Date: November 30, 2006 To: Cabela's Outdoor Adventures From: Afsar Waraich RE: Waraich family safari at Ko-Ka Tsara Safaris, 9/27-10/10/06
As you are aware, my family and I traveled to South Africa for a plains game safari booked through Cabela's for 9/27 - 10/10/06 with Ko-Ka Tsara Safaris. Neither my family nor I are strangers to travel. Despite my children's young ages, they have traveled four times overseas. The intent of this trip was to introduce my wife and two children, ages four and six, to Africa. As I am an avid hunter and have a love for the continent of Africa, I had hoped to instill the same values into my family with a safari to South Africa that was friendly and family oriented. I have hunted with a number of different types of outfitters and am able to differentiate between superior and inferior outfits/outfitters. I have successfully hunted bear and moose in Alaska, Cape buffalo in Tanzania, and ibex in the Hindu Kush range. I have fished black marlin for seven days straight on the Great Barrier Reef and have fished Costa Rica. In addition, I have been on numerous wingshooting, fishing and whitetail hunts in the continental United States. I am writing this letter in lieu of completing your standard evaluation form because the form does not adequately provide for conveying our experience and voicing our serious concerns about the conduct of the outfitter Ralph Koster.
As per our telephone conversation on 10/13/06, the following is my statement per my notes taken immediately following the incident of October 8th where Koster threatened my children. As a direct result of Koster's actions, I prematurely terminated the safari.
October 8, 2006, 6:40 a.m. - Day began at the Orange River Ranch, Ko-Ka Tsara Safaris, and left ranch house with Ralph Koster and Abraham. Shot an eland at 10:00 a.m. approx. Returned to ranch house at 11:00 a.m. approx. Took shower then went downstairs at 11:45 a.m. approx. Koster, appearing agitated, was standing at the dining table. He asked me to step outside to the boma where he stated the following in an extremely rude manner.
"Al, this is where I draw the line. Your children are jumping on the couch, they are pulling the wood sticks between the step railings and your son is shitting all over the bathroom. I will not tolerate this type of behavior and if you do not discipline them, then I will have to give them a hiding." (He raised his hand when he said this).
I told Koster that I would be back in a moment. I then returned to my wife and asked her what had happened. She stated that the children were with her all of the time except when she was taking a shower and that, perhaps, was the only time that they may have had the chance to jump on the couch. She also told me that my daughter (four years old), not my son (six years old), had an accident in the bathroom because my son had been using the only accessible toilet. (About two to three hours after our initial arrival, the ranch staff had locked the doors of two bedrooms preventing access to other bathrooms.) My wife knew of my daughter Hannah's accident because my son came downstairs announcing it in front of the kitchen maids. My wife went upstairs to the bathroom and noted a dime-sized spot on the floor that she cleaned. None of the maids were asked to go up to clean. All that they knew of the accident is from what my son announced.
When I went back downstairs, Koster was, again, standing next to the table. I told Koster, in no uncertain terms and with a few choice words, that I did not care that I was in his country or under his roof, that nobody would touch my children or threaten my family. He did not respond. I went back upstairs where I found my wife extremely upset and in tears and my children terrified: they were aware of what was transpiring. After a discussion, my wife and I decided that under these circumstances, we could not continue with the safari. I went back downstairs but, by that time, Koster had stepped outside. I asked the maid to ask him to come inside. When I returned, Koster was sitting at the table. I sat on the table and, very politely, advised him that I would like to settle our account and asked if he could take us to Bloemfontein that day. He responded, "Yes". He got up and told Abraham to put our luggage in the truck. Because we had not completely packed, we asked him to wait a few minutes. Koster then put me on the phone with his wife Diana who stated that she was sorry that we were leaving but she did not know what happened since she was not there. I reviewed the charges and signed over AmEx checks worth $6,300 to Ralph Koster. In addition, I tipped Abraham $200 and tipped Abraham's wife $200. I took Koster up to the bedrooms and bathroom so that he could verify that everything was in order before we left. Without even having lunch, we got in the truck and Koster drove us to Bloemfontein. It should be noted that on our trip to Orange River Ranch, our luggage had been transported in a small covered trailer to prevent it from getting wet. However, during our departure trip, our luggage was transported in the open bed of the truck with no covering although it was drizzling. I was able to carry only my electronics case inside the truck. The rain worsened on the trip back to Bloemfontein, completely soaking our luggage. Even more importantly, Koster drove like a lunatic the entire way. At one point, the truck skidded and completely went off the road. Fortunately, no one was hunt.
