AITO: The Association of Independent Tour Operators
Wild Frontiers

Wild Frontiers Traveller Reviews

Reviews of Wild Frontiers

Overall Company Rating
98%
Excellent 211
Good 7
Average 2
Poor 1
Terrible 2
Reviews Submitted: 223
Reviews Accepted: 222
Reviews Rejected: 1
222 reviews
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Bolivia: High and Wild by Mr S M 14, 17 Nov 2014
Holiday Rating:

An authentic, interesting and thought provoking travel experience through Bolivia

I recently took part in the "Bolivia High and Wild" trip with the UK company Wild Frontiers. As a veteran group traveller who has wanted to visit Bolivia for many years, this trip not only lived up to expectation but totally exceeded it. The whole experience from start to finish was mind-blowing - the itinerary was a great balance of culture, landscapes, activity and sight seeing and I really felt like I gained a genuine insight into this ...

I recently took part in the "Bolivia High and Wild" trip with the UK company Wild Frontiers. As a veteran group traveller who has wanted to visit Bolivia for many years, this trip not only lived up to expectation but totally exceeded it. The whole experience from start to finish was mind-blowing - the itinerary was a great balance of culture, landscapes, activity and sight seeing and I really felt like I gained a genuine insight into this fascinating destination. The companies attention to detail was good and added to the overall experience and the standard of the tour was really high considering the remoteness of the destinations.

Rating for tour operator:

Wild Frontiers were simply excellent. This was a well though out trip, and even when things happened that were beyond their control, a contingency was quickly in place. I was also impressed with their general travel ethos and attitude toward local people. Several members of the group had travelled with them before and based on this experience I will definitely do so again.

Wild Frontiers responded to this review on 17 Dec 2014:

Thanks for your kind comments Stan, we are delighted you enjoyed your trip to Bolivia so much!

Wild Frontiers by Pembswomble, 31 Jul 2014
Holiday Rating:

Ecuador, volcanos, walks, hot springs, eco lodges, jungle, rafting and more! :)

Ecuador, volcanos, walks, hot springs, eco lodges, jungle, rafting and more! :)

Rating for tour operator:

Wild Frontiers organised us a fun packed and varied trip through Ecuador. They listened carefully to what we like doing and what we wanted to do and what they booked far exceeded our expectations!

Wild Frontiers responded to this review on 05 Aug 2014:

Thanks for your feedback Katherine, we are delighted you had a great time in Ecuador.

Wild Frontiers by Wodie, 11 Jul 2014
Holiday Rating:

Ecuador - Andes and Galapagos

We took the 2 night package to Piman. It a fantastic tour with an excellent guide to local towns and with walks in the Andes. The hacienda was outstanding with beautiful chalets in the gardens and lovely food. The staff were extremely attentive. Highly recommended. Galapagos was a 4 night package at the Red Mangrove lodges on Santa Cruz and Isabela. The first 3 days were disappointing as the lodges had cut corners on guides, tours and food ...

We took the 2 night package to Piman. It a fantastic tour with an excellent guide to local towns and with walks in the Andes. The hacienda was outstanding with beautiful chalets in the gardens and lovely food. The staff were extremely attentive. Highly recommended. Galapagos was a 4 night package at the Red Mangrove lodges on Santa Cruz and Isabela. The first 3 days were disappointing as the lodges had cut corners on guides, tours and food quality. After we complained to our travel agent they delivered the standard we would have expected at these prices.

Rating for tour operator:

James put together a brilliant itinerary. The Red Mangrove lodges on Galapagos unfortunately let him down(see above). He has done his best to make amends but he is up against a complacency on Galapagos because they know they are sitting on a gold mine and people will continue to come there.

Wild Frontiers responded to this review on 21 Jul 2014:

Dear Ruth,

I am really pleased you enjoyed your holiday to Ecuador and the Galapagos. Thank you for raising the point about the Red Mangrove Lodge - feedback like this is incredibly useful for us and helps us to continue to offer the high level of services we aim for. We are sorry you found that particular property underwhelming - I have sent your feedback to the Red Mangrove Lodges, and we’ll be reviewing the accommodation we use in the Galapagos as a result.

I would like to thank you again for taking your time to inform me about the above and if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards,

Nigel.

