Abercrombie & Kent outfitters

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Aug 5th, 2004, 10:05 AM
  #41
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 228
Sandi, thank you for clarifying for me.
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Aug 7th, 2004, 05:03 PM
  #42
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Thanks everyone for your opinions regarding A&K, as varied as they are & opinions on booking myself vs t/a vs group outfitter. I still haven't decided exactly how or who I'm going to use for my travel plans but I will add this to my dilemma...I am going to be traveling solo on this trip. And given that, I can't help but think group tour would be more suitable, safer & more cost effective than single guided travel thru Kenya & Tanzania & Egypt?????
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Aug 7th, 2004, 07:58 PM
  #43
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Although I'm not familiar with these tour companies, A & K does have an excellent reputation for booking 1st class tours. My brother and sister-in-law used them for their honeymoon in So. Africa and they said everything was fantastic and luxury all the way.
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Aug 7th, 2004, 08:25 PM
  #44
 
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jillybeans,

There is no question that A&K offers only the very best tours. The issue is that, at least in Southern Africa and Eastern Africa, that it is possible to book identical tours for A LOT LESS money.

I am one that enjoys the chase...putting together itineraries on my own, choosing the most exclusive places offering the most bang for the buck. I then either contact the lodges directly, or send out MY desired itinerary to various agents and have them bid against each other.
So far, I have had mostly great results.

For example, while I was disappointed on my last trip with my stay at Kulefu Tented Camp, I met another couple that was equally disappointed with their stay at Chiawa Camp, and I promise you they paid a lot more money than I did, although rack rates between the two camps are not that different.

Just today, I spied A&K's website (and other high end Africa websites), looking for clues on how I would put together my next trip to South Africa. Hey, the resources are right there for the taking, so why not take advantage?

Besides A&K, there is another very high end company, Micato Safaris, and I would be willing to bet dollars to donuts that their service is no better than Roy Safaris, a very competitively priced local Tanzanian tour operator. Micato Safaris may offer you dinner at their personal home, but, really, big deal. Ultimately, Micato is headquartered in New York City with some ritzy address, probably not too far from the buildings of Conde Nast Traveler, Travel & Leisure and other companies that help build the myth that Micato is somehow superior to a company like Roy Safaris, when in fact they are only superior in overcharging their unsuspecting clients.

If anybody does not believe me, take an identical safari package offered by A&K or Micato Safaris to Tanzania and then request that same package from Roy Safaris without telling Roy Safaris that their only competition is Micato and A&K. I promise that the prices from Roy Safaris will likely be about 40% lower! People, we are talking about many thousands of dollars here, so it is, in my mind, a tragedy when people waste their money on A&K, Micato or other similar type companies.

And the argument about using American companies "in case anything happens" is without merit. We have seen recently on this board a Fodorite have to wait nearly a year to get a partial refund from a highly esteemed American tour operator, and it was only after it became a public issue on the board, and there was pressure from other Fodorites, that a refund was actually issued.
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Aug 8th, 2004, 04:05 AM
  #45
sandi
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auntcindy - If you're traveling solo, you might want to consider OAT, Overseas Adventure Travel. They do small groups, max 16 people. Have tours to East Africa (Kenya & Tanzania) and also to Egypt. Maybe you can combine two if they don't already have a tour that covers both.

Many solo travelers use them as they have good itineraries, excellent prices. The many travelers might be couples, also single women whose husbands don't like to travel. Ages range from mid-40s to 70s, always depending on destination. Those who have used them find them very detailed, with good guides, reputable having been in business at least 30 years. Often they use the same accommodations as A&K, other times not, all depending on destination.

You can check their website at

www.oat.com or
www.overseasadventuretravel.com

Or, there is a solo traveler who posts to these boards - JanGoss - who is currently in Kenya and due home in about a week or so. You might want to contact here for here experiences as a solo traveler to K&T and company she uses. You might be able to use the company she uses for K&T, and then OAT for the Egypt portion.

Do a search for JanGoss - believe she lists here email next to her name, and ask her about her experiences. This might be a very good answer for you.


 
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Aug 8th, 2004, 12:08 PM
  #46
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 723
Rocco: As you know, I am a big fan of Roy Safaris having traveled with them before and doing so again this October. Our first trip, I designed my itinerary and then I got price quotes from A&K, Ker&Downey, Micato, Africa Adventure Company, Park East, Thompson Safaris and several "high profile" operators. Roy Safaris came in significantly less (upwards of $1,100 per person) than the aforementioned companies. We had exclusive use of a 4WD vehicle, flew from some parks and drove to others, stayed at the same accommodations as the A&K, Micato, etc. clients. Yes, it took a bit of research on my part, but with the money I saved, I actually was able to add a few more days to the itinerary. But I do understand people wanting to use a "high profile" operator for travel. It just all boils down to what each of us feels most comfortable doing.
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Aug 8th, 2004, 12:15 PM
  #47
 
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Does Roy Safari's do itineraries for safaris and hotels in South Africa as well as East Africa? Thanks.
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Aug 8th, 2004, 01:11 PM
  #48
sandi
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petlover - Roy Safaris does Tanzania!
 
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Aug 9th, 2004, 07:55 PM
  #49
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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ended up going with a custom, private safari of tanzania through thomson safaris, and i recommend it highly. really enjoyed the flexibility of the private safari with our own guide.
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