Koster took us to Southern Sun Hotel in Bloemfontein and carried my gun into the hotel. The hotel staff took in the remainder of our luggage. Koster came to me, shook my hand, said "Cheers" and left. No apology. I checked into the hotel.
Because of the wet luggage, we did not have a fresh change of clothing until the next day. In addition, my family had no opportunity to eat from breakfast time until 9:00 p.m.
We feel that Koster's behavior was outrageous, unstable, and utterly rude. He had neither right nor call to threaten my family and to tell me that he was going to give my children "a hiding", especially when we were his guests. If there was a problem or a concern raised by his staff, he should have investigated the concern. If the concern was then found to be legitimate, he should have politely, rather than threateningly, addressed them with me. Despite paying $670 a day and not bagging all of the desired trophies, I felt compelled to immediately remove my family from such a caustic atmosphere and threatening environment.
Koster's actions caused severe distress to my family and me and ruined the trip for us. Instead of enjoying their first trip to Africa, my family regrets it. I feel that this outfitter is emotionally unstable and unfit to cater to families. I feel that he will, sooner or later, cause serious harm to someone. Cabela's, as his booking agent, should be aware of this.
In addition to the above, I have other aspects of the hunt itself that I would like to address:
Ko-Ka Tsara Safaris Bush Camp - I don't know if you aware that the bush camp is a year round bed and breakfast and is listed on the internet as such. It is advertised for its proximity to Highway N1 and as an overnight stop for travelers. Prior knowledge of this would have influenced my decision to use Ko-Ka Tsara Safaris. Instead, Cabela's told me that there would be no one in the camp but my family. On Friday afternoon on 9/29/06, instead of arriving at what we thought would be an exclusive, hunt-oriented camp, we arrived at a public accessed B&B.
Ko-Ka Tsara Management Attitude - Ralph Koster was clearly fatigued and irritable at the end of the season. He cursed the animals, the weather, and his employees. He was persistently abrupt in answering our questions. This did not promote a pleasant environment. Koster directly stated that due to the long season, he was tired and wanted to go back to his sheep farming. He also stated that he had wanted to assign this hunt to another guide, but had taken it himself due to Cabela's insistence.
Family Day Trips - Ralph and Diana Koster had assured us that there would be plenty for my family to do and see and that they would be taken on day trips while I hunted. No true day trips were taken. However, Diana did take my wife on an outing to Beaufort West and my family to Little Karoo National Reserve, which is next to their property. The remainder of the time, my wife and children were left on their own.
Meals and Staff - A positive aspect was the good food, excellent staff, and above average housing. Ko-Ka Tsara Bush Camp is rated three-stars by the South African B&B Association.
Travel Time to Hunt Ratio - Of the ten days of the scheduled hunt, one-half day and one full day were lost since we terminated the safari for the above noted reasons, three days were lost to travel between four different ranches. This left only five days of hunting during which I shot 12 animals.
Game Quality - A SCI Certified Measurer measured the 12 animals taken. The measurements are as follows:
One did not meet SCI criteria for bronze. Five were SCI bronze Two were SCI silvers Four were SCI gold Red Lechwe Hunt - the red lechwe hunt did not feel like a safari hunt; we hunted on a sheep farm. The hunt time was only one-and-a-half hours and sheep were in the background when I shot the lechwe.
Jason, I understand that Ko-Ka Tsara has had good reviews in the past. Because people like to have pleasant memories, we tend to remember the positives and suppress the negatives. I would also have given Koster a positive review and ignored the negatives of the experience if not for him threatening my family and crossing the line of civility. I would like to reemphasize that this outfitter is emotionally unstable and unfit to cater to families.
Rebuttal from Gregg Severinson at Cabelas
I have enclosed a copy of Ralph Koster's response to your accusations against him. I have also enclosed all report forms we have received from our customers that have hunted with Ko-Ka Tsara and Ralph Koster.
Since you have contacted all of Mr. Koster's references, they have in turn contacted me. Every one of these past clients has asked what they could do to help Ralph in the unfortunate situation. This fact along with Mr. Koster's response and looking over the past report forms, Cabela's agrees with Mr. Koster. We believe this entire episode was blown way out of proportion.
Thank you for taking all the time to explain how you view this altercation, we hope you have at least a few fond memories of your trip to South Africa.