Wild Frontiers by Emily, 13 Jun 2014
Holiday Rating:

Kenyan Highlands Horse Safari with Wild Frontiers.. a totally fantastic and unforgetable experience

In March this year I went with Wild Frontiers on a riding safari. It was the trip of a life time, full of adventure but also comfort. From the first part of our stay at Borana to the 5 day ride and camping exerience I can not fault the organisation and care that wild frontiers extended to us. Our group was well and knowledgably lead and as a group we bonded well. I always felt safe and in good hands. I can not recommend them highly enough.

In March this year I went with Wild Frontiers on a riding safari. It was the trip of a life time, full of adventure but also comfort. From the first part of our stay at Borana to the 5 day ride and camping exerience I can not fault the organisation and care that wild frontiers extended to us. Our group was well and knowledgably lead and as a group we bonded well. I always felt safe and in good hands. I can not recommend them highly enough.

Rating for tour operator:

Wild Frontiers organises group travel and I believe that from first look on their website to returning home that they did a good job and were value for money.

Wild Frontiers responded to this review on 16 Jun 2014:

Thanks very much for your comments, we're delighted to hear you had a great trip!

Wild Frontiers by Jules, 9 Jun 2014
Holiday Rating:

Pakistan Hindu Kush Festival Adventure

My three weeks in Pakistan with Wild Frontiers was the trip of a lifetime. We flew to Islamabad and from there to Chitral where our adventure really began. We travelled by jeep up into the Kalash Valley where we watched, and participated in, their Spring Festival. From there we travelled up, over the Shandor Pass and into the Hunza valley. This was my second visit with Wild Frontiers to the amazing Eagle's Nest hotel, surrounded by seven ...

My three weeks in Pakistan with Wild Frontiers was the trip of a lifetime. We flew to Islamabad and from there to Chitral where our adventure really began. We travelled by jeep up into the Kalash Valley where we watched, and participated in, their Spring Festival. From there we travelled up, over the Shandor Pass and into the Hunza valley. This was my second visit with Wild Frontiers to the amazing Eagle's Nest hotel, surrounded by seven of the highest mountain peaks in the world. We travelled from here to Skardu and on to Khaplu, where the extraordinary Khaplu Palace, rich with Tibetan influences, is the most romantic place I have ever stayed. All along this varied and thrilling trip we were buoyed up by the welcome we received from the local people. I will never forget it.

Rating for tour operator:

I travelled with Wild Frontiers for the first time seven years ago. Due to a change in personal circumstances I was looking for an adventure. I wanted the security of travelling in a small group and looked at a number of companies who went to the HImalayas. Reading about a Wild Frontiers trip in the Guardian, I rang the office and was immediately put through to owner Jonny Bealby. His enthusiasm and personal touch quickly helped me make my decision. Since then I have travelled with Wild Frontiers four times, and on each occasion I have been impressed by the quality of the tour leaders, their knowledge of the areas we visited, and their attention to detail. They really couldn't do more to make each individual member of the group feel at home. The Hindu Kush is an area close to Jonny Bealby's heart, and it was a privilege to meet and stay with people - including Mufti the jeep driver, and Saifullah in the Kalash valley, who were our trip leader Jonny's friends. Jonny, Mark, and local guides Riaz and Atta, could not have done more, sometimes in difficult circumstances, including bad weather making roads impassable, to make our whole experience a happy and comfortable one. The most important thing, which makes me return to Wild Frontiers, apart from their unique itineraries, is the staff at the office, all of whom, either have knowledge of the individual areas, or can put you through to someone who does. They are interested, well-informed and patient, willing to answer any questions, big or small, whether it be 'is it safe to travel' or 'do I need to pack my walking boots'. They want you to have a happy and comfortable experience, and actively encourage clients to talk to them.

Wild Frontiers responded to this review on 09 Jun 2014:

Thank you for your kind comments, feedback like this makes our day!

Wild Frontiers responded to this review on 09 Jun 2014:

Thanks for your lovely comments, they are much appreciated.

Wild Frontiers by Chick, 3 Jun 2014
Holiday Rating:

Kenya Horse Safari

Having arrived at Nairobi airport, we then caught a light aircraft and flew about an hour north towards Mount Kenya. We arrived at Borana Lodge, a truly magical ranch on the Laikipia plateau. The rooms are out of this world, with gorgeous views, with food and wine to match. Our hosts Michael and Nicky Dyer, looked after us beautifully and nothing was too much trouble. We travelled about 10 minutes to meet our trusty steeds, who were all ...

