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Posted by paula valderas (1 decade ago)


I use to work for GAP in Ecuador, am sorry to read those stories here, but I can understand, relate where these come from, the last post is (very) obvious posted from somebody from GAP Adventures main office in Toronto,

Gap treats their local staff and local operators really bad, and they pay them 25$$ !!!!??? for one day of work, sometimes 12 hours on call, while they make millions on sales. And even more most of the time you have to wait 3 months until you get paid, and they use a system where they give fines to their local staff.

they don't provide any legal support, don't provide work permits both for local and international tour leaders, we all work as illegals and when I had to cross a border like from Ecuador into Peru while on a trip we don't have any legal documents that we are working at that time and have to cross on a tourist visa at the risk of being deported.

So I can understand that some of my colleges are not taking their job to serious because GAP Adventures treats us like sh-t.

All the good tour leaders have run off and are working for (legal) other travel companies and the good ones that are still working for GAP don't care anymore. I have not been to Asia but I have been told from tour leaders over there that it is exactly the same, no work permits, not paid on time, exploited. and if they complain they get fired and not paid at all.

It is sad to see a proud Canadian company (Canadian people are so nice people!!) is cheating like this, they only invest in getting more sales staff and in more marketing campaigns and of course everybody wants to do the so called 'tour leader dream job' for a while so they got tour leaders stay for a while until they realize how they are treated. It's big, I think there are about 400 tour leaders working for GAP Adventures without any legal documents or work permits, (ask your tour leader next time if he/she has a work permit and is legal in the country they work.

You would be surprised what's really going on here.

La pura vida!

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Posted by David (8 years ago)


PLEASE BE ADVISED I AM POSTING THIS BECAUSE G Adventures has refused to refund the cost of our tour and they attempted to make excuses. please see below my original complaint. Now it extends to poor customer service from the office.

Africa Tour.

• Tour starts with Dwayne introducing himself and telling everyone this is NOT a holiday this is a tour

• No History, No Sites, I don't even know what towns we drove through. Stops were NOT planned, we have numerous opportunities to stop at local towns and villages with facilities however toilet stops were planned when Dwayne wanted a smoke or Steve needed to go to the toilet.

• Steve stopped the bus at a bare empty paddock, without grass or trees, we were advised this was the last toilet stop for 2+ hours, my wife was busting to go to the toilet however it was the first day of her period. She asked if we could go somewhere which had a little more coverage, the initial answer was no, Steve needed to go to the toilet now so this was the only stop. (as advised by Dwayne) My wife then crying had to announce to the whole truck of 22 people that she had her period and she needed more privacy. (there was a town less than 2km away but they made her hold it until the Tanzanian border.) – this was the first day of our trip.

• On the day of the 14 ½ hr drive we stopped in the middle of nowhere once again. There was towns all along the way however Dwayne needed a smoke and he said it looked ok for a breakfast site. Girls and boys had to walk hundreds of metres through a spiky plantation to take a leak in semi privacy. (many of the girls got cuts on arms and legs whilst looking for a spot)

• We were told and it was advertised we would WITNESS Kilimanjaro. After we arrived at our final destination we asked where was Kilimanjaro? Apparently as told by Dwayne the mountain had cloud around it so they decided to keep on driving. (I was told later he was asleep when we passed the mountain) we didn’t stop, we weren’t even told where it was. We saw nothing. I was very upset not to even be able to look at where the mountain was situated. Like I said I had no idea where we were or where anything was. We were not guided (apart from the Serengeti’s tour guides which were good)

• The spots in which we camped were the WORST, why did we only get 1 full day of safari? I was advised we only got 3 ½ hours in Ngorongorocrater as that is all we had paid for? THIS tour could have been so much better, we went back and stayed at the snake park WHY? We could have been on safari for most of the day and broken the 14 ½ hour drive in half by driving part of the way in the afternoon. Instead we waisted so much of the day at the snake park which we had already stayed! Why was there no designated stops along the way so we could witness as much of Africa?

• We asked Dwayne if he had any extra sop as we were running short, he was advised when he camps he doesn’t shower or wash his hands for 5 days!.

• The cooks at the Ngorongoro crater, why does G Adventures not have hygiene signs? I witnessed a cook go to the toilet for a number 2 and NOT wash his hands but make his way directly back into the kitchen.

