After months or even years of planning, the moment has finally arrived-- you've chosen your safari operator and it's time to send them the deposit. But wait!! Who are these people, really, and can you trust them? Below is our list of essential questions to ask before you make your final commitment.
If you think we've missed any, please feel free to jump over to the forums thread and add your own.
1. Do you handle Africa exclusively?
2. How many years have you been selling tours in Africa?
3. Are you or any of the staff native to the continent?
4. To which professional organizations do you belong? For example, the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) or the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA)?
5. Has your company received any accolades or awards relating to Africa?
6. Can you provide a reference list of past clients?
7. How often do you and your staff visit Africa?
8. Have you ever visited Africa yourself?
9. What sort of support do you have in Africa?
10. Do you charge a fee? (Agents and operators usually make their money through commissions.)
11. What is your cancellation policy?
12. Can you handle arrangements from start to finish, including flights?
13. What is your contingency plan in case of war or terrorism?