We are taking the stand that we have an excellent outfitter and man in Ralph Koster. We will be continuing our efforts to represent him, his family and his outfitting business.
Rebuttal from Ralph Koster
I received a copy of a complaint by Dr. Asfar M. Waraich dated 30 November 2006 and which was brought to my attention on 05 February 2007.
Dr. Asfar M. Waraich did not give a true account of what transpired and his letter, as well as his actions afterward, is slanderous and devoid of all truth. This whole affair need not have happened if Dr. Asfar M. Waraich spoke to his family as per my request.
I wish to respond to the complaint by giving you:
A. The exact turn of events of the day in question. B. Specific slanderous accusations. C. Other aspects mentioned by Dr. Asfar M. Waraich D. Some aspects Dr. Asfar M. Warrick failed to mention. E. Statement by Greit Oerson (the maid). F. Statement by Abraham Oerson (my hunting assistant).
A. 8 October 2006
1. Dr. Asfar M. Waraich shot an eland approximately 11:00 am 2. I offloaded the eland and got to lodge approximately 11:45 to 12:30 am. 3. When we stopped after the hunt Dr. Asfar M. Waraich came to my side of door and said: "Ralph I had a hell of a hunt today. Thank you very much" and shook my hand. 4. He said: "I must just show my family (who was inside the lodge) the impressive animal" and went to call his family and showed them the eland at the cool room. 5. While they were at the cool room I went into the lodge where Griet and Linda (maids) were standing with their hands over their mouths and said (translated) "Hi Sir, we must just tell you something. These kids are busy breaking down your lodge." 6. I asked them what they have done. 7. The maids responded by saying: "Sir, they pulled all the banisters from the staircase. Then they would run and jump on the dining room table and from the dining room table onto the chairs, over the banisters (which were lying on the floor) over the lounge suite and fall on the cushions that they have packed on the floor". 8. I asked them: "Where was the wife?" Their reply was that she as there in the lounge and later went to her room and that she did not say anything to the children. They had to talk to the children but the children would not listen to them. 9. Griet and Linda said to me that that was not all they had done. 10. The maids told me: "We went upstairs to clean the bathrooms and bedroom and when we walked in there, there were "shit" in front of the toilet, on the seat and on the bathroom wall". 11. I then went to have a shower. 12. After my shower I went downstairs and sat on the chairs at the bottom of the staircase, with the two kids on either side of me, showing me the maps of the farm they had drawn while we were hunting. I told the children that the maps were beautiful and thanked them. 13. While they were sitting next to me. Dr. Asfar M. Waraich came down from his shower. I stood up and said politely: "Al, can I speak you for a second, please". He said "yes sure" and he followed me to the boma area just outside the kitchen area. 14. I said: "Al, this is where I draw the line. It has been brought to my attention by the staff that your children were pulling all the wood railings out of the staircase and were jumping all over the chairs, table and couches and were smearing "shit" all over the bathroom walls. Please, Al, discipline them because I would hate to give them a hiding because it is not my place". 15. Dr. Asfar M. Waraich said: "I would not like you to do that". 16. I asked him to talk to his children and he said: "Sure, I will be back in a moment". As Dr. Asfar M. Waraich turned to walk off I said: "Al, don't be too harsh on them". 17. I then went to the dining room table to sit down for lunch. 18. Griet had put his soup at his place setting at the head of the table. I asked her to take it back to the kitchen to keep it warm until he had finished discussing the issue with his family who were in the lounge at that time. (the lounge is in the same open plan area as the dining room). 19. Dr. Asfar M. Waraich was conversing, in their language, with his wife and children in what appeared to me to be a very agitated and aggressive tone. I could not understand their language and can only presume that he did not intend for me to understand the content of the conversation. 20. Dr. Asfar M. Waraich's wife and children then went upstairs. 21. Dr. Asfar M. Waraich then came to me where I was sitting eating my vegetable soup starter whilst waiting for them. 22. As Dr. Asfar M. Waraich walked to the table I pulled the chair out with my foot and my hand (I was sitting next to the head of the table and his place setting was at the head of the table). 23. I said: "Don't worry about it; it is not the end of the world". 24. Dr. Asfar M. Waraich then looked at me and proceeded to forcefully shove the chair against the table as Griet walked in with his starter (soup). 25. I could see by this attitude that Dr. Asfar M. Waraich was angry. 