Our African ‘nightmare’ – luxury trip turned into holiday from hell after company ‘stole our money’ (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Our African ‘nightmare’ – luxury trip turned into holiday from hell after company ‘stole our money’
A COUPLE have been left thousands of pounds out of pocket after the adventure of a lifetime turned into the holiday from hell.
Mike and Victoria Lombard, who live in Mudeford, spent two years planning a safari trip to Kenya and were looking forward to touring the country and its game reserves, seeing its wildlife over nine days.
But the couple – who spent £5,500 on the luxury all-inclusive experience – ran into trouble almost as soon as they arrived.
Mike, 41, said he booked with a firm called Holiday to Africa, based in Kent.
Mike, who runs ML Water Services and Ripples in Westbourne with wife Victoria, 42, added: “We left and went out there and on about the third day the company in Kenya said they could not carry on with our trip because they hadn’t been paid by Holiday to Africa.
“We got onto them and they said it would be all sorted out. We spent another $600 to go onto the next stage of the holiday thinking that it would be sorted and paid back the next morning. We then had to pay $400 to change flights as well.
“We had only two days of real holiday and had to come back early. I was sitting in the middle of the bush on my mobile phone trying to sort it out.
“Each day that they weren’t responding we lost a day of our holiday. They’ve stolen my money and the Kenyan tour operator never got paid.”
Mike said the operator in the country – Dallago Tours – were “very kind” to them.
As well as spending a big sum on what they thought would be a dream holiday, Mike said he would also be facing a phone bill of several hundred pounds on top of the cash they had to shell out in Kenya.
He said Holiday to Africa was now not answering his phone calls and his insurance did not cover what had happened. The couple did not pay by credit card.
The firm’s website says the company specialises in eco-tourism across Africa.
Its phone was not being answered when the Daily Echo tried to contact it. An email also went unanswered at the time of going to press.
The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) said the company was not one of its members.
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