Having arrived at Nairobi airport, we then caught a light aircraft and flew about an hour north towards Mount Kenya. We arrived at Borana Lodge, a truly magical ranch on the Laikipia plateau. The rooms are out of this world, with gorgeous views, with food and wine to match. Our hosts Michael and Nicky Dyer, looked after us beautifully and nothing was too much trouble. We travelled about 10 minutes to meet our trusty steeds, who were all forward going thoroughbreds and incredibly fit. Riding on the vast plains with wildlife grazing happily amongst us was amazing. We saw, giraffe, rhino, a leopard, hippo, elephant and of course the Grevi zebra, with their ears like ping pong bats. The camps we stayed in were very comfortable. Each tent having its own loo (tent) and shower, with hot water! We travelled for about 5 - 6 hours a day on horseback and finished up at the beautiful eco-lodge called Suyain. What a joy to have smiling faces to meet you and wash down, water and the horses, whilst we were greeted by a wonderful 'al fresco' lunch. The lodges we stayed in were incredibly comfortable with open sides and each had a thatched roof. The open air shower was a delight. It is very hard to describe in words how magical this trip is. Go and see for yourself, I am sure you won't be disappointed! I have now been twice, and am looking forward to next year! All beautifully organised and overseen by Wild Frontiers.

Rating for tour operator:

Wild Frontiers is a small independent travel operator. I have travelled with them four times now and wouldn't hesitate to use them again. Everyone is very friendly and helpful, and any silly little questions you might have, are answered quickly and efficiently.

Wild Frontiers responded to this review on 04 Jun 2014:

Thanks for your comments, we are delighted your Kenya horse ride lived up to expectations.

Wild Frontiers by Susie Price, 3 Jun 2014
Holiday Rating:

Truly getting away from it all

I have travelled with Wild Frontiers for many years because they really do offer something different. I went to Kashmir recently and it was no exception - staying on houseboats in Srinigar being looked after by by our English speaking guide and local guides who are friends of the company, rowing up the river for 3 days and camping in remote places in the shadow of the Himalayas and an quick trip to the world's highest gondola. As usual WF really ...

I have travelled with Wild Frontiers for many years because they really do offer something different. I went to Kashmir recently and it was no exception - staying on houseboats in Srinigar being looked after by by our English speaking guide and local guides who are friends of the company, rowing up the river for 3 days and camping in remote places in the shadow of the Himalayas and an quick trip to the world's highest gondola. As usual WF really took you off the beaten track - not another tourist in sight!

Rating for tour operator:

WF holidays demonstrate the attention to detail without losing the sense of adventure. They're also very flexible if you want to go off-piste for a while - you never feel herded on their group tours - there isn't a stripey umbrella in sight!

Wild Frontiers responded to this review on 03 Jun 2014:

Thank you for your kind comments, we are delighted you had another enjoyable trip with Wild Frontiers!

Wild Frontiers by captain david, 31 May 2014
Holiday Rating:

Wild frontiers Silk road odussy 2013

Unforgettable!!! Having been a world traveller for over 50 years this is the best holiday I have ever had and enjoyed it so much that we stayed 5 days extra. I will also be going on Wild Frontiers Mongolian tour next year. The Itinerary, information and organisation provided by Wild Frontiers could not be faulted and the tour guide, Patrick, deserves a medal for the way he dealt with all the inevitable problems that come with crossing land borders ...

Unforgettable!!! Having been a world traveller for over 50 years this is the best holiday I have ever had and enjoyed it so much that we stayed 5 days extra. I will also be going on Wild Frontiers Mongolian tour next year. The Itinerary, information and organisation provided by Wild Frontiers could not be faulted and the tour guide, Patrick, deserves a medal for the way he dealt with all the inevitable problems that come with crossing land borders and a mixed group (there is always a problem......) My only request is that could the tour be made longer so that there is more time in Kashgar. Keep it up Wild Frontiers!I may even do the same trip again some day.

Rating for tour operator:

Could not be better. Answered all my queries (even the stupid ones)promptly and sent follow up questionnaire and the price was good. I intend using them for my next Central Asia tour in 2014.

Wild Frontiers responded to this review on 03 Jun 2014:

Wow thank you so much - we are always working very hard to provide the best possible trips so it is nice to know it is appreciated.