• WHY did we have a driver that was made to drive 14+ hours straight? There was no regard for his safety or ours. I ACTUALLY really do like Steve (driver) and Dwayne (tour guide) I thought they were top blokes but they provided a really poor trip. Steve is an alcoholic and I was scared every time we had an early morning drive. For the long drives G adventures has a duty of care to its employees and clients – why are the drivers allowed to drive this far in a day? I know I didn’t get any sleep on the truck!!

• When asking simple questions, they went unanswered – How far to the Airport from the cruise port in Darasalam? “I don't know couldn’t tell you”!! That was the answer from Dwayne. I had to ask a Local for an approximate time.

• WHY when we had 22 people + driver and tour guide did we have ONE ESKY With ice which was only filled on the first day and never replaced!! Our food was waterlogged. Why doesn’t G adventures provide a $1,000 camping fridge? This is the 21st century.

• We did NOT get 9 breakfasts – The milk was 5 and 7 days past due date! I had to physically tip out the milk to make Dwayne buy more! Breakfast is not left over terribly tough steak from last night’s dinner on 4 day old stale bread!

• Dinner was cooked one night, the driver and tour guide ate and left? Bus unlocked, shit out everywhere. No one had any idea what to do. When Dwayne came back because someone told him a lot of people were complaining he advised us he had just gone to do paperwork. This was not true as a few of the boys were up with him at the bar!

• Booze cruise organised, two boats 22 people ended up in two destinations – instead of everyone having fun together we had separated the tour, our boat had a drunk crew and we ran into another boat (that’s not my complaint because I was actually having fun however a lot of the other people we very upset)

• After booze cruise one of the girls was throwing up on herself next to the beach, I was holding her up and dragging her away from the water, Dwayne came over and said just to leave here, she than managed to spit out “you’re a cunt” to Dwayne.

• Again I went to Africa for a Safari to see the animals, 1st day safari we got 1hour drive heading to camp site, 2nd day full day safari 3rd day 3 ½ hours – this tour could have been so much better, we had so much time in insignificant places.

• Why advertise the trip as from the buzz of Kenya’s capital Nairobi? We didn’t get to do ANYTHING in Nairobi???? No dinner organised NOTHING!! WE DID NOT SEE NAIROBI

• Why advertise the trip as MAX 22 PEOPLE?? For the last three days we had over 28??

• I honestly believe that Dwayne was so under paid that any chance he got to save money and pocket the difference he did! He openly advised how poorly he was paid!, I understand this is a cheap trip but I would have paid double if it provided the promise of which the trip was advertised! This trip was not worth $300! It was terrible! A horror experience. The people continuing on we happy for us of those that were hopping off.

I have so many other examples of where we were let down, misinformed, mislead, misguided, mistreated. I have no intention to deface the name or reputation of G Adventures, I just want to make sure that the tour is fixed so that the clients enjoyment and experience of Africa is enhanced. I have done 4 contiki’s and other various tours. This is my first complaint ever from any holiday.

IN further correspondence they have tried to tell me they are sorry it wasn't a more luxurious tour.

WE were not after a Luxurious Tour!! I don't consider hygiene, safety and considerate staff a luxury but a basic necessity on any tour.

Thanks for not refunding my money because now i don't feel bad about telling everyone

you are a cheap company with cheap values



  • Great Game Drive
  • Cons:
  • Everything in my review
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    5 out of 6 people said 'YES'

    Australia flag   Review came from Australia.

    Posted by WastedMyMoney (9 years ago)


    Never again will I spend my hard earned money on Gap Adventures. Look at it from this point of view: do you live in a clean nice environment at home? If so, then when you travel you want the hotel to at least match the standards you live in at home. Gap Adventures book really crappy horrible hotels, maybe they want to make more money and it's all about the profits?

    In the short, I would describe in these words of all the hotels I had to stay in with gap: moldy dirty shower, sewage smells, dampness smells from upholstery in most of hotels, not replacing used towels with clean ones, and the list goes on. It may sound petty, however at home I keep my bedroom clean, well aired and tidy.