26. Dr. Asfar M. Waraich then walked to the opposite side of the table and proceeded with the following: He raised his index finger to my face and said in his said choice words: "Ralph Koster let me tell you something, I know I am in your f...ing country, in your f...ing lodge and I know I am on your f...ing ranch, but there is no way that I am going to allow you to threatened my children". I was totally speechless as I did not expect such behavior from him. 27. Dr. Asfar M. Waraich then proceeded up the stairs, slammed the door and they started arguing again. I do not know what they were saying (at raised voices). 28. Griet was standing at the table waiting to serve him his soup during his outburst. 29. I then proceeded to finish my meal. 30. Griet then said to me.: "Sir, I prayed to God that you would say nothing, because I could see the shocked look on your face and how red you turned". She then said: "Not giving a response is also an answer". 31. I then went to my room and phoned my parents as well as my wife to tell than what transpired. I asked for their opinion on the matter and how best to deal with it. 32. After speaking to my family I then went with Abraham to the cool room to help him to put the meat into the refrigerator because it was warm. 33. About 30 minutes to 45 minutes later he walked up to fetch his remaining stuff from the hunting vehicle and choose to ignore me completely even though I was working in front of my vehicle. 34. About an hour later he sent Griet to come and call me. 35. I went down to the Lodge and when I arrived there he was upstairs. 36. He came downstairs and told me that he was going to terminate the safari and would like me to take him back to Bloemfontein (there was one day left of the safari) and wanted to sort out the remainder of the bill. 37. We needed a waterbuck to fill his quota for this trip. 38. I asked him after he shot the eland whether he wanted to look for the waterbuck that afternoon. He said: "there is still a whole day tomorrow for one animal and I would like to spend the rest of the day with the family". 39. I said: "We have planned to take you and your family to have a look at the rock art and then proceed to the Orange River to have a barbeque and watch the sunset". 40. Dr. Asfar M. Wariach said that the plan was fine and then the unfortunate issue happened just before lunch. 41. I proceeded to fill in the register that needs to be processed to get the animals to the taxidermist and out of the country. 42. He then attacked me again in a abrupt manner asking why I am charging him for two kudu when I said he could have the one kudu (see explanation of this incident). 43. I said I need to make record of it in the export register as a permit would be required to get the second set of horns out of the country. He then said: "Oh". 44. I went on to explain that this is not his account but just a register for export purposes. 45. He said that he would like to settle the bill and I said that we do not have the facilities to finalize the account at the lodge but he could speak telephonically with Diana Koster to ensure that he agrees with the bill. He then spoke to my wife and handed me a signed T/cheques for the amount payable. 46. A copy of the bill was mailed to his office as well as a copy to Cabelas. 47. Dr. Asfar M. Waraich spoke to Diana for about 20 minutes. During that time he was standing outside the lodge explaining the reason why they had terminated the safari and asked her to book hotel accommodation in Bloemfontein. 48. Early morning the weather was misty but cleared totally later on and the whole afternoon was clear weather with sunshine. 49. Dr. Asfar M. Wariach carried his baggage to the vehicle and Abraham was packing it while I was busy with the register. 50. Dr. Asfar M. Waraich instructed me to follow him upstairs to the en suite room they were occupying, showed me where his son had got sick and asked the help to take care of it. He then proceeded to the bathroom and asked whether everything was in order. 51. I said everything is fine. 52. We then went to the vehicle and left for Bloemfontein. 53. I took the shortcut to the main entrance and his son said: "Look, Mr. Ralph, all the springbok and gemsbok". I replied: "Yes, my boy, I see them". He then said he was thirsty. I had two bottles of water and gave one to him. He then said: "I want to get sick". I stopped the vehicle and he was car sick. We drove again and said he was feeling sick again. Dr. Asfar M. Waraich then shouted in an abrupt manner: "Do you really want to get sick because we do not have time for games, do you understand me". 54. At the town Springfontein, whilst still on the gravel road, we were nearing the N1 freeway and drove into the cloudburst. 55. This was our first encounter with rain that day. 56. For interest sake that was about 100 kilometers from the farm. 57. As we were coming to meet the T-junction with the N1 freeway the vehicle got into a skid as the road was flooded. I brought the vehicle back into the road and apologized to my passengers and said it was out of my control. 58. When I got onto the N1, which was heavy with traffic, I put on my hazard lights because I could not see more than 20 meters due to the cloudburst. 