Warning: Buffalo Campers, Joburg

Grooland created the topic: Warning: Buffalo Campers, Joburg

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WARNING: Buffalo Campers, Joburg
Owner: Vaughan Corlett
In August 2010 we rented two 4X4 from Buffalo Campers.
In general the cars are not well maintained.
On our tour through Mosambique one wheel bearing broke. Luckily we got it for about R2500 repaired.
As we returned the vehicle Vaughan wasn´t in, he promised to refund the R2500 to my account, but he never did it.
Friends rented cars from Buffalo in March 2010 also hat got problems with wheel bearings.
Reports found in the internet confirm our experiences.

Regards
Roland

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mozman replied the topic: Warning: Buffalo Campers, Joburg

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Hi Roland

While I cannot comment on the status of Buffalo Campers, yes it certainly pays to do a LOT of research before deciding on which 4x4 and / or camper rental company to use. I have no problem recommending Bushlore but there are many other good companies in South Africa.

A great guide to hiring / renting a 4x4 in southern Africa:
www.freewebs.com/luangwablondes/hiringa4x4.htm

but do your own research and get testimonials and previous clients contacts to verify in person levels of service and condition of vehicles and equipment.

Mike

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Dominic replied the topic: Warning: Buffalo Campers, Joburg

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I have just returned from SA having rented a Toyota Hilux from Buffalo Campers 4x4 for a two week self drive safari through Botswana and would NOT wish anyone to have the same experience we did. Our group had three vehicles in total supplied by Buffalo Campers and its hard to say which was worse - the condition of the vehicles or the attitude of Vaughan Corlett the business owner. He ranks amongst the surliest, most rude and unhelpful individuals i've ever met, and his vehicles are without doubt the most hotch botch, poorly maintained, bodged i've ever driven. In the UK they would, without exception, all fail any MOT or road test. Perhaps a blowing exhaust, bald and irregularly worn tyres, broken lights and whining bearings are relatively unimportant when driving off road in Africa, but running on three cylinders, seized differentials, burnt out alternators, molten and bare wiring earthing on the body work and fridges that simply weren't wired in are surely major failings when venturing into the middle of the Kalahari. Not to mention missing equipment, a lack of tools, empty gas cylinders and very smelly tents. When questioned on the state of the vehicles (not to mention that we had booked and paid for three and he presents us with only two when we arrive), his complete lack of preparation for our arrival and only a fraction of the equipment we had specifically been promised, his attitude was 'like it or lump it'! In fact what he actually said on a Sunday morning when we arrived after a 12 hour flight from the UK was "if you don't like it, f**k off". Clearly we were a captive audience with very few options or alternatives. We managed to return to collect an additional vehicle from him the following day, at which point we also had to replace one of the vehicles that we had only just collected the previous day as the diff seized up - thankfully better then, than when we were hundreds of kms from civilisation! We also managed to nurse the vehicles along for the two weeks, but only as we had a couple of very handy guys with us that are quite mechanically minded and with the assistance of the Toyota dealership in Maun, who dropped everything to help us repair two alternators within a two hour window. However, unless you are a qualified mechanic, with plenty of spares, tools and wish to spend more time in the engine bay, than watching game, then take my advice, and steer very clear of Buffalo Campers - spend the extra money and get a decent vehicle!

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mozman replied the topic: Warning: Buffalo Campers, Joburg

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Thanks Dominic

obviously the views here do not represent mine or mozguide's, but have sent the postings to Buffalo Campers so they may exercise right of reply. If I get a reply I will post it here.

Mike

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Luk Bouters replied the topic: Re: Warning: Buffalo Campers, Joburg

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In July and August we rented two Hilux cars from Buffalo Campers. We travelled throughout SA and Mozambique for about four weeks. One car had 25.000 km and the other 125.000km. Both cars suited well. We didn't have any problem at all but a flat tyre. Indeed, Buffalo campers may have a policy: if you don't ask, you won't get answers, but in all fairness cars were OK and the accompanying gear was more than sufficient. Luk Bouters Gent

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mozman replied the topic: Re: Warning: Buffalo Campers, Joburg

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Hi

nice to get positive feedback and glad to hear that Buffalo Campers can be reliable. Pity they still have not responded to my request for comment on the bad review.

Mike

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