    Also, my tour guide is obese and the restaurants she is taking us to are really poor quality of food. I had diarrhea for four days on this trip with sore lower abdominal pain. it's really unfortunate that I am counting down the days for this trip to be over. In the future I will do it on my own independently without a money grabbing tour operator. I can learn now from what I have experienced. I'm on the young tour 18 to 39 age group. Some of the very younger group 19/20 years old are really annoying/boring. They don't seem very worldly/adventurous, they just want to hang out on a beach, spend there funds on getting drunk in the evenings. Aimlessly walking around the market. This morning I just wanted to get on with my day and get on to the cafe for breakfast, it was already 10, but I waited for the others (it was pretty much all the younger ones expect for a 33 year old guy). We sat in the hotel lobby waiting around for the youngsters for ages. One 20 year kept returning to her room to change her outfit 3 TIMES! we're only talking about breakfast here, there's no need to be fashion conscious, especially traveling around a really poor country- low tourist season. We must have finished up at the cafe for breakfast around 12 or so, maybe lunch time.

    Just consider this? Touring in groups is a real compromise. If you don't mind waiting around for others for ages to keep changing out fits or changing their minds with fickle minds, then do it on your own or with an independent minded friend who is a free spirit.

    To sum up in the short: I'm not going with gap again, it's actually put me off any tour that's not just a one day tour. I would still take part in day tours. Rubbish poor standard hotels. Tour guide who takes us to restaurants that are also poor quality. You can't return food in Latin America. I come from England and they will for sure replace anything or take it off the bill.

    This is just my experience and opinions. I hope you can make choices that will be good for you, whom ever may read this.

    Thank you for reading my feed back on Gap Adventures (Tour Operator)

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    It sounds like you would find something to be unhappy about in your own home town. I just finished a Gap tour in India and everyone on that tour had nothing but positive comments. Some like yourself were very sick but they did not blame anyone or anything they accepted responsibility for their own health. Next time go the high-end, pay a huge amount of money to be pampered or best yet just go it alone then you can not blame your woes on anyone but yourself. 99.9% hotels, restaurants etc were great.

    5 out of 6 people said 'YES'

    Nicaragua flag   Review came from Nicaragua.

    Posted by Gauri B (8 years ago)

    Horrible experience with Gap Adventures Africa Safari

    Good CEO and Driver. Safe Driving. Over crowded. No sufficient space for luggage, No space.

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    3 out of 3 people said 'YES'

    Norway flag   Review came from Norway.

    Posted by Bridgid Hill (1 decade ago)

    Thank you for an amazing trip through Rajastan. Govind Jha was just the best guide we could possibly have wished for. His knowledge, companionship and care was outstanding. I will definitely be back for another GAP tour.

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    7 out of 11 people said 'YES'

    South Africa flag   Review came from South Africa.

    Posted by jessica (1 decade ago)

    I would NOT recommend traveling with GAP Adventures. I just came back from one of their 2 week South American "comfort" tours. Some of the hotels where substandard (toliets didn't flush, dirty, no running water - and this was a comfort tour not a budget one). In addition our tour included 4 intercontinental flights. Despite having to pay the full cost of the trip months before GAP books their intercontinental flights for the group only the day before (in effort to save money). This resulted in our group consistently having to travel on planes in 2-3 smaller groups hours apart (which wasted several days). A similar GAP tour group we ran into said that because of this practice GAP was unable to get them on one of their promised flights and they had to take an overnight bus. I would NOT book a GAP trip again.

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    4 out of 6 people said 'YES'


    Posted by S. (1 decade ago)

    Am a seasoned traveller having spent 3 yrs backpacking in Europe & Asia but travelled w/ Gap twice as I now have limited time. Had a great time in Antarctica - staff was professional and went beyond the call of duty in taking care of us. However, was extremely disappointed in Mali - our lead guide couldn't be bothered and often disappeared in the evenings; most of the time was spent traveling from one destination to another instead of actually seeing a place... Thankfully we had good drivers. I guess it depends on who Gap subcontracts out to. Friends who have gone with both Gap and Intrepid say they much prefer the latter – better bang for the buck. Even though they seem cheaper, unexpected payments on the Mali trip added up so you ended up paying more without the added experiences, benefits etc.

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    4 out of 6 people said 'YES'

    Canada flag   Review came from Canada.

