From: Vicky Hall
Sent: Tuesday, May 20, 2008 2:23 PM
Subject: Shonkie business on recent trip
We met a few times a couple of years ago with Joe Cassar, hope Yanni and your boys are all well. My daughter and i have just returned from Bali and whilst there we tried to visit your elephant park but were unable to find a driver willing to take us . We were told the place was closed, had been flooded, the bridge was washed away, the road was blocked and the elephants could no longer be ridden!! The elephant place we were taken was terrible compared to yours and there were lots of Aussies there, I asked each group their story and all had asked for your park only to be told one of the excuses I’ve listed. Is there funny business going on or do they really believe all this ? I intend to go on to Bali forum and voice my strong protest, I’m so bloody mad at the unfairness of it.
Kindest regards, yours sincerely,
Reply From: Nigel Mason
|From: Mary Hutton
Sent: Wednesday, December 12, 2007 8:40 AM
Subject: Elephant Safari Park - Taro
We have received information from a person who was on one of your tours to the Elephant Safari Park in Taro.
Whilst there the tourist was taken to see some honey bears (Sun Bear) a highly endangered species. The bears were highly stressed and in a very small cage. She was informed the bears’ mother had been killed and the hunter is now being prosecuted and they were going to build a bigger cage.
We are Free The Bears Fund and I would appreciate more information on these bears.
Please visit our website to learn more about our work on www.freethebears.org.au You will see that we are making progress in the care and rehabilitation of bears.
I would appreciate a reply from you and further information on what can be done to improve the quality of life for the bears.
Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.
Reply From: Nigel Mason
Sent: Thursday, 13 December 2007 1:20 PM
To: 'Mary Hutton'
Subject: RE: Elephant Safari Park – Taro (answer)
Thank you for your email. May I assure you that your report regarding a ‘sun bear’ was not seen at the ‘Elephant Safari Park’ at Taro, Bali, as we do not have any animals except Sumatran elephants.
If you look at an Ayung River Rafting brochure you will see a photo of a ‘sun bear’, so it is very clear just who has this animal. Freelance agents are continually ‘fooling’ people that they are being taken to the Elephant Safari Park, whereas in truth they are often taken to ‘cheap’ and ‘badly run’ imitations, where a handful of elephants are on display. This is all done for the ‘extra’ commissions that are paid out by these companys.
In future please check your story before accusing us of any maltreatment of animals, as we have a high reputation and do not appreciate stories of this nature circulating.
|Dear Bali Tourist Board (copy to Bali Adventure Tours)
I recently had 1 weeks holiday in Bali (about the 12th time I have visited) and I wished to give you some feedback on the good and bad of my experience.
For the Worst business award (tourism), I have to say that BAKAS Levy Elephant Camp was the most disappointing tourist experience I have ever had in Bali. My reasons for saying this are:
I wish we had gone to Bali Adventure Tours, Elephant Safari Park – I hear that they are much more professional and give much better value for money. I mistakenly emailed them thinking it was their elephant park we had visited and they replied promptly, in detail and seemed to be appalled that any elephant park could have treated us the way we were treated. I have now checked that my receipt says “Bakas Adventure Semarapura”. I had hoped to at least get a professional reply from them.
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