Wild Frontiers by BM, 12 Dec 2013
Holiday Rating:

it could have been better -- sadly, the Wild Frontiers trip to Central Asia was hugely disappointing

This should have been an amazing trip -- the countries visited are of outstanding beauty, history, culture and wonderful people. And yet, despite this, I struggled to enjoy this trip because sooooooooo many things went badly. And the things that went poorly were completely avoidable if, in my opinion, Wild Frontiers took the time to do some basic and fundamental planning. I was prepared for hardship on this travel (this is Central Asia!) ...

This should have been an amazing trip -- the countries visited are of outstanding beauty, history, culture and wonderful people. And yet, despite this, I struggled to enjoy this trip because sooooooooo many things went badly. And the things that went poorly were completely avoidable if, in my opinion, Wild Frontiers took the time to do some basic and fundamental planning. I was prepared for hardship on this travel (this is Central Asia!) but I wasn't prepared for the disorganisation and unprofessionalism of the tour operator.

Rating for tour operator:

In my opinion and based on my experience, I thought that Wild Frontiers did a shameful job with regards to the Silk Route trip in August 2010. While I could lay a lot of the issue at the door of the 'expert guide', I think this would be hiding the issue that Central Office sent someone who was neither an expert in the region nor experienced enough to lead the group nor in the condition to guide a group of 13 travellers for 21 days. First, the guide really didn't know the region and thus always deferred questions (even basic ones) to the subcontracted local guides. Some guides were excellent whereas others were average/poor. As such, it was disappointing to get generic answers about the history and culture of the wonderful places we were visiting. Second, the WIld Frontier tour leader really wasn't a leader but rather someone who responds to issues. In other words, rather than being proactive and prevent simple issues from escalating, the leader was more reactive. As such, on this trip, we had a lot of little issues that became hugely problematic and caused delayed, wasted time, and stress to the group. For example, the leader didn't ensure that we had sufficient water when visiting a desert in Tajikistan. Thus, once we reached the ancient ruins we were not allowed to explore the site until one of the helpers returned with water. As such, we wasted a lot of time waiting in the shade. Time in the shade is time not spent exploring the site! Another example is our flight from Khiva (Uzbekistan). Our flight was delayed for 5 hours. But, our leader didn't check on the flight status before we arrived to the airport for our transfer. Other tour groups did -- and thus they had 5 extra hours to explore Khiva whereas the Wild Frontiers group was stuck at the airport for 5 hours and waited . . . waited . . . waited. Third example is that Wild Frontiers booked this tour leader back-to-back with other trips. So, when she arrived to lead our group, she was already exhausted. Thus, one day in Uzbekistan, she opted to remain back at the hotel to "catch her breath" and finish her travel blogs. (Apparently, Wild Frontiers travel blog deadlines are more important to her than to look after the group.) So, we were left in the care of the outsourced local agents for the day. Question: what is the point of paying a premium to Wild Frontiers for the expert and experienced guides if their guides can't be bothered to show up for work? I raised this question to WIld Frontiers in the post-trip feedback form and their response was that it was in our interests that our guide is well-rested. I agree whole-heartedly. But, I would add that for this very reason, Wild Frontiers should not have assigned our group someone who was already exhausted at the outset. The other issue I had with Wild Frontiers is that trip really wasn't authentic and we didn't get "under the skin" of the place. The itinerary was rather generic and we kept running into the same group of people from other tours over and over again. (I guess this happens if Wild Frontiers subcontracts the trip/the logistics to local tour companies.) Furthermore, even when Wild Frontiers wasn't relying on the outsourced agents, the WF tour leader really didn't make any effort to be 'the travel leader for travellers'. For example, we transit thru Bishkek twice. And twice (!!!), we were taken to an Italian restaurant! To think that I've travelled thousands of miles to Central Asia, and I was fed pasta and pizza!!! How authentic is that? And, in Kashgar China, we were taken to what I could only describe as the ultimate tourist-trap from Dante's purgatory. This should have been an optional event for when we had the afternoon free. Instead, this was on the main itinerary. Did we visit a mosque or place of historical intrigue? No. We visited the Ikea of tourist tats. But the biggest disappointment for me with Wild Frontiers was the amateur nature of the logistics and planning. First, although everyone is responsible for his/her own visa, if someone from the group had problems then it would mean that the entire group is impacted. NO ONE at Wild Frontiers bothered to confirm that all the visas were in order prior to the start of the trip. Thus, we had lots (x100) of problems with the border crossings. We actually lost a day at the China-Krygz border waiting for the guards to release two of our fellow travellers. Second, NO ONE at Wild Frontiers did their homework beforehand and completely trusted the local agents to handle all the home stay arrangements. Thus, they were not aware that at one home stay, there was only 1 loo for our group, tour leader, local agents, and 5 drivers. (And the family asked us to NOT use their lawn for calls of nature.) Thus, if 1 person in our large group was ill (i.e. diarrhoea) then this would have been a hugely unpleasant experience. In short, this was a hugely disappointing experience. I would NOT recommend Wild Frontiers to my friends or family.

