$3000 difference in quotes for the same safari!

Aug 24th, 2010, 01:42 PM
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"International Airfare" has different meanings to different people. Well, at least to me . I recall few years back getting a quote from Somak. I told them the quote to include all Africa costs, SA, Zambia, and Kenya. We would do our own air to Africa. Their quote came back and said that it did not include international air. So I thought fine, they did not include the air to Africa but included everything else. Then I went round-and-round with them trying to understand their quote details. Finally they said "international air" ALSO means flights BETWEEN AFRICAN COUNTRIES to them. Our flights between SA, Zambia, Kenya were additional cost, not included. I gave up on them, we could not communicate.

regards -tom
cary999 is offline  
Aug 24th, 2010, 02:03 PM
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Hi Tom,

In my case, 'international airfare' is the roundtrip flight from San Francisco to Dar.
phernska is offline  
Aug 24th, 2010, 02:18 PM
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Johan, thanks for the potshot. Since you are locked out of WS, you shouldn't pull people like me into your hatred. I am not sure why my explanations of cost differences don't make sense.
andybiggs is offline  
Aug 24th, 2010, 03:39 PM
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phernska, Africa Travel Resource is who I used. Tanzania Odyssey told me on my first inquirey that my budget was WAY too low and came back with suggestions of really low quality camps. I moved on. After I had booked with ATR, the guy from TO contacted me again to see if I'd made a decision. I told him exactly what I was doing and who I was doing it with. He then responded that he could do the same trip for less. Which,of course, was completely different than what he had origianally said. Like you I was very specific about the camps, amount of time, etc. so I really was comparing apples to apples. So he comes back with a quote on my itinerary for slightly less than what ATR was doing. I forwarded his email to Lenny at ATR and asked "what gives"? He immediately contacted the camps and found that (1) TO would not be able to come through with one of their promised prices and (2) there was a new discount for one camp which Lenny then incorporated into our quote + adding a discount of his own as a good will gesture. He was quite pleased that I had continued to keep on top of things. I really do believe you should work this a bit more to make sure its all o.k. BTW: we adored Mwagusi. It was our best animal sightings. The lion pride is amazing.
TC is offline  
Aug 24th, 2010, 03:42 PM
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1st I'm glad to know you have another trip to Africa in the works and are checking in again here.

2nd Thanks for giving us some specifics.

3rd I've heard only good things about Fish Eagle and my contact with them has been positive, though I haven't booked a trip with them.

4th Please post as your trip develops. I for one would be most interested.

5th Just wanted to mention that Flycatchers has a good itinerary for S. Tanz. Their Mahale camp is supposed to be the nicest location, though it is one of the less fancy accommodations.

6th I don't have anything concrete yet but have been in contact with Kiliwarriors about Mahale, Katavi, Ruaha, plus maybe another spot. They would utilize a much of the Flycatcher itinerary and properties. This would be for July-Oct of 2011. 2-3 weeks, not all 4 months.
atravelynn is offline  
Aug 24th, 2010, 06:40 PM
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Hi Phernska,

First of all, thanks a lot for this thread - it is an eye opener and a true example of why safari-goers ought to do their research thoroughly.

The good companies always stand out - Your example of Ngoko safaris. They are truly professional. I've had the pleasure of bumping into Benson (including earlier this month) and Fiona in Botswana and they are great folks ....... You can just see their professionalism.

Thanks for the good word on Fish Eagle Safaris and glad that they came through for you. I do read their newsletters on the website too and it's always great information.

I guess there's no need for you to write to the high bidders anymore ..... they certainly saw your post here

HariS is offline  
Aug 25th, 2010, 01:05 AM
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Is the Fish Eagle Safaris company you are using the .com or the .net company?
Kits55 is offline  
Aug 25th, 2010, 02:49 AM
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Very interesting. Thanks for sharing the story.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Aug 25th, 2010, 04:31 AM
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Kits55 The company I'm using is the .com.
phernska is offline  
Aug 25th, 2010, 06:51 AM
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Thanks for the info-always better to be more informed.
moremiles is offline  
Aug 25th, 2010, 07:52 AM
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Thank you very much for posting the details.

What about asking NOMAD about their option for a TA in your area?
Also NOMAD might be interested to learn about those exorbitant quotes as that means that TA does jeopardize their business. It simply doesn't make sense for NOMAD to put SPECIALS out far into 2011 in order to fill beds but then a greedy TA might be preventing that.

I sure would name horse and rider ;-)

spassvogel is offline  
Aug 25th, 2010, 07:53 AM
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Just want to report that I heard back from Tanzania Odyssey after letting them know that I decided to go with another company because their (TO's) quote was $1600 higher. The agent responded, "...I must have misquoted on your trip." He implied that, if I hadn't already placed a down payment, he would match the price.
phernska is offline  
Aug 25th, 2010, 10:10 AM
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NO WAY! First an attempt to rip you off and then trying to match......very questionable attitude towards business; it wasn't a small percentage!

spassvogel is offline  
Aug 25th, 2010, 10:29 AM
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I agree -- that was the same type of encounter that I had with Tanzania Odyssey. First he said there was no way my budget would come close to the trip I wanted and low-balled some inferior camps. Then later, he comes back and said he could do the trip for even less money than I had originally specified. I really don't like that company. Shady operator. How could you possibly trust the follow-through?
TC is offline  
Aug 25th, 2010, 10:48 AM
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spassvogel and TC,

When I opened that email this morning, I just rolled my eyes. But, he did recommend that, at Mwagusi, I book the room with the separate lounge area as the 'resident leopard' sometimes sleeps there....not sure how to interpret that.
I really wish that Travel Beyond would respond....
phernska is offline  
Aug 25th, 2010, 01:11 PM
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We stayed in that room at Mwagusi. See my photos. Its called the Honeymoon Suite. We were upgraded because it was our 40th anniversary. I didn't see any "resident leopard", in fact, we didn't see or hear tell of any leopards in the area. Lots of lions and a couple of cheetah. Ellies in the camp every night. But the most we saw in our quarters were some birds and lizards.

Did you forward the new bids to Africe Travel Resource, too?
TC is offline  
Aug 25th, 2010, 01:37 PM
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I have not been in touch with Africa Travel Resource since January. If they contact me I will definitely let them know about the price discrepancies. As I mentioned, when ATR and Eyes on Africa came back with bids that were $3000+ over the others, I just wrote them off...
phernska is offline  
Aug 25th, 2010, 01:43 PM
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phernska, you said that TO's quote was informal, so the lowest formal quote was Expert Africa's, which was only marginally more than TOs.

You don't say why you rejected Expert Africa, which was, according to you, the lowest formal quote?
mcwomble is offline  
Aug 25th, 2010, 02:37 PM
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I 'rejected' Expert Africa because, at the time, in January, I had a better email dialogue going with TO, found the agent knowledgeable and informative, etc. etc., so decided to go with them instead of Expert Africa. My decision was not based on the quote because, as you pointed out, they were virtually the same.
phernska is offline  
Aug 25th, 2010, 02:48 PM
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I would take the resident leopard as a BONUS SURE!

Don't forget to take some premium catnip with you - the CANADIAN ones also work with leopards! Tested and proven at Nairobi orphanage!

spassvogel is offline  

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