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Book Through Ground Operator or US Tour Operator for Tanzania Safari?

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I am starting to plan a trip to Northern Tanzania for sometime in 2012 or 2013 and have been lurking on these very informative boards. I am wondering if it is best to book through a tour operator in the US (where I live) or if I should go straight to one of the highly recommended ground operators (thinking of Roy Safaris or Warrior Trails.) Do I save money by booking directly or do US tour operators get better rates? I enjoy doing research but, since this will be my first trip, I will appreciate the expertise of those who know more than I do. Are there advantages of booking with a US operator that I am unaware of?
Thanks!

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