Wild Frontiers responded to this review on 29 May 2014:

For Wild Frontiers' comments on this review please see below.

Wild Frontiers responded to this review on 29 May 2014:

In response to the above review we would like to offer a few comments. Firstly we are very sorry that in this case the traveller’s expectations were not met. We go to great lengths to ensure that the tours we operate fulfil our travellers’ desire to see and experience the world in as fun, comfortable and informative a way as possible. This tour in particular is very special to Wild Frontiers as it is based on a horse riding journey I did for the Discovery Channel back in 1999, and is a trip I have personally lead on a number of occasions.

I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to address each of the above points here, but what I will say is that on reviewing this trip after receiving this feedback back in 2010, we made quite a few substantial changes – both to the tour itself and to the way the tour was sold. We believe these tweaks rectified most of the issues and possibly helped this trip go on to be named by National Geographic Traveller in 2013 as one of their top 50 trips of a lifetime, an award we are very proud of.

I would also like to point out that of the reviewer’s 10 fellow travellers the average satisfaction rating for this tour was over 8 out of 10. On our most recent departure of this tour, these were some of the client comments… ‘This tour covers a vast range of attractions, from excellent horse riding adventures and wonderful natural landscapes to fast paced ancient towns and markets such as Kashgar and Samarkand. The architectural highlights are superb and the food is surprisingly very good! Local home stays and yurts give a real feel for local culture and are a real experience.’

And another relating to our tour leader for last year’s trips, ‘Chris Daubney was truly outstanding. At all times he was calm, friendly, personable and professional. He was constantly looking out for members of the group, keeping us informed and negotiating and liaising with local guides. It would have been easy for a tour leader on this trip to 'sit back and enjoy the ride', especially as the local guides were also excellent; however, Chris worked incredibly hard throughout the trip. I was impressed!’

And finally, ‘This trip exceeded all expectation and for the first time ever I wanted it to go on and on. Would be very happy to do the complete holiday again!!’

We have a wide and varied selection of holidays and one thing we always do our best to get right is to help prospective clients select the right tour to suit them. This particular tour travels 2,500km in 3 weeks along one of the old silk roads, taking in the serene mountains of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan and the bustling towns and cities of China and Uzbekistan, and therefore is, by its very nature, an ‘overview’ type tour, which for some of our clients is the experience they are looking for. We operate other tours that cover these areas in more detail, including a comprehensive 15-day tour of Kyrgyzstan and a number of tours focussing on Uzbekistan’s great silk road cities. Whilst we accept many of the points made in this review, and have done our best to address them, it is my opinion that in this case we may have been better to advise these clients to take a different tour or even to travel independently, where we could have tailored the trip to suit their individual needs.

Just to summarise, I’d like to stress again firstly how sorry we are that the above reviewer had such an underwhelming holiday experience with us, but secondly how we do take feedback like this very seriously and use it to consistently improve our services.

Jonny Bealby
Founder/MD, Wild Frontiers Adventure Travel Ltd

Wild Frontiers by Paul&Kim, 18 Sep 2013
Holiday Rating:

Tailor made Southern India trip

Great tour from Madurai up to the hills in Munnar and then onto the backwaters of Kerala, finishing in Cochin. An excellent mix of temples, scenery, relaxation and great food.

Great tour from Madurai up to the hills in Munnar and then onto the backwaters of Kerala, finishing in Cochin. An excellent mix of temples, scenery, relaxation and great food.

Rating for tour operator:

Nigel at Wild Frontiers organised an itinerary for us that was exactly the kind of balance of sightseeing and relaxation that we had asked for. Him and his team were consistently good with communication and ensuring a smooth trip.