59. His son asked: "Mr. Ralph, why do you have your flashing lights on?" I said: "Because, my boy, it is dangerous and so that the other cars can see us". 60. About 20 minutes later his wife communicated to him in his language and he said: "Stop the car, because we need to get something out of our bags". 61. I said: "Dr, you will get wet and there is still an hour and twenty minutes to drive. "Wait until we get to a fly-over. We can then both get out and do what you want done". 62. It stopped raining before we got to the fly-over. We stopped and I helped him to get his camera out of the bag. 63. We got back into the vehicle and he said: "Our bags are getting wet, where is your tarpaulin?" 64. I asked him: "Dr. was it raining when we left home and as far as I can remember the sun was shining when we left". 65. No one said another word until we reached the hotel. 66. When we got to the hotel I parked at the foyer and said: "Dr, I just want to make sure that the booking was at the right hotel", which it was. 67. I then came back with a porter and helped the porter offload the luggage, I carried his rifle case to the front desk. 68. About 3 or 4 yards from the front desk he pulled the rifle case out of my hand and went to the front desk himself where he proceeded to fill in his particulars. 69. I then went back to the vehicle at the entrance to move it to the parking lot. 70. As I was leaving the front entrance, the little boy called me: "Mr. Ralph, where are you going? Am I going to see you again?". With that his mother spoke to him in their language and he went back into the hotel. 71. On my return Dr. was the only member of the family at the reception. I asked whether everything was Ok and put out my hand. 72. The Dr. ignored my hand. I tapped him on the shoulder and said that I am saying goodbye. He reluctantly shook my hand and said goodbye.
B. With regard to Dr's Slanderous accusations
1. "to give his children a hiding": What was meant by that is that I would like him to discipline his children, because I would not like to speak to them with regard their behavior as it was a family issue. The reference to giving a hiding is a general figure of speech and was in my opinion willfully used to blame me out of their shame for their children's behavior. I only spoke to Dr. Asfar M. Waraich regarding the issue and never even mentioned it to his wife or his children. I never threatened his children as he now claims. Whilst I was talking to him at the boma I put my right hand on his shoulder as a sign of friendship. 2. "facilities being locked preventing access to toilets": The downstairs facilities have sliding doors and do not lock. There was definitely other facilities that could be used. Any child can have an accident but it was not necessary to smear the floor, toilet seat and wall. 3. "his children being terrified": This statement is not only doubtful because his child was the only one that spoke to me on the trip and did not appear to be terrified at all. If his wife were crying and the children were terrified it must have been as a result of his argument with them, because I never spoke to the children or his wife regarding the incidents. 4. "them cleaning the bathroom": Linda the maid cleaned the bathroom wall and the toilet and not his wife. Dr. Asfar M. Wariach took me to the room to show me where his son got sick and to get the help to clean it, where after he asks whether the rest was in order. To state that there was only a dime sized spot is very far from the truth. 5. "no food from breakfast to 9 pm": With lunch it needs to be stated that the food was ready to be served for all members of the family. After I left for the cool room all the food was on the warming drawer and they could have eaten any time. According to the maid they ate pies, flapjacks and had tee. This statement is also far from the truth. 6. "reason for early termination": There was still a day and a half to get the last trophy. He wanted to leave in spite of me telling them that it was not the end of the world. 7. "my actions causing severe distress and ruined their trip": If any stress was caused to his family it must have been caused while he was communicating in a raised tone with his family. As to his wife being in tears, I cannot comment because I never saw her in tears or under stress. I only mentioned my complaints to him and not to any of the other members of the family. I spoke to him because I wanted him to handle his own family. 8. "me being emotionally unstable and unfit to cater for families": It needs to be mentioned that about 50 percent of our clientele are families and we have only had good reports, which reports can be obtained. 9. "somebody will come to serious harm": This is not only insulting but also slanderous as I am a family man with children the same ages. I did not threaten him or anybody else and his claims are far fetched and devoid of all truth. Just because he did not handle his children satisfactory does not make me a threat to anybody.