    Posted by Lyndon File (9 years ago)

    By-way-of introduction, my name is Lyndon File, and I work with Gap Adventures. I wanted to take a few moments, and respond to these comments as they have recently been brought to my attention as Manager of Customer Satisfaction.

    I cannot provide a detailed response here, as there are many concerns listed, but little detail provided. I am happy to review any concerns that anyone is willing to bring to my attention on '[email protected]'. Thanks in advance for writing, and giving us the chance to make this right. It will allow us to get better at what we do and that is positive energy that is created by something like this. As a company we really appreciate the opportunity. Our lead with service culture will be all over this. We pride ourselves on having the best possible customer experience and this was not for most of those who commented here.

    These experiences are not typical. We have over a thousand people who make our company great everyday, and lead with service. I personally read accounts daily of how we have changed peoples lives, and that is what drives me day in and day out.

    The comments posted by Brigid Hill are more reflective of our customer experiences. She is indeed a traveller - and has no connection with Gap Adventures.

    So, what about the comments from the ex Gap Adventures employee? Like any company, we look to continually improve. In recent times, we have made every effort to focus on our CEO's (Chief Experience Officers, or Tour Leaders). They are the face of our company, and the key to our success. Here are just a few of the things we have done recently to help our CEO's deliver life-changing experiences to our travellers:

    • In-house interns: Every 3 months, we bring a CEO from anywhere in the world to work in Base Camp (Toronto, Canada) to bring fresh ideas and help closer communications.

    • Increased decision-making - allowing our CEO's to make responsible financial decisions while on tour

    • Ramped up our field-BaseCamp communications

    • Appointed a dedicated CEO advocate here at BaseCamp to champion our people in the field and listen to their ideas.

    • We read every post tour evaluation submitted by our travellers and our CEOs read the comments submitted, and use it as a great learning tool.

    • Appointed Senior CEOs in each major global region

    • Created CEO leadership camps for outstanding CEO's globally

    • Created a performance incentive program

    • Flying a number of CEO's into company events

    • Created on-going training and support systems for our CEO's.

    We are a company that has many people all over the world working everyday to make it great. In April 2011 we were once again selected by Great Places To Work Institute as one of Canada's 2011 Best Workplaces.

    We care about our travellers experience, and our staff.

    I am happy to continue this conversation with anyone who is interested in having it with me.

    Once again, you can contact me on '[email protected]'

    Kind Regards,


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    Canada flag   Review came from Canada.

    Posted by Tony Aussie (1 decade ago)

    We have just returned from South America.

    We took a 8 days tour with G.A.P. from Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro. This was advertised as "Comfort tour" but it turned out to be a near disaster for us. Accommodation in Paraty (Br) was terrible - no beds, sleeping on floor with insects, breakfast skipped, flights at impossible hours 4:30 am etc. Some excursions advertised were just not provided.

    The guide spend more time with selected jung ladies and did not care about the rest of the group.

    Now we have asked for a refund but can't get it.

    The agent Flight Center in Australia who sold us the tour has brushed us off. So did Australian Association of Travel Agents. Nobody cares about the poor traveler.

    So it is simple - AVOID G.A.P. like a plague.

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    2 out of 3 people said 'YES'

    Australia flag   Review came from Australia.

    Posted by mrl (1 decade ago)

    In our recent trip to Peru, we were left stranded, with no transport, having to book and pay on our own for plane tickets. Money were not reimbursed, $470US each, part of the tour was missed, very inconvenient and not organized trip. GAP head office is hiding behind their policies and did not pay. GAP Insurance doesn't pay either.

    If you are ever in this situation, do not buy your own ticket as your tour operator they have to organize your travel. Or if you do don't expect your money back. Very disappointed!!!

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    3 out of 5 people said 'YES'

    Canada flag   Review came from Canada.

    Posted by jason (10 years ago)

    i booked the 30 day costa rica to cancun trip and i feel it was for the most part a money grab. every hotel was a obvious rate reduction for all the way with little to balance the price charged . i will admit we were on our first guided tour and always travel independently so beware if you like to pay high prices for budget hotels with very little included.

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    1 out of 2 people said 'YES'

    Canada flag   Review came from Canada.

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