C. Other aspects
1. Ko-Ka Tsara Safaris Bush Camp: Ko-Ka Tsara is a 3 star graded establishment by the South African Tourism Grading Council. 2. Management attitude: During the conversations at night we discussed the hunting season and I told him that it was a long season and I looked forward to my off season sheep farming. This statement was an answer to his question as to what I do during my off season. 3. Family Day Trip: Here it needs to be mentioned that I took the family sight seeing in Cape Town from 27 September 2006 until 29 September 2006. From 30 September 2006 to 3 October 2006 we were at Ko-Ka Tsara Safaris. On 2 October 2006 my wife took his wife and children to Beaufort West, the fossil trail and game drive at the Karoo National Park for the day. The scheduled trip to Oudtshoom to visit the Ostrich-crocodile and Cheetah Farm and Cango Caves and shopping had to be cancelled because we were advised that the river in the pass to Oudtshoorn was threatening to flood due to heavy rain. The town Oudtshoorn is 200 kilometers from Beaufort West. We consulted with Dr. Asfar M. Wariaich as to the risk involved that they might not be able to get back to the camp. He was of the opinion that the trip be cancelled due to the threatening floods. For the record the pass was closed for three days due to the floods. 4. Travel time to hunt ratio: Hunting routine and the dates animals were hunted:
30 September 2006 - Black Springbuck 1 October 2006 - wounded red hartebeest 2 October 2006 - found wounded red hartebeest early 2 October 2006 - black wildebeest 3 October 2006 - gemsbok and Cape springbok 4 October 2006 - red lechwe 5 October 2006 - two blesbok and inferior kudu bull 6 October 2006 - Big kudu bull and nyala 7 October 2006 - traveled to Orange River arrived at 12 - Dr. wanted to rest 8 October 2006 - eland
Dr. hunted for eight days of the 10-day hunting schedule and needed one more trophy. The reference to hunting only five days is therefore blatantly incorrect.
5. Red lechwe hunt: The red lechwe was not part of the package and was an afterthought of Dr. Asfar. M. Waraich whilst hunting at Ko-Ka Tsara. I informed him that we could get a good trophy but that it was on a sheep farm on a detour route to Asant Sana. Asante Sana is a two hour drive from Ko-Ka Tsara but in order to accommodate him a detour of about 250 kilometer had to be driven. This was explained to him as well as shown on a map in order to explain the detour. He insisted that he wanted the trophy. I explained to him that I have never hunted on that farm and that there were no overnight facilities. He accepted it. His complaint is unfounded and he insisted on that specific animal. 6. Reviews: The statement that he would have given a positive review if it was not for the incident, is in itself a positive review. I did not threaten his family. I asked him to discipline his own family so that they do not cause damage to my property. At no stage did I speak to any of his family about the children's behavior and therefore could not have threatened any of them.
D. Incidents Dr. Failed to mention. 1. The first thing that comes to mind is the red hartebeest. 1 ½ day of tracking a wounded animal, finding it the next morning at 10 am, still alive. He personally asked me where he had shot it and to show the route we took to track it for a day and a half. Thereafter he stood up in front of everybody and said: "I will personally write a report on this remarkable hunt, it certainly has been a remarkable hunt and a memorable one". Afterwards he shook everybody's hand.
2. The second is a mistake made by my two trackers that resulted in an inferior kudu being shot. I took the responsibility by telling Dr. and my trackers that there is no way I could send an inferior animal to the States and it will be a poor reflection on my Safari Company and that I would make it up by getting a second one on my cost.
3. Third was the effort that was done hunting his nyala during last light. We looked on five separate occasions for that specific trophy over a period of three days. We got it at last light on the third day. If it was not for his scope with infrared lighting we probably wound not have seen it. The nyala was the highlight of all my nyala hunts and was most satisfying.
4. Fourth was when the eland was bagged. I said: "You see you must learn to trust me as I told you, you must wait for the exceptional bull at the Orange River". In front of the lodge he thanked me profusely for the great time he was having. This show of thanks was half an hour before the blown out of proportion incident.
The trophies that were shot are not sub-standard and from the animals shot you can determine that a lot of effort and skill was involved in obtaining such trophies.
After reading Dr. Asfar M. Waraich's letter it bothers me immensely that on the 10th day of our time together he was still discussing business opportunities with me and he wanted to come back with a friend and he said that it would have to be at short notice due to his busy schedule.
I hope that this settles any doubt that Cabela's may have in me representing them.
Ralph Koster Ko-Ka Tsara Safaris
Rebuttal from Greit Oerson
I wish to make the following statement with regard to the incident that happened between Mr. Ralph Koster and Dr. Waraich.
I was at the lodge while the family Waraich was on the farm. Dr. Waraich was hunting and while they were hunting his children started to break the banisters going up the stairs of the hunting lodge. The doctor's wife was sitting in the lounge while the children were breaking down the banisters. From where she sat she could see the children.
The doctor's wife did not say anything to the children with regard to them breaking the banisters. I took it upon myself to speak to them and I asked them to stop breaking the banisters. They stopped breaking the banisters and then proceeded to jump on the dining room table and the "riempie" dining room chairs. I went to them and asked them to stop jumping on the chairs and table. I spoke to them again and they relaxed for a while. After a while they started throwing the cushions on the floor and they were jumping on the cushions. I picked up the cushions and then I put it back on the couches. The whole time while this transpired, the doctor's wife was in the room. After I put the cushions back on the couches the doctor's wife took the children upstairs. The little girls' stomach was upset according to Mrs. Waraich.
The daughter went to the toilet but it appears that she couldn't reach the toilet in time. She then picked up her excrement in her hands and smeared it on the floor, the toilet seat and on the toilet wall. Linda, the other maid, went upstairs and washed the wall.
Rebuttal from Abraham Oerson:
I was with Mr. Koster during the whole period of the safari and wish to confirm that Mr. Koster were only once irritable with me and that he never swore at me or any of the other staff. Mr. Koster were irritable with me when I pointed out the wrong kudu to Dr. Waraich.
The kudu was shot was not a trophy animal. Mr. Koster told me that it was unacceptable and that we cannot sent a kudu like that to America and that I've been assistant now for 10 years and that an animals would be bring disrepute to our name. Mr. Koster then told Dr. Waraich that he accepts full responsibility for that and that he would give him another trophy kudu because he would not even be prepared to put kudu horns like that against his own wall. Mr. Koster was unhappy about the kudu that wasn't trophy standard. Dr. Waraich then said that he wouldn't know of any better and asked what Mr. Koster thought it would measure. Mr. Koster then said it would measure more or less 40 inches, but that is not acceptable.
With regard to the bakkie I wish to confirm that Mr. Koster called me to pack the vehicle when Dr. Waraich and his family were leaving. Dr. Waraich carried his baggage to the vehicle and I packed my baggage. After Mr. Koster finished the register he came and handed me the baggage to put on the back of the vehicle. While we were packing the vehicle, the weather was clear and the sun was shining.
There were no clouds in the sky when we were packing the bakkie. I was told that Dr. Waraich said that it was wet while we were packing the bakkie. That was absolutely not true, because the sun was shining.
It never appeared to me that Dr. Waraich was disgruntled in anything we did because he praised us the whole time for his enjoyable hunt.
I was told that Dr. Waraich claimed that Mr. Koster threatened his children but Mr. Koster were always treating his children very well and they were all over him the whole time and kept on asking him questions. When the children left they appeared down and they were not as merry as normal.
I was told that Dr. Waraich complained about Mr. Koster's driving and wish to confirm that Mr. Koster always drove with due consideration. On the farm Santa-a-Sana the road was wet and slippery. At one stage we glided into the mud but Mr. Koster got the vehicle out without getting stuck. Dr. Waraich still said three cheers for Ralph and he clapped his hands. Both him and his wife said they would never be able to drive like Mr. Koster under these conditions.
That is all I wish to state
To: Gregg Severinson of Cabela's Outdoor Adventures From: Dr. Asfar M. Waraich. Re-Rebuttal
Thank you for your response to my letter dated November 30, 2006, to Mr. Jason Berger. After reviewing your letter and Mr. Koster's response, he clearly verifies that everything I stated took place except that he added silly and childish innuendos as well as fabricated lies around the facts in order to defend himself.
Mr. Koster acknowledges that he threatened to give my children a "hiding", this is exactly what bothers me. In addition, he feels that this is acceptable behavior because he considers it a figure of speech and said it to "shame me". Contrary to Mr. Koster's version, I never raised my voice to my wife or children. In fact, I was quite calm towards them so that they would not be overly worried.
I have no reason to misrepresent the facts that I have told you; I have nothing to gain by doing so. Mr. Koster, on the other hand, has plenty reason to lie and much to lose. I feel that no one would terminate a prepaid trip prematurely unless he felt the situation was unbearable.
I have advised you and other of my family's experience not in malice, but in true regret of Mr. Koster's actions and to caution you against the potential disaster that awaits. I hope that sharing our experience with the people who know Mr. Koster well will prevent him from mistreating even a single client/family in the future and that my family's experience will